I can’t begin to tell you how many times I’ve sat in Eveland Gym for ballgames, concerts, May Fete and programs. Sunday, I sat at the end of the visitors bench and watched the Paris Junior League City Tournament this past Sunday and memories began to sweep over me.
My brothers Mick and Sam each played on the Colts in Junior League. We spent many a Sunday afternoon in the old Mayo Gym watching league play. I met the Griffin twins — George and Augie — when they were fourth graders playing for the Colts.
It’s a remarkable accomplishment to keep a league like this going because it requires volunteer coaches, board members and scorekeepers.
Sitting on that bench Sunday, I couldn’t help but think of Chuck Holycross and Joe Hasler who coached the Hawks and Bob Wallace who was the longtime coach of the Colts. Then there was Albert Trott and Lyle Willan, Tom Stuck, Frank Cash, George Fowler and so many others. Tom Dunn coached the Panthers in those days and he’s still coaching today — for the Hawks.
I thumbed through the tourney program and read many familiar names. One familiar name was for sportsmanship — Brett Eldredge. When I interviewed Brett Tuesday he smiled when I mentioned Junior League and that award.
Not everyone may be a great basketball player but every player gets to play at least four minutes in every game — from the youngest fourth grader to the seasoned sixth grader.
Thanks Toby and Cindy Wilson for your dedication. You are making a difference.