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    Wingate Gladiators - Who are they?

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    Bumstead
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    Wingate Gladiators - Who are they?

    Post by Bumstead on Tue Oct 20, 2009 4:44 pm

    The Provo Loans recently sold out to an ownership group from Wingate, Indiana headed by Jeff Palin. Yeah, I see that it says that Wingate is in North Carolina, but I can assure you that should your team head to NC instead of Wingate, IN you will not find Gladiator Stadium.

    Wingate is a small town by any standards...before the Gladiators moved in, the town had shrunk to about 400 people. Wingate is a farming town in west-central Indiana. Back in their hey-day they were a basketball powerhouse in the high school ranks of Indiana winning state titles in back-to-back years in 1913-1914 (with over 800 schools participating in the most basketball-charged state in the US). Well, after those two championships Wingate and Crawfordsville got into a bit of a rivalry. In 1920, Wingate caught Crawfordsville illegally recruiting basketball players and turned them into the IHSAA (Indian High School Athletic Association); Crawfordsville was then suspended from IHSAA competition for that season. In turn, Crawfordsville turned Wingate in for the same infraction also in 1920...Wingate was also suspended from IHSAA competition for the 1920 season. Both schools however were invited to the National Invitational Tournament in Chicago. When the championship game came to fruition it was indeed a bitter showdown between Wingate and Crawfordsville, two podunk towns from Montgomery County Indiana had just eliminated big schools from all over the country. Wingate went on to defeat the heathens from Crawfordsville in the 1920 HS NIT and claim their last known title in any athletic event to this day.

    Along about 1978, after the great blizzard, Jeff Palin, age 10 moved to Wingate, Indiana with his family and thus developed the relationship of the town and their new ABL baseball team Owner/GM. Jeff's dream has been to bring jobs and a love for their community back to Wingate. Since landing the team, local people have been hired for as many jobs as possible (as many as there are people for anyway! Shocked) and the town is growing by leaps and bounds. Houses, condos, and businesses are breaking ground almost as fast as the new stadium. People in town are even suggesting that maybe 2 stop signs aren't enough in this town as there have been several accidents due to the crowded streets. New roads have been put in process along with widening the roads that currently exist. Jim Bane, owner of the Wingate Diner said, "who needs all this chaos? People everywhere in a hurry...Hell, I don't even remember Jeff Palin!" Of course, he hasn't complained as his business in the diner has tripled and he has quit his 40 hour a week job in the factory in Lafayette. Jeff Bane, Jim's son and star baseball player in his own right back in the day, says "I can't wait for season tickets to go on sale! I think this team can compete for the ABL championship!" Well, that remains to be seen, but I hear that the Gladiators have their eyes on a very special player in upcoming amateur draft!

    In short, the Wingate Gladiators hope to invigorate a community and bring a championship to this town that will be as big as the one's from the town's past. According to Jeff Palin the Gladiators "have a real nice nucleus of players and it is time to get our elbows a bit dirty and get this town a championship sooner rather than later."

    Nice town. Nice people. Nice story. Stay tuned!
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    Rich
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    Re: Wingate Gladiators - Who are they?

    Post by Rich on Wed Oct 21, 2009 7:52 am

    great article, Jeff
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    AshevilleTom
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    Re: Wingate Gladiators - Who are they?

    Post by AshevilleTom on Fri Oct 23, 2009 2:19 am

    Rich wrote:great article, Jeff

    Yes, a lotta fun. Smile

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