Then something happened: great basketball.

So, he wrote Volume II.

“The last book I wrote was Troy Barnies’ senior year,” Gibson said, referring to the Red Eddies great who is now playing basketball overseas. “You can argue that the last few years, since Troy’s (senior) year, this has been the most successful time in the history of EL basketball. In fact, you can’t even argue it, it is.”

“The History of Edward Little/Lewiston Basketball Volume II” was officially released Tuesday night at a party at Gippers Sports Grill in Auburn. Past players, coaches and parents showed up to grab a copy of the book and talk hoops. It’s his third book. The second was “The Battle of the Bridge: The History of Edward LIttle and Lewiston Football.”

On the last page of his books, Gibson writes “I.N.M.W.,” and acronym for “If not me, who?”

It’s clear from talking to him that Gibson’s books meld two of his passions: history and sports, specifically those of the Twin Cities’ high school teams. He teaches history at Auburn Middle School and serves as the PA announcer at Edward Little games. He also knows many families on both sides of the Lewiston-EL rivalry, and he is family to many on both sides of the rivalry.

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“I have such a connection on both sides (of the rivalry), plus I teach history, so I feel like, kind of, it should be me doing it,” Gibson said.

Gibson graduated from EL in 1979. He played football and baseball but only lasted a year on the basketball team. Gibson realized there weren’t many minutes to go around with players such as Mick Philbrook and Tim Masse. Masse played for EL while his father, longtime Lewiston coach and AD, was coaching Lewiston.

A lot of Gibson’s research came from the schools’ yearbooks and articles from the Sun Journal and its previous iterations that he found through Google Archive.

One of the highlights of Gibson’s latest book is a countdown of the 15 best boys’ EL and Lewiston teams and 10 best girls’ EL and Lewiston teams.

Gibson admits it is a subjective process. He said the No. 1 Lewiston boys’ team was a easy: the 1960 team that won the state championship. Fern Masse was an assistant coach for that team.

“The 60 team at Lewiston has been one of the best in the state over the years,” Masse said Tuesday. “I’ve followed basketball for a number of years throughout the state, and they’re one of the top teams. Outstanding team. Won the state championship and got beat in the New England finals.”

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The No. 1 Red Eddies and Blue Devils girls’ teams in Gibson’s opinion were the only ones to make it to the state championship games, the 1999 Lewiston team and last year’s EL team.

“I think it’s so hard, obviously, to judge group against group,” Jipson said. “But I don’t want to take anything away from my last year’s team. The Portland schools are so good, Oxford Hills and Lewiston are so good, it means a lot to win (the regional championship) with eight good teams, and I thought there were eight good teams in the (AA) North last year.”

The top Eddies boys’ team wasn’t quite as easy, but Gibson chose the 1920 team.

“The most fun team is the 1920 EL boys,” Gibson said. “Literally, they changed basketball in the state of Maine. The MPA basketball tournament was created because of their success. The five-foul rule was because of how physical they were. There’s so much about the 1920 team; they’re absolutely one of my most favorite teams of all time.”

The best story might be about that team’s coach, Bill Skinner.

Skinner played a major role in bringing basketball to the Twin Cities. In 1906, when he was 15 years old, the same age as the game of basketball, he led a group of young men to the YMCA to see if it would sponsor a team.

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By the time he was 21, Skinner was the Edward Little varsity coach.

Eight years later, in 1920, a team from Haverhill, Massachusetts, that claimed to be the New England champion challenged EL to a game.

“Back then, you had to provide one referee,” Gibson said. “Allegedly, the assistant coach goes down there and introduced himself as Bill Skinner. Bill Skinner, allegedly, shows up as the ref. So the Edward Little coach is reffing the game.”

EL won the game, but news of Skinner’s alleged deception got back to the EL principal, who fired Skinner.

“The entire student body walks out of school,” Gibson said. “They were not going to return to school until Bill Skinner was hired back as the coach. Isn’t that awesome?”

The Auburn mayor got involved, siding with the students, and with no proof against Skinner, he was given his job back.

Gibson’s book is on sale for $20 at Gippers, Gee and Bee Sporting Goods and Super Shoes in the Auburn Mall. Once he has sold enough books to cover printing costs, Gibson said he will donate 150 books to each of the four basketball programs to sell.


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