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Tuesday, November 1, 2016

Coach Dunsmore's legacy

A column by John Anderson
Wellsville Daily Reporter

Coach Bob Dunsmore
There was something magical driving the winding road on Route 417 South heading into Bolivar on a Friday night. Just before the village limits you saw a glow. Then you saw the lights on old wood poles that lit the empty town, as everyone was at the field.

The first game I covered as a sports editor, just years removed from my teens, was in 1992 and I was told “No matter what happens, you are in luck. The head coach is Bob Dunsmore and he will take care of you.”

I needed it.

The opposing sideline was not a friendly place to be, but it was where I had to walk with my notepad as the chain gang is on that side and the old grass fields were only lined five yards at a time. The Bolivar fans overflowing from the full bleachers were outnumbering the away team fans on that side. They yelled at the sportswriter I was covering the game with, Gary Maloney from the Times Herald. They didn’t like where their Bulldogs were ranked and they didn’t think they were getting enough respect. I smiled. I knew this was where I wanted to be, covering games where everyone hung on every word I put into print.

The Bolivar team emerged from the school and the heat coming from their uniforms and heads created a smoke machine atmosphere as they made the long walk to the Bolivar Bulldog sideline. That’s when I first saw Coach Dunsmore. He was stoic and focused. I didn’t think his team had a chance. They were small and they had the most plain blue and white jerseys I have ever seen.

As they warmed up, I noticed their game ball was a plastic-molded Voit football with the hard rubber fake laces. The other teams had new all-weather leather balls.

When the action went inside the 10-yard-line, I made my way to the end zone, but could barely find a spot to take photos, as the fans were lined three-deep in this exclusive club of former players. The nicest thing I can say is, they were Bulldogs. No one ran a deep pass pattern in the back of the end zone with this alumni crew defending it.

Instead of going back to the chain gang and chasing it to do stats, I gravitated toward Coach Dunsmore. The opposing coaches all seemed to yell a lot and the sidelines were organized chaos. On the Bolivar side, Coach Dunsmore was so quiet, you would have thought assistants Joel Whitcher and Kelly Lounsberry were the head coaches.

I saw Whitcher and Lounsberry get excited with ideas, but run to Coach Dunsmore for approval. It seemed every move Dunsmore made worked. I thought, “this guy can coach.”

After the game.....Read more.....

2 comments :

Anonymous said...

What a great article and a wonderful way to remember and pay tribute to Mr./Coach Dunsmore.

Anonymous said...

Amen 12:00 pm, his personality tells it all; always had a smile, loved everyone, great coach, teacher, mentor, set an example for the young people,
Many prayers for his beautiful family!