What began as a dream between husband and wife, is now ending due to the unexpected passing of a spouse. Team Sports USA, the local mom and pop sporting goods store on North Washington, next door to Aaron's furniture store, was opened in 2004 by Terry and Kay Middlebrooks.
Terry passed in August due to a massive heart attack, leaving Kay and son Craig to run the store. Kay said he had “never had any heart problems in the past.” With his unexpected death, Kay said running the store isn't the same without him.
“It was a dream of ours,” Kay said. “Now the dream just isn't the same anymore.”
Terry and Kay met in 1975 at his cousin's home in Collinston.
“We met on a Sunday,” Kay said. “He was in the ninth grade and I was in the eleventh. We dated for five years before we were married. It took him that long to talk me into it.”
Kay said before buying the store, Terry worked at businesses such Western Auto, Big Star, Brookshires and Delchamps Groceies. The last job he held, before becoming his own boss, was at D & H Sporting Goods.
“He loved working in sporting goods,” she said. “He had always participated in football and baseball during his junior high and high school years. He coached summer baseball for over 20 years.”
Kay said when Terry approached her with the idea of going into business for themselves, she didn't hesitate.
“He told me I had until March 14 to get all my affairs in order,” she said. “March 14 was about two weeks away.”
Together they opened the store at its original location, which was at 1104 North Washington St. Kay said the business was so successful they no longer had room for all of their customers. When she thinks back on her most memorable moments at the store, she is reminded of the time the Bastrop High School football team was on a winning streak and headed to state.
“We had so many people in the store that we couldn't hold them all,” she said. “Cars were parked at the E Z Mart and all up and down the street.
“On Friday's, we would set the grill up out front and grill hot dogs. We wouldn't charge anything for them. We just gave them away. Everyone would sit around and eat and visit.”
In additon to Craig, Terry and Kay had another son, Chris, who works in Monroe. Craig, the younger, began working at the store in 2006. He is unsure of what he's going to do after the store closes.
“Closing down the store is bittersweet,” Craig said. “I have no idea what I'm going to do now.”
Even though the retail store was owned by Terry and Kay, she said the decision to close it was a family effort.
“We all three made this decision together,” she said. “I would not have made this decision without them.”
The final date that Team Sports USA will remain open is unknown at this time. With the projected closing date set for the end of Feb., Kay said she's “not stressing” about when it will close for good.
“To be honest, I'm not worried about it,” she said. “It will close once we've sold all the merchandise in our stock.”
Kay said after the store closes, she, like her son, is uncertain about what she'll do.
“I might go back to school,” she said. “I'll probably major in medical billing or coding. I've done everything from retail to grocery to cake decorating. I'll be fine.”
Kay said although she is sad that the dream has come to an end, she is untroubled with the decision.
“I've got peace about doing this,” she said. “I wouldn't do it if I didn't.”
Team Sports USA will remain open from 9 a.m. until 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, until everything in the store is gone. Although the store is normally closed on Saturday, it will be open for the next two Saturdays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.