Memories of Traveling to Watch the Historic 6 On 6 Iowa Girls State Tournaments


| 3/9/2015 11:25:00 AM


Tags: Historic 6 On 6 Iowa Girls Basketball, State Tournament, Iowa State Capital, Des Moines, Pizza, Writing Your Memories, Mary Conley,

Mary ConleyDear friends,

It is State Tournament time here in Nebraska and Larry is very excited because he and our three sons will make their annual trek to Lincoln to watch the boys’ finals on Saturday night. They always stop and buy snacks to sneak in, eat at HuHot, and have a great time together.  

My last post was about how I started playing the historic 6-on-6 Iowa girls’ basketball in the '50s, and I want to share a favorite memory of that time: The State Tournament! If you read that post, you’ll know our team never made it that far, or very far at all, but we got to go watch! It was an amazing time for us Washta teens, as most of us had never traveled past Cherokee and maybe once or twice a year to Sioux City! I think many of you athletes, girls and boys, will relate to the fun we had!

I’ll never forget when Luanne and I, both eight-graders, were told we could go! The school policy was that the first team and the seniors on the team were given the opportunity each year. We were playing quite regularly as the season progressed, so they invited us, too, and there was some dissension again. I know I was excited, but also overwhelmed and a little scared of the unknown. Think about it; Luanne and I were only 14. 

What a blast to get out of school, travel to Des Moines, and stay in Hotel Kirkwood! I had never stayed in a hotel before. We had a chaperone, of course, but she didn’t stay in our rooms, as she probably required sleep. Not us! The way to accomplish this, is to never get in bed. In the five years that I went, I only remember sleeping a little one night as that chaperone and coach came down hard on us.  

The hotel couldn’t put us on the same floors with teams that actually played in the tournament, or other visitors, because we were running the halls and stairs all night and having a great time making friends with other teams.




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