Lapel High School Class of 1991

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Ray Tincher

In 1991, the Cold War that had begun in 1947 was finally over. The Soviet Union states have broken and now, it is just Russia. In July 1991, India (now the fourth-largest world economy) abandoned its policies of socialism and autarky and began extensive neoliberal changes in its economy. Iraq invaded the small country of Kuwait. Thirty-three countries joined the United States during the Gulf War to kick Iraq out of Kuwait. We sat in our living rooms and watched on television as our forces bombed their defenses to start Operation Desert Storm. After just 43 days, the whole thing was over. We later (in 2003) captured Saddam Hussein, who was then executed by hanging in 2006.

In March 1991, a video of an incident in Los Angeles revealed a motorist named Rodney King and the four Los Angeles police officers trying to arrest King. When King resisted, he was physically restrained. However, many claimed the police used too much force and called King’s arrest “an illegal use of force.” The four police officers were indicted for the incident. Following the acquittal (in 1992), riots by demonstrators burned buildings, looted and robbed merchants and injured innocent people.

In April 1991, The Dow Jones Industrial Average closed above 3,000 for the first time in history, at 3,004.46. Later in April, a series of tornadoes broke out in the Midwest, killing 21 people. Meteorologists identified 55 tornadoes, and the most notable strikes were in the Andover, Kansas, area. Three days later, a tropical cyclone hit Bangladesh, killing an estimated 138,000 people.

In May 1991, Queen Elizabeth II was the first British monarch to address the United States Congress during her 13-day royal visit in Washington, D.C.

During and after the Gulf War, patriotism was high. People were displaying the American flag and singing Lee Greenwood’s song, “God Bless the U.S.A.” My wife and I lived in Bradenton, Florida, during that time. Any Elk’s, Moose, Eagles Club, and all of the American Legion posts played Greenwood’s song. Members would stand and salute the flag! Being a veteran myself, it really felt great to be an American! As Ms. George’s third-grade students wrote essays beginning with, “I’m proud to be an American,” Amanda Clark expressed, “I am free and can play wherever I want.”

The 1991 Lapel High School yearbook is the largest to this date (212 pages). With the gas prices at an all-time high, a photo of a Speedway gas station in the ’91 yearbook revealed the Gulf War caused regular gas to rise to $1.29 a gallon. In 1959, this writer owned a Standard Oil station in Greenfield. During that time period, there were “gas wars” due to the surplus of gasoline. My station sold regular gas for 19 9/10 cents a gallon. Plus, you got your windshield cleaned, and we pumped the gas! The average vehicle would purchase $2 of gas.

During March 1991, State Representative Webber selected Susan Tyne and Bobbi McKee to serve as aides. Mothers Against Drunk Driving was beginning to make an impact on clubs who featured Friday night and Saturday night dancing. The Indiana State Police and local law enforcement set up road checkpoints looking for drunk drivers. Motorists found intoxicated while driving were ordered to use a “Breathalyzer” test. If found in violation, drivers would receive a free trip to jail. In June 1991, Lapel implemented the 911 emergency system. If you called that number about a drunk driver, the 911 operator would contact the police to report the incident.

At the Brockway Golf Course in 1991, Mitch Vanness, the only triple winner of the Stroke Play Championship, made it two in a row and a total of three Stroke Play Championships. Porky Forrer finished fourth in the championship, winning a sudden death playoff. Porky defeated John Kluesner in the playoff. In Gross, No. 1 Mitch Vanness, No. 2 Jim Baker, No. 3 Chris Wolf, No. 4 Kyle Campbell and No. 5 John Howell. In Net, No. 1 Porky Forrer, No. 2 John Kluesner, No. 3 Jim Troutman, Dave Walker and Rich Woodward.

The 1991 theme for the senior class was “Bustin’ Loose.” Their newly remodeled school was in full operation. There was another first that year. LHS had a new boys and girls tennis team. The LHS boys’ varsity basketball team beat an Anderson, Madison Heights team, for the first time since 1968. Another super achievement for LHS was the Spell Bowl received a first in its division. The 1991 LHS Bulldogs were rolling along!

Many of the seniors had trouble focusing on their education during the middle of their year. They had another motto, “Florida or Bust!” For spring break, they were thinking about the beaches in Clearwater or Daytona. Others were thinking about Gatlinburg. And there were others just staying home and relaxing. The LHS Marching Bulldogs were invited to Nashville, Tennessee. The band rode the bus to Nashville and stayed at the Stouffer Hotel. The next day they performed in a contest. After raising the excitement level with their “Funky Chicken,” they played “Power Lines” as they marched in the parade.

