Chillicothe Sports Stories From The Past

Not Your Ordinary Opening Day 

     When a school starts a new sports program, they are expected to struggle. The simplest accomplishment in the opening game can be something build upon. However when Hornets baseball began for the first time in 82 years, the opening game went a little bit differently.
     On a windy and chili March 25, 1997 the modern era of Hornets baseball began with a home game against a team no one knew much about, other than St Joseph Christian was a much smaller school. Years later, Jim Wheeler, one of the Hornet coaches, remembered watching the Christian team warm up and telling Coach Dave Mapel "I think we have a chance against this team."

      Legion pitcher Brett Hecker took the mound and proceeded to start throwing strikes. In the bottom of the first the Hornets Justin Walter stepped up to the plate and proceeded to strike out looking. It would be just about the only bright spot for the Christian team.
      By the end of the first inning Chillicothe led 10-0. After two innings it was 15-0. After three the Hornets led 23-0. Christian managed to score a run in the top of the fourth. The Hornets answered with authority, sending 24 batters to the plate and bringing 20 runners across home base. After a scoreless top of the fifth, the game was called with a 43-1 Hornets win.
     While never submitted to MSHSAA officials, many statistics from the game are likely still state records including 32 hits by the Hornets including four doubles. 14 Chillicothe players stole a total of 27 bases during the game while Hecker and Michael Holder combined on the mound to allow the 10-member Christian team to 1 run off 3 hits in the game.

      The rest of the season would be less impressive, picking up two more wins including a 10-3 win over Benton and a 17-6 win over Cameron in six innings.
 <1997 Baseball Season>     <Hornet Baseball Records>


Record Setting Day

     In Track and Field, the obvious goal is to win your event but in the back of the athlete's mind is the possibility of breaking a school record. One day in May of 1990 at Savannah, the Chillicothe Boys track team had a pretty good meet, setting not one, not two, but three school records all in the field events.
      Chillicothe's David White, one of the all time best all around athletes, already had the school High Jump record at
6' 9' set his Junior year at the Chillicothe Relays. Some doubted the 6'0" tall White would ever surpass that mark. He proved them wrong with a 6'10" leap at the 13-team Savannah meet. Minutes later, White sprinted towards the triple jump pit and finished with a mark of 45' 8.5", shattering the 7 year old school record by 11 inches.
      Not to be out done, the Hornets Jason Peterie upped his own pole vault record by 7 inches, setting a mark of 15' 4"
     Peterie's Pole Vault and White's Triple Jump records still stand 28 years later. White's High Jump record was broken by Jesse Miller in 2016.


Eye Popping Ellison and Company
      It was a December night in 1980 and the Chillicothe girls basketball team, in the modern day program's 7th season, hit the road to take on Class 1 Braymer. The Lady Hornets, under second year Head Coach Susan Sugg, was off to a 2-1 start on the season after getting just six wins the entire previous season.
      Sugg had concerns that her team hadn't played in a week, after taking 3rd in the Marshall Tournament. She had no reason to worry.
       The Lady Hornets started strong with an 8-0 game opening run against a Braymer team that started one senior and four sophomores while Chillicothe started Seniors Chris Wilson and Susan Bonderer, Junior Margie Ellison, Sophomore Linda Rupp and Freshman Ginger Craven.
       By halftime Chillicothe built a 29-12 lead. Braymer was ill-prepared for the Chillicothe full court press.  The lady Hornets outscored Braymer 28-6 in the third quarter and 43-0 in the final quarter. When the final whistle sounded, Chillicothe had a 92-18 victory, winning by 74 points. The 92 points and the victory margin still stand as school records.
       5' 6" Jr Guard Margie Ellison was one of the benefactors off the team press,

becoming the first Chillicothe girls basketball player in school history to crack the 30 point mark, finishing with 31 points. 22 of them came in the second half and off the press. The Lady Hornets team shot 38 of 102 from the floor, in the years before the three point shot was allowed. Yes, you read that right; 102 shots taken by the Lady Hornets. The team pulled down 61 rebounds, led by Linda Rupp's 14.
      Braymer's Coach Gary Littrell was less than happy about the outcome, telling the Constitution Tribune newspaper that "Chillicothe didn't take the press off until they were 46 points up"
       Chillicothe would end the season at 12-11 overall and 3-5 in NCMC play. It would be February before Ellison cracked double figures again:18 in a loss at Rock Bridge. Rupp would receive all conference and district honors. Craven would be all conference and Ellison would be all conference honorable mention. With a wealth of talent returning, Chillicothe would win their first district championship ever and finish 4th in the state tournament in Sugg's final season as Chillicothe head coach

