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BOONE: History of Waveland Basketball: Part I

The public school system began in Waveland in the late 1880s, probably 1888. As was the case in several of the larger towns in Montgomery County, Waveland had some private educational institutions, most notably the Waveland Presbyterian Academy. They were playing organized sports as early as 1901 as they were fielding a football team. They were also playing baseball in the early 1900s. The earliest basketball team that I can find a picture of is the 1914-15 team. The Waveland Hornets won six sectional tournaments and four county crowns. There were many outstanding players from Waveland including Charlie Arvin, Bob Gooding, Lowell Harbison and Don Priebe from the 40’s, John Miles, Richard “Red” Smith, Bill Wheeler, Keith Greve and Bob Harbison from the 50’s, and Herschel Tague, Don Evans, and Mike Mitchell from the 60’s. Mike Mitchell ended up with 1473 career points placing him second to Bill Greve with 1777 points. The Hornets boasted six players who scored over 1,000 points in their careers. Bill Greve and Mike Mitchell were followed by Bill Wheeler with 1065 points, Keith Greve with 1048 points, Herschel Tague with 1035 points, and Phil Myers with 1014 points. The Greve name is associated most frequently with Hornet basketball. Raymond and Verna Greve raised four basketball playing sons and four daughters on their little farm outside of Waveland in the area which is now the north end of Lake Waveland. The daughters were Virginia, Edna Mae, Joan and Phyllis. Every time the Hornets won a tournament, County or Sectional, there was a Greve in the lineup. It all started with Leonard in 1935 when the Hornets won their first sectional. Leonard was joined by his brother Ray, Jr. on the 1936-37 team, but had to watch Crawfordsville win that sectional. Leonard graduated that year and went back to his Dad’s farm to help out before settling down on a farm near Russellville and joined his father-in-law Paul Hester in an International Harvester Implement business. Ray went on to play on the sectional championship team of 1939, then traveled up highway 47 to attend Wabash College and embarked on a Hall of Fame career there. Ray spent five years in the service in WWII and then returned home to operate a Ford Tractor implement business in Greencastle. It would be ten years before another Waveland team would win a County or sectional championship. Bill Boone is a local sports historian who contributes to the Journal Review.

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