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Jack Trogdon, Republic’s First Basketball Star, Dies at 91

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.

Jack Trogdon 53 points scoring record

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.

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