<1980-81 results>      <School Girls Basketball Records>

The Tommy-Tom Club - FORE!
      On an early day in May 1965, the Chillicothe boys golf team joined 28 other teams from Northwest Missouri and Kansas City for the District golf tournament at Excelsior Springs. Chillicothe was led by 3 year letterman Tom Barnhart who had picked up several Medalist honors in the regular season meets.
      The pre-tournament buzz however was about a different golfer, a Sophomore called Tommy from a Kansas City area school.  The 29 teams teed off, and when the final score cards came in, Tommy of Kansas City had shot consistently with a 36 on the front nine and a 36 on the back nine for an even par.
      Barnhart for Chillicothe had shot a tremendous back nine with a score of 35, one better than Tommy of KC. However Barnhart struggled a little on the front nine, shooting a 44. Barnhart's total was 3 strokes shy of making the cut to move on to state.
      And that Tommy fellow from Kansas City? He did ok, his Pembroke Country Day team (now Pembroke Hill) would win the district tournament by 20 strokes and finish 3rd in the state meet. Tommy was the district medalist and tied for 2nd individually in the state meet. He went on to become a two-time state medalist in 1967 and 1968.

      So, what became of Tommy of Pembroke Hill? You might have heard of Tommy...aka Tom.....Watson, Professional Golfing legend.
      Yes, for nine holes, one day in May in 1965, Chillicothe's Tom Barnhart was one stroke better on the back nine than a future golfing legend.   <Boys Golfing Records>

Monkey Be Gone!
      Ask any Chillicothe Lady Hornets Basketball player since 1986 who is their nemesis, the answer will almost always be the St Joseph Benton Lady Cardinals. In the series between the two schools, Benton has won 60 meetings and Chillicothe just 26.
       Ask the 1993-94 team. They lost three games that season: the state championship, and twice lost to Benton, although they did beat Benton in the district finals.
       In December 2001, Chillicothe shocked Benton with a 1 point overtime win. Little did Chillicothe know it would be 13 years and 2 weeks before Chillicothe would once again beat the Benton. Think about that. Kids entered kindergarten, went through elementary school, middle school and graduated high school with out knowing what it was like to beat the Benton Lady Cardinals.
       On January 3rd, 2015 the Chillicothe Lady Hornets finally got the Benton Monkey off their back in one of the most significant victories in Lady Hornets Basketball history.
       The Lady Hornets were a program on the rise, thanks in part to a talented Sophomore class and a new head coach. When the two teams walked onto the court of the NCMC Holiday Hoops showcase, Lady Hornets fans were hoping this group of players might be able to finally beat Benton sometime in the next two and a half seasons.
      The game started with a Benton basket. Chillicothe answered with an 8-0 run and Lady Hornet fans kept their fingers crossed. Benton would battle back to with in one point in the fourth. Chillicothe's Katelyn Parkey, one of five sophomore starters and 7 sophomores that played in that game hit a deuce and was fouled. She missed the free throw but Chillicothe got the rebound, sent it to Parkey who nailed a trey for a 5 point play and Chillicothe never looked back for a 44-39 victory.

       Benton would beat Chillicothe twice later that season: in the Kearney Tournament and in the MEC game. The next season Benton would beat Chillicothe and finished with an undefeated State Championship.

<1/3/15 Benton Game>     <Girls Basketball History>

"Hack a Hornet"

      In the late 1990's, NBA teams developed a defensive strategy of intentional fouling called "Hack a Shaq", named after LSU and NBA Star Shaquille O'Neal, a great player but not so good of a free throw shooter. While the strategy was instituted by then Dallas Mavericks coach Don Nelson, it actually went back to the Wilt Chamberlain days in the NBA. Wilt the Stilt was a dominate force but terrible free throw shooter.
     In the 1997-98 boys basketball season, the Hornets were the stars of the court. They had been to the high school final four two straight years, taking 4th in 1996 and 2nd in 1997. With most of the team back including a tremendously talented Senior Class, they were having a great season.

    When the Hornets rolled into Savannah on February 5th, 1998 they had just one loss on the season, and that was to Liberty in the William Jewell Tournament. They handed Savannah a 70-57 loss early in the season in Chillicothe and expected to win this conference game as well, even though Savannah was known as a tough place to play.
     The night began with an overtime freshman game, followed by a JV game that also went overtime. By the time the Varsity game started it was already a long night.
      The Savages elected to try their own version of "Hack a Shaq" strategy and the Hornets All-State star Justin Bland was their target. The Savannah defense was relentless in their attack, doing everything they could to keep the high scoring Hornets in check. The Hornets 6'6" 300 pound all stater would have the last laugh, hitting 19 of 20 free throw attempts in an 84-51 Hornets romp. The 19 free throws is still a single-game single-player school record.
      Officials called  55 fouls in the game, with 31 on Savannah including a technical foul on the Savages bench. As a team, Chillicothe hit 39 of 50 free throws, including 25 attempts in the 4th quarter, when the two teams combined for 43 attempts from the line. In addition to Bland, 7 other Hornets had their turn at the free throw line.
      By the time the three games were complete, the clock was just shy of 10:00pm, nearly five hours of basketball between the three games.

