Clippings, Winfield Sports History
Winfield Daily Courier,
Feb. 16, 1929
See Vike's Play
Winfield high school, playing before the eyes and plaudits of nearly
a thousand grade school youngsters, romped to an easy victory over Kingman,
68 to 8, in a Ark Valley League game here Friday night.
The graders of city and country were special guests of the evening and
turned out in large numbers. Their lusty cheering for the home team was
a feature of the game. No matter how high the score mounted their enthusiasm
did not fail. Every goal brought a shriek of approval from the youngsters,
always the most rabid of partisans.
As to the game, it was all Winfield. Coach Martin's squad was somewhat
weakened by ineligibility but the team carried on. There was some bad passing.
Allen Fink had a bad night under the goals, but on the whole Winfield played
good enough ball. The score was 9-0 at the end of the first quarter, 25-3
at the half, 48-5 at the end of the third period.
Capt. Earnest Schmidt had a busy night, making a total of 31 points.
He got 14 field goals and 3 free points. Bruce was also in form and got
19 points. Fink, who had plenty of shots close under the goals, made three
of them good.
A pair of young forwards, Kindt and Chet Hamm, got into the game and
each caged a field goal. Gerald Whitson, the only player who failed to score
from the field, had hard luck, the ball hopping out for him on two or three
WINFIELD AND THE WALNUT VALLEY
THE WINFIELD ARTS COUNCIL
THE BICENTENNIAL COMMISSION
Gilliland's Publishing Arkansas City, Kansas 1975
THE ATHLETIC PICTURE
To say that sports are important in the building of pride and spirit
in a community has become almost commonplace. However, the words "pride"
and "spirit" are more than mere clichés to anyone in the Winfield
area who, on an historic March day in 1940, walked or peddled or drove out
to the north bridge to welcome home a triumphant tri of returning Winfield
basketball teams, each of whom had just won a major tournament. St. John's
College had won the Lutheran National Tournament; Southwestern College had
copped the National association of Intercollegiate Athletics tournament;
and Winfield High School had just taken first in the Kansas State High School
Tournament. It was on that cold March day that many citizens felt the real
meaning and warmth of pride that come so often with victory. Hundreds of
cheering fans warmed themselves further by following the three police-escorted
flat-bed trucks that carried the conquering heroes back to Memorial Park
for a ceremony -- a ceremony that will always rekindle the glow of pride
for all who were there.
The warm glow of pride is reflected, too, in community records that tell
of the fine achievements of baseball and football teams as early as the
1890's. And basketball became a proud fixture in Winfield High School shortly
after the turn of the century when Dr. James Naismith, inventor of the game,
introduced it to the Winfield community via the Chautauqua assembly.
In football, 1913 marked the year Southwester enjoyed a championship
season. Later, in 1919, Winfield High School won the Ark Valley League basketball
championship and its first state championship.
During the twenties, "the golden age of athletics" according
to the Courier, the city was proud of its many unbeaten football
teams, championship basketball teams, and the undefeated track squads. It
was in 1920 that the high school went undefeated through the Valley and
state meet, losing only to Cedar Rapids, Iowa, 21-20 in the national tournament.
It was also during the "roaring twenties" that the Winfield High
School tennis teams started their winning tradition. In 1927, 1928, and
1929 the Vikings won state championships in basketball. During the decade,
too, the high school won four stat championships in track and field. During
the same years St. John's College started its great tradition of winning
From the standpoint of producing fine teams and fine athletes, then,
the teens and the twenties were truly rich for Winfielder's. But who were
the coaches of those championship teams? Anyone who lived through those glory
days in Winfield will never forget these fine builders of men: Bonny Reber,
football coach in the high school; Principal Will French, renowned educator
and basketball coach; Bill Martin, basketball coach of the three championship
teams in the high school; the legendary T. H. "Curley" Vaughan,
whose 1922 team won the state tennis championship; Ed "Lefty Schmidt,
coach of all sports at St. John's; and Bill Clapp, coach of Southwestern
football in 1913.
If the decade of the twenties made up the "golden age of athletics"
in the Walnut Valley area, the thirties and forties were at least as lustrous.
Mention has already been made of the triumphant trio of schools in 1940,
a very bright year. In addition, Winfield High School won the state basketball
championship the preceding year of 1939. Also, the high school produced two
state champion runners-up during these years, in 1935 and in 1942. And,
as usual, T. H. Vaughan's tennis teams won ten state championships during
St. John's in 1931, fielded one of its best of many fine baseball clubs,
winning over many large four-year colleges; and in 1945 the Johnnies won
twelve of thirteen games played. The St. John's basketball team, in addition
to the great triumph in 1940, won the All Lutheran Concordia Tournament
Southwestern basketball teams won or tied five Central Intercollegiate
Conference championships during these decades. In addition, of course, they
won the nationals in 1940. In football, the Southwestern Mound builders won
the conference in 1946, fielding a team that many contend was the best of
all time. (which included Joe Vann, Viking Coach in 1957).
