KHS Rowdies

From the Hub Letter Box by Bob Elliott KHS '69 Aurora, Colo

I thought readers might be interested to know that the Kearney Hub had a role in the creation of the Rowdy Section at Kearney High School.

     The 1968-69 basketball season was a disaster (0-17), I believe. The coach, early on, decided to emphasize a promising group of sophomores to build for the future.  This decision did not sit well with many of the boys in the Class of '69 and even several guys from the Class of '70.  In the coach's defense (he passed away a few years ago), these sophomores (Class of '71) were pretty good and went on to play in the state tournament.

     I followed the situation pretty closely because I was a sportswriter for the Echo.  If memory serves me, a couple of seniors either quit or were asked to quit.  Two more stayed on and played quite a bit  One other senior rode the bench.  This fellow ultimately was the inspiration for what followed.

     I always sat in the same section, next to the pep club, with my buddies.  They were mostly seniors and a few juniors.  As a group, we decided to take it upon ourselves to get our senior bench-rider on the court.  His name was Dave Jones.  i believe he still lives in Kearney.  Every time something bad happened on the court (which was often);  we stood as a group and screamed Jonesee!  Jonesee!  Jonesee!

     I don't know if this was a "Rudy" moment, but the initially puzzled crowd got into it and bedlam ensued.  The game was delayed a bit as embarrassed KHS administrators implored us to stop.

     The Kearney Hub report of this game included discussion of the game being delayed by a "rowdy bunch of boys."     Some of us knew a little bit about First Amendment Rights, but most of us were just plain ticked off.  The afternoon before the next game, several of us went down to George's Market and acquired about 20 feet of butcher paper.  We took the paper up to my house on 36th Street and proceeded to create a banner that said, "The Rowdy Section Cares."  We swore my mother to secrecy because my dad was on the school board and I didn't want him to have a chance to stop me.

   At the game we waited for just the right time to unfurl the banner.  As planned, 20 or so of us (including future KHS staffer Chris Richardson, who was in college) stood in unison and unfurled the banner.  The crowd went crazy and we got a standing ovation

     I must say that it was one of the coolest things that I have experienced in my entire life.  The next edition of the Hub published a photo of us holding our banner.

     The rest was history.  The "Rowdies"  were hatched.