Tidbits - March 29 2018

TIDBITS by RALPH SHEALY


LEAGUE OF THEIR OWN

  There is women’s college basketball, and then there is UConn.
  The Huskies will lose one game every three or four years.
  Fortunately and unfortunately for Carolina, that loss was last year in the Final Four.
  Fortunately, Carolina benefitted by beating the team that beat UConn, Mississippi State, for the national championship.
  Unfortunately, the Gamecocks were assigned to the same regional as the Huskies this year. This was not theseason for UConn to lose.
  Monday, I did not do any watching or recording when the two teams met in Albany. From what I had seen of UConn and what I had seen of Carolina in the tournament, I knew there would be nothing I wanted to see.
  Making the Elite Eight is a tribute to Coach Dawn Staley and her team. The Gamecocks lost four starters off the National Championship team, three to the pros and one to injuries. If the two juniors that went pro had returned, then Carolina would have had a chance to repeat.
  As someone said, UConn has never lost two juniors to the pros in the same season. That’s why they are good every year. The players stick around for four years.
  From 1964 to 1975, the UCLA men under John Wooden won ten championships. They’ve only won one since, 1995.
  I other words Connecticut’s streak will end someday.
  It’s sad to see A’ja Wilson’s career come to an end. Her accomplishments will probably never be duplicated at Carolina. Thanks, for the memories.

LET THERE BE.....

  Not long after I got home from church Sunday, our power went out for a short time.
  I soon found out the outage was all over the area, including the town of Saluda.
  At the time, my nephew Trey Shealy was in the pulpit at Saluda Baptist, soliciting volunteers for the Springfest the church is sponsoring on March 31.
  “Everyone who volunteers will get free fertilizer,” Trey said.
  And within seconds after he said that, the lights went out.
  “That’s what happens,” Trey told the congregation, “when you lie in church.”
  After the power came back on, I set all the clocks in the house .... except one.
  I forgot to reset my digital alarm clock.
  I remembered when the alarm went off at 1 a.m.!

WALLET HUB

  I get releases from WalletHub on a regular basis, and they are pretty interesting.
  Using different formulas, the website ranks cities and states in all types of categories.
  Sometimes the findings don’t make a lot of sense, but I agreed with parts of a recent poll to go along with “March Madness” that ranked cities as being the best college basketball towns.
  In “Midsize City” category, Columbia ranked 14th in the country. Durham, NC,  was number one and no one can refute that.
  Chapel Hill ranked number one for small cities, followed by Lawrence, KS, and Storrs, CT. The real shocker is Cullowhee, NC, ranks eighth in the small cities.
  Clemson ranks 43rd. How can Western Carolina’s home ranked 35 spots higher than Clemson? Cullowhee even ranks higher than Charlottesville, VA, 14th, that had the top team in the country for most of the year.

HIGH POCKET

  I was saddened at the passing of Wayne “High Pocket” Rowe over the weekend.
  I’d known him all my life, as we both grew up in Emory Church. His mother, Catherine, was one of the church’s loyal choir members, and his father, Bill, rarely missed a service.
  High Pocket was small in stature, and while his was the punter on the 1963 Saluda High state championship football team, he spent most of his football career as the team manager.
  When he first started out as a manager, Coach Mooney Player would use him to spark the players.
  “If y’all don’t start playing better, I’m going to dress Rowe out, and let him take your place,” Mooney would say.
  Wayne Fulmer said the last game to the year, Mooney told the young manager to dress out.
  Wayne, the manager, knew where all the uniforms were kept, and he came out in all new gear. The pants were so big that they came up to his chest, and Coach Player, and all the world from that moment on, called him “High Pocket.”
  High thought the world of Coach Player.
  Saturday, High Pocket’s grandson Nick Long contacted me on Messnger and told me his grandfather was dying, The family wanted to let Coach Player know, and asked if I can find a way to get in touch with him.
  I contacted a few of my Facebook friends I figured would know, and I got Coach Player’s number and passed it on to Nick. When I got up Sunday morning, I saw on Facebook that High Pocket had died.
  He was a on a state championship football team, but baseball was the game he loved most of all, I believe. If he wasn’t playing,  he was umpiring or coaching.
  It didn’t matter that his three children were all girls, they played the sport.
  Two of his daughters, Denise and Angie played little league for me one year, and, ironically, Chris Long, who grew up to marry the oldest daughter, Lisa, also played for me.
  Denise eventually became a softball coach at King Academy.
  High Pocket and Chris became coaches to Chris’ sons Nick and Corbie in their youth leagues, and both became outstanding pitchers  for King Academy.
  Nick is currently a coach at Ninety Six High, continuing the family tradition.
  High Pocket Rowe was a good man, loved by all.
  He was one of those championship Saluda High athletes who made our community so proud.
  He will be greatly missed.