Loss of institutional knowledge afflicts many organizations, and school districts are certainly not immune, with top leadership rotating in and out generally every few years. Even someone who sticks …
Loss of institutional knowledge afflicts many organizations, and school districts are certainly not immune, with top leadership rotating in and out generally every few years. Even someone who sticks around 20-30 years can attest to only a few decades’ worth of history.
So it falls to the community to preserve that history.
We came across such as case last week when it was initially claimed that the Mineola Yellowjackets were making the school’s first trip to the boys regional basketball tournament.
The claim was quickly corrected, but not before social media allowed the incorrect information to spread (imagine that).
Our friend Vince Colvin was one of the stars of that team, but not just taking his word (he does know his local history), I dug around on the Portal to Texas History. The portal is hosted by the University of North Texas (incidentally the site of Mineola’s first regional playoff in 1961).
You can read the headline for yourself.
That was well before multiple teams advanced in the playoffs (something that changed around 1982-3). Getting to regional meant winning your district and then beating the champion of the adjacent district.
Those ’61 Yellowjackets did that, and the photo tagline identifies them as Mineola’s first championship basketball team.
Mineola beat Van for bidistrict, which gave them a trip to Denton to what was then known as North Texas State College. The name changed to NTS University shortly thereafter and later to UNT.
One story described the site of the regional games as a modern gym, though if you’ve been to a game at Texas A&M-Commerce’s similar facility, you know that description was a bit generous.
I attended a couple North Texas Eagle games there, and the steel structure was loud and earned the name The Pit. North Texas faced off with some powerhouses like Cincinnati, Wichita State and Drake in the old Missouri Valley Conference.
When they opened a new arena in 1973, it was officially called the coliseum and unofficially the Super Pit.
Mineola lost that game in overtime, 46-40, and Jacksboro subsequently lost the regional final to New Boston, coincidentally the team Mineola beat this year for bidistrict.
What can be claimed for the 2023 Jackets is that no prior team won this many playoff games in a season (three just to make it to regional).
Perhaps the more interesting story appeared in the next week’s Monitor.
The top of the front page headline: “District Cage Selection Brings Protest Howls –– Just One Yellow Jacket”.
It went on to say that only John Brotherton made the all-district team while Mike Phillips and Lynn Dickerson were honorable mention.
I’ll leave the rest of the story to the final two paragraphs:
“Mineola coach Joe Jones said he was extremely disappointed with the way the vote turned out. He specifically mentioned Vincent Colvin, Mineola’s center, who it was pointed out, averaged 11 points per game and was the leading district rebounder and one of the leading defensive players.
“Jones added that at the end of the season he wouldn’t have traded any of his squad for any player from the other schools.”
Of note, the only mention that Mineola had lost to Jacksboro came in one sentence in the first paragraph, and did not even include the score.
Another note, one of Jacksboro’s top players was named Bob Bowen.
Roll the calendar ahead to 1980 and my wife’s senior year at Bowie High School. Her Jackrabbits and the Tigers tied for the district title, and Bowie lost in a playoff. Their star player was Blake Bowen. I have no clue if they’re related, but it’s a small town.