Some time during this week most of the girls basketball programs in this area will be underway or very close to starting. This always brings back the memory of those first girls’ teams in the 70’s when the IHSAA opened the doors for girls’ sports. Rita Foster was the first recognizable name from southeastern Indiana when she led her Jac-Cen-Del teammates on a run for a state title. It was amazing to me how quickly these young ladies adapted to the competitive world of high school athletics. Recently at a Hall of Fame meeting the committee was reminiscing about some of the ladies that are already in the Ripley County Hall of Fame and others who are being considered to enter. One of my first experiences with women’s high school athletics involved Bernice Nobbe who (had it not been for a severe knee injury) would have made an even bigger splash in girls sports. Judy Bogenschutz also benefitted from this IHSAA decision. Bernice made her name in basketball as well as track, and Judy set the early standards for running at BHS. There has been a lot of improvement in the play of young ladies today compared to those pioneers of 40 years ago. If you get the chance, by a ticket and watch the Lady Bulldogs (or your favorite team) in action this year. Don’t get me wrong, Rita Foster played very well then and could still compete if she were in high school today with the skills she exhibited. Today there are just a lot more “Rita Fosters”.