(12-29-20) One of Ft. Wayne’s all-time best high school teams was the 1966-67 South Side Archers. After a run to the State Semistate semifinal game and a load of talent coming back from the 1965-66 season…they did not disappoint.

The Archers went 14-0 to start the season before losing to crosstown rival North Side 46-45. Their second loss of the season came to Central 60-58. The Tigers would pick up their third consecutive City title with that win.

Ft. Wayne Central

Indiana, being a single-class tournament at the time, with no seeding system, would deal the Archers a first round game with…you guessed it Central. South Side would survive the scare and win 66-65 in OT in the Sectional win.

The run to Indianapolis included a revenge win over North Side 39-36 and a big win beating #1 ranked Michigan City in the first semistate game 47-43.

The Archers run ended in the State semifinal game losing to Lafayette 79-70. South Side played without Long when he would foul out in the 3rd quarter.

South Side did pick up two prestigious individual awards. Willie Long picked up the Mr. Basketball title and Chuck Nelson won the Trester Award.

Long & Nelson

6-foot-7 forward Willie Long averaged 23.2 points per game as a junior and 25.6 as a senior at South Side and was named the 1967 Mr. Basketball in Indiana, he would finish his high school career with 1,697 pointsand a single game high of 44 points.

Chuck Nelson won the Trester Award. At the state finals, members of the IHSAA Executive Committee present the Trester Award to the outstanding senior participant in the boys’ basketball state finals. The recipients of this award are nominated by their principals and coaches, must excel in mental attitude, scholarship, leadership and athletic ability in basketball. An IHSAA corporate partner presents a $1,000 scholarship to each school in the name of the recipient.

1967 IHSAA State Championships

former South Side Gymnasium

Did you know?

The 1966-67 IHSAA Final Four was played at the Hinkle Fieldhouse…the same floor that Hickory would win the state title on in ‘Hoosiers.

A very well known member of the South Side Class of 1967- Shelley Long who starred on ‘Cheers’