By Ralphine Major
He was the only sophomore on the team. Gene Cantley played guard for Head Coach Bob Dagley’s 1964-65 Gibbs Eagles when he was called on as the team marched toward their 31-2 record.
Dagley remembers the player who wore No. 12. “He was able to handle the ball well and set the offense in motion. Gene had a soft one-handed set shot—but did not shoot often—leaving the scoring to others,” Dagley said. “But when he did shoot, he was accurate,” the Coach recalls. Cantley also contributed to the success of the 1966 team the following year. The team won the KIL Division A Championship, and Coach Dagley was named KIL Coach of the Year. In Cantley’s last year at Gibbs, he served as captain of the basketball team.
The youngest player on Dagley’s team is quick to praise the head coach. “He was a man’s man,” Gene said. “He was quiet spoken and a good coach to play for,” he added.
I can remember our family attending church with Cantley’s young family at Fairview Baptist. But, I did not realize until now that Gene played on the outstanding 1965 basketball team at Gibbs.
Next week completes the feature on No. 12, Gene Cantley. (This is No. 42 in the series.)