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December 11, 2014 • Headlines
Milan player in Hall of Fame
Milan has yet another reason to be proud of its basketball legacy. Roger Schroder, a member of the school’s legendary back-to-back state finalist team, was recently named as a 2015 Indiana Hall of Fame inductee. He joins other teammates Ray Craft and Bobby Plump who were on the 1954 championship team with him. Plump was inducted to the Hall of Fame in 1981 and Craft in 1991. (A player is eligible 26 years after his or her high school career, and for a coach, 25 years of varsity experience or10 years after retirement.) Schroder joins 11 others in this year’s inductee class.
Superior Court judge race
Pictured left, Hall of Fame inductee Roger Schroder signs autographs with teammates Bobby Plump and Glen Butte at the Gibson Theatre
Although Schroder didn’t start on the famous 1954 Milan team, the high school experience kept basketball and school sports at the forefront, leading him to pursue a teaching and coaching career. A three-sport athlete (basketball, baseball and track) at Franklin College, Schroder embarked on a 31-year teaching and coaching career in Indianapolis Public Schools that included 19 years as head coach at John Marshall High School and three seasons as head coach at Broad Ripple High School. His teams won 258 games and three sectional championships. He coached for 31 years and taught school for 38 years before retiring in 1996.
Schroder was in Batesville Friday for a meet-and-greet with several of the other Milan ’54 players and a special showing of the movie “Hoosiers” at the Gibson Theatre. Many of the kids lined up Friday for autographs, sheepishly admitted they didn’t know much about the small team nor the players but that their parents, grandparents and teachers told them what a big deal it was. And, the movie they would watch that night — the movie that has kept the story in the limelight since 1986 — no doubt would confirm the “big deal” the true life story preserved. The former 5’ 9” guard told the kids the movie took many liberties but that the gist of the story of the tiny school that wins against the big school with a last-second shot is real. The 78-year-old, retired math/physics teacher didn’t bring up the game or the team much while teaching in his 38 years in Indianapolis. But, the lessons he learned by Coach Marvin Wood carried over to the court “I did a lot of things like he did. I took the same approach to the game. I worked on the fundamentals with the players. And, I tried to always be a gentlemen just like he was. There was no screaming, no vulgarity,” Schroder said
It was about self-discipline, paying attention and doing what you are supposed to do when you are supposed to. Several of the high school players he coached went on to play college ball. He mentions Larry Bullington, a 1970 Marshall High School player, was the leading scorer for Ball State and later won several state championships as a coach. He also mentions Poncho Wright who was dubbed ‘Instant Offense” when he played for the 1980 NCAA champion University of Louisville team.
Coach Schroder has always put academics first. He told students, “There are two A’s in high school. The Big A is for academics and the Little A is for athletics.” He doesn’t get back to Milan much, but did see the “first class” museum, as he calls it, and was there for several special team and movie celebrations. There are no family members left in town, other than a cousin or two in the county.
The coach is honored and humbled by this recent Indiana Hall of Fame accolade. “There are so many deserving people to be there,” he commented. Southeastern Indiana is well represented in this year’s inductees. Besides Schroder, Harold “Buster” Briley, the all-time leading scorer at Madison High School (1985 points) and who graduated as the 4th leading scorer in the history of the then-Evansville College (1,335) joins him. He was an A.P. All-American and held the Roberts Stadium record for longest made shot (86 feet.) And, Danny Brown set the career scoring record at Jennings County High School (1,960 points) en route to selection as a 1973 Indiana All-Star, high school All-American honors and career at the University of Louisville. At Jennings County, he averaged 27.5 points per game as a junior on the state’s highest scoring team of all-time (92.9 ppg). At Louisville, he was a member of three NCAA Tournament teams. Now in his 16th season as a high school girls head coach with over 230 wins at Jennings County, Greensburg and Columbus East, he is in his 12th year at Columbus East.
Schroder is retired and lives in Indianapolis. He and the other 11 inductees will be honored at the 54th annual Mens’ Awards Banquet on Wednesday, March 25 at the Hall of Fame in New Castle.
Recount: Sharp remains winner
In the end, the re-count conducted Tuesday at Ripley County Circuit Court didn’t change the outcome of the Nov. 4 election for Superior Court judge. Jeff Sharp, Republican, remains the newly elected Ripley County Superior Court judge. John Kellerman II, Democrat, filed the petition for the recount. He lost by 19 votes, with 3638 to Sharp’s 3657 votes. It was sinking in for Sharp Tuesday night that he won the election. “I have to say Nov. 4 was more exciting than this, but I fully expected the recount to produce the same result. Now I’m just more excited to get to work,” Sharp told Ripley Publishing, 12 hours after the recount process began.
