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Oolitic High School Class Of 1968 To Hold First Reunion
Updated April 11, 2014 6:22 AM
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1967-68 Oolitic Bearcats: 40 Henderson, 42 Stailey, 44 Hawkins, 30 Stailey, 14 Abels, 22 Lamb, 24 Lafferty, 34 Bush, 20 Ritchey, 32 Fields

(OOLITIC) - In 1968, a three-way tug-of-war known as the Democrat presidential primary race in Indiana brought New York Senator Robert F. Kennedy to Lawrence County.

All three contenders came here - Minnesota Sen. Eugene McCarthy and Indiana Gov. Roger Branigin, who was seen by many as a stand-in for Vice President Hubert Humphrey.
But Kennedy, who arrived April 24, 1968, drew the largest crowd.

Kennedy came in by bus with his aides and national media and made a brief stop at the Oolitic school playground to shake hands and sign autographs.

Kennedy's county campaign chairman Bob Masterson, who was coach of the Oolitic High School basketball sectional championship team, presented Kennedy a brand new basketball signed by the Oolitic players.

The ball bore the legend: "RFK, 1968, 23-0." The latter figures represented the Oolitic hardwood record of 23 wins and no losses.

At Kennedy's request, one of the Oolitic players, Danny Bush made a basket, a one-hand semi jumper, at the playground hoop.

"The crowd, estimated at 90 percent of the entire population of Oolitic, let out a roar heard all the way to Patton Hill," said the Times- Mail the day after Kennedy's visit.

"If we can do as good as your basketball team this year, there's no telling how far we can go," Kennedy said.

And another roar went up.

Those same high school graduates and the Bearcat's winning basket ball team will hold their first reunion ever at the Springville Gym on Saturday. Graduates of the Oolitic High School class of 1968 will meet at the gym at 5 p.m.

"We will have sandwiches, drink, chips and other goodies," says one of the reunion committee members Dan Taylor. "We are very excited about this. Out of a class of 68 graduates we had 14 that have passed away and 40 that have signed up to be there. I hear that is a pretty good number."

There is no formal attire required and the event is free to attend and there will be door prizes.

"We just want everyone to come out and have a good time," Taylor says. "We are asking if they have any memorabilia to please bring it to share."

Tug Beal, who is also on the committee has set up sound equipment so the group can hear their favorite 60 tunes including the class song "We Gotta Get Out Of This Place" by the Animals.

At 7 p.m. there will be a program remembering those in the class that have passed, six teachers who are planning to attend and Bob Masterson's two-time sectional winning basketball team that went undefeated in 1968.

Team members include Danny Bush, Kevin Kevin Stailey, Larry Lamb and Dave Abels, Mike Fields, Paul David Ritchey and Stan Lafferty.

"Those were a good bunch of kids," said Masterson, who had his athletes jump rope in warm-up drills and consume raw onions prior to a game to dissuade opponents from getting too close.

"I still think the 1968 Oolitic basketball team was the best team to ever come out of Lawrence County, and that includes Damon Bailey and anybody else," Masterson said during the Indiana High School Basketball Historical Society's fifth anniversary celebration in 1999. "They were strong, quick, smart, and despite me they won every game."

When Coach Bob Masterson's Oolitic squad tipped it off with Floyd central during the 1967-68 season, little did he know the Bearcats and star Danny Bush were about to make history. Oolitic rolled to a 131-71 victory, but in the process, this game would produce eleven Record Book qualifying marks including: Points by a team, points in a half, combined points in a half, combined points in a quarter, FG in a game, combined FG, combined FGA, FT made, combined FTA, and combined fouls.

After an evening of fun the group will meet at Golden Corral for breakfast at 9 a.m. Sunday.

"Everyone who attended Oolitic is invited. My mother from the class of 1949 is going to be there," Taylor says. "It would be great if everyone from Oolitic could join us to visit and reminisce."

There is no formal attire required and the event is free to attend and there will be door prizes.

"We just want everyone to come out and have a good time," Taylor says. "We are asking if they have any memorabilia to please bring it to share."

Tug Beal, who is also on the committee has set up sound equipment so the group can hear their favorite 60 tunes including the class song "We Have To Gotta Get Out Of This Place" by the Animals.

At 7 p.m. there will be a program remembering those in the class that have passed, six teachers who are planning to attend and Bob Masterson's two-time sectional winning basketball team that went undefeated in 1968.

Team members include Danny Bush, Kevin Stailey, Larry Lamb and Dave Abels, Mike Fields, Paul David Ritchey and Stan Lafferty.

"Those were a good bunch of kids," said Masterson, who had his athletes jump rope in warm-up drills and consume raw onions prior to a game to dissuade opponents from getting too close.

"I still think the 1968 Oolitic basketball team was the best team to ever come out of Lawrence County, and that includes Damon Bailey and anybody else," Masterson said during the Indiana High School Basketball Historical Society's fifth anniversary celebration in 1999. "They were strong, quick, smart, and despite me they won every game."

When Coach Bob Masterson's Oolitic squad tipped it off with Floyd central during the 1967-68 season, little did he know the Bearcats and star Danny Bush were about to make history. Oolitic rolled to a 131-71 victory, but in the process, this game would produce eleven Record Book qualifying marks including: Points by a team, points in a half, combined points in a half, combined points in a quarter, FG in a game, combined FG, combined FGA, FT made, combined FTA, and combined fouls.

After an evening of fun the group will meet at Golden Corral for breakfast at 9 a.m. Sunday. The reunion on Saturday is only for the Class of 1968

"Everyone who attended Oolitic is invited to attend the breakfast at Golden Corral. My mother from the Class of 1949 is going to be there," Taylor says. "It would be great if everyone from Oolitic could join us to visit and reminisce."



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