An enjoyable pursuit

During the course of a typical work week, my duties are many. Cover ball games or other events. Interview coaches or athletes. Answer the phone. Write stories. Write blogs. Schedule photo assignments. Research the archives.

All of the aspects are enjoyable, but I've become particularly fond of one. The research.

It's a way to discover all kinds of interesting information which, in all likelihood, has been forgotten or overlooked. Often, it's not even related to the project on which I am currently working.

Here are some of the nuggests I gleaned while scanning a scrapbook belonging to Rodney Parrish about mid-1960s Armstrong basketball teams.

***In March, 1966, Champaign Central was the host for a regional tournament in boys' basketball. A newspaper article indicated the games were played in a gymnasium recently named in honor of former Maroons' coach Harry Combes. That would mean the upcoming season is the 45th anniversary of the dedication.

Makes me wonder if any other area schools have a field or gymnasium or track which was dedicated prior to 1966.

**A now-defunct area conference was the Ambraw. High schools in the league were Brockton, Chrisman, Kansas, Martinsville, Scottland, Westfield and Young America. Most of those districts are now part of a consolidation or a co-op.

Along the same lines, Armstrong's 1965-66 basketball team was a member of three conferences and won league titles in all three. The Trojans were in the 10-team East Central Conference, the six-team Red Warrior Conference and the 13-team Vermilion Valley Conference.

 

**Another article documented the enrollments of Champaign County's rural high schools. At that time, Mahomet-Seymour wasn't even close to being the largest outside of C-U. In 1966, Unity had 459 students while M-S' enrollment was 307, barely more than St. Joseph-Ogden's 300. Fisher had 217 students.

This year, according to enrollments on file with the IHSA, Unity has 479 students, the enrollment at M-S is 877. SJ-O has 457 students and Fisher has 195. Interesting how things have changed, or not changed, in 4 1/2 decades.

**Urbana Uni High was not known as the Illineks during the 1965-66 season. Instead, the school's nickname was the Buckeyes.

Can't wait to see what I discover when it's time for my next research project.

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