Ball Township High School "Redskins"

Closed High Schools Alumni Apparel
IN THE BEGINNING - Where Closed High Schools Consolidated To
*Ctry. Schools-Wtsde. Cty.
*Schools That Start With "A"
*Schools That Start With "B"
*Bourbonnais St. Viator
*Schools That Start With "C"
*Chgo Good Counsel HS
*Schools That Start With "D"
*Schools That Start With "E"
*Schools That Start With "F"
*Fairdale High School
*Schools That Start With "G"
*Glenarm Ball Twshp HS
*Schools That Start With "H"
*Hindsboro High School
*Homer High School
*Schools That Start With... "I"
*Schools That Start With "J"
*Schools That Start With "K"
*Schools That Start With "L"
*Lemont Mt. Assisi Academy
*Schools That Start With "M"
*Mazon High School
*Schools That Start With "N"
*Schools That Start With "O"
*Odell St. Paul High School
*Schools That Start With "P"
*Schools That Start With "Q"
*Schools That Start With "R"
*Rollo High School
*Schools That Start With "S"
*Schools That Start With.. "T"
*Schools That Start With.. "U"
*Schools That Start With.. "V"
*Schools That Start With "W"
*Schools That Start With.. "X"
*Schools That Start With.. "Y"
*Schools That Start With.. "Z"

Ball Township High School Building 1935

Ball Township HS Building - Now Ball-Chatham Elem.
Submitted by Phil Shadid

Ball Township High School History
Glenarm (population approximately 100) is located in central Illinois about 10 miles south of Springfield.  The town is situated in south-central Sangamon County.  The main roadway leading to Glenarm is the county road called Glenarm Road.  I-55 sits just to the east of Glenarm.  Glenarm at one time was a stop along the "mother road", U.S. Route 66.  Glenarm is an unincorporated village which is about four blocks long and two blocks wide.  The Chicago & Illinois Midland Railroad travels through Glenarm as well.
The history of the town of Glenarm and the former Ball Township High School are in need of research.  Ball Township High School was established in 1923.  In 1948, Ball Township merged with the Chatham school district.  The result was the creation of the Ball-Chatham Community School District. High School students attend Chatham Glenwood High School in Chatham.
Nita Bell offered this brief history of the Ball Township School:

Ball Township High School

Chatham High School's last graduating class was 1948. It was then on the far south side of Chatham along Rt 4. The year after consolidation, it became a junior high. It also has housed the 1st thru 5th of the district, the K thru 3rd of the district and now houses K thru 3rd of the west side of the district. There was a fire which burned enough of the old Chatham High School that rebuilding left it a one story building rather than the old two story that once stood with an addition to the west. There were more additions following the fire and recently as well.

The high school for the consolidated Unit District #5 became Ball Township High School the fall of 1948 (a high school with graduating seniors from 1924 thru 1956). Not all of the lower grade schools were consolidated at this time. The school was built just north of Glenarm and east of what is now I-55. The building remains and has had numerous additions and changes of classes housed at the location. There have been years when the district's lower classes were in two different locations as they are at present and Ball is an elementary school for the east side of the district.
I am sure Ball Township had a Glenarm address until consolidation but because the district office is in Chatham proper, I suspect all mail now is routed through Chatham post office (Ball Elementary being the only school outside Chatham).

Glenwood came into existence the 1956-1957 school year. The first Glenwood High School was built just east of the "S" curve over Lake Springfield on the Chatham Road from I-55. It is now the middle school housing the 7th and 8th grades and has a later addition that is home to the 6th grade of our district. Glenwood's first Junior High is now an intermediate school housing 4th and 5th grades and we have a new Glenwood High School.

I hope to try and explain that Ball Township was just Ball Township not Glenarm Ball Township and Ball Township High School and Chatham High School are high schools that no longer exist.
I would also like to refer you to a site devoted to Ball Township High School's annual reunion - ".

