Well, Thanksgiving of 2005 is now part of history. Burp! excuse me, and speaking of history, how about the history of Edwards Gymnasium or what many refer to as the middle school gym.
Around 1938 or ’39, the gym celebrated its grand opening by inviting the Louisville St. Xavier Tigers to play the Redhounds of Corbin High School. The Redhounds were led by Charles Triplett, Wid Ellison and an outstanding freshman athlete named Bobby Coleman.
St X scored a one point win over the Redhounds in that inaugural game and that was a beginning for this beautiful building which was constructed through the efforts of the W.P.A. (Work Progress Association), a federal program initiated by President Franklin D, Roosevelt, that was organized to provide jobs for people who were in the midst of a terrible depression, that began in 1929 and nearly bankrupted the country.
Edwards Gymnasium may not appear to be very beautiful to some people, but beauty is in the eye of the beholder, and I as the beholder think it is the most beautiful building in town.
Sure, on the outside, it has a cold rock appearance with no windows and very little color, but as they say beauty comes from within.
From that first game played by the young freshman Bobby Coleman, until I watched the sixth, seventh and eighth grade teams take on Northern Pulaski, last week, the Edwards gym has been home to great players like the Bird Brothers, Jerry, Calvin, Roger and Billy, the Selvy brothers, Frank, Curt, “Babe”, Edd, David Marvin and “Curley”, Jerry Smith, the Brooks brothers, Bobby Terrell and the great Robert Barton. There are far too many others to name them all, but this building served as host to many great teams such as Lexington Dunbar, Louisville Male, the great Clark County teams of the 50’s.
My first trip to this building left me in awe as it was filled with fans from the floor to the balconies and everyone was cheering and enjoying themselves. It was warm and inviting and the floor was shining like new money just as it does today.
There has been some renovation that has taken place over the years, the windows have been filled in and the balconies are now filled in, and the stage at the south end of the court is gone, the ceiling has been lowered somewhat, but everything has been beautifully maintained over the years. It is a large building, but not nearly large enough to hold my memories.
Dr. B.J. Edwards, who was a tremendous supporter of the Corbin school system and their athletic programs was the person the gym was named for.
Tennessee ran out on the field at Commonwealth Stadium and the Wildcats of Kentucky quickly surrendered for the 21st consecutive time.
If Curtis Pulley is their quarterback of the future, then the future holds little in store for the Wildcats.
The realignment of the 50th district seems to bring with it some very interesting situations. South Laurel would seem to be in the catbird seat with nearly their entire roster returning from a state championship team of last year, but strange things happen when the Redhounds of Corbin play South Laurel.
The basketball ‘Hounds of Coach Tony Pietrowski have suffered some injuries as the season begins, losing freshman Mike Campbell, a tough strong player on defense for the season, along with another freshman. Ryan Tate, who suffered a football related injury, will be back soon to help Pietrowski.
The Redhounds will open with Whitley County Friday night and from what I have seen in scrimmages, I really like this team. Ryan Swim gives the ‘Hounds a strong physical presence in the middle with a good shooting touch from the outside as well. Kyle French, another senior looks very good inside and out, and Josh Hamlin is exhibiting a great deal more speed and quickness than he did last year. This kid is a winner and will team with Ryan Tate when he returns to give the ‘Hounds a solid backcourt.
Deke Barley is a very talented hard playing sophomore who will certainly help in every area, defense, rebounding, scoring and ballhandling.
Josh Smith is one of the best passing freshman I have ever seen, he just has a knack for spotting the open man and getting him the ball. Josh Crawford is simply the best freshman player the Redhounds have had since coach Pietrowski was a freshman. Josh has added muscle and is even more aggressive than last year and I feel he is the best freshman basketball player in the state.
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