Story by Evan Garcia
Twenty-one Jeffersonville High School students will have the opportunity this year to gain insight into teaching, and potentially begin their careers, in education. Cadet Teaching, or F200, is a program designed to steer students to pursue a degree of education at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany.
Not only is this a dual-credit class, but the students will be able to establish relationships with professors and college students majoring in education at IUS.
Part of this course is about building relationships, according to assistant principal Ginger Whitis. The students will have a faculty member at Jeff High, as well as college students in the education program at IUS, serving as mentors to them.
“The students will have these mentors to aid in the bridge from Jeff High to IUS when they graduate,” Whitis said.
One other goal this program is striving for is to attract minority students to the education department at IUS.
“I think part of the focus truly is to bring minority students to IUS because they are so underrepresented in the education department,” Whitis said.
For the program’s first year back at JHS, Scott Hawkins will take the lead. Hawkins has taught social studies at Jeff High for over 15 years.
When asked about what he needed to do to be the instructor for Cadet Teaching, Hawkins said, “I need to have a Masters degree in education. This summer also I went to training courses at IU Bloomington.”
Andrew Gustafson, a senior at Jeff, is a member of the Cadet Teaching class. In taking the class, Gustafson strives to be a physics professor at a university in the future.
“My schedule worked out so that I had a free period this year,” Gustafson said. “I figured taking Cadet Teaching would be able to help me in the future.”
Gustafson is pleased that a class like Cadet Teaching is offered at JHS.
“I think Mr. Hawkins will be a great teacher for us,” Gustafson said. “It’s not super challenging, but it is for people that are committed to trying to learn about education.”
Story by Alek Long
Jeffersonville High School alumni Evan Stoner and others worked day and night to mark a large historical milestone this summer.
On June 25, Jeffersonville officially hosted its first ever gay pride festival, which took place at the Big Four Station at the base of the Big Four Bridge. With parades and live performances, the Jeffersonville community came together to celebrate something all people, no matter sexuality, can relate to: being proud to love.
Although successful, like all events, this was not just an overnight job. Evan, and Jeffersonville Pride organizer Nicholas Moore, managed to get it started with larger than expected support of both queer and straight Jeffersonville locals. Approximately 2000 people showed up to the event.
The festival included the larger parade with individuals and non-profits in the morning. Approximately 40 different vendors and businesses, including food trucks, provided the refreshments, while live entertainment, like Jake Parker Band and a Cabaret LaCage Drag Show, took place that evening.
With the Pride celebration becoming an all-day affair, the entire area was secured by the Jeffersonville Police Department.
Even in light of some of the tragedies targeting LGBTQ this year, Jeffersonville, as a community, could still progress in the celebration of equality.
Story by Haylee Hedrick
It is a place that has seen a visit from U.S. Olympian Ryan Lochte, a swimmer that has racked up 12 total medals in his three Summer Games. It has helped train Ben Hesen, a 2004 JHS graduate, to become an NCAA champion and three-time All-American.
Now, the Jeffersonville High School swimming pool is undergoing a major renovation for the first time in the pool’s storied history.
A big part of any school renovation that is commonly overlooked is the preparation beforehand. Maintenance man Jim Dodds took part in the strategic preparation process, which included repainting, updated record board, new utilities installed and improving the air quality of the facility.
Dodds and plumber Paul Berry were responsible for draining the pool. Due to the design of the pool, the last three feet of water had to be manually pumped out and completely dried so that it could be repainted.
“It took three days and 240,00 gallons of water to refill the pool,” Dodds said.
He also stated it took 12 gallons of chlorine to get the pool back to swimming conditions.
“Once finished, it’s really going to enhance the facility, making it look more professional,” Dodds said.
Jeff High swimmer Caroline Elliot (Junior) feels it was time for a renovation to be done and that her and her teammates really deserve it.
“I believe that the pool renovation was 100-percent necessary. It hasn’t been renovated since it was built, ” Elliot said.
She stated that it was time to show the pool some TLC, even though it left her JHS swim team members without an indoor pool for the last couple of months to practice in.
She added that she can’t wait for their first home meet to show off the hard work that has been put into the renovation.
Swim coach Michael Pepa was thrilled when he first heard about the renovation.
“Yes, (the update) was needed from the standpoint of improving the air quality,” Pepa said. “Certainly improving the aesthetics allows us to house a facility that the school and community can be proud of.”
