Thursday, March 28, 2013

Spring-Ford Rams Girls are State Basketball Champs

     This was the year the Spring-Ford Rams girls basketball teams would win it all. They weren't going to be denied the title. Nothing would keep them from obtaining a state championship they thought they'd win last year. But in 2012 Spring-Ford was stopped in a state playoff game.
     Not this year. They played with reckless abandon. None of the girls were worried about how many points they scored or how long they were on the court. It was team work from day one. And it paid dividends as the season progressed with a PAC-10 and District One title.
     But it would take two hard fought games at the end of the season to be the champs. The Rams were getting their chance in the state finals by beating a tough Cardinal O'Hara team in the semi-final round.
     It was a bus ride to their destiny, a trip to Hershey and their PIAA state game against Cumberland Valley in the Giant Center. What a beautiful field house for the girls to play their final game. Bigger and better than the fine court they play their home games on.
     I can only imagine what goes through a high school seniors head walking onto a court with pressure to win knowing they won't be back for another try next year. There were the early nerves after tip off but the girls got back on track patiently working the ball around for an open shot.
I don't think Cumberland Valley was aware of the type of players they were going against. Cumberland was overwhelmed by a swarming Brittany Moore, Sammy Stipa and Sammi Haas diving on the floor to secure the basketball.  Sarah Payonk and Courtney Hinnant would tightly guard on defense under the basket. And Shelby Mueller, and Maggie Locke fought for rebounds and then put the ball back up against a trio of six footers. Coach Jeff Rinehimer and staff sent in the right instructions.
    If Cumberland swatted the ball away on a layup the Rams would dish it out past the arc and one of them would drain a three point jump shot, slowly pulling away from a very good team. The players went full blast for four quarters until the final buzzer sounded with them victorious by a score of 60-45.
     It was celebration time holding the cherished trophy. Hugs and tears, smiles and cheers.  The 2012-13 Spring-Ford Rams are the PIAA Girls AAAA State Champions, the best girls team in the history of their school, the PAC-10 and this year the state.
     They took a deep breath after it was over, able to successfully finish what they started. But if it were up to the seniors, they'd probably lace up the sneakers and do it again.

The Abandoned Luncheonette

     In 1973 Daryl Hall and John Oates released the album Abandoned Luncheonette that became a top seller. I was in the eleventh grade and remember walking through one of the stores at the Coventry Mall when I spotted the cover of the album. The hand colored artwork gave it a unique charm. I checked it out but had to put it back on the rack as I didn't have the money with me to make a purchase.
     I figured one day I'd get back to buy one not only because I like the music but because of the local connection with the Rosedale Diner and former North Coventry resident Daryl Hall. But, I never did and before you know it years had gone by. I listened to music on the radio all the time, but didn't always buy an album.
The Abandoned Luncheonette in Kenilworth
     One afternoon, while driving down Route 724 in Kenilworth I looked over at the old diner that I passed almost daily while out shooting pictures for The Mercury. The luncheonette was really starting to get rundown and overgrown with brush so I took the extra time, pulled off the road and walked over to get a better look.
     I wanted to take some photos as a keepsake. So I snapped a bunch of pictures in black and white for history sake. I figured it wouldn't be long until the diner would be hauled away as bits and pieces of wood and metal were being pulled off by fans who wanted a souvenir to remember the famous musicians.
     While looking around from the road, the owner spotted me and came over to see what I was doing. He had problems in the past with people entering the rickety structure. I assured him that all I wanted was to grab a couple of photos to keep in my archives. The photo hadn't been published in The Mercury until this year when we did a feature piece on the band and the album. I dug through a bunch of my old 11x14 inch prints and found it in the bottom of a box. I dusted it off and recopied it for publication.
     It's hard to believe that this will be the fortieth anniversary of the albums debut and I can say I'm still a fan of the duet. Even though I no longer have a turntable,  I'm going to hunt down an old copy of the album just to add to the other ones that I don't play. I should have bought the one I picked up all those years ago.