By: Paige Cline
Sometimes, fortunately, good sense prevails in a controversy. Even in Wyoming County basketball.
Such was the case back in 1952. Baileysville had a good team and by February 1st they had a record of 6-1 against some formidable competition.
Led by an unhappy parent (the reports said), some members of the boosters club demanded that Coach Buren Hill resign. Anybody who knew anything about Hill knew that he was not about to let anyone tell him how to coach.
So Hill resigned and was reassigned to Pineville Grade School. Byron Rose, a former teammate of Hill’s at Pineville High, agreed to swap positions with Hill.
The next day, the students left their classes and protested by marching through the business district of Baileysville in an orderly manner. They admired and respected Buren Hill as a coach and as a teacher. And the parents agreed.
Jesse Morgan was the superintendent of schools at the time and personally investigated and mediated the controversy.
At a community meeting, a settlement was reached and, in response to popular demand, Hill was asked to return, which he did. Byron Rose again agreed to the switch and returned to Pineville Grade. Both men were back where they wanted to be all along.
Buren Hill is still remembered today as one of the most-loved, most-respected and most successful coaches in the history of the school.
All this took place in a week’s time, but it was enough to become a part of the tapestry woven with other small events to make up the rich and interesting history of Wyoming County sports.
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