Congrats to state winners, says proud grandpa

Letters to the editor:

Congrats to state winners,

says proud grandpa


Last week the Manti High School boys basketball team was able to do the almost unbelievable…take state when no one at the first of the year thought that to be a possibility.

What a great accomplishment and culmination of a lot of hours of blood, sweat, and tears, on both the ballplayers’ side and also the many coaches’ side.  Watching the glorious firetruck celebration down main-street yesterday, brought back so many memories and nostalgia from fifty-two years ago, when the very first Manti High boys basketball team took state for the very first time.

I, along with six other current grey-headed and weathering Sanpete residents, and several others living outside Sanpete, had the great honor and blessing of experiencing this same ecstasy, of that which these newly-crowned warriors started to feel as they left the St. George arena having won it all.

I wanted to congratulate my grandson Mason, a member of this remarkable group of young men, and tell him and his companions, how this single event will help to shape, bend and mold their future lives, for the better, if they will but stay true to the things they learned along the way.

They don’t realize it now, but this happening will be hashed over and dissected over and over again through the many years now following.  Take it from those first old “Codgers”, who still meet together on different battlefields, such as the golf course, or bedside of loved ones— the memories still live on.

Enjoy the ride, but also remember those souls who inspired, lifted, encouraged, and helped you all to be where you are now.  For myself, I remember the Keith Andersons, Woodrow Becks, and several Hill families from Gunnison; I recall the Manti Don Stotts, Jackson Wanlasses, Richard Olsons, Cecil Coxes, Wilbur Braithwaites and many others who visited our locker rooms after each home game;  I remember the Paul and Glen Baileys and Bruce Irons, Mac Wilkeys, from North Sanpete.

These old timers of the Sanpete community left a legacy of caring  and influence for hundreds of young people.   These were the stalwarts of the community, whose lives touched the souls of youth.  Now I give not only my grandson, who represents the fifth generation of Manti Templars who played sports in the family, as well as Mason’s cohorts on the court, a BIG CHALLENGE:  Go be the same loving, caring, encouraging influence on those who will follow after you, as you have had given to you from those who have gone beyond,or about to.



Leland Thompson


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