State Basketball Champs video


1966 MHS cagers


Posted: Wednesday, February 17, 2016 12:48 pm

By Julie Perry

The bleachers inside the Marysville Junior High gym aren’t wooden any more and the court has been resurfaced at least once since the 1965-1966 boys’ basketball season. Maximum capacity for the gym is still at 1,200 people. Every home game back then packed them in.

The gym hasn’t been that full in more than 10 years and perhaps not as consistently as it was 50 years ago during the Class A state championship run by a 24-1 Bulldog boys’ cage team. Former Bulldog player Jon McCoy, a freshman then, said he hopes the gym hits maximum capacity again this Friday night.

A 50th anniversary celebration of that season is to begin at halftime of the varsity boys’ game in the Marysville Junior High gym against guest Chapman. Most of the players from the championship team are expected to participate in a 10-minute ceremony.

Fellowship is expected to continue after the game at Landoll Lanes, where this year’s boys’ team will provide appetizers, tea and water for the players and their families.

The boys game will start about 8 p.m. following a 6:15 tipoff for the girls’ game.

McCoy last week stopped off at Marysville City Council, the Marshall County commissioners’ and Marysville school board meetings to give out invitations to the game. He is encouraging every former and current Bulldog to pack the place.

“Both ends of the gym were packed in those days. It was quite something,” McCoy said of the ’65-’66 season. “We are trying to do that for this event.”

McCoy has worked with Marysville boys’ basketball coach Scott Brown to organize the ceremony.

The only player from that 1965-66 team who could not be located was Steve Firkins, who wore No. 21. Assistant coach John DeBusk and No. 31 Bob Hertzel are deceased. Head coach Clarence “Clancy” Norris and freshman coach Von Lauer will be in attendance.

Coaches, players and managers will be recognized. Players will get red and black anniversary balls. Their jersey numbers are stenciled in black on the balls with “50th anniversary” in gold leaf paint. The team used to warm up with red and black basketballs.

Players were Rich Dummermuth, No. 22; Jerry Pope, No. 30; Bob Larkin, No. 33; Jim “Duke” Schramm, No. 34; Bob Blanke, No. 35; Pat Borgerding, No. 32; Greg Davis, No. 25; Tom Williams, No. 24; Eddie Koch, No. 40; and Eddie Davis. No. 44. Managers were Frank Tetley and Larry Lord. All, along with their families, will have special seating in the southwest section of the gym.

“They kind of paved the way,” McCoy said of the team.

Back then, Bulldogs warmed up to “Sweet Georgia Brown,” which will play Friday night through the gym’s speaker system.

Back in the day, low-cut black Converse shoes were part of the gear worn by the team, and striped knee highs were part of the look.

The team won the first seven games of that season, capping the run with a 101-53 victory over Chapman. Marysville didn’t eclipse 100 points the rest of the season, but when the teams met again Feb. 8, 1966, MHS won, 83-49.

Marysville’s only loss that season was to Smith Center, 61-57, on Jan. 14 before the North Central Kansas League tournament. The Bulldogs then went on an 11-game winning streak to enter the regional tournament, also played here.

At regional, the Dogs opened with an 81-54 win against Maur Hill; won the semifinal against Concordia, 85-73; and defeated Effingham in the championship, 64-55. Greg Davis scored 74 points during the regional. After the Bulldogs beat Effingham, the players hoisted Norris on their shoulders and paraded around a noisy gym filled with screaming fans and music by the pep band.

The Class A tournament, played in Hutchinson, started with a 77-60 win over Norton. The Bulldogs met Valley Center in the semifinal round and won 61-49, to face Shawnee Heights in the championship on March 12. MHS won over Shawnee Heights, 61-59. Davis was Most Valuable Player of the tournament. He scored 20 points in the final.

“These guys were not that big compared to what the other teams had around them,” McCoy said.

Marysville’s title run was the start of what McCoy calls a Decade of Champions. From 1961 to 1971, seven MHS boys’ teams earned trips to the state tournament and lost to many metro-area teams, usually in the first round. In that time span, he said, MHS defeated Shawnee Heights three times.

Over the years, more than a dozen MHS boys have gone on to play college basketball from community college to Division I. McCoy was one of three MHS players to play Division I. He graduated MHS in 1969 and played at West Texas State. Sylvester Schmidt, a 1934 MHS graduate, was the first to sign from Marysville and play for the University of Kansas. Adam Vogelsberg, who graduated in 2003, played for Middle Tennessee State.