WWII affects spring sports


SPRING, 1942

The impact of World War II on the area high school sports scene prompted this May edition of the Call. “Will Old Man Mars temporarily ‘sideline sports competition for the seven Miami Valley League schools, namely Piqua Central, Troy, Sidney, Greenville, Dayton Fairmont Xenia and Miamisburg? That’s a problem that must be faced by M.V.L. officials before many more months roll around. Rationing of tires and tubes by federal authorities as one of the most important means of diverting those needed items to the military forces for ‘all-out’ to whip the Axis brings this angle to light. Major bus companies, according to a reliable source, have indicated that they will not accept contracts for furnish chartered buses to transport school athletic teams, indicating that attempts will be made to fill previously signed contracts which however may yet be canceled. Hence, transporting schoolboy athletes to and from the athletic fields and floors of the seven Miami Valley League schools for games carded during the 1942-43 school year has most of the Miami Valley League athletic officials puzzled. Of course, appeals to enthusiastic hometown fans in each instance might furnish the required number of private autos to solve the problem, but then again, there’s always the fact that by next fall, gasoline and oil may join tires and tubes as items on the rationing list as far as travel is concerned.”

“There’s two angles against trying to work out the transportation puzzle by turning to the railroad. First, Uncle Sam wants those lines busy hauling war materials and does not encourage such travel; Secondly, connections by train to and from the various cities where MVL schools are located are none-too convenient and would require school officials in some instances to dismiss athletes from classes during regular hours to make those trips. And that’s an action that, logically contrary to the purpose of operating public schools. Locally, the transportation problem is being studied by Central High athletic bosses with no solution other than the tentative hope that private cars may be secured to haul players next fall and winter. In some school districts, school buses have been used to transport school’s teams for various athletic contests. However, according to federal regulations on tires and tubes, such vehicles cannot be certified by ration boards for new tires and tubes, at least in Ohio, though in some states, a more liberal interpretation has been handed out, permitting use of school buses for transportation of school athletic squads. As far as the writer has been able to learn, the league schools haven’t as yet taken any concerted action on the problem, perhaps preferring to matter to lie dormant until next September, when they can face the actual facts governing conditions.”

“It may be that Miami Valley League will call off all ‘hostilities’ until after the war. If such be the case, each of the MVL schools will likely work out new schedules, playing teams literally in their own backyards and reducing the number of athletic contests. In addition, they may book games with schools in cities where railroad transportation can readily be effected and connections made that do not conflict with regular school hours.”


“Victims of an 8-0 shutout administered by the Newton township high school team Monday, the Central High baseball team gets ready for the next week of the season. Monday, the Indians couldn’t combine base hits with men on bases and were limited to three hits, all singles while leaving 11 runners stranded. Meanwhile the visitors collected 11 safeties including three doubles, having but four runners left on base. Christian went the route for the winners, while Howdy Reed, young Indian southpaw whiffed eight and issued but two bases on balls. Rallies in the sixth and seventh innings, producing respectively four and two runs for the visiting Elizabeth township nine, spelled defeat for the Central High baseball team Tuesday afternoon at American Legion Field, the invaders grabbing a 9-4 decision.”

“The Central High Indians are hunting their initial 1942 baseball victory, having bowed to the Greenville High nine at Greenville Thursday, 9-4. Coach Clint Gattshall called on young Johnny Swallow as the Indians starting hurler Thursday but the latter had to be yanked in the third, with Howdy Reed going to the hill in the third. However, Reed ran into trouble later with Bill Cantwill working the final two frames. For the second time within a week, the Central High Indians were victims of the Greenville High baseball team, dropping a 14-6 decision to the Green Wave at American Legion Field here Wednesday. The visitors grabbed a 3-0 edge in the first frame and were never in serious trouble, the combination of 11 hits off Cantwell plus an even dozen errors by the Indians setting up the Greenville margin of victory.”

“Joy reigns in the Central High baseball camp today for the Tribe snapped its losing streak which has lasted since the season opened by defeating West Milton Friday afternoon 7-2 at American Legion Field. It was Piqua’s first victory of the season, having lost four. The Tribe sewed up the contest with rallies in the second, third and fourth frames while the visitors tallies came in the fourth and fifth rounds. A costly bobble with two out in the first inning opened the gate for a five run rally by Greenville that spelled defeat for the Central High Indians in a first round game of the 1942 Miami Valley League tourney at Greenville Tuesday, the Tribe losing 13-11. Competition in the Southwestern Ohio district high school baseball tourney starts Thursday at Dayton with 11 teams in the Class A division and 12 squads in the ‘B’ section. Miamisburg is defending champion, while Piqua, runnerup for the crown a year ago is not entered.”

“Hammering two Pleasant Hill pitchers for 21 hits, the Piqua Central Indians trounced the Newton township nine at Pleasant Hill 23-7 Tuesday to avenge an earlier season defeat. The Tribe tallied six runs in the first inning and were never headed with Johnny Swallow and ‘Howdy’ Reed keeping the Newton batters under control all the way. With ‘Howdy’ Reed, young Indian southpaw limiting the Elizabeth Bearcats to a pair of singles, the Central High Indians whitewashed the Elizabeth township baseball team 6-0 at Elizabeth Tuesday afternoon thereby avenging a 9 to 4 loss in the second game of the season. After spotting the Lena-Conover Pioneers three runs in the first inning, the Central High Indians rallied for two tallies in the second and two more in the third to clinch a 9-5 decision over the eastern county team in a schoolboy baseball game at American Legion Field Tuesday. Johnny Swallow went the route for the Indians.”

