Just as parents do, we have found over the years that we spend considerable time child watching. We appreciate that the child is the father of the man and all such youth-rearing aphorisms, but we are even more conscious that the child is the father of the Olympian. So, with a certain combination of earnestness and awe, we try to keep both a paternal and professional eye on high school sports. This isn't too hard, for you can no more ignore high school sports than you can ignore rock 'n' roll. There are about 35,000 high school quarterbacks, to drop a statistic, and half a million high school basketball games a season, more or less. What is difficult is picking one athlete or team to focus upon, as we have done this week with Indiana's Rick Mount (page 28).
Although Mount is the first high school boy representing a team sport to appear on our cover, he is far from the first high school athlete we have written about. Nor is he the first talented precollege youngster to be chosen as a cover subject by SI. At 15, Carol Heiss (Professional Children's School, New York City) was on our Feb. 7, 1955 cover, before she went on to win five world skating championships and a gold medal at the 1960 Winter Olympics in Squaw Valley. Runner Jim Ryun ( Wichita East High, Wichita, Kans.) made our cover on Sept. 14, 1964, Archer Ann Marston (Roosevelt High, Wyandotte, Mich.) did it on Aug. 8, 1955 and two teen-age runners, Marie Mulder and Janell Smith (Foothill Falls Junior High, Sacramento, Calif. and Fredonia High, Fredonia, Kans.), brightened our May 10, 1965 cover with their femininity.
Viewing the players en masse, we enjoyed a panoramic look at West Texas high school football with a 12-page color spectacle on Sept. 23, 1963 that showed several of that state's 936 high school teams in action. Earlier we investigated high school football in Pennsylvania (The Harvest That Comes in the Spring, June 18, 1956), and mentioned a player named Angelo Coia (Northeast High, Philadelphia), who became a pro end with the Bears and Redskins. When Texas and Pennsylvania decided to play an all-star game, we figured it was high school football at its best, and we have covered the event for the past two years. In our own youth—on Dec. 19, 1955—we pointed out The Hoosier Madness for basketball. Scouting for other high school basketball meccas we found a Renaissance in Pinckneyville (Feb. 2, 1959) and The Only Game in Panguitch, Utah (March 4, 1964). Now it is Indiana again, and young Mr. Mount.
But, in addition to these major stories, we have one section of the magazine in which a high-schooler is almost sure to appear each week—FACES IN THE CROWD (page 72). Often those we have selected have become standouts in any crowd. FACES subjects who have gone on to become cover subjects for us include, so far, Jerry Lucas, Jack Nicklaus, Dyrol Burleson, Ernie Koy Jr., Laurence Owen and Dallas Long. Among the FACES IN THE CROWD alumni who have not—at least not yet—become cover personalities but have often turned up in our pages are Arthur Ashe, Bruce Kidd, Mike McCormick, JoAnne Gunderson, Mel Renfro, Lew Alcindor, Dave Nicholson and Karen Hantze. In short, read FACES and you will soon be able to say you knew 'em when. Maybe one of them will even break the record Rick Mount sets in this issue—from FACES IN THE CROWD to our cover in 10 weeks.