When the final buzzer sounds tonight at the Grafton-Nipmuc boys varsity basketballmatch-up, more than the game will end.
The sound will signal the final Grafton High School game at the gym. Starting next season, the gym will be used by middle school students, while the high school teams move to the new building.
For Jim Bergenholtz, the moment will be emotional. He served as a boys varsity basketball coach from 1971 to 2002 and as athletic director for the high school sports department from 1999 to his retirement in 2008.
His brother, son and granddaughter have also played in the gym.
Through the years, he said, “we really had some great teams and players.’’ He hesitated to select one over another but remembered the game when Grafton beat Uxbridge High with a last-second shot.
“I’ll never forget that one,’’ he said.
The current gym is a “great venue’’ for basketball, he said. He especially likes the bleachers, with teams and coaches sitting on the bottom steps and fans behind them and all the way the bleachers.
This way, he said, the fans literally stand behind you.
In 48 years, the lighting was changed at the gym three times, and in each case for the better, he said. “If you were a pretty good shooter, you shot well in that gym,’’ he said.
Although he is sad to see the high school era end at the gym, he said he was very impressed when he took a tour of the new facilities at the new high school, slated to open in September.
“It’s beautiful,’’ he said. “It’s going to be a great benefit to the school and the community.’’
And when the buzzer sounds for the first time there, he said, new memories will follow.