Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Local News

March 28, 2014

Tiny Westview has built big basketball tradition

Barely a dot on the Indiana map, Westview has managed to become a basketball mecca

(Continued)

Ron is also part of the Westview basketball tradition. He is a 1972 graduate and played forward for Coach Denny Foster. The team went 13-8 that year. Gary Yoder, Westview’s all-time scoring leader with 1,711 career points, was a member of that team and Ron mentioned him fondly.

“When he was a senior,” Ron boasted, “they went all the way to regionals.”

That 1972-73 team won Westview’s first sectional championship at East Noble in the old one-class tournament format.

“The first sectional title,” said longtime Westview Athletic Director Darlene Mathew, “was a very big deal.”

Ron Hostetler’s take on why the Westview community is committed to basketball is it’s because football has no role in the community.

“We are basketball fanatics,” Ron said. “We don’t play football. A lot of schools look toward football. We put everything into basketball.”

Former Westview coach Troy Neely, who led the Warriors to their back-to-back state titles, agrees with that assessment.

“The program has a large following because there are not a thousand things to do (in LaGrange County),” Neely said. “The school doesn’t have football, so if you want to be a part of the family you have to play basketball.

Everybody has a hoop

Ron Hostetler too said the community is comparable to the fictional town of Hickory, Ind. in the basketball movie “Hoosiers.”

“That’s just about the way it is,” Ron said. “Everybody has a hoop somewhere.”

Ron goes to all the Westview home games, but was forced to leave his seat vacant the last two games because of knee surgery. He will also have to catch today’s game on television.

Perhaps he can watch the game with his father, Norman “Bud” Hostetler.

Bud, at 83, is an honored Westview fan. He sits at mid-court in a seat reserved for him. He has only missed three Westview home games in the past 50 years. Those absences were because he went over to Fairfield High School to watch one of his grandson’s play basketball.

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