“Combining timely hitting with eight walks and one error, the Central High Indians defeated Dayton Roosevelt in a schoolboy baseball game at American Legion Field here Monday afternoon 8-7, A five run out-burst in the third frame plus additional markers in the fourth and sixth frames provided the Gattshall-coached Redskins with their margin of victory. With Johnny Swallow hurling three-hit ball, the Central High Indians registered their seventh victory in 12 games this season by walloping Tipp City’s Red Devils 13-0 in a five inning contest Thursday most pleasing fashion as yesterday’s contest completed the Red and Blue schedule.”


“The Central High track squad dropped a 74 1/3 to 43 2/3 decision to the Lima Central outfit in a dual meet at Roosevelt Park here Tuesday afternoon, the upstaters taking seven firsts and the half-mile relay along with eight seconds to dominate the competition. Bill Mills, Indian distance runner, grabbed two of Piqua’s firsts, winning both the mile and half-mile events while Ash won the 100 yard dash and the Tribe mile relay quartet of Lenox, Deubner, Knight and Bowles copped that race. That Greenville High again dominate the Miami Valley high school track and field meet appeared rather certain today as the Green Wave swamped Piqua Central and Troy High in a triangular meet here Friday afternoon scoring 101 points to Piqua’s 26 and Troy’s 21.”

“The Central High track team scored 33 ½ points in yesterday’s triangular meet with Sidney and Lima Central at Sidney but wound up third as the Lima squad won top honors with 74 ½ points while Sidney registered 42 points. Piqua’s lone first in Friday’s meet at Sidney was scored by Bill Mills, who won the mile run while Dick Kell ran second in both the 120 high hurdles and 100 yard dash. A ray of sunshine hit the otherwise not-too-bright camp of the Central High track squad Tuesday evening when the Redskins chalked up a well-earned 67 ½ to 50 ½ decision over their old rival, Troy High at Roosevelt Park in a dual meet. The victory, particularly pleasing since it came at the expense of the Trojans, was the first of the season for the Red and Blue thinly clads coached by Herb Gavin, now in his first season as track mentor for his Alma Mater.”

“One of the surprises of the 1942 Miami Valley League track meet which ran according to advance dope with Greenville out-distancing the field at Greenville was the showing of the Piqua Indians finishing third behind the champion Green Wave squad and the runnerup, Xenia. .Piqua set two records in the Lima South High Invitational meet and placed third in that competition. Bowles, sophomore quarter miler of the Indians set the first marker, clipping four-tenths of a second off the field record at Lima, as he sped around the oval in 54.2 seconds. The Indian 880 yard relay team headed the field by covering the distance in 1 minute and 38 seconds, sixteenths of a second better than the mark turned in by Bellefontaine last year.”

“Capturing seven firsts, tying for another and sweeping both relays, the Central High track squad defeated Sidney High in a dual meet at Roosevelt Park here Tuesday afternoon 61-57. Superior ability in the running events spelled victory for Coach Herb Gavin’s lads as they won major laurels in six of the seven running events not including the two relays. The Piqua summary – 120 high hurdles – First place, Kell; 100 year dash – first place, Ash; mile run – first place – Mills; 800 yard relay – first place – Ash, Prince, Deubner, Kell; 440 yard dash – first place – Bowles; 220 yard dash – first place – Ash; mile relay – first place – Bowles, Deubner,

Shoe, Lenox; broad jump – first place – Ash.”

“The Central High track squad registered its second victory in a dual meet within three days by trouncing the Fairmont Dragons at Dayton Thursday afternoon, 71 to 46. The Tribe won seven firsts and the mile relay, adding second places and five thirds for their 71 point total. Coach Herb Gavin will take seven members of the squad to Springfield for the Southwestern Ohio high school district meet on Saturday. The Piqua lads will include Bill Deubner, Dick Lenox, Alden Bowles, Ted Shoe, Charles Kell, Dick Prince and Gene Ash.”


“The tennis team lost to Sidney and Troy at Miamisburg last Saturday in a tournament match. The boys playing were Dick Reed, Victor Geiger, and Jack Madison. Piqua’s golf team won fourth place in the Miami Valley League tournament at Miamisburg on the same day. The boys playing were Joe Boney, Stutson Smith, Bill Cruse and Paul York.:

Ending the 1941-42 School Year

When the 1942-43 term of Piqua Central High opens next September, there’ll be a number of familiar sports figures missing and one in particular has been something more than prominent for the past four years. For heading the array of athletic talent included among the 127 members of the class of 1942 receiving their sheepskins last night was Richard ‘Dick’ Sword, winner of 12 varsity letters in his four years at Central High. Dick not only starred in football, basketball and baseball, but also was that rare combination of an outstanding athlete and an excellent student, being a member of the National Honor Society. Let’s not forget the other athletes graduating this year —-Dick Pearson, George ‘Tubby’ Wilson, Emery Hole, Bobby Stone, Billy Mills, Bill Hetherington, Dick Lenox, Ted Shoe and Dick Bianco.

Duane Bachman
https://www.dailycall.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/30/2015/09/web1_bachmanmug1.jpgDuane Bachman