Oatess Archey was an outstanding athlete and student at Marion High School. He won the 1955 IHSAA 120-yard high hurdles with a state record 14.5 seconds. He was an all-state end in football and a starting forward in basketball. He was one of the first five Marion High School alumni to be honored in the school's Hall of Distinction. Archey was named the top all-around Marion High senior athlete in 1955.
Archey went to Grambling University in Louisiana where he got a bachelor of science degree in physical education. Grambling was known for football but Archey excelled in track. He became a col...
Bill Atkinson is one of the most outstanding all-around high school athletes in Grant County history. He graduated from Mississinewa High School in 1971 after a glittering career which began as a freshman. Atkinson earned 14 varsity letters over a four-year period. He starred or contributed heavily in four sports. He received four letters in track, football and baseball along with two in basketball. He ranked 17th academically in his class of 150 students. Atkinson scored 340 points in his football career while averaging 8.4 yards per carry and 171 yards rushing per game. One football game tha...
James Blackmon attracted attention at an early age in the Marion PAL Club Basketball League. Even before he entered junior high school, he had the tag of "can't miss"on him. He had all the signs of becoming a great player.Sports Hotline wrote a story about him scoring something like 61 points in a PAL Club game. Sometime after that, the Hotline remembers a courteous but confident youngster came up to the Hotline publisher at a high school game and quietly but calmly said words like "thanks for putting that in the paper but I scored 62 in that game."Blackmon could play the game of basketba...
With his long hair flowing and face streaked with sweat as he raced down the court, David Colescott brought new energy and competitive zeal to Marion Giants boys' basketball in the mid-1 970s. Colescott led the Giants to back-to-back state championships in 1975 and 1976 and graduated as one of the state's most honored players.
The son of former Marion coach Jack Colescott, much was expected from David when he first stepped on the Marion Athletic Arena floor for his first varsity game on November 28, 1973. When he was done, David set the school's all-time scoring record of 1,529 points and e...
In just six short seasons as Marion's coach, Colescott transformed the Giants from perennial also-rans to arguably Indiana's most storied boys' basketball program. Although he never led the Giants to a state championship, Colescott set in motion the six state titles that Marion teams would win after he gave up his position.
Yet, Colescott's short tenure as Marion coach is only part of the impact he has made on Grant County sports over the past 60 years. As a standout athlete at Gas City High School and Indiana Central College (University of Indianapolis), his early career coaching every spo...
Dawn Davenport Begor
Dawn Davenport Begor was one of the most outstanding girls' athletes in Grant County high school history. She starred in volleyball, basketball and track for the Eastbrook Panthers.
The Eastbrook basketball team reached the state finals, and the Panthers also had a very strong volleyball team. Eastbrook finished with a record of 25-1 in 1983-84 when the team reached the state's Final Four. Davenport averaged 22.7 points that season. Davenport and standout teammate Janna Bragg were co-winners of the Sports Hot/me 1983-84 Grant County High School Girl Athlete of the Year award. Davenport was ...
Jim Gallagher Jr.
Jim Gallagher Jr. easily ranks as the greatest golfer to come out of the talent rich Grant County area of Indiana.
Gallagher was a standout at both Marion High and the University of Tennessee.
Before turning pro in the early 1980s, Gallagher won the Indiana State Amateur and State Open.
He has recorded five wins on the PGA Tour headlined by his 1993 victory in the season ending Tour Championship.
His best year on the tour though may have come in 1991 when he finished 17th in the Masters, 11th at the US Open, and then in front of many adoring fans was third in the PGA Championships play...
Plain and simple, Bill Green is the greatest coach in the history of Indiana High School basketball.
Other coaches have won more games.
Other coaches have conducted more clinics.
Other coaches have coached more years.
But no one can match Bill Green's six state IHSAA boys' basketball titles.
The mere thought in 1969 that Bill Green would be placed in the Grant County Hall of Fame years later would have been shocking to Marion fans who saw Green's unbeaten Indianapolis Washington team edge the Giants by one point in the state Final Four. But Green returned the favor five times ov...
