Thursday, March 12, 2009

An old-fashioned small town celebration

"We haven't been together since our 50th reunion,'' said Rollie Dunsmore, who lives near Ida and was a starting guard on the 1948 team.
Ron Montri of the Monroe News slipped in a little information for readers on the Milan reunion that took place at halftime of the team's game with New Boston Huron on February 27th.

Jana Miller of the Milan New-Leader included a photo of the team's five remaining members for readers.

Photo by Hiroshi Onuma

Surviving members of the 1948's MHSAA Class C basketball state titlists: Left to Right: Wayne Tooman, Rolland Dunsmore, Sherman Collins, Dick Trim and Harlan Benjamin.

In addition to re-presenting the trophy, the players were honored by a team banner that now hangs in the Milan High School gymnasium.

The five returning players were also surprised with the creation of a small college scholarship in the 1948 team's name that will be awarded to a single athlete each year.

With center Al Benjamin, forwards Carl Tschirhart and Al Bassett and guards Sherm Collins and Dunsmore at guard, Milan rolled past heavily-favored Saginaw SS Peter and Paul, 45-42.

Montri notes that Benjamin recently died in Tennessee and that Tschirhart also is deceased.

"I feel privileged to be on that team because those guys were good,'' said Dunsmore, who is 77. He was a junior when Milan went 21-0 in 1947-48.
Collins' daughter, Julie Frontera shared some more information from the night.
It was an emotional evening as a few of the guys weren’t in the best of health, but they were all so happy to see each other. There were even three of the original cheerleaders who came!! They have all remained friends throughout the years and there were lots of hugs (and a few teary eyes) all around...

My Mom told me that back in ’48 there wasn’t much to do in Milan at all except rally around the team and this team was capturing the attention of each person. On Friday nights there were lines of cars headed to the high school game or to the opposing team and she said that Milan fans would really support their team!! This was big time for them!!
It's too bad that there aren't more schools out there that take the time to recall their history and put together an evening like this for the old teams.

Only wish I could have been there for this one. I love these old trophies!

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