February 7, 2012
Tuesday marked the final regular season home game to be played at the Shoebox and the memory-filled gymnasium was filled to capacity with current and former fans, coaches, and players there to witness the finale. The teams will play next season at their brand new high school facility.
"You see a lot of people that you haven't seen in a while," said Daryl Parrish, a 1992 graduate."It's still a good program going on here, still talent coming out of Fluvanna. It's always great to come back home."
"Tonight was very emotional," said 1994 grad Cliff Gregory. "You see a lot of great players out there from the past times but also great people. "
In between the Fluvanna girls' and boys' games, all former players and coaches gathered on the court for a brief recognition. Coach Munro Rateau, who has been coaching the Flucos since 1981, was among the group reconnecting with his former all-stars. Many of the players returning were members of the 1989 and 1990 state championship teams.
"We did very well in the early 90's, it was just some great years," said Gregory. "It reminds me of Duke-North Carolina. When you think of Fluvanna basketball you think of the top echelon."
"It's a good thing because you get other kids involved," said Charles Agee, Class of 1988. "When they see other people come back and see the program's going in the right direction. I played with a lot of good players and we tried to keep it as a family-type thing and that's what it's been the whole time."
The gymnasium has been in use since 1976 and was named the Shoebox in 2005. FlucoSportsNet owner and voice Bryan Rothamel had a hand in naming the facility when he was part of Fluvanna's student-run television station.
"It was along with Luke Bashore, we said a lot of crazy things on air," said Rothamel "We were trying to come up with a name to get a little more excitement. We went through a few names and finally came up with the Shoebox. One of us finally said it on-air as a joke and all of a sudden it took off."