I was driving down East State Street in Sharon the other day, and stopped for the traffic light at Case Avenue and glanced at the beautiful new Sharon elementary school that graces the corner.
But for folks of my generation, that corner will always be the site occupied by the former Sharon High School building, which in later years was converted to an elementary school.
As the warm breeze found its way through my car windows, I couldn’t help but be a little nostalgic and think about this time of year when I was growing up – yes it was spring and the sacred celebration of Easter, but on top of that, it was time for the annual W.U. Hoyle Tournament of Champions.
One of my most fond memories of growing up a basketball junkie were all of the countless hours I spent in Sharon High’s gym during the week of the Hoyles. It seemed as though everyone went to the Hoyles – guys, girls, and most of the players and coaches from throughout the area. It was THE place to be.
The tournament was a rite of spring like no other for the hundreds like me who packed the gym from early afternoon until well into the night, waiting to get a glimpse of one of the many star-studded coaches who always stopped by to get a courtside look at the array of phenomenal high school players who suited up.
It was a time to break out short pants or khakis and penny loafers (worn without socks, of course) and get ready for days of pure joy. For a lot of us, it was far better than Christmas.
Sharon High for that week every spring was transformed into a national stage – no aspiring player wanted to miss playing in the Hoyles and most of the top coaches were right behind them. They came from across the country to play here at the mecca of high school tournaments.