Fredonia Gym to Host Caldwell-Crittenden Basketball Scrimmage


Over 50 years after the Fredonia Yellow Jackets played their final game, the Fredonia gym will host high school basketball again in November.

Caldwell County and Crittenden County will play a boys’ preseason scrimmage on Saturday, Nov. 11, in Fredonia.

The “throwback” game will even feature the two teams wearing the uniforms of two old school rivals.

The Tigers will don the colors of the Fredonia Yellow Jackets while the Rockets will represent the Frances Bulldogs.

Fredonia and Frances were once big rivals, with the schools located only about 6 miles apart.

Caldwell head coach Chuck Mitchell recently spoke with WPKY Radio’s Todd Griffin about playing in the Fredonia gym …

Fredonia’s claim to basketball fame was being the first school in Caldwell County to win the 2nd Region championship.

The 1953-54 Yellow Jacket squad produced a 31-6 record and a regional championship, earning a trip to Memorial Coliseum in Lexington for the Sweet 16.

Consolidation closed the Fredonia High School in 1972.

The most famous Frances Bulldog was George Hart, who played at the school from 1946-50.

Hart scored 2,604 career points, which was the national record when he graduated.

During his time at Frances, Hart’s teams went 130-18 and made three 2nd Region championship games — falling each time to Frank Ramsey’s Madisonville squads.

Consolidation made Frances a part of Crittenden County High School in the fall of 1950.

Despite the fact that Fredonia High School was absorbed by Caldwell County in 1972, the gym has remained a central part of the community in Fredonia.

The gym and former school building are now owned by Fredonia First Baptist Church, which is engaged in an ongoing renovation of both the gym and the school.

The facility is now called “The Hive,” which is an homage to the Fredonia mascot, the Yellow Jacket.

The Fredonia gym was one of the top gymnasiums in the 2nd Region when it was constructed in the early 1940s.

Few may remember these days, but Princeton Butler and Caldwell County played their home games at the Fredonia gym for almost a decade because of a lack of gym space on the Butler campus. The Tigers played at Fredonia from 1950 until the new Butler Gym was opened in 1959.

Crittenden County is the perfect opponent for Caldwell County’s return to the Fredonia gym. The Rockets are now coached by former Tiger — and Fredonia native — Matt Fraliex. His dad, Earl, was a star center for the Yellow Jackets, scoring over 1,100 career points.

A game time, ticket information and more details for the contest will be announced at a later date.


Renovation Project Breathing New Life Into Fredonia Gym

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