RYAN SCOTT OTTNEY
PDT Staff Writer
NEW BOSTON — After nearly 100 years, New Boston High School closed its doors this year in anticipation of the new K-12 school building expected to open for the new school year. With the old school, the community also said goodbye to the Tiger Den basketball court where many have played. Former teacher and coach Steve Jenkins has now published a book with his son Scott Jenkins remembering the history of Tiger basketball.
The idea for the book, titled “Tiger Pride: The Story of Glenwood Basketball and 88 years of Basketball in the Tiger Den,” came on the night of the last basketball game played in the high school gymnasium.
“There was a full house and everybody was asking questions about how long the gym has been here, when did the play, how many championships; all these questions, but nobody really had the answers. We said it was a shame that nobody knows this stuff, so we decided to write something about the history of New Boston basketball,” Steve Jenkins said.
The book features a pictorial history of New Boston high school basketball, going back to the 1920s. It features line-ups, photos, notes, newspaper clippings, and more recordings of Tiger history.
“I had a lot of stuff on-hand, but for a lot of this — I have read almost every sports page from the Portsmouth Daily Times from about 1923 to present on microfilm at the library. I think I spent about 250 hours just researching and going through the microfilm to get the records, the scores, the teams, and if they had any photos in the paper. And I went through every year book that I could find,” Jenkins said.
The gymnasium has been a special part of Jenkins’ life and family for as long as he can remember. He grew up in the school where his father coached. Jenkins also was a coach and teacher for New Boston School for 33 years, and his own son — who co-authored the book — also coached at New Boston School.
“The gym has had a special connection for us, and I think it’s one of the highlights of my life to be able to collaborate with my son writing a book about the gym,” Jenkins said.
The Tigers played their very last high school game in the gymnasium on Feb. 18, 2012, defeating the East Tartans 73-63. Scott Jenkins had the honor of refereeing that game. The lights went off, and the doors were locked. Jenkins called his book a final stamp to remember the long, proud history of the Tiger Den.
“It seems like 88 years in the same gym has to be a record. I just can’t believe that anybody in the state of Ohio has played more than 88 years in the same facility,” Jenkins said.
The book can be purchased directly from Steve Jenkins by calling 740-456-6638, or Scott Jenkins at 740-574-1287, or the New Boston Mayor’s Office at 740-456-4103. Books cost $20 each — just enough to cover the cost of publishing them, Jenkins said. The first print run of 50 copies quickly sold out; a new shipment of 50 has just arrived, and 50 more have already been ordered.
This fall, New Boston will begin a new chapter to write about as they enter their new K-12 school building on Lakeview Avenue.
Ryan Scott Ottney can be reached at 740-353-3101, ext. 235, or firstname.lastname@example.org.