<1997-98 Basketball Season>     <Boys Basketball Records>


Close to Perfect


      Perfection, it's the ultimate and usually unobtainable goal for the individual athlete and sports team. On December 1981 night, one Chillicothe sports team flirted with perfection.
      The Chillicothe Hornets wrestling team were in an early season quad meet with Lawson, Higginsville and Richmond. The Hornets beat Higginsville 41-17 and shut out Lawson 66-0. But the shut out is not the perfection we're talking about. Only 7 of those matches were won by pin fall.

      When the Hornets took the mat against Richmond,  98lbs Rodney Jones won by pin in :39 seconds, followed by Kent Sherrow in 1:10, then Rodney Pettinger in 35 seconds. The Hornets were on an early roll.
      When the match ended, Chillicothe had rolled up 74 points, but just missed perfection when 12 matches were wins by pin by Chillicothe, but one ended in a 5-5 tie in an era before today's "sudden victory".
      The final score was Chillicothe 74, Richmond 1. The Hornets were one pin and 4 points away from tying a record of 78 points. Not a school record, or a state record, but a national record.
      Hornets that took the mat that night were Rodney Jones, Kent Sherrow, Rodney Pettinger, Rob O'Dell, Ronnie Cairns, Ted Baker, David Vorbeck, Todd Walker Dan Thompson, John Logan, Gil Gates, Darren Grannemann and Ed Turbyfill.
     The team would end the season 3rd in the NCMC, 2nd in District and 24th in the State tournament under Coach Doug Long with John Logan finishing 2nd and 5 others qualifying but not placing in the meet.
     In a 1940 season meet, Chillicothe won all 9 matches against Missouri Military Academy by pins in a 45-0 victory, but it is not know if there were any open weight classes in the meet.

<1981-82 Hornets Wrestling>     <Hornets Wrestling Records>


The Return of Girls Basketball at Chillicothe
Row 1: Jena McCoy, Maria Oertwig, Julie Haynes, Gail Maberry, Dawn Detweiler
                                       Row 2: Janet Haynes, JoEllen Smith, Jan Miller, Julie Saale, Vickie Melte, Lynn Coult, Kathy Wilson

     On November 14th, 1974 a group of girls suited up and played organized basketball for Chillicothe for the first time in nearly 50 years. Girls sports had returned to CHS and after weeks of practice under former Chillicothe star player and former Hornets Coach Fred Stephens, the girls lost to Cameron in the season opener 51-19 with Jan Miller, Kathy Wilson and Jo Ellen Smith scoring all of the points.
     Undeterred and 11 days later, Chillicothe again took to the old CHS High School Stage which doubled as a basketball court and faced the Marshall Lady Owls. 
     Chillicothe used the offense of Jan Miller's 16 points and an improved defensive effort to pick up their first win 45-33. Chillicothe led by just three points heading into the fourth quarter but outscored Marshall 12-3 in the final quarter. 
      In addition to Miller's 16 points, Kathy Wilson had 10, Julie Haynes 7 and Jo Ellen Smith with 6 points. A full box score was unavailable in the Constitution-Tribune article covering the game.
      The 45 points would be their best offensive output of the season. They would pick up a win over Moberly and would beat Brookfield twice for their 4 wins in the initial Modern Era Girls Basketball season. Stephens would coach one more season, finishing 7-11 and 6-6 in the NCMC in their 2nd season. It would take the Lady Hornets just 8 seasons to pick up a 19-7 record and a final four appearance.
      But that's a story for another time.
<Lady Hornets 1974-75 season>     <Lady Hornets Basketball Records>



The Legend of Jerry Parrish    
     In the 100 plus years of Chillicothe boys basketball, there have been some great Hornet players. One of the best played more than 50 years ago and many of his records still stand.
     When it came to basketball, the 6' 2" Jerry Parrish was nearly unstoppable on the court. Decades before the three-point shot was invented, Parrish routinely scored 30 and 40 plus points per game for the Hornets. In his senior year, he scored over 30 points in all but one game in a 13 game stretch, including 48 points against Macon in a 92-60 blow out. Parish had 17 field goals and was 14 of 17 at the free throw line in the game. The 48 points stands as a single game record to this day, and his season total of 827 points is also still a school record. 20 days after the 48 points he popped in 46 and later that season he had 40 points with no free throws, making 20 field goals, a school record that was tied 31 years later. During his three years playing varsity, the teams went a combined 73-10 with three conference championships and a trip to the quarterfinals his Senior year when the team finished 29-2.
      Parish still holds the season 2 point field goal record of 326 and is third all time in that category. He also still holds the season points per game record with 25.57.
      The apple didn't fall far from the tree later in life when his sons Mitch and Matt and daughter Ashley all received all state honors, all were on district championship teams and all three played for state championships, with Mitch and Matt on the 1981 boys Championship team and Ashley on the 1994 girls 2nd place team.



