The Runnin’ Indian Fastbreak Club’s inaugural golf tournament honored two Indian basketball legends while raising funds for the basketball program and Alzheimer’s research.
Named for Dr. David Williams and coach Jack Aldridge, the day started with an 18-hole tournament where 17 teams competed for the top awards before concluding with an awards dinner in the club house at the Waxahachie Country Club.
“When the idea of a golf tournament was brought up, I told them I didn’t know that much about golf,” Waxahachie High School head coach Greg Gober said. “But, with a lot of help, we were able to pull off this inaugural tournament and, hopefully, many more years to follow.”
Coordinating the event was Polly Williams. “The money raised through the entry fees, dinner sales and auctions will be split between supporting the basketball program and Alzheimer’s research,” she said.
The guest of honor and speaker was former coach John Nichols. Joining him were some players from the teams he had coached, including several members of the 1983 state championship team: Michael Byrd, Tim Roberts and Gober.
Nichols recognized many of the coaches and supporters of the Indians through the years.
“No single person has had the impact on the Waxahachie community that Dr. Dave Williams has had,” Nichols said, who recalled how Williams would go to the games and practices and saw that the players received the attention they needed.
Describing basketball coach J.W. Williams, Nichols said, “He is acknowledged as building a tradition of excellence. He instilled in his players to believe in themselves and strive for the highest of excellence.”
Nichols spoke next of the success of coach Jack Aldridge. “If Coach Aldridge was a coach today and my son was playing, I would want Jack to be his coach. He taught his boys much about life as well as basketball.”
Nichols then shared the effects that Alzheimer’s has had on Aldridge.
“It is my prayer that if the Lord doesn’t come soon, all the research on Alzheimer’s will pay off,” Nichols said.
In closing the evening, Gober took to the podium to thank all of the volunteers who were a part of the benefit tournament. He attributed his success to the lessons he learned from his past coaches and to the dedication of his assistants.
“I’m proud to be the head coach of this great school,” Gober said.
The first place winning team was Brian Simmons, Jeff Turner, Mike Turner and Chris Kelly. The second place team was Johnny Cathey, Joe Rushing and B. Saylors. Coming in at third were Tony Walsh, Cole Johnson and Jeff Madden.