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Bill Lodge, Donna Cheatham

Madison’s Lodge,
Dupont’s Cheatham,
are new Hall of Fame Inductees

Fellow Madison Cubs Hall of Famers
made sure Bill Lodge was not forgotten.

By Ruth Wright
Staff Writer

MADISON, Ind. – (March 2003) The late Bill Lodge, a Madison High School and Purdue University basketball star, will be posthumously honored with induction into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame at a March 26 banquet in Indianapolis.
Lodge was the youngest of nine children of Irwin and Anna Lodge. The Lodge family was well-known in Madison for their successful business enterprises – first a hardware store started by Irwin and later a furniture store owned by two of Irwin’s sons, Boone and Gavin Lodge.

Bill Lodge

Bill Lodge, Madison
1939-1942, Purdue 1947

Young Bill Lodge quickly became known for a different kind of success: his prowess on the basketball court. Beginning in 1939, Lodge played as a forward for the Madison High School Cubs. Fellow Cubs teammate Andrew Taff of Rushville, Ind., remembers Lodge’s game style well.
“He was what we called a ‘blue collar player,’ ” said Taff. “That means he was the type who got in there and played hard.”
Taff, also a forward for the Cubs, played with Lodge for three years on the varsity team. “We knew that if we got the ball to Bill, we would either get a basket or two free throws,” Taff said.
Madison attorney Spencer Schnaitter also remembers the honoree. Schnaitter said that, as a kid, he watched Lodge play many games and was always impressed with how he handled a basketball. “Crowbar Lodge is tough as nails,” was a popular saying that was often heard about Lodge’s ability on the court and about his family’s heritage in the hardware business, Schnaitter recalled.
Under Coach Ray Eddy, the 1941 Cubs varsity team on which Lodge played became the first Madison team to advance to the state finals. The team lost to the Washington Hatchets in the final game. The following year, Lodge’s senior year in high school, the Cub’s team was ranked No. 1 in the state.
“Eddy’s crew in ’42” as they were called, made it to the semifinals, an impressive accomplishment for a school the size of Madison. But the team lost to the Crawfordsville Athenians. Lodge was named to the Indiana All-Star team that year.
After graduating from high school in 1942, Lodge was off to Purdue University, where he continued to light up the court under Coach Ward “Piggy” Lambert, known as the father of modern “fast break” basketball. Appropriately, Lambert had also coached Eddy, Lodge’s former high school coach. But after just two years playing for the Boilermakers, Lodge’s basketball career and his education were put on hold. Lodge, along with all six of his brothers, in 1944 went off to fight in World War II.
After the war, Lodge was discharged from the U.S. Navy and in 1946 returned to Madison. He began playing basketball for the American Legion. Prior to the days of television, the American Legion team drew considerable crowds. Lodge once again shined during games against such basketball greats as the Harlem Globetrotters.
Lodge went back to Purdue for a short time after the war, but he eventually entered into the family business, Lodge Hardware. He also opened and operated the Oasis Tavern, adjacent to the hardware building on Main Street.
Although Lodge came from a large family, he never married or had children of his own. Instead, he spent his adult life working in the hardware business and the Oasis, which he ran until his death in 1978.
Lodge’s legacy is still alive for many area residents who remember him. Schnaitter recalls watching Lodge play in the high school basketball state championship game in 1941. “I was only 9 years old,” Schnaitter said. Schnaitter played basketball for the Cubs from 1948 to 1950.
William “Gus” Moorhead also attended Madison High School following the Lodge era. Moorhead played four years on the varsity team at both Madison High School and Hanover College. He then coached high school basketball for 15 years in Versailles and two years at South Ripley in Versailles, Ind.
Moorhead said he was in junior high school when he watched Lodge grace the court in the Brown Gym and was always impressed with his ability. Moorhead said he used to wonder why Lodge, one of the best players ever at Madison High School, had not been inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Finally, the oversight prompted Moorhead to elicit the help of Schnaitter and Taff to draft an application for Lodge.
Individuals must be nominated before being considered for induction to the Hall of Fame, Moorhead explained. Moorhead, Schnaitter and Taff, all former Cubs players and Hall of Fame members, compiled Lodge’s resume and made several trips to Hall of Fame meetings in New Castle, Ind., before successfully securing his induction by the committee.
Only one of the 10 to 14 players inducted into the Hall of Fame each year are accepted posthumously, which made securing Lodge’s induction difficult. Schnaitter said the three petitioned the Hall of Fame three times before Lodge’s induction was approved. This year, 14 players will be honored with induction into the Hall of Fame at the Primo Banquet Hall in Indianapolis. Moorhead, Schnaitter and Taff all plan to attend the ceremony.