Early Hornet Sports Weirdness
(Picture from Chillicothe Cresset)

     Chillicothe high school sports dates back more than 110 years, with Basketball starting in 1910, Football starting in 1904 and track starting before that. There were few rules and even fewer officials in those wild-west early years. Here are a few examples.
Football 1905 Little is known about the first year of football in 1904 other than they went 2-1 on the year. The first official score of a Chillicothe football game was Oct 21, 1905 when they beat Brookfield at home. Accounts of the day stated "Semi-official returns place it at 45-0." That's close enough for me.
Football 1910 1909 was a banner year for Chillicothe, going 6-1. The players hoped for the same coach to return, but his $300 asking price was too high for the school board. The first game was played with out a coach and the team lost 11-10. A player that graduated the previous year stepped in and the team won the next 5 games, allowing only one score, to finish 5-1
Football 1915 This seasoned opened with a loss in an "Alumni game" and ended with a win over a "Student team" that made fun of the official team. It would be their only win of the season.
Football 1921 The team won three games in seven days during this season, beating Maryville on a Friday, beating Braymer the following Monday and beating Plattsburg on Thursday.
Football 1927 Chillicothe allowed just 4 points total in the first three games combined in 1927. They also failed to win any of them, losing 2-0 the first two weeks and ended in a scoreless tie in week three. The team went 1-5-2, with the only win coming after the season when it was discovered Cameron used an ineligible player in a 25-6 Cameron win.  In this season, Chillicothe managed just four touchdowns: one run, one pass, one blocked punt recovery and one fumble return.
Boys Basketball 1910-11 In the first ever boys basketball game, the Hornets lost to Trenton in overtime 33-31. They would finish this lengthy first season at 2-1.
Boys Basketball 1918-19 The team lost at Mexico 83-3, the worst loss in history. The Cresset proclaimed the team was proud to lose to the best team in the state.
Boys Basketball 1928-29 If you thought 3 football games in a week was tough, try five basketball games in two days. It was the Boonville tournament and on Day One Chillicothe beat Jefferson City, then lost to California by one point. On Day Two, Chillicothe beat Lancaster, beat Fayette and lost to Armstrong by one point.


Are These Unbreakable Records?
                                                                                    (1969-70 Hornets Basketball Team)

   There is an old saying that says "records are meant to be broken." However, there are a few records in Hornet sports that have stood the test of time and may never be broken.
Football - One-Two Combination
    In the early days of football, towns of all sizes formed teams to compete in the growing wildcat sport of football. Some of these towns probably should not of bothered. On Nov 24 1921 Chillicothe beat Pattonsburg 84-0. Two notable performances came from QB Bertram Clark who scored 9 touchdowns and 54 points, and Russell White who kicked 12 of 12 Extra Points. Given the modern day "4th quarter running clock" combined with attempts to schedule quality opponents and bigger roster numbers, these are good candidates for unbreakable records.
Football - Back to Back
     November of 1921 was a banner month for Hornet football. Chillicothe beat Hamilton 81-0 on the 18th and 6 days later beat Pattonsburg 84-0. I really don't see back to back 80+ point games ever coming again in Hornets Football.
Football - Most Points
     In the 1920 season, Meadville's varsity football team played Chillicothe's 2nd string (now known as Junior Varsity) and beat them fairly handily. In proof that trash talking is nothing new, Meadville stated they could beat the Chillicothe Varsity team just as easily. On Nov 10, 1920 Meadville showed their mouth was bigger than their talent when Chillicothe won 90-6. No official scoring rundown or individual stats are available for this game, which are the most points ever scored by Chillicothe football. Again, with modern rules and sportsmanship, this one likely will never be broken.
Basketball - Who Wants In?
     Chillicothe boys basketball was having a pretty good game against Cameron in 1942 when Coach Pat Bradshaw starting using substitutes in the game. Then more, and more, calling up "middle school players" which I assume were freshmen players. By the time the game ended, 19 Chillicothe players got into the game. I'm not sure this is even allowable anymore by state rules.
Basketball - Shoot the Ball!

     the 1969-70 basketball was a high scoring season, The top 6 single game team scores in history all came from that season, including a 118 point effort against Marceline. With the 4th quarter mercy rule now in effect, this may last for another 45 years.
Basketball - Try A Little Harder
     Modern day "running clock" rules make some of these records unbreakable. Two such efforts came for the Boys in 1953 when they beat Milan on the road by 80 points, and the girls who beat Braymer in 1980 by 74 points. These will stand for a while longer.



Listen to the 1985 Hornets Football State Championship Game

Chillicothe 20, Kansas City Center 14
Site: Busch Stadium, St Louis
 1st Quarter Part 1
1st Quarter Part 2
2nd Quarter Part 1
2nd Quarter Part 2

3rd Quarter Part 1
3rd Quarter Part 2
4th Quarter
Part 1
4th Quarter Part 2

The original 85 Show-Me Bowl Broadcast on KCHI Radio with Russ Green and Butch Shaffer
Special thanks to Jason Graves for providing the original recording


Fun Facts from Hornet Sports
(1922 Lady Hornets Basketball)

 -In the 1936 Football season, Dick Gale scored 13 out of the teams 14 touchdowns on the season including all 13 rushing and 1 of 2 receiving touchdowns
- The Chillicothe Boys Tennis team won 23 straight regular season matches between 1973 and 1976 including undefeated seasons in 1973, 74 and 75

- In 1976 the Hornets Basketball team beat Moberly at home 98-97 in 6 overtimes, which was a state record at the time.

