By Ray Hamill — The Fortuna Huskies returned to practice in boys basketball on Monday, with a new tradition in place to honor an old friend.
This season, after each practice the Huskies will recognize one player from each of their three teams for their hard work during that session.
The players will be awarded a blue Gatorade and honored as the “Big Ed Player of the Night” in remembrance of Eddie Houseworth, who passed away last year.
The former Fortuna Husky influenced many local players during his time as a player and coach in the area, including a stint coaching the Huskies, and his passing was felt by many sports fans here on the North Coast.
“Ed was a couple of years ahead of me and I watched him play at Fortuna Middle School and at Fortuna High,” Huskies head coach Norm Sotomayor said. “He just was a student of the game and he loved the game.
“Ed was never the fastest or most athletic, but he was a top-notch basketball player and he did all the little things right.”
The first recipients of the Big Ed Player of the Night award were Edgar Dominguez on the varsity team and Sam Anderson on the JVs.
Sotomayor said his players were glad to be back practicing.
“They’re very excited,” he said. “Some of them only play one sport and so they’ve been waiting all year for this.”
Most teams around the H-DNL have been holding restricted open gyms of some type for the past few months, but were only cleared for full practice on Monday.
A short three-week season is set to tip off in two weeks.