Written by Robert Ittner
The year 1961-1962 dawned with great promise although the squad only returned 2 letterman-me and Warren Lynn and no starters. Coming up from the undefeated B team were 6’8” James (Long Tall Sally-so named after the Little Richard song) , Joe Sanchez, Dwain White, and underclass man Scotty Gilmour. On the B team the year before Coach Spears labelled Dwain White and Ken Hancock the “Gold Dust Twins” because they had dyed their hair peroxide blonde to go with their cavalier attitudes. In the Odessa tournament early in the year we lost in 5 OT’s to the Lubbock Westerners when Jimmy Fullerton hit a shot from the corner at the buzzer when we missed a free throw. We had beaten them earlier in their own gym. We also lost to Abilene in Abilene at the buzzer with a Virgil Pate shot after hammering them at home.
We were 1 and 1 with Lubbock Monterey who went to State and led San Angelo who won State by 10 at home only to lose by a couple the first game of district. Later we traveled to San Angelo and lost by two when one of our players missed a lay-up at a critical juncture. San Angelo was led by All State Minton White a terrific athlete who I played with at UT. We had hoped Mike King would come out who was also was a tremendous athlete. He hurt his shoulder in football and was never the same. Several guys who would have helped us Mike Goslin, Don Patteson, and Jimmy McCelland went to Lee. I know for sure they all regretted not being able to play for Coach Todd. We finished 21-7 and 3rd in district behind San Angelo and Odessa who we split with. Sally Adams was All-District and all of the rest of us were All-District Honorable Mention. Close but no cigar-a phrase given new meaning by Monica Lewinsky. Eva Kelley was Basketball Sweetheart. George Cason and Cliff Hardwick (the political analyst) were our managers. Doc Dodson ever positive was the trainer. Warren and I were Co-Captains. Mary Hardie, Nugent Basher, Jay Brim, Lynn Stoltenberg, Bonnie Evans and Z Helmer were cheerleaders.
Sally went to Texas Tech on scholarship and played one year. I would have gone to Tech if they offered me a scholarship-I listened to all of their games on the radio and Coach Todd would take us to see a game or two every year. When they were recruiting Sally they brought me up and introduced us at half time along with Randy Matson who was a junior at Pampa and already man-sized. He later went to A&M and won the shot put at the Olympics as well as playing basketball for them. I thought my basketball career was over. Jimmy Viramontes assistant basketball coach at UT had seen me play in the Caprock Tournament where I made All Tournament. He visited with Coach Todd who had sent Mike Humphrey and Charlie Dishman to UT and upon Coach Todd’s recommendation they offered me a one year “make good” scholarship with half scholarship the other three years. After my freshman year they extended the scholarship another year. I was redshirted for most of my sophomore year but when they burned the redshirt they extended the scholarship for the remaining two years. What’s in the water? I just kept going.