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NHS honors ’62-’63 state basketball champions

Published: Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 12:07 p.m. CDT • Updated: Friday, Feb. 8, 2013 12:14 p.m. CDT
Caption
(Shane Lucas/Daily News)
Members of the 1962-63 Newton state championship basketball team wave to the crowd during a ceremony in their honor Thursday night at Newton Senior High School. Team members also attended a reception in the school's multipurpose room where coach Lewis "Buzz" Levick gave pointers and the team chatted with the community.

Members of the one of the most prolific high school basketball teams in Iowa high school history were on hand at Newton Senior High School Thursday night, once again earning accolades for their achievement from 50 years ago.

The 1962-63 Newton basketball team went undefeated with a perfect 26-0 record and went on to win back-to-back state championships. Nine members of the team were on hand, including legendary coach Lewis “Buzz” Levick.

A reception was held in the high school multi-purpose room, in which the players chatted with old friends and the current Cardinal basketball team got to meet the players who laid the groundwork for the program.

Even after retiring from coaching in 1993, Levick was still giving pointers and advice to both Newton players and coaches. Levick made the trip all the way from Waverly, where he still resides after coaching at Wartburg College for 28 years. It was just the third time he had been back since leaving in 1965.

“When I drove up to the building, I noticed everything had changed so much,” Levick joked. “Then I went around the circle and still thought everything looked new, but then I got inside and I was completely lost.”

Levick and his former players received a standing ovation throughout the presentation, which included plaques for each present member. The team will get a similar treatment in a few weeks, but on a possibly larger scale, when it is honored during the boys’ state tournament.

Considering the town’s attachment to the team decades after its run decades ago, the 1962-63 Cardinals certainly made an impact.

“I think it was very interesting,” Levick said. “They’ll also be honoring the team during the state tournament, and all the players that were on that team will be here except for one. That’s amazing after 50 years.”

Members of the team included Roger Bradley, Scott Power, Sonny Johnson, Dennis Schnathorst, Dave Wickett, Dave Schnathorst, Dave Lister, Dave Bennett, Dan Markman, Larry Lust, Denny Williams, Tom Altemeier, Gary Williams, Fred George and Roger Sparks.

Staff writer Shane Lucas may be contacted at (641) 792-3121, ext. 432, or at slucas@newtondailynews.com.

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