Monday, May 8, 2017

home of the blasters

When most Hoosiers awoke on the morning of February 26, 1956 it seemed like an ordinary Sunday in late winter/early spring.  The temperature in the southern part of the state would start out in the high 20s, but would hit 54 by days end and although Dwight Eisenhower was president, the Platters were the hot topic of conversation with their #1 hit The Great Pretender. But Sunday February 26 wasn't just a normal day for Keith Huber of St. Paul - it was a day of endless possibilities. You see, Huber and his teammates Don Gordon, Jerry Owens, Jim Harris and Ray Bostic had defeated Greensburg the night before, 44-42, for the Sectional championship - the second one in school history for the Blasters (1941 was the first).  So on this Sunday, an unwritten page of their basketball history lay ahead - with the possibility of a Regional, Semi-State or even State crown to come.  If Milan had done it two years before, why not St. Paul?  But, by Saturday evening March 3, Huber & the Blasters had fallen to a very good Scottsburg squad and like most in the state, would sit back and watch Crispus Attucks march to a second state title.  

Today, St. Paul is a sleepy little town that the main highway has passed by (I-74 is two miles north) and in 1968 the Blasters were consolidated into North Decatur (some students living close to the town attend nearby Waldron). Although the school and team are gone, the gym remains and if you stop by on a Friday night you just might find Keith Huber there, no longer jumping center (he is #55 on the outside window) or pulling down rebounds but helping local kids play ball and appreciate the gifts of growing up in a small town. CGS.

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