The headline in the Saturday, February 13th edition of the Portsmouth Daily Times read, “New Boston’s Young Tigers SOC Champs”. The year was 1971, and by the end of this season, it will have been 45 years since the 1971 Glenwood Tigers captured the Southern Ohio Conference (SOC) Championship. This Saturday, the 1971 Glenwood Tigers Basketball team will be honored between the junior varsity and varsity basketball games at Glenwood High School in New Boston.
“What I wanted to do when I became the coach there at New Boston, was to recognize and bring back past teams, and allow our kids today to understand what kind of basketball traditions we have a Glenwood,” Glenwood coach Scott Jenkins said.
All 11 members of the 1971 Tiger basketball team have been contacted and invited to return home to celebrate the 45th anniversary for the SOC title. Two members of the team will be unable to attend due to prior commitments, but the remaining nine will be present, along with two coaches and the score keeper.
“We’re expecting a big night, Saturday night,” Jenkins said. “We’re looking forward to having these guys back at Glenwood.”
The team will be introduced and recognized prior to the varsity game Saturday night. Legendary voice of the Tigers, John Wickline will introduce each member of the team.
Jenkins will also provide the members of the 1971 team with a scrapbook commemorating the championship season.
Aside from the anniversary year, Jenkins had another reason to celebrate the 1971 Tigers.
“When we started looking back at things, they were the last team to win the SOC at New Boston in the old SOC format, where they had to play Wheelersburg, West, Valley, Minford, like the original eight teams of the conference,” Jenkins said. “They finished that year 7-0 in the conference.”
In 1971, there were no divisions in the SOC, something that would occur several years later. Today, Glenwood plays in the SOC I, while many of their former SOC foes now reside in the SOC II.
At the conclusion of the varsity game, a reception will be held for the 1971 team along with their families. The current Glenwood Tiger squad will be present as well, along with school officials.
The 1971 team not only captured the SOC title, but also took numerous awards. All five starters earned All-SOC recognition. Ed Thompson, John Whisman, and Mike Dunham were named to the All-SOC Team. Joe McKelvey and Junior Williams received Honorable Mentions.
The Tigers also took home the two highest SOC honors that year, Player of the Year went to Ed Thompson, and Coach of the year went to Steve Jenkins.
The New Boston Village Council also commemorated the 1971 Tigers as they passed resolution, shortly after capturing the SOC title, congratulating the team members for their outstanding performances.
“The starting five, will all be there,” Jenkins said.
Glenwood will face West Union Saturday evening, with the 1971 team celebration occurring between the junior varsity and varsity games.
Reach Michael Hamilton at 740-353-3101, ext 1931 or on Twitter @MikeHamilton82.