Ball Township School Complex - Aerial View

Further information on the Ball Township High School building was provided to us by our good friend Phil Shadid.  Phil tells us that the building pictured above is now part of a Ball-Chatham Elementary School.  This portion of that school was built in 1924.  Directly below the three windows in the center of the building, and above what appears to be a doorway, the words "Community High School" are inscripted in the half-moon shaped concrete arch.
Phil goes on to add:
"Ball Township High School was built in the country approximately four miles north and east of Glenarm and about four miles east of Chatham. It was sometimes referred to as Ball Township Community High School.

It was the first high school in Sangamon County that was not located within the limits of a city, town or village. In fact, the current building, now used as an elementary school, still sits by itself in the country on New City Road, except for a modern church on the opposite side of the road. Even though the school has had numerous additions they still use the gym built in 1935, which was dedicated with a basketball game that year: Ball Township vs. Springfield High School (SHS won).

Ball Township merged with Chatham High School to form the Ball-Chatham school district in September 1948, and the first graduating class consisted of 34 seniors in May 1949. In the year prior to the consolidation (May 1948) Ball Township graduated 21 seniors and Chatham eight.

I also discovered an interesting tidbit about Ball Township's nickname.  Most high schools didn't come up with team nicknames until the 1930s and 1940s.  For example, Springfield High School didn't become the "Senators" until the late 1930s.  Prior to that they were simply known as SHS, or the school colors Red & Black, or even the coach's name: "Mark Peterman's boys."

Ball Township High School & Gymnasium

On Nov. 9, 1940, in a Illinois State Journal (Springfield) article about the upcoming season for Ball Township, the newspaper referred to the team as the "Plowboys."  I guess the newspaper reasoned that since most of the students came from farming backgrounds the name "Plowboys" would be appropriate.
Well, the students didn't like that name, so in a short time they came up with "Redskins."  This remained the nickname until the school closed in 1957.  Chatham Glenwood High School kept the name "Redskins" until 2001 when they opened their current building and adopted "Titans" as the school's new mascot.
The fate of the Ball Township High School building constructed in 1924 has been sealed. The original brick building will be demolished in June of 2013. The gymnasium and the trophy display case will be saved however.

Ball Township HS Demolition


Year opened:                                        September 1923 (35 students in attendance)

First graduating class:                           1924 (2 seniors)

Year closed:                                         Sept. 1948, to form Ball-Chatham district
Last Graduating Class of Ball-Chatham: 1956 (43 seniors)
Year closed:                                         March 1957 (still used as elementary school)
Consolidated to:                                   Chatham Glenwood HS, March 1957
Ball Township HS team nickname:         the "Redskins"
BTHS team colors:                               Red & White
School Fight Song:              "We Are Proud of You, Ball Township High"
                                           We are proud of you, Ball Township High,
                                                            The finest in the land.
                                                             We will fight for you,
                                                            We will boost for you,
                                                    We'll pledge our heart and hand,
                                                                   Rah! Rah!
                                                We will keep your colors ever high,
                                                          No glory shall they lack;
                                                          We will fight,fight,fight,
                                                              With all our might
                                                   For the dear old red and white!

Click Here For Fight Song Tune!

**Music for the Ball Township High School Fight Song tune is played by Kathy Carnduff and was provided by Melissa Thompson and Phil Shadid.

Ball Township High School Fight Song Music
Submitted by Nita Bell


Basketball, baseball, track & field were offered. Football was not played. Baseball was played as both a Spring and Fall sport.

Below are photos taken of the former Ball Township HS gymnasium as it looks today in 2009. 

Ball Township HS Gym / Scoreboard

Ball Township HS Gym / Bleachers

Ball Township HS Gym - 2009

BASKETBALL (compiled by Phil Shadid)

Ball Township played its last basketball game on March 4, 1957, in the Morrisonville Regional tournament. They lost to Virden 69-55. Scoring for Ball: Derald Bethard 20, Gene Aubrey 19, Charles Krell 8, George Dressendorfer 5, Gerry Burnett 3. Coach: Jim Fox, record of 12-11.

The team had some success in basketball, placing in the top four spots in the annual Sangamon County tournament several times. They won the tourney in 1928, finished second one time, placed third two times, wound up fourth five times.

