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Blast #19

Dear Fellow Alums:

Aiken won the Cincinnati Public High School League Basketball title in 1971. With new interim coach Mr. Matthews and returning seniors Greg Goodman, John Lowe, and Ron Odenbeck, the team rolled to win 13 of its last 14 games after starting the season 0-4.

The nearby Enquirer story, passed to us by John, recounts the season and path to victory.

In recent emails, we heard from some of the players. “Coach McGreevey was a real interesting guy,” writes John. “In the day, crew cuts and team discipline (doing it all his way) with a slowdown shuffle offense were not appreciated much by some of the players that came before us. However, Greg, Ron, and I were hard headed enough and wanted to play no matter what, so we played it his way and ended up having some success his last year when we were Juniors. We were optimistic heading into our Senior year.” 

He continues, “1970-71 did not start well with the teacher union dispute and McGreevey walking away from the coaching position. Denny Mathews was a good guy but really needed some help. Our team was a group of 6’2” skinny kids in a world that had a lot of much bigger foes. At center, I don’t think I guarded anyone under 6’5 all year. In trying to compensate for our ‘shortness,’ we thought it would be a good idea to try and run other teams into the ground. In short, this did not work well, so after the Elder game, we went back to our McGreevey shuffle and took the time to get good shots. This worked well and the rest is history.” 

“John has made the important comments and the articles from the Enquirer explain our 'Rags to Riches’ season,'" writes Greg. “I think one of the best memories is how our season started poorly and not much interest from the student body, but as we had more success, the entire school shared in the excitement. Great crowd for the Withrow game, not only from the students but alums as well, the most satisfying win of the year!”

John is candid in summarizing a second article, posted on our reunion website here. “You may recall, Denny Dressman was the lead community sports guy at the time. He had an apparent dislike for the Public [High School] League and always seemed to play up [the Greater Catholic League] and county programs over the PHSL. My Mom and Greg’s Mom always got pissed when they read his story lines. So the second article at the end of the season came as a real shock to everyone. I think he did a pretty good job of telling the story.” It was much-deserved praise.

You can click here to purchase tickets on the reunion website, where you can pay by check (using mailing instructions provided at checkout) or by credit card. Check is preferred, by the way, since it saves us the processing fee. Cost is $60 per person, and includes old (well, let’s call them “long-time”) friends, live music, catered dinner, cash bar and a whole lot of memories. If you have any trouble ordering, give website administrator Keith Brown a call for friendly assistance! 513-602-5544.

Our reunion will be November 6, 2021, 7-11 p.m., at Centennial Barn. For the latest news, classmate profiles, messaging registered alums, or to buy tickets, visit the reunion webpage at aiken71.com.

Your 50th Reunion Committee


Saul Aguiar
Lisé Bohannon
Keith Brown
Sue Stenten Gilman
Sylvia Hill
Kermit Kinne
William “Bill” Kirkwood
Geoff Mayfield
Kristeen Estep McKenzie
Charlotte Weiser Pamplin
Christopher Press
Linda Palumbo Ratterman
Laura Howard Scudder



Centennial Barn (pictured nearby), our Reunion venue, is a charming, spacious, and versatile event venue accommodating up to 300 guests and includes indoor and outdoor spaces. The historic brick barn was constructed in 1899.  Its unique aesthetic offers a rustic, yet elegant, two-story venue with an open atrium. All funds from rentals support the work of Franciscan Ministries, Inc., a non-profit organization serving those in need. The Centennial Barn, 110 Compton Road, Cincinnati, OH 45215.