Jim Hunt

Jim Hunt, contributing sports writer

Register file photo

1942: In boys basketball, the St. Helena High won in Calistoga 28-25. Louis San Biago led the scoring with 11 points and Al DelBondio added eight.

1968: In Lower Lake, the Saints beat the Trojans 93-51 in boys basketball. Gary Perez led the Saints’ scoring with 18 points, Joe Escareno added 13, and Jed Cooper and Pat Harrison had 11 each. The Saints were 23 of 27 from the free throw line.

1978: The Saints boys basketball team beat Cloverdale 68-57 in St. Helena. Rick Rosenbrand scored 21 points and pulled down 14 rebounds. Rich Lomeli added 14 points, Dave Wignall scored 13 points and grabbed 10 rebounds, and Jeff Brink had 11 points. With the win, the Saints wrapped up the North Central League I season with a 9-1 record and their second consecutive league championship.

1983: In St. Helena, the Saints girls basketball team beat Tomales 62-40. Mandy Stinnet scored 24 points and pulled down 16 rebounds, Patty Varozza had 14 points and Patsy Huse added 12 points.

1994: The girls basketball team beat John Swett 58-50 in Crockett. Kim Pincus led the Saints’ scoring with 16 points, Kristin Foote added 14, and Emily Stremel and Janet Bingham each had eight.

2010: Maddie Densberger led the girls basketball team with 15 points and Holle DePina added 13 in a 42-29 win over Upper Lake. The Saints outscored the Cougars 15-0 in the second quarter.

Plus: That’ll Be 10 Days in Jail, Miss Lull

As I wrote two issues ago, the infamous “Fight for the Native Sons Hall” in January 1925 revealed that the girls of SHHS had no easy go of it in terms of the sexist attitudes of the times, and it was extremely challenging for them to tolerate it all.

Just a month after that incident, in the “School and Campus” section of the Star of Feb. 24, our old friend, the “Hi School Gossip,” once again turned his attention to girls basketball.

“The girls put on a game with Napa yesterday afternoon,” he wrote. “Our team doesn’t play so worse. The score doesn’t look like a slaughter (Napa won 18-10), but the Napa girls sling such heavy language that our team was pretty well out-classed. Gee, a fellow can stand hearin’ men folks an’ boys hit the high spots in language now and then if you get in a tight place, but when girls tear loose like some o’ that Napa bunch, wowee! Take me home! Believe me if my sister ever done that she’d hear something from me!”

Two weeks later he went even further in his “colorful” reporting, with a brief account of a girls basketball 32-16 win over Calistoga.

“Looks like they’re a good team, even if they are girls an’ are more or less hampered by their sects (sic), which of course they can’t help any more’n a hen can help but cacklin’.”

And, as a real sign of the times, this kind of writing wasn’t questioned at all, at least not in print. It was simply, and sadly, acceptable as the norm even, no doubt, eliciting a chuckle or two from the male community.

A decade later, in the Star of Jan. 11, 1935, again in the “School and Campus” section, there’s another article that I’d like to share, this one written by an unnamed student writer, titled “OUR FIRECRACKERS – GUESS WHO?”

Believe me, it will leave you shaking your head in disbelief.

“The St. Helena ‘Firecrackers’ under the skillful instruction of Coach Betsey T. Lull, started basketball season out with a ‘bang.’ Last week our ‘firecrackers’ journeyed to Calistoga and played a hard-fought game against the Calistoga team, but despite the fact that our girls out-played them in every department of the game, Calistoga was victorious 20-15. Later dispatches were received that Coach Lull is spending the next 10 days in jail because she used ‘profane language’ during the game. As soon as Coach Lull regains her freedom, the team will again continue on to victory.”

The huge question is, of course, did Lull really spend 10 days in the Calistoga jail for use of “profane language?” Or was it just tongue-in-cheek rhetoric?

Unfortunately, I have no answer to that, as I have searched the Star, The Weekly Calistogan, the Napa Daily Journal, and the Press Democrat for any articles that might have answered that question, but to no avail, as I was unable to find any follow-up articles about the alleged incident.

One can only hope it was just an attempt at a humorous anecdote.

However, in that era, who knows?

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