Reminscing about basketball
Published 12:00 am Thursday, January 17, 2002
Thursday, January 17, 2002
The Natchez Democrat
John Nix and the late Charles Weeks played high school basketball
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against each other back in the 1930s. John was a center for Mars
Hill of Amite County, Charlie a center-forward for Natchez Catholic
Some 17 years later they squared off many times in adult City
League Basketball games down at the City Auditorium. Both worked
at Armstrong Tire & Rubber Co., and both liked to talk about
the &uot;good ole days of high school basketball.&uot; Especially
after they had played City League games against each other.
In 1953, I wrote about the old CHS-Mars Hill series. CHS had
just beaten Mars Hill, and I allowed as how it had taken 17 years
for Cathedral to &uot;get even&uot; for a loss John Nix and
Mars Hill hung on the Greenies back in 1936 in the finals of the
Natchez Boy’s Area Invitational Tournament.
CHS coach Paul Doherty’s Greenies administered a 63-42 licking
to Mars Hill that 1953 night in a tournament game played over
at Summit. Seems the Black and White clad Mars Hill five was seeded
second in the tournament, Cathedral, which was then called the
St. Joseph Greenies, third.
I could write a book on oldies like that, but I’ll just remind
you of who played back then. Some of them anyway. First I want
to tell you, though, that Charlie Weeks and John Nix were both
later standout players in the Service during WWII.
In the mentioned ’36 tournament, St. Joseph (Catholic High)
won three games in one day. And instead of getting into who beat
who, I’ll just tell you that four centers were named to the first
John Nix and Charlie Weeks were two of those centers, and a
boy named Hunter of Central High of Louisiana and a Cotton boy
from McCall made it. According to an old Democrat clipping I still
have, the 2nd team was composed of St. Joseph’s Sam Junkin; Vidalia’s
Unger; Waterproof’s Fife; Mars Hill’s Calcote; and Burris of Mars
High school basketball was the rage back in those days, particularly
the tournament brand. I used to get a kick out of hearing John
Nix and Charlie Weeks jawin’ back and forth about the games they
used to play against each other. Again, those were the good ole
days. We all have ’em.
HURRIED HASH…In a landmark occasion of sorts, the Golden
Eagles of Southern Mississippi and Jackson State will collide
on the football field Aug. 31 for the first time since 1987…The
Golden Eagles will have the home field advantage at Roberts Stadium
in Hattiesburg, but JSU’s so glad to get one of the state’s biggies
to stand still for a game it won’t matter to the Tigers.
When the two schools met in’87, the 33,687 fans set a record
at that time in Roberts Stadium. Only once since then has USM
drawn a bigger crowd, and that was in 1989 when 34,189 fans jammed
the stadium to watch Mississippi State shade USM 26-23. I don’t
go around telling State, Ole Miss and USM what to do when it comes
to scheduling other teams, but games with each other like ’89
are sure-fire biggies.
State played a litter tougher slate of teams last season than
Ole Miss, but both could have improved their schedules with Southern
Again, I’ve never been a writer to tell a school who to play.
Truly that’s their business, but one has to think how interesting
it would be if State, Ole Miss and USM did play the Tigers. And
each other when feasible.
Glenvall Estes is a longtime sports columnist for The Democrat.