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November 26, 2012

Oneonta STC basketball resumed after World War II


To those who didn’t know the gym at the old school, it was like playing in a swimming pool without water. The seating was above the court, and you accessed the playing floor by stairs. The walls surrounding the court were about three feet from the boundary lines. In other words, you never went leaping to save a ball from going out of bounds, for fear of injury. This venue was a vast improvement over the STC basketball court, which had a few big support posts along the center of the court, in the basement of the Old Main building, once found at the top of Maple Street, next to today’s Bugbee Hall.

Oneonta played its first game on the road in Potsdam on Saturday, Dec. 13. Only a short item in Monday’s Star reported that Oneonta had taken a drubbing, 50-26, and that “no details of the contest could be learned.”

The next game was at home against Potsdam on Friday, Jan. 9, 1948. The day before, there was a special assembly held in Old Main’s Alumni Hall during the seventh period of the school day. 

The assembly was a pep rally. A recently organized band gave a preview of the music for the game. The cheerleaders led the audience in cheers listed on sheets distributed to the students. Coach Griffin introduced the players.

The State Times of Jan. 20 had an article about the rally and the game, but no score. Oneonta lost. However, “The school was jumping, the walls were shaking, even the chandeliers were alive,” read the description given of the pep rally. 

As for the game, “The gymnasium was packed, the sides were bulging, and the air was tense.” The article said when Oneonta was ahead, the band played and spirits soared. When Potsdam went ahead, the band stopped and spirits sank.

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