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Monday, January 16, 2012

Disappointed- Very Disappointed

I was an assistant coach at GHS when Mike Owens started the concept of hosting a Thanksgiving Tourney. Galesburg ran a Thanksgiving Tourney for at least 20 years. When Mike Hellenthal took over as AD, he really worked to keep it going. There teams brought in from Chicago and St.Louis. It is hard to keep getting teams to come to Galesburg.

Then the tourney was dropped. Many people were upset. Some blamed the boys coaches and some blamed the GHS administration. And believe it or not, some blamed me as the girls basketball coach. They felt that I had blocked the boys tourney by hosting a girls basketball tourney at Thanksgiving.

No matter, new boys coaches were hired and were always told- "We want to get the Thanksgiving Tourney back." With each boys coach, I assured them the girls tourney would not be in the way. Each boys coach tried and some had more and some had less administration support. Years went by- no tourney.

Mike Reynolds was hired. I was recovering from hip surgery so was home and could talk whenever Mike wanted to talk. (Yes, I like to talk) I told him the public and the administration want a Thanksgiving Tourney- see what they are willing to do. As we talked, I told him when Thiel was coach that he played extra home games by having Chicago schools come down. I suggested that I thought he should not only go for a Thanksgiving Tourney but why not a King Tourney also. The concept of the King Tourneys was just beginning to catch on.

And guess what- after years of trying-- Mike Reynolds got it done. Not only did he get the Thanksgiving Tourney back, he added a King Tourney also. What a huge deal. Just think with these two tourneys with 6-8 teams eating in Galesburg for several days, and with 4-5 of them staying overnight how much money they bring into Galesburg.

Tonight I go to the boys game and what a huge disappointment to see how our community is supporting the tourney. That is sad for the players who work hard and for the coaches who work to carry it off. I have always been proud of Galesburg's fans- they are one of the things neat about small town America. Tonight I was not proud of Galesburg's fans.

For years we said we had to have a boys tourney- now we have one. Where are you?

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