By Fred Engle
RICHMOND — (EDITOR’S NOTE: Madison Central recently made sports history by winning the 2013 state basketball championship. Here is a recollection of a previous county contender from an earlier generation that was published in past Madison’s Heritage column.)
Waco High School won its region and went to the state basketball tournaments in 1932. The regional games were played in Eastern’s gym and the state tournament was played in Lexington.
Back in those days there were A and B brackets, the local district was the 49th and Waco was in the 13th Region. In regional play, Waco upset Hazel Green, 23-12. Waco’s scoring was from Payne (10), Cain (1), Chamberlain (2), N. Hill (1), R. Hill (7) and Click (2). In the other regional bracket, Mt. Vernon upset Corbin, 20-19.
Mt. Vernon won the A bracket and Waco won the B bracket, and the two teams met in the regional finals.
In the regional finals the score was Waco, 29, and Mt. Vernon, 19. Waco scoring came from Payne (10), Click (4), R. Hill (8), N. Hill (7). Cain and Chamberlain played but did not score. Al Smith coached the team.
According to contemporary accounts from the Richmond Daily Register, Waco High School had only an outdoor basketball court. By March, the court was muddy and rough. Madison High made their floor available so the Waco squad could practice for its trip to the state tournament.
Regional trophies were presented to the team by two names familiar to long-time residents of the county – W.F. O’Donnell and Charles (Turkey) Hughes.
In the first game of the state tournament, Waco faced Lowes High School from Graves County. Waco won handily, 48-22. Scoring for Waco were P. Payne (20), R. Hill (10), N. Hill (8), Click (8), Chamberlain (2), Cain (0) and H. Payne (0).
In the next game, Newport defeated Waco 21-16, eliminating our Waco boys. In further state tournament games, Hazard beat Newport in the semi-finals and Hazard then went on to win the 1932 state championship by a score of 15-13 over Louisville Male.
Our 1932 Waco High team advanced to within two games of the state championship – we are still proud of you Waco.
Many thanks to Mrs. Ledell Curry for copies of old Register stories. Doyle Fritz tried to find me a photograph of the 1932 Waco team, but we were unable to find the picture in time to run this article. If anyone has an old team photo of the boys who played an indoor game out of doors - and played it well enough to get to the state tournament – let me know and we will try to run it later.
PUBLICATION NOTE: Dr. Fred Engle passed away March 8 at age 83. He had already written a number of Madison’s Heritage that is family is making available for publication.
Readers are reminded that a compilation of some 60 Richmond Register articles from over the last 40 years by Dr. Engle and Dr. Robert Grise is available in the paperback book, “Madison’s Heritage Rediscovered.” Combined with relevant photographs selected from Eastern’s Archives by Dr. Engle’s granddaughter, Kathryn Engle, who edited the volume, the book is available for $19.99 plus tax.
Autographed copies may be purchased at the Richmond Tourism Office (Irvinton House) on Lancaster Avenue as well as ClearSight Optometry, 5019 Atwood Drive, and Baldwin CPAs, 713 W. Main St.
Autographed copies also are available by calling Kathryn Engle at 893-0947 or 623-1150.
These books make excellent birthday presents for family or friends. Keep in touch with out-of-town family and friends by sharing this gift of home.