It's WAND's "All-Time 5"! Which local high school has the best all-time, all-star lineup of basketball players from any era, together on one court in a tournament of 33 teams!
53 pages. 10,600 words (and counting). Countless conversations, messages, box scores, All-State lists and school records. Now that Gordon Voit's research packet has been compiled, we begin the fun.
NUMBER 26: TEUTOPOLIS WOODEN SHOES
(7) Teutopolis vs. (2) TBA
PG - Mitch Koester (Purdue baseball) 5-11, Area POY 2000, Set scoring and assists record; Runner-up State 2000
SF - Brent Niebrugge (Illinois Wesleyan) 6-4, Area POY 1994, 26.9 ppg is record (93-94), 16-14 rpg as senior at IWU
SF - Gene Schumacher (Alabama) 6-5, 12-7 junior year; Class of 1962
SF - Bob Zerrusen (Lake Land) 6-6, Area POY 1986, IHSA 100 Legends list; State Champion, IBCA Hall of Fame, 4th scoring 1,408 pts, 1st rebounds career
C – Leon Gobczynski (Millikin) 6-8, Scoring record at Millikin, 62, 58, 52, 48, 46, 45, 45 pts in a game; Class of 1971
SF – Andy Gobczynski (Eastern Illinois) 6-5, 4-5 reb
SF - Mike Hardiek (SIU-Edwardsville) 6-7, 16-5 senior year, Class of 2003
PF – Dawson Smith (Kaskaskia baseball) 6-6
PF – Clint Weber (Lake Land current) 6-8
Mark Kreke (Millikin) 2nd scoring 1,738 pts; Millikin great
SF – Bart Funneman (Millikin) 6-4, 15 ppg
PF - Rich Borries 6-6 (Missouri Southern)
Dennis Funneman (SIU-Edwardsville)
F - Ted Smith (SIU-Edwardsville) 17-7 best season D2, SIUE HOF for basketball + baseball
John Nieman, 51 pts in a game
Luke Niebrugge (Webster)
G/F - Nick Schumacher (McKendree)
John Rune, 3rd scoring 1,580
Matt Swingler (Illinois Wesleyan)
Herm Runde (Saint Louis) Class of 1940
Analysis: Six trips to State, all six of them prior to the four-class expansion. That's incredible.
(Did we miss a player? Email firstname.lastname@example.org so we can update the roster! Thanks for your help in making this special project complete.)
Best season: The 1986 state champions were a force, plain and simple. A perfect 25-0 and MVP-caliber play from Bob Zerrusen, Kevin Ruholl and Todd Kroeger. Case in point, in the state championship (two-class system) the Shoes simply throttled Ohio 82-45.
Enrollment: 326 (2020)
GOAT: It's hard not to pick C Leon Gobczynski for his cartoonish number at Millikin. He gets the nod statistically. As for statewide notoriety, that's Bob Zerrusen -- he's the only Shoe on the IHSA Top 100 legends. However, my money is on Gene Schumaker, who was a star in the SEC. That's hard to top, frankly. Double-digit scoring averages playing against the likes of Kentucky and Tennessee is incredibly impressive. He earned the nickname "Hoss" for how strong he was at 6-foot-5.
Why they're seeded here: This Teutopolis all-time team is just like any given Teutopolis team: greater than the sum of its parts. The six State appearances proves that. The Shoes have just one high-major Division I player (Schumaker) but the fact that three of the starting five were MVP candidates in their respective state championship games (two-class system) proves that these guys could play. The Shoes have size, with big men like Eastern Illinois' Andrew Gobczynski coming off the bench. They have pedigree, with Shumaker's Alabama credentials. The Shoes are incredibly accomplished, balanced and have a team of high school superstars. But that's why they only reached as high as a No. 7 seed -- everyone higher just has more high-level talent.
Music: 80s hair metal. The rock anthems of the Kenter's Tavern jukebox are part of the fabric of the Teutopolis community, which will tailgate, attend and then postgame party for the 7th grade basketball playoffs. There's no place like T-Town. Truly.
Controversial decision: There are countless bench players who had an argument to crack the Top 5, including 2000 state team big man Andy Gobczynski (Eastern Illinois) who is remembered by his family and friends with annual fundraisers. I mean, throw a dart at that "bench" and you hit an All-State pick. Clint Weber and Dawson Smith (both Class of 2019) earned the Friday Frenzy nickname "Dunktopolis" because of their dominant, high-flying play.
WHAT: A competition to see who has the best all-time all-star squad of any high school basketball program in the 217 area code.
WHEN: February 5 - March 18 (Phase 1)
March 18 until the NCAA Final Four in April (Phase 2)
HOW: Gordon Voit will release four more teams every single Wednesday night, two during the 6 p.m. show and two during the 10 p.m. show. This is Phase 1. Phase 2 consists of a bracket challenge pitting the teams against each other in a simulated tournament.
RELEASING THE TEAMS
February 5: The 8 seeds
No. 33: Mt. Pulaski (Play-in game)
No. 32: Okaw Valley (Bethany-Findlay) (Play-in game)
February 12: The 7 seeds
No. 26: Teutopolis
No. 25: Shelbyville
February 19: The 6 seeds
No. 24: TBA
No. 23: TBA
No. 22: TBA
No. 21: TBA