senior scribes

Be a Good Sport
By Lois E. Wilson
At my high school, Fairview, girls received points for playing intramural sports. Earn enough points and you received an athletic letter. This encouraged us to experience a variety of sports. I tried tennis, softball, volleyball, and basketball.
Each year there was a special track and field day when you could earn points by competing individually in events. Not foreseeing the consequences, I chose to try the standing broad jump. For it, you stand with feet behind a line, bend yourself into a slight squatting position, swing your arms and body back and forth without moving your feet, then at the release, jump, propelling yourself forward to land on both feet. I did fairly well at the jump, but the rest of the week my legs were so sore and stiff I could hardly move.
I was a tall girl for my generation, 5”9”, so I favored basketball. We formed teams. There were two teams from the senior class: the athletic Clickin’ Six and the girl-next-door beauties, Flibbertigibbets. A year later, Dr. Seuss used the word “nerd” in a book and we could have easily called our junior team the Nerd Squad or even more aptly the Nerd Herd for a couple of members were on the plump side, some were what they called “brainy,” and all of us were somewhat social misfits. But we were naive and named our team Basketbelles.
In those days, girls’ basketball was 6 on 6. Each team had 3 forwards and 3 guards. Forwards played only offense on their basket side; guards played only defense on the opponent’s forwards. Neither position was permitted to cross the center line. Only forwards were allowed to shoot baskets. You could only dribble 2 times, and all baskets were 2 points.
The senior teams were quite dismissive of us. Since we practiced at different times, they didn’t know we had a secret weapon. It was Janet. She was medium height and one of our brainy ones. She could swish the ball through the hoop at various distances from about any place on the court. The opposing team’s guards were shocked. They couldn’t stop her. As I remember, we beat both teams. Thanks to Janet, we gained some respect, at least on the basketball court. I hope we were good sports about the win and didn’t gloat too much—at least not outwardly.
I played basketball again in a faculty game. The game had evolved to the full-court men’s rules. I was 36 and out of shape. A few back-and-forth runs on the court, and I was winded. The game was also more physical. I got a few strong elbow blows from the PE teacher.
I enjoyed watching our sons play basketball, but I guess you could say I’m retired from it today.

That athletic letter “F” which I earned in high school was the only “F” I ever received in all my years of attending schools. Thank goodness! I guess I am gloating—outwardly. Oh well, please forgive me.

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