County Basketball Hall of Fame inductees for 2008 announced
This years roster for the Ripley County Basketball Hall of
Fame includes 10 inductees and one Meritorious Service winner, all
of whom will be presented between games at the Ripley County Tourney
on Saturday night, January 5.
Leroy E. Clemenz, a 1943 graduate of Sunman High School, played
three years of varsity basketball as a guard for the always tough
Sunman Tigers. He was considered to be an outstanding offensive
player, a stellar defensive player, and a very good ball handler.
Playing in the days of slowed-down basketball, Clemenz many times
during his varsity career led his team in scoring and was selected
to several all-county and all-tourney teams.
After his graduation from Sunman High School, Clemenz joined the
Merchant Marines, serving from 1943-1946. He then went on to college
at Indiana Tech, where he played varsity basketball for Coach Charles
Chuck Bobilya. He graduated with a degree in Mechanical Engineering.
Now residing in Dayton, Ohio, with his wife Peggy, Clemenz has worked
as a safety engineer for 40 years. He is the father of three children
- Gary, Dan, and Jill.
Bennie Decker, coach of the Osgood Cowboys from 1945 to 1955, was
a graduate of Central Normal Teachers College in Danville, Indiana,
where he lettered in basketball, baseball, football, and track.
Highlighting his college career in 1936, Decker was a member of
the Central Normal Olympic Trials Basketball Team.
During his coaching career at Osgood, Deckers teams won two
Ripley County Tourneys, were runners-up one time, and runners-up
in the Sectional Tournament two times.
He was known as an outstanding defensive coach, and his teams always
played very good heads-up, alert games. As mentor of the Cowboys,
Decker attained a .636 regular season winning percentage with a
total of 119 wins, 68 losses.
After a 39-year career in education, including a number of years
at both Lapel High School and Ben Davis High School in Indianapolis,
Decker retired in 1977. His family included his wife Virginia and
three daughters - Andrea Westerfeld, Jenene Hoyer, and Marcia Pledger.
Decker passed away at his home in Middletown, Ohio, on January 12,
David Hamilton, a 1961 graduate of New Marion High School, played
basketball for Coach Dale McNeeley. Becoming a starter during the
last half of his sophomore year, Dave averaged 18 points and 10
rebounds a game during his senior year.
The New Marion Panthers had an outstanding season during Hamiltons
senior year, winning the Ripley County Tourney, the sectional, and
the first game of the regional with a 66-59 loss to Connersville
in the championship game. The team was ranked in 1961 seventh in
the State of Indiana.
During his outstanding senior year, Hamilton was named to numerous
all-county, all-sectional, and all-regional teams. He was also the
Tri-County free throw champion and earned a spot on the 40&8
All Star Team.
Along with his wife Donna and daughters Cindy and Kelly, Hamilton
has spent his life as a farmer in Rexville.
Lavita Huffmeyer, a 1976 graduate of Jac-Cen-Del High School, was
one of the most tenacious rebounders and fierce competitors of the
Lady Eagles. Although she only averages six points a game, she became
one of the top rebounders in the state and was largely responsible
for the Eagles victory in the Lawrenceburg Invitational Tournament.
In 1975, Huffmeyer helped her team complete an undefeated 9-0 season,
and in 1976 the Lady Eagles won the first-ever Ripley County Invitational
tournament for girls, the ORVC title, and finished another undefeated
season at 12-0.
Huffmeyer was also outstanding in volleyball and track. As a pioneer
for girls basketball in Ripley County and Southeastern Indiana,
she finished her basketball career with her team accomplishing 27
wins and having only one loss.
James W. Lemon, a graduate of Cross Plains High School in 1944,
played on the 1942 team that won the only Sectional tournament in
the history of the school. He played varsity basketball in his sophomore,
junior and senior years.
In 1944, Lemon entered the United States Army and after basic training
was sent to the South Pacific theater of operations. When V.J. day
arrived and the war with Japan was over, Lemons outfit was
sent to Japan to serve as occupational forces.
He also played basketball for the 21st Infantry Regiment All-Star
Team, which won 24th Division tourney and was invited to play in
the 11th Air Borne Tourney in Japan.
After his discharge from the Army, Lemon returned to the area to
play basketball with the outstanding Versailles American Legion
team, serving as a floor guard for the team from 1946 through 1953.
In 1946-47, the Versailles Legion team won the state tournament
and played in the National Tournament in Brazil, Indiana, losing
to Michigan 45-42. The team won state titles again in 1950 and 1951
and was the only team that did not have any ex-college players.
Lemon believes the Versailles team was the undefeated champions
Lemon has had an outstanding career in banking at Friendship State
Bank as an employee and president. He resides in Friendship with
his wife Patricia. They are parents of three children.
James (Pete) Schorr is a 1950 graduate of Batesville High School
and a 1954 graduate of Purdue University. His education also includes
an MBA from Indiana University and a PMD from Harvard Business School.
He was awarded an Honorary Doctors Degree in Engineering from
Purdue University in 1987.
His athletic career at Batesville High School included four letters
in varsity basketball, four in varsity baseball, two in golf and
one each in tennis and track.
As a member of the Bulldogs varsity basketball team, Schorr was
chosen for the All-County team, All-Sectional and the All-Regional
teams. His average of 15 points per game earned him high scoring
honors during his senior year.
