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                          Fate Remembers the Greats: 1950s Aycock
                                     by Fate Arnwine
                            Rockdale Reporter - 2015-04-30

Fate Arnwine, the Aycock graduate and longtime upstate New York State resident, is a good writer with a historianís mind.

The rest of this column is his as he reminisces about the golden age of Aycock sports in the 1950s:

Some great names

Playing and practice conditions were not that great. We didnít have a gym. In the early days basketball was played outside on clay courts.

We were fortunate enough to have two full courts. All games were played during the day as there were no lights.

Later on, we were able to use the junior-high for games.

At a very early age, 7 or 8, I was intrigued by watching Fermon Brooks practice the pole vault, going up 12 feet or more and landing in a sand pit. The bamboo pole he used looked like it could have been purchased by Mr. (school namesake B. Y) Aycock himself.

That bamboo pole was still being used when I graduated.

Hulen Lovelady could do a standing backflip in full football gear.

The Wilburn twins were great in basketball, football and track. In another time and another place, Tom Black could have made it as a place kicker.

Hubert Jarman and Joe Smith were great punters. I played softball against Preston Moultrie during our intramural games.

I remember the antiquated equipment Aycock teams had in the beginning of the 1950s.

Our helmets had no chin straps. They looked like something from the 1920s. There were makeshift shoulder pads and you were lucky to find a pair of good shoes. One size might be a 9 and the other a 10.

We started getting decent equipment around 1953.

ĎStreet trackí Track was practiced by marking off distances on the street.

Sometimes you ran uphill, sometimes down. For low hurdle practice we placed tires in the sand so you could hurdle over them.

Dorothy Terry was one fast lady. After she graduated she moved to the Dallas area and I was told she raced stock cars!

Edward Adams only stood about 5-3 but he was extremely fast.

Our baseball games and track meets were at the Fair Park.

I loved baseball and we had a good team with an excellent pitching staff, Frank McKee,
B. J. Douglas and James Banks to name a few.

I donít think many teams had a catcher who was 6-7, but we did! Leroy Wright had an uncanny ability to throw out any napping base runner.

Leroy caught both of his brothers, J. C. and Theodore (Mick).

I know that people with one eye have little or no depth perception but Joe Wilson had only one eye. He was a great running back and excellent in all sports.

As for the ladies, Billie Walton was tall, thin and played all sports.

Johnnie M. Black, Fannie Lovelady, G. J Wesley, Annie B. (Page) Wesley and Dorothy Terry were great.

The Banks sisters almost had their own basketball team, Allie Mae, Margaret (Mott), Jewel and LaVara.

Womenís basketball back then was hindered by playing a half-court style that resulted in lots of low-scoring games.

mike@rockdalereporter.com

All Credit for this article
goes to Fate Arnwine with thanks to Mike Brown and the
Rockdale Reporter