John Trimnell
John Trimnell

Our theme for Heritage Days this year has the word “journey” in it. I have been thinking a lot about that word lately. Once experiencing Hope in our journey, the town remains in our heart.

One of our readers thought several people within our community would want to know that Hauser graduate John Trimnell's earthly journey ended in Georgia on Oct. 11th at the age of 70. Marty Emmert mentioned that John was one of the best athletes to come from our small community.

Before long, I was in the Hope library looking through The Hope Star-Journal from 1965-66, where I found that John did indeed excel in sports (basketball, track, & baseball) and academics (National Honor Society & fifth in his class). The basketball team he played on was impressive. Several of John's teammates are still around Hope. I had a chance to talk with Ed Dailey. Ed and John were close friends, and Ed attended John's funeral as well as many others. Like Marty, Ed stated that John was a gifted athlete. John went to Valdosta State on a full basketball scholarship and received the MVP Award.

Afterward, I referred to John's obituary online. While reading the content, it became very obvious that John was devoted to family, community, church, education, and our country. Undoubtedly, his journey and legacy will long be remembered by all who came into contact with him. I am sorry that I never met John, but I am glad that Marty got in touch with HSJ Online.

It was wonderful to look at our well-preserved black and white newspapers and to go back in time for what had to be many special memories for all who teamed up with John as well as those who had the opportunity to watch him and his teammates. Let's spend some time looking at that 1965-66 team.

The head coach was Brad Mitchell who was assisted by the legendary Bob Miller. The following players were on the varsity as the season started: Seniors Herb Boilanger, Ed Dailey, Tom Marlin, John Trimnell and Butch Turner; Juniors Jim Anderson, Don Mankin, Dave Phares and Wayne Thompson; and sophomore Steve Rominger. Student managers were John Beck and Steve Coffman. The cheerleaders were Teresa Herron, Linda Smith, Amy McKee and Sissy McKee.

Both Ed and Teresa mentioned the support of a large band (61 members), a full cheer block (106 members), and the community with Teresa's shared “Jetstream” full of memorable pictures of Hauser before the move to State Road 9.

Coach Mitchell often had a column in “The Star-Journal.” He expressed confidence at the beginning of the season with this comment, “I believe Hauser should be in for an outstanding year.” He was ever so right, with the team finishing 17-4. In a final column, Coach Mitchell had the stats to back his earlier statement, “We broke practically every existing record in the school's nine-year history. The final curtain has been rung down for this year, but it has been one the Jets and Jet fans will long remember.”

John scored 446 points; Ed scored 427; Butch Turner scored 202. When reviewing the box scores for every game, it was evident the Jets shared the ball mixing in good offense with good defense. The team averaged 76.7 points/game while opponents averaged 59.5 points/game. The last game in the old Hauser gym was against Waldron resulting in a record setting score: Hauser 103; Waldron 56 (Trimnell 36, Turner 16, Thompson 15, Rominger 13, Dailey 11.)

Ed commented that people had difficulty even getting to the water fountains due to the crowds. In the 8-Team Columbus Sectional, Hauser had the best small school record. We were allocated 414 tickets and students took the first 366. According to Ed, there were over 7,000 people in attendance, mostly for the Columbus Bull Dogs. They were taller; we got into early foul trouble; and, they had a great game while we did not. The final score was 48-105. On a final note, I noticed over half of the schools on our schedule in 65-66 are no longer in existence reminding me once again how fortunate we are in this community to still have Hauser.

Hart's Mortuary & Cremation Center obituary page