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The Eyes

By Ira Socol '73

A shouldn't-be-forgotten component of the 3Is was the program's sports efforts of the 70s. The Eyes competed against other schools, mostly other alternative high schools, in basketball, baseball, and flag football. The basketball team also played in New Rochelle's Recreation League.

Sports were big enough in those early years that one Mamaroneck High School student was shocked to meet someone doing artistic things in the 3Is. "I thought it was just a sports program," she said.

The major rivals were Alpha from White Plains and SWAS from Mamaroneck, and games were played against teams from as far away as Great Neck (we played their alternative high school in basketball at the Nassau Coliseum, before a New York Nets game) and even Philadelphia (the "Parkway School," the original model for the 3Is).

Sometimes we played pretty well, other times we racked up what The First I called "moral victories." The Standard-Star actually gave us pretty good press coverage, because we made good headlines: "Eyes Left Blinking," "Eyes Blinded." The greatest First I article on a basketball game (written by Kurt Ochshorn) began "Twelve men walk from a cold night into an even colder arena. All know what they must do during the next two hours, but eleven know they will not do it."

We also had decent fan support, and Alan Shapiro wrote cheers and songs ("Rickety-Rack, Gold and Black, Yeah Eyes!" and a great rewrite of "Meet the Mets" that mentioned Larry Schessel and Billy Sanders -- "We've got Lazy Larry, the big ol' cat. We're even gonna give you a little Baby Fat."). Why our colors were gold and black was never explained; maybe that was just the color the basketball uniforms came in.

A typical 1971-72 basketball starting lineup:

F-Jay Simson
F-Dan "The Man" Brandt
C-Paul Glantz
G-Frankie Williams
G-Michael "Miguel Weo-Clemente" Yellin

Others who played basketball: Billy "Baby Fat" Sanders, Andy Markusfeld, Glenn Boornazian, Paul Shapiro, Ira Socol, Kurt Ochshorn, Peter Siegel, Ira Weinstein, Matt Kass, Peter Ogman. A special note about Josh Peck: He managed to suffer a concussion playing the line in a 3Is vs. Alpha flag football game at City Park.

If anyone can add detail to this story, email me at gotham22365@yahoo.com. Thanks, Ira Socol '73.

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