FAIRMOUNT — In a time when it seems that fewer fans go to youth sports events, Fairmount resident Arlen Hasty is a “super fan.” A retiree who hasn’t had family members in the Madison-Grant Community School Corporation for decades, Hasty not only attends dozens of M-G school games, both home and away, but goes to many other games as well.
On one Saturday in February, Hasty attended seven games. No matter the price of gas or the weather, if young teams are playing, he is in the stands, sometimes going out of state to do so.
“It’s cheap. I just enjoy it,” Hasty says. “I went to Decatur the other night. The Eastbrook girls played Columbia City in the sectional up there. I go to a lot of games.
“Once I went to Elgin, Ill. when (M-G graduate) Chrissy Vetor played a game in college. I went up there and back the same night, got home at three in the morning. I wouldn’t do that again,” he laughed.
Anita Marley Manwell and husband Joe are parents of three children who currently attend or have graduated from M-G. “Even when we drove the farthest distances to see our kids play, Arlen was there. He didn’t even have a child on the team,” she says.
Hasty, a graduate of Fairmount High School, knows statistics and history for young athletes the way others know professional players.
“We’ve had some good boys and girls teams both,” he said. “Back in ‘70, ‘71, ‘72, we had some good teams. (Former coach) Jack Ford came in ‘73 and we won sectional the first season he was here. Craig Sullivan hit 13 out of 14 field goals against Marion.”
He can tick off that the M-G softball team has won seven sectional titles in the ‘90s and won the state championship in 2009. The boys high school basketball players’ names from the late ‘80s and the ‘90s easily come to mind, back when it was still single class — especially the time in ‘92 when M-G took two overtimes to beat Marion in the sectional.