Monday, February 4, 2008

Cedar Vale Sports

Who were the best athletes to come out of Cedar Vale?

First of all I want to apologize to those I have forgotten to mention, but since I just turned 70, I should be excused because I've been told that your memory is the second thing to go. I am only mentioning those people I was aware of or can remember during my tenure at Cedar Vale. There must be others that I didn't know or forgot.

Football:

Jim Hill, Kenny Bennett, W.B. Johnston, Newton Meyers, Jim McCall, Raymond Littrell, Bill Williams, Jim Harvey. There were many others but I can't recall their names right now. (Senior Moment).

Basketball:

Jim Hill, Kenny Bennett, Reese Bohannon, Bernard Lemert, Bob Bailey, Dick Bouey, Don Shaffer, The McGlasson brothers; Elmon, Bob, John and Delbert, Davie Holt, Bob Hays, Wayne Woodruff, Roy Walkinshaw, Jack Foster Joe Ellis, Charles Beachler. I would pick Delbert McGlasson or Bob Bailey as the best players that I can recall.

Baseball:

I don't remember the high school having a baseball team prior to our Sophomore year, so I will have to go by some of the town teams that CV had. Roy Smith, the best right handed pitcher, and Wayne Woodruff the best left handed pitcher, Grant Utt the best home run hitter, one of the Sweeny brothers as outfielder, (I remember him leaping and catching the ball with his bare hand after a long run and losing his glove). All of our team was good, with Bob at first, Jack at second, Gary or Ralph at short, Roy at third, Lloyd as pitcher, Bill catching, Wayne pitching or outfield, Dick pitching, outfield or catching Ross & Bob Cable in the outfield. Wayne was the trooper, after he had broken his right arm, he got a hit while batting one handed. He pitched with his left arm and after he threw the ball, he moved his glove from his cast to his left arm to field the ball.(I don't recall how Wayne broke his arm).

As you think of others please add to this list. I know I didn't know or recall all of them. There were some very good teams before and after my playing days, but I don't remember all of the players.

7 comments:

Phil Foust said...

Nice idea, Dick. My choices will be only for those players that I actually saw play. It is mentioned that from accounts from the barbershop (and other conversations) it was thought that one of the best athletes produced in CV was my Uncle Dale.

Football: A fellow that moved in from Florida (with perhaps a French name) was a tremendous passer and the best QB I ever saw perform for the Bronchos. It seems to me that he was the QB the day that Cedar Vale kept a strong Blue Devil team from a victory at Sedan on Thanksgiving Day 1949. Keeney was Sedan's star and throughout the halls of the high school ... signs appeared with "Kill Keeney" as the subject. The entire defense of CV that day would be my pick as the best I have seen in Cedar Vale. Sedan (as I remember) was perched at the goal line for 3 or 4 chances for a touchdown as the game ended and the defense was magnificient. One of the stalwarts of that defense (as I recall) was Osteen Coldren. His father was the minister at the Baptist Church. (Our own Don Cox was on that tremendous team!)

Basketball: The best athlete that I viewed at Cedar Vale (in my opinion) was Jim Hill. He didn't play college basketball but was dominating in high school with his athletism. Bob Bailey may have been a more natural basketball player on the state tournament team but Jimmy often simply took over a game even as a sophomore and broke the will of the opponent. (Delbert was indeed a fine offensive talent.) It is my understanding that one of the all-time greats at CV was young Doc Stone's brother. (The team of that era also went to the state tournament.)

Baseball: Well, I am a bit prejudiced but Jesse Foust was the best baseball player that I had the opportunity to watch as his throw from catcher to second was bullet-like and accurate. His natural knowledge of the game allowed him to manage a game to make many pitchers look good. Though offered a minor league contract his perception of the economics of the times weren't condusive for his acceptance. He caught for many excellent teams throughout Kansas as a young man in an era of good baseball. Though he started school at CVHS he graduated from Dexter. Dexter lost to Lawrence in the state tournament while he was a player.

(Dick, I too remember the tremendous catches of Shirley Sweaney's older brother in centerfield.)

Adding the category of horseshoes would find Roy Smith as the most outstanding. Most likely, no one from Cedar Vale will ever duplicate his tournament successes. You'd have to mention that if there was a category for a super guy and a great kid baseball coach ... Roy would be unbeatable.

wayne woodruff said...

Dick, Thank you for mentioning me, but when you mention my basketball talent in the same paragraph as Bob Bailey, then I wonder about your memory.
Also, was I the only left handed pitcher from CV??
I broke my arm playing football the senior year. My folks wouldn't let me play the first three years saying I would get hurt. Sure enough.
Also, Phil, do I remember wrong. Didn't Jim Hill play at Wichita U.??

Phil Foust said...

Yes, Jim played football but I don't believe he played basketball. At that time, Wichita had a good football program that even included a fellow named Bill Parcells (if I remember correctly). Jimmy could have been outstanding at many D1 schools, (I believe), but did not have a full career at Wichita as I recall.

Jim would have been a perfect candidate for a decathlete it seems to me. He had the speed, strength, leaping and athletic ability to have competed at a high level.

Dick Williams said...

Jim joined the army or was drafted not long after high school. He spent most of his army career playing basketball for a service team in Panama. I don't remember him playing for Wichita.

Phil Foust said...

Wayne, I wasn't able to see you and Dick and those of your era compete in your Junior and Senior years. I do remember from when you were younger that you had a number of good athletes in your general age group.

When we came back to Cedar Vale after being in the Air Force there were some good athletes in school. Steve Alexander and Mike Foust were among several that were quite competitive. I do remember that our own Jay D. Mills could run like the wind. The basketball team featuring Delbert McGlasson and Davy Holt ... along with Bruce Cable and others was very entertaining to watch. With Delbert inside and Davy outside they put up some big offensive numnbers and it took a superior defensive team to defeat them.

wayne woodruff said...

Dick, I recall one more really good catcher that played on the "town team". That was Frank Gilmore, father of Ralph and ??
He actually had played some minor league ball, and like Phil's dad, he had an arm like a rifle.

Jay (J.D.) Mills, HP3AK said...

Phil, Cedar Vale had many outstanding athletes over the years. Yes, I could run fast, lettered in track 4 years, and did well in football my Junior and Senior years. The reason that I was not better was that I was a "natural athlete" and did not work at getting better, sorry to say. I even drove my car to and from track practice, at which point the coach just shook his head ... since we were winning most of the time.