Emotions And Excitement Ran High At Alumni Game

Johnie J. Logue
Enterprise Staff
The First Annual Warsaw Alumni basketball game had a little bit of everything on Saturday evening, March 16, 2019.
The somber moment of the evening was at halftime of the girls game where the late legendary girl’s basketball Coach Don Dixon was honored by his family, former players and a host of fans.
Dixon, 76, passed away on September 1, 2018. His jacket was placed on a chair on the girl’s bench symbolizing Don as their honorary coach.
Sandy Parker, considered by many as the greatest female basketball player at WHS, gave a moving account of what Coach Dixon meant to his players and friends. Coach Dixon’s wife, Maxine, was at center court along with a host of former players for the ceremony.
The girls game featured the Senior Squad, for lack of a better name, against the Youth Squad. Several of the veteran players hadn’t picked up a basketball in several years Parker said it had been 20 years for her. However, at times they showed glimpses of their former selves but on this night as they say, youth was served. They defeated the Seniors 46-39.
Travelling wasn’t called and there was a four point circle on each half of the court.
With the score 38-33, Mackenzie Wallace, 2013, would bomb a four pointer to basically put the game out of reach. Allison Durst, a coach in 2014-2017, would score the final points for the Youth squad.
Unofficially, Charlotte Beck had 14 points, most of those on the inside for the Seniors.
Parker, 1989, commented after the game, “It was exciting and fun. All of my teammates I didn’t know are now my life time friends. I am old and tired. I wouldn’t replace this experience for anything.”
Jackie Downing 1986, said, ”It was great to see all of my teammates as well as of all the players I coached.
What a special feeling it was to play with some of my old teammates and others that Coach Dixon coached and the bond that we all share no matter when you played for him.  
It was also fun to see and play against some of those girls that I coached in high school.  They have become amazing young women that I am very proud of.”
Included on the roster were Sam Thompson 2017, Kylie McRoberts 2016, Donna Spry 1987, Kim Fugate 1987, Erica Flores 2017, Jenny Greene 2004, Sherry Dawson 1983, Christie Braden -Knott 2007, Laura Ansteatt-Peckham 1996, Tiffianie Plummer 2007, Eryn Downs-Kellner 1996,  Karen Beck 1976, and several others. Cody Morgan coached the Youth team.
On the mens side, the Youth defeated the Seniors 69-66. The Seniors were down 40-25 at half, but  took the lead  briefly at 48-46. The Youth, behind the play of Logan Davis, were able to take charge and hang on for the victory. Davis played against his father Dwayne Davis, 1989, and the word was that there was some playful trash talking going on during the week. Both teams wanted to win as was evident as each had their younger and better players on the floor at the end.
Dennis Larson, the 6’9, 2007, hit two fours to the delight of the crowd and also to his teammates.
Tyler Simons, 2018 and Senior Matt Luebbert, both had outstanding games for the Youth.
Tyler Burke, 2007, showed flashes of why he played D-1 ball at Quincy.
Players included on the roster were Michael Slavens 1993, Corey Stackhouse 2010, Anthony Beuke 2017, Brian Roelig 2001,Mike Ferguson 2003, Cody Wright 2009, Wesley Carr 2017, Adam Rowles 2001, Ryan Boyer 2004, Eran Eaton 1997,Bailey Jelinek 2017, Clint Schwach 2010, Brandon Brewster 2003 and Seniors Deric Flores, Jake Luebbert, Evan Kowal, Joey Mace, and Ethan Schomberg. Bob Campbell coached the Senior team and Scott Floyd coached the Youth.
Rowles was asked what was it like not to be doubled teamed. He smiled and commented, “I didn’t know what to do. It was strange.”
Coach Campbell was asked about the event. ”It was wonderful. Hopefully, this will help promote basketball in the area.”
All proceeds went to Project Graduation. Special thanks go to Teresa Flores and a host of others for planning and heading up the event. To Hawkthorn Bank, Walmart, and all of the local businesses that supported.
Maybe the Senior squad will get out the basketball and practice a little more for next year. We can’t wait to see what happens.