Not Your Ordinary
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."
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.
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
<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'
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"
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
<School Girls Basketball Records>
The Tommy-Tom Club - FORE!
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.
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
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"
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
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
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.
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
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
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 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>
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
"This Week in Hornets Football" past stories*