By TOM BONE
Bluefield Daily Telegraph
There’s going to be a lot of history — along with probably some hilarity and some hoops skills — on display on Saturday starting at 6 p.m. at the Montcalm High School gym.
Alumni from the Montcalm Lady Generals baskeball program will lace up their playing shoes once again and form into two teams to play each other in a fundraiser for the school’s athletics program.
“The history of the Montcalm girls basketball program has been pretty substantial,” said Craig Havens, MHS assistant principal and former basketball coach.
He and Steve Brady, who coached the Lady Generals to the 1980 state Class A championship, will be the coaches for the two teams that are expected to consist of 12 players each.
“There have probably been more than 24 girls committed,” Havens said, “but due to other things coming up, some have had to drop out, and there are others that have taken their place.”
“They’ve been coming up and playing some on Saturdays, some of them,” he said. “That’s been fun. It’s been fun seeing them again.”
He said the alumni game has been organized by two former Montcalm players, Michelle Poore Steele and Laura Howard Anderson.
Steele announced the ex-players’ “little get together” in an email that reported that alumni are expected from the 1980s up through last spring’s graduation class.
“So it is the young and older generations coming together,” Steele wrote.
Recent graduates expected to play include Eva Grose, Kayla Pennington and Tara Havens. From further back in the school’s history, Steele, Rhonda Herndon Davis, Angie Overbaugh and Robin Baughman are signed up as well.
A lot of the signups from alumni stemmed from contacts made on Facebook, then by “word of mouth,” Craig Havens said.
Admission is $3 for adults and $2 for students. Craig Havens said that any funds raised will be put to good use.
“You always run into expenses for feeding the players, buying updated equipment, paying officials,” the Montcalm administrator said. “There’s a need for money, for sure, when you’re running an athletic program. You can’t get too much of it.”
The Montcalm girls have gone to the state tournament about 10 times in school history. In addition to the 1980 title the Lady Generals have finished as state runner-up at least twice.
Brady took over the program from Carol Fowler in the late 1970s and coached the team for five years. He is now assistant principal at Princeton Middle School.
Havens followed Brady and led the MHS girls for 11 years, from the 1984 throught 1994 seasons, picking up more than 200 coaching victories. He then turned the girls program over to their current coach, Jimmy McPherson.
Brady and Havens faced off against each other often in boys high school baskeball when Brady coached the Pocahontas (Va.) Indians and Havens coached the Montcalm boys.
Saturday night will be quite different, when Team Brady and Team Havens take to the court in their matching red and blue t-shirts.
— Contact Tom Bone at