HILLARY SMITH: Don't miss what the past has to offer

2014-04-27T21:00:00Z 2014-04-27T21:29:47Z HILLARY SMITH: Don't miss what the past has to offerHillary Smith Times Columnist nwitimes.com
April 27, 2014 9:00 pm  • 

In case you missed it while basking in the sunshine of a spring weekend, the region was well-represented at the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame induction weekend.

In case you missed it, the success of the past was honored with presents and presence in New Castle.

Here's what you missed: former Valparaiso coach Greg Kirby was inducted into the Hall of Fame, along with Silver Anniversary honorees and the 1984 Crown Point Bulldogs.

Kirby retired from Valpo High after the 2006 season, with a 324-58 record at Valparaiso. His last season was his worst of the decade, a 13-8 campaign that ended in the first round of the sectional.

If there's any question the legacy this girls basketball pioneer left behind, it's this: Kirby has been nearly impossible to replace.

On Friday, Valparaiso named its fifth head girls basketball coach since Kirby retired. In that time, the Vikings have had just three winning seasons.

That's how hard it is to not only coach girls basketball, but be a good coach of any kind in high school sports. Kirby won 13 sectional titles, eight regional championships, four semistate wins and two state runner-up trophies.

Since then, the Vikings, who are tied for fifth with the most sectional titles in the state, haven't won any.

In another corner, the 1984 Crown Point girls basketball team was also inducted. All undefeated teams automatically join the Hall after 30 years, and this marked the induction point for the Bulldogs, who went 26-0 and beat Warren Central in overtime for the title.

Tom May left Crown Point a year after Kirby left Valparaiso. In that time, the Bulldogs have had three coaches, including Anne Equihua, named to the Hall as a player.

Crown Point, in the same sectional as Valparaiso since the start of class basketball, last won a sectional title in 2001, after 16 before then.

The Silver Anniversary teams, which brought in members of the 1989 graduating class, included Vikings grad Jennifer (Cole) Davis and Lew Wallace alum Michelle (Harris) Hoskins.

Davis was a two-sport athlete at both Valpo and LaSalle University. Hoskins played one season at Roosevelt (with 1,003 points in that single year) before graduating from Wallace where she was the team captain and MVP.

Both players now reside in out of state, Davis is in biopharmaceutical sales in Ohio and Hoskins is a deputy sheriff in Texas.

There's no way to miss the impact these players and coaches had on the region. What we can't miss is thanking them for every moment we were able to cheer.

This column solely represents the writer's opinion. Reach her at hillary.smith@nwi.com.

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