Ken Hill is a native of Lexington, Kentucky. He's a 1953 graduate of Henry Clay High School, Lexington. Heattended Eastern Kentucky one year and then transferred to the University of Kentucky from where he graduated in 1958 with a degree in journalism. He pitched for the Kentucky baseball team.
Hill served four years in the U.S. Air Force and worked at military newspapers and radio/TV stations. He also pitched baseball four years in the Air Force and two years semi-pro after that. His six-year record was 57-12 as his teams had great success.
After the Air Force duty, Hill worked at newsp...
Ernest Wagner, Bill Green and Jack Keefer. What do these three gentlemen have in common? They are the only coaches in nearly 100 years of Indiana boys high school basketball to wiry three state titles in a row. Keefer probably couldn't have imagined where destiny would lead him after schooling at Oak Hill High School and then Ball State University. Jack did hit a shot to win a sectional title for the Golden Eagles and did run track for the Cardinals, but his coaching career got jump started in 1975 when he came within one play of beating eventual state champion Marion while coaching at Oak Hil...
Trena Keys has written her own success story both on and off the basketball court. She was a verytalented playerforthe Marion High School girls' basketball team. She was named Indiana's Miss Basketball in 1982 as well as a Parade Magazine All-American. Keys played a starring role as the Giants reached the IHSAA state Final Four that same year. She finished with 1,362 career points and despite all the outstanding players to have played in Grant County since she graced the local hardwoods she still rates as the Grant County No. 9 all-time scorer.Her hard work, natural ability, high jumping and s...
Charles "Stretch" Murphey
Before there was Bill Russell and Bill Walton, there was Stretch Murphy.
In basketball's formative years Murphy was considered the preeminent center of his era. Like Russell, Walton, Wilt Chamberlain and Kareem Abdul-Jabaar, Murphy was credited with redefining the role of the big man and went on to gain induction into the Naismith Basketball Hall of Fame.
Standing 6-7, Murphy was considered a "Giant" for his day. During his junior year at Marion High School, newspaper headline writers began referring to the basketball team as the Giants, a nickname that has stuck for the last 85 years.
Don Odle spent 38 years as a basketball coach in the state of Indiana, 30 of those years as the head coach of the Taylor Trojans where he also served as athletic director.
At his retirement in 1979 the school named the gym after him, and for the past three decades the Trojans have played in the Odle Gymnasium.
One of the many highlights in Odle's career came in 1960 when the Chinese nationalist government invited Odle to coach its basketball team in the Olympic Games. That started a 15 year long odyssey for Odle, that led him to coach the Venture for Victory basketball teams in over 40 cou...
Wayne and Kim Seybold
Few athletes have captivated Grant County like Wayne Seybold and Kim Catron, the brother-sister pairs figure skating team. The Seybolds gained international fame and competed in the 1988 Calgary Winter Olympic Games with the aid of countless Grant County residents who gave enthusiastic support, both vocally and financially.
The Seybolds won multiple medals at the U.S. Figure Skating and World Championships and then embarked on a long professional career. Wherever they went, the Seybolds never forgot their Marion roots and brought worldwide attention to their hometown.
Starting out in rol...
The Gallagher Family
No family in the proud history of Grant County has had more athletic success or produced more good will for their sport than the golfing Gallaghers.
Father Jim Gallagher Sr., wife Jane, sons Jimmy Jr. and Jeff, and daughter Jackie have been fixtures on the Grant County sports scene for more than three decades.
It isn't often one family produces three professional athletes.
Jimmy, Jeff and Jackie have combined to win eight professional titles and have won millions of dollars competing world wide.
The Gallagher Family with the help of the Grant County YMCA founded the skins game where ...
The late Dick Dickey, an all-American at North Carolina State, tells the best Monte Towe story. Scouting for Wolfpack head coach Norm Sloan, Dickey turned Sloan on to John Mengelt, then an Elwood shooting star. Sloan passed and Mengelt went on to become Auburn's all-time leading scorer. The next player Dickey recommended to Sloan was Monte lowe and the rest is history. After an incredible run at Oak Hill as the quarterback of two unbeaten teams and the point guard of a Sweet 16 team in basketball, Sloan gave Towe a chance and in 1974 Towe helped the Wolfpack to the NCAA basketball title and pu...