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This is the image of the full or partial text of an article entitled "Hapless Shimer Cagers To Quit; Drop 37 In Row", printed in the Morning Star of 1963-02-22. 


Hapless Shimer Cagers To Quit; Drop 37 in Row


Morning Star Sports Writer

MOUNT CARROLL-Les Shepard, basketball coach at Shimer College here, has only six players on his entire squad.

He had 11 when the season started, but eight quit. Since then, he’s recruited three others from campus.

Shimer has lost 20 straight games this season ... and 37 in a row over the past two years. Latest defeat came against Trinity College in Chicago Wednesday.

The score was 121-34.

And when the season ends on March 2, Shimer will have lost 40 straight It’s as certain as death and freshman composition at this small campus (300 students), located 60 miles southwest of Rockford.

Shimer never wins and no one expects Shimer to win. But Coach Shepard, 35, remains relatively unperturbed.

He’s quitting after this season, anyhow. And basketball at Shimer is ending.

Two proposals, one from the faculty and one from a student committee, recommended that all intercollegiate sports at Shimer be dropped after 1963. It's near certain the proposals will pass this spring. Swimming, golf and tennis will also be dropped.

"I guess it's best," reported Shepard. “An intramural program here is best. We have no fans, no players and no gym. (Home games are played in bigh school gyms at Lanark, Chadwick and Milledgeville). Our students on campus don’t really care whether we win or lose. ... but they expect us to lose.”

So Shimer's ignominious losing streak will probably be halted at 40.

As for Coach Shepard, he’s returning, somewhat shell-shocked, to Penn State for graduate work.

“You don't forget a season like this,” sighs Shepard. “My high scorer (Curt Shaffner, Niagara Falls, N. Y.) is averaging only eight points a game. Most other teams empty their benches against us. . . trying to be merciful. But our opponents have still averaged 93 points a game. We’ve averaged 37.2.”

“Once this year I signaled for a time out from the bench,” recalled Shepard. “My player simply started walking toward me, then tossed the basketball over his head. A St Procopius player grabbed it and dribbled in for a lay-up.

"Tbe referee was so startled that be didn’t call walking. . . be counted the basket. Then he called time out. My player never did. He apparently saw me signal for time out and thought that was enough. So he came over to see what I wanted!”

Shimer, incidentally, also has a girls’ basketball team. The girls have lost only four games is three years.

Has Shepard considered playing his varsity against the girls?

“Yes. . . it has been bantered around campus.” admits the Pioneer coach. “But frankly, I'd rather recruit some of them to play for us, not against us.”

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