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Warriors News · From the AD: A Warrior Legacy

Once a Warrior….Always a Warrior

Michael & Barbara Rizner

A WARRIOR LEGACY submitted by Michael Rizner

As a former Wayne Warrior, a “Warrior” has come to represent something far more to me than a high school mascot. All current, former and future Warriors are or will be part of a family, part of a bond that transcends the name Warrior. Do you know someone who exemplifies the true spirt of a “Warrior”? I do.

Barbara Rizner was as dedicated a Warrior as they come. She sacrificed many hours of her time that she could have spent working to help provide for our family but chose instead to spend that time supporting me, my sisters and our friends with our academic and extra curricular activities at Wayne. She never missed taking us to or from school or practice, never missed any of our games and never refused to help any of our friends in any way she could all while working four jobs at a time. At a time that we barely had enough gas money ourselves, she would take our friends home from practice who otherwise would have had to walk. Her countless examples of selfless service were an inspiration to all of us. She touched so many hearts through her laughter, smile, kindness and sacrifice.

In addition to many friends, classmates, teachers, coaches and parents; I have the privilege of knowing three very special people who also embody the true spirit of the Warrior family - my sister Mary Beth (Rizner) Theil, her husband Dr. Thomas Theil and their daughter Gretchen. Shortly after Barbara retired in 1998, she moved into the Theil home. These three Warriors (Mary Beth, Tom and Gretchen) made one of the biggest sacrifices a family has to make in caring for a parent/mother-in-law/grandmother.

Although Mary Beth was the primary person who spent many hours tending to Barbara’s health issues while simultaneously supporting Dr. Theil’s dental practice and raising a child, it would not have been possible without the love, help and support of her husband Tom and daughter Gretchen working together as a team. Like Barbara, the Theil family made the ultimate selfless sacrifice helping to take care of a fellow Warrior and making sure no need went unmet. For this I am truly grateful.

Unfortunately, we lost one of the greatest Warriors of all this year. Barbara Rizner passed in peace on March 24, 2014.

While all of these Warriors are near and dear to my heart, there are many other Warriors past and present that represent the true spirit of “The Warrior”.



The week’s article is in honor of one of the most dedicated Warrior fans that I have had the privilege to know.  Barbara Rizner and her family embody an everlasting Warrior Spirit.  Her son, Michael Rizner, wanted to submit this in honor of her.  We send our love and support to the Rizner and Theil families during this time.

Jay Minton
Athletic Director