Don Seidell and Carl Lang: Founders of Capac Little League Basketball
In early 1962, Don Seidell's son Jim was outside playing basketball. It started as a selfish wish for his son to be able to play basketball inside on the cold days. Don Seidell, along with Carl Lang and Coach Harry Moore, decided to find a way to get the younger kids into the gym to develop skills even during the cold months, while giving them something fun to do.
The gym wasn't nearly as busy as it is today, and Capac Little League Basketball began on Thursday nights. On Saturdays, Carl and Don both worked, so Coach Moore would open up the gym. The early teams were sponsored by the American Legion, and there were four teams of 15 boys each. Orange, yellow, gray and blue uniforms were the norm.
As the years went on, Thursdays in the gym became an impossibility, and Don and Carl still had to work so they passed on the torch after 13 years. Mike Rosas and Tom Mailloux have been an important part of the last four decades.
The community will forever be grateful for a program that now involves All Star tournaments, many Saturdays of skill development and hundreds of Capac boys and girls. Our hats are off to Don and Carl, who started it all.
Snapshot of Capac Little League Basketball
- 1962-Don Seidell and Carl Lang begin program
- 1975's-late 1980's Mike Rosas assumes the reigns
- Late 1980's-present Tom Mailloux takes the wheel
John Palmateer - Rebounder, Shot Blocker and Defensive Legend
Palmateer's stats don‘t tell the story of his reputation as an aggressive defensiveman and outstanding rebounder. Palmateer played alongside Former Player of Honor (2007) Cliff Lietz (who held the school rebounding record until his son Chad broke it in 2000). Palmateer and Lietz dominated the boards and Palmateer ended his career with 337 rebounds. He averaged 6 pts per game his junior year; 9.2 pts per game his senior year for a career average of 7.6 pts. He was a 58% free throw shooter and 40% from Floor.
"I can remember Mr. Moore telling me ‘don't shoot-your job is to play defense'". And play defense he did-as a 6'4" powerhouse who dominated. Palmateer played for CoachHarry Moore for two seasons, between 1966-1968. "We were the best conditioned team-always. Mr. Moore would run us and run us until our calves were tight. But it paid off because in the games nobody could outrun us. He would have us run the weave, then shoot 10 free throws for the entire practice without stopping-but we were in great shape."
Palmateer's junior year, the team went 14-6 and were District Champs, losing to Detroit Country Day in the Regionals. In his senior year, the team won the Yale Christmas tournament, were the League Co-Champs with Anchor Bay, and went 18-3. They repeated as District Champs, falling short again in the Regionals to Orchard Lake St. Mary's. Palmateer remembers those losses, "The years hard losses were when we lost to Detroit Country Day and Orchard Lake St. Mary's-the Kobiashi's and the teams that came before us got the momentum going for Capac basketball. The pressure was on for us to continue it, repeat it-those were the Glory Years."
"I can remember one game when I fouled out and went to the bench. The guy next to me nudged me- ‘hey Coach Moore has his feet crossed so cross your feet'. Next thing I know everyone on the bench is mimicking Coach Moore and he was completely oblivious-he coached with such intensity! When he crossed his feet, we crossed our feet. When he crossed his arms, we crossed our arms. But we did it in fun-Coach had a demeanor about him. You didn't cross him-you didn't mess with him. He would give you that look and you knew to shut up. He had a commanding presence in the gym-even at assemblies if he pointed to you at the top of the bleachers, you were coming down. He was a strict disciplinarian, but no one ever garnered more respect.
Palmateer went on to be respected in his own right. After two years at SC4, he went on to earn a Bachelors in Physics at MSU and a Masters in Math from Oakland. He spent 37 years as a teacher at Romeo Community Schools from 1972-2009. Now in retirement, he spends his days with his backhoe on his fence row and working on his Capac farm.