Dear Editor,

The annual Dryden Alumni Basketball Night, held at Dryden High School on February 4, was a success again this year. We had a great turn out and everyone seemed to enjoy the evening. We got a glimpse of the future, the present and the past.

The night began with the junior high parents versus the junior high teams game. The parents jumped out to a big early lead but tired toward the end. The junior high teams won 49-45. That was a great way to start off the evening. We got to see the future of Dryden basketball.

Prior to the alumni game, the 1000 point Dryden basketball banner was revealed. Seven players have reached the 1000 mark during their varsity career; Paul Grondin 1963, Ken Kitchenmaster 1966, Rick Furgerson 1975, Pete Schihl 1984, Brianna Marsh 2015, John DelCampo 2018 and Jack Kaplan 2020. Four of the players; Grondin, Schihl, DelCampo and Kaplan; were in attendance at the game. “Hard work pays off, sometimes later than sooner,” said Grondin. “It only took 60 years for me to get on that gym wall. I was honored to stand out there with those young guys who could play.”

What a special moment. This is a very deserving honor for them.

The current Dryden varsity and JV teams had jobs throughout the night. They ranged from running contests to concessions to refereeing. “Refereeing the alumni game was a great and fun experience,” said junior Jacob Burgess. “It also really opened my eyes to how difficult it is to ref a game.”

For the alumni game, there was a draft held last week between Dave Reynolds (1997) and Marcus Leija (2002) (current girls’ basketball coaches). “The draft was a lot of fun. It was tough trying to figure out which guys would fit best on the team,” said Leija.

The game was close and intense with Team Reynolds winning 69-64. “Everyone played hard. I knew it was going to be close and it was,” said Reynolds. “Those are the best games to watch and be a part of.”

The evening was capped off with a reception after the game at Pine House Kitchen and Bar. It is a beautiful facility and the food was great. They have been very supportive of the basketball program.

Although final figures were not available, the evening raised over $2,000 for the Dryden basketball program. We are very grateful to everyone that played a part in the evening.

Next year’s game is tentatively slated for February 3, 2024.

— John DelCampo