Kurt J. Kolka
ROSE WOLFLIN: STEPPING UP FOR WOMEN
2017 / By Kurt J. Kolka
GRAYLING -- Title 9 did had a large impact for one Grayling girl in 1975. Rose Wolflin had recently moved to Grayling from Bloomington, Ind. where she had played on a girls basketball team in 7th grade. At the time, Grayling only offered girls basketball in high school.
Rose felt disappointed. “My parents were proud of my basketball skills, fully supported my desire to play on a school team, and continued to encourage me to play sports. The friendship and loyalty of my teammates also influenced me. Basketball was fun and increased my self-esteem,” says Rose, who now works as a paralegal in central Indiana.”
Prior to try-outs for the boys eighth-grade basketball team, Rose played informal basketball scrimmages and shoot-arounds during physical education and during recreational time in the gymnasium. Her skills caught the notice of basketball Coach Harold Stockton, who encouraged her to try out for the boys team. In the end she made the team based on her skills.
“The boys on the team fully supported and welcomed me as a teammate. I dressed in a separate locker room. It was a very positive experience at practice and in the games. All the boys on the team also treated me respectfully in our regular school classrooms and school events. I felt the same friendship and loyalty from my eighth-grade boy teammates in Grayling that I had previously experienced with my seventh-grade girl teammates in Indiana,” recalls Rose.
Rose especially remembers teammates Todd Dunkley and Rocky Tobin, “who she describes as tall, muscular and athletic,” as great role models for her.
“I remember Coach Stockton being a great coach and treating me the same as the other members of the team. I knew I had been given a great opportunity to play the sport I loved, and I really enjoyed the experience.”
She went on to play basketball at high school level in Grayling, spending some time on the varsity squad even as a freshman. After her sophomore year, however, her family moved to Marion, Indiana. There she was coached for former professional player, Sally Leyse.
During her senior year at Marion, the girls basketball team won the North Central Conference championship, and the IHSAA Sectional, Regional, and Semi-State championships. They also played in the IHSAA single-class Indiana girls state finals, the Final Four, at Market Square Arena in Indianapolis.
“Having experienced my middle school and high school years living in both a small town and a big town, I appreciate having lived in the smaller town of Grayling. I have many good memories and good friends from the bigger town and bigger school, but the memories from living in Grayling go even further and are even more precious to me – the community love and compassion and the dedication of the Grayling community to its school system and vice versa, the commitment of the smaller school and its faculty to its students, the numerous opportunities provided to me, and how special and unique I felt.”