Ball Township HS Basketball Team - 1927-28
Submitted by Nita Bell

The 1927-28 season saw coach Fred Snyder lead his boys to a 12-8 record, taking a highly regarded Taylorville team into overtime in the Springfield District tournament on March 10, 1928, before losing 24-23. But the team had great success in the Sangamon County tournament beating much favored Auburn 31-20 for the title. It would be Ball Township’s only county championship in their 33 year history.

They trounced Divernon 37-12, Feb. 17, 1928, in their first game of the County tourney, and then proceeded to defeat Williamsville 29-15 in the semi-finals the next afternoon. That night the Redskins handled Auburn fairly easy. Coach Snyder was quoted in the Illinois State Journal after the Williamsville game: “Well, we upset the ‘Dope Bucket’ (newspaper sports columnist) and I’m satisfied. I hope we can do it again.” The newspaper’s reporter then continued reporting the story: “His wish was accepted with polite reservations by onlookers who sympathized with him and hoped Auburn would not be too busy ringing in the scores to remember that Ball was on the floor. Then they (Auburn) woke up. And when the game was over they were still rubbing their eyes and wondering if the whole thing wasn’t a dream.”

Oscar Bradford, Jack Freeman, Kenneth Long, Tom Carswell and Elbert Mellinger played outstanding basketball and left no doubt who was the winner. Bradford, the big center, led the team in scoring with 13 and was named to the all-tournament first team. Freeman and Long made the second team. Other players were Stan Powell, Willard Mellinger, George Nyilas, Wallace Howell and George Southwick.

1928-29:  Coach Snyder’s basketball team had an unremarkable regular season, winning just five games out of 14. But in the Springfield District tourney (March 7-9, 1929) they almost put an exclamation point on the year, beating Springfield High by a 22-15 score in the semi-final. SHS had been favored to win the District, but Ball Township (described in the Illinois State Journal as “the little school south of town on the Sixth Street Road”) led from the start and continually frustrated the bigger players by gaining rebounding position and playing solid defense. “Ball Township displayed a fast offense and slipped through for several setup shots,” the Journal reported.

Score at end of quarters in favor of Ball Township were: 8-2, 13-5, 15-11, 22-15. Sophomores Willard and Elbert Mellinger led the way for BTHS with 17 points total. Winning ways came to a halt with a 37-20 loss to Elkhart for the championship.

1933-34: Coach Jesse Honn’s quintet won the newly formed 5-team CMS (Christian-Montgomery-Sangamon) Conference with a 7-1 league record and an overall mark of 16-7. Even though they lost in the first game of the Sangamon County tournament (to New Berlin 15-10), it was still a great season. BTHS beat Edinburg 27-10 in their first game in the Springfield District tourney, but lost their shooting touch the next night, falling to Riverton 14-10 to close out the season. Charles Bridgewater and George Rishel were the dominant players during the year, but Richard Treat, C. Miller and Jim Lard also provided plenty of help.

Ball Township Basketball Team of 1934-35
Submitted by Nita Bell

Eleven months after the sneak attack on Pearl Harbor, Hawaii, on December 7, 1941, new coach A. E. Roy gathered his players together in November 1942 to prepare for the upcoming season.

Gas rationing during World War II proved to be very difficult for the schools in the Sangamo Conference to maintain their schedules. Consequently, the league voted to call off the official conference race for the 1942-43 season.

As quoted in the Illinois State Journal on Dec. 22, 1942: “Games will be played whenever possible, but cancellations will not count as forfeits,” conference spokesman R. R. Morrison of Ball Township explained. “We’ll simply carry on as best as we can, but there will be no formal conference race.” Ball Township managed to play 15 games (9-6), while their chief rival, Chatham, got in 16 (4-12). Ball beat their rival twice that year.

1943-44:  Ball Township won a District championship on their home court in 1944 with a record of 13-10, coached by A. E. Roy. The team avenged three regular season losses to Divernon by winning in the District on Feb. 22 by a score of 39-21. They edged Modesto 28-25, and then won over Farmersville for the tournament championship, 28-22. The season ended in the Virden Regional on March 1 when they lost to the host school, 37-29. Donald Easley led the team in scoring for the year, averaging about 11 points per game. Edward Murphy, Bob Southwick and John Neighbors contributed throughout the season.

