Origin of the BCSS Bucks
Updated May 10, 2017
** Most this information comes from Bill Meisner. Terry Tait edited and added some information
When Terry Tait was hired as Head of History and Senior Basketball Coach in 1965 at Brampton High School, the athletic teams were known as the Brampton Redmen. They played in the WTDIAA against New Toronto, Mimico, Bramalea and Central Peel.
1966-1967 was the Grade 9 year for Bill Meisner and Glenn Taylor who played bantam football and basketball. Also in Grade 9 was their friend Tom Farrington who played junior football and basketball and competed in track and field – the shot put, discus and javelin.
In 1967 Brampton Centennial Secondary School opened but was not completed and in Grade 10 the three friends competed as BCSS Redmen at the Fairgrounds for football and initially the Christ Church gym for basketball until the school gym was finally opened. As part of the Central Peel Distrct High School Board, the BCSS school teams were restricted to playing in a league with Bramalea and Central Peel. In the finals (February 1968) the three basketball teams played in the brand new gym. The seniors edged Bramalea 45-43 and the juniors outlasted Bramalea in overtime 40-39. Central Peel squeaked by the bantams 22-19.
Also in 1968 a new NBA franchise was awarded to Milwaukee. The team name chosen was the Bucks which was a reference to Wisconsin’s official wild animal, the white tailed deer. Forty thousand fans entered a contest to name the team. One fan was awarded a new car in part in for his reasoning why the Bucks was a good nickname, saying that bucks were “spirited, good jumpers, fast and agile”
That year Meisner, Farrington and Taylor got together at Taylor’s house on Byng Ave during Christmas break and came up with idea to market the school basketball teams after the Milwaukee Bucks. They made up sweatshirts with the BCSS BUCKS logo using a stencil cutter from Butcher Engineering and put a male deer head with antlers on the first shirts.
The three of them were official scorers for Brampton Men’s Basketball League on Thursday evenings where one would score one game each while the other two would shoot baskets in gym C, often with the other teammates.. The sports reporter for the Brampton Guardian, Ken Giles refereed the Men’s League and saw the shirts and started to call them the “Young Bucks of BCSS”.
When basketball season began Glenn wore his shirt to junior practice and in pre-game warm-ups .Tom and Bill wore theirs to senior practice but Coach Bob McMurray said the shirts were acceptable in practice but made them wear the traditional red, yellow and black warm ups for games. They did however, persuade the cheerleaders to chant “Go Bucks Go” during games.
Also In 1969, the Milwaukee Bucks signed Lew Alcindor( who later changed his name in 1971 to Kareem Abdul Jabbar). He had led UCLA to three consecutive national championships and was the first overall pick in the NBA draft. Needless to say, the association with a star player helped to popularize the term “Bucks” at BCSS, especially among the basketball players.
In the summer of 1969, Bill, Glenn and Tom and some other BCSS players(and Terry Tait as player-coach) signed up for the Etobicoke Summer Basketball League at Martingrove Collegiate. The team was registered as the Brampton Bucks.
By basketball season (spring 1970) and from then on, Brampton Centennial’s basketball teams were firmly established as the Bucks. Cam Longhurst has posted his yearbooks on the 50th Reunion website (http://bcssalumni.com/). Click on the Memories section then the 1970 Quill. Check out pages 97, 116 and 118. In addition you can find Tom’s track and field accomplishments on page 98 which helped him win his second BCSS Athlete of the Year award. See page 125 and also check the 1969 Quill page 102.
It took a while but eventually the rest of the athletic teams caught up and were proud to be “Bucks”.
After leaving Centennial, Bill joined the family business (Butcher Engineering) eventually rising to plant manager over two facilities. In 1996 he left Brampton to help care for his mother in Florida. He become a sailing instructor who coached three Olympic champions and numerous U.S. college All-Americans. Today he works a great deal with children and adults with special needs.
Glenn headed to Acadia University in 1971 where he played for four years and captained the team his final year. After earning a B.Sc he went to Memorial University and earned a MPE. He secured a teaching job in St. John’s but also found time to coach the Women’s Basketball team at Memorial from 1976 to 1981 and eventually became the Head Coach of the Men’s Basketball Team from 1990-2000. He coached three teams from Newfoundland in the Canada Games – 1989, 1993 and 1997. Moving to the Toronto area he coached the Ryerson University Men’s Basketball team from 2005 to 2009. Today he lives in Simcoe where he and his family own and operate the Canadian Tire stores in Simcoe and Delhi.
In 1970 Tom preceded Glenn at Acadia and as a rookie helped the Acadia Axemen win the men’s CIAU national basketball championship. He played three more years and also competed in track and field. He earned two degrees – a B.Sc and a B.Ed. Initially he returned to Brampton where he supply taught and then secured a full-time job for a year at Central Peel where he coached its junior team to a championship. He moved to Rochester, N.Y. and established a successful contracting business.
Sadly he died suddenly in 2008. His family and friends on both sides of the border, miss him immensely.