Southwestern High School girls’ coach Donna Cheatham discovered basketball late but made up for lost time

By Ruth Wright
Staff Writer

Donna Cheatham, the winningest coach in Indiana girls’ high school basketball history, will be inducted into the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame at the second annual Women’s Basketball Banquet on Friday, April 25, at the Primo Banquet Hall in Indianapolis.

Donna Cheatham

Donna Cheatham, Southwestern
Highschool Girls
Coach 1996-2003.

A Dupont, Ind., native, Cheatham grew up on a farm where chores came before sports. Regardless, Cheatham developed a love of basketball at an early age. Cheatham recalled her first encounter with the sport was watching her brother shoot hoops through a goal on the back of his bedroom door. Occasionally, Cheatham said, she would get her hands on the ball. She attended her first real basketball game in third grade and quickly picked up on the nuances of the sport.
“It just seemed to be one of those things in life I caught onto early,” Cheatham said.
It wasn’t until college, however, that Cheatham got her first chance to participate on an organized team. As a freshman at Georgetown College in Georgetown, Ky., Cheatham tried out for and made the basketball, softball and volleyball teams. Cheatham played all three sports during her four years at Georgetown.
There she majored in biology and chemistry with the intention of going to medical school after graduation. But fate had something else in store.
At the time, said Cheatham, it was difficult for a young woman to get into medical school. Conversely, primary schools were practically begging for teachers. Consequently, in fall 1967, Cheatham put her aspirations for medical school aside and accepted a position teaching general science to seventh and eighth grade students in Scottsburg, Ind.
In Scottsburg, Cheatham worked alongside her childhood and college chum, Jean Phillips. Phillips was two years ahead of Cheatham at Georgetown and had taken a position teaching physical education and biology at the school after graduating from college. The two women shared a love of sports and soon decided to start a girls’ athletic program at the school.
Cheatham helped Phillips with the softball team and, in turn, Phillips helped Cheatham start the first girls’ basketball program at the school in fall 1972.
“We were kind of the pioneers of girls’ sports,” said Phillips. The two worked tirelessly to get their programs started and faced many challenges in the beginning.
Cheatham recalled the difficulties of the early days of the program in Scottsburg. Many of the girls who came out to play had little exposure to team sports and, at the time, girls’ basketball programs were not commonplace as they are today. Additionally, the girls’ programs typically did not receive funding and support from schools.
“We practiced in an armory with a concrete floor,” Cheatham recalled, explaining how her team would get access to the court late in the evening, between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. when everyone else was through. But facing opposition just made her all the more determined to make the program successful.
From those humble beginnings, Cheatham’s determination led to great success. Under Cheatham’s direction, the Scottsburg girls’ basketball program grew into one of the best and most memorable in Indiana high school history. In 1986, Cheatham’s team was the Indiana State runner-up, and her 1987 team won the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Classic Championship. But Cheatham’s career pinnacle was in 1989 when her team captured the state championship title. “That’s what you strive for, to become the state champion,” Phillips said of her friend’s victory, calling it the “epitome of it all.”
In 1994 after 22 years, Cheatham stepped down from her coaching position in Scottsburg. A few years she later retired from teaching. Cheatham said part of her reason for leaving was to help care for her elderly mother.
Sadly, it seemed that Cheatham had said her final good-byes to coaching. But in 1996, an opening at Southwestern Consolidated High School in Hanover, Ind., drew the attention of Cheatham’s nephew, Bernie Kasper. Kasper, an avid basketball fan, had followed Cheatham’s career and began encouraging her to come out of retirement and apply for the position. Because of Kasper’s enthusiasm and his desire to assist her in coaching, Cheatham said she decided to give the job a try.
