Derl Bernard Outstanding Contributor
Derl Bernard moved with his family to Sweet Springs in 1953 to manage the R.J. Hurley Lumber Company. Thirteen years later, he bought the lumber business; in 2016, Bernard Lumber Company will celebrate fifty years of business in town. Upon moving to Sweet Springs, Derl became involved immediately in civic activities – church, Chamber of Commerce, hospital board, city politics and summer baseball which he coached for twenty years. In the fall of 1968 when SSHS started a football program, Derl was one of the first volunteers offering to run the chain gang. For 38 years, he worked every home game at the chain gang sideline position while watching his sons and grandsons play football for the Greyhounds. SSHS football coaches over those 38 years have been quick to say that whenever they needed anything for the team, Derl was always the first to step forward to offer his assistance. Derl passed away in February 2008 after having to relinquish his chain gang vest in 2007, watching that football season from the endzone instead of from his normal sideline position.