Stolen game ball returned 63 years later

In 1949, just a few years before West Lafayette and Jeff's last match up in 1953, the rivals' annual football game ended with theft.

Posted: Aug 16, 2018 9:20 PM

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI)-In 1949, just a few years before West Lafayette and Jeff's last match up in 1953, the rivals' annual football game ended with theft.

A Jeff player took off with the game ball immediately when the game ended.

Fast forward to 2012-Lafayette Jeff Principal Mark Preston, who was Athletic Director at the time, said a woman came to the school with an old, deflated leather football.

She told Preston it was her father's dying wish that the ball he stole 63 years ago after the Bronchos beat the Red Devils be returned to Jeff.

In faded marker, you can still see on the old leather "1949-50. Jeff 2 - W.L. 0."

We asked Preston how he felt to know that getting this ball returned to where it belongs was a dying man's last request.

"I say a lot that nowadays people don't have loyalty, in general, like they used to," Preston said. "I think this is a prime example. So 63 years later his loyalty to his high school was still that strong."

The historic football will be displayed at the new locker room at Scheumann stadium. Preston hopes to share this story with the team before the anticipated rivalry game on Friday Night.

West Lafayette
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 71°
Kokomo
Broken Clouds
71° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 71°
Rensselaer
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 69° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 68°
Fowler
Overcast
68° wxIcon
Hi: 70° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 68°
Williamsport
Overcast
71° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 50°
Feels Like: 71°
Crawfordsville
Scattered Clouds
70° wxIcon
Hi: 73° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 70°
Frankfort
Overcast
73° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 73°
Delphi
Overcast
67° wxIcon
Hi: 74° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 67°
Monticello
Broken Clouds
69° wxIcon
Hi: 75° Lo: 49°
Feels Like: 69°
Logansport
Scattered Clouds
72° wxIcon
Hi: 72° Lo: 48°
Feels Like: 72°
Dry and Cooler Weather.
WLFI Radar
WLFI Temps
WLFI Planner

Indiana Coronavirus Cases

Data is updated nightly.

Confirmed Cases: 68433

Reported Deaths: 2980
CountyConfirmedDeaths
Marion14863719
Lake7101271
Elkhart459777
Allen3635158
St. Joseph315479
Hamilton2513104
Cass17519
Hendricks1750105
Vanderburgh172612
Johnson1652118
Porter119539
Tippecanoe110311
Clark108145
Madison84765
LaPorte83829
Kosciusko81912
Howard81065
Bartholomew74347
Marshall74222
Floyd69444
Monroe68630
Delaware63852
Noble63728
Boone63546
Dubois62612
Hancock62337
Jackson5524
LaGrange54210
Warrick51630
Shelby51126
Grant49629
Vigo47410
Dearborn46528
Morgan42532
Henry36118
Clinton3573
White34710
Montgomery34321
Lawrence32827
Wayne3179
Decatur31432
Harrison29422
Miami2582
Scott25010
Daviess24619
Greene23934
Franklin22410
DeKalb2224
Putnam2228
Jennings21012
Jasper2082
Gibson2004
Steuben2003
Ripley1887
Perry17212
Starke1657
Orange16424
Wabash1613
Posey1580
Fayette1557
Jefferson1492
Whitley1486
Fulton1462
Carroll1452
Wells1342
Knox1310
Huntington1183
Washington1161
Spencer1143
Newton11010
Tipton1075
Randolph1034
Clay975
Jay820
Adams812
Rush794
Owen781
Sullivan761
Pulaski721
Brown701
Fountain632
Benton600
Blackford532
Ohio514
Pike460
Parke451
Switzerland430
Crawford420
Martin420
Vermillion380
Union320
Warren191
Unassigned0200

COVID-19 Important links and resources

As the spread of COVID-19, or as it's more commonly known as the coronavirus continues, this page will serve as your one-stop for the resources you need to stay informed and to keep you and your family safe. CLICK HERE

Closings related to the prevention of the COVID-19 can be found on our Closings page.

Community Events