- In a 1921 football game vs Pattonsburg, the Hornets Bertram Clark scored five rushing touchdowns, caught two touchdown passes, had a punt return for touchdown and threw one touchdown pass, all in one game.

- The Cross Country team scored a perfect 15 points in a two team meet at Brookfield in 1978, taking all top five individual place finishers

- Chillicothe's first Volleyball team in 1994 included five players that would be members of the Girls basketball team that finished 2nd in state that winter.
- The Boys Track team has had 11 shot put and 9 discus state medalists, more than any other event

- In 1940, Leland Fair became a state wrestling champion by winning just two matches at the state meet. He also received a bye in the first round. There was no district qualifying tournament

- Rob Young is the only Hornet in history to be on a state championship football and state championship basketball team. He was a reserve End on the 1978 Football championship team as a Sophomore, and was a member of the 1981 Basketball state championship team as a Senior

- The Lady Hornets Softball team beat Cameron 21-0 in two and a half innings in 2000: 11 runs in the 1st and 10 in the 2nd off 13 hits.

- On Feb 20, 1981 the Hornets Basketball team beat Kirksville 14-7. Earlier in the season, Chillicothe beat them at Kirksville 72-31.

- In 1997 the Lady Hornets Tennis team beat Cameron 9-0. The team members combined to win 84 games and lost just 5 in the match.

- The Lady Hornets golf team were a perfect 9-0 in their first two seasons in 1973 and 1974
- The first Girls State Track meet included an event called the Softball Throw. Chillicothe had two entries in the event, but did not win a medal.
- The Boys track team won a state team title in 1939 by scoring a total of just 13 points and had only one individual champion: Joe Shy in the 220 yard dash.

- In 1922 the Chillicothe Girls Basketball team beat Wheeling 26-1.



Joe Shy - The Best of the Best
Track and field is the one sport that has been around Chillicothe at least as long as football. In the nearly 110 year history of Hornet track and field, one name stands alone at the top, and that name is Joe Shy.
     Shy was the key member of the 1939 team that won championships in both the indoor and outdoor state meets.
     In the 1939 Indoors meet, Shy won gold in the 60 hurdles, setting a new record of 7.3 in the prelims, then winning the finals in 7.4 seconds. He was also 2nd in the 60 yard dash and Long (aka Broad) Jump and was a member of the 2nd place Medley Relay team.
     In the 1939 outdoors meet Shy had his ups  and downs, despite scoring 11 of the team's first place 13 points. If he would of entered as a one man team, he would of finished 2nd in the team events, a half point behind what would of been the champion team.
     Shy won the 200 yard dash, was second in the 120 high hurdles and second in the broad jump. In his 4th event, the 200 meter low hurdles, Shy clipped a hurdle and fell. He was able to finish uninjured, but didn't medal in the event.
     Shy was far more than a one year wonder, earning 2nd in the 200 low hurdles in the 1938 outdoor meet. Shy routinely set meet records in every meet his Junior year.
     After high school Shy went to college at the University of Missouri, where his name became well known in track circles around the world. Shy was conference champion in the Indoor 60-yard hurdles (1942); Outdoor 220-yard low hurdles (1942); Outdoor 100-yard dash (1943) and Outdoor 200-yard dash (1943). Shy earned All-American honors in 1943 based on his performance at the national meet in the 330-yard dash, but his crowning achievement was his time  in the low hurdles in 1942, which tied the world record for the event.
     Shy was pushed into duty in the sprints when Mizzou's top sprinter Owen Joggerst, was injured. Shy rose to the occasion, going undefeated in the 100 and 200-yard dashes during that outdoor season.
     After graduation, Shy was a regular participant in running events around the country for most of his adult life. In 2005, Shy was inducted posthumously into the University of Missouri Athletic Hall of Fame.
    <Joe Shy's CHS 1939 Boys Track Season Results>     <Joe Shy's CHS 1938 Boys Track Season Results>

David White - Hornets Football "Triple Threat"
     He electrified fans and confused defenses. Catch up with Chillicothe's original offensive triple threat weapon, three time all state running back David White.
     Here David talk about Coach Fairchild, his teammates and how football helped shape his success in life.       <Listen To The Interview>

