BATH-LYNCHBURG BASKETBALL TEAM, 1931-32 (pictured above):
Front row, from left: Walter Sarff, Andrew Lindsay, Emery Sarff, John Kenneth
Middle row, from left: Basil Schaeffer, Roy Sarff, Clyde Coddington, Floyd
Coddington, Gerald (Charlie) Allen, Tom Minor, Harry Clemons.
Back row, from left: principal Lee Blair, Floyd Sarff, C. J. Cantrall, Howard
Kolves, Melvin Lacey, coach Maurice Root
THE GREATEST SEASON IN THE HISTORY OF BATH-LYNCHBURG, 1931-32
Article by Phil Shadid
The above headline is sometimes subjective, but in 1931-32, the basketball team achieved
that status. Coach Maurice Root (a Carthage College graduate) guided the team to a 28-1 record, winning these championships:
Mason County tournament, West
Central Conference (8-0), Mason City District tournament;
plus third place in the Springfield Sectional tourney.
The boys won four games in the County tournament whipping Havana twice and beating
Kilbourne and San Jose. The first win over Havana in the tourney was a 6-4 victory. Havana slowed the game greatly because Bath
had trampled them 50-5 earlier in the season. They met again, this time in the championship game, with B-L winning 20-8.
In the District tournament, tall center Clyde Coddington, Emory Sarff and Gerald
Allen took turns leading the team in scoring. They beat Greenview 31-20, Havana 19-9 and secured the title with a 22-19
come-from-behind win over Athens.
They lost their only game of the season in the semi-final of the Sectional played
at the State Arsenal (a huge castle-like building) on March 18, 1932, a one point loss to Beardstown (21-20). B-L had
beaten the Tigers by eight points earlier in the year. Their 27th straight win (the longest undefeated streak in the
state) occurred the night before when they beat Jerseyville 34-24, in the Sectional opener. The Ramblers edged Lincoln
19-18 in the third place game on March 19, thereby establishing themselves as one of the 24 best teams in the state (811 schools
had begun district play in March, and only eight teams went to the state finals).
Sports Editor Bob Drysdale of the Springfield State
Journal wrote in his column on March 20: "Volunteers offered to help with writing the headline for the Bath-Lincoln
game. There were a half dozen variations of BATH CLEANS LINCOLN SATURDAY NIGHT. Personally, we'd say that Lincoln,
which had expected to take Bath, failed to find the stopper, so its game was a washout. But one thing is certain, Bath
cleaned up a lot of central Illinois hardwoods before it was stopped
in the semi-finals."
Clyde Coddington and Gerald Allen paced the team during the season and had plenty
of help from Clyde's brother Floyd, Roy and Emory Sarff, Andrew Lindsay, Thomas Minor, Bazzile Schaeffer and Harry Clemons.
For 29 games the Ramblers averaged beating their opponents by a 26-13 margin.
The best team in the history of the school? YOU BET!
As the Bath-Lynchburg HS "Ramblers"
Season Record Coach
1932-33 13-5 2ND
Place Mason County Tourney Maurice Root
Lewistown District Tourney
1st Rd Beat Lewistown 25-18
Semi-final lost to Canton 26-11
Canton beat Fairview in title game
Canton lost in Sectional
1934-35 12-6 Mason
City District Tourney
Rd Score Needed
2nd Rd Beat Petersburg 20-18
Semi-final lost to Havana
Havana beat Athens in title game
Havana lost in Sectional
1935-36 10-9 Havana
Regional Tournament Maurice Root
Rd Beat San Jose 34-28
Semi-final lost to Athens 34-28
Athens beat Havana in title game
lost in Sectional
1936-37 11-11 Postseason scores needed Homer
1937-38 18-8 San Jose District
Runner-Up Homer Bartholomew
Rd Scores Needed
Title Game lost to Greenview 36-34
IHSA Regional Qualifier
Lost - semi-final in Regional Tourney
1938-39 16-6 IHSA District Runner-Up Homer
District Scores Needed
Athens Regional Tournament
1st Rd lost to Riverton 31-29 (2 O/Ts)
Riverton lost to Athens in Semi-final
Athens lost to Tallula in title game
Tallula lost in Sectional