With the renovations, Pepa said the swimmers will be able to train under better conditions thanks to the installation of new, large ceiling fans. In the past, high chlorine levels caused swimmers to have “ chlorine cough” and warm conditions made it difficult for swimmers to breathe.
The bottom of the pool has been painted with new black lane lines and a new “records” wall will be utilized to give the facility an updated look.
The completion date that Pepa is hoping for is in Fall 2016.
Story by Kyle Sanders
Graduation day is a special moment for many seniors at Jeff High.
While many will take their last steps through Jeff High, two students are honored with an award for their academic achievements. One of those lucky students will earn the title of valedictorian, an award given to the student with the No. 1 rank in their class. That student is awarded by having the opportunity to give the valedictory farewell speech at graduation.
However, soon the Valedictorian, as well as the Salutatorian award for second place, might not be around.
According to the Greater Clark School District, unhealthy competition among students in their battle to receive this award has led administrators to consider getting rid of the Valedictorian and Salutatorian award altogether.
“The way the system is now requires you to be really excellent at strategy, have a lot of foresight, and lots of luck — on top of being really smart and determined. I’ve had to sit down with students and their parents every year to talk about strategy and why another student has a higher GPA,” Jeff principal Julie Straight said. “I’m not against students exploring, but I know that students have given up classes that pertain to their career to take AP classes to get a better rank.”
As the years have gone on, more universities have decreased the importance of class rank in the college admission process, according to the National Association for College Admission and Counseling. Because of this, the Valedictorian and Salutatorian is not seen as a “must have” to get a scholarship into college.
Instead, schools tend to focus more on ACT and SAT scores as well as grades in college prep courses.
“The title of being Valedictorian created motivation for me,” said Cassidy Padgett, the class of 2016 co-Valedictorian. “I wanted it for my own personal pride because although the title itself didn’t get me any extra scholarships or into any extra colleges, it motivated me to get the grades and ACT scores that produced those things. Titles and rewards create competition, which creates motivation.”
In the past, the Valedictorian award honors one student for their academic achievements throughout their four years of school. The new proposed system, however, would honor the top 10-percent (approximately 40 students) of the senior class.
From there, that group would vote on two kids to speak at graduation. Formerly, both the Valedictorian and Salutatorian, along with the class president, would receive this honor.
“We like this idea because we want students to be open to taking classes related to their future, and not so focused on taking a full load of AP classes just to raise their rank,” JHS counselor Whitney Roberts said. “We have multiple students affected by choosing classes based on rank in this senior class who may have chosen differently if we honored students differently.“
GCCS is finding that students are taking classes for the sole purpose of raising their class rank, instead of taking classes that can teach them something valuable for their future, as well as what they want to do in the future.
Despite the buzz around the impending decision, this change in the system would not occur until the Class of 2020, this year’s freshman class. This is causing some students in the freshman class, including Greta Reel, to be upset. Reel feels like the change would put JHS students behind other students around the state when competing for scholarships.
“I feel that getting rid of the Valedictorian system is going to put Jeff High students at a disadvantage compared to other schools with Valedictorians. When it comes to getting academic scholarships, I feel like Valedictorians from other schools are going to have the advantage in competing for scholarships,” Reel said. “Even if the college understands Jeff’s system of honoring the top five-percent or 10-percent, the word ‘Valedictorian’ automatically sticks in a person’s head.”
story by Carlos Molina and Tristan Jackson
IUPUI, Bowling Green, Western Michigan, and Wright State have all offered junior Jacinta Gibson, a guard/forward on the girls basketball team at Jeffersonville High School, a scholarship to play at their school.
The junior is entering her third year as a member of the Varsity. Gibson played volleyball her freshman year and ran cross country her sophomore year, but decided to focus her skill set on solely basketball this year. Gibson also played in the AAU basketball league for the Indiana Elite.
Gibson finished the 2015-16 season, and averaged 4.4 points, 1.6 assists, 4.5 rebounds, 1.3 steals, and started 24 of the 25 games they played. However Gibson’s all-around game is what is attracting so many coaches.
“I am really excited. I just feel as if they are rewards for my hard work in the offseason,” Jacinta said. “I’m focusing on basketball this year. I was a part of the Varsity team for my freshman and sophomore year and this upcoming season, I hope to make the Junior All-star team.”
Girls basketball head coach Michael Warren has high expectations for Gibson, especially now that she has colleges interested in her game.
“It’s awesome for her and awesome for the program. It’s a credit to her hard work and it’s what she’s earned over the summer for her work in the spring,” Warren said. “Her work ethic is unbelievable. She has come a long way since she has come here.”
