ELKHART — It was a fast-moving, high-scoring team that took to the court for Edwardsburg High School back in 1952-53.
That winter — 60 years ago — the Eddies averaged 75.2 points per game and went 18-4 with a Niles District championship and two Vicksburg Regional victories before falling to Hartford in the final.
Ray Minix remembers it well and he wants to make sure current and future generations know, too.
“I’m well aware of the tremendous athletes that have been at Edwardsburg,” says Minix, 78. “It doesn’t matter when something happened. It matters that it really happened. Records should not be forgotten and they should be brought into the light.”
Minix, the long-time Elkhartan, was a guard and the top scorer on that EHS team that was coached by LaRue Harcourt with assistance from Bill Campbell and also featured Dean Bidwell, Burt Blanchard, Bob Boepple, Ron Gordon, Jim Hanson, Leonard Kmitta, Bill Mackling and Jerry Toth.
Long before the 3-point basket, those ’52-53 Eddies of the old Twin Five Conference put at least 71 points on the scoreboard 15 times, with high-water marks of 100, 96 and 92. You could look it up in the Yearling — the Edwardsburg yearbook — or newspaper accounts of that time.
Basketball wasn’t the only thing special about that year. Edwardsburg also went 6-0-2 on the football field and finished as state runners-up in track and field, with Campbell serving as a head coach for both squads.
Football and track became varsity sports at Edwardsburg in 1949-50, the year Minix moved from Mishawaka to Michigan and met his future wife, Mary (the couple with six children and many grandchildren will be married 60 years June 27).
The former South Bend West Sider went on to earn 14 varsity letters during his days at EHS (four each in basketball and baseball and three each in football and track). Minix was a standout pitcher in baseball.
Minix, an end on both sides of the ball, recalls the famed “Edwardsburg Moo Moo Fit” that got the defense fired up during the football season.
Players would chant “Moo Moo” louder and louder and whip themselves into a frenzy.
“We were flattening people,” says Minix.
After graduating Edwardsburg in 1953, Minix spent two years at Alpena Community College in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula, earning letters in five sports (basketball, baseball, track, golf and tennis) before transferring to Western Michigan University. A knee injury kept him from playing for the Broncos.
Minix became an educator and coach with a brief stop at Edwardsburg (he also helped start Edwardsburg Little League in the early 1960s). He also taught and coached at Norfolk, Neb., and Cassopolis before staring a school for underprivileged children in Florida and working decades with his wife at a residential treatment facility.
A man of many talents, Minix is a children’s author, wood carver, songwriter, amateur magician and performer. He once toured in a one-man play called “If Elvis Had Lived.”
It’s been quite a ride, one worth remembering.