(Excerpted from James F. Willis, Southern Arkansas University: The Mulerider School’s Centennial History, 1909-2009, pp. 142-43)[Agricultural Instructor Ves] Godley not only enjoyed remarkable success with the dairy herd but also coached the basketball team to back-to-back championships in 1934 and 1935. The basketball team won more championships but never gained the attention or support given to football. Godley’s teams were usually championship contenders from 1930 to 1937. During these years, the teams had seven players selected for all-state honors, won two AIC [Arkansas Intercollegiate Conference] championships, and regularly won the conference’s southern division. The teams stood out for their talented play and their uniforms, vivid gold-colored suits with large blue numerals.
In their trek to the 1934 championship, the team posted 17 victories in 18 contests, scoring 557 points to 319 for their opponents and averaged 55.7 points per game. The stars were forward Elmo Bellamy and guard Cleo Moody, the captain. Both earned all-state honors. Otho Goodman, the six-foot-four-inch center, took many tip-offs and anchored the defense. The team sealed the AIC title in the state play-offs at Hendrix College’s gym March 2–3, 1934.
The 1935 team scored almost twice as many points—1,070—as the 1934 Muleriders, the most points ever scored by a Godley-coached team. It lost three times to Ouachita and twice to Monticello, but when winning, it was by large margins. The star
players were captain and center Jack Wilson, guard Pete Turner, and forward Bo McAllister, the season’s high scorer who averaged 17.7 points a game. The team prevailed in a three-way play-off for the southern division title among Magnolia, Ouachita, and Monticello and then captured the AIC championship by defeating the Jonesboro Indians twice in a best two-out-of-three series. The 1935 players, like the 1934 cagers, were honored at home with royal blue suede jackets that had raised letters in gold and a small red felt ball on the sleeve bearing the words “State Champs ’35.”