David White's Chillicothe Football Career 1986 - 1989
Career Points Scored: 354 (2nd all time); Career Touchdowns (All): 58 (2nd all time); Career Rushing Touchdowns: 43 (4th all time); Career Receiving Touchdowns: 13 (7th all time); Career Rushing Attempts: 464 (7th all time); Career Rushing Yards: 3,518 (3rd all time); Career Avg Yards per Carry 7.48 (8th all time); Career Passing Attempts: 106; Career Passing Completions: 65; Career Passing Yards: 1,211 (10th all time); Career Completion Percentage: 61.32% (1st all time);
Career Yards Per Completion: 18.63; Career Passing Touchdowns: 10; Career Receptions: 94 (2nd all time); Career Reception Yardage: 1,283 (2nd all time); Career Yards Per Reception: 13.65

Triumphant Basketball Turnaround
(1951-52 Boys Basketball Team)
    One thing is universal in sports: no one likes to lose. No matter the team or individual sport; coaches, players and fans all want a winning season.
      From after World War II into the early 50s, Chillicothe had a string of successful teams on the Basketball court, winning NCMC titles in 1946-47 under Coach Carl Miles followed by 1947-48 and an undefeated NCMC title in 1948-49 under Coach Elgie Posey.
     After Coach Posey left, Bob Moore took over and put together an average 14-9 season in 1949-50. However, when the 1950-51 season started, things didn't fair too well. Straddled with an extremely undersized team with no seniors, the Hornets limped to one of the worst seasons in history: 3-17.
     Changes were due for the upcoming 1951-52 season. They came first in the form of new head coach John Griste, who had already doubled the win total of the football team from 1 win in 1950 to 2 wins in 1951. His results with the basketball team would be even better.
     The second addition to the Hornets 1951-52 basketball team were two transfer students that brought some height back to the team. Newcomer Bob Hoerr averaged 11.62 points per game in 26 games with Chillicothe and fellow newcomer Albert Runge, whose first game with Chillicothe was in mid January, finished with a 13.57 average in 14 games. The two helped Chillicothe to average an additional 16 points per game over the previous season.
     The final change that helped the 1951-52 Hornet Basketball season was experience. Short, inexperienced juniors had become experienced seniors. Emmitt Wallace led the team with 341points in 26 games and helped guide the team to a 19-7 record and a 10-2 NCMC record, good for 2nd place. Wallace also became the first ever Hornets basketball player to be named to the All-State team, earning a spot on the 2nd Team. The following year, Coach Griste would win both a Conference and regional championship.
                                   <Basketball Records>     <1951-52 Basketball Season Results>

Listen to the 1978 Hornets Football State Championship Game

Chillicothe 42, Washington 0
Site: Chillicothe High School Field
 1st Quarter  
2nd Quarter 
3rd Quarter 
4th Quarter

The original 1978 Show-Me Bowl on KCHI Radio with Dennis Dolan and Dave Brown.
Special thanks to Scott Stephens for providing the original recording
<1978 Football Season>     <Football Records>

Flirting With The Pro's - A Conversation With Ardell Johnson
Ardell Johnson   RB/DB 1968-70
     He was a member of Chillicothe's 1st State Champion team, a Nebraska Cornhusker and a brief member of the Washington  Redskins. Listen to Ardell Johnson talk about his team, his coach, and what it's like to hear your name called on NFL draft day.     <Listen to the Interview>
Ardell Johnson Career Hornet Football Statistics 1968 - 1970
Career Points Scored: 210; Career Touchdowns (All): 35; Career Rushing Touchdowns: 24; Career Receiving Touchdowns: 11; Career Carries: 176; Career Yards: 1,350; Career Average Yards Per Carry: 7.67; Career Receptions: 54; Career Receiving Yards: 1,005; Career Average Yards Per Catch: 18.612



The First Great Hornet Athlete - Earl Steele
    Chillicothe high school has had great success in sending athletes to college and, in a few cases, brief careers in the professional leagues. However in the 100-plus years of athletics at CHS, who was the first to generate statewide laurels? It was a track star named Earl Steele. Here's what the 1907 Chillicothe Cresset School Yearbook says about Steele.

     The Chillicothe High School has an athlete who will, before long, hold the world's record for the mile run, and that athlete is Mr. Earl Steele, a popular member of the Senior Class.
     Mr. Steele by frequent runs to his home, nine miles from the city, has developed into a "miler" with good speed and wonderful endurance.
    At the track and field meet, held at Chillicothe he easily took the first places in the mile and half mile run and third place in the quarter.
     On May 4th, Mr. Steele entered the mile run at the Inter-High School meet held at Columbia, MO. At this meet there were some fast hard-trained runners but for the first three-quarters Steele made those runners travel faster than they ever dreamt they could go.
     He led the race until within one hundred yards of the line when two runners "sprinted on him" and all three coming in close together. Steele got third prize, a bronze medal. The judges of the meet were surprised at his speed and endurance and spoke favorably of him as a "miler." His time was about 4:52.
     Steele ran in the Class B Mile race at the Washington University track meet, held in St Louis, Saturday May 18 and easily took the gold medal. He sprang ahead on the start and kept the lead the entire mile, winning by 60 yards. Although running in B class he made the best record of all "milers" in both classes. His time was 4:48 lowering the High School record 3 seconds.
     Without a trainer he has his time down to 4:48 and next year under a coach, he is sure to lower that record. Here's wishing him "success."

