EDITORIAL: A Shamrock legend reunion - Hall of Fame Enshrinement reception

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The Missouri Sports Hall of Fame celebrates the legends of sports throughout the state of Missouri.  Their greatness inspires athletes from little leagues to the professional leagues to push themselves to higher levels.

The Missouri Hall of Fame is comprised mostly of professional athletes such as Payne Stewart, Lou Brock, Stan Musial, Bob Costas, Bob Gibson, and Ozzie Smith; all of whom are some of the greatest athletes of their time.  Today, New Haven’s Basketball Program shares a spot in The Missouri Hall of Fame with these same legends.

Pictured left to right: David Menke (1959 team) and Bud Haerer (1956 ).

Throughout the day, I was able to stand back and watch former teammates reunite after years without seeing one another.  I may have been part of a state title, but it is because of what the 1956, 57’, 58’, and 59’ teams did by winning four state titles in a row that put New Haven’s Basketball Program on the map.

Sunday morning began with a meet and greet reception at the Missouri State Hall of Fame.  The featured inductee of the 2012 class was Jim Edmonds, who spent an hour signing autographs.

The highlight at the reception for me was being able to capture the excitement on the face of Bill Wilson as he saw John Kingsbury, reaching through a crowd of people to shake hands, (Pictured Right) and the opportunity to talk with some of the greatest legends to have ever played at New Haven.

The reception not only allowed players to visit the Hall of Fame, some for the first time, but a time for players and coaches to relive some of their high school days.  They were able to take a few hours to forget every thing else and reminisce on all the great times they had together over 50 years ago.

I had the distinct pleasure of speaking with John Kingsbury, who helped lead New Haven to four straight state titles.  Kingsbury said, “I don’t think we really realized what we were accomplishing.  Back then records weren't talked about much, like the school's scoring record.  It was not until years later when I found out…I didn’t even know we had a scoring record.”

Pictured left to right: John Kingsbury (1956, 57, 58, 59 teams) and Larry Scheer (1957 and 1958 teams)

Kingsbury said, "After winning the first couple [state titles] it was just expected…this was not going to be a problem we were just going to keep winning state."

Never again will there be a time when the core foundation of New Haven’s Basketball Program will all be together as one team.  Every player in attendance was there for the same reason, sharing a bond very few can share of winning a state championship.

Our next article will feature the enshrinement ceremony that took place later Sunday evening.

Pictured below, left to right: Rich Brune, Gary Stock, David Menke and Keith Davis.Pictured below left to right: Dennis Carey, Scott Coble, Allen Scheer, Derek Bailey, and Bryan Quick.Pictured below: Coach Tim Strobel and Coach Ray Steinhoff.Pictured below front to back: Derek Bailey, Mike Baynes, and Tim Strobel.Pictured below left to right: Robert Brown, John Viehland, Kris Doerr, and Ray Steinhoff.