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Basketball before our schools combined

Posted Friday, February 22, 2008, at 3:39 PM

I always enjoyed some of those small school junior high basketball games before Bell Buckle and Wartrace became Cascade, prior to Pleasant Grove, Wheel and Flat Creek becoming Liberty and of course Unionville was always in the mix as well as the Normandy teams.

Each community and its school was unique then. Of course this gave me an early look at promising young athletes.

Knowing in advance I'm going to irritate a few people, and I should know better, I'm going to reflect back on some of those communities and schools in those days not so long ago.

You could count on Bell Buckle having competitive teams. As for the community, one thing remains the same. The citizens present a united front against the rest of the world and are sometimes a little too prone to squabble among themselves.

Wartrace had good athletes and good teams when they had good coaches.

I once worried that the only thing Bell Buckle and Wartrace really shared was a railroad and I'm happy to say I was wrong.

When Cascade opened I had one minor problem. A man challenged me for running two pictures of a Cascade game and the players in each picture happened to live in the same community. He bought my true explanation that as far as I was concerned all the kids were from Cascade.

Normandy always amazed me. They always had a really fine athlete or two but during the times I covered them never had a competent coach.

Wheel, Flat Creek and Pleasant Grove brought three unique communities together. Pleasant Grove always had some good athletes but a few times questionable coaching. Flat Creek produced some good athletes and seldom a true coach. Wheel was, well, Wheel, some fine athletes and seldom a trained coach.

Unionville, or Community, always had and comtinues to have some great athletes. One thing you could always count on there in basketball season was the stands being filled with

fans. As the school got bigger gyms things got even better.

All our small communities and schools have come together well, yet each community remains, well, unique.


Comments
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[Show most recent comments first]

The one constant for the youth of Bedford County in those years was the superb and unbiased spots coverage by Bo Melson and the T-G. I hope Bo realises the impact he had with his coverage and "Sportschatter" column. I lived for each edition of the T-G and I am sure many others in our age bracket did as well. Thanks for the memories Bo.

-- Posted by chapelhillbill on Fri, Feb 22, 2008, at 5:16 PM

Thank you so much chapelhillbill. I enjoyed our really great kids. The pleasure was all mine.

-- Posted by bomelson on Fri, Feb 22, 2008, at 10:34 PM

I have only lived here for about 15 years. It would be cool to read about athletes from "25 years ago" and "50 years ago" like the 'social' section in the paper. I'd especially like to see clips about people who still live and work here and I'd bet they would to! There's nothing like getting to relive a little bit of glory days.

-- Posted by Jacks4me on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 10:32 AM

I've got clippings of myself on the baseball diamond 30 years ago that were authored by Bo Melson. I'll cherish those memories till the day I die. Thanks for all you've done for Bedford County sports, Bo!

-- Posted by Dolittle on Mon, Feb 25, 2008, at 11:03 AM


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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette.
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