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Residents gathered Sunday at the Spring Hope Historical Museum to reminisce about marching bands, football games and bringing the community together at the opening of the “Sports in southern Nash County” exhibit.
“People say ‘What’s sports got to do with history?’ But it does. It really does,” said Gay Sturgeon, the museum’s director. “I like seeing the way things were.”
Many in attendance recalled the standout athletes of their time and the memories of playing sports during childhood.
Retired educator Bebe Lamb was the first girl to play on the Spring Hope Little League baseball team in 1972 as a catcher. Her uniform is on display at the front of the museum.
“They wouldn’t let me play to start with, so my brother played,” Lamb said. “I would warm up the pitchers because there was no one else to do it. There was only one catcher, Wayne Grady, and Wayne got hurt. So, Spencer Edwards put me in the game. And that’s how I got started playing Little League baseball.”
Sturgeon said people across the community participated in athletics programs even if they did not play sports themselves. A local parent, Boots Moore, sewed the Southern Nash High School cheerleading uniforms for several years.
“She made the outfits for all the girls. They’re much cuter than the uniforms are now,” Sturgeon said.
Resident Warren Boone drove the school bus for the Southern Nash football team for 21 years. A written tribute for him is on display. Boone said that the community banded together to do whatever was needed for the teams, from providing concessions to pooling resources to buy bleachers.
Sturgeon said the museum is still accepting sports memorabilia to display.
“We’ve got room. It always works that way,” Sturgeon said.
“Sports in Southern Nash County” will be featured through the summer. The Spring Hope Historical Museum is open from 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays and at other times by appointment. For more information or to donate items, contact Gay Sturgeon at 252-478-5610.