Note: Ogrosky back far left, Bill Powers, back far right.
The one dark blot on this era
of sports was the tragic death of Ed Ogrosky,
previously a star football player for Winfield High School. Ed died from
the results of an injury received while playing for Southwestern. His death
nearly spelled the termination of football in the Winfield area, and it
was many years after the thirties that the football program finally regained
its lost momentum.
The thirties and forties, though, in spite of tragedy and the Depression,
produced a lot of pride and spirit in the community, and Winfielder's generally
give much credit to several great coaches who worked in that era: O. C.
Thomas, successful and famous basketball coach at Winfield High School; Ralph
Titus, teacher and coach of some track record holders in high school; Frank
Lankenau and Obert Druger, wining baseball coaches at St. John's; Dan Kahler,
football coach at Southwestern; and Bill Monypeny, outstanding basketball
coach and longtime dean at Southwestern.
Pride and proficiency in athletics did not diminish through the decades
of the fifties and sixties, nor have they faded during the seventies, Southwestern,
for example, fielded football teams that had championship seasons in 1964,
1967, and 1968. Its basket ball record boasts of championship seasons in
1963, 1966, 1967, 1971, 1972, 1973, and 1974. The golf team from Southwestern
added a conference championship in 1973.
In high school competition, Winfield's Vikings captured the incredible
number of nineteen championships in tennis from 1950 through 1973. In 1974
the girls got into the act by winning the state doubles championship. In
1972 the high school baseball team won the state championship. The basketball
branch of the Viking clan won the state championship in 1974 and was welcomed
home with as much zeal as the 1940 champions. To add to all the ear's championships,
the Viking cross-country team won consecutive state championships in 1973
and 1974. And in 1958 the Viking football team recovered the lost gridiron
fortunes by tying for the Valley championship.
At St. John's the winning tradition was held up by the soccer team, winning
its sixth regional championship and the PJCC title in 1974.
The coaches involved in and responsible for so many area victories since
1959 are: genial Joe Vann, former football coach and present athletic director
at Winfield High School; Jim Reed, taking up the tennis reins from Curley
Vaughan; Dave Warren and Curtis Miller, baseball coaches of the 1972 team,
Trudy Lewis, girls tennis coach; Jim Helmer, successful young coach of cross-country;
and heroic Ray Nichols. coach of the 1974 basketball champions.
Not until we can look back through the history of athletics in the Walnut
Valley, a sketch history that has necessarily been written to include only
team highlights, can we indeed discover whit "pride" and "spirit"
are more that mere words. But we really don't feel the true meaning of the
words until we remember and think about our own favorite individual athletes
that have come and gone through the years, some of whose names appear in
college and professional halls of fame.
Neither do we really understand pride and spirit until we understand
that the real lessons of good sportsmanship, citizenship, and Christian
principles are not learned primarily by winning. Rather, let us remember
that most of the significant lessons from athletics have been learned in
the agony of defeat. For it is from many of our so-called "defeated"
teams that have come the winners of the "long run." While it is
thrilling and beneficial to win, it is also thrilling and beneficial to
remember that many of the last shall be among the first.
At Southwestern the notable mentors of recent decades have been: the
late Bob Hower, athletic director and coach of basketball; Bill Stephens,
present athletic director and coach of basketball; hard working Bob Karr,
whose track teams won several conference titles, and Harold "Bud"
Elliot, who is now coaching in university circles. And at St. John's Tom
Nahnsen coached a championship soccer team.
(update from Scott Davis)
Harold "Bud" Elliot, 73, Protales, New
Mexico, passed away November 1, 2005 at the
Lubbock Heart Hospital, Lubbock, Texas. A
memorial service was held Monday, November
7, 2005 at the Eastern New Mexico University
Football Champions 1923, McQuerrey, Coach.
Varsity Track 1930-31, Ralph Titus, Coach.
State Basketball Champions -- 1940, Ollie Thomas, Coach.
Junior High Basketball, Ralph Titus Coach.
Curley Vaughn teaching a young Winfieldite (Karl Hassard) how to hold a
Curley Vaughn getting congratulations at his retirement dinner. (from Denny
Lucien Barbour instructs Roger Coad, Chris Williams and Olin Tucker.
Ollie Thomas is known as "Mr. Basketball" of Winfield. He is a
long time coach and teacher at Winfield High School, having been there from
1929 to 1952.
Four of his basketball were state champions. Ollie is one of the best
known coaches in Kansas.
ARK VALLEY CHAMPIONS OF 1958
Coaches Hiebert, Vann and Everhart.
email the Bill Bottorff