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Column: New mural a mixture of ages

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By Chris Cannon

As the Campbell County murals come off the walls, it brings mixed emotions to many.

For me personally, it’s the same boat.

Things are continually changing, going from their old ways to new. However, sometimes those need to happen.

It’s something we don’t think about.

How many times have different players, fans and faculty walked into John R.W. Brown Gymnasium and only glanced at the murals?

They’ve become a fixture – something we rarely notice as we walk into the gymnasium.

The orange cougars are now painted white, leaving only memories that the alumni have of times past.

Being a member of the class of 2008, I have my own.

The time I hurt my knee in gym class and had to sit on the sidelines during gym class staring at them.

The time Sherry Chapman stomped my foot. She used to stomp at her players as she coached, and my foot just happened to be in the wrong place as I was doing stats.

Lynn Pierce and his patented “tease it” and “that’a baby, Parker!”

And who could forget the time the big guy from Karns went baseline, only to cram one as he leaped over Corey Chapman?

All of those memories, along with the countless games I’ve kept stats for and now my first year at the Press, go along side those Cougars.

However, it was time for a change.

As I said before, we come into the gym, only to glance at those Cougars.

Wouldn’t it be nice to have a new mural to become a centerpiece for the gymnasium?

As you can see on the cover of the sports section, Lance Albright has the right idea to make the mural and eye-popping part of the gym.

Some other plans may be in place to get fans involved, but I’ll just have to leave that to the imagination for now. Who wants to ruin a possible surprise?

However, one thing I’d found throughout working on these articles about the murals is that Campbell County fans are passionate.

A mural on the wall can bring so much emotion, but at the same time, it can teach us something.

Before these stories, I’d never really thought about the history of Campbell County High School.

During an interview with Preston Huckaby, class of 1997, he mentioned all of the former players and times during the gym.

His idea couldn’t have been more spot on.

“I would hope they have some type of ceremony for the gym renovations – maybe pictures from the past and an understanding that the future is limitless.

“I think it's very important that we learn from our past in order to better shape our future. It would be great to get students involved in the history of the school.”

He even told me a story about his father, who was among the first class in the high school. Huckaby said the students were able to vote on what the mascot was – something I didn’t know until now.

“It would be great to educate the students on those that came before them…it would be really cool if they invited some of the older basketball players up for an old timers game when the gym opens,” Huckaby offered. “They could be coached by current players – allowing the two groups to bond.”

Future, current and past all combining – I think the game would be a good idea.

However, I think it goes along with what the school is doing now.

Having a former student paint the new mural with a modern feel, one that will make the gym have more appeal for future and current students, is somewhat like combining the past, present and future.

Greg Woodson, class of 1981, covered the murals, making the entire process a full-circle event.

Keep up with the LaFollette Press on Facebook, www.facebook.com/lafollettepress, as we follow the changes to John R.W. Brown Gymnasium. We have some exciting things planned.

Albright says up next is Jellico High School.