Keeping the clock running: Hayfield’s Klawiter has held down the scorer’s table

Published 8:45 pm Wednesday, December 5, 2018

HAYFIELD — When Ken Klawiter began working as a clock operator at Hayfield sporting events back in 1972, he was just looking to make a few extra bucks.

But over the years it became more than just a job and Klawiter emerged as a fixture behind the scorer’s table at Hayfield basketball and wrestling events. On Tuesday, he had a rare moment in the spotlight as he was recognized for being inducted into the Minnesota Basketball Coach’s Association Hall of Honor as a Friend of Basketball at a Hayfield boys basketball home game.

Klawiter felt a little odd in that moment in front of the crowd, but he did have an idea that the recognition was coming.

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“It was kind of embarrassing,” Klawiter said. “I didn’t plan on that, but I knew something was happening because many people have been coming up to me asking how many years it has been since I’ve done this.”

Klawiter, who spent his teaching career in Hayfield, has also served as a bus driver for sporting events and run clock at football games in the past. Through the years, he’s seen generations pass by on the courts and in the classroom.

“I’ve seen kids of former players and I think I’ve even seen another generation, but I can’t identify a particular one that would be third generation yet,” Klawiter said. “It’s a fun way to keep up with people that I’ve had as students.”

Ken Klawiter of Hayfield holds his award for being inducted into the Minnesota Basketball Coach’s Assocation Hall of Honor in Hayfield Tuesday night. Klawiter was honored as a ‘Friend of Basketball’ for his years of service as a clock operator. Rocky Hulne/

Hayfield athletic director and boys basketball coach Chris Pack said Klawiter’s presence has made things much easier for him.

“It’s very rare that you’re able to see just one person do that for boys basketball, girls basketball and wrestling. It makes my job a whole lot easier,” Pack said. “As an AD it’s nice to pencil him in and know that he’s going to be here every night. He’s experienced and he knows what’s going on. It’s a luxury for me, that’s for sure. Travis (Kauffman) does a great job with the PA and they work very well together. It’s nice.”

Klawiter said he enjoys being around the excitement of high school sports on a nightly basis, but he’s also aware that he can’t get too caught up in the action.

“You cannot watch the ball game. You’ve got to concentrate on starting and stopping the clock,” Klawiter said. “I also have good help and they let me know if something happens whether it’s a foul or a basket.”

Klawiter taught in Hayfield from 1964-1998 and he has rarely missed a contest over that time. He also enjoys woodworking in his spare time and he has constructed trophy display cases, book shelves and the display for the Hayfield Vikings Athletic Hall of Fame.