A story completed
78 years later, the 1939 Hurons are recognized
ROGERS CITY–The only time that the Rogers City boys basketball team experienced an undefeated regular season was in 1939.
The problem is, not many knew about that remarkable team or season until now.
Harold Newhouse, a native of Rogers City was walking through the halls of Rogers City High School while waiting for his daughter, Mariah Newhouse to begin playing a Presque Isle Basketball Association (PIBA) game over a week ago.
Harold came across an old trophy that read “1939 Regional Class B at Petoskey won by.” After his daughter’s game, Harold searched around for some of the memorabilia his father Bill Newhouse had left behind. Eventually, Harold came across several items that were related to that special 1939 Hurons team. Harold’s father was apart of that team along with 10 other players including Bill’s brother, Dick Newhouse.
Harold sorted through autographed rosters, old schedules and other unique items that were left behind.
After finding this, Harold felt it was his duty to finish the engravement on the trophy that had been at the school for many years and give that 1939 the recognition they deserved.
“I thought it was just really neat. I was in shock that the trophy wasn’t filled out,” Harold said.
Among some of the unique items that Harold found were his father’s medal that he and the rest of the Hurons were awarded for their regional victory over the Traverse City Trojans in which Rogers City won by a score of 15-13. During that season, Rogers City played as a Class C school, but was informed right before the game that they had been moved up to Class B in order to play Traverse City.
The Hurons were a perfect 15-0 after defeating Traverse City and went on to beat Mt. Pleasant 27-20 in a quarterfinal matchup that was held in Big Rapids.
After improving to 16-0, Rogers City fell in the state semifinal game against Grand Rapids Christian 26-23 and finished a magical season with a 16-1 overall record and a perfect 13-0 regular season record, which is still the only undefeated season the Rogers City boys basketball program has had.
After discovering all of the details thanks to the information that his father had left behind, Harold went back to the high school to speak with the superintendent and principal about getting the trophy engraved and filling out the missing information.
Harold then took it to Bolenz Jewelry in Alpena and told them the story. Bolenz went ahead and engraved the trophy free of charge.
“I am just ecstatic. My daughter never knew her grandfather and I’m blessed that I am able to share this story with her and I am thankful for the people at Bolenz who were so kind and able to finish the engravement,” Harold said. “It’s just great to be able to finally share the story of that 1939 team. I’m excited to share this history and the story in general with Rogers City and the surrounding areas.”
The trophy now reads, “1939 Regional Class B at Petoskey won by Rogers City Hurons 15 vs Traverse City Trojans 13 March 11, 1939.”
The entire roster is located on the side of the trophy with the rest of the message on the front of the trophy below the regional score which reads, “1938-1939 First undefeated team EVER. Regular season, Varsity B basketball team. 13-0 Regional Champs. Quarterfinal Champs. 16-1 Overall.”
Harold intends to give the trophy back to the school during a halftime ceremony during one of the Rogers City boys basketball games this season.
The trophy will be put back in the display case at the school and after 78 years, the story is finally complete.
Jonny Zawacki can be reached via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 358-5690.