News and Tribune

Clark County

February 12, 2013

A HISTORY OF HOOPS: Chuck Ledbetter releases book chronicling history of Charlestown boys’ basketball

(Continued)

CHARLESTOWN —

That all changed on Nov. 3, 1916, when the Charlestown Pirates under coach Arthur Blythe traveled to Henryville High School to play in their first competitive game. 

“I was amazed reading about Henryville, because they were the first team we played back in the 1916 season and they played the game on a dirt floor. They didn’t have a basketball floor,” Ledbetter said. 

Beginner’s luck didn’t help the Pirates that night. Charlestown lost to its regional counterparts 12-11. Not to worry though. Only seven days later, Charlestown avenged its inaugural loss by beating the Hornets 24-21.

Ledbetter found in his investigation that basketball has changed quite a bit since Charlestown first adopted the sport. Imagine a time when players had to jump for the ball after every made basket. Between these breaks that slowed down the game and the 3-point shot almost half a century away, scores remained low during the early years.

In the decades that followed, coaches changed and different players emerged to continue the Pirate tradition. Ledbetter said his book gives the history of these leaders and their contributions to the school and the sport. 

“Each coach brought their own personality and brought a new level of the game to the young boys here in Charlestown, going way back to where Arthur Blythe was the first coach,” he said. “All those coaches had some effect on our program and where we are today. We might not see it that away, but when you put it all in to one little box or one little book and you see it back to back ... I see that gradual change in each little phase of our basketball program and how we developed.”

Not a stranger to the feel of a leather ball, Ledbetter experienced the thrill of running up and down the court firsthand when he played for Coach John Wood at CHS in the late 1950s. A self-described bench warmer, the 1961 graduate said he learned to love basketball while watching the other players on the court. Later, he’d cheer on his own brother, Ben, from the stands. Ben went on to coach the basketball team in the late 1990s. 

Text Only | Photo Reprints

LOCAL MAGAZINES
Easter 2014 photos


Click on any photo to purchase it.

LOCAL STATISTICS
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
AP Video
Power to Be Restored After Wash. Wildfire Crashed Air Algerie Plane Found in Mali Israel Mulls Ceasefire Amid Gaza Offensive In Case of Fire, Oxygen Masks for Pets Mobile App Gives Tour of Battle of Atlanta Sites Anti-violence Advocate Killed, but Not Silenced. Dempsey: Putin May Light Fire and Lose Control Arizona Prison Chief: Execution Wasn't Botched Calif. Police Investigate Peacock Shooting Death Raw: Protesters, Soldiers Clash in West Bank Police: Doctor Who Shot Gunman 'Saved Lives' 'Modern Family' Star on Gay Athletes Coming Out MN Twins Debut Beer Vending Machine DA: Pa. Doctor Fired Back at Hospital Gunman Raw: Iowa Police Dash Cam Shows Wild Chase
2013 Photos of the year


Take a look at our most memorable photos from 2013.