Wright attended Monroe within the early Sixties
ABOVE VIDEO: A few years have handed since Wille “Ric-Rac” Wright attended the African-American-only Monroe Excessive Faculty within the early Sixties, however his former coach says watching Wright on the sphere and the basketball courtroom was magical.
2016 PREP INDUCTEE: ‘One of many Greatest Operating Backs I’ve Ever Seen’ – Coach Dick Blake
BREVARD COUNTY, FLORIDA – A toddler’s recreation that has by no means grown previous is Ric-Rac, the one-person paddleboard recreation with the paddle connected to the ball through an elastic string.
The little connected ball can go extremely quick and in surprising instructions, given half an opportunity.
Like the sport for which he was named, Willie “Ric-Rac” Wright as a highschool athlete was nimble and moved in unpredictable methods.
“He’s the one participant I’ve ever recognized who might run at 50 miles an hour, cease on a dime and take off at 50 miles an hour in the other way,” mentioned Rockledge Councilman Richard Blake, who as soon as was Wright’s soccer and basketball coach at Cocoa’s Monroe Excessive Faculty.
A few years have handed since Wright attended Monroe within the early Sixties, however Blake nonetheless remembers his star athlete fondly.
“He had the energy, the dimensions and the pace,” mentioned Blake. “He had all of the credentials.”
Blake was lucky to teach many proficient gamers, however even after a long time have handed, Wright stays on the prime. If Wright had a fault, nonetheless, it was the timing of his beginning.
“Ric-Rac was born too quickly,” mentioned Blake. “Nowadays, all the nice colleges like Notre Dame, Georgia Tech and College of Florida would have been throughout him, as a result of he was that good.”
Sadly, Wright grew up within the 50s and 60s, when segregation was a part of the day by day routine. White college students went to Cocoa Excessive Faculty, whereas African-American children attended Monroe Excessive Faculty, the place Blake first found Wright.
“Ric-Rac, nearly as good as he was, couldn’t attend Cocoa Excessive as a result of he was black,” mentioned Blake.
Whereas the adults tried to maintain the 2 races aside, the youngsters typically practiced integration on their very own time.
“The humorous half is that the white children and the black children would get collectively on weekends to play soccer within the metropolis playground, however come Monday morning, everyone went to their separate colleges,” mentioned Blake.
To Blake, watching Wright on the sphere and the basketball courtroom generally appeared magical.
“He was the most effective operating backs I’ve ever seen,” mentioned Blake, who continues to be in awe when he recounts the time Wright scored 5 touchdowns in a single recreation.
Soccer wasn’t the one sport for Ric-Rac. “He was additionally glorious at basketball,” mentioned Blake.
When Wright graduated from highschool, there have been no school scouts able to signal him. Florida colleges of upper schooling had been infamous for his or her segregationist insurance policies, so Wright headed for the Military and afterward, a stint with the Daytona Sharks.
“At the moment, there have been only a few blacks who made it to the NFL,” mentioned Blake.
“I don’t doubt that if Ric-Rac had been born somewhat later, he would have made it to the NFL.”
Although a long time have handed, individuals nonetheless bear in mind Ric-Rac.
“Folks on this space, regardless of in the event that they’re black or white, nonetheless discuss him,” mentioned Blake.
“My son, who performed soccer for the Miami Dolphins, used to ask me if Ric-Rac walked on water as a result of I talked so extremely of him. I’ve seen the easiest of gamers, and Ric-Rac was up there with the perfect. God blessed him with a lot expertise.”
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