Historical Society pitches local sports at library

Patrick Fisher, Staff Writer

New Prague's early sports history went on display at the New Prague Library, 400 Main St. E, in the form of trophies, photos and other memorabilia. The souvenirs of past teams and victories can be viewed in cases maintained by the New Prague Historical Society until November.

Dennis Dvorak of the society explained the trophies of basketball and other sports are from New Prague High School. Other keepsakes include those from Sokol, a Bohemian organization that organized sports for young men and women and boys and girls. The various teams began in the community in 1885. There are also photos of the Seals, a local baseball team that had been organized by the New Prague Flouring Mill. The team was a way to curb drinking among young men. Francis Bean, founder of the mill, wanted to offer young men an alternative. Other mills also sponsored teams. One of the furthest trips the Seals made was to Winnipeg in Canada.

Dvorak noted some of the teams didn't have a gym to play in until 1924 when the first high school was built. Before that the played in a dance hall above what was then the Nickolay Saloon (now Miller's Tap). Providing that piece of history was Ann (Sticha) Juni, 103, formerly of New Prague now living in Baxter.

She told me about how they used to play above there

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