The girls team ended last season with a 15-9-1 overall record, including 4-3 in conference play.This year, Gibson is expected to play a much larger role.
“People are going to know she has offers now, so she’s going to have to take more of leadership role and step her game up,” Warren said. “It’s great for her to have AAU experience and Division One offers, but as a coach and a team, I need her to come play like that come January and February.”
Sophomore power forward Chelsea Gibson (Jacinta’s sister) also plays for the Indiana Elite and the girls basketball team at Jeff. Gibson plays Varsity basketball, as well, with her sister.
“It’s really awesome and I’m really proud of her,” Chelsea said. “I expect a lot of scoring, more assists and more college offers for her this upcoming year.”
Story by Caleb Albert
Growing up in Southern Indiana, JHS students have grown accustomed to construction: the roundabouts on 10th Street, the growth of the River Ridge area and plans for the new bridges have all taken place within the last half-decade.
But renovation is not just held to community members around Jeffersonville — students in the high school are now feeling the squeeze.
Just this past year, JHS students have seen a renovation to Johnson Arena, the addition of the WJHI radio/TV room, and an update to the swimming pool, all of which have taken place on one side of the same hallway. The entire other side of the hallway, though, has remained untouched.
However, all of that is about to change.
On the other side of JHS Main Street is the auditorium, which currently seats 900 people. The limited seating has been a problem for the ever-growing theater, choir, and band programs, which have been honored on a state, national and international level.
During the winter season each year, the combined choir and band “Winter Fantasy” concert series sees sold-out shows, with the groups performing as many as two times each day, for an entire school week. The music department anticipates the tradition to continue this year as well.
A newly renovated auditorium is anticipated to bring in more students that want to be involved in performing arts.
Austin Smith, a freshman in chamber choir, said, “the renovated auditorium will bring new life to all of the performing arts. People like new things, so there will probably be more people getting involved in the performing arts soon.”
The band program, specifically, is hopeful for the renovation, because it will add benefits, without any trade offs.
“They’re not doing anything to the acoustics, and it’ll be more pleasing to people who come in,” senior Josh McCorkle said.
Also, along with the update to the seat capacity, the seats themselves will be updated, a change that pleases senior band member Andrew Gustafson
“We also won’t have all the squeaking when people stand up,” Gustafson said. Currently, any movement in the seats leads to squeaking, which creates a distraction for choir, band, and theater members performing.
Although there are so many people being exposed to the culture and expression of Jeff’s artistry, and creating an appreciation for all of the school’s programs, the limited seating and overall environment of the current auditorium distracts audience members from experiencing the full potential of students.
The renovation is expected to be completed later this school year, before Jeff’s Spring performances.
“Speech has helped me increase my confidence.”
Like any other high school student, founding Speech and Debate member, and Jeffersonville High School senior, Josh Waddell was insecure about aspects of his life that were out of his control.
He was concerned with other people perceived him, especially when he spoke. But speech gave him an outlet to better himself and his confidence.
“Speech has been able to increase my articulation. It helps me discuss my political opinions in a more intellectual way that I couldn’t before,” Waddell said. “As someone who is active in the political sphere, it’s something that I would not be able to survive without.”
But even earlier in his life, Waddell found comfort and ease in expressing his political opinions, something necessary for his future employment. When the opportunity to put this passion into a speech and debate team at Jeff High, he jumped at the chance.
Three years later, he holds countless awards and titles — all thanks to Speech and Debate Club.
“I will be applying for many different speech scholarships. It has gotten me in involved with a lot of different awards that I can get and I’ve won an entire wall of trophies from many different events,” Waddell said. “But I also think past getting cheap, plastic metals and getting a hundred dollars towards college. I’ve gotten a lot of relationships that I wouldn’t have otherwise; people from different schools, different backgrounds and different walks of life.”
The speech team gives speeches around the Jeffersonville area, including the Rotary Club, the Republican Women’s Club and the Optimist Club.
The league is jointly run by Mr. Rick Condon, and Rachel Jacobs, a political campaign manager. Condon, who is a permanent JHS sub, helps the team with freelance things, while Jacobs helps the team find tournaments all around Indiana. This year, speech is expanding their horizons and moving into the territory of slam poetry and dramatic interpretations.
Waddell also believes that speech is a valuable life skill that brings people together. He believes that no matter what students decide to do in life, speech will enhance whatever job they choose to do.
