Parkview boys’ basketball coach Bill Brown has seen the depth of his team challenged by recent injuries to starters.
But he insists next week’s call for the “Jolly Green Giants” is not hopeful reinforcement for the Vikings’ lineup.
Brown is trying to get Parkview alumni back to the school, including those from the famed mid-1960s teams, for a celebration prior to the Feb. 8 home game against rival Glendale.
“We’re really excited about that,” Brown said Monday at the weekly Tip-Off Club luncheon in Springfield. “We’re trying to make it as big of a night of Parkview basketball as we can.”
There will be a celebration before the game at about 7 p.m. to recognize former players in attendance. Brown is organizing the celebration, in part, because of Glendale celebrating its 50th year as a program.
Brown said he wanted to celebrate a little history of his own.
The Jolly Green Giant teams of 1963-66 racked up an 81-4 record in three seasons, winning a 1964-65 Class L state championship, and sandwiching it with two state runner-up finishes. The Vikings — coached by Bill Harding the first two years and Brown’s father, Bob, in the third — also had a 50-game win streak and a 43-game home win streak in that span.
Gail and Virgle Fredrick, along with Steve Hutchinson, are among the former players attempting to organize the reunion, Bill Brown said.
Brown also hopes to get players from other eras, including the Greg Cavener-led Vikings of the early 1980s and Matt Miller’s group of the mid-90s, in for the game.
Cavener led the Vikings to a third-place state finish in 1980-81, and Miller is still the school’s all-time career points leader. However, the former Drury standout had another record fall this month, as senior Erik Durham broke his single-game mark, scoring 44 against West Plains.
Former players interested in attending can contact Brown at 417-523-9200.
As for this year’s Vikings (15-4), Brown said junior forward Darris Perry is cleared to return and will be eased back from a broken hand, which he suffered in the Greenwood Blue and Gold final on Dec. 29.
Brown said he did not expect Perry to play tonight at home against Joplin. Also questionable is senior AJ Green, who suffered an abdominal injury against Kickapoo last week, forcing him to miss Friday’s loss at Branson.
“We’re kind of in a funk right now with injuries to players and trying to get everyone back,” Brown said.