I’m watching my high school basketball team on a webcast. They made it to State (the equivalent of the Final Four), for the first time since just before I was a student there.

It’s odd to explain to people outside the south “I went to a basketball high school” because everyone expects you to say that Football Is King. But it was basketball where they made the tournament on a regular basis, and the principal would calmly announce that anybody who was going to be “sick” on the Friday the tournament starts, needs to be well until 10:30, when master roll (the roll where state-wide statistics are kept) is taken, then be sick no questions asked. Don’t even visit the nurse. Just sign out.

We had trouble holding on to football coaches for this reason. They would come thinking “This is a really good school with a lot of money. This is great!” And then leave after one year when they realized they were in the shadow of our basketball coach and that just isn’t considered right.

I mention we haven’t been to state in almost 20 years. We haven’t been all that good in the meantime. The star coach retired, and his assistant who took over wasn’t as good. Things improved on the football side, though, as they found a coach who stuck around for a while and built a program. Said coach was my science teacher and an assistant football coach when I was there. I remember him fondly. He knew the deal when he took the job, which was why he stuck around for as long as he did.

The current basketball coach is the son of a former head coach at Southern Tech. The last good head coach Southern Tech had, in fact. He was fired after getting knocked out of March Madness. We haven’t made it to the tourney since. We’ve only had one winning record since. He attends basketball games at both my high school and university, which is pretty cool.

I’m only vaguely rooting for my school, though. I didn’t particularly enjoy my time there. Never fit in (I’m sure you’re surprised). Further, they rerouted my neighborhood so that if I lived there my kids would attend a school farther away. They’d been trying to reroute my middle school forever. Too many not-rich kids. So my high school is no longer my neighborhood’s high school. Further, they tore town the building that I did attend, to rebuild, so even the building where those lukewarm memories occurred no longer exists.

The stands are reasonably full.

We’re ahead at half-time.


Category: Theater

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8 Responses to High School Basketball

  1. Burt Likko says:

    Long live Trumwill’s alma mater,
    Our home and our pride!
    Making State ev’ry twenty years or so,
    With football an aside.

  2. trumwill says:

    We won! We were up in the second half by 7-15 throughout, though when it was 7 it was looking a little dicey.

    I forgot that this is actually the first year with the new high school divisions, so we’ll be the first Division-# champions if we win.

    The high school is actually smaller now than when I left, so it’s interesting that we are in the top division still. If 3k student puts us in the top division, it seems like we were underperforming when we had 4k students.

  3. Peter says:

    Most interesting … if Southern Tech is the university I think it is (you’ve dropped some hints over time), I actually have met its former basketball coach (father of the high school coach) and my mother probably knows him quite well. When I was a child his family lived next door to my grandparents. Coach’s father and my grandfather were about the same age and were friends as well as neighbors. Same thing for my grandmother and Coach’s mother. By the time I came around Coach probably would have been out of the house, but he came back for visits, especially on holidays when I would have been at my grandparents.

  4. Mike Hunt Ray Rice says:

    Never fit in (I’m sure you’re surprised)

    I’m shocked SHOCKED that you didn’t fit in in high school.

    While I didn’t fit in in middle school, I actually fit in in high school. I went to a regional high school and I got along better with the new kids. Plus I played football in a school where football was king.

    As for the dad, you left out that he enjoyed his greatest success at the University of Deltona.

    • Trumwill says:

      I had a much better time of it in high school than middle school, but I was still the kid driving the vibrating minivan instead of the Mustang or late-model something.

      One thing I like about coach Waits is that treats the Sotech job as something worth having had, along with Deltona and that DC school. He’s a “good Packer” as we like to say.

      Some are hoping that a former Deltona football coach might be our next Athletics Director.

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