Steve Hendershot has a mixed view of class sports.
The 1982 Morgan Township grad played in an era of single-class basketball in Indiana, but he and his Cherokees teammates would have benefited from the multiclass system.
Now, his children have either graduated from or are attending Penn High School, one of the largest in the state.
"I guess back when we played, we just played and it didn't matter," Hendershot said. "It would have been nice, but at the same time, Argos back in 1979 had a nice run in the state tournament. So, I guess I'm down the middle on it."
Hendershot made a name for himself and small schools when he led the state of Indiana in scoring average in 1982. He was neck-and-neck with Valparaiso's Roger Harden. The 6-foot-1 Hendershot averaged 29.8 points per game and had 656 points his senior season.
He said his kids get a kick out of telling their friends what their dad did.
"They brag about it a lot," Hendershot said. "It certainly was a great time in my life and playing against the guys I did in the Porter County Conference. We had something special.
"I guess the one thing about it was that I was from a small school and it did get some notice for the small schools."
While each small school and community was different, all shared a love for basketball.
"We knew each other because we played against together every night in the summer," Hendershot said. "One night it might be at Boone Grove, Hebron the next night and so on. We loved to play basketball and we loved to play against each other.
"We might have been small schools, but every Friday night in the Porter County Conference it was a battle. You didn't take a night off."
Hendershot is now president and CEO of Century Foam in Elkhart. The company provides custom foam design and fabrication services in manufacturing, including the RV industry, which is big in the Elkhart area.
"We are known also for the foam fingers," Hendershot said.
Hendershot played one year at the U.S. Military Academy before injuring his knee, and that's when he decided to give up college basketball.
"Reality set in," Hendershot said. "I realized I was not going to play (big-time) college basketball. So I decided to transfer closer to home."
He graduated from Purdue in 1985 with a degree in engineering.
While he had a stellar career, he said the camaraderie with his teammates and the help of Cherokees coach Matt Bush really helped him.
"Matt was just a great coach," Hendershot said. "He pushed me and he got the most out of me. He taught the game and you came out of his program well versed on the fundamentals. He certainly had a big part in who I am today."