Sport Report

by Phil Johnson

Text: “Bodily exercise profiteth little.”—Paul of Tarsus. Motto: The real game is the game you‘re in.

Good Shepherd Pummels Pietists

(Reprinted from The Bethlehem Star)

March 10, 1991

One can hardly blame the Pie Vikes for post-game sarcastic remarks like, “Some Good Shepherd!” After all, Good Shepherd Lutheran had just ended the Pike’s season two games short of the City-Wide title game.

In defeating Bethlehem 78-62 at Annunciation Gym, the Good Shepherd Rod & Staffers shot as accurately as did young David with his sling-shot. Furthermore, the Rod & Staffers offered no comfort to the short-handed Pietists. Only six men were available for action this fateful night and, though they suffered defeat, these six were as valiant as any of their Viking forebears.

The six were Player-Coach Jim Clausen, guards Lance Johnson and Kenny Carlson, and forwards Todd Mitchell, Tim Nelson, and Gordie Swanson. Out of action were point guard Tim Johnson with a badly twisted ankle, center Jerry Noreen who was out of town for the weekend, Bill Hunstock who was entangled in other commitments, Phil Johnson who was nursing a sore hoof, and the Angolan Airforce of Paul Diarra and Edwardo Machado who were tied up with studies.

The Rod & Staffers of Good Shepherd are the defending champions. Meeting them short-handed multiplied the odds against Bethlehem. At the outset, however, one would not have thought so. The Pie Vikes came out firing and took an early lead.

The game was played at a hectic pace with the Pie Vikes returning everything the so-called Good Shepherd dished out. Though the Pikes never slackened, the pummeling by the Rod & Staffers began to take a toll on them. By half-time, Good Shepherd held a 35-27 lead.

After the intermission, Bethlehem fell further and further behind. In spite of a famous reputation, there was no one out seeking the lost sheep. The Pikes had to watch out for themselves, and they mustered every bit of energy they could to hang on.

Lance Johnson gave Good Shepherd a headache as he pumped in 33 points for the second straight game. Todd Mitchell, playing furiously, poured 19 down the funnel. But, the heroics of Big Jim, Ken, Gordie, and Tim Nelson in support of Lance and Todd simply were not enough, as the final score reveals.

So, sports fans, that’s it for the 1990-91 edition of the Bethlehem Pietist Vikings. They didn’t win the title, but they turned in a fine season.

Chicago Mission Basketball League Celebrates 75th Anniversary

The Chicago Mission Basketball League was founded in 1915. Since then, thousands of Chicago youth, and men not so youthful, have run, jumped, and shot with abandon on Saturday nights. Recently the men have been joined by a few women on the hardcourt. For example, Heather Rankin was selected to an All-Star team this season.

Heather’s dad, Harold, is a veteran of 20 seasons in the league, but even he has a long way to go before he can match the career of 74-year-old Charles Wilson who is still playing.

The founders back in 1915 would be proud, I’m sure, of the way the league has been maintained through the years and would want to honor the present officers of the league. From the Southside there are: Roy Odman and Tom Marinier, Beverly Covenant; Doug Erickson, Salem Baptist; and from the Northside: Ralph Rollins, Cuyler Covenant; Don Hodgkinson and Bruce Madvig, Ravenswood Covenant

Our hats off to the Chicago Mission League. May you have many more years of fun and ministry. Also, give some thought to reestablishing some Chicago-Minneapolis competition, as in years past. Thanks to Chuck Walles who sent us information about this anniversary.