Letter Recalls one of
ACJC's Greatest Teams
Editor’s note: Jack King sent the following letter to his teammates on the 50th anniversary of one of Cowley’s best basketball teams ever.
March 28, 1953, marked the disappointing finish to a near-perfect season as ACJC lost in the finals of the national tournament to a team it had beaten twice during the regular season. Second place, though, is quite an honor for an exceptional team. Only one player on the squad was not from the Arkansas City area.
Fifty years ago this March, the great Arkansas City Junior College basketball team made school history.
Under the leadership of Coach Dan Kahler, this team won the conference championship, the state championship, the regional championship and placed second at the NJCAA National Tournament. The team finished the season with a record of 30-5. Three All-American players were on that great team: Ray Potter, Lafayette Norwood, and Linwood Burns. Playing with this team was one of the greatest moments of my basketball career. Each and every one of us should be proud of what we accomplished with that team. In the past 50 years, no team has accomplished such a feat.
The 10 players who made that trip to the NJCAA in 1953 follow: Centers were Ray Potter from Winfield and Cecil Hawkins from Ark City. Forwards were Gerald “Hooley” David from Winfield, Linwood Burns from Wichita, Jim Reed from Winfield, and Reece Bohannon from Cedar Vale. Guards were Lafayette Norwood from Wichita, Jack King from Winfield, J.C. Louderback from Ark City, and Seymour Seitchick from Philadelphia. Coaches were head coach Dan Kahler and assistant coach Bunt Speer.
Some day in the near future it would be wonderful if we could all get together. Such a reunion remains to be seen.
To my knowledge, three members of that team are deceased: Gerald “Hooley” David, Seymour Seitchick, and Bunt Speer. I have been unable to locate Linwood Burns and Reece Bohannon. If you would like the address of any other teammates, let me know.
To each of you I send my best regards. I hope this finds all of you well and happy. As the March madness begins, my thoughts go back 50 years to that unforgettable Ark City Tiger team of 1953. May those memories mean as much to you.