REGINA PATS - SCOREKEEPER and TIMEKEEPER
GARY RENNER and BILL WHITE
Braden Husdal, Regina Leader Post
Published: Thursday, September 18, 2008
Gary Renner and Bill White have seen it all in their 40 years as a scorekeeper and timekeeper for the Regina Pats.
A different arena, different coaches and different players are all changes Renner and White have experienced since they began the positions they still hold. World junior championships, NHL preseason games and Memorial Cups have also been viewed by the two stalwarts and they wouldn't have it any other way.
"There are so many moments and comical experiences that I've been a part of in my time in the position," said Renner, the Pats timekeeper since 1968. "It's so hard to lay a finger on one that stands out more than any other because if I did that I wouldn't be doing justice to another moment that I can't remember right now.
Gary Renner (left) – keeping score plus stats and Bill White – the time-keeper 1983 at the Regina Agridome
Gary Renner (left) – keeping score plus stats and Bill White – the time-keeper - 2008 at the Regina Agridome-Brandt Centre
"I've met so many great people through this job that I can go up to and have a conversation with about a fond memory. If I have to single out one thing then I would say that the people are the best part."
Renner and White are an integral part of the Pats game-day operations. Responsibility for keeping proper time and keeping straight goals, assists and penalties is something that neither man takes lightly. Renner arrives approximately two hours before each game to ensure the score sheet is in order while White arrives about an hour early to work the clock for team warmups.
Their positions enable them to interact with coaches, players and officials on an almost nightly basis. That interaction has helped form some relationships that both fondly remember.
"One of my favourite players was Garth Butcher, who played in the early '80s," said White of the former Pats defenceman. "We saw him in the penalty box on a regular basis and he always had something funny to say.
"One time Garth and a guy from another team were both in the box after getting penalties and they started talking to one another. The guy from Calgary asked Garth, 'Why wouldn't you fight me tonight, Butcher?' Garth answered back, 'The coach told me not to, but if there would've been a real hockey player out there I would have fought him.' I thought that that was pretty good."
White has been with the Pats organization since 1969 when he was a part-time official. Eventually he moved to scorekeeper for the Pat Blues SJHL team and then to timekeeper for the Pats. He has been working with Renner ever since.
White and Renner are both big fans of the Pats and hockey in general but while the game is on they maintain their professionalism.
"Deep down inside I'm always cheering for the Pats but I try to never show that when the game is on," said White. "It's important to myself as well as the coaches and the referees that I'm impartial.
"I've never had anyone upset at me about the clock because the referees are always watching it too. If there's ever a question if too many seconds went by before I stopped it then they'll come over and we always manage to get things straightened out."
Renner and White have no plans on stepping down from their positions anytime soon. Renner is 62 and White is 80, but they maintain that as long as they remain healthy, they'll continue.
"I love watching hockey and I'd probably be at the games even if I wasn't the scorekeeper," said White. "I used to travel all over the province to watch the team play and I like the team just as much after all of these years.''