‘COACH SAID HE HASN’T LOST FAITH IN ME’ — entry #15 from “A history of the events of the Allentown College’s 1972-1973 B-ball season …

Posted on Jan 25, 2013

… AS CHRONICLED BY, AND WITH THE PERSONAL MEMOIRS + OCCASSIONAL PHILOSOPHIZING OF THE AUTHOR, ONE STEPHEN J. McKEE”

This CENTAUR SEASONS post was written 40 years ago today.

PREVIOUS GAME: Centaurs 56, Wilmington College 71, six days ago

NEXT GAME: at Philadelphia Pharmacy, tonight

CENTAUR SEASON: 2-5

Pregame – on the bus to Philly Pharmacy

It’s time I got my s—t together.

Monday night at practice I played probably the best basketball I have ever played. I blocked a couple of shots, had five steals, many ’bounds. For once had John Cooper under control. Now I have to wonder if it’s gonna pay off. Will I play? Hope so.

We are now 2-5. All five losses in a row. It would be nice if we won tonight, very nice.

WE COULD TURN THE SEASON AROUND WITH A WIN TONIGHT. (Yes, I’ve said that before.)

We also now have four away games in a row. The schedule! The way I see it, to be really successful we need to split the next four, 2-2. Tonight would be a good way to start.

An Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales first! A group of kids got together and rented a bus to go down to the game. I can’t figure out, though, if it really is to see us play or an excuse to get a load on. Either way, it will be nice to have a few people there on our side at an away game.

Time called. Me, Bob Hoeffner & Chris Cashman just had a skull session with Coach Sabota. He has a magnet board with little players on it – it’s really neat — and he really likes to play with it. He changed #2 zone from 2-2-1 to a 2-3 – says it will give the back forwards more movement and more vision. Which it will.

Time In. Well, as usual, I’m beginning to get nervous-energy-nervous. I really think that this time around I’m gonna play. It will be up to me whether I play very much.

Dennis Ramella needs 21 points for 1,000. Will he get it? I wonder if he’s thinking more about that than winning the game.

[IN THIS ‘CENTAUR STORY,’ READ WHAT DENNIS THINKS NOW.]

I talked to Coach last night. I was pretty down – I felt that no matter how hard I tried I just wasn’t going to play. Especially after the Wilmington game. I thought that Coach had lost faith in me. He said he hasn’t – and that he planned to play me in the Wilmington game, but he didn’t know where to use me. Dave Glielmi was great – 20 points, he couldn’t miss. He kept us in the game for the most part. Coach said Coop was playing well and Bob Hoeffner and Bobby Stormes were working pretty good. But he said he hasn’t lost faith in me. And he wants me to play: “My mere presence …”

Oh yeah: P.J. Brennan (lowly freshman) is also a starter now.

Prediction: Cash is going to play a lot tonight. Just watch. Or wait, I guess, in your case.

We are now on the Schuykill Expressway, coming into Philadelphia. “World’s Longest Parking Lot.”  I’m going to sign off. See you later.

Let’s go Centaurs!

PREVIOUS GAME: Centaurs 56, Wilmington College 71, six days ago

NEXT GAME: Philadelphia Pharmacy, tonight

1972-73 CENTAUR SEASON Schedule and Results:

12/1  — at Lehigh CCC — W/81-71 — 1-0

12-4 — at Northampton CCC — W/87-50 — 2-0

12-6  — EASTERN BAPTIST — L/73-75 — 2-1

12-12 — SPRING GARDEN — L/54-66 — 2-2

12-16 — PHILLY BIBLE — L/72-79 — 2-3

1-18   — at Baptist Bible — L/82-84 — 2-4

1-19  — WILMINGTON — L/56-71 — 2-5

1-25  — at Philly Pharmacy

1-30  — at Spring Garden

2-3   — at Messiah College

2-6   — at  Wilmington

2-13  — RUTGERS, S. JERSEY

2-16  — LEHIGH CCC

2-20  — MESSIAH

2-22  — NORTHAMPTON CCC

2-24  — PHILLY PHARMACY

2-27  — BAPTIST BIBLE

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Welcome to CENTAUR SEASONS: A ‘memory blog’ of the basketball beginnings of a half-good, half-bad, all-new college team.

Once, I was a Centaur.

I played basketball for Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales in Center Valley, Pa. I was on four of the school’s first seven teams, was MVP senior year and in 1974 graduated in the fifth class.

My junior year I kept a diary: A History of the Events of the 1972-1973 Allentown College B-Ball Season, as Chronicled by, and With the Personal Memoirs + Occassional [sic] Philosophizing of the Author, One Stephen J. McKee.  One-hundred-forty-five hand-writ pages. (Yes, I was an English major.)

But it occurs to me now: Were I today a “Bulldog” playing for “DeSales University” (both mascot and name changed in 2000), my private “History” would be not a diary but a blog.

So starting November 30  “…Personal Memoirs…” will be re-imagined as CENTAUR SEASONS

A blog before its time, posted 40 years after in real time.

Meanwhile, beginning on September 24, here at CENTAUR SEASONS the preseason has already tipped off, with stories, interviews and reminiscences of the people, the place and the purpose of those early years of Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales.

Check back often. Sign up for CentaurSeasonAlerts. Email CENTAUR SEASONS to friends.

We were not a bad team, we Centaurs. We just weren’t very good. Winning was always the goal, if never exactly the point. How could it be, with victories so few?

Back then Allentown College of St. Francis de Sales was a couple of buildings in some cornfields.  Our commitment to the school’s basketball program was far greater than was the school’s commitment us. So what? We got to play college ball – and paid for the privilege! In return, we got to be part of a team, wear the red and blue, be Centaurs. And we got to create a place that was, right then, as much concept as it was college, making itself up as we went along.

What we got was a once-in-a-life-time chance.

All we had to do was keep showing up -- next practice, next game, next season. And so we did.

Welcome to CENTAUR SEASONS.

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