Two Carson City sisters are organizing a reunion for city and tribal league sports from the 1960s through the 1980s.
“It’s a time to remember the good ol’ days and all the beautiful people we met along the way,” said Jean McNicoll, 78. “It was great.”
McNicoll, also known as Harriet or Yetta, and her sister Myrna Rivera, 59, are planning the reunion. It’s set for 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Feb. 15 at the Carson Colony Senior Center, 401 Washoe St.
Both women played in Carson City’s softball league and volleyball and basketball programs. They also played on Native American teams that traveled throughout the West to compete. They went on to coach those teams.
“Half of Carson played ball with us,” McNicoll said.
Rivera played in her first competitive basketball game when she was 11, on a team of adult women.
“I was short and skinny, scrawny,” she recalled. “My sister threw me the ball, and I just heard this herd of buffalo coming after me. I just threw the ball up and got out of the way because it scared me.”
Fear soon gave way to a passion for athletics that she still has.
“I played softball last year with one of my daughter’s teams,” Rivera said. “Even though I’m old, I could still outplay some of those young girls. They just don’t have ball sense.”
McNicoll grew up playing sports with her brothers and cousins on the Carson Colony.
“I just had fellows to do activities with,” she said. “I played basketball, baseball, football and even boxed. But this was before Title IX. Even though I was good, there was no future for me in sports.”
Throughout the years, McNicoll, who was a state champion in Nevada, Arizona and California, has collected autographs and other sports memorabilia and will have it for display at the reunion. Players and their families are welcome and are asked to bring old photographs along with a dish for the potluck.
“We don’t have too many pictures because we were always playing,” Rivera said.
McNicoll is looking forward to seeing familiar faces and sharing stories.
“They only time we ever see anybody is at our funerals,” she said. “That’s a sad scene. This will be a fun time to talk about old times and reminisce.”