Two tough seasons, 1944-45 and 1945-46, saw the team win only five games out of 40. New coach Lozelle Cleaves began his first of ten years at the helm beginning in November 1945.

1946-47:  This season produced a 10-13 record, with Howard Reese and Kenneth Behl the primary scoring leaders. Eddie Stone, Bill Steinhour and Kenneth Beck also contributed. And so did the four players named “Robert:” Beck, Burtle, Gray and Haines. Coach Cleaves must have devised a method to ask “Robert” to check into a game!

BTHS had a very good season in 1947-48 when they had a record of 15-6, finishing behind Waggoner for the CMS conference championship. Howard Reese led the team in scoring during the year, along with Nathanial Sisk, Kenneth Behl, and Robert Burtle. After defeating Farmersville twice during the season, they couldn’t stop them the third time, losing to their conference opponent 46-36 in the District tourney.

The first consolidated basketball team of Ball Township and Chatham under the direction of Mr.Cleaves had a 14-10 record in 1948-49. Seven players from Ball Township and three from Chatham made up the squad, with BTHS’s Howard Reese (17 points per game) and William Steinhour (10 ppg) the leading scorers. William Gaule, formerly of Chatham, pitched in with eight per game.

The first cheerleaders for the merged school were Juanita (Bush) Bell, Delores (Downs) Hood, Pat (Downs) Friggens and Lillian (Hunter) Pratte.

Robert Reese Morrison
Submitted by Phil Shadid

Robert R. Morrison, well respected and beloved principal at Ball since 1929, served as the Superintendent of the new Ball-Chatham district. Mr. Morrison (1900-1987) was inducted into the Chatham Glenwood Hall of Fame in 2007.

Ball Township’s 1955-56 season, with new coach Jim Fox (former star athlete at Springfield Feitshans), saw the emergence of a great shooting guard: Richard Stanley (Stan) Laycock. He scored 44 points (18 field goals) in a Feb. 10, 1956, win over Pleasant Plains (87-74). Stan was the type of player who had been developed in the late 1940’s and beyond: a high-scoring jump-shot specialist. He averaged over 25 points per game. In addition to the 44-point game, he also scored 41 against Edinburg (83-59 win), 32 vs. Buffalo Tri-City (70-61 win) and 30 in the Regional tournament in an 87-65 loss to Springfield Lanphier. Stan was in the last graduation class at Ball Township in 1956.

Stan Laycock - BTHS All-Time Leading Scorer
Courtesy of Phil Shadid

The jump shot had come into vogue in the area by the late 1940’s and helped pace the “run and gun” type of offense. This was a far cry from the slow, deliberate, set-shot game of the 1920’s, 1930’s and in to the mid-1940’s. As an example, Ball Township averaged 21 points per game as a team in 1933-34, but in 1955-56, their average was 63 per game. (Footnote: until 1938, the “center jump” was in place. After each made basket the teams would return to center court for a jump ball. This eliminated any fast-break opportunities, except if a free throw was missed.)


1924-25       4-10     G. P. Chapman
1925-26       4-14     Frank Fawcett
1926-27     12-11     Fred Snyder

1927-28     14-9      Fred Snyder (County Tourney Champs)

1928-29       8-10    Fred Snyder
1929-30      12-6     Fred Snyder
1930-31      15-12   Jesse Honn
1931-32        3-13   Jesse Honn
1932-33     10-11    Jesse Honn

1933-34     16-7      Jesse Honn

1934-35      8-9       Jesse Honn
1935-36      5-13     Jesse Honn
1936-37      3-12     Jesse Honn
1937-38      9-12     Jesse Honn

1938-39      2-15     Vaughn Armor

1939-40      1-16     Roy Sarff

1940-41      4-16     Roy Sarff

1941-42      3-18     Roy Sarff

1942-43      9-6       A. E. Roy

1943-44     13-10     A. E. Roy   (District Tourney Champs)

