SCS Alumni Header
Reflections on Returning Home
for the Alumni Basketball Game

By Dave Ineich '56

The Annual Alumni Basketball game had been played for seven years before I had ever heard of it. In October 1999 someone sent me a copy of the "Reflections" where an article described the 1998 game. My immediate response was one of interest and excitement. During the past few years I had been participating in the Senior Olympics Basketball Tournaments and with the Santa Fe High School basketball team summer workouts, and thus felt I might be in decent enough condition to participate. I still had no idea as to how competitive the Alumni game might be and the last thing I wanted to do was embarrass myself in front of the other players and those watching. The only thing I knew was that there were two games: one for the younger players, the Fast Break team [graduated around 1980 and later] and one for the older players, the Old Timers [graduated around 1979 and earlier]. So, I thought "why not" and sent my application and $20.00 in.

I really was impressed when I was advised they would be providing a "T" shirt and I could have my number, from the good old playing days, on the back. Therefore, I played in my first Alumni game in November 1999 and a second game in November 2000.

In both cases I felt the experience more than exceeded my expectations. Although the purpose of the trip was "The Game" other memorable benefits were experienced. I took the opportunity to visit and talk with teachers from the high school days.

"The Game" now enables me to do this annually. Both years I visited Coach Redmond and Mr. Rowlands [after all these years it is still impossible to call them by their first names]. Very special people. Having Doug Fessenden as the coach of our 1999 Alumni team was fun because he was a student teacher in my junior year helping Al Drake coach the baseball team. He traded me to the competition for the 2000 Alumni game. Can't forgive him for that. Also, thanks to Kathy Crandall, a small group from the class of 1956 met for dinner both years. Classmates like Murray Logan, Patty Searls Logan, Janet Voltz Green, Kathy Mason Crandall, Carl Crandall ['55], Kate Greene DeMott and Dick Curley. All were/are good friends and when getting together it's always great fun reminiscing, catching up on each other's lives and good for a lot of lauahs.

Upon arriving at the high school for the afternoon pickup games I had to first locate the gym. This school was built after I graduated, therefore, I had never been inside. I drove to the back parking lot. Would I have to walk around front to enter the building? I started to do so, but observed someone entering a side entrance. I, therefore, went through that entrance. By following the sound of voices and of bouncing basketballs I successfully located the gym and the registration table.

Bob Fralicker and Greg Davie were there with a welcoming and friendly smile. As each of the participants arrived Bob and Greg had us register for the game [based on the age grouping] we planned to play in. Obviously, I registered for the Old Timers game. As I walked into the gym two things struck me. One was that there were more guys with gray hair then I expected. That certainly was encouraging. The second was that the floor of the court was solid. Having played in the old high school gym I remember the many dead spots. Often we were dribbling along when suddenly the ball was no longer there. In fact, I think the entire floor was one dead spot.

Not knowing anyone I immediately went to the locker room to change. Upon returning to the court I started warming up with other guys. It took less then five minutes before I knew at least 6/7 other players. It was obvious that everyone was eager to renew old acquaintances and to meet those of us that had never previously participated. A friendly, welcoming feeling existed throughout the entire gym. Also obvious was that many of the players had previously been teammates because there was a considerable amount of hard hitting, but good natured, ribbing between them. We began playing full court pickup games. After more guys arrived we went to playing width court allowing for two games to be played simultaneously.

Although, still friendly, the competitiveness of everyone became very obvious. No one seemed to hold back. Players were blocking out, pushing, bumping, holding, going for the basket hard and rebounding hard. Nothing was being done to injure anyone or to be unfair, just a bunch of competitive guys playing hard to win, even in a pickup game. I was impressed and loved it. This was what I had hoped the experience would be.

The realization that I must have been a little older than most hit when I first guarded a young player who was currently a sophomore in high school. At the time I didn't ask him his name. A nice guy, tall and a good player. A few games later I was guarding another player, also a nice guy, tall, and a good player. We had a chance to talk. He told me his name was Paul Hamilton. I realized his father was the same Paul Hamilton who played on the 1954 & 1955 baseball teams. We were teammates. Not only was he Paul Sr.'s son but the Sophomore I previously guarded was Paul Sr.'s grandson. It was amazing to me that, without realizing it, I had played with and against three generations of one family.

We must have played 7/8 games that afternoon. Needless to say I was beat. My legs, back, feet and arms all were in pain. Additionally there were a couple of new bruises. After taking a quick shower I picked up a couple of hamburgers and returned to the Super 8 to take a nap. A nap was necessary, not only to play in the evening's game, but just to get there. At that point the Super 8 looked and felt like the Ritz.

Upon arriving for the 6:00 PM Old Timer's game Bob was distributing the "T" shirts. It was good to see the Warrior logo and to wear the #10 once again. The Old Timers game began and continued with an even greater level of competitiveness than in the afternoon pickup games. Everyone played hard and was out to win. Even the crowd was into the game. The referees did a good job in calling the game. They made some bad calls, but isn't that expected? Actually, they made more good calls than bad. They took the good natured ribbing well. Anyone volunteering to referee a game like this deserves a lot of credit. The game was close throughout. I forget the final score of the 2000 game, but thanks to a last second basket, our team won. Winning at anything always has been and will continue to generate a good feeling.

Following the game many of us met at the Welcome Inn for drinks and food. This gave us an opportunity to get to know each other better and to create new and lasting friendships. What made this easier was the fact that we all had two things in common: we graduated from SCHS and played on a SCHS basketball team. This annual experience is unique and does not occur at too many other schools in the world. Additionally, it's for a good cause, The Boy's and Girl's Club of Sidney. I plan to be participating for another couple of years and eagerly look forward to it. It will be my goal to work at staying in condition.

One final observation: I guess I was the only player receiving Social Security. The Alumni Basketball Game is currently held on the Saturday of Thanksgiving weekend. All former SCS basketball players are encouraged to participate. The event is a fund raiser for the Sidney Chapter of the Boys and Girls Clubs of America. If you are interested in Playing please contact Greg Davie at 607-563-9799 or