Read PDF The Amazing Appleknockers: Illinois Cinderella Basketball Team of 1964

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As the school board conspired to get Flick back, the team suffered another loss over the summer.

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Halfway across the lake, the boys looked back and saw Crowell struggling in the water. Smith raced back. I think about what Tom could have been. The loss devastated the small town and the team.

When fall came, the team dedicated the season to Crowell. And what a season it was.

Roundup: Hometown Teams - Daily Yonder

The Appleknockers streaked to a record and determinedly advanced through district, regional, and sectionals, playing teams whose student bodies were twice the size of the entire town of Cobden, then around Until , Illinois had a single-class state basketball tournament. Consequently, small district schools like Cobden rarely made it this far.

When they arrived in Champaign for the final rounds, the Appleknockers became press darlings, due to their Cinderella story and young handsome coach, Dick Ruggles. They beat Galesburg in the quarterfinals, but everyone thought surely the Decatur powerhouse would bounce them. By then, the crowd was so fired-up for Cobden that the Pekin coach had his team run out into the gym at the same time as Cobden, so his boys would think all the cheering was for them.

The players rode home in silence, deflated.

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Then they rounded a curve, coming into Cobden on the bus and saw the entire town cheering them home. Square Dancing Records. The New Berlin Historical Society loaned these vinyl records. They were a source of entertainment in the mid twentieth century.


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They were used for dances and in clubs. Visiting the Bozo Show. This is a non-fiction work focused within the Southern Illinois' town of Cobden.


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  8. It followed Dick Ruggles' journey to Cobden and his two year stint as head coach of a successful underdog team: the Appleknockers. Abraham Lincoln Lantern. This lantern was utilized as a reenactment piece for the Wide-Awakes Walk.