This letter is in response to the letters to the editor from Paul Lauver and from Fred Bontrager. First and foremost, I had a friend’s daughter play basketball at Lakeland and would enjoy reading about the beginnings of women’s basketball at Lakeland and a history of some of the better teams and players. They deserve the same attention that the men’s teams have gotten.
My loyalties have been with the Westview Warriors, as they have a winning program that still fills the gym, unlike most programs in Northeast Indiana. Fred Bontrager forgot to point out in his letter that Westview won a couple of state titles under the direction of Troy Neeley. Rob Yoder has continued this tradition and has outstanding teams year in and year out.
Fred also failed to mention that Mark Thompson, Tim Slabach, and Rob Yoder among many others from Westview, played college basketball. My hope is that Mr. Inninger from WAWK will do a feature show on the tremendous success that Westview has had throughout the years.
We listened to the program when Paul Lauver was on the air, and even though I don’t know him personally, he sounded like a fine representative of Lakeland Basketball. He complimented his teammates and spoke highly of his coaches. Jeff King, Harry Kohlheim, Paul Vandervier, Richard Butt, Bill Leiter, and Scott LaPlace were outstanding.
Regarding Fred’s letter—and he is entitled to his opinion—he mentions that players who are small have a tough time playing college basketball. That is inaccurate in my opinion. He must have forgotten about Jack Moore, who led Muncie Central to a state championship in 1979 at 5’9”; and Mont Towe from Converse, Ind., who played at North Carolina State and in ABA. He was 5’7”.
My observations after watching Northeast Indiana basketball for numerous years is that we have smart intelligence players that are normally in the 5’9” to 6’4” range.
There has been a relatively small amount of players that go on to play college basketball, but several have played and had wonderful success on the NAIA level. The Weimer boy from Lakeland was an outstanding player at Bethel. We made several trips over there to watch him play.
I would prefer to watch high school basketball rather than the college game where most team players seem to play as individuals and many lack character. That is what makes our area special; go to any game and you are likely going to see fundamental basketball and fine young men and women. Our family hasn’t missed a Westview game in several years. The atmosphere and quality of players and coaching is special. We feel so very fortunate.
Two things I hope to see is that we get some comments and letters about our women’s teams and some of the better players, and that Mr. Inninger does a show on Westview Basketball. We do have some loyal followers in LaGrange County that enjoy Mr. Inninger’s shows.