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Basketball before our schools combinedPosted 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.
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Bo Melson is a retired sports and police beat editor of the Times-Gazette.