The area for spectators in the Windsor High School gym sits across the court from each team’s bench, giving a clear view of the athletes.
Like other parents with players on the basketball team, it’s where Troy Baldwin and Mark Schmidt show up to support their sons during the Wizards’ games.
What makes them different from most, however, is the feeling of nostalgia that strikes within the two fathers when they look across at their sons in the Windsor uniforms.
“It’s always a pretty special feeling to be back in there,” said Troy Baldwin, a 1987 Windsor graduate. “I had my time, now this is their time. The best thing about it is that they’re Wizards.”
Thirty years ago, Troy and Mark sat on the other side of the gym as teammates for Windsor. It was a link in the long-running chain of connections between the two families that have grown into sixth-generation Windsorites.
They watched their older sons play together in 2012 and now watch their younger sons, who still don corn and wine uniforms.
“I can remember when I kind of put the dots together after looking at old pictures and yearbooks,” said Landon Schmidt, who will be a senior in the fall. “Obviously, we knew our older brothers played together but didn’t really realize how far back it went until we got older.”
The legacies of each family were first carried on when the older brothers, Aaron Schmidt and Alex Baldwin, made their own mark on Windsor athletics.
Aaron Schmidt, a 2012 graduate, and Alex Baldwin, a 2013 graduate, notched a Class 3A state championship in football in 2012. The year prior they helped the basketball team put together a run to the state title game.
“The work ethic in both families is topnotch,” said Windsor boys basketball coach Dustin Duncan, who coached both sets of brothers. “It starts in the classroom and translates to the court.”
The role of the older brothers has since shifted from that of an athlete to spectator.
But just as their fathers were once tasked with welcoming the transition, they’ve enjoyed becoming role models for the younger family members who continue to play.
“It was weird at first because it feels like it wasn’t that long ago, just like our dads always say,” Aaron Schmidt said. “We see what our younger brothers are doing and we’ve been there. We did it together and now they’re doing it together. Now it feels good to be able to give them advice.”
Upcoming seniors Noah Baldwin and Landon Schmidt will keep both families returning for another season. The legacies will then take another break until the possible arrival of a seventh-generation Windsorite, which Alex Baldwin said, “wouldn’t be surprising.”
“The thing that’s fun for me is there are still families and friends who grew up here and now come and watch my and Troy’s kids,” said Mark Schmidt, who graduated in 1985. “There’s always that little special reminisce about 30 years ago, but here we are today, enjoying the moment.”
Follow sports reporter Quentin Sickafoose at twitter.com/QSickafoose.