Monday, March 6, 2023
Sherman York had the Courage of a Bulldog
By all accounts, Sherman York was a great basketball player, a point guard known for his consistent play, both in high school and college. He was a three year starter for the Bulldogs and at Campbellsville College was the unanimous choice for the outstanding basketball player award. He was inducted into the Clinton County Wall of Fame in 2002, along with his brother-in-law, and former teammate, Jackie Sewell.
Coach Lindle Castle once said the years 1959 to 1965 were the 'golden years of basketball at Clinton County High School. He based it on the fact that his players had grown up at one room schools. Aside from book learning, whenever there wasn't much else to do, they learned the game from teachers, and then wore out the goals practicing and playing hour after hour year around. "Then they started closing the one room schools for better education and the kids came into grade school centers. When they graduated, the golden years were over," he said.
An example of how bright the golden years of CCHS basketball was during that era is a team that rose to the occasion two seasons after the 1959-60 team was crowned champions of the 5th region. It has been said many times over the years that the 1961-62 team is the best team ever at CCHS.
The late L.H. 'Prof' Robinson, who was superintendent, principal and coach at Albany, loved Sherman York's consistency as a player and referred to him as a 'Bulldog,' which is what he was, both literally and figuratively. You will read Robinson's quotes throughout this story.
Sherman York, a junior, was the starting point guard on that team, averaging 9.4 points per game. Others were Sewell, Kenneth Conner, David McFarland, Tom Neathery, Paul Denney, Darrell Weaver, U.S. Reneau, W.L. Sawyers, Wells Latham, Wayne Cook, Don McWhorter, Kay Flowers, A.V. Conner, Jim Thrasher, Gayle Stearns, John Hay and Bill McDonald.
"Sherman has the speed of a frightened ghost. His nerves are made of the finest, purest steel. Under pressure, he is calm, undisturbed, capable and dependable. This boy has a potential that has not been fully explored." L.H. 'Prof' Robinson, 11/30/61
In the 20th district tournament championship game, the Bulldogs, rated 9th in the state, went up against Metcalfe County. Our hopes of advancing to the regional as district champs were dashed as the Hornets stung the Bulldogs by a single point, 59-58.
The 5th region tournament opened with a rematch between the Bulldogs and the Hornets, but this time the game had a much different ending. We won by 30. Up next was the semi-finals and a meeting with the only unbeaten team in Kentucky, Allen County, at 28-0. The Bulldogs led 13-12 after the first period, 29-26 at halftime, and 43-36 heading into the final frame. With 6:20 left to play and Clinton County leading by eight, the Patriots' Wayne Hanes fouled out, causing the cheering section to become as quiet as a graveyard, but with 2:14 left to play something unwanted happened....Kenneth Conner fouled out. What followed was a rally for the ages, as Allen County sparked big, scoring the games final eleven points to win 58-47. The Patriots' rock solid defense had held the Bulldogs to only four points in the last quarter.
"Even though the Bulldogs lost the game, there is not a thing to be ashamed of," wrote Jimmy Huccaby in the Clinton County News, "because this has been one of the best seasons ever witnessed by a Clinton County team and fans," he added. Our season was over, but for Coach Castle it would be the best won-loss record of his career, 30 wins and 4 losses.
There were a lot of great players on that Bulldogs team. Coach Castle claimed Sherman York was one of the best defensive guards the district had ever produced.....racking up many steals and turning them into fast break baskets. The coach would have known that first hand. As a freshman at the University of Kentucky, he was a shining star, a starter on the 1949-50 Kittens team that won 15 games and lost just once. "Castle is a ball-hawking specialist that set up the Cat's fast break offense," wrote Bob Gorham in the Kentucky Kernel.
