Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Another Heavener star

Reading Colin’s blog the other day about a guy who played basketball in a couple of all-star games brought back memories of watching a Heavener girl back in my sports writing days. It was in the national juco tournament at Tyler Junior College , better known as TJC. I was covering it probably because Kilgore JC was playing in it, or because it was in Tyler , not far from Longview , and we had a tendency to cover everything as long as it was close by. Besides, TJC had a good hospitality room!

Mercy, I gave away one of my trade secrets.

One of the girls teams playing was Westark and as I was scanning the rosters, I noticed a girl from Heavener was on the Westark team (it’s called University of Arkansas - Forth Smith these days). That intrigued me a little. Her name was Jessica Rowland. Westark finally reached the finals. I was there as a member of the working media, so I could partake in my trade secret …

No, I was legit, covering the game for a reason. I did look in the stands to see if there was anyone from Heavener I would recognize. Bingo, there was Lester Rowland. I remembered Lester from my school days, especially since David Rowland was a classmate, so I approached Lester to re-introduce myself, since it had been almost 40 years or so since I had last seen him. Jessica, indeed, played well and Westark won the national championship that night. That gave me a chance to talk to her. She was very talkative, especially when she discovered I was from Heavener. So much so, that I was able to get enough comments that I not only wrote a story for the Longview paper, but I also did one for the Heavener Ledger.

I usually send one to Roy Faulkenberry, the editor, with a headline suggestion. I suggested Jessica Rowland: it has a nice ring to it, or something like that, since she would win a ring signifying the national championship she and the Lady Lions had won. I don’t remember any of what she did, stats-wise, but Roy ran the story, with the headline idea. Ever time I see Lester now, he brings up the story I did on Jessica. Lester works at the Runestone up on Poteau Mountain as one of the park rangers.

4 Comments:

At June 16, 2009 at 8:07 PM , Blogger Chuck Hudlow said...

How do you remember these things?

 
At June 16, 2009 at 9:44 PM , Blogger John Inman said...

It's easy, but don't ask me what I did yesterday!

 
At June 17, 2009 at 10:16 AM , Blogger colin said...

Chuck, I remember Jessica. She was an outstanding player. Actually she was Peggy's cousin so that is why I remember her. Jessica was good but maybe not as good as Peggy. You remember her don't you?
Do you remember Betty Brown. That lady could play some ball too. Ole Chuck was pretty good too but he and I spent most of out basketball days picking up splinters on the Wolves bench, huh Chuck?

 
At June 22, 2009 at 8:08 AM , Anonymous ann pledger kirksey said...

MERCY! Old Bill has rubbed off on you now, seems that's his favorite expression. I don't mean to imply you are old though Bill, that is just an expression of mine!!

 

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