NEW PALESTINE — Their arms were a tad too long to fit into their letterman’s jackets properly, and the coats were a little snug in certain areas, but five former New Palestine High School basketball players didn’t seem to mind.
It’s been 46 years since the 1967 NPHS boys basketball team, led by senior Royce McDougall, were living in their glory days of winning games and setting school records. They spoke about that magical year recently as if it had just happened yesterday.
“We were 19-3 in 1967,” McDougall said. “Our nemesis that year was Whiteland — they beat us twice.”
That included a sectional semifinal game ending what turned out to be quite a remarkable year for New Palestine basketball.
Still, it’s a year worth remembering. Particularly since it has stood the test of time as McDougall, after nearly three decades of service in the Southern Hancock School District, is retiring at the end of the school year with many of his and the team’s records still standing.
McDougall, who averaged 25 points per game and 29 ppg in conference play, holds the record for most points scored in a single season with 543 in just 22 games. However, he’s quick to point out it was a team effort with several other records being set in 1967.