Loggers dedicate plaque to Jim England

Print Article

  • The plaque in Ralph Tate Memorial Gym that commemorates the nearly four decades Jim England called Logger basketball from the KLCB booth. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 1

    With Jim Englands family present and Jim Mee and Don Walker saying a few words about their friend, the community prepared to unveil the plaque dedicated in his honor. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 2

    Libby High School Athletic Director Nik Rewerts unveils the plaque to Jim England during halftime of the girls basketball game Saturday. (Ben Kibbey/The Westwern News)

  • The plaque in Ralph Tate Memorial Gym that commemorates the nearly four decades Jim England called Logger basketball from the KLCB booth. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 1

    With Jim Englands family present and Jim Mee and Don Walker saying a few words about their friend, the community prepared to unveil the plaque dedicated in his honor. (Ben Kibbey/The Western News)

  • 2

    Libby High School Athletic Director Nik Rewerts unveils the plaque to Jim England during halftime of the girls basketball game Saturday. (Ben Kibbey/The Westwern News)

Libby High School unveiled a new plaque high in the Ralph Tate Memorial Gym Saturday night to commemorate a man who loved to sit where the plaque now hangs.

Jim England spent almost 40 years calling Logger basketball from the KLCB booth that hangs above the bleachers, and fellow broadcaster — and fellow retired educator — Jim Mee spearheaded the creation of a plaque to commemorate his time there.

“Jim loved basketball,” Mee said. “He watched more basketball games than anybody I know. I mean, he’d watch them here, if there wasn’t a game here, sometimes he’d go to Troy to watch.”

England started calling games in the fall of 1981, alongside Don Walker, who has since returned to the booth.

Walker said he stepped away from basketball in the 1990s, but came back to help out after England passed away last winter.

“The previous guys who had worked in the booth just decided to move on to different jobs,” Walker said. “So, we just got thrown in there, and that was it.”

And Jim England stayed, calling his last game last January. Mee recalled that it was a game versus Browning.

“We did the Browning Indians, Jim had heart surgery, and never recovered, really,” Mee said.

The aficionado

Walker and Mee agreed, if a person wanted an answer about any question related to basketball, England was the man to go to.

“If you ever had a question about basketball, the first person you asked was Jim. If he didn’t know, he’d know where you could get the answer,” Walker said.

Sometimes he knew the rules better than the referees, he said. Some of that was simply due to his paying attention and keeping up with rule changes.

Mee pointed out that the booth is also the best seat in the house, and gives a perspective on what’s happening that no one else has.

“You could officiate a ball game up here more efficiently than on the floor,” Mee said.

He demonstrated the way England would pound the shelf desk in the booth when making declarations about a call he disagreed with.

“I swear that there are dents in here,” Mee said.

Unlike a rowdy fan, it wasn’t about who the call was made on.

To England, a good call was a good call and a bad call was a bad call, Mee and Walker agreed.

“Naturally we pull for the Loggers, but we try and be even, because, heck, these are kids out there having a good time, and that’s what it’s all about,” Walker said.

Community

For the fans who couldn’t be at the games, England was their eyes.

Mee recalled the radios deposited around the mill when it was open, which would always play the games when they were on.

“In a town this size, if you’re not related to somebody who’s playing, they’re your next door neighbor. It’s a community thing,” Mee said.

And community mattered to England, Mee said.

“Jim had maybe four things in his life that really counted: his faith, his family, the community and basketball,” he said.

He served his community as a teacher, starting at Asa Wood when it was a junior high school around 1967, Mee said. Later he moved with the junior high and kept teaching 8th grade.

He eventually became a counselor, and after he retired, he ran for the school board.

“I’d rather have a root canal than be on the school board,” Mee said.

But England was there for his community however he could be.

“If something needed to be done and he could do it, ‘Yeah, I’ll help out with that; Yeah, I can do that; I’ve got time to do that,’” Walker said.

“There was no nicer guy in the world then Jim England,” Mee said. “He was just a super guy. Just one of those people that -- just a good guy.”

Print Article

Read More Local News

Sheriff-elect looks to build relationships

December 07, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News Darren Short will not take office as Lincoln County Sheriff until January, but the transition has already begun. Since the election was decided during the primary — with Short running unopposed in...

Comments

Read More

(No heading)

December 07, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News ...

Comments

Read More

Libby man on deferred imposition arraigned for assault

December 07, 2018 at 5:00 am | Western News A Libby man who received a six-year deferred imposition of sentence in August for a guilty plea for felony burglary was arraigned in Montana 19th Judicial District Court on Monday for multiple feloni...

Comments

Read More

911 call leads Libby PD to toy guns in student’s car

December 04, 2018 at 2:29 pm | Western News A 911 call on Tuesday about a truck driving in the direction of Libby Public Schools while holding what appeared to be a firearm ended with no real threat, but the response from the schools and law...

Comments

Read More

Contact Us

(406) 293-4124
311 California Ave.
Libby, MT 59923

©2018 The Western News Terms of Use Privacy Policy
X
X