Something old and something newPublished 9:06pm Tuesday, July 2, 2013
It was old school mixed with new schools at the “Communities Coming Together” event this weekend.
The event, put on by Michael Britt’s Britt-Quinn Enterprise Inc., enjoyed growth in attendance this year from 2012.
Lakeland High School hosted it this time, and Cavaliers head coach Clint Wright estimated 500 people attended over the course of Friday and Saturday.
While Britt was disappointed that he could not get any college coaches or scouts to come, he was encouraged by the number of people attending.
“It was a lot bigger than last year, the support,” he said. “It was more than what I was hoping for. I was pleased with it.”
He was appreciative to Lakeland for hosting the event, and the school’s activities director, Gregory Rountree, said it meant a lot for Britt to want it held there.
The Lakeland basketball team helped kick off the action by playing Friday afternoon.
“It’s basically like us giving back to the community, for real,” Cavaliers rising sophomore Jaquan Yulee said.
Britt was particularly happy with the participation of the old school players from Suffolk’s former high schools.
On Friday, Wright, who graduated from John Yeates High School, took the court with a team representing that school for the first time since he graduated from it in 1987. His team came up short, 56-50, to Forest Glen High School, but to him the score was not the primary concern.
“It was the reunion that I cherished the most,” he said.
However, Wright played well enough to draw praise from one of his players.
“Out of all of them, he’s still got it,” Yulee said.
Robert Townsend, a 1984 grad of John Yeates, said it was particularly nice to gather on a happy occasion, since few things outside of funerals tend to bring the old teammates back together.
Charles Allmond Sr. was in attendance with his wife Addie, looking to catch a glimpse of yesteryear.
“Back then, I used to go to all the games,” he said. They still go to see the new high schools play.
Claudine Campbell was at Lakeland on Friday with her 10-year-old son, Luke Williamson, to support Coach Wright. Williamson marveled at seeing men he recognized as referees, taking the court as players.
Virginia Hollimon explained that she attended the event to support Michael Britt. She felt the event benefited the kids by giving them “something to do, something keep them out of trouble.”
Nansemond River High School basketball coach Ed Young, who helped get the event off the ground last year, came out Friday to support Britt and watch as Suffolk High School, where he used to coach, took on John F. Kennedy High School. He only came to spectate.
“I wasn’t planning on coaching,” he said. “I’d rather just watch.”
That was all he had to do, as Suffolk won 81-57.
However, Estelle Goodman, a cheerleader at JFK in 1974, kept the school spirit alive by defending JFK, saying, “That wasn’t Kennedy old school.” She cited the absence of players from the school’s glory days.
On Saturday, some of Suffolk’s youth took the court, and though the city did not fare well against the teams from out of town last year, this time they won all but one game against squads from Delaware. The visitors still enjoyed the event, however.
“The people from out of town, they embraced it, and look forward to coming back,” Britt said.
Britt thanked the sponsors and those that helped make the event possible, including Mike Duman Auto Sales, Parr Funeral Home & Crematory, Cross Realty, Farm Fresh, Lowe’s and the Western Tidewater Community Services Board, to name a few.