    Steele's time of 9:50 held for three years before being broken by 1.2 seconds by another Missourian.
     Steele was also a member of the 1911 four-mile relay team whose record of 18:56 stood for several years.



Talking Football, 1928 Style

John Irvin - Senior Year Picture From the 1929 Chillicothe Cresset - Football Pages
"Irvin - "Mooney" -
"A dependable, hard hitting halfback. On the defense he was always
at the right place at the right time"

John Irvin - Fullback
Chillicothe Hornets 1928

     It was a time of leather helmets, few rules and makeshift facilities. Find out what Hornets football was like 81 years ago from a member of the 1926, 27 and 28 Chillicothe football teams.
 *Update: Mr Irvin passed away in January of 2016 at the age of 104.*   <Listen to the Interview>


Short History of Hornets Basketball Tournaments

                                                                    1947-48 Hornets
     High School Basketball Tournaments were not always the eight team cut and dried weeklong affairs popular today. In the early years, the standard tournament format in the regular season was sixteen teams, single elimination with first and third place games. Saturday was normally a doubleheader day for players with semifinal games in the afternoon and first and third place games that night. Regional Tournaments, now called District Tournaments, also featured somewhat meaningless third place games.
      Perhaps the most unusual tournament was the regional tournament of 1948. Chillicothe sported a 20-2 record heading into the championship showdown with Maryville. The Hornets lost 39-16, but both teams were given berths into the State Tournament, with Chillicothe receiving a #4 ranking. In their first ever State Tournament game, the Hornets lost in Springfield to Rocky Comfort 45-34    

Bert Who? Learn the Story Of the Former Hornet That Has A Football Field Named After Him
  At 5'6" and 144lbs, he was slightly below average size for a football player of his day. However, when Bertram Clark stepped onto the Hornets football field, he was far from average. Clark started in the Hornets backfield for four years from 1918 thru 1921, playing both Quarterback and Running Back. Clark was a threat from anywhere on the field, scoring by the run, the pass, special teams and even by the rare field goal. In a 1921 romp over Pattonsburg, Clark had five rushing touchdowns, three receiving touchdowns, one punt return touchdown and passed for one touchdown.
     After graduation, Clark headed to Principia Junior College then transferred to University of Missouri at Columbia where he lettered in 1925, 26 and 27. In 1996,Clark was inducted into the University of  Missouri Hall of Fame. This is what the MU website says about Chillicothe's Bert Clark:

     "A native of Chillicothe, Clark was an all-conference and honorable mention all-America halfback in 1926. He holds special distinction, having scored all of his touchdowns in three consecutive upset victories over Nebraska- 9-6 in 1925, 14-7 in 1926, and 7-6 in 1927. He later spent 44 years as a coach, athletic director and college administrator at Principia College in Elsah, Ill., where the football stadium is named for him. His grandson, Tim, was an all-conference infielder on the Missouri baseball team in the mid-1980s. Clark, who was a gold medalist at the Senior Olympics in 1985, lived in St. Louis until his death in 2001."

     After graduation from Mizzou, Clark returned to Principia college where his 1933 football team went undefeated, untied and un-scored upon for the season. Clark was inducted into Principia's hall of fame in 2006.

End of an Era - Old Chillicothe High School Torn Down

  After standing proud for more than 80 years and more than 100,000 students, the old Chillicothe High School building has been torn down.     View Pictures

The Game The Hornet's Weren't Supposed To Win
     When Chillicothe hit the Hearnes Center floor in March 1982, few people were giving the defending State Champions a chance against legendary basketball powerhouse St Louis Vashon. The Hornets under the guidance of Coach Rich Fairchild calmly showed a stunned Hearnes Center crowd patience, teamwork and incredible desire to calmly pick apart the nationally ranked Vashon team. Coach Fairchild used just a hand full of players to pull off one of the biggest upsets in Hornets history, 61-53. The next day however, The Hornets could not duplicate that feat and lost the title game to Logan-Rogersville 61-57.
     Vashon would have to wait 16 seasons for a rematch. They would fair no better in front of a packed Hornets Field House on a cold Saturday in December 1997, when a half court shot at the buzzer failed, and Chillicothe again upended Vashon 50-49.

Challenge! We've been Challenged!!!!       

