Lapel High School Class of 1974


Varsity cheerleaders of Lapel High School 1974. Pictured (front row) Michelle Breece and Angie Wilson; (back) Elaine May and Vicky Cox.

By Ray Tincher | For The Times-Post

If you owned a vehicle with a combustion engine in 1974, you probably had a problem buying gas to drive the vehicle. The oil crisis of 1973, created by OPEC, had people sitting in long lines waiting to buy gas for their vehicles.

Also in 1974, President Nixon resigned from office following the Watergate scandal. Almost every television channel carried the investigation throughout the day. There was the 18 minutes of tape. We wondered what could those minutes possibly reveal? It was almost like a soap opera.

On Jan. 11, in Cape Town, South Africa, the first recorded occurrence of “sextuplets” in the world where all babies survived. Their names were David, Elizabeth, Emma, Grant, Jason and Nicolette Rosenkowitz. According to Wikipedia, all are still living, but scattered around the world.

Remember a gal named Patty Hearst? Her father owned several publishing companies and lived in a castle, in California. She was kidnapped from her apartment in Berkeley, California, by the Symbionese Liberation Army. They held her for several weeks and later she appeared to assist the small group of SLA in a bank robbery. She was later released unharmed.

People Magazine, with Mia Farrow on the cover, published its first issue. After 23 consecutive years on television, Lucille Ball aired the last broadcast of “Here’s Lucy.” Hank Aaron became the all-time MLB home run leader, when he hit his 715th in Atlanta, where he retired. Johnny Rutherford won the Indianapolis 500.

The “Rumble in the Jungle” took place in Kinshasa, Zaire; Muhammad Ali knocked out George Foreman in eight rounds to regain his Heavyweight title, which had been stripped from him seven years prior. And the Rubik’s Cube Puzzle is invented by a Hungarian architecture professor named Emo Rubik.

At Lapel High School, Principal Gerald Roudebush worked hard using his experience to guide his faculty and students in the right direction.

The year brought a school board. Members included Harold Mills, Willa Rose Bays, Willard Drake, Jon Cunningham, Bill Byers, Benny Kennedy, Vearl Miller and Rex Etchison.

Other faculty included Marvin Pike, assistant principal, Robert Adams, Robert Allison, Margret Anderson, Michael Andrews, Louise Beanblossom Barbara Brobst, Price Brookfield, Deborah Davis, John DeCoursey, Theodosia Everly, Woody Fields, Norma Forrer, Bill French, Mary Gardner, Mary Gehlbach, Trudy George, Kathleen Grams, Ruth Herron, Sue Hersberger, Jack Howell, Marsha Hudson, Dallas Hunter, Elizabeth Huntzinger, Jerry Kemerly, Randy Lagedrost, Genevieve Kyon, Terena Martin, Alma Neese, Armella Beth Newman, Marian Noggle, John Rackow, Lucille Rockey, Lois Roudebush, Larry Schuler, Fred St. John, Elizabeth Shaul, Jean Sigler, Stephen Stickler, Steve Telfer, Jeannine Terhune, Jon Trippeer, Donald Trisler, Margaret Trisler, Cherie Webb, Irma Wells and Anne Whalen. Senior Class sponsors were Sue Hersberger and Dallas Hunter.

The Class of 1974 included Bradley Forrer, senior president; Gary Smith, vice president; Rhesa Smith, secretary and D’Anne Bunce, treasurer, followed by E. Louise Ashby, Gary Barker, Kevin Lee Barker, Pamela Barnes, Mark Barnhizer, Brian Howard Bays, Beckie Marie Becraft, Beverly Branch, Howard Branham, Kevin Brattain, Michelle Breece, Thomas Burgess, Patricia Jo Carlin, William Cecil, Peggy Coffey, Kirk Collins, Jim Dollard, Robert Eliason, Denny Fields, Veneta Sue Filbrun, Laura Gaus, Tina Hardwick, Donna Harrison, Teresa Helterbrand, Randy Henson, Deborah Kay Hobbs, Gregory Hobbs, Hilda Jean Hopkins, Tarri Linn Howe, Monte Howell, Bonnie Sue Hudson, Patricia Hunter, Roberta Johnson, Deanne Lewis, Brian Maxwell, Laurie May, Les Milner, Terry Moore, Steven Newby, Mary Helen Perry, Vana Perry, Ronnie Lee Pettigrew, Deborah Lynn Plummer, Ronda Sue Renbarger, Gale Dee Retherford, John Richardson, Beverly Sue Rushton, Angela Saathoff, Rebecca Louise Sears, Teresa Lyn Shafer, John William Simmermon, Victor Smith, Vicky Lynn Stinson, Bonnie Lou Swartz, Patricia Swartz, Charles Teeters, Rebecca Jean Teeters, Barbara Jo Tilley, Luanne Whisman, Alicia Wilhoite, Angela Wilson, Melanie Sue Wise, Richard Wolfgang; plus an exchange student named: José Trinidad Perez Navarro.

If you live in Indiana, you know basketball is our thing. Ever since basketball was introduced, our Indiana schools produced some great players. Damon Bailey, Oscar Robinson, Bobby Knight and dozens of others coached or came out of Indiana high Schools. In 1973-74, Lapel High School Coach Hunter put together a talented basketball team.

Lapel was very lucky to have superstar scorer Mark Barnhizer, who carried a scoring average of 35 ppg. He was ranked 15th in the state. If it wasn’t for a game at Mt. Vernon, in which Lapel lost by a single point, Lapel would have completed the season undefeated instead of 16-1. Barnhizer also became the first underclassman in Madison County to score 1,000 points.

LHS excelled in several other sports during 1974: Wrestling, cross country, golf, baseball and football were all competitive to other visiting teams. In baseball, LHS finished the White River Conference 6-6. Its freshmen football team finished 4-3 with a forfeit. Jim Dollard carried the wrestling team. Cheerleaders Michelle Breece, Angie Wilson, Elaine May and Vicky Cox lead the fans in support.

Honor Awards went to Alicia Wilhoite and Rhonda Renbarger, NHS Scholar Winners. Boy’s State — Brian Bays and Monte Howell; Betty Crocker Award — Laura Gaus; Becky Sears and Brian Lackey won a first at the county contest and went on to the state.

The year was quite an exciting year for students. There were so many things going on for all students to enjoy. It must have been a little depressing to some students for the school year to end. But it is a year they can reflect back on and point to so many events, with pride.

Ray Tincher attended Ball State University and retired from Indiana Department of Correction in 1997. He worked at IDOC for 30 years, serving in a variety of roles, from correctional officer to warden. At retirement, he received the Sagamore of the Wabash Award from Gov. Frank O’Bannon. He wrote several training manuals as part of his employment and is a published author: “Inmate #13225 John Herbert Dillinger (2007).” He and his wife, Marilyn, live in Lapel.


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