Willis Eide – Class of 1939

Willis Eide, Crookston Central High School Class of 1939, was not a participant in sports but he actively promoted them. He researched the early days of sports in Crookston and kept records for Central High School’s football and basketball.

He was also a regular contributor to the Crookston Daily Times Sports page and the articles of sportswriter, John Withy. His intense sports interest made him a notable fan, and many Crookston athletic teams insisted that he come along as a rooter for games out of town.

Willis was also a regular bench official for local basketball games as well as district basketball tournaments. He would serve as a timer or scorer at those events.

Besides basketball and football, he was interested in baseball. In 1947, the first year after the war that baseball returned to Crookston, at the high school and semi-pro levels, he was instrumental in promoting the Crookston Pirate semi-pro team. In 1948, he was president of the team and for both years, he maintained complete records for every player who participated for the Pirates.

He also was a promoter of placing baskets in the various Crookston additions. Sponsored by the local Elks lodge, Willis planned and built the baskets to be distributed all around Crookston for younger players to use. Along with the baskets, basketballs were distributed to interested youth.

Born in Crookston in 1921, he attended Central High School and was associated with his family farm and in Eide’s Confectionery. He died at the age of 29 in an automobile accident.

The “Willis Eide Memorial Award” given each spring to a local athlete at Crookston High School is named in his honor.

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