MARY MATTINGLY PHOTO
The re-count commission, made up of Carla Miller, Kyle Conrad and Ed Goble, review the voting machine tapes from the 25 precincts. They spent seven hours making sure the ballots were properly tabulated. Kellerman gained one vote, but lost a vote in another.
Kellerman actually gained one vote through the process and lost another; so, it remained the 19 vote difference. Sharp said of the process afterward, “I thought it was done correctly and fairly. And, it ensured all ballots were counted.”
Kellerman said he had no regrets in filing for the re-count. The re-count was done at his expense, a bond of $750 set by the Circuit Court Judge Ted Todd. The funds are used to pay the commission members $100 a day, plus the fee established with the county with the voting machine mechanic, according to the court order
“A lot have accused me of wasting taxpayer’s money. I don’t know where they get those ideas. I was upfront. I’m paying for it and it was up to the court to decide how much I would pay,” Kellerman commented afterward. The judge said Wednesday he is not clear on what happens if the cost exceeds the bond.
Tuesday’s recount process began with the attorneys disagreeing over the procedure or guidelines, with the judge eventually intervening. The actual re-count didn’t start until almost five hours after the commission convened at 9:30 in Circuit Court. The delay was for a couple of reasons. One was because there was no representative from the Democrat party on the recount commission. The three-person commission is made up of the voting machine mechanic, and a member of each party appointed by the judge with names submitted by each candidate. Carla Miller for the Republicans and Kyle Conrad with Governmental Business Systems, which serves Ripley County’s voting machines, were both swore in around 10 a.m. by Judge Ted Todd of the circuit court. Ed Goble, Batesville, representing the Democrat party, was contacted and arrived near 11 a.m. The judge apologized when he swore in Goble for not communicating the day’s recount particulars to him.
The re-count procedures were then disputed by the two candidate’s attorneys. David Brooks of Indianapolis was hired by Jeff Sharp and Lynn Fledderman by John Kellerman. Attorney Mark Wynn, district 6 chairman for the Republicans was also present for Sharp. Two issues regarding the re-count procedure came into play, basically who counts the ballots and how it is done. Brooks argued the statute calls for a third party to be the counter, not the re-count commission “We are ready to proceed today with our counters but the petitioner does not have counters,” Brooks said. There were about a dozen Republicans at the courtroom, five asked to be counters. The attorneys debated the issue. Conrad, who was chosen as chairman of the recount commission, stated he thought he was there to “count”, that is their task, as they said under oath. The other issue regarded how a ballot would be counted. Brooks cited that the petitioner did not specifically request a “manual” re-count, as required by state statute; therefore, it must be done by machine. He has been involved in numerous recounts and it’s always been petitioned for a manual recount, he commented.
Fledderman acknowledged they did not make that specific request, and interpreted the law differently. The statute referenced ballot cards could be counted manually, with no use of machines, but nothing was said about if the ballots would be challenged. Kellerman explained later that he didn’t have an issue with the machine accuracy. “We didn’t ask to void the machines, but the ability to challenge the ballot before the ballot goes through” he said. Brooks says the point is they didn’t request a manual recount, and the deadline passed to do so. After three hours, the three member re-count commission could not agree on the ballot process, and Judge Ted Todd was called to render a decision. He heard from both parties on their arguments regarding the two issues of who is to count it, and how it is done. In the first issue, Todd ruled that a third party was not needed to count the ballots, that was the charge of the recount commission, and secondly, he ruled that ballots would be run through the machine, not by manual count.
The re-count commission began the actual counting around 2 p.m. in the jury room at the courthouse. The county election board, Lee Mathews, David Green and Diane Macek of the clerk’s office, were also on hand to assist. Republican chairperson Ginger Bradford also attended.
Kellerman did say the main reason he filed for the re-count was due to confusion on election night. “The totals released changed after 100 percent of the vote was completed. That gave me rise that perhaps someone counted the ballots twice, or put in a memory card in twice, again these are all for instances. That night different cards kept being found and we were told there were no votes on this card, but there were.”
The signatures and numbers of ballots cast were reconciled during the re-count process. The re-count was only for paper ballots, not the touch screen votes, and the tapes were re- run through each precinct.
Kellerman has 30 days to file an appeal based on the judge misapplying the law. He said he would decide that in a few days as it wasn’t fair to Sharp or the county to wait any longer. When it was finished, Kellerman said he thought the re-count process was revealing. “It’s important the process is followed correctly and the re-count actually revealed problems with some reporting.” For example, there were more ballots in a precinct than actually signed on the books, and vice versa, he said. “While it didn’t change the results in my race, it was a learning experience for the county,” he said. Swearing in of new county officer holders is Dec. 31.
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