Wednesday, January 8, 2014

southwestern (hanover)

April 1974 brought the best & worst to Southwestern High School in Hanover.  The Rebel basketball team had just won back to back Sectional titles and their star player, Steve Collier, was named Co Mr. Basketball (along with Roy Taylor of Anderson).  And then came April 3.  What began as a normal spring day turned into one of the deadliest outbreaks of tornadoes (148) in the nation's history.  The gym where Collier honed his skills (over 2000 points scored, 55 in one game) that would make him a high school All-American and lead to a career at the University of Cincinnati was gone. The F4 tornado left 11 dead in Hanover and Madison and a mountain of disaster.  Because of that, it's no surprise that the rebuilt Southwestern gym resembles a fortress.  After the storm, the Rebel team would win 6 more Sectional titles and a spot in the 1998 2A Championship game (they would lose 57-43 to Alexandria).  And, beginning in 2001, the Lady Rebels went on their own impressive run - winning the Sectional in 2001, 2002, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007 and 2008.  Under the guidance of Donna Cheatham (642 career wins in 39 seasons and currently at Scottsburg), the '02 squad would go on to win the state title.  Just as the Rebels thought - the south did rise again.  CGS.

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