Rufenacht Remembers 1971 Championship Team
Bill Rufenacht, Archbold, who was the coach, said the team defeated Hillsboro 10-7 in the championship game, played at Ashland.
Team members held a reunion, Sunday, Oct. 9, with 20 of the 40 players returning. Several players don’t live in the area, Rufenacht said.
“Everybody brought their scrapbooks,” he said.
Rufenacht said the key to the state championship was that it was the first time they were able to gather players from throughout the area.
“It was a time when there were some really good ball players out there, and we were fortunate enough to have five players come over from Napoleon– all starters,” he said.
The team had two outstanding pitchers: Ed Grime from Archbold and Denny Perry from Hilltop. Both men signed with the Philadelphia Phillies farm team system, and played for several years in the minor leagues.
Dick Selgo Archbold, and Joe Meyer, Napoleon, went to Bowling Green State University, where they were part of the BGSU Mid-American Conference championship team. Selgo was a four-year starter for BG.
Bats Come Alive
“Offensively, we were good throughout the season. Then in state tournament, the bats started to come together, and we hit well,” he said.
“Our pitching was good all the way through.”
The team went on to compete and finish third in a national regional competition at Lincoln Park, Mich.
Teams from seven midwestern states were there.
A Big Deal
The state championship “was a pretty big deal,” Rufenacht said.
“The radio station (WMTR, then WHFD) covered it live. When we came back, we went through Pettisville and Archbold with the fire trucks.”