The 1962 Basketball Kewpies Still Hold Record

"Best in the State" Pack HHS Trophy Cases
The 1962 State Class L basketball champions--the Hickman Kewpies--display their trophies won in a 28-1 season record.  Seated (from left to right) Dave Fearheller holding the state champions trophy, Coach Jim McLeod (Hall of Fame - Oct '09) with the sportsmanship trophy, Bob Lambert and Jerry Cook.  Standing: Larry Burnett, Dan Woodward, Bob Grogger, Paul Godfrey, (manager) Ron Bartlett, Eddie Sutton, Pete McDermott (deceased), Charlie Cottle (deceased), Danny Schuppan and Mike Richardson (deceased).  Other trophies include the Boonville, Moberly and regional tournament trophies.  The only blot on their season record was their single loss out of four games to Jefferson City in the Fulton tournament. (Missourian Photo)1962
The Team & The Trophies - Story from March 16, 1997 or
October 4, 2002 "1962 Championship Basketball Team" was honored @ halftime of the HHS Football Homecoming


Coaches:  Jim McLeod, Charles VanDyne & Russ Sloan


From "The Columbia Daily Tribune" March 16, 1997

The defending basketball champions of Columbia are a little paunchy by now,
 gray-haired if they are haired at all. They can't take anyone off the dribble
 anymore; that would probably result in a hernia.

 But 35 years after they won the Class L championship, the 1962 Hickman  Kewpies
 are still the youngest Columbia players who can call themselves state champs.

 This year, Rock Bridge had a chance to strike a blow for the younger
 generation, but a supremely talented CBC team ended that dream Friday in the
 Class 4A semifinals at the Hearnes Center. So the old guys still have bragging

 Here's a look at those guys, the '62 Hickman  Kewpies .

 Hickman entered the '61-62 season without outlandish expectations. The  Kewpies
 had finished the previous season with a loss to Mexico in the regional
 tournament. Their tallest starter was the 6-foot-4 Dave Fearheller, whose
 behind-the-head jump shot was fundamentally awful but very effective.

 Fearheller averaged 18.8 points per game. Nobody else scored in double

 ``We had a camaraderie that was just unparalleled,'' said Ron Bartlett, a
 reserve forward on the team. ``We just believed in each other.''

 Charlie Cottle and Bob Lambert started most of the season at forward, with
 Bartlett and Pete McDermott also playing extensively. Bob Grogger started at
 one guard spot. The other guard was Mike Richardson, the only black varsity
 player at Hickman, which had integrated just a few years before.

 Richardson, who went on to an All-American football career as a running back
 at Kirksville Teachers College, was such a good athlete that he jumped center
 despite being 5-11.

 Stressing defense and discipline, coach Jim McLeod turned the team into a

 ``I think he's a lot like that Jim Scanlon,'' Grogger said, comparing McLeod
 to Rock Bridge's coach. ``He was a disciplinarian. He wasn't the easiest guy
 to get along with, but he knew his basketball.''

 The highlights of Hickman's regular season were three games with rival
 Jefferson City.

 In the first meeting at Hickman, the  Kewpies  trailed by 16 points with five
 minutes left before sending the game into overtime and winning. Jefferson City
 gave Hickman its only loss of the season at the Fulton Tournament. Later, the
  Kewpies  nipped the Jays by two in Jefferson City.

 Hickman finished the regular season with a 21-1 record and 10-0 mark in the
 Central Missouri Conference. It breezed through the regional tournament at
 Moberly, beating Kirksville 53-38 in the finals on the same night that Wilt
 Chamberlain set the NBA scoring record with a 100-point game for the
 Philadelphia Warriors.

 That set up a first-round playoff game with Jefferson City. This time, it
 wasn't as exciting as the previous encounters. Fearheller scored 19 and
 McDermott added 13 to propel the  Kewpies  to a 51-37 win at Lincoln University
 in Jefferson City.

 Then the scene moved to Washington University in St. Louis, where the final
 three rounds were held. Hickman, which had won its only other state basketball
 title in 1936, had a chip on its shoulder.

 ``Everybody was talking about all the St. Louis schools, just like they are
 now -- how good they were, how we didn't have a chance,'' Bartlett recalled.
 ``The only people who thought we could win going in was the team, our coach
 and our fans.''

 Hickman's toughest game of the state tournament came in the quarterfinals
 against William Chrisman. Grogger scored 15 points -- nine more than his
 average -- and hit four free throws in the waning seconds in a 55-54 Hickman

 The semifinals and finals weren't as tight.

 Springfield Central entered the semifinals with a 28-1 record, but the  Kewpies
 pulled away late for a 63-55 victory. In front of a crowd of 5,585 in the
 finals, Hickman slowed down a Kirkwood team that had scored 88 points in the
 semis and won 57-47. Fearheller led the way with 28 points.

 ``I can't say they have the most talent of any team I've coached, but they do
 have the most desire to win of any team I've seen,'' McLeod said after the

 After 35 years, their legacy remains.


Musically at the time of this "Kewpie Championship Title"

The "Billboard Chart" of March 10, 1962 from Record Research Inc.

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Back to the "Class of 1962"


1936 State Champs

A close call in 1968, see the program of that playoff from the files of the MSHSAA