"Sherman has the courage of a Bulldog. His floor play was a comfort to his doting coach." L.H. 'Prof' Robinson, 12/21/61
If you've heard stories about how great of a player Sherman was in high school, he was even better at Campbellsville University, where he played two seasons with another Clinton County High School player, 6'6" Bobby Reneau. Sherman lettered in three sports: basketball, track and baseball. In basketball, he was the captain of the Tigers and was a great asset as both a leader and playmaker. During his senior year in 1967 he was named Outstanding Athlete of the Year. Earlier that same year, he had been selected outstanding basketball player. He had also been named to the All K.I.A.C. Team in that sport. He was a valuable member of the track team at Campbellsville, where he captured first place several times in the 100 and 220 yard dashes.
As coach of the Wayne County Cardinals for four years, 1967 to 1971, Sherman did real well, guiding the Cardinals to an overall record of 56 wins and 37 losses. He posted a won-loss record of 6-14 his first season, 16-9 his second season, 15-7 his third season and 19-7 his final season. While at Wayne County, he also served as cross-country coach for three years and baseball and golf coach for two years. He also served as assistant football coach for one season. Sherman was inducted into the Cardinal Club's hall of fame in 1995 and the Wayne County High School Hall of Fame in 2007.
In November of 1981, H & W Sport Shop opened up in the Town, and Country Plaza in Monticello as the first store in Monticello to be devoted strictly to sports men and women. It was third in a chain of H & W Sport Shop's owned by Ronnie Hord and Ron Wilson of Campbellsville. Sherman managed the Monticello store and was also co-owner.
"We can always use a boy like Sherman York. His kind gladden the hearts of parents, coach, student body and faculty members. His kind will make a contribution to his generation." L.H. 'Prof' Robinson, 11/30/61
Nov. 3, Shopville 90 - 29 W
Nov. 7, at McCreary County 86 - 53 W
Nov. 10, at Ferguson 68 - 46 W
Nov. 17, South Hopkins 82 - 49 W
Nov. 24, at Ralph Bunche 62 - 61 W
Nov. 28, Pickett County 92 - 44 W
Dec. 1, Tompkinsville 73 - 40 W
Dec. 4, at Cumberland County 64 - 44 W
Dec. 5, at Gamaliel 77 - 57 W
Dec. 8, Metcalfe County 81 - 47 W
Dec. 12, at Greensburg 77 - 65 W
Dec. 15, Celina 68 - 35 W
Dec. 19, at Pickett County 74 - 25 E
Dec. 28, at Russell County/Adair County 43 48 L
Dec. 29, at Russell County/Monticello 82 - 44 W
Jan. 5, at Tompkinsville 91 - 61 W
Jan. 9 Shelby County CANCELLED
Jan. 12, McCreary County 73 - 52 W
Jan. 13, at Campbellsville Durham 42 - 46 L
Jan. 16 at Metcalfe County 57 - 54 W
Jan. 19, Gamaliel 79 - 43 W
Jan. 23, at Bowling Green 77 - 47 W
Jan. 30, Russell County 73 - 53 W
Feb. 1, Cumberland County 65 - 53 W
Feb. 6, at Liberty 99 - 67 W
Feb 9, Christian County 72 - 63 W
Feb. 13, Ferguson 104 - 48 W
Feb. 16, Campbellsville Durham 87 - 65 W
Feb. 20, Ralph Bunche 49 - 34 W
Feb. 23, at Celina 90 - 60 W
20th District Tournament at Edmonton
Feb. 28 Cumberland County 58 - 31 W
Mar. 2 Gamaliel 69 - 35 W
Mar. 3 Metcalfe County 58 - 59 L
5th Region Tournament at Bowling Green High
Mar. 7 Metcalfe County 83 - 53 W
Mar. 8 Allen County 47 - 53 L
Record: 30-4 (Coach Castle's best record) 104 points vs Ferguson/Feb. 13, 1962 set a record.
Kenneth Conner's personal scoring record was made and broken during this season. He beat his previous record of 32 points against McCreary County during the 1960-61 season by scoring 41 points on Dec. 29, this season, against Monticello. And then on Feb. 6th, this season, he broke that record when he scored 42 points in the game against Liberty.
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