The Ramblers were a force to be reckoned with in boys' basketball all the way to the end of the
Bath-Lynchburg H.S. existence. The Bath-Lynchburg boys won 3 District Championships in basketball, and finished
as runner-up three more times!
One interesting piece of information was found for us by our good friend Phil Shadid. Phil's research
showed that the Bath-Lynchburg High School nickname had an interesting development:
"Bath-Lynchburg HS in the early 1930's was known as the "Sea Gulls",
but 40 students petitioned the county newspaper in 1933 and said they wanted to be called the "Ramblers".
The editor said OK: Ramblers it is."
We are also told that the Bath-Lynchburg High School building in Bath (pictured at the top of this page) housed its gymnasium
on the second floor. The gym was said to be quaint but sturdy. This gym was later converted to other uses for the
school when the new "Thunderdome" gymnasium was built.
As the Bath-Lynchburg HS "Sea Gulls":
L. E. Heinz
1924-25 21-5 Mason County Tourney Champs L. E. Heinz
1925-26 29-3 Mason County Tourney Champs L. E. Heinz
L. E. Heinz
L. E. Heinz
1928-29 ? 2ND
Place - Mason Cty. Tourney Maurice Root
1931-32 28-1 District
Mason County Tourney Champs
3RD Place / Sectional Tourney
|Bath-Lynchburg Ramblers of 1931-32
|Submitted by Phil Shadid
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
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
1937-38 18-8 2nd Place
District Tourney Homer
Lost - semi-final in Regional Tourney
1938-39 16-6 2nd Place
District Tourney Homer
|Bath-Lynchburg HS Basketball Team 1938-39
|Courtesy of Gerta Griffin, Submitted by Phil Shadid
Standing, from left: Homer Bartholomew (Principal/coach), Johnie Conway, Lowell
Markert, Raymond Middelkamp, Clifford Coddington, Arthur Elmer Finch, Ralph Siltman.
Seated, from left: Melvin Dobson, Allen Connolly, Morris Bell, Robert Dierker,
Ira Everett Smith.
....Photo courtesy of Gerta Griffin.
1939-40 18-8 2nd Place
District Tourney Homer
1940-41 11-9 Consolation Champions -
Mason County Tourney
1941-42 8-16 Homer
Consolation champs in 1943
Mason County Tourney.
Runner-up to San Jose in District Tourney
1943-44 12-10 Arthur
1944-45 5-10 Arthur
W. B. Lindsay
1946-47 4- 20 James
1947-48 3- 21
1948-49 10- 15
1949-50 14- 10
1950-51 16- 10 District
1951-52 10- 14
1952-53 8- 18
1953-54 14- 7 District Champions
**From our good friend Phil Shadid:
"Information regarding the MASON COUNTY BOYS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT, which was
held for 68 years, and ended in 1989:
Bath-Lynchburg won 3 County Tourney championships, finishing second 2 other times!!"
Track & Field
Phil Shadid offered this piece of information regarding the Bath-Lynchburg Track program of the 1930s and 1940s:
"Homer “Buster” Bartholomew also coached baseball and track during his seven years at Bath-Lynchburg
High School. In track, two of his boys qualified for the State Track finals in May 1943, the first time in the history of
the school. Bath finished third in the District Track meet at Macomb, behind Quincy and Jacksonville. Eldon Herrmann,
a junior, won the Discus and was second in the Shot Put. Melvin Fletcher, sophomore, won the High Hurdles
and finished fourth in the Low Hurdles. They were both eliminated in the early rounds of the State meet at Champaign. (Bath’s
high school enrollment in 1943 was 63 students.)
*Homer "Buster" Bartholemew - (Research provided by Phil Shadid)
|Principal/Coach Homer Bartholomew
|Submitted by Phil Shadid
had a long history of coaching and officiating sports. He was born in 1891 in Loami
and passed away in June 1943 after a brief illness. The loss of his left arm as a child did not deter him from pursuing athletics
and education. He graduated from Illinois State Teachers College (now Illinois State Univ.) with a degree in Education and
obtained his Masters from the University of Illinois. (See his baseball team photo on the Loami
page of this website.)
He taught in one-room country schools in the Loami and New Berlin areas from 1910-21.
He was the first basketball coach in the history of New Berlin High School (1917-21). In 1922 he moved to the Chatham school
district where he coached boys and girls teams until 1936. He was also elevated to Principal of both the grade and high schools
in 1931 at Chatham. In September 1936 he took the job of Supt/Principal/Teacher/Coach of the Bath-Lynchburg schools.
He was a principal organizer of the Sangamon County Conference for 3-year high schools in 1925. Bartholomew was also known
as a top-notch referee for basketball and football games and umpired for several years in baseball. (He helped organize the
Springfield Officials Association.)
Buster teamed up with Ron Gibbs (later an NFL referee) to officiate some basketball games
at the annual Athens-Greenview tournament in 1938. After working an afternoon game on January 7, he rushed back to Bath to
coach his team that night against county rival Forest City (Bath won). He also found time to take up golf, and at one time
was in charge of the Virginia Country Club golf course.
When he passed away, hundreds of his friends and fans paid their respects and turned out. As his friend Bob Drysdale,
Sports Editor of the State Journal (Springfield) wrote: "He was an ardent booster for all sports. And with it
all he made hundreds of friends. His influence helped to send scores of boys (and girls) into successful careers.
His kind can not be replaced in the school room, the athletic field, or in life."
The Ramblers competed on the diamonde as well. we have limited information on this program at Bath-Lynchburg High
School but were sent the folowing information by Ted Connolly:
" My uncle, Larry Lippert
, asked me to send you the following information about the 1954 Abe Lincoln
Conference Baseball Championship. This information is from a report by The Pekin Daily Times in October of 1954...
1954 Abe Lincoln Conference Championship
Final score: Mason City 1 Bath-Lynchburg 0 in 16 innings
Both starting pitchers went the distance; Ken Bracey (Mason City) 16 innings,
Larry Lippert (Bath-Lynchburg) 15 2/3 innings.
This game set several state records:
1. Longest game; 3 hours 30 minutes
2. Most recorded outs for two starting pitchers; 95 out of 105 official at-bats
3. Most strikeouts for two starting pitchers; 43. 23 for Bracey, 20 for Lippert
4. Most scoreless innings for two starting pitchers; 16 for Bracey, 15 2/3 for Lippert
The following year Bath-Lynchburg defeated Mason City by the score of 1 - 0 in 1955
Larry did not mention that during his high school career he also pitched both games of a double-hitter
and both games were no hitters. He also played basketball ".
Goes out to the Village of Bath, Havana Public Library, the A. Lincoln
Presidential Library for microfilm records of State Journal-Register (Springfield) and Mason County
And a very SPECIAL gratitude goes out to a great friend of the Glory Days website, Phil
Shadid, who provided most of the research for this page.
Seeking Further Information
We are seeking information regarding Bath-Lynchburg High School's storied past. Please
contact us via email at firstname.lastname@example.org or write to us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva Ave.
Chicago, IL 60631