Merry Christmas everyone! I can still hear the pianos in the halls of St. Camillus Academy and the carols giving praise to God for the birth of his son as they would ring from the classrooms.
The sisters of the Divine Providence were going about their business of piping knowledge into our heads and righteous into our souls. It was a kinder more simple time, those years of my youth in Corbin, Kentucky.
I had gone out for basketball at Corbin High School as a sophomore. It had been my dream to be a Redhound but I had a case of the shorts for such duty. I was short on height, short on weight, short on speed and short on talent.
There were other factors involved also, such as the presence of other players who were not suffering from all my inadaquices such as the lightening quick Billy Bird and a future All-American Jerry Smith to contend with as competition for my desired position.
Thus I took my case of the shorts and migrated to the school on the hill, where I had spent my elementary school years and rejoined my buddies from these earlier years.
Barney Sample was our coach that first year and he was really good to us and did his best to make winners of us. It was a tough year, however, to dig out wins, but the effort was there and we got a little better with each game.
The next year the team known as the St. Camillus Saints began to experience a few wins here and there and made my personal experience even more enjoyable.
Far more important than winning or losing, however, were the bonds made with teammates.
Paul Pietrowski, Paul Vanlandingham and A. B. McCowan were the seniors in the 1957-58 season and Pietrowski in one season set standards that would never be approached as he averaged better than 30 points a game. Paul’s older brother, Charles Anthony, had been an outstanding player at St. Camillus in the early fifties.
The junior class was made up of Joe Gieszl, Leon Singleton, Bill Ramsey, Winston Phipps and me, the kid with a case of the shorts.
Bobby Watkins (yes, that Bobby Watkins) and Stewart Hardesty were sophomores and Gary “Dork” White, Roy House, John Walker, Marrow Cox, Frank “Bitsy” Pietrowski and Pete Samples were underclassmen.
St. C had teams before, like when Cornel McCowan put it together in the forties and early fifties with such players as the Grove brothers, Robert and George, Charles Anthony Pietrowski, the Gregovich brothers, David and twin Eugene and younger brother, Daniel, Joe Enos Johnson, Barney Samples and Herbert Furman.
St. C also had teams later in the late sixties that I coached in 67-’68, and Jim Lankster coached the next few years led by Mario Cima, Bruce Rose, Mike Wills, the Root brothers, David and Bill and Bobby Catron.
The years have slipped by and the high school at St. Camillus Academy is no more. The sisters of the Divine Providence that served so well from the year 1914, have left us with only precious memories of their dedication and their perfected spirituality and their determination to set us on the right course for life.
As Bob Hope had said. “Thanks for the memories” and Merry Christmas to all.
- Public Records
- Contact Us
- Subscribe Now!
- Community Directory