I know that the 1970-71 Mount Vernon ( N.Y.) High team on which Gus Williams, Rudy Hackett and Earl Tatum played was a fine one, but the best high school team that year was East Chicago, Ind.'s Washington High Senators. Their lineup included Pete Trgovich, who went on to play for UCLA's 1973 and 1975 national champions, Junior Bridgeman (1975 NCAA semifinalist Louisville and the Milwaukee Bucks), Tim Stoddard (1974 national champion North Carolina State; now a relief pitcher for the Baltimore Orioles) and Darnell Adell ( Murray State and North Carolina State; now the coach at Washington High). That fine team went 29-0. It also consistently scored in the 90s. The Indianapolis Star called it perhaps the finest Indiana team ever.
Bill Johnson's delightful article on Phil and Steve Mahre (Double Trouble on the Slopes, Jan. 18) brought back memories of a time nearly forgotten, a time when all athletes were as humble and respectful as the Mahre twins. They played their sport not for money and glory, but because it was fun and they enjoyed doing it. They weren't arrogant and greedy men, always looking for the limelight and a higher salary, and they wouldn't go on strike to get such things. They were out on the court, field or slope, striving to improve themselves for the self-satisfaction of it, and for self-respect. Phil and Steve are members of a dying breed of athletes that I, for one, will truly miss.
Iowa City, Iowa
Phil and Steve Mahre are two of the finest athletes—and certainly the two finest skiers—America has produced. In European countries, where awareness of World Cup skiing competition is high, their names are household words. It's a pleasure to see them begin to get the recognition they deserve here in America.
DAVID LAMPERT JR.
PRETTY GOOD GOLFER
Barry McDermott's article on Jan Stephenson (More Than a Pretty Face, Jan. 18) was long overdue. Following Stephenson's amazing 18-under-par performance at the Mary Kay Classic in Dallas last August, I wondered how on earth you could have passed up the chance to have her grace your cover. She is certainly worthy of all the adulation, publicity and money being bestowed upon her. But, as McDermott's article reveals, the athlete or entertainer who sacrifices everything to be the absolute best often shortchanges his or her life in other areas. I just hope that Jan can learn to love life outside of golf as much as her thousands of followers adore her.
Ocean Park, Maine
As one who has always considered golf a non-sport suitable for coverage only on the society pages, I was surprised to find myself reading and actually enjoying Barry McDermott's article. Yep, Jan Stephenson-is much more than a pretty face. She is a very beautiful woman. I don't know whether to be chagrined or excited over the fact that, from now on, I will be scanning the LPGA scores on the sports pages and unashamedly rooting for her.
LANNY R. MIDDINGS
San Ramon, Calif.
I just wanted to let you know how deeply impressed I was with Walt Spitzmiller's paintings of the rodeo (Ride 'Em, Dec. 28-Jan. 4). They are powerful—they take one's breath away—and beautiful and so alive!
Thank you for letting Spitzmiller choose his own subject. He obviously loves the rodeo and he made us readers appreciate it more. He's a superb artist.
In response to your article A Game No One Should Have Lost (Jan. 11), I must object to your description of my colleague and former boss, Kurt Benirschke, M.D. (Rolfs father), as a "German-born animal pathologist." While it is true that one of Kurt's current jobs is Director of Research at the San Diego Zoo, he is primarily a physician who also is Professor of Pathology here at the University of California, San Diego Medical School. He spends a considerable part of his time teaching in the medical school and practicing obstetrical and gynecologic pathology at University Hospital. Kurt not only has been chairman of this pathology department, but also was chairman of the same department at Dartmouth Medical School before coming to San Diego.
SIDNEY L. SALTZTEIN, M.D.
Professor of Pathology University of California, San Diego