Shootin’ the Stars: Putting the boys state championship teams to music

Shootin’ the Stars: Putting the boys state championship teams to music

By Mike Beas

There are noteworthy threads connecting the Dave Colescott-led Marion Giants, the absurdly unthinkable gas price of 57 cents a gallon and the karaoke-worthy oldie, “My Eyes Adored You.”

For starters, the first and third assumed the No. 1 spot during the latter stages of March 1975. The other is how much we spent to get where we needed to go during this same time period.

I would be shifting into used-car-salesman mode to make you believe such morsels of yesteryear were straight off the top of my head. They weren’t. Nonetheless, the research was worth it as I attempted to bundle basketball team, fuel prices and the song occupying the top position into the same package.

It is, for lack of a better description, the three-man weave of Indiana boys’ basketball.

No, I haven’t forgot about you, long-in-the-toothers.

In fact, why don’t we continue on with this little game by going back to March of 1941, nearly a decade-and-a-half prior to the words “rock” and “roll” first being forever connected.

How many of us haven’t hummed along to “Song of the Volga Boatmen” by Glenn Miller and his Orchestra, pulled our boat-sized Chrysler Thunderbolt into full-service stations at 19 cents a gallon and read newspaper articles about the boys’ state championship team from Hammond Tech?

Ok, pretty much all of us. But I’m guessing a few readers do.

Moving ahead in time, the month of March in 1954 gave us the history-making Milan Indians, who may or may not have been listing to “Secret Love” by Doris Day on the team bus headed to Butler Fieldhouse at the cost of 29 cents per gallon.

The Billboard Hot 100 era was in its infancy during 1959. Come March, Frankie Avalon’s “Venus” dominated the airwaves, Indianapolis Crispus Attucks the courts and fuel costs were nudged to 30 cents per gallon.

Golden oldies, all of them.

Delving into the 1960s, Dennis Brady and the 1964 Lafayette Jeff Broncos were on top of the basketball world. Meanwhile, the Beatles Invasion was in full throttle with “She Loves You” at No. 1 and gas costs were still at 30 cents.

In honor of the late, great George McGinnis, the box score from March of 1969 reads Big Mac’s unbeaten Washington Continentals, $0.35 per gallon and – wait for it – “Dizzy” from Tommy Roe. In Muncie Central’s disco-themed run to the 1979 title, the Bee Gees long string of chart-toppers was playing out with “Tragedy”, and gas prices were now up to $0.86.

By the time class basketball made its presence known here in 1998, Pike’s boys were cutting the nets inside the RCA Dome as the first-ever Class 4A state champion (Cathedral, Alexandria and Lafayette Central Catholic broke ground as titlists at 3A, 2A and 1A, respectively).

Gas was priced at $1.06, and Will Smith’s “Getting’ Jiggy wit It” was in its third and final week at No. 1.

And, finally, last March concluded with “Flowers” by Miley Cyrus setting the standard musically, gas hovering around $4.00 a gallon and the Ben Davis boys team defeating Kokomo inside Gainbridge Fieldhouse for all the 4A marbles.

To expand this list to every No. 1 team, song and gas price would be to write, write and write some more.

Unfortunately, space doesn’t allow. In other words, my most heavenly apologies to the 1914 Wingate Spartans, 1929 Frankfort Hot Dogs and so many more.

I just can’t go there.

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