A memorable basketball game happened Saturday in May Street’s Teddy Webber Gym, part of the afternoon open house called “Dragon Bash.”
Principal Kelly Beard called it “a wonderful day of sharing memories and making memories.”
Organized by the Parent Teacher Organization, it was the final “Bash” in the existing school. May Street is being rebuilt and the current building, gym included, will be torn down this summer.
What was billed as “the last basketball game in May Street gym” pitted teams from the school and the “morning ball” basketball group that got its start 19 years ago in Teddy Webber.
The two teams played a twist on the game, aka “Biscuitball,” with about 50 people watching from the bleachers.
With former May Street PE teacher Larry Madsen blowing the whistle, the players passed, dribbled and shot while wearing or carrying clothes and objects, including a dress, stuffed animals, a cantaloupe, shoulder pads, a baseball mitt and a balloon bouquet.
Why “Biscuitball?” By way of explanation, the final score was 110-46, teachers, but like the event itself, the tally was skewed: It was the staff who mastered the skill of earning repeated points for bouncing the basketball on the four biscuits placed around the floor.
Sponsors supported the event in advance, with more than $1,200 going to the Teddy Webber Scholarship Fund and to Start Making A Reader Today.
Principal Kelly Beard, who also played in the game, announced before the game that the gymnasium in the new school will also be called Teddy Webber Gym.
School players included teachers Lenny Bunting and Kate Getchis, Community Resource Officer Joel Ives, Community Ed director Matt Rankin, and Beard.
Morning ball, aka Cantaloupe League, players were Walter Baumann, Ron Merz, Jared Nagreen, Abby Rankin, Connal Rea and Mark Whitehead.
‘Biscuitball’ and the Dragon Bash
Biscuitball was a collaborative effort between Beard and myself. Parent organizer Jace Castello agreed to clear the gym of bouncy houses and other activities for the day, to make room for the game.
“Biscuitball” would not be possible without referee Larry Madsen, a retiree who taught physical education in the district for 33 years including 26 years at May Street. Thanks also to honorary referees Kim Maddy and Sue Mason, both beloved mainstays at the school for decades.
Morning ball, aka Cantaloupe League, got its start in the wonderfully creaky, noisy old Webbe r gym, and while we moved onto Horizon Christian School for our games, the Cantaloupe League bunch never forgot its roots. Jared Nagreen, a regular who teaches at Horizon and played hoops for the Hawks, remembered playing a varsity game in the Webber gym. The floor and the whole space has 103 years of character, and we wanted to honor it with final, albeit bent, game of hoops.
The four biscuits were placed in baggies and pounded to the point that Beard had to sweep up crumbs after the game, but there was a surprising twist, as two of the biscuits were still enclosed in plastic and player Joel Ives reported that he found one biscuit untouched and intact, and he and others enjoyed a post-game snack.
Sponsors were Pacific Rim Coffee, Kirby Nabelhout Construction, Weneha Group, Director’s Mortgage-Jeff Sacre, columbia Pain Clinic, Summit Family Medicine, Heights Dentistry, Hood River School Board, The Cantaloupe League and Lorre Chester-Rea, with in-kind donations by Hood River Supply, Dog River Coffee (for the biscuits!), and Adult Center Thrift Shop (thanks for the dress).
LisaAnn Kawachi of HRVhS cheer squad loaned us the pompoms, Trent Kroll of HRVHS loaned us the shoulderpads and mitt, and Hood River Aquatic Center provided the lifeguard buoy.
Kids and parents enjoyed open gym throughout the afternoon, before the game, to go along with games, dance room, ice cream, scavenger hunt, a school memory wall and a room full of photos and memorabilia, courtesy of the History Museum of Hood River County.
It added up to a day of savoring the old school and looking ahead to the new one, with a crazy basketball game as finale.
Parent organizer Jace Castello said, “Turnout was great and it was special to see today’s students running through the halls having fun while alumni from 10, 20, 30 years ago roamed the halls and reminisced. The old May Street school will be missed, but the new updated school will be a welcome addition to our community.”
“Many of our former alumni and staff were present to say goodbye to a landmark building,” Principal Kelly Beard added.
“Everyone is very excited about our new building and they were thrilled to get a tour. We are so appreciative of the parent and staff volunteers, our PTO and the community businesses that made substantial donations, and to the History Museum of Hood River County for making this such a memorable event.”