Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local News

February 12, 2013

New Summerfield hoops veteran, 92, honored for team, public service

‘You’re never to old to better yourself’


Special To The Jacksonville Daily Progress

NEW SUMMERFIELD – It's been awhile since B.R. Darby, 92, last played basketball.

But Darby, who is the last living member of the New Summerfield 1938 District Championship Team, still considers his days on the court among his most formative of experiences.

And he still remembers his very favorite coach from those days so long gone by.

Darby was honored Friday for his service to that team 75 years ago, to the United States Army, and to the community in general.  Superintendent Gregg Weiss presented him with an autographed photo of the 2012-13 Varsity Boys Basketball Team to a standing ovation.

The presentation took place at the halftime of the New Summerfield Hornets-Alto Yellowjack-ets game, which the home team won 71-63.

Even though he's in his 90s, Darby still loves the game of basketball (although football is his personal preference).

He said watching his alma mater win Friday's game was a great addition to his autographed photo.

"When you are winning," Darby said, indicating the packed audience at the Friday night game, "you get lots of customers."

Coach Jason Davis, New Summerfield ISD Athletic Director and head boys basketball coach, said he considers it an honor to be able to recognize someone like Darby for his accomplishments.

"Darby is a veteran player," Coach Davis said. "He is not only respected in this town, but in the state and in the country. He was the first to play in the old gym and he is a veteran of the sport."

As Darby was about to be commemorated Fri-day, he shared fond memories of his former coach "Red" Adams, a figure so inspirational to Darby's team (and, like the name suggests, a redhead) that all members died their hair red as a show of solidarity.

Darby's hair used to be brown. Now it's fairly nonexistent.

"He's the best coach that I played for," Darby said. "He would really inspire us. Basketball took a lot of energy. We played hard until we were too tired to play any more. And this is before they had Gatorade."

Darby said he played for Red Adams for about five years. Roughly eight months of that was spent with the dyed red hair.

He considered it an honor to be on the team, as Red Adams tended to hand-pick his own players.

"I wasn't his best player, but I wasn't his worst, either," Darby said with a broad smile.

After high school, Darby studied agriculture at what is now Stephen F. Austin State University in Nacogdoches.

He joined the Army in the mid-1940s, with tours in the Philippines and Japan. After that, he came home to run his family business in the plant farming industry.

Over the years, he held many roles as a public servant.

He was a school board member for many terms and also served on the Cherokee County Soil and Water Conservation, Cherokee County Co-Op, and as a member of the state water district.

Married to a loving wife of nearly 70 years, Ana Lu, he has a son, Don, three grandchildren and two great grandkids.

He recently became a member of the First Methodist Church in Jacksonville with the philosophy, "You're never too old to better yourself."

Text Only
Local News
  • THOMPSON, CEDRICK.tif Cherokee County woman found dead

    At approximately 9:35 a.m. Sunday,  Kayla Nicole Thompson, 27, was found deceased in the driveway of her residence, located in the 1500 block of County Road 3201,  just West of Lake Jacksonville.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • BullardFUNRUN.tif Bullard Education Foundation sets record with event

    The Bullard Education Foundation hosted its 4th annual 5K /Fun Run, “Strides for Excellence” on Saturday morning, April 19.

    April 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Fire destroys Sims Avenue residence

    Jacksonville Fire Department responded to a fire in the 900 block of Sims Avenue early Saturday.

    April 22, 2014

  • Community library on council agenda

    The Bullard City Council will met at 6 p.m. today at Bullard First Baptist Church, 1428 S. Houston, for the regular board meeting.

    April 22, 2014

  • Council to mull election, roads

    The Cuney City Council will meet at 10 a.m. today at the Cuney Municipal Building.

    April 22, 2014

  • Christian Rapper 0419.tif Local rap artist spreads the 411 on Jesus

    "I have seen things in my life that would make Dr. Phil crazy," Jacksonville native, ordained minister and aspiring rap artist Stephen I. Crow Jr. said with a laugh. "That's why I don't label my music specifically as "Christian rap" -- yes, Christians who love rap can listen and hopefully be uplifted, but I truly want and am trying to bring the word and Jesus' message to people who may never have heard it or don't believe it's for them.

    April 19, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tomato Bowl flushed to bottom of priorities

    The historic Tomato Bowl, built in 1940, stands strong on the outside, but according to some people the inside needs a lot of work in order to not be an eyesore.

    April 19, 2014

  • Cherokee County arrest: April 8-14

    The Daily Progress will publish a list of arrests from the Cherokee County Sheriff's Office on a weekly basis.

    April 19, 2014

  • Jacksonville College, high schools team up to offer dual credit program

    Jacksonville College is currently offering qualifying high school juniors and seniors attending Jacksonville and New Summerfield ISDs and The Brookhill School in Bullard the opportunity to get head start on their higher education.

    April 18, 2014

  • JISD board members to consider district strategic plan

    The Jacksonville ISD Board of Trustees will meet at 6:30 p.m. Monday, April 21, to discuss a district strategic plan and consider buying new band uniforms.

    April 18, 2014