By John Ring
Published March 4, 2021
The new venue for the Silver Streak basketball teams is just north of existing John Thiel Gym
and while its' been perfectly functional for a lot of events, it isn't even close to what fans are
I write this because Silver Streak basketball fans aren't allowed to the games this season under
the Governor's and IHSA guidelines. So if you cannot go the games, you're missing some good
basketball but the decorum isn't close to what you would see at John Thiel Gym.
This isn't to blame anyone or anything. It's just a simple fact; a matter of logistics. The massive
renovation to the now 60-year old high school has forced the relocation of the games to the
Fieldhouse. It's not Covid-related, it's construction-related.
And even without the Covid stranglehold-- at least here in Illinois-- it would be difficult at best to have the GHS Band, the cheerleaders and a couple of hundred Silver Streaks fans in there
There are some familiar people to be found, even with wearing the masks. Janine Bryant has been a fixture at GHS scorer's table for a long time. So has volleyball coach Marla Clay. The WGIL
broadcasters are there in force with the reliable broadcast team of Brad Bennewitz and Steve Cheesman.
Seeing a Quincy-Galesburg basketball game in this atmosphere was strange, indeed. The Mentor himself would have been disappointed. The location was different and the fact that the Blue Devils were winless was unique as well.
And not seeing you fans there takes away a lot. Not just the applause and the cheers but seeing old friends. Guys like Ray Pickrel. Former players like Grant Gibson and Joey Range. Former Streaks that would come to the Gym during the holiday tournaments there. The Hall of Fame inductions.
We all knew Pete Thierry wouldn't be there. I still think of my friend a lot. And he would get a kick out of the way Streaks like Lauren Livingston and Demarco Harden are playing. But at least most of us were prepared for that.
But given the bizarre circumstances and the combination of both construction and covid, we
should probably appreciate the Fieldhouse a bit and give it a little love.
And I hope to open up a can of worms (no I don't) but maybe the School Board could perhaps
consider coming up with a name for the Fieldhouse so it just isn't called the “Fieldhouse.”
Back in the 1980s, The Zephyr advocated naming the Gym after John Thiel and the baseball
field after Jim Sundburg. Both were done. It probably would have happened eventually-- but maybe we nudged them a bit.
And, while nobody asked, I have a few possibilities to consider. But that's for an article down the road.
In the meantime, I'm open for suggestions. Drop us a line, please.