(1-8-20) The movie ‘Hoosiers’ depicts the early days of small school basketball in Indiana. Today high schools from around the country make the trip to Knightstown to play in the ‘Hoosier Gym’ that was highlighted in the movie.
Since that movie it has also inspired others to host games at those gyms that gave a boost to ‘Hoosier Hysteria’. One is located in Butler, Indiana and the home of the Windmills until the 1960’s.
This year in boys basketball the Blazers will host ACAC member Adams Central on February 15th. What an opportunity to play on a special court for both schools, it is what makes Indiana high school basketball special.
Following the consolidation of Butler and Riverdale high schools for the 1963-1964 season, the new consolidated school Eastside would play 70 games in the old gym, compiling a 38-32 record. The last regular-season game took place February 20, 1971, a 75-62 win over Westview.
2015 throwback game vs Woodlan
There have been several throwback games over the years. The first one took place during the 1986-1987 season, with Eastside beating Hicksville (Ohio) 79-72, there were also games during the 1989-1990, 1996-97, 2014-15 and the next would take place in 2017.
In a 2017 Butler Bulletin story Eastside Boys Basketball Coach Ryan Abbott said –
“There’s so many people who bleed green here, so many people who are proud to be an Eastside Blazer,. It brings all of us together. Eastside’s been very good to me. We’ve had six very successful years here and I’ve coached some excellent players.
“I just think it ties me to people like Scott Hudson and Aaron Willard, and the other previous coaches.The bond that we have, the atmosphere that we have, this building just brings that all together.
“If there’s a definition or a monument of Eastside basketball, this building is it.”
Jimmy Chitwood and Coach Norman Dale may have never played on this floor…but the memories of playing in a historic gym at Butler is a chance to experience what Hickory did.
History of the Butler Gym –
1936 Butler HS yearbook –
First Butler Windmills team to call the gym their home court in 1936-37 –