A state championship season and an unblemished record in prep competition only begin to tell the story of Peddie’s 1942 Varsity Basketball Team.
This was a team of exceptional physical stature for its era. (A 6’1” member recalls being only the ninth tallest man in the lineup). Far more impressively, this was a team of lofty leadership and soaring individual performance. Captain Russ Davis, consistently inspiring the squad with his own steady, superb play at left forward, was described simply and eloquently as “one hell of a team leader.” Sky-scraping, high-scoring center Bob “Stretch” Haarlow not only lofted an average of 22 points per game, but led the state with a total of 306 points on the season - 50 points more than the league runner-up who played in three more games than Haarlow did.
This was a team with the power to dominate games from the start, overwhelming its first opponent, Newark Academy, 58-32, and crushing its last, Poly Prep, 66-36. But it was also a team that had the grit and resilience to fight back from behind, beating both Admiral Farragut, 42-40, and Lawrenceville, 38-35, in the final seconds of play, and out-clutching Hill, 46-44, in overtime. This team knew the joy of beating Blair not just once, but twice, and felt the dragon-slaying satisfaction of handing a highly touted Trinity Prep team its first loss in 18 games.
It is no small tribute to Coach Carl Geiger that, in mentoring this remarkable team, he also served as a coaching model for player Tony Kuolt who would one day return to Peddie to guide the 1957 Basketball Team to its own state championship season and its own place in the Peddie Sports Hall of Fame.
Bob Broten, Russ Davis, Tom Eliason, Joe FInn, Bob Haarlow, Ronnie Helps, Jack Hollinger, Tony Kuolt, Jim McKay, Bob Racine, Bob Sargent, Charlie Stults and Ted Talbot...13 young men who climbed one another’s tall shoulders to a towering season.