Monday, July 17, 2017

home of the owls

"The first game of basketball was played on Christmas Day (1900) on the school ground.  Students and teachers had raised a fund and bought a ball.  As no one knew how to play, although all had poured over the rulebook for many anxious hours and did learn enough to put up baskets, the principal invited...a Portland High School student to...bring a pick up team to show our boys how to play the game."  And learn the game they did.  In their days as a high school (before they were consolidated into Jay County) the Bryant Owls would win the Hartford City Sectional twice (1958 & 1963), have a 20 win season in 1941 and would go 54-13 in a three year stretch from 1966-1968.  Unlike their neighbor Pennville to the east, the town of Bryant has found a way forward for their old gym (built in 1950-51), as it now serves the area as a community center.  And on the June day I visited, a spirited Euchre tourney was under way.  As we've seen several times before, a dedicated community with a little creativity and the energy to raise funds, can go a long way in preserving their basketball history.  CGS.

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