by John Tischer on August 28, 2010 · 0 comments

Sophomores this year…you move over a couple of rows in study hall. You now have a year behind of you of high school and are no longer looked at as the dorks you really were as freshmen.

The class of 1966 was a good class—not a great class—in my opinion. Bruce Adams and Bob Seidler were very cool guys and this class produced the first Viet Nam casualty in Melvin Thompson who was the Salutarorian of the class and was killed in Viet Nam on November 21, 1968 in Quang Ngai Province, South Vietnam. Melvin was killed by hostile fire and you can find his name on the Wall at Panel 38W line 031. Melvin had gone to Viet Nam so he could get the GI Bill and go to school.

Our class consisted this year of 18 students. Nick Baskerville, Vicki Buditt, Carlotta Delano, Joyce Eccher, Becky Gottschalk, Jane Hatteberg, Myron Hatteberg, Darlene Hunter, Philip Kelly, Dick Murphy, Pat Murphy, Karen Nieland, Joleen Reis, Steve Schossow, Linda Seagren, Don Smith, Dennis Stafford, and myself.

Since Fonda did not play football and there was no girls volleyball at that time, all of us could not wait for basketball season to start. I had grown almost 8 inches over the summer and was now a full 6′ tall. Every joint in my body hurt and due to the rapid growth I was certainly not the most coordinated. Both the boys and girls basketball teams had lost alot to graduation and so this was certainly going to be a rebuilding year. Yet hopes were high that we would have good teams.

The girls’ team was again coached by Lee Hurlburt and they did not win a game during the regular season. They were led by Karen Schoon and Jane Hatteberg in the forward court, and by Jeanne Hatterberg and Sheral Adams in the guard court. The team was very young, playing alot of juniors and sophomores who previously did not have alot of game time experience. Better things would come.

The boys’ team was coached by Phil Rihner. Mr. Rihner was a wonderful man, shop teacher, drivers education teacher. He was not, however, a great coach and, unfortunately for him, he also would have a very young and inexperienced team this year. Our best player was Bruce Adams, who quit the team before the season started. We started that year, two sophomores, two juniors and one senior, and our subs were a freshmen and a junior who had never played before. Disaster was about to occur.

In those days you did not have the youth traveling teams. You did not play 25 games a year in junior varsity; that just wasn’t the way it was done. So, when you have a very young team, you’re going to struggle. Our practices were never more than 90 minutes long as we had to share the gym with the girls team and we were always home by 6pm for dinner.

You never understand the speed of the game until you get into the game. Plays that would work in practice just never seemed to work in live game action. I remember our first game was against Rembrandt and they had a very good team. I was playing point guard, and the first two passes I threw were intercepted and taken in for lay-ups. The speed of the game and the quality of the opponent was too much for us to handle, and we were beaten soundly. The whole year was that way and we, like the girls, did not win a game that year.

Most of our losses were by big margins and the closest we got to winning a game was the last game of the year. Newell beat us 80 to 70. I had 19 points. Pat Murphy and myself were the two big scorers. We played Palmer one night and Pat had 31 points and I had 29, and we still got beat by 20 points. We were a very poor basketball team, but help was on the way.

Homecoming King and Queen this year was Kathy Stauter and Bob Seidler. Queen Candidates were Kathy Behrends, Karen Schoon, and Jeanne Hatteberg. King Candidates were Bruce Adams, Martin Hatteberg and Jack Winkler.

In the spring time we played golf and ran track. Allen Goetchius was our best track performer, and I was the medalist on the golf team.

Every year we had an all school awards banquet where you got your medals and awards for the year. There was always a big meal followed by the awards being given out. This year was particularly interesting as at the end of the banquet, Mr. Adams announced that Mr. Rihner would not be coaching next year and that Fonda would be starting a football team in the fall of 1966. Football was coming to Fonda!!!!!!

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