The 1990-91 LHS school board members were Gary Dalzell, Nancy Likens, Marsha Simmerman, Kent Williams, Gary Simmons, Rex Etchison, Lloyd Young and Daniel Davisson. Principal Galliher was coming up on his 50th birthday.

The LHS faculty of teachers was dissatisfied with the school budget and their salary. In September 1990, the faculty began protesting for more money. LHS salary contract was rated below many other school corporations. They claimed that they were 90th in size, but 211th in pay. They got the attention of an Indianapolis newspaper, a TV station and the school board. The LHS faculty stuck together. Finally, the West Central teachers’ pact was ratified through negotiations.

The LHS Senior Class of 1991 were Andy Anderson, Karyne Anderson, Michele Banter, Daniel Barmes, Shane Benefiel, Matthew Boles, Kevin Brown, Gregory Callaway, Michael Cates, Stephanie Closser, Matthew Clouse, Jason Cobb, Katrina Collins, Jamie Cloverdale, Lloyd Dixon, Angie Duncan, Stacy Erwin, David Estep, Chad Everitt, John Fullington, Ivan Geiger, Eric Gillespie, Todd Goodman, Michelle Harper, Jennifer Harry, Curtis Haseman, John Hazelwood, David Heiny, Keith Hinshaw, Melissa Huntington, Jeffery Johnson, Jennifer Jones, Mark Jones, Jeromy Kemerly, Todd Laut, Michael Leonard, Michelle Mahoney, Larry McClain, Thomas McMillan, Aaron Mosley, Misty Newby, Robert Norris, Karen O’Connor, Beth Oyler, Michelle Peer, Marla Phillips, Charity Pigg, Chad Pilkington, Amy Privett, Beverly Ray, Angela Reddick, Jana Reddick, Carla Rich, Scott Rich, Mark Schmitt, Michelle Schoettmer, Kevin Shears, Christopher Short, Troy Smith, Matt Solid, Kelly Steger, Derek Stephenson, Robert Stern, Melissa Suttle, Robin Taylor, April Tipton, Robert Turner, Jana Upton, Richard Vincel, James Wallace, Doug Ward, Stefanie Watson, J.R. Welch, Marsha White, Phillip Whitman, Troy Willis, Christopher Woodward, Stephanie Wright, Dana Wrin and Jim Zink.

In sports, the football team got off to a rough start, but as the season progressed, the team improved. In track, even though the team was small, it usually beat the larger schools. Coach Fuqua’s surprise team ended up with one of the best seasons at Lapel. History was made at LHS by introducing tennis. Several seniors made up the tennis teams. Coach Roeder strived to make tennis a fun experience for their first year. The LHS girls tennis team got very excited when they beat Madison Heights. The girls agreed playing tennis was a blast.

The 1990-91 LHS boys varsity basketball team was a very patriotic team. They wore an American flag on their uniforms and played Lee Greenwood’s “God Bless The U.S.A.” during every basketball practice. They joined hands in the locker room. Patriotism was displayed at games when the fans shed tears and a moment of silence was observed. The biggest win of the season was beating the Madison Heights Pirates. The Bulldogs beat them 70-67, and the fans flooded the floor with cheer and enthusiasm.

The LHS girls’ basketball team improved with getting a new coach. Kevin Brattain made several changes, which got the players’ attention. The Bulldogs gave some great teams concern, while as in the past, Lapel lost by several points. If you ask one of the Bulldog wrestling team members what they like about wrestling, “It’s the competition! It is an individual sport,” Derek Stephenson said. “If I win, I knew I worked hard, and if I lost, I knew I needed to work harder!”

In LHS golf, Coach Bobby Fields knew how to train golfers. Since golf is an individual sport, many times the golfer has to practice. The harder a player practices, the better they usually become. If you hit a bad shot, you cannot let yourself become frustrated.

The LHS baseball team’s underclassmen played an important role during the season, getting valuable experience for next year.

And last, but not least, the LHS girls’ softball team had one senior and two juniors. There were seven sophomores and three freshmen. This means look out for next year.

We should never forget our cheerleaders. They create the cheers and excitement at many sporting events. The 1990-91 LHS varsity cheerleaders were Chrissy DeVaney, Michele Banter, Dana Wrin, Angie Duncan, Jennifer Jones and Hope Clark. We should thank each of them for their efforts.

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