Published 12:01 am Thursday, January 17, 2013

Pleasant Home’s Chase Gunter (20) and Jon Cole Chesser (3) in action during their area game against Geneva County Friday night. Pleasant Home has a deep tradition of playing basketball. | Andrew Garner/Star-News/Birmingham News File photo

Traditions run deep and in the world of Pleasant Home, basketball and homecoming are no different.

Jim Garner, who spent 24 years as principal at PHS, said having the annual school celebration game during the hardwood season was and is still big to this day.

“It just was kind of a tradition,” Garner said. “I was always big on tradition.

“It was always a big thing. When I first went to Pleasant Home, the gym lobby was very, very small. The cafeteria was built at the same time the gym was built.

“We completed the concession stand and multipurpose room and moved in the fall of 1997,” he said. “That really helped to enhance things (at homecoming). Now, they can have their alumni room set up in there and the big lobby (at the front of the school) gives people room enough to mill around and visit.”

Tomorrow night, Pleasant Home’s girls and boys basketball teams will host Kinston for their homecoming game.

Since 2000, the small Covington County school has fielded a varsity football team and for the past 13 years, homecoming has always been during basketball season.

PHS boys basketball coach Jerry Davis said having homecoming during basketball season is nothing new to him. In fact, he’s spent 29 years of his 38 total as a head coach with homecoming during hoops season.

From a coaching stand point, homecoming can be a big distraction for his players, Davis said. The Eagles game tomorrow night is an area contest and wins are crucial at this stage of the season.

“I don’t know too many people who are coaches that do like it,” he sad. “It’s for the kids and the alumni and all that. That’s what homecoming’s all about.

“The kids got everything in the work going on,” he said.

Davis was eluding to the fact that traditionally after the basketball game, PHS hosts a homecoming dance.

In the number of years Davis has been head coach for the Eagles, he’s said the crowd numbers are huge for homecoming.

“The place is packed out,” he said.

The gym will be packed out Friday night as the tradition continues at Pleasant Home.