WINONA LAKE – On June 20th, the Kosciusko County Basketball Hall of Fame will host its fifth induction banquet. The event will be held at the OCC on the campus of Grace College. The evening will start at 6 p.m. with dinner followed by the induction ceremony. This year’s speaker will be former Indiana high school star and NBA great Clyde Lovellette.
Tickets for the evening will be $20. For ticket information, call Jim Irwin (574) 268-8537 or Krista Nicholson (574) 551-0056.
Kosciusko County Basketball Hall of Fame Class of 2014 Bios
Beaver Dam Beavers – Everett Rookstool, a 1951 graduate, helped lead the Beavers to a runner-up finish in the 1951 County Tournament losing to the Silver Lake Ramblers in the finals after beating the Warsaw Tigers in the semis. Rookstool was a 1950 and 1951 First-Team All-County selection and was the Beavers all-time leading scorer with 1,176 points. Rookstool teamed with Donnie Butts to become the first teammates in Kosciusko County history to join the 1,000 point club.
Claypool Knights – Charlie McKenzie is a 1967 Warsaw graduate but played his first three seasons with the Claypool Knights. McKenzie helped lead the Knights to three consecutive county championships, only the second time that occurred in county history joining the Milford Trojans of the late 1940’s. McKenzie was First-Team All-County and All-Sectional in 1965 and 1966 for Claypool and ended up as Claypool’s all-time leading scorer with 1,670 points. He ended his high school career with the Warsaw Tigers as an Indiana All-Star and the Warsaw Community High School all-time leading scorer with 2,145 points.
Etna Green Cubs – John Oldfather, a 1957 graduate of Etna Green helped lead the 1957 Cubs team to a 23-2 record and the Kosciusko County Championship. Oldfather was the second-leading scorer that year for the Cubs, scoring 307 points, just one point behind Ronnie Hoffer. Oldfather made the Second-Team All-Sectional list in 1957.
Etna Green Cubs – Ed Stine, a 1958 Etna Green graduate, started for two years for the Cubs that produced a 49-3 record along with two County Championships and a sectional title in 1958. Stine was a first team All-County selection in 1957 and First-Team All-Sectional in 1958. Stine scored 677 points in his career for the Cubs.
Leesburg Blue Blazers – John Stookey, a 1957 Leesburg graduate, was Leesburg’s first and only 1,000-point scorer tallying 1,191 points in his Blue Blazer career. Stookey made First-Team All-County in both 1956 and 1957 and the All-Sectional First-Team in 1956. John help lead coach Roland Young’s 1957 team to a 13-7 record while leading Leesburg in scoring with 452 points.
Mentone Bulldogs – Jon Cullum, a 1954 graduate of Mentone, was the starting point guard for Abe Hoogenboom’s great 25-2 Bulldog team that won both the county and sectional titles. Although not a big scorer, Cullum scored 142 points in 1954 but his job was to feed the big men Bob Boggs and Clarence Dickey for the very successful Bulldog team. John received mention for both the All-County and All-Sectional teams in 1954.
Mentone Bulldogs – Jim Teel, a 1960 graduate, helped lead Paul Bateman’s 1960 Bulldogs to a 20-5 record and the Kosciusko County Championship. Teel was a 1960 All-County First-Team and Second-Team All-Sectional pick and scored 338 points his senior year. Teel tallied 616 points during his Bulldog career.
North Webster Trojans – Sam Popenfoose, a 1954 North Webster graduate, was a member of the legendary 1953 Webster that had an undefeated regular season and a county-best mark of 27-1. Popenfoose was a 1953 and 1954 All-County First-Teamer for the Trojans and led the 1954 team with 420 points, ending his Webster career with 744 points.
North Webster Trojans – Larry Mauzy, a 1958 Webster graduate, stood a towering 6-4 and in his senior year helped lead Donnie Butts’ team to an impressive 19-6 record, finishing runner-up in both the county and sectional tournaments. Mauzy led that team in scoring with 474 points and was a First-Team All-County selection. Mauzy ended his Webster career with 912 points.
Pierceton Cubs – Ray Slusher, a 1964 Pierceton graduate, made the First-Team All-County for three consecutive years from 1962-64 and First-Team All-Sectional in 1964. Slusher led Tom Sittler’s 1963 squad to an 18-5 record that included a regular season win against Warsaw. Slusher joined the 1,000-point club in 1964, ending his Pierceton career with 1,148 points.
Pierceton Cubs – Garth Cone, a 1965 graduate, ended as Pierceton’s all-time leading scorer with 1,365 points. Cone made the 1963-65 All-County First Teams and 1965 was named First-Team All-Sectional. A four-year starter for Coach Tom Sittler, the Cubs compiled a fine 62-28 record during that period. Cone went on to a fine college career at Taylor University and won a state championship while coaching at Alexandria High School.
Syracuse Yellowjackets – John Kroh, a 1951 graduate who played on Millard Sink’s 1949 sectional champions and 1950 county championship teams, helped the team to an outstanding 23-2 record. Kroh was Syracuse’s first and only member of the 1,000 point club, finishing five points above the mark. Kroh made both the First-Team All-County and All-Sectional teams in both 1950 and 1951 and led the Yellowjackets in scoring in both his junior and senior years, ending with 421 points in 1951.
Warsaw Tigers – Terry Klondaris, class of 1943, helped lead the Warsaw Tigers to back-to-back sectional titles in 1942 and 1943. At 6-4, Klondaris played center for the Tigers and during that two-year period helped them to a 49-7 record to go along with the two sectional titles and the 1942 County Tournament championship. Klondaris’ senior year he scored 164 points and also had the privilege of playing on legendary coach George Fisher’s last basketball team in 1941.
Official – John Lozier, a 1953 Leesburg Blue Blazer graduate, was an outstanding player for the Blue Blazers and scored 705 points in his career. A Hall of Fame official, Lozier worked 24 sectionals, 19 regionals, 10 semi-states and two state finals (1979 and 1980) in boys basketball. Lozier won many awards for his officiating, including several from the North Central Officials Association. He was also a head basketball coach at his alma mater Leesburg in the 1950’s.