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Bench Talk / Off The Wire



By Fred Wallace


I was talking to Dan Rourke of Walkerton District Secondary School last week about the CWOSSA " A " Boys Basketball Championship they hosted last week.

The Junior Raiders won the title and the Senior Raiders came out a little flat and lost to Waterford in the final.

However, it was an amazing day for the school as they had a " Buy Out " program and packed the Walkerton gym with 500 students and fans to see the games.

Dan told me the atmosphere in the gym and around the school was terrific, all of which reminded me of something that happened in 1979.

A group of high school friends are getting togther later this year to mark our collective milestone birthdays and I know someone, some time will get into February 23rd, 1979.

The Midland Secondary School Mauraders were playing Orillia District in the third and deciding game of the Georgian Bay North Basketball playoffs and the MSS gym was packed beyong capacity.

My best friend then, and my best friend now, Doug Fox and I were doing the broadcast for Maclean Hunter.

In those days we had 1 camera, and because the student body stood and cheered and refused to sit down, all anyone saw on Cable TV for the 1st quarter was Krista King's back- not that was a bad thing.

Later, with MSS clinging to 54-51 lead late in the game, the noise in the gym was so loud, I couldn't hear Doug through the headphones or understand a thing he was saying even though he was less than 2 feet away.

VCRs didn't exist in those days, but I'd love to see a copy of that game.

From a broadcast standpoint, it was probably amateurish and poor, but for a high school experience it remains fresh 30 years later and was triggered in my memory by a similar story just last week at Walkerton.

I'm Fred Wallace

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