Waddell encourages anyone who is interested in the club to join. Meetings are on Thursdays from 2:30-4 p.m. in the Media Center.
story by Phillip Steinmetz & Clayton Robertson
Let’s turn back the clock 81 years ago.
The year is 1935. Franklin Roosevelt is president, gas is ten cents per gallon, and the legendary baseball slugger Babe Ruth announced his retirement.
But for southern Indiana, perhaps the most impressive event was found in tiny Jeffersonville, Ind.
Why? Because the boys basketball team was in the midst of a perfect season.
The Red Devils were the overwhelming favorites to win their first-ever state title, a highly sought after achievement for a town whose 12,000 residents obsess over hoops. One game separated Jeff High from realizing their dream.
But that dream was never achieved.
Their record was unblemished.
Jeffersonville had dominated its opponents night in and night out, looking untouchable for most of the season. All-State senior guard Bill Johnson led the show, averaging 9.9 points per game. The Red Devils were beating teams by an average of 13.8 points, a huge disparity for games that typically stayed in the high teens and low 20s.
Despite the dominance, Jeff still faced scrutiny from members of local media.
After a three overtime, 31-24 victory against Evansville Central in January, the Red Devils were riding a wave of momentum. But according to a 1935 article in the Courier-Journal, an unnamed Evansville newspaper had nothing but negativity toward the Red Devils. The writer of the article claimed JHS didn’t deserve their high ranking, using terms such as “overrated” to describe their play.
Jeff head coach Janis “Hunk” Francis noticed the billboard material, and mailed each of his players a copy of that newspaper. The next time an Evansville team played Jeffersonville (Evansville Bosse), they defeated them by a score of 41-11, putting to rest the “overrated” talk.
Fans took notice. The entire city of Jeffersonville was behind the team, no matter who they played against. Some diehards even took a special train to Logansport to watch their “Crimson Tide” defeat the defending state champions, the Loganberries, 21-14. (In 1935, Jeff High’s mascot went back and forth being known as the Red Devils, Demons and Crimson Tide.)
Along the way to 21-0, Jeff picked up a critical road win against Anderson, 32-30, on Feb.2. In the last regular season match-up before Sectional, Jeffersonville downed Bedford, 40-21.
Francis had his “Francismen” playing at their highest level. The Red Devils were on top, and it seemed like no one could take them off their pedestal.
The road to state continues
The Jeff / New Albany rivalry, which began during the 1909-10 season, wasn’t renewed every year in the regular season at the time, but it was passionate in the postseason.
“You compared living in New Albany to living in Russia,” joked Gene Coomer, a 1944 Jeff High graduate.
New Albany seemed to be the only local team that would ever give Jeff heated competition every year. Despite the two teams first matching up against each other in 1909, the games during the 1930s is when the rivalry really blossomed into one of the state’s most competitive contests, year in and year out.
NA won three Sectional titles in six years, but Jeff nabbed two straight prior to 1935. In the mind of Francis, there wasn’t anything stopping this team from destiny this time around.
Jeffersonville strolled through their Sectional, defeating their opponents by a combined score of 212-54. In the semi-finals, Jeff defeated New Albany, 20-17, and went on to defeat Silver Creek, 49-15, to claim the Sectional championship.
This title was the third in a row for the Red Devils. Bill Johnson led all scorers with 19 points in the championship game.
In Regional, Seymour and Mitchell didn’t provide any discomfort to the heavily-favored Devils. They won the two games by a combined score of 83-42, and were on to Indianapolis, where their state title hopes continued to still be in tact.
Only the top 16 teams in the state advanced to Indianapolis, and Jeffersonville was hoping to build on their semi-final finish from the 1934-35 season.
Jeffersonville was scheduled to play Montgomery High School at 2 p.m. on March 15, the fourth game of the day. Jeff won by a score of 41-36. They were scheduled to play Michigan City at 9:30 a.m., the following day.
Everything was going great for Jeff. They now sported a record of 28-0, and felt like no one could possibly defeat them. Francis had his team playing spectacular despite their only assistant coach, Cotton Wood, not being present following his acceptance of a job at Morgan Packing Co. in Austin, Ind.
But what happened the night of March 15, 1935 is still considered a conspiracy by many.
Evening: March 15, 1935
Following the Montgomery game, the team had their usual dinner together. Francis decided to call it an early night, as Jeff faced the possibility of playing in three games the next day if they continued to win.
As the team headed to their hotel rooms, Coach Francis stopped by the hotel’s bar to get a glass of milk before hitting the sack for the night.
