Having to face teams that have as many as 40 athletes on the roster, three Valley boys – Ryan Ball, Justin Cox and James Greenslade – made up the entire Altimira Middle School seventh-grade team and turned in a “Jim Thorpe style effort” at the North Valley League track and field championships in late spring.

Thorpe, declared the greatest athlete of the 20th century, teamed with two fellow Native-Americans to form the complete Carlisle Industrial Indian School (Pennsylvania) team and won a conference track and field championship as he won an amazing eight events himself.

At the pre-high-school level in the sport, far from the heights of multi-Olympic champion Thorpe’s legendary feats, Altimira’s Ball, Cox and Greenslade banded together to achieve a major accomplishment by excelling in multiple events that stunned their NVL foes, and enabled them to claim the seventh-grade boys’ title.