Team photograph

Name comparison. First by News-Argus followed in parentheses by Edie Price. Kneeling, Nellie Holmes (Nellie Holmes). First row, E. Herring (Edna Earl Herring), L. Herring (Louise Herring), Annie Grady (Annie L. Grady), L. Smith (Lucille Smith). Second row, V. Hill (Vivian Hill), Miss Hill (same — I believe Audrey), O. Gibbs (same) M. Smith (Mattie Lee Smith). Third row, Mrs. Fred Hunter coach (same); Miss Garris (Sallie Garris), Hilda Gibbs (same), L. Shivar (same — I believe Lyda), B. Branch (same — I believe Bonnie). News-Argus photo from film.

Now I don’t want to start this column with a negative beginning, but before I get deeper into the season I must make a correction. This year’s photograph was captioned with an obvious mistake, but not of my doing: It read: “Undefeated in Eight Years.”

I must assume the News-Argus reporter was either new or had a poor memory, for we have already documented that Seven Springs came up short in at least three games in 1935. But that was then, so travel with me through highlights of their 1939 stellar performances.

On a cold winter’s night in January the Seven Springs and Grantham girls clash early in the season. But this time Grantham more than doubles their 9-point total of last year’s 56-9 drubbing. The girls in green netted 21 points but that fell far short of the 40 made by Seven Springs whose star, Holmes, made 29 of their 40.

Down Nahunta for league championship

“Six lassies from Seven Springs romped their way to a 21-16 victory over Nahunta Friday night in the final game of the season and won their eighth consecutive Wayne County high school league championship.

“The queens of the league got off to a rather slow start. Nahunta hit the sacks twice to take a four-point lead at the start, but Seven Springs quickly blasted loose to be in front 11-4 at the end of the first quarter.

“Nellie Gray Holmes, ‘Dead-Eye Dick’ of the Seven Springers, split the basket for a mere 19 points to lead the scoring for the evening. Barnes topped the losers with 11.”

For the record M. Smith scored the other 2 points. L. Herring, F. Herring and Grady were the guards.

Tourney winners over Rosewood

In announcing the Wayne County Tourney for 1939 the reporter gave the fare a rather enticing billing:

“Miami has its ‘Orange Bowl’ classic and Pasadena has its ‘Rose Bowl’ classic. But Wayne County has its own high school basketball tournament in the Community Building.

“That classic for boys and girls teams of the Wayne league will begin Tuesday afternoon. Charles Stapleton, Community Building director, has released the schedule.”

The headline announcing the win over Rosewood read: “Spring lassies undefeated in eight years,” a statement I have already challenged. Excerpts from that game’s report:

“Seven Springs’ undefeatable lassies and Brogden’s ditto boys put the clamps on Wayne County’s basketball championships Wednesday night in a pair of wins over Rosewood, as winners of the county tournament. Seven Springs polished off Rosewood’s girls 32-27, and Brogden beat the Rosewood quintet 35-32.”

“ ‘It was a tough fight, Ma, but we won,’ was the story the winners were telling the home folks after the battles were over. Seven Springs and Brogden kept their records from being marred in a pair of tilts that kept a packed house in a constant uproar.”

The countywide all-star teams were selected by referee Mickey McClenny. First team selections were: N. Holmes and L. Herring of Seven Springs. Others were M. Hicks of Pikeville, Smith and Suggs of Rosewood and M. Johnson of Nahunta. E. Herring of Seven Springs was a second team selection.

Former competitors become Meredith teammates

Remember that spunky high scoring gal from Mount Olive, Margaret Martin? The same who held the Wayne County scoring record for years. The same who for four seasons duked it out with Eleanor in the Community Building. My goodness, in a recent conversation with Margaret’s niece and namesake, Margaret Parvin, I leaned that Miss Martin once scored 101 points in a high school game, which tops by far the 65 points I had reported in an earlier column.

Well, at Meredith College Eleanor and Margaret would become friends and teammates, running courts and swinging hockey sticks against common competitors. They graduated in 1942 and were photographed together several times in Meredith yearbooks.

In their senior year, Eleanor’s “little” sister, Hilda, joined them as a freshman. She did not turn the tassel until 1945 however, but like her sister and Margaret Martin she left her marks on (or at) the school. She majored in sociology. Posted by her senior photograph were the following accomplishments: Hockey, basketball, tennis, Barber science Club, Sociology Club, Monogram Club, Stunt, Superlative (wittiest) and Meredith College Summer School.

Last week you read of Eleanor’s accomplishments, but there were more accolades. She was the school photographer, and hers was the featured picture under “hiking,” listed as a minor sport.

Sherwood Williford writes a weekly column for the News-Argus. Contact him at 919-440-8811, or P.O. Box 175, Princeton, NC 27569.