This blog reports events and interesting tidbits from Rensselaer, Indiana and the surrounding area.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Memory Lane Sectional

Earlier this month while I was on cleanup duty for the Saint Augustine School rummage sale, tossing the leftovers into boxes, a pamphlet caught my interest. My first impression was that it was quite old, but a closer look showed that it was from 1994.
 The pamphlet was the program for a basketball tournament to raise money for Charles Halleck Scholarships given to area students. The tournament teams were made up of alumni of the schools shown on the cover above. The program had a couple pages highlighting fifteen recipients of Halleck Scholarships and I knew a couple of them, though I probably never knew that they had received such a scholarship. This was the second such tournament. The first one had been held in 1991 and its results were reported in the program as well. The Wheatfield High School Alumni had defeated the Rensselaer Alumni 52 to 33.

Also in the booklet was a list of sectional championship games from 1923 to 1970. Look at those early scores: 15 to 14; 18 to 6. Was that the same game as is played today? And how did tiny Mt Ayr do so well in the 1940s?
 The program had a page on each of the schools in the tournament. The Rensselaer Bombers are the only one that remains mostly the same. The Morocco Beavers and the Mt Ayr Arydales are gone, now part of North Newton. The Kentland Blue Devils, The Brook Purple Aces, and the Goodland Trojans were consolidated into South Newton. The Remington Rifles (a great name) became part of Tri-County. And the Demotte Indians, Wheatfield Red Devils, Tefft Tigers, and Fair Oaks Cherokees became part of Kankakee Valley.

Some of these schools were very small. For example, the largest class to ever graduate from Tefft was 18.

Ads in these sorts of publications are always interesting. Even though it is only 18 years old, quite a few of the businesses listed in the booklet are either gone or transformed. I am not familiar with the many businesses listed for Newton County and northern Jasper County, so I cannot say whether they are still active.
 Charlie Roberts is still around, but no longer sells new Chevrolets. Brooks Motor Sales is long gone, as is its successor. Cargill no longer runs an elevator in Rensselaer. The building that once housed INTEC is now used by Waste Management.
 Most of the business on the above page seem to be still active. Jasper County Coop merged with a larger coop so its presence in Rensselaer is much diminished.
Bank One and First of America were bought by bigger banks. Hudgens House is long gone, as is the Rensselaer Chrysler dealer.

I doubt if another edition of this tournament could be held today. School consolidation happened in the 1960s, so few if any of the players for most of these teams would be younger than 60.

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