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North to honor Darlington and Waynetown teams

LINDEN — North Montgomery will honor three of the last, and more importantly three of the best high school basketball teams to come from the North unit in the pre-consolidation era on Friday night at the Sagamore Conference boys’ basketball game against Frankfort. The Chargers will welcome back the 50th anniversary 1970 Waynetown team, which was the last county school to win the sectional, and the 1969 and 1970 Darlington teams, who both went undefeated in the regular season. Members of the Darlington teams expected to be present include Dan Nichols, Gary Dale, Steve Apple, Rich Douglas, Charlie Warren, Mark Maxwell, Jim Gable, Terry Cain, manager Tom Hampton, and coach Dave Nicholson. Nichols and Douglas are both members of the Montgomery County Basketball Hall of Fame, while coach Nicholson is a member of both the Montgomery County Basketball Hall of Fame and the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Team members unable to attend include Montgomery County Basketball Hall of Fame member Don Threlkeld, Tom Lehe, Roy Wright, and Stan Weliever. Deceased team members include Montgomery County Hall of Fame member Jim Tribbett, Gary Mahoy, Fred Warren, Garry Hole, Bob Waye, and assistant coach Gren Lefebvre. Memembers of the Waynetown team expected to be present include Steve Proctor, Bob Utterback, Lloyd and Dave Finch, Kim Suitors, Mike Springer, Greg Starnes, Steve Neal, managers Warren Rush and Bill Spring, and cheerleaders Rita Miles and Vicki Rush. Gary Sarver is unable to attend. Deceased team members include Wayne Rush, Jeff Springer, Brad Moore, manager Tin Henthorn, and cheerleader Charlene Sennett. Fred Johnson, who coached the Waynetown team, hopes people will take time to honor a special group of players that made up Darlington and Waynetown in the late 60s and 70s. “I think one thing is very few people are old enough to remember that, and therefore don’t really care,” he said. “but if they would have been around they would have seen as a many or more good players than what they see now. I’m not saying players from back then could play now, but there were an awful lot of good players from 1965-1970.” As a coach at the end of consolidation to a longtime North Montgomery supporter, what Johnson remembers the most is the crowds at the small town gymnasiums like Waynetown and Darlington. “The crowds is the one things I would say,” he said. “These small towns closed up on Friday nights” North Montgomery has produced quality basketball this season, so join in by once again filling up the gym to support the Chargers and honor former Gladiators and Indians.

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