The Washington Times-Herald

April 1, 2014

The past is prologue

By Todd Lancaster Times Herald
The Washington Times-Herald

---- — When I left Bankers Life Fieldhouse on Saturday, I watched a lot Barr-Reeve leave depressed and disappointed. The Vikings had lost a heartbreaking Class A final and I think a lot of people were wondering how and why. I’m not sure if either question needs an answer.

On Monday night the movie Medora premiered on PBS. It is the story about the relationship between basketball and a small town in Southern Indiana. The movie followed a winless Medora basketball team through the struggles of a season where community support and resources were a scarce as victories.

It shows the difference is more than just the 61 miles between the two communities which seem to live on opposite sides of the tracks.

Once again the Barr-Reeve community showed up in full war paint to support their friends relatives and neighbors. Once again, a group of teenage boys left everything they had on the basketball court. And once again, they were guided be coaches, teachers and administrators who consider Montgomery more than a pit stop on their way to the next gig.

As we went through the lead-up to the game last week, I thought about how similar each of the Barr-Reeve state runner-up teams really were. Each one was disciplined, intelligent and understood that they were part of a tradition that went both forward and back. Ultimately, the only real difference between the teams that won and lost were the size of the trophy.

So many teams can go from the penthouse to the outhouse and back again, based upon the talents of one of those once-in-a-lifetime players. Success is then directly dependent on catching lightning in a bottle. In Montgomery, they manufacture both lightning and bottles.

In the post-game press conference, coach Bryan Hughes talked about humbled he was to get to this point.

He is correct, you never know when you will have chance to get back again or even if you will ever get back there. However, your chance greatly increased when a coach, parents, kids and community do things the right way - Barr-Reeve does.

There is a strong program of teaching fundamentals, followed by an elementary feeder system, a competitive junior high program, and a varsity program where success is the expectation.

Sounds easy, but unless everyone works to support the same goal, the system breaks down and all you are left with are coffee shops filled with fans asking questions.

I don’t know a lot about Medora or when they might make an appearance at Bankers Life, but I’m will to bet Barr-Reeve will be back again - and sooner than you think.

How do I know this? Because the past is prologue and come Saturday morning there will be a lot of little Vikings working on their dribbling.