Thanks to the Mineral Daily News-Tribune for publishing the recent “Flashback Friday” article about this notable accomplishment.

To the Editor:
West Virginia State Champs – 1923!
Thanks to the Mineral Daily News-Tribune for publishing the recent “Flashback Friday” article about this notable accomplishment.
Could that be “Bus” Lowry, “Billy” Bright and “Sleepy” Stanhagen?  The urge to do a bit of additional reading was irresistible.  
The original March 23, 1923 article, written after the final victory, informed readers, “The local players who took part in the contests were McCarland, Bright, Lyons, Isles, Lowery, Shores, and Stanhagen.”
An earlier article, published on March 15, 1923, before the tournament began, listed the names of the team members as: Howard McFarland, Jesse Bright, Carleton Shores, Warner Lowry, John Isle, Max Brown and John Stanhagen. We can spot a few spelling variations and names appeared in one list, but not the other.
On Jan. 2, 1975, the team was honored prior to the (then) annual KHS Alumni basketball game. An article in the Mineral Daily New-Tribune cleared up some of the errors:  “Team members were J. M. Bright, Howard McFarland, Lloyd Lyons, Warner Lowry and John Isles, all living, and Carlton Shore and John Stanhagen, deceased.”
The boys of 1923 were youngsters during the first World War. As husbands and fathers, they successfully navigated their families through the years of the Great Depression and the second World War. All were fine examples of the best of Keyser.
Jesse M. “Billy” Bright, Jr. went on to play basketball at Potomac State College and became one of Keyser’s most prominent citizens.. He began his highly successful career as a clerk at Bright’s Garage, a business founded by his grandfather as a livery stable and expanded as a garage and automobile dealership by his father, Jesse, Sr. that continued to thrive with Billy at the helm. In 1955, he married Mrs. Tola Elmira (Feller) Alkire. He died on July 29, 1975.
Charles Howard McFarland graduated West Virginia University in 1927. He married Blanche Saum; they had one son. He remarried after the death of his first wife. His entire professional career was with the American Red Cross in Alabama, New York and Baltimore. He retired as the Washington-Baltimore regional director. He died on Oct. 10, 1990.
Lloyd Lyons, who was born in Beryl, was an outstanding multi-sport athlete who played college level sports at Potomac State College then Hampton-Sydney College. He had a long career with the C&P Telephone Company, beginning as a line foreman and retiring in 1967 as construction supervisor in Washington, D.C. He and his wife, Ruth had two daughters. Mr. Lyons died on Nov. 25, 1982.   
T. Warner “Bus” Lowry was a graduate of Potomac State and West Virginia University. He married Lindsey Welch; they had one child, Thomas W. Lowry, Jr. “Bus” had a long career with the Potomac Edison Company that began in 1930. After working as a clerk in the local electric store, he worked in Piedmont and Charles Town before coming back to Keyser in the 1940s to become the regional manager of Potomac Edison; he retired in 1967. Very active in the civic, fraternal and social life of Keyser he was Keyser’s Citizen of the Year in 1960. After the death of his first wife, he married Nancy Belle Kemphfer. He died on Nov. 26, 1988.
John Bryan Isles was a multi-sport athlete who graduated Potomac State College and William & Mary College, where he majored in law. He worked for the B&O, NYC and C&O railroads before turning to office work in the Washington area. He retired from Security Storage in 1970. He and his wife Rosella then lived in Keyser for several years before returning to Silver Spring in 1978. They had two daughters. John Isles died on May 21, 1985.
Carlton Dorsey Shore married Anna May Strachan; they had three children. He worked at the Celanese and the Cumberland City Water Department. At the time of his death on March 16, 1951, he had just started working as an inspector for the State Roads Commission and was attending a training seminary in Frederick, MD.
John W. “Sleepy” Stanhagen graduated Potomac State College in 1926 and was a pitcher on the college baseball team and the local Lutheran team that played in the old Twilight League. He married Gertrude Margaret (South) Stanhagen; they had no children. He worked as a bank teller and bookkeeper at the National Bank of Keyser and was affiliated with the Romig Drug Company for fifteen years before becoming manager of the Student Union at Potomac State College from 1947 until his retirement in 1967.  “Sleepy” died on May 18, 1973. His widow, a long-time administrative employee at Potomac State, and Viola Lough, widow of Coach Dana (Horse) Lough, died tragically just a year later in a Preston County auto accident.
Max Alexander Brown married Edith Stickley. Before the 2nd World War, he worked for the B&O and then worked for U.S. Bureau of Mines in Morgantown for twenty-two years, retiring in 1972 as senior engineering technician. He died on October 29, 1980, survived by a son and three step-children. Was Max Brown a team member in 1923? Perhaps, but he was not mentioned in the 1974 publicity regarding the team and was not in the 1923 team photo.
Some stayed in Keyser area for the rest of their lives; some lived in the Washington-Baltimore area. All remained close to family and friends in Keyser. They brought joy to our community in 1923 and throughout their lives.
Denny Avers
Palmyra, Virginia