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History of Ladoga High School

Basketball was first played at Ladoga in 1906. There were 5 members on the team. They ended the season with a 4-1 record.

The 1907-08 team ended the season 13-7 and scored 682 points. The girls team went undefeated that year by beating Darlington 7-6 in their only scheduled game.

For the next several years there was no organized basketball because of lack of school spirit and financial support.

Basketball was once again played at Ladoga in 1914-15 when they played 11 games and won 8. The girls organized a team again in 1916.

Ladoga had always been called Ladoga High School or Ladoga Spartans. Since Wingate was also called Spartans, in 1931 a contest was held and basketball Coach Neff offered $1.00 to the person who came up with the winning name. Since the largest industry in Ladoga was a canning company they became known as the Ladoga Canners.

Jerry Steiner, played ball at Ladoga, was a 3 year starter at Butler, graduated as their all time scorer, returned to coach at Ladoga for 2 years leaving with a record of 43-11. He played for the Kautskys, Pistons, and later refereed in the Big Ten.

Floyd “Doc” Neff coached varsity ball at Ladoga for 17 years, compiling a record of 202-122. Before his retirement in 1947 he won the County Tourney and took 5 teams to the Sectional Finals only to come home empty handed.

Jack Hester coached at Ladoga for 10 years, winning 147 and losing only 72 games. His team won the County Championship in 1949.

Ladoga was only 1 of 3 teams in the County that never won a Sectional Tourney. They went to the final game 8 times and never took home the trophy. The other 2 teams to never win a Sectional Tourney were Alamo and Linden.

Ladoga closed its doors in 1971 and merged into Southmont High School.

Two men who coached at Ladoga and four players from Ladoga are in the Montgomery County Basketball Hall of Fame. The coaches are Floyd “Doc” Neff and Harold “Jack” Hester who coached at Ladoga and also New Market. The players are Bill Boone (1956), Mel Todd (1956), Dave Williamson (1970), and Dave Williamson (1970).

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