A new book detailing the history of Presque High School basketball from 1950 to the present is a comprehensive tome chock full of statistics, rosters, other highlights and photos from the last six decades.
It’s missing just one item – the name of the man who put it all together.
“I forgot to put my name on the book as the author,” said Jim Carter, a 1964 Presque Isle graduate now retired after a long career as a teacher and coach in the Caribou school system. “I guess I’ll have to make sure I sign them all.”
Carter received the first copies of his book, “Six Decades of Wildcat Basketball: A History of Boys & Girls Basketball at Presque Isle High School 1950-2009,” from the printer Monday, and made his first sale the same evening.
The 92-page book features sections on boys basketball at Presque Isle by decade, girls basketball from 1950 to 1973 and then from 1975 to the present by decade, coaching records, members of the school’s 1,000-point club, all-state selections, Eastern Maine all-tournament selections, all-conference honorees, boys rosters from 1950 to 2009, girls rosters from 1975 to 2009 and 15 pages of vintage photos.
The book is a sequel of sorts to “Fifty-One years of Basketball Playing in Aroostook County, Maine: 1900-1950,” by Nathan W. White.
“I had been researching and writing some stories about former star athletes at Presque Isle High School,” said Carter. “I had written stories on the basketball teams from the 1960s, and when that got out some people approached me asking me ‘why not do a book?’”
“I had already done research about the teams in the 70s, and with the 60s and 70s down, I thought why not?”
Carter researched the book by scouring microfilm from various newspapers, poring through scorebooks and scrapbooks and interviewing former players.
Scrapbooks compiled by Bill Hanscom, who coached the Presque Isle boys to a 369-188 record from 1931 to 1956 and guided the Wildcats to their only state title on the boys side in 1932, had been donated to the public library.
“They were a fountain of information,” said Carter, “and there were some great pictures, too.”
Carter also was appreciative of the cooperation of Presque Isle High School, which made available its library of old scorebooks and scrapbooks highlighting past teams.
Carter also gleaned considerable information by going through old newspapers.
“How much you learned about a particular team depended on who was writing about the teams at different times,” said Carter, who cited the work of Del Hodgkins for the Star-Herald as particularly helpful. “Sometimes if a team didn’t have that good of a season, I’d go to the team roster and then contact some of the players for help.”
Carter estimates he spent 1,200 to 1,500 hours doing research, keying information into his computer, editing and working with photos.
And from that effort, Carter hopes the names of such former Wildcat stars as Barney Perry, Eric Weider, Steve Condon, Denise Guerrette, Debbie Lennon, Kathy Roope, Kim Condon, Brianna Blanchard and Katie Delong will remain in the Presque Isle basketball consciousness for decades to come.
“I think doing this has raised awareness of some of the great players of the past,” said Carter.
For more information or to purchase the book, contact Carter at 764-1217 or 551-3452 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.