‘WE ARE ACHIEVING’ — entry #9 from “A history of the events of the Allentown College’s 1972-1973 B-ball season …

Posted on Dec 12, 2012

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

This Centaur Seasons post was originally scribbled on December 12, 1972 at 2 p.m.

PREVIOUS GAME: Centaurs 73, EASTERN 75, six days ago

NEXT GAME: Spring Garden College, tomorrow

CENTAUR SEASON: 2-1

Tomorrow, Spring Garden. We can beat them.

My ankle status is questionable. I think I can go. I’ve been down at Billera every day since the Eastern game last week, working with Coach Compardo, our one-man athletic director/department/physical therapist. Heat packs, massage, running under his watchful eye. Today he had me do 2½ miles. My ankle felt good, real good. Only turning the corners hurt. And just a little. Coach Saboda said that he wants everybody on defense all over the court. So,  I better be able to go.

We are ALL hoping the fans come back out again for tomorrow’s game after we “made it happen” at last week’s Eastern game when the fans cheered us off the court after we got beat by two.

We deserve their loyal support. But most of the students here are from Philly. Though not me, I’m from York, out in southcentral Pennsylvania. From what I can gather, they’re all steeped (naturally) in the Philly Basket-Ball tradition. To them it seems that Basket-Ball is Basket-Ball only if it’s the Philly Big 5 Basket-Ball, or Philly Catholic League Basket-Ball in the Palestra. I don’t know. I didn’t grow up with all that.

[FINDING THE CENTAUR IN THE BIG COLLEGE BASKETBALL PICTURE, PART 1]

Even tonight, one of the guys on the team said, “Big game tomorrow … Penn-St. Joe’s.” I said, “What about Allentown-Spring Garden?”

[FINDING THE CENTAUR IN THE BIG COLLEGE BASKETBALL PICTURE, PART 2]

People around here don’t seem willing to accept the fact that there are different levels of excellence. I believe that Allentown is on the threshold of achieving excellence on its own level. The way I see it, we are on the fourth level of excellence: We play Philadelphia Pharmacy, Pharmacy plays Philadelphia Textile, Textile plays Villanova.

[WHEN THE CENTAURS ACHIEVED AGAINST A PHILLY TEAM.]

Can’t the people of Allentown College of S. Francis de Sales accept the fact that although we’re on the fourth level, we ARE achieving, we are working hard AT achieving? There is worth in that attempt. We have our own rivalries.  It’s the same degree of worth that Villanova achieves on their level. That’s the way it is. I wish the fans could see that, too.

We will beat Spring Garden tomorrow by doing what we do best, every one of us. We must each play our own game together.

(That last sentence made absolutely no sense tonight. We’ll see if it makes sense tomorrow.)

PREVIOUS GAME: Centaurs 73, Eastern Baptist 75

NEXT GAME: Spring Garden College, tomorrow

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

12-16 — PHILLY BIBLE

1-18   — at Baptist Bible

1-19  — WILMINGTON

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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