Chillicothe Football 600 win Club
By The Numbers
(Publication Date 2010)

     On a cloudy Friday night, October 22 2010, the Chillicothe Hornets by virtue of a convincing 45-0 win at Cameron High School  joined the elite "600 Win" club. Chillicothe joined Jefferson City, Kansas City Rockhurst and Webster Groves as the only known schools in Missouri with 600 wins in school history as of the day of the game. Several other schools have a chance at obtaining this goal this year or in the next couple of years. It is estimated that less than 200 schools nation wide have obtained this goal of 600 school wins. Valdosta, GA is the national leader with more than 800 football wins in school history.

The Humble Beginnings
     The exact date or even the opponent that became win number one for Chillicothe High School is long since gone. The only reference to the first season of football in 1904 is a mention the 1909 Chillicothe Cresset which referred to the 1904 team as the first organized football team at the school, and the team went 2-1 in their first season.
     Possible opponents would of been Trenton, Carrollton, Brookfield, Chillicothe Normal School (Later to become Chillicothe Business College), Maupin College (also a business school in Chillicothe) or one of the neighboring smaller towns. Football had made appearances in Chillicothe prior to 1904 at the local colleges, town teams and traveling teams. A 1891 Chillicothe newspaper made mention of a "foot ball game at the fairgrounds and all should attend". It failed to mention the winner, or even the teams playing. Football prior to 1920 was pretty much a wide open game with few rules that even fewer people understood.

The First Great Season
     After three years of trial and error, Chillicothe finally figured out the game. In 1907 under the guidance of a young man named Malcolm Perryman, the Chillicothe High School football team went 7-2. It would be 14 years before any Chillicothe High School Football Team would equal that 7-game win total. No team would surpass that win total until Bob Fairchild guided the 1964 team to 8 wins on the season.
Stars of the 1907 team included Halfback William Bradley, who was listed by the St Joseph newspaper as being one of the fastest men in western Missouri. Another star was Mervin Jones, a hard nosed Sophomore that played Right End along with other positions. Jones would play four years, and after graduation would coach the team for one year.
     Blocking for the men was a line led by Guard Maxwell Gordon, who was billed  as "a man who likely could not be moved by a cannon ball shot at him."
Another great team of the first decade was the 1909 team which went 6-1. The team outscored opponents 234-13. The lone loss was to St Joseph, which refused to play a return game. A "home-home" two game series in a season was somewhat common place.
     The following year the team went 5-1 with the lone loss coming in the first game, which was played before the team could secure the services of a coach.

The Coaches
     Finding a good football coach in the early years was difficult. Keeping a good coach was impossible. Journeymen coaches seldom actually worked at the school, and seldom stayed more than a couple of seasons. Here's a look at Chillicothe's top five coaches in win totals.

Coach Wins Years Coaching Most Wins Over 1 School Wins
Bob Fairchild 277 1963 - 1997 Trenton 53 wins
Phil Willard 101 1998 - present Brookfield 44 wins
Sam Ransdell  28 1924 - 1932 Cameron 36 wins
Harry Hayes  22 1958 - 1962 Lafayette 35 wins
John Griste  21 1951 - 1955 Savannah 35 wins
Pat Bradshaw  21 1938 - 1942 Maryville 33 wins

The Wins
1st Win
- 1904, other details unknown
100th Win - 11/29/1934 at Trenton 19-0
200th Win - 10/2/1959 at Unionville 19 - 0
300th Win - 10/26/1973 - Kirksville 27 - 8
400th Win - 11/13/1986 Kansas City Southwest 26 - 7
500th Win - 9/4/1998 Kearney 20 - 0
600th Win - 10/22/2010 at Cameron 45 - 0

The Success
     Chillicothe has enjoyed tremendous success with 7 Show Me Bowl appearances and 5 Show Me Bowl Titles.
The Hornets have made the state semi-finals 12 times and the state playoffs 24 times with a play-off record of 33-19. Only Jefferson City and Rockhurst has more playoff appearances than the Hornets. The team has won 23 conference titles and finished 2nd 22 times in 74 years of conference competition.
     In 107 seasons, the last time Chillicothe failed to win a game was 1949 when the team went 0-6-3. The Hornets have had just three seasons where they lost every game: 1905 (0-3), 1912 (0-2) and 1918 (0-3). The 1918 season was shortened due to a nation wide influenza epidemic that closed schools for several weeks. The Hornets did have a record of 0-6-2 in 1927, however one loss was turned into a win after the season when Cameron had to forfeit their win over Chillicothe due to the use of an ineligible player.
     Since 1963, Chillicothe has had just four losing seasons through the 2009 season.

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