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Huge crowds once filled tiny basketball gyms

| March 19, 2018

COSHOCTON – Tiny high school gyms used to be found throughout Coshocton County and on game day they would be packed with fans.

“They (the fans) just cheered and cheered for the teams and they really got into it,” said June Markley. “I remember playing Byesville one time when we were beating them and someone took their shoe and threw it clear across the gym at the team.”

You had to make sure you got to the games early.

“It was standing room only at most games, especially the tournament ones,” Markley said.

She was a West Lafayette High School General and graduated in 1955.

“I was a majorette in the band and we would march in the gym at halftime,” she said. “We had homecoming for basketball and every game had a program.”

Great rivalries were created at this time too.

“West Lafayette was rivals with Roscoe,” Markley said. “They were really good, but they all were. Roscoe and Keene had a rivalry like River View and Coshocton do.”

One of her classmates Floyd Gress still has an album celebrating all the team’s moments on the hardwood. One of the articles that jumped out for Markley when she flipped through the album was about Jerry Legge.

“He was another one of our classmates and he scored 53 points in one game,” Markley said.

His album also has a program in it from the 1955 Coshocton County Class B Basketball Tournament. Inside it is the tournament bracket and rosters for teams from Warsaw, Plainfield, West Lafayette, Union, Fresno, Keene, Conesville and Roscoe.

“It was just an awesome time going to games back then,” Markley said. “They were so much fun and you saw people you normally didn’t get to see.”

Read more stories like this one in our March – April Boomer Times.

Category: High School, Sports

About the Author ()

I started my journalism career in 2002 with a daily newspaper chain. After various stops with them, I am happy to be back home! I graduated from Coshocton High School in 1998 and received a Bachelor of Arts in Communication in 2002 from Walsh University. I also earned several awards while working for daily papers, including being honored by Coshocton County’s veterans for the stories I wrote about them. I am honored and ready to once again shine a positive light on Coshocton County. I also am the proud mother of a little girl named Sophia!

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