1944-45      3-17      A. E. Roy

1945-46      2-18      Lozelle Cleaves

1946-47    10-13      Lozelle Cleaves

1947-48    15-6        Lozelle Cleaves

1948-49    14-10      Lozelle Cleaves

1949-50      6-16      Lozelle Cleaves

1950-51      8-14      Lozelle Cleaves

1951-52      7-15      Lozelle Cleaves

1952-53      9-16      Lozelle Cleaves

1953-54    12-14      Lozelle Cleaves

1954-55    14-8        Lozelle Cleaves

1955-56    15-8        Jim Fox

1956-57    12-11      Jim Fox (last season as BTHS)

Ball Township HS Basketball Team of 1940-41
Submitted by Nita Bell

Ball Township HS Basketball Team of 1934-35
Submitted by Nita Bell

The Ball Township High School Redskins competed in baseball as well.  Players identified in the photo of the Redskin team of 1938, seen below include the following:
Back Row, left to right: Jim Stout, Billy Joe Treat, Martin Manning, Glen Leaderbrand, coach Jesse Honn, Berkley Kincade, Wayne Bandy, Ralph Jacobs, Loren Park.
Front row, left to rightEarl Neighbors, Gene Skaggs, Russell Park, Paul Stout, Donald Treat, Clarence Marion

Ball Township High School Redskins - 1939
Submitted by the Ball Township HS Reunion Committee

**From Mary Inslee Smith (Class of 1959): 
We are two graduates of the class of 1959, the last sophmore class at BTHS. Thank you for your work on preserving the history of this wonderful time in our lives. We'll try to send memories relative to the history you're seeking. We are sorry to hear the building will be torn down, but time moves on. Thank you. Norma Higgins' (BTHS1928) daughter Corinne (Ostermeier)(Ball/Glenwood 1959) Baker, and Mary Inslee (Ball 1928)' neice, Mary Inslee Smith (Ball/Glenwood 1959)."
Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library for microfilm records of the Springfield Illinois State Journal and Register, and the Buffalo Tri-City Register.  Springfield's Lincoln Library, Sangamon Valley Collection.  Chatham Area Library.  Sangamon County Superintendent of Schools.  Nita Bell, Ball Township graduate, whose fantastic website about her high school ( contained valuable information.  Leroy Seiz, Ball Township graduate, for his 1987 article about the school.
Seeking More Information   
We are seeking further information regarding the town of Glenarm and its high school. If you are able to provide information please contact us at  You may also write us at: 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.     60631

State Journal Register Newspaper, June, 2013

Ball Township HS Bldg Demolition
Submitted by Phil Shadid

State Journal Register Article Page 2

State Journal Register Newspaper
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State Journal Register Article
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State Journal Register Article Page 3
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First Student Body of BTHS - 1923

First Faculty Members of BTHS
L-R: Elsie Chapman, Prin. G.P. Chapman, Margaret Herzer, Edith Webber

Ball Township Student Body - Year Unknown

Ball Township School Complex

Roosevelt Statue Engraved Class of 1928

Teddy Roosevelt Statue - Class of 1928

Washington Statue Engraved - Class of 1932!

George Washington Statue - Class of 1932

Ball Township HS Basketball Practice 1935
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Ball Township HS Students 1935
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Ball Township Band 1941
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Ball Township HS Classroom 1936
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Ball Towsnhip HS Student Party 1938
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Ball Township HS Students 1937
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Ball Township HS FFA Dinner
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Ball Township HS Band 1942
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Ball Township HS Band 1941
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Ball Township HS Choir 1944
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Ball Township HS Class of 1944
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Ball Township HS Class of 1956
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Ball Township HS Class of 1951
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Ball Township Student Making Hurdles for Track
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Ball Township HS Pole Vault Behind Gym 1955
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Ball Township HS Students
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Ball Township HS Students at School Entrance
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Ball Township HS Party
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Ball Township Student Party 1938
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Ball Township HS Trophy Case
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Ball Township HS Vocational Students
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Glenarm Ball Township HS Class of 1952
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