Using her wealth of experience, Cheatham stepped in as the girls’ basketball coach at Southwestern and began to train a new generation of young athletes. And once again, Cheatham’s talent as a coach became apparent when her team captured the 2002 high school girls’ state basketball championship, catapulting her back into the spotlight as the best of the best.
Despite her success, Cheatham remains humble. “I’m a farm kid that just got the right breaks in life and was blessed” she said. But a record that includes 35 Coach of the Year honors and two state championship titles speaks a little more of hard work and determination.
Cheatham’s success will be recognized formally at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony this month. But her peers and colleagues already distinguish her as the cream of the crop.
“I think her accomplishments speak for themselves,” said Southwestern High School principal Denise Bessler. “They really reflect the quality of her as a person and her work ethics.”
Southwestern athletic director Trevor Jones gives Cheatham a lot of credit. “I was very excited to have the opportunity to work with her,” said Jones. “I knew with her experience she would be a great help to me in my first year as athletic director.”
Cheatham credits her successful career to being blessed with talented players, supportive parents and a lot of good people to have worked with along the way. “You don’t do it all yourself,” she said. Of her induction into the Hall of Fame, Cheatham said, “It’s a humbling honor.”grew into one of the best and most memorable in Indiana high school history. In 1986, Cheatham’s team was the Indiana State runner-up, and her 1987 team won the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame Classic Championship. But Cheatham’s career pinnacle was in 1989 when her team captured the state championship title. “That’s what you strive for, to become the state champion,” Phillips said of her friend’s victory, calling it the “epitome of it all.”
In 1994 after 22 years, Cheatham stepped down from her coaching position in Scottsburg. A few years she later retired from teaching. Cheatham said part of her reason for leaving was to help care for her elderly mother.
Sadly, it seemed that Cheatham had said her final good-byes to coaching. But in 1996, an opening at Southwestern Consolidated High School in Hanover, Ind., drew the attention of Cheatham’s nephew, Bernie Kasper. Kasper, an avid basketball fan, had followed Cheatham’s career and began encouraging her to come out of retirement and apply for the position. Because of Kasper’s enthusiasm and his desire to assist her in coaching, Cheatham said she decided to give the job a try.
Using her wealth of experience, Cheatham stepped in as the girls’ basketball coach at Southwestern and began to train a new generation of young athletes. And once again, Cheatham’s talent as a coach became apparent when her team captured the 2002 high school girls’ state basketball championship, catapulting her back into the spotlight as the best of the best.
Despite her success, Cheatham remains humble. “I’m a farm kid that just got the right breaks in life and was blessed” she said.
But a record that includes 35 Coach of the Year honors and two state championship titles speaks a little more of hard work and determination.
Cheatham’s success will be recognized formally at the Hall of Fame induction ceremony this month. But her peers and colleagues already distinguish her as the cream of the crop.
“I think her accomplishments speak for themselves,” said Southwest-ern High School principal Denise Bessler. “They really reflect the quality of her as a person and her work ethics.”
Southwestern athletic director Trevor Jones gives Cheatham a lot of credit. “I was very excited to have the opportunity to work with her,” said Jones. “I knew with her experience she would be a great help to me in my first year as athletic director.”
Cheatham credits her successful career to being blessed with talented players, supportive parents and a lot of good people to have worked with along the way. “You don’t do it all yourself,” she said. Of her induction into the Hall of Fame, Cheatham said, “It’s a humbling honor.”

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