Decades of Green Dragon Basketball

  • Alfred Eide named the Green Dragon basketball team in 1939

  • They played all home games outdoors on a cement tennis court

  • At night, automobiles would surround the court to provide light for the game

 Players: L to R – Roy Henderson, (Center), Barney Smoak, (Forward), Al Eide, (Forward), Howard Eide, (Guard), “Jr.” Guess

 Left: Shonda Callahan played 1981-84 and is now Head Coach of LP Lady Dragons

Left: Leonard Callahan representing present day LP Green Dragons

To find the origins of the Green Dragons, you must go back in time to 1939, when gas was 8 cents a gallon, WWII was making headlines, and Al Eide, a very athletic young man, was a senior at Lake Placid High School.  In those days, classes were small, and Al Eide and about thirteen other boys wanted to play football.  Their athletic coach feared they could not get enough players for a team, so he suggested they play basketball.  All the boys agreed, and fourteen boys joined the first team.  Now, number one on the agenda was to pick a name for their team.  The boys suggested several names, but Al Eide was now the team captain, and the boys gave him the job to come up with a team name.  Al studied the Boxer Rebellion in history class that year and because of his interest in the subject, Dragons were on his mind.  The Avon Park basketball team sported the name Red Devils, and the Sebring team the Blue Streaks.  LPHS colors were green, so Al put these two names together and came up with the Green Dragons.  They submitted the name to the L PH S administration, and they approved the name.

Green Dragons played in the Ridge Conference against Avon Park, Frostproof, Fort Meade, Sebring, Okeechobee and Mulberry, and went 12-8 in basketball in 1938-39.  They followed this with an outstanding 15-3 record the next season.

They always assigned the opposition’s best scorer to Eide, when they determined whom that was.  Eide would keep him from scoring.  They struggled a little on offense, but they played very physical defense.

In those days, there was no shot clock and the Green Dragons played their games on the old city tennis court, at what is now Bishop Park.  They played outdoors at night. Spectators would pull their automobiles facing around the court and they played their games under the stars by automobile light.  They drew good-sized crowds, and during the game, they passed the hat for admission.  It was dangerous playing on cement, and many of the opposing teams would wear kneepads and elbow protectors, but not the Green Dragons, they were “country boys” and they thought those who wore them were sissies. 

 
Artist Location Size Sponsor Note Audio

Keith Goodson

The Rhodes Law Firm, 307 E. Interlake Blvd 31 feet wide by 10 feet high

Roy and Ruth Henderson & Family, Alfred and Nan Eide and Family, Janice and Michael Semans, David and Susan Rhodes, Athletic Boosters

COMPLETED December 22, 2008 

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