Presented by the Class of 1962, at the 1962 Gorin Alumni Banquet

Submitted by:  Linda Jo Childress Kapfer

When I think back about my high school days, I am thankful for all the teachers who taught me what I needed to know to succeed in life.  So thanks to the Jones teachers, (Ruby and Nelda), Eva Anthony, Grace Parsons, Joe Buford, Mrs. Cornelius, Mr. Coles, Corine McMurry, and Johnny Jeffries, only to name a few of my teachers.

But, I remember having more fun at extracurricular activities, band, chorus, and sports.  We must remember that there were 50 students in Gorin High School with approximately 25 girls and 25 boys, so almost everyone was in extracurricular activities.  Most of us were in band, sang in the chorus, or played ball.  Whether you had any real talent, or not, you could be a star at Gorin High School.

But, for my classmates and me, our fondest memories are of playing basketball.  Our coach was Johnny Jefferies.  Johnny was the coach at Gorin from 1957 – 1962.  He was himself, a Gorin graduate from the class of 1952.  He seemed to have a special love for the school and the community.  Later in his life, we know he attended almost every Alumni event.

Johnny worked us hard.  When basketball season came, Johnny began our training.  We practiced 2 to 3 evenings a week until the season was over.  We all remember running a lot of “wind sprints”.  Johnny, I can still hear your whistle.  Many times, we played entire games with the “A” Team playing the “B” Team.  He made sure we built up our strength and endurance.  He wanted us to play hard every minute of every quarter, and we did.

During our sophomore-senior years, we had a good girl’s team.  But we were very good our senior year. We soon found that fans were coming to the games to see us girls play.  During the 1961-62 season, we had a 21-4 winning record.

We won 1st place trophies at the large school tournaments (Kahoka and Memphis).  But, in our own Gorin Tournament, we had to play the Wyaconda girls for 1st place.  The two teams were always evenly matched.  Our history playing Wyaconda went back to our junior high school days.  When we played them, we would win and then lose, win and lose, and always by less than 4 points.

When we played, all the fans on both sides became crazed and noisy.  The noise would be so great it would nearly raise the roof off the Wyaconda school gym.  I remember the parents on both sides adding to the noise.  My mother, Dorothy Childress, Weldon Tague, Mary Bell Clatt, and from Wyaconda, Kathleen Smith, and Mrs. Arden Ebling, all shouting at the top of their lungs.

Well, that year, the big game finally came during our Gorin tournament.  Even with all the encouragement from our fans, we lost 1st place to those Wyaconda girls.  Gorin was indeed “Mudville” for a few days.  But, we were proud, and Coach Johnny was proud of us, too. He seemed to always be so patient.  I do not remember that he ever yelled at us in anger.

Back then, we played half court.  Dianna Clatt Lanz, Linda Carol Norton Davison, Linda Garmon Gilmer, and Le Ann Childress Carl were our forwards.  They were good shots, as the statistics will show.  Sherrill Tague Clatt, Marilyn Monroe Dalton, Judy Peterson Franklin, Maridee Garrett Davis, and I were the guards.

These were great times with great memories.  During our 50th class reunion celebration, our class had great fun looking at old photos, and talking about our basketball days.

To Johnny Jefferies:  Thanks Johnny, for teaching us to train hard, teaching us teamwork, and helping us to accept defeat (even from those Wyaconda girls).  Thank you Johnny Jefferies, for having such an impact on our lives.