Tribute offered

Members of Bartlett Yancey’s 1987-88 state championship basketball team recognized during last Friday’s basketball games with Chatham Central were front row (left to right): Leonard Moore, Clarence Moore, Steve Jones and Darrell Smith ( team manager). Back row (left to right): Coach Lindsey Page, Corey Elliott, Dana Elliott, Lawrence Carter, Keith Claiborne and Skip Rowland, BY’s principal at the time.

The Bartlett Yancey community paid tribute last Friday evening to their 1987-88 basketball team, the only one in the high school's history to win a state title.

Seven of that team's 11 players were on hand for the tribute, which took place between BY's girls and boys basketball games against Chatham Central.

“This coming March we will have celebrated 35 years since our state championship team,” said Lindsey Page, the NCHSAA Hall of Famer who coached that squad. 

He quipped that on the day of the title match up anyone could have ransacked Yanceyville because “there wasn't anyone here. They were all at the game.

“I love all these guys,” he told the crowd. (Since retiring in 1998, Page has filled in twice as the high school's girls basketball coach, taking two of those teams to the state semifinals.)

Keith Clairborne, who's father and step mother Melvin and Cynthia Clairborne still live in Caswell County, traveled from his home in Maryland for last Friday's recognition.

“Anytime you get to see the guys you played basketball with 35 years ago, it's always a blessing,” he said.

The occasion was especially poignant for Lou Williamson, the championship team's point guard who now coaches BY's team. They delivered a win for the honorees.

“It was an honor to be beside those guys, to be back here after 35 years and coaching a team in front of them,” he said. “I'm blessed to be here to do it, and they come back to see me coach. That's an honor man. Gives me a lot of joy in my heart.”