1954-55 Barret Manual
High School Basketball
in State Tournament.
The Purple and Gold Flash of
Barret Manual Training High School:
L-R: Don Gish, Byron Pinson, Fred Schuette,
Dick Yates, Billy Brown, Sammy Joe Shelton, Pascal Benson, Tommy Childress, David Eakins, and Bill Ruff
all-state, 1954, 1955 basketball
all-district, 1953, 1954, 1955 basketball
all-regional, 1953, 1954,
Little all-American, 1958-59, 1959-60,
Kentucky Wesleyan College basketball
all-tournament team , 1959, 1960, NAIA final four
This two time high school all-state
performer Don Gish led this fabulous team with Coach T. L. Plain at the helm, finished third in the Kentucky State
High School Basketball tournament in 1954-55. The 6' 4" Barret Manual star grew another two inches to 6’6
1/2" in college.
Purple Flash beat Shelby County 82-56 in the first round, whipped Clay County in the second round by a score of 77-57, lost
to an excellent Adair County squad 66-54 in the state semi-finals and beat #1 Ranked Newport Catholic in the consolation game
for third place 68-62.
Niagra High in his freshman & sophomore years. Don's family moved into town in 1953 when his dad became a deputy
sherrif for Henderson County and attended Barret for the remaining 2 years.
led by Center Don Gish, the Purple Flash completed a 29-4 season, best ever all-time record for any Henderson based basketball
team (up to 1955), and the best record in history for Barret. Senior Billy Brown, juniors, Byron Pinson, Pascal Benson, super
sophomore David Eakins filled out the starting five. Juniors Sammy Joe Shelton, Dick Yates, Fred Schutte, along with sophomore
Bill Ruff and senior Tommy Childress would all contribute to a very talented Barret High squad.
still today considered the greatest basketball player from the Henderson school system (Barret, City, Douglass, Holy Name,
and County High Schools and of course the other 9 schools that have since been shut down). Don led Barret in scoring 29 of
the 33 games.
player went on to Tennessee Tech, where he scored 34 points in a single game as a sophomore, after a bout of home-sickness Don transferred
to Kentucky Wesleyan, where he played his final three seasons. Don was team-mate with King Kelly Coleman and led the Panthers
to a third place finish in the small-college 1959-60 National championship beating Cornell University. T. L. Plain was
Don's head coach at WKC for his final collegiate season.
his 28 rebounds against Bellarmine in 1960 still stands as the Owensboro Sportscenter record and the all-time high for rebounds
in a single game.
Henderson City High School
Class of 1958, Reserve Guard/Forward
Barret Manual Training High School
Class of 1955, Barret starting Guard
all-Regional, basketball, 1954
all-Regional, basketball, 1955
all-district, basketball, 1954
all-district, basketball, 1955
Billy Brown was a starting guard on the 1954-55
Barret High School basketball team. Bill also lettered for 5 years on the last Barret Tennis team. Under the guidance
of Lee Allen Rhoads who was the Barret Manual tennis coach from 1950 to 1955. Bill was a guard on that 1961
Henderson all-star team that played & beat the Harlem Magicians at the City High gymnasium.
Brown attended Murray state for a
year, and served in the U. S. Army from 1958-1960. Bill earned his degree in business administration from the University of
Evansville in 1963.
Bill retired from PB&S Chemical
Company in 2002, and is still living in Henderson.
Bill & wife Becky (who hails
from West Virginia) were married in 1996, and have no children.
Barret Manual Training High School
Class of 1955
Reserve Guard on 1954-55 Barret basketball team
Safety on 1954 Barret football team.
Tommy Childress was a reserve guard on the 1954-55 Barret
High School team. Tommy also played safety on the Barret football team. After leaving City High Tommy attended Murray State
& played guard on the Murray Freshman basketball squad.
Tommy was director of purchasing
for a major chemical company in Atlanta, then founded, owned & operated his own chemical company, C-Land Chemicals of
After selling his chemical Company Tommy
returned to Kentucky and went in the coal business.
Tommy and his wife Linda of 28
years have 6 children and 7 grandchildren. Tommy is now doing church camp counseling during his retirement.
Tommmy and Linda are presently residing
in Louisville, KY.
