Friday, January 19, 2018

waldron subs in

Our intentions were good, but unfortunately the weather was not.  We had hoped to travel to Mississinewa, but snow & ice brought a quick end to those plans, so next up - the Milan boys at Hauser.  Arriving early enough to catch the JV game we were greeted by an empty parking lot - devoid of snow, but also fans.  A quick check of the online schedules confirmed that our 'new' game was also postponed.  So what next?  Well, we were only 16 miles from Waldron and a matchup between the Mohawks and the Jac-Cen-Del Eagles.  Traveling on ice & snow covered county roads we feared that our third choice of the day would be another no go.  But, to our surprise, the lights were on and the parking lot was full.  At this point in our little tale I want to make it abundantly clear that if you are ever in need of a sub, you could find no better one than Waldron - for here we found a welcoming principal (Gary Brown) and AD (Mark Shadiow), a tour of a beautiful old gym, some great basketball history and a good show put on by the Mohawks & the Eagles.  I guess the morale of this story might best be summed up by paraphrasing (& adapting) the old US Mail motto - "neither snow nor ice nor gloom of night" can deter these photographers from their "appointed rounds."  And it helps if you've got a school like Waldron to 'come off the bench' and sub in.    © Chris Smith

Sunday, January 14, 2018

basketball day indiana, fort wayne south side

"Welcome to South Side" was the greeting extended when I asked for the media sign-in sheet.  "Which gym would you like to see?"  Little did I know when a late day decision brought me to the FW South Side campus that I would encounter such accommodating folks.  They had no knowledge of our photo project, but wanted to hear all about it; didn't know who I was, but gave me full access to all three gyms & their memorabilia room.  They seemed glad that I was interested in their story and by the way, "did you know that we're playing Marion tonight?"  Needless to say my impromptu visit was worth every minute - from the preserved history, to the young boys playing in the old practice gym and finally the JV & Varsity games between two storied programs.  I guess a fitting end to this story is that the home team won, upsetting the 2016 State Champions, 91-82.  © Chris Smith

Wednesday, January 10, 2018

basketball day indiana, fort wayne luers

The Second Annual Basketball Day Indiana (promoted by Fox Sports Indiana, the IHSAA, the Pacers & Fever) promised 13 hours of "live" Indiana basketball utilizing a "whip around" style telecast.  I can't speak to the success of the event but I can identify with the 13 hours spent on the trail of Hoosier high school basketball, as that's how long it took to drive to Fort Wayne, photograph at the historic gyms of Bishop Luers & South Side and then travel home. What better way to spend Basketball Day Indiana 2018.  First up in our "telecast"  - Luers, home to a great old court, with ceiling architecture reminiscent of another small Catholic gym, Madison Shawe.  Boys basketball success at FW Bishop Luers (at some point in its life known as Central Catholic HS) came late on the timeline of Hoosier Hysteria; with their teams winning 6 Sectionals, 3 Regionals, 2 Semi-States and 2 State titles since 2007.  The girl's program is something else altogether, as they have won 20 Sectional crowns, 12 Regionals, 9 Semi-States and 6 State titles since 1980.  Pretty impressive numbers for any school, let alone one with an enrollment of 590 students.  AD Will Hubertz told me that a reconditioned floor is a part of future plans.  My only hope is that the "boxing ring" feel (vibration with every bounce of the ball) of the court doesn't go away, as it was one of the few times as a photographer that I truly felt a part of the game.  © Chris Smith