OHIO — Their numbers stir great memories for Ohio Bulldog basketball fans.
No. 10, Lance Harris.
No. 12, Todd Etheridge.
No. 24, Brad Bickett.
No. 30, Brian Piper.
No. 32, Steve Etheridge.
No. 52, Ike Beers.
They are six of the greatest basketball players to adorn the Bulldog uniform at tiny Ohio, which has played big when it comes to basketball in its glory days. Their uniform numbers are retired at Ohio High School, but on Wednesday will come to life once more.
Ohio High School will honor its hoops stars from yesteryear for a re-dedication of their retired jerseys, which will be framed and placed in new shadow box cases in the gym lobby’s trophy case. The ceremony will take place between games of Wednesday’s homecoming game when Ohio teams up with co-op partner LaMoille vs. Ashton-Franklin Center. The sophomores start at 5:30 p.m.
Ohio principal Jason Wilt said all but Piper plan to be in attendance Wednesday.
Bickett and Harris, aka “Thunder and Lighting,” led the 1986 Ohio Bulldogs to a magical second-place finish in the 1986 Class A State Tournament. Teammates include Todd Etheridge and Ike Beers, who were a freshman and sophomore, respectively.
Each Bulldog holds special memories of the firetruck ride and reception they received after returning home from state, also noting the family atmosphere of the team.
“My favorite memory of being a Bulldog is how every player on the team came together with one goal in mind and that was to play in Champaign,” Harris said. “Each player new their role and played for the team every night and not for themselves. This was a team that comes along only once in a lifetime and I will cherish the opportunity I had to play with this group for as long as I live.”
Bickett now coaches up the road at Rock Falls after a highly successful stint at Bureau Valley, which included three straight third-place finishes at State. The all-time leading scorer for Ohio (2,177 points) remains as a teacher at Bureau Valley.
Harris, who formerly coached at his alma mater, has been a firefighter for 19 years for Elk Grove Village. The old Bulldog point guard stands third in all-time scoring (1,936) at Ohio.
Steve Etheridge (Class of 1984) is a CFO at Henson Robinson Co. (HVAC/Plumbing/Roofing Contractor) and resides in Springfield with his wife, Sandy.
Beers (Class of 1988), a father of four kids who all play basketball, is flying in from Colorado where he serves on the Lakewood Police Department.
Todd Etheridge (Class of 1989) lives in Dixon where is a principal with CliftonLarsonAllen, a national professional services firm. He and his wife, Deb, are expecting their third child.
Piper (Class of 1991) resides in Arlington, Texas where he is a business analyst for TXU Energy, the largest electric provider in Texas. He is second to Bickett in the Ohio all-time scoring with 2,132 points.