Players on Jeff, and some community members, knew about Francis’ past struggles with alcohol. But with so much on the line, the team trusted him when he told them that it was just going to be milk. All of the players shrugged off their coach’s decision and went to bed without giving a second thought.
That decision to get milk would haunt Francis, and his Jeffersonville team, for the rest of their lives.
“One thing I will say is the players on that team don’t know what happened to Coach Francis. They knew how he was that day, but they don’t know what happened the night before. They refuse to speculate about it,” Bill Johnson Jr. told the News and Tribune in 2007.
Morning: March 16, 1935
With one round of the state tournament in the books, eight teams remained.
Jeffersonville was set to play Michigan City at 9:30 a.m. If victorious, the boys would play at 2:30 p.m., and then 8:00 p.m. for the state championship game.
Players woke up for breakfast at the Marrott Hotel in Indianapolis. Groggy, the team readied itself to eat for fuel to play in the biggest sequence of games for the Red Devils.
It was championship game day and the team was prepared to travel to the Butler Fieldhouse, which is now known as Hinkle Fieldhouse, the same place famous fictional Hickory won the Indiana state championship in the movie Hoosiers.
Everything seemed normal, almost routine, to the untrained eye. Breakfast was satisfying, and the players were focused.
However, the players noticed something was off. Their focus and attention, which was supposed to be on nothing other than the game, was elsewhere. Why?
The team was missing their coach, Janis “Hunk” Francis.
It was the morning of arguably the biggest game of the high school players’ lives. Despite the 9:30 a.m. tip, Francis was nowhere to be found.
The players searched everywhere: the lobby, his hotel room, the bathrooms.
The Marrott front desk knew nothing. Nobody had a clue where the most significant person was for the most important day in Jeffersonville’s 1935 basketball season.
However the game had to go on, with or without Francis.
So the Jeff High players slowly gathered outside of the hotel, without any adult to accompany them, knowing there was no other assistant coach or if theirs was not located.
Suddenly, a taxi cab pulled up to the 2600 block of Meridian Street in downtown Indy. Its approach was slow and mysterious, as if it was looking for something.
The taxi driver, stoic and stern, rolled down his window, and looked to senior Red Devil basketball player Bill Johnson.
“Are you guys from Jeffersonville?” the taxi driver asked.
“I have your coach in the backseat.”
Sure enough, in the backseat, was Hunk Francis, laying face-down, knocked out cold. His breathing was slow and he held a faint pulse.
Hours before the biggest game in the history of Jeffersonville High School, their head coach was imitating death.
9:30 a.m.: Jeffersonville vs Michigan City
With stakes high and one loss away from going home on the biggest stage, Jeff laced up their sneakers without a conscious coach for the first time ever.
Francis was in attendance. However, the head coach was still knocked out cold, and had to be propped up on the bench. Spectators were perplexed by the behavior, or lack of, by the only coach on the team.
Jeff would eventually pull out a close win in the quarterfinal game. Following a low-scoring affair, the Red Devils were able to prevail in a defensive struggle.
Final score: Jeffersonville 26 Michigan City 23.
2:30 p.m.: Jeffersonville vs. Richmond
With Francis still unconscious throughout the afternoon, Jeff squared off against Richmond in the semifinal game, with the winner earning a chance the play for the championship trophy. With Francis still incapacitated, the leadership went to Johnson, who had the unexpected privilege of being player-coach the entire Saturday.
In a scene that mirrored the morning game, Francis sat propped up on the bench. And just like the morning game, Jeff fought through another slugfest, this time with Richmond.
Ernie Andres, who would eventually play one season of Major League Baseball for the Boston Red Sox, and Johnson, were the heroes for the game. They were the only players that scored in double digits for Jeffersonville, scoring 11 and 10 points, respectively.
After trailing 19-18 at halftime, Jeffersonville took control in the third quarter. They outscored RHS by seven, and held them to just three points in the period. The Crimson Tide were able to hold off Richmond in an exciting, see-saw battle for a five-point victory.
Once again, Jeff survived, slated to play on Saturday night in the championship. The win, which was the 31st consecutive, was tied for an Indiana high school record until 1994-95.
Final score: Jeffersonville 33 Richmond 28
8:00 p.m.: Jeffersonville vs. Anderson
For the first time all Saturday, Francis stayed back at the hotel, unconscious, rather than attending the title game.
Johnson resumed his role of player-coach, just as he did for the morning games, and the Crimson Tide were ready to fight for what would have been the first basketball state title in school history.
