an important part of our lives growing up in Portville during the 1960s and 70s.
When we were 8 years old, our fathers took us to the old Dean's Market grocery store, which
was located right across the street from the library, downtown. One Sunday evening in early August, all of us met in a back
room to draft players for the Pee Wee squads.
That year, in 1969, we had 45 2nd-graders and 40 3rd graders on 4 teams in the league, all from the town,
sponsored by the Fire Department (red jerseys), the Mens' Club (black), Fibercel (yellow), and Dean's Market (green).
The next year 1970, we added the
Portville Pharmacy (white), as more kids joined the action. In those days, Pee Wees consisted of 8 and 9-year olds, along
with small 10-year olds. I was on the Fire Department team during those first 2 years, and Rod Stives was our head coach.
We practiced and played where the
youngsters do now, and I was a RB, along with my next-door neighbor, Gary Swetland. His dad, Wimpy was there for every practice,
as well as my dad and his brothers, Johnny and Ben Reynolds, all of whom were big stars during the 50s and 60s at PCS.
Gary and I had a lot of support and pressure to excel, so we played
football in our yards all year round. That same year, many of our peers joined Cub Scouts for the first time, and most of
us played football...Mike Warner, Brad Worth, Roger Fox, Jon Giberson, Scott Nix, John Sprague, Doug Torrey, and others. Many
of us had dads and uncles who had played for the Panthers, so the games were attended by many locals.
In 1971, we moved up to the Pony level, when we began to play other
schools like Allegany, Bolivar, Franklinville, Hinsdale, and Limestone. Coach Stives moved up with us, and John Little was
TO BE CONTINUED