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Wonder Five of 1916-17

Front row: Del Clements, Knute Cauldwell, Homer Stonebraker, “Bake” Bacon, Abe DeVol. Back Row: Coach Paul Sheeks, Lester Hunt, Sam Bliss, Manager.

This team is beautifully described in the book Wabash College, the First Hundred Years, “…the best year, the ‘Wonder Five’ year, was 1916-17. In that season, Wabash played an exceptionally hard schedule of 21 games, and lost only twice. It beat Purdue, Illinois…Notre Dame twice, Earlham, Georgetown, DePauw twice, Indiana and Miami of college teams, besides several other teams of one kind and another. Of the two games lost, one was to the Illinois Athletic Club, and the other to the Michigan Aggies.”

Homer Stonebraker (W1918)

Stonebraker, center on this Wonder Five, came to Wabash from Wingate, Indiana.  As a nod to his prowess in athletics, Homer was in the first class of inductees for the Wabash College Athletics Hall of Fame.

From Some Little Giants, a Wabash Athletic History by Max Servies, “One of Wabash’s greatest athletes of all time, Homer Stonebraker ‘18, came to college from Wingate, Indiana, to become everybody’s all American on the 1916-17 Wonder Five and the 1915 undefeated football  teams of Paul Sheeks.  A member of little Wingate’s two time Indiana High School Basketball State Champions, Homer played four years of basketball and football for Wabash…and played pro basketball and football and is a member of the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame.”

In a neat connection to the team of 1907-08, described in the previous post, the assistant coach of the 1916-17 team was Abe Diddell who was a key member of the first Wonder Five.

Wabash has had a wonderful tradition of passion for both basketball and football and that holds true yet today.

Best,

Beth Swift