                                                                             (Chillicothe High School 1915)     
       1915 was not a good year for Hornets football. They had only a four-game schedule and lost all four games by a combined score of 81-12, including a loss to a make-shift team of Chillicothe High School Alumni. So, when a group of fellow classmates taunted that the team was so bad, even they could beat them, the football  team readily accepted the challenge.
     The game was treated as a full regulation game with officials, paid attendance and newspaper coverage. It didn't take long for the upstart students to realize they had underestimated their 0-4 school team. It was the Hornets team that had the last laugh, with a 51-0 thumping of the students

Back to Back Football Blowouts

                       (1921 Starting Offense: RE Rex Oren, RT Howard Carr, RG Jim Davis, C Lee Steen, LG Fred Wagner, 
                        LT Harold Inman, LE Joe MalloryQB Bertram Clark, , LHB Russell White,  RHB Jim Steen FB Rudy Stucker)

     The Hornets Football team has had their fair share of big wins over the years, but in the days before State Playoffs and Conference races, Chillicothe did something that likely will never be done again. They outscored their opponents by a combined 165-0 in back to back games.
     It was 1921 and football was slowly taking hold in the world of sports, despite attempts to have it outlawed and labeled as brutal and barbaric. More high schools were forming teams and in the years before conferences became popular, schools played neighboring towns mainly in an effort to reduce costs of travel by train.
     Under second year coach Tom Moles, Chillicothe had won two in a row to improve to 5-4 for the year. With two games left on the schedule, the Hornets had their sights set on a second straight winning season. On November 18, 1921 the team and fans boarded the train and headed to Hamilton for a Friday afternoon game. Chillicothe built a 48-0 lead at the half, then added another 33 points in the 3rd quarter. The game was called due to darkness at the end of the 3rd quarter for a 81-0 Chillicothe win. Few other details are known about the contest.
     The final game of the season was a Thanksgiving Day showdown with  Pattonsburg on the C.B.C. field. Chillicothe forced Pattonsburg to three plays and punt to start the game. Chillicothe's Quarterback Bertram Clark fielded the punt and returned it for Chillicothe's first touchdown. Clark added a 12 yard run later in the quarter and by halftime, Chillicothe had built a 28-0 lead. Three more touchdowns in the 3rd quarter gave Chillicothe a 49-0 lead. The Hornets didn't let up, putting 35 points on the board in the 4th quarter for an 84-0 win. Chillicothe had the ball inside the five yard line at least four other times but did not score. Clark scored nine touchdowns in the game, including five rushing,  three receiving and one by punt return, plus threw one touchdown pass. Team Captain Rudy Stucker had two touchdown runs and threw three touchdown passes. Chillicothe Kicker Russell White also went 12-for-12 on extra point kicks. Clark would go on to become a three-year letter winner for the University of Missouri Football team.

In the Beginning
(1905 Chillicothe High School)

   While educational facilities of some form have been around Chillicothe since the earliest days of settlement, the first 4-year school building was built in 1875 with the first official Chillicothe High School Senior Class graduating in 1877. Prior to this school building, education was only offered through the Junior year. In 1901 a new School was built at a cost of $25,000 that served the district until the early 1920's.
     There is no definite starting date for most Chillicothe High School athletic teams, however the 1903-04 and 1904-05 school years mark the apparent beginning of Chillicothe High School sports. Newspaper coverage was sparse in the early days and there were no grand announcements made of new athletic teams. In the earliest days, athletic teams were often frowned upon by School Administrators who feared it would deter from the learning process. Around 1920 School Officials began to recognize the importance of physical fitness as a part of the educational process. 
     Chillicothe fielded High School Football, Baseball and Track  teams  as early as 1904. The exact date of the first Chillicothe football game is not known, but tan early yearbook makes mention of the "old rugby boys" playing the first season of football in 1904. The 1908 Chillicothe yearbook made note of the first year of football in 1904, stating the played three games and won two of them.
     Boys Basketball began in the 1910-11 season while Girls Basketball was a highly successful fall sport for Chillicothe briefly in the 1920s before being turned into an intramural sport, where each class would field a team and all four would play for the "Class Championship". Baseball was played as early as the 1903-04 school year when the team went 4-3 with wins over Liberty, Cameron and Braymer twice and losses to Moberly, Liberty and Cameron. The first Chillicothe School Yearbook was published in 1904 but these early yearbooks were printed in the spring, usually before Baseball and Track seasons were completed, or in some cases started. Chillicothe fielded Baseball teams sporadically until around 1915 when it diminished into an intramural only sport. A competitive baseball team returned in 1922-23 school year under Coach John Huntz but apparently only existed for a couple of years. The popularity and success of the Chillicothe Track program attracted most of the athletes at a cost to the baseball program. Track and Field teams competed as early as the 1903-04 school year but consisted only of a home meet and an overnight meet in Maryville, which most likely was a sort of "regional championship" held at the college. Boys Golf and Tennis were mentioned as early as the 1926-27 season and there was even mention of a Girls Field Hockey team for a couple years starting in 1927-28. Wrestling made a brief and successful appearance in the 1930s before being shelved until the 1960s,
      Early sporting facilities were sparse to non-existent as were qualified officials. Football teams would play in parks or farmers pastures with ankle to calf high grass. Basketball was played where ever there was space including skating rinks, factory buildings and in the case of one girls game, a school hallway. It would be the 1920s before modern day facilities were built. 1915 marked the first mention of Red and Black as Chillicothe school colors, and the nickname "Hornets" followed in 1916.

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