High Basketball team, 29-4,
3rd in State Tournament.
This fabulous team with Coach T. L. Plain at the helm and the 6’4" 2 time high school all-stater Don Gish finished third
in the Kentucky State High School Basketball tournament.
After breezing through both the district & regional tournaments, the Purple Flash beat Clay County 66-58 in the first
round, whipped Shelby County in the second round 72-58, lost to an excellent Adair County 56-54 squad in the state semi-finals
and beat top ranked Newport Catholic 68-62 in the consolation game for third place. Hazard High beat Adair Co. 74-66 to lay claim for the 1954-55
Kentucky state championshp.
Led by seniors Don Gish and Billy Brown, juniors Pascal Benson, Byron Pinson, and super sophomore David Eakins, the Purple
Flash completed a 29-4 season, the most victories ever, an all-time record for a Henderson based basketball team. This
record will stand forever in the annals of Barret Manual Training High School, as this would be their final season for
the Barret players. The Purple Flash of Barret Manual Training High School would be no more. This 29 win season will
be equaled by the 1955-56 new Henderson City High School. These two teams still have the best won-lost records for all-time
in all of the Henderson County high schools.
Juniors, Fred Schuette, Sammy Joe Shelton, Dick Yates, sophomore Bill Ruff and senior Tommy Childress would all contribute
to a very talented Barret High squad.
three regular season losses were to Owensboro Catholic by 2, Owensboro Senior High School by 2, and Louisville Flaget
High by 7 points, for a combined total of 11 points. Barret averaged 74.2 points for the regular season per
game and held the opponents to 53.5, a margin of 20.7 points per game over their opponents.
With the high & low game of this 1954-55 season being Uniontown St. Agnes, whom they whipped 118-18 in the first
round of the district tournament held on a neutral site at the Holy Name Gym. The 118 was a season high for Barret point
total and by holding St. Agnes to a season low of a very stingy 18 points for the Knights of St. Agnes. This
total was also a low for all opponents during the regular season. This stingy total of 18 points was also the state
low by any Kentucky high school team in the 1954-55 school year. The 100 point victory margin was also only the second time
in Kentucky high school history that a Kentucky high school won by 100 points or more. It also marked the first time that
a 100 point margin happened in a tournament game. And to defend Barret & T. L. Plain, regarding a victory of that size.
Coach Plain pulled all starters out of the game in the early minutes of the second quarter. 5' 6" reserve guard
Bill Ruff burned the nets for 38 points in less than 3 quarters of play for the Purple Flash. Barret Center Don Gish
finished the game with 28 points and 12 rebounds, playing a total of 10 minutes for the entire game.
This web-site is dedicated to the Barret
Henderson City High Sports teams from
Especially the Henderson City High 1955-56 sports
that had so many great gifted student/athletes.
SAR2 CREATIONS of NEVADA
©, TM, ®,
2008, 2009, 2010
The contents of this web site are intended to be used
only for the educational value and entertainment enjoyment.
An alumni of Henderson City High School stated to me:
"Once a Flashman, always a Flashman".
Truer words have never been spoken.
Many thanks to the people listed below for their contributions.
Adams (HHS '59),
Elaine Benson (HNHS: '59),
Pascal Benson (HHS '56)
Don Gish (BMTHS '55),
Glenda Alexander Guess (HHS '57),
Shirley Hagan (HHS '56),
Billy Haynes (HHS '59),
Keach Nolan (HHS '56),
Dr. Fred Schuette (HHS '56),
Sammy Joe Shelton (HHS '56),
Bud Bayard Walters (HHS '59),
Coach T. L. Plain
all artwork/photos are the property
of SAR2 CREATIONS of Nevada,
©, TM, ®, 2007, 2008, 2009. 2010,
Please contact webmaster for any use of artwork or photographs.
All photographs used are public-domain,
there are no violations of copyright laws
or Hippa Laws of Privacy.
Shelby A. (Lex) Riggs II
Please note that all photographs were sent in by former
students of Henderson City High School. They have all been edited, corrected & cleaned up as well as they
possibly could. If you are displeased with a photo, simply scan the photo that you want replaced and I will be more than happy
to replace it.
Thanks for your support,
Lex Riggs, webmaster