Meridian Star

March 29, 2014

Basketball teams to celebrate 56-year anniversary

By Reed DeSalvo \ The Meridian Star
The Meridian Star

— Members of the 1957-1958 Meehan School basketball squad will commemorate its 56th anniversary today when they partake in a reunion at the home of their former coach, Jackie Roberson.

The '57-58 campaign marked Roberson’s inaugural season as head basketball coach, and the last year for the Meehan School prior to its closing for consolidation purposes.  

According to Roberson, the merging of schools was a natural occurrence at this period of time.

“Consolidation was just going on all over the state at that time,” Roberson said. “The consolidation was brought on by the need to offer more courses and have a stronger academic offering to the students.”

The Meehan School, previously located in Newton County, had yet to establish a football program while baseball was just on the cusp of beginning.

“We had a lot of schools in Newton County back then,” Roberson said. “Competition was real key among the schools. We were playing long seasons and we played a lot of games. We had some fine athletes then.”

Roberson’s girl’s squad compiled a record of 27-8 while the boys registered a record of 19-12.

Both teams would go on to compete at the sub-regional tournament with each coming away with victories at the event, including a 64-18 win by the boys.

Roberson, 78, cherished every moment that he had to spend with the student-athletes.

“These were some wonderful young people that I got the opportunity to teach and coach,” Roberson said. “I probably learned as many or more things from them than they learned from me. There were some fine athletes in this group. But that put me on a good start for a coaching career.”

Following his lone season at Meehan, Roberson would go on to coach at Clarkdale High School before moving on to an administrative position.

Today’s festivities are scheduled to begin at 4 p.m., and up to 12 former players are expected to be in attendance.  

Roberson is looking forward to the opportunity to recall on that lone season he and his players shared together at Meehan.

“What we’re trying to do is just get together and have a time of fellowship,” Roberson said. “These are all fine people and we just thought we’d have them here at our home for an afternoon, enjoy some fellowship with them and reminisce over some things that took place that last year at Meehan.”