05 January 2009

High School Sports in Small Town Maine

Ok, the ugly truth is that I came here to rant on Saturday evening about something that doesn't need to be addressed on this blog. I was annoyed about something, so I vented to my favorite friend - the internet. But then my husband read it and set me straight about keeping some things private... or at least off the internet. :)

So instead of reading about my latest complaint, I will instead tell you about a neat experience we had on Saturday.

My daugher is on the basketball team at our local public school and on Saturday, an all-day tournament was held between our school and it's biggest rival. Each school basketball team played - freshmen, JV, and varsity - both boys and girls.

The tournament was held at the Old Brunswick High School. This was one of the last events to take place in the old school, which will be torn down later this year, in order to make way for a new elementary school.

Since we moved to the area many years ago, we have spent time at the Old Brunswick High School (OBHS) for various reasons. While the Brunswick Library was being renovated, the books were moved to OBHS, so my children and I spent many days there during our early homeschooling years. Each year the Brunswick Library holds a used book sale which is held in one of the rooms of the OBHS. And local recreational basketball teams have often held games in the old gym.

The gym is what I will miss the most about this old school. It is old-fashioned, has mediocre lighting, an old wood floor, and yellowed windows. If you've ever seen the movie, Hoosiers, then you'll know what kind of a gym I'm talking about. It has character.

On Saturday, we spent the entire day there, enjoying the basketball games between two small town rivals. People in the stands were wearing the school colors. Parents were there. Students were there. Townspeople who had no kids playing in the games were there. It was a community event, and it was something right out of the past. Change the uniforms and styles around a bit, and it could have been 1969 rather than 2009.

As an added bonus, there is a rivalry between these two schools that goes deep - but it is also friendly. Many of the kids play in competitive sports leagues that go all year - and kids from both schools end up being on the same regional team. Friendships and bonds are formed that make for an interesting time on the court when they are pitted against one another as high school rivals. They know the strengths and weaknesses of their rivals. They even know some of the plays. But the best part of all - they like each other. They respect each other.

After the games, when the kids walk in a line to do the perfunctory hand-shake with each member of the other team, the hand-shakes and high fives are real. They stop and chat. They give hugs, the congratulate each other and they mean it.

There won't be any more games at the Old Brunswick High School, but hopefully, the spirit that has been created in these two small towns will go on.

Copyright © 2009 - Paulla Estes

1 comment:

jessica said...

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