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  Martinsville High School Alumni
Class of 1966 Message List
Missing Steve Saunders - 13
01/13/06     Mel Cartwright  (1966)      mel_cartwright@yahoo.com
Often when a New Year arrives, we take the time to honor those who left us in the previous one. This past fall Steven K. Saunders passed away in Myrtle Beach, SC. Steve moved to Martinsville from Roanoke as a child when his father moved here to assume a position as an engineer at DuPont. Steve played on the 1964 and 1966 Basketball State Championship teams, and was named co-MVP of the 1966 team, as well as selected to the All State team.

This is the 40th anniversary of that 66 team that was decimated by Mumps, lost 8 consecutive contests and yet won it all with a barely winning record of 12-11. This brought home the first of seven for legendary Coach Husky Hall. Forty years ago almost all teams played a two guard front. The specialization of a point guard and shooting guard had not yet become accepted methodology.

He went on to play at Fork Union and for four years at Roanoke College where he was a standout guard. While in college I had the opportunity of watching Steve play other opponents, and had the task as well as pleasure of playing against him. I thought the manner that Steve played contributed to the change in style.

While attending services for Steve held in Martinsville, I had a chance to talk to Steves college coach Charlie Moir who in addition to winning a National Championship at Roanoke College went on to coach both Tulane University and Virginia Tech. He confirmed what I thought, that Steve was a true point guard before the term was coined, and helped change the way he recruited and coached.

A point guard runs the show, he is a coach on the floor and most important puts team success well above need for personal statistics. I had the pleasure of knowing and being close to Steve for almost fifty years. He was businessman, family man and friend who lived and led in the same unselfish manner that he played basketball. All who knew him will miss him.

Mel Cartwright
1406 Whittle Road
Martinsville, VA 24112


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