At Purdue, Schorr earned two letters in basketball and was a starter
for the Boilermakers in his junior year. He also lettered in varsity
baseball and was the 12th recipient of the Distinguished Service
Award for Purdue Athletics. The first recipient was John Wooden.
Residing in Naples, Florida, Schorr is executive manager in a chemical/plastics
industry. He and his wife Jane Ann are parents of four children.
Alan F. Smith, Jr. graduated from Versailles High School in 1963,
where he played three years of varsity basketball for Coach Gus
Moorhead. During his high school career, Smith scored a total of
904 points in 56 games for a 16.1 average per game. In his senior
year he had a high game of 41 points, which is an all-time, one-game
record for Versailles High School. In his senior year, he scored
a total of 507 points for a scoring average of 25.1 points per game
- an all-time record for per-game average for Versailles High School.
Also considered to be an outstanding rebounder, Smith had a high
game of 24 rebounds during his senior year. He also was a contributing
member of the baseball and track teams during his high school career.
Having been highly recruited by many colleges and universities Smith
accepted a nomination to the Academy at West Point to play basketball
for Coach Tates Locke. After two years at West Point, Smith transferred
to Fairfield University in Connecticut, where he majored in pre-medicine.
He completed his medical degree with a major in Pathology at Indiana
University Medical School and now serves as a pathologist in the
Serving in the United States Army as a captain, Smith was stationed
at Fort Knox and in Seoul, Korea from 1974-1976.
Smith resides with his family in Bloomington, where his wife Carolyn
is also a doctor. They have two daughters. Smith is the son of Alan
and Kathryn Smith, and his deceased father is a former board member
and winner of the meritorious service award for the Ripley County
Basketball Hall of Fame.
Willard (Bill) Snyder has had an outstanding career as a girls
basketball coach. His teams have played in 13 final games of the
Ripley County Tourney with 10 championships and three consecutive
At South Dearborn High School, where he coached from 1984-1995,
his record was 182 wins, 62 losses for 75%. During these years,
his teams had 11 consecutive winning seasons, five conference championships,
and eight Sectional championships.
His coaching career at South Ripley High School from 1999-2005 resulted
in seven consecutive winning seasons with 115 wins, 43 losses for
73%. His Raider girls won three conference championships, one Sectional
championship, one Regional championship, and advanced to the Final
Snyder is presently high school principal at Lawrenceburg High School.
He resides with his wife Michele in Dearborn County, where she is
a nurse. He has two children - Derrick and Courtney, both graduates
of South Ripley High School.
Ray E. Tucker was a graduate of Holton High School in 1949 and played
basketball for Coach John Stork. During his senior year, Tucker
averaged 17.2 points per game with a game high of 28 points. He
scored over 29% of his teams points in his last year as a
member of the Holton Warhorses.
He was named to the All County and All Sectional teams both his
junior and senior years as a guard/forward. Also during his junior
and senior years, Tucker was selected to the Cincinnati Posts
All-Star teams. He was often referred to as Holtons Sparkplug
in the county newspapers.
Another quote following the Holton-Milan county tournament game
came from Double Dribbles: If there had been a sportsmanship
award for the tourney, we would have selected Ray Tucker of the
Warhorses. We think he is a fine floor man and of great value to
Tucker resides in Holton with his wife Marian. He calls himself
a semi-retired farmer and is the father of six children. His son
Terry Tucker is a member of the Ripley County Basketball Hall of
Fame as a Jac-Cen-Del Eagle.
Anthony G. Veldhaus graduated from Milan High School in 1973 and
played three years of varsity basketball for the Milan Indians.
Known for his scoring and rebounding abilities, Veldhaus earned
MVP for his team both his junior and senior years.
During his junior year he scored over 20 points per game and was
the leading rebounder with an average of 12 per game. As a senior
he was both the leading scorer and the leading rebounder. He scored
19.3 points per game with 14 plus rebounds.
He was named to the all-county, all-sectional, and all-regional
teams during the 1972-73 season and was all-conference during both
his junior and senior years. Veldhaus won the Milan All-Sports trophy
in 1973 and was Star of Stars for the 40&8 All Star game.
Playing four years of basketball for the Hanover College Panthers
under Coach John Collier, Veldhaus was named MVP after his junior
year and was nominated for the Hanover College Athletic Hall of
Fame. He helped Hanover finish eighth in the nation in the NAIA
in 1974 with a season record of 29-4.
Veldhaus resides in Milan with his wife Teresa and has five stepchildren.
Stanley E. Foster, this years Meritorious Service Award winner,
was born and reared in Napoleon, where he has been a pioneer for
When the IHSAA sanctioned girls basketball in 1974-75, Foster did
all he could to promote girls basketball in the Jac-Cen-Del community.
He thought that by putting his business behind the Lady Eagles program,
he could encourage the community to be supportive.
According to a family member, Foster supported the girls program
because he loved sports and a challenge; he could envision the start
of something big for girls basketball; he loved working with the
youth; and he had a daughter who was an outstanding player.
As a native of Napoleon, he has served as president of the town
board and has been responsible for getting the senior citizens apartment
complex built in 1984-85. He continues to give back to the community
and its youth. Even though he has 11 children of his own, the Foster
home was always open to young people in the area.
In his nomination, one of Fosters daughters has this to say:
I feel my dad Stanley E. Foster is an excellent candidate
for the Meritorious Service Award as he gave so much of himself
to the youth, the community, and to Ripley County.
Stanley Foster joins his daughter Rita Foster as a member of the
Ripley County Basketball Hall of Fame.