I’ve been to a few games in the Fred Pickett Gymnasium at Chester High School this year to watch a little basketball. What you can count on for most games is a small crowd. Last night was an exception.

On a rare occasion, the bleachers under the basket were let out to accommodate the announced crowd of 1600 spectators. There were gaps of open seats all around the gym but this was the biggest crowd I’ve seen in the last few years thanks in part to it being Senior Night.


I was planning to attend at least half the game to capture some photos but earlier in the week plans were being made for a group of guys to meet up at the game and have dinner afterwards. They invited me to join and since the word dinner was mentioned, I accepted the invitation with no mention of my intent to be there anyway.

One guy missed his flight due to bad weather and didn’t make it to town. Another guy said he’d be a little late, and this is where our story begins.


With about a minute left in the first quarter, I get a text …

Couldn’t get in. They told us it was a fire hazard. Guess that means the place is filled to the gills.

I looked around and saw plenty of empty seats in 4 of the 6 sections.

Police telling me of fights and ‘let-out.’ Is that right?

Unless there was some commotion in the corridor, folks were in the gym enjoying a very competitive game with a great crowd I’d wish would show up at every game.

I can’t speak for the police or the decision makers who stopped letting people into the building, but for those of you turned away, there were still plenty of seats; no fights that I could see; and a great game.

They obviously didn’t know who it was they weren’t letting in and my guys didn’t make a big deal about it. I guess I didn’t help matters by telling them what was really going on inside. It’s not a good look especially if the only reason they didn’t fill the place is because they are scared of basketball fans.

We suck at reputation management around here.

Chester High basketball fans are the best!