Posted on

1967, the first time they played

While the men’s series has been well documented since the original varsity contest on the night of December 18, 1973, records of an earlier meeting were discovered in a search of the Briar Cliff archives. It describes the “inaugural” meeting between the BCU and MC men’s programs, a game that occurred nearly six years earlier than the official contest. The fledging BCU men’s program needed as much court time as possible, considering they were mostly freshmen with just a sprinkling of transfers. Add to that, they played as an independent: scheduling could be a nightmare.

Morningside would play just freshmen in the game, therefore, it never shows in that college’s record books. But it was a historic evening nonetheless. Dave Holub, who scored 14 for the Chiefs that night, remembers “as freshmen, we were ineligible to play for the varsity. We played our games before the varsity and no one ever came to watch us. This night, though, we go on court to warm up, and we said, ‘Hey, we have a crowd today.’ Now, it’s not a packed Allee, but its noticeably more than we usually saw for our games. I remember watching as about a half dozen nuns made their way up the stands. We knew this was the first-ever matchup with Briar Cliff; there was something in the air that night.”

The Chargers had traveled across town to Allee that evening with several players who would ring up time in the record books. Besides Ron Schultz, who would score 1,353 points in his career, there was 1,307-point scorer Jim Hinrich, the first Charger to score 40 points in a game, and Ray Wingert, a transfer from Wayne State, who had over 500 points and 500 rebounds in his two-year career. Though they would become the first wave of Charger greats, they were still in their team’s infancy. Morningside responded with Mike White, Dave Holub, Lance Larson, and Chuck George, who piled up a game-leading 32 points in the 87-80 Chief victory. George, who left Morningside and served in Vietnam, came back to join the Chargers program for one year in 1974–75 but did not play in the second varsity contest between the two schools. As one of his former teammates said, “Chuck came back a different man after Vietnam.” It was a different era then. As Dave Holub recalls, “We always seemed to end the regular season with a game against Iowa State Teachers College, now UNI [University of Northern Iowa]. We were driving back from Cedar Falls listening to the radio for the draft numbers; not the NBA draft, the Vietnam draft numbers. Of course, Lance Larson was 365, but I had 48, and I think Mike White had a similar number.”