Eagle Archive: High school basketball has always been a great remedy for cabin fever

There's nothing like going out to a high school basketball game with the family to give you a break from cabin fever.

High school sports have always played an important role in Carroll County. Although one may have a lively discussion as to which sport is the favorite in the county, there can no doubt that basketball — and wrestling — provide a great respite from Carroll County's cold miserable winter weather.

Many years ago, the old Westminster Armory on Longwell Avenue was the site of many sporting events in the community, especially basketball.

On Jan. 26, 1923, the talk of the town was the basketball game that was to take place that evening against Frederick High School.

Under the headline, "Basketball Tonight At The Armory," the now-defunct Democratic Advocate newspaper reported, "Westminster High will have as it opponents the Frederick High Five. Frederick no doubt will be represented by a strong team, and as this is the first game played between two schools, it would be folly to predict the outcome…"

The balance of the report recalled the previous Friday's game against Gettysburg High School, which ended in a 20-20 tie. "Gettysburg High, which as a team that plays in cyclone fashion, thought that their reserve team could trim Westminster High…

"The game was played at Gettysburg last Friday evening and resulted in the unusual score of a tie, 20 to 20, at the end of the game. It was decided to end the game a tie."

The article continued with a report on a previous game, a comeback win against "Arnedtsville." (Yes, I had to look it up. It's a borough in Adams County Pa.)

"Thursday evening W.H.S. played a return game at Arnedtsville and had to do the hardest kind of playing to win. At the end of the first half the score was 14 to 13 against us. Final score 22 to 18 in favor of Westminster."

On Jan. 5, 1945, the same newspaper reprinted a Dec. 28, 1944, Baltimore Evening Sun article by Randall Cassell, about the basketball coach at then-Western Maryland College (now McDaniel), teaching basketball to Eskimos, "Coach Stuart Widener, W.M.C. Tells of his Basketball Teams In Alaska."

"When Stuart A. Widener gathers his Western Maryland College basketball team … there must be times his mind wanders back to the days he taught basketball, and other sports, to the Eskimos of Alaska.

"He … wonders how much more could have been accomplished in his work at Shungnak, Alaska, if he had had a building comparable to the Terrors' plant, instead of the small, low-ceiling schoolroom in which basketball was conducted."


When is he not bouncing a basketball around in the living room, Kevin Dayhoff may be reached at kevindayhoff@gmail.com.

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