Monday, January 31, 2011

THE GREATEST GAME IN THE WORLD - PART 2



New Paris High School

As a continuation of Part 1 in this series, I would like to add some comments about the New Paris High School Cubs.  As noted in the previous posts, our varsity team was 41 and 6 during our junior and senior years.  Possibly the most noteworthy memory, or non-memory, of those days was that we achieved such a high level of success with a coach who never yelled at us.  Over the years I have watched the vast majority of high school, college and pro coaches using raised voices, verbal intimidation and humiliation, and even physical abuse as a part of their coaching method, and this has led me to appreciation and respect for our NPHS coach, Jim Hettler.  Coach Hettler got the very best out of all of us not by screaming and hollering, but by teaching and mentoring.  I am sure that he got irritated with us, and his correctives may have been stern but they were not out-of-control.

Although we 'minute-men' did not see a great deal of action on game night, we surely felt part of the winning team.  Every practice, we all worked extremely hard in both the drills and the scrimmages.  I still recollect the fast break drills, the 2 on 1 and 3 on 2 drills, the offense vs zone defense compared to the offense vs man-to-man defense, the full-court and half-court press drills, the 1-2-2, the 2-1-2, the 1-3-1 and the box-and-one, running laps for missed free-throws, and most importantly, the proper execution of the pick-and-roll.  We succeeded because we had superior talent, skills and coaching.  The New Paris Cubs mascot, a wooden cut-out of an overweight bear cub, may not have struck too much fear in any opponent, but I am fairly sure that none of our neighboring schools believed that we would play like our dough-boy mascot!

Sadly, three members shown in the picture in Part 1 have passed away.  Lonnie Clem and Stan Myers both succumbed to lung cancer after years of smoking, and I was recently told that Steve Hoffman also passed away.  If any of you readers have information on the whereabouts and doings of the others, please add a comment.

2 comments:

Steve Heller said...

What an amazing record your school had! And your coach sounds like a John Wooden. Too bad we didn't have multi-class basketaball back then. Am sure the Cubs would have been perennial champs in some classification such as North Group 2A Division IV.

Dr S said...

Steve - good point about the multi-class system. I agree that we would have gone a lot further into the state tournament in such a system. However, I do have a fondness for the single class system because it pretty much determined who had the best basketball team in the state, be it Argos or East Chicago Washington. We always looked forward to playing the "big" schools like Goshen and Elkhart, even though we had limited success :-)