Wingate was all abuzz Wednesday after the town was honored at Tuesday’s North Montgomery basketball game where North Montgomery School Corporation and the Journal Review celebrated the 100th Anniversary of the Wingate Spartan’s 1913 Indiana State Basketball Championship.
A large contingent of people with ties to Wingate were on hand to witness the event and participate in the reception of a plaque and certificate given to the community.
One of the town citizens on hand watching the ceremony was the self-described “oldest person living in Wingate that grew up in Wingate” - Patricia Bane. Bane is the mother of County Commissioner Phil Bane.
She said the event brought back memories of her dad and late husband, Kenneth Bane.
“My father, Charlie Bane, never missed a Wingate game anywhere,” Bane said. “I know he would have been right in the front row watching it all with Kenneth.Kenneth and my dad would have enjoyed every minute of the ceremony. They were Wingate’s number one fans.”
“I want to let North Montgomery and the Journal Review know we were thrilled to death with the recognition of Wingate’s basketball history”, she added.
Many descendants of Leland Olin, who played on the championship team, were on hand for the ceremony. After the game Dennis said he was pleased with the honor that recognized his grandfather’s team.
“That was great,” Olin said. “For people to still recognize what Wingate did in those early years means a lot to all of
the Wingate area.”
Wingate Town Council member Doug Slavens was on hand to accept the awards for the town. Slavens said the plaque will go on display along side of other Wingate memorabilia at the Spartan Inn in downtown Wingate.
Slavens had a perspective on the championships won in 1913 and again in 1914. Slavens said Wingate will always be able to claim they had two state championship ball clubs.
“I know the two championships were a long time ago, but that is something that can never be taken away from us,” Slavens said. “I thought the celebration was super.”
Celebrating the 100th Anniversary of the championship is not over in Wingate. On May 5 the Wingate Community Club will have Wingate Spartan Days in honor of the championship teams; the town celebration will be in Wingate’s Kenneth Bane Park located south of town.