Tri-County Youth Sports Grant
Tri-County Youth Sports Grant Winners
1953 Caterpillar Basketball Team

This outstanding team, coached by Warren Womble, continued Caterpillar's dominance of amateur basketball. The team was again paced by Ron Bontemps, Marcus Freiberger, Howie Williams, Frank McCabe and Dan Pippin with major assistance from Kirby Minter and Bobby Dean. Key roles were also performed by Dick Reatherford, Don Penwell, Clarence Anderson, Frank Gladson and Ed Tackett.

This team finished second in the powerful NIBL with a 12-4 regular season record and was one of 27 teams to qualify for the national AAU Tournament in Denver along with the favored Phillips team paced by Clyde Lovellette and Chuck Darling. Phillips was upset early, but Caterpillar kept winning and advanced to the quarterfinals with a series of 30 point wins. They edged the Ag Oilers 61-57 and trounced the San Diego entry 67-53 to earn another title game appearance against a heralded Navy team, led by George Yardley. Caterpillar was never in trouble and raced to its second consecutive national AAU championship 73-62 as Williams led a well balanced Cat attack with 17 points, followed by 15 each by Pippin and Bontemps. Those three, along with McCabe, were included on the ten-man AAU All American team. Williams, Pippin and Freiberger all retired following this championship season.