#tbt - March 14, 1957 : Fans cheer on Middletown High hoopsters to a state victory
On this ThrowbackThursday, March 14, we relish memories of the Middletown community heaping lots of luck and good wishes upon a 1950s Middletown High School basketball team vying for another coveted state title.
In an advertisement published in the March 14, 1957, Middletown Journal, local merchants and others exhorted their district champs to embrace the Middie Magic and “Go All The Way right thru Cincinnati regionals … and on to Columbus.” Spread over two pages, the eye-catching ad featured photos of Middie players and coaches and the names of supportive merchants.
The good wishes worked. Combined with superb coaching and multi-talented hoopsters, the Middies snatched the 1957 state victory from the Roosevelt Rough Riders of Kent, Ohio, at St. John Arena in Columbus.
Chronicling the big win on the front page of the Sunday, March 24, 1957, Middletown Journal, Sports Editor Jerry Nardiello wrote:
“Middletown High’s Mighty Middies continued to roll along as the state’s top basketball power here last night when it annexed its seventh Class AA championship with a hard-fought 64-54 victory over tough Kent Roosevelt at the St. John Arena...the triumph over the Rough Riders climaxed the second straight undefeated season for Paul Walker’s quintet and brought their state record winning streak to 52 games…”
The victory also garnered a prominent spot in the 1957 Middletown High School “Optimist” yearbook, which reported:
“...As 13,600 fans looked on at the St. John Arena in Columbus, the Mighty Middies netted their seventh state crown by defeating Kent Roosevelt’s Rough Riders 64-54. “...the Walkermen (alluding to Coach Paul Walker) ... victoriously concluded their second straight undefeated season and made their winning streak a lofty 52 games…”
The yearbook article continued that “All-American Jerry Lucas” (future basketball pro, Gold Medal Olympian, author and memory expert) “led the attack with 28 points and Tom Sizer contributed 14, but fine Middie team play was evident throughout the game.”
Today “Middie Magic” lives on in a new scholastic-athletic complex on Middletown’s Breiel Boulevard.
Who knows? The next Jerry Lucas might be hitting the court as we speak.
“Congratulations Middies. Go all the way…” advertisement from Middletown Journal, March 14, 1957. Pages 28 and 29.
“Middies Champions seventh time…64 to 54 victory rolled up after seesaw battle” by Sports Editor Jerry Nardiello, Middletown Journal, March 24, 1957.
Middletown High School “Optimist 1957” yearbook.
Copies of previous Middletown Journals can be located via MidPointe Library’s home page :
www.midpointelibrary.org > eLibrary > Research Databases > Magazines and Newspapers> Newspaper Archive.
Copies of the Middletown Journal and the Middletown News Signal are also available on microfilm at MidPointe’s Middletown location, 125 South Broad Street.
Copies of Middletown High School “Optimist” yearbooks are available on MidPointe Library’s Digital Archives, accessible via its home page :
www.midpointelibrary.org > eLibrary > Digital Archives >
“The Optimist” Middletown City School District High School Yearbooks.
Middletown High School (and other school) yearbooks are available for viewing on-premises only in the “Ohio Room” at MidPointe’s Middletown branch.
To learn about the past, begin in the present at MidPointe Library! All it takes is a free library card! Sign up at any location today :
Middletown, West Chester, Trenton, Monroe and Liberty Township (2nd floor Liberty Center).