This is the story of a coach…
A small town…
And a high school basketball team…
For the ages.
(Music gets bigger here)
The year was 1963, and little Dodgeville high school captured the state of Wisconsin’s imagination with an improbable run to the state championship game under Coach John Wilson.
In an era when every school in Wisconsin competed in a single division, Dodgeville – with just 400 students – found itself matched up against schools more than four times its size.
Even historic rivals jumped on the Dodgers’ bandwagon as their David-versus-Goliath story became more incredible with every victory.
However, Dodgeville would come up one victory short of the title in 1963, taking home the silver ball for the school’s trophy case. Surely this was a once-in-a-lifetime experience …
Or was it?
The Dodgeville athletic teams had no intention of being a one-hit wonder. Whether it was baseball (pause), golf (pause), track and field (pause), football (pause) or wrestling, the Dodgers excelled at every level.
And when the 1963-64 basketball season began, Coach Wilson and his charges had only one goal in mind – getting that gold ball.
The Dodgers cruised through the regular season unbeaten and incredibly found themselves as one of the tournament favorites when they returned to Madison for the state finals.
Again, Dodgeville rolled through the quarterfinal and semifinal rounds against much larger schools to reach the championship game. This time, against a vaunted Milwaukee North squad, the Dodgers would not be denied.
Playing the entire game without a substitution, the starting five of Bob Rock, Bruce Harrison, Corky Evans, Pat Flynn and Rick Brown earned a 59 to 45 victory.
Wisconsin had its own version of the Hoosiers story, and the Dodgeville Dodgers of 1964 had staked their claim to history.
(Music volume a little louder)
Experience this inspirational story in the book “Dodgeville – Capturing Hearts” by Rick Birk. Available at Go5books.com.