Anderson was a tough opponent. Jeff had already beaten them in the regular season 32-30, but the feat was not easy.
Ironically, despite their 31 consecutive wins and earlier season win, Jeff was not the favored team going into the game. It was rumored that the odds were in favor of the Anderson squad 12/7 to win, according to local bookies.
The “Francismen” did not get off to a good start to the game, and by the end of the first quarter, the Red Devils found themselves in a big hole, trailing 11-3 to the Indians.
However, despite the deficit, the boys never panicked. Under Johnson’s leadership, Jeff clawed their way back from being down 19-9 to make it a game, cutting Anderson’s lead back to single digits in the second half.
Jeffersonville played brilliant defense throughout the state tournament, and this game was no exception. Other than the uncharacteristic first quarter, they held Anderson to just four points in each of the remaining three quarters.
The man Jeff turned to for points was senior forward Charles Rauth, who had seven points off of three field goals. After trailing at halftime, Rauth nailed a two-point shot to open the second half, and added a second basket minutes later. His third field goal included a jump shot from the baseline with three minutes left to give the Crimson Tide hope for a last gasp at a comeback.
However Jeff had no answer for Indian stars Clutch and Billy Jackson, who were kept in check during Anderson’s afternoon overtime win against Shelbyville. The duo combined for 16 of Anderson’s 23 total points and had four field goals each.
Unfortunately, Jeff shot a woeful 8-of-44 from the field, which equates to a brutal 18.2-percent — a statistic too harsh to overcome for the Crimson Tide.
Final score: Jeffersonville 17 Anderson 23.
“I went down to Schimpffs (Confectionery), and on the window they got the score update by telephone, since there was no public broadcast,” Coomer remembered. “When they put the final score up, people started crying. That’s when I became a true Jeff fan.”
There was no way around it. Jeff had the trophy in their grasp, but it was just far enough to never be reality. Many residents like to think that if Francis was able to coach, the final outcome would have been different.
Immediately following the loss, Johnson walked around downtown Indianapolis in the pouring rain. He wanted to get away from the moment; he came so close to earning the first state title for Jeffersonville before it was yanked away from him.
What happens now, he thought? What happens with Francis? Where do the Red Devils go from here? There were so many unanswered questions.
The next day, Johnson had to make the 90-mile drive back to Jeff in Francis’ car, with the coach recovering in the backseat. Francis was still out of it despite being 24 hours removed from the incident.
“All the team members said the same thing. If he was drunk, he would’ve sobered up, but he was still out of it a few days after,” said Michael Johnson.
No one knows who exactly drugged him, but rumors were everywhere. One of the more popular rumors going around claimed it could have been mob-officiated workers that were employed on the docks in the Ohio River, but nothing of substance ever surfaced.
Following the game, the school board wanted Francis out of the high school immediately. They had no choice but to fire their five-year coach.
According to a statement issued by the school board: “After an investigation of the facts presented by a committee of Jeffersonville men at a called meeting of the Board of Education, the members of the board feel that it is the board’s duty to demand the resignation of Janis Francis as athletic director and basketball coach of the Jeffersonville High School.”
And just like that, Francis was forced out of his position, never working for Jeffersonville High School again.
Jeff had no choice but to move on and look toward the future, seeking out a new basketball coach. Anderson, on the other hand, would go on to win three state championships in 10 years.
During the coaching search, The Evening News, a local Jeffersonville newspaper, posed a poll question that included all the candidates that entered job applications for Francis’ former position.
Despite his firing, Francis was still the second-leading vote earner with 202. Glenn Curtis, who eventually coached at Indiana State University for eight seasons, earned the most with 312. Ironically, an unheard of up-and-coming coach, and future UCLA coaching great, John Wooden came in seventh with 18 votes.
Jeff would eventually name Frank Barnes, who would go on to coach Shelbyville to a state title in 1947, the head coach. Barnes finished with a 74-30 record during his five-season tenure.
Even with a fresh start, it was tough for anyone to move on from something so unpredictable, as the school and community remained in total shock.
But could Jeff have won if Francis was on the sideline coaching?
The game will just now be considered with a “what if” scenario every time someone mentions 1935, or Hunk Francis.
Jeffersonville basketball was capable of regaining the fame of their program that they once had, but would have to wait nearly 60 years for the school’s first state title in 1993. Still, the tradition that Francis instilled holds true today.
Few know the story of the 1935 team. Even fewer know the real truth behind it. For the couple of people still living that do know, they believe that it might be better to just keep the identity of the person behind it a mystery.