IN MEMORY OF CLARENCE AND SHIRLEY WRIGHT
The office of President of the FSA (Florida Shuffleboard Association) is demanding, challenging and exciting! A position for a “young man” on his way up!! And if you talk to our new FSA President, Clarence Wright, you would say, yes, Clarence fits that description. Just a bit of his background so that you can relate to your new “man at the top”; perhaps you will find common ground that you can share with him when you see him on the Courts. Clarence’s involvement with shuffling began in 1987 when he began shuffling in Frostproof. He then moved to the Club at Avon Park where he has been a member for the past 15 years while at the same time maintaining a membership in the Sebring Club. Clarence served as President of Avon Park, President of the Central District for 3 years ending with the 1999/2000 season. He provided strong leadership, working closely with the State Executive to promote the Sport. He was the state delegate for Central District for a number of years and served as 1st Vice President, FSA, for the past year. The outstanding and innovative leadership demonstrated by Clarence during this period earned him a nomination to the Central District Hall of Fame!! He continues to love the sport and it is evident that it has been an adventure for him over these many years. As he assumes the office, March 08th, 2004, Clarence’s charm, personality and savoir-faire will be put to test. We know that he will have the capable support of the entire Board, and we the Membership, are looking forward to the continued efficient operation, of what is without any doubt, the finest Shuffleboard Organization in the World!! THE SHUFFLER wishes you Clarence, and your entire Board, the very best as you begin your “tour of duty”!! This article appeared on the pages of THE SHUFFLER during February and March of 2004. (2004-10-23) Stan McCormack. 2015 11 21.
INFO ADDED in 2015. He has been a Top 8 Central District Pro Masters participant 9-10 times and placed first in 2003. Clarence was inducted into the Central District Hall of Fame in 2004 as President and in 2008 as a Player. He was inducted into the FSA HOF in 2007 as a Past President. Clarence would always tell people that none of these accomplishments would ever have been achieved without the support of his lovely, late wife Shirley, who was always by his side. Clarence left us in March of 2014 at age 81. Taken from his MVP Award remarks.
FSA HOF ACTUAL PRESENTATION REMARKS BY INDUCTOR!
Clarence Wright’s Hall of Fame Presentation by Paul Prescott
It is with great pleasure that I present Clarence Wright to the FSA Hall of Fame. Clarence, who is an accomplished shuffleboard player, is being inducted as an outgoing President. He has been an active tournament player for the past 17 years, but more importantly, he has given his time, effort, and finances to improving and administering the FSA. He progressed in the administrative side from the Club level to the District and then to the State. He served as President of the Sebring SBC and was instrumental in promoting the game at both Sebring and Avon Park. Then he served on the Central District Board and became District President where he served for three years. His skills in that position were easily recognized and he was asked to serve as FSA Vice President. He then progressed to the position of President, where he has served for the past three years. He was and is highly qualified to serve in that position as he had been on the State Board as District President, District Representative, and Vice President. He has been an understudy of the past three Presidents; David Minnich, Carl Eby, and me. We each taught him everything we knew about being FSA President (you can now understand why there may have been times when he had difficulties).
I first met Clarence and his wife Shirley, who became an excellent player in her own right, in 1990 when he started playing tournaments in the Central District. He started the year after I started playing in Florida and since we are in the same District you can imagine how many times we have played against each other in the past 17 years. A couple of those times come to my memory: The second year that Clarence was Pro, he and I both made the District Pro Masters and as it would happen we ended up playing each other in the 7th and last match of the Masters tied for first place with 12 wins each. Harriet Smith was our referee and I was fortunate enough to win the first game, so if I could win one of the next two games I would win the Masters. We were playing 12 frame games and when we got to the 10th frame the score was tied and Harriet saw one of Clarence’s non shooting disks touching the line when he made a shot, and she penalized him 5 points, so I won that game by (you guessed it 5 points). Another time we were playing the final tournament of the year at Kissimmee and we were to play each other in the quarters and we both needed the points to make the District Masters, but I was State President and the Spring meeting was the next day, so I had to forfeit and attend the meeting and Clarence got the points to make the Masters. The next morning I arrived at Sebring and who was the first person I saw at the meeting was Clarence, He was District President and he also had to attend that same meeting.
The one thing that I want to point out is Clarence’s character and dedication. He has always been willing to do whatever it took to help improve and administer Shuffleboard, even when he really didn’t want to do it. However, whenever we came to him with a need he made the sacrifice to help promote the game. I can tell you that being FSA President is not like the saying “it’s fun to be king” being President of the FSA is not always fun. Besides the sacrifice of time (that you could spend with your family or doing some other fun thing), considerable financial sacrifice, you have to spend a lot of time putting up with us players. It always seems that the minute you arrive at a tournament someone is coming to you with a complaint or with a “Wonderful Idea” on how we could change the game and make it a whole lot better. If there is some dispute at a tournament you are expected to solve the problem even it comes right in the middle of a very competitive match that you are playing.
Clarence has been a master of handling these situations. He is always fair with all parties involved and tries to sooth the situation even when tempers are not always in control. I judge an FSA President’s term by how little turmoil takes place while he was serving. The three past Presidents, since I left have been masters at this task and I give each of them high grades, but Clarence I give an A+.
It is with great pleasure that I present Clarence Wright, my friend and shuffleboard player extraordinaire as an inductee to the Florida Shuffleboard Association Hall of Fame.
Paul Prescott 2007 01 15.