Chattaroy Yellow Jackets

Jake Teeters

© Copyright 2013 by  Jake Teeters


Photo of Chattaroy basketball team.

1955 , it wasn't  a chevy ,  it wasn't a ford , infact it wasn't a car at all , it was  basketball ! and the players that stood out  were  John Teeters, Fred Vinson ,  and George Ritchie , Bud Burnett , Jimmy alley and Chub Teeters ,If you ever seen the movie Hoosiers , it would have  reminded you of this Chattaroy  team , yes they were that good . Communities put down the hoes and the rakes  and walked away from their gardening , and come to watch these heroes play ball. In 1955 they didnt have the flashy colored uniforms or elaborate gymnasiums but they did have an unmistakably amazing  talent . Screaming  fans cheered them on at every game ,  pride was in every heart of the Chattaroy resident . I remember pieces of the stories that uncle John and Fred Venson shared with me down thru the years . Slam dunking wasn't allowed , all points had to be earned from the floor , and these guys did just that , with the ball handler Steve Chafin  made it all look to easy getting the ball down court for his team .  Three pointers wasn't even herd of . The team captain, John at 6 foot 3 inches tall could out shoot any one in the state  of Wv it was no wonder he got all tournament  and Fred at 6 foot 8 inches was a rebound and blocking machine , having their hight , it was no problem getting close to the rim . George made his way to the basket like  no other , and if he couldn't get open then he knew who could , no one dare dribble close to him with his fast hands , These guys  could score from any where on the court . one night after a mean layup , John nearly broke his ankle and two of the coaches and the principle stayed all through the night using every home remedy they could think of to fix his leg so John could play in the  game the following day . The fans as well as the opposing team would have never known John was injured as he nearly scored 60 points . The Chattaroy Yellow Jackets after beating all the neighboring schools  won their way to The  state championship . The arena was packed out as that game was unfolding and every one on the edge of their seats as the orange uniforms maneuvered around the court like a well oiled machine , but when the time clock slowly and painfully came to the end , the many deflected shots and the excessive shots scored it still wasn't enough .  Chattaroy lost only by a few points to the team , Mary Lou Retten's father played for , a team out of fairmont , to this day you will see the name John Teeters printed in a little archive catalog that sells  in the Charleston civic center ,for scoring 57 points in one game.  Fascinating about these small town Hero's is that being Johns nephew I had the privilege of being raised up around them , they lived simple lives , loved people , and every time we got together we played basketball !!! George Richy  , Fred Vison and John Teeters are gone now , infact  I believe that Chub teeters Johns younger brother is the only team mate still Living . Every time I hear a basket ball bounce , I here the stories they shared echo in my head , I know these guys are playing for a different set of fans now and they will always be remembered as heroes.              
Til we meet again !

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