Daily Progress, Jacksonville, TX

Local Sports

November 14, 2013

COMMENTARY: This take some getting used to

My Take....By Jay Neal

JACKSONVILLE —

Jacksonville High School played its first game in the JISD Gymnasium (formally known as Lon Morris College's Smith Events Center) on Tuesday night when the Fight'n Maiden basketball team entertained Diboll.

Hats off to the JISD Board of Trustees, members of the administration and everyone who worked so hard in providing Jacksonville High School with a much-needed new competition gym that everyone can be proud of.

If you haven't had a chance to check it out — the facility looks great, by the way — the Maidens and the Indians will both be in action at the arena on Nov. 22 (5:30 and 7:30 p.m.).

So many people, from all walks off life, have approach me in the last couple of days and all they want to talk about it seems is the arena.

The gist of the conversations have all been the same...it just doesn't feel right to be in there watching non-Lon Morris College basketball games.

I'll have to admit, even though I only covered LMC hoops in the arena for four years, I feel the exact same way.

Gone are the vibrant green colors; now replaced by Jacksonville blue, the familiar faces of the former LMC coaches, the avid Bearcat fans, the LMC pep band and and the young men and women that proudly wore the green and white uniforms and provided LMC fans with so many proud moments.

To go into that building with basketball being played and Dale Dotson not being there yelling at an official, or entertaining a Bearcat loyalist with a story, is like walking into a McDonald's restaurant and not seeing any mention of the infamous Ronald McDonald — it just feels incredibly strange.

A lady told me that see saw pictures of Tuesday's game on Facebook and that it made her sick.

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