Bob Evans poses with his newly published book, “Hoosier Days and Claypool Knights.” Photo by Gary Gerard, Times-Union.
Bob Evans poses with his newly published book, “Hoosier Days and Claypool Knights.” Photo by Gary Gerard, Times-Union.
A former Claypool resident and Claypool High School graduate has written a book about Claypool basketball.
Robert Byron “Bob” Evans was born in Winchester, Va., in 1942 and raised in West Virginia until his family moved to Claypool in summer 1953.
Set to enter the seventh grade, Evans had no exposure to basketball, but quickly realized how important the game was in Indiana.
For the past two years he has been compiling “Hoosier Days and Claypool Knights,” a 240-page hardback volume published in black and white and four-color on glossy paper.
Copies of the book will be available for purchase at the Claypool Lions Club from 1 to 5 p.m. June 28. The author will be on hand to provide signed copies. Cost is $40.
The book begins with the first CHS team in 1913 and concludes with the championship years of the 1960s, according to a press release provided by Evans. Readers will find details of CHS basketball from each decade, including pictures. Many of the photos have never been seen before outside of the families who provided them. There are pictures of teams, cheerleaders, game action, marching bands, pep bands and pep clubs.
Newspaper reports of nearly every game from 1956 through 1966 are included as well as an extensive collection from prior years.
One of his earliest Claypool memories is the 1953-54 season that included him selling soft drinks in the stands as part of the Claypool concession crew at the Kosciusko County Tournament held at that time in the Warsaw Armory.
He later watched the “powerful” Mentone team of that year, after they won the sectional, in their televised regional game at Elkhart, the release states. He also watched the “legendary” Milan-Muncie Central game of “Hoosiers” movie fame.
Evans, despite only being 5 feet, 7 inches tall, managed to win a spot on the Claypool varsity basketball team his senior year. He received one of his most treasured possessions – his CHS letter jacket. The four-sleeve chevrons represent the four letters he won for baseball, which he learned as a child in West Virginia.
The slash behind the “C” represents his one year of varsity basketball and is his proudest athletic achievement, the release states.
After graduating from CHS, he attended Manchester College and earned a degree in mathematics from Indiana University. During his college years and during his early career at RR Donnelly, he followed CHS basketball’s successes under coach Tom Miller.
Evans’ Donnelly career led him to Gallatin, Tenn., where he lives today as a retiree.
According to the press release, even though he lived and worked in Tennessee for many years, his loyalty to Claypool, CHS and the game of basketball never waivered.