We just drove past Williamsville, IL, where Craig pointed to the sign and said, “We got beat by them, but barely. We were so off, and they were so on. We almost won that game. We should have won.”
I looked at him and said, “So what was the score, Uncle Rico?”
Normally this conversation would have been out of context from anything else we’re doing, but you have to understand that here in Pike County everything – and I mean everything – hinges on junior and senior high basketball games from the 80’s. I’ve heard the stories before, but I’ve never lived them like I have the past two weeks.
You say “1985″and the first thing Craig thinks of is getting beat by 3
points by the team that did win the State Championship (though everyone
still says that that game was the real State Championship game). Every time we get in the van to drive anywhere, we pass some small town with a basketball story.
As much as I’d like to just saddle Craig with this syndrome, I have to say it really is the entire area. For instance, Craig was the guest speaker on the topic of writing in his mom’s English classes on Thursday and Friday. The kids he was speaking to had (for some reason) just watched the video of the big Griggsville/Payson game/fight from 1989 (some memories NEVER die). Now, lo and behold, one of the players on that very team was in their classroom!
Craig not only was able to retell his memory of the fight; he was asked to. He was also able to wax eloquent about how he wrote a letter to the editor of the Quincy Herald-Whig about it, it got published, and basically this led to his present career path in writing (or something like that). And when asked about the State Championship from that same year, he says, “We were one game away from the Sweet Sixteen – the furthest any Griggsville team had ever gone.”
They are still living legends.
Who wants to bring the Griggsville Dream Team back? I, personally, would get a big kick out of seeing a rematch for myself.
How about it, Uncle Rico?