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The Season 1967 When Mimico Marauders Dominated High School Basketball

Volume 31, Issue 10,11 & 12, December 20, 2017

Ted Schmidt, Toronto

      Fifty years ago in Canada’s centenary year of 1967, a suburban Toronto basketball team in a school with only 250 males and seven players swept all competition aside with a slashing type of game never before seen in local basketball circles. Mimico High School’s Marauders became the best team in Ontario and maybe Canada. How did a school with so few male students achieve such dominance?
      In 2017 coach Ted Schmidt invited the six remaining players to reflect back on the season. The results make for fascinating reading as Schmidt describes his alternative coaching philosophy: “Don’t call me coach, I’m a teacher and a hardwood gym floor became a sacred classroom for me.”
      Relying on theologians Martin Buber and Hugo Rahner, SJ and cultural theorist Johan Huizenga, Schmidt describes his technique as moving beyond coaching manuals (techné) to plumb the inner depths of each player (logos). Central to his approach was the primacy of the human person and his commensality, shared meals ( “secular liturgies”) which he believed broke open the mystery of his teenage charges.
      This book with an introduction by Canadian philosopher John McMurtry challenges all to rethink the role of athletics in a hyper-capitalist society and the role of the teacher caught up in SportsWorld.
     Schmidt spells out the meaning from within sport and from beyond it. He tells a lifetime of devotion uplifted by the giving all which becomes eternal moments in games. But he knows beyond the garden of great plays that the world calls for life witness in the ultimate struggle lost in sport addictions. 
     Dr. John McMurtry, Introduction, $15.00
Ted Schmidt, a past editor of Catholic New Times, is a regular contributor to ICN