Jack Trogdon, Republic’s first great basketball player, has died at the age of 91.
Trogdon led Republic to its first two state basketball tournaments in 1947-48 and ’48-49, earning a spot on the all-state team in both seasons at a time when all Republic schools competed in a single class. He went on to play college basketball at Southwest Missouri State.
Trogdon was born in 1931 west of Republic and attended St. Elmo rural school as a youngster. According to his obituary, that’s where he was introduced to basketball. Trogdon was a lifelong resident of Republic and a community leader, serving on the school board, in the Republic Kiwanis Club, and helping to organize the Republic Historical Society.
In the 1947-48 season, Trogdon and the Tigers reached the state quarterfinals before being eliminated by St. Louis Cleveland High School, 58-49. Trogdon scored 26 points in the loss.
In 1948-49, Republic again made the playoffs, but the Tigers were eliminated in the round of 16 by John Burroughs.
For more than 30 years, Trogdon held Republic’s single-game scoring record, with 53 points. He hit the mark on December 17, 1948, in an 82-36 win over Ash Grove in a contest in the old Greene County League. (Newspaper clipping from Springfield Leader & Press)
Memorial contributions may be made to the Republic Historical Society in Republic.