The naming of the Cardington-Lincoln High School baseball diamond “The Bill Clauss Field” is an additional honor to the school’s legacy.
In past years, people who have contributed to the school in different areas have been permanently remembered with the naming of, first the Dick Pace field at the Nichols Street School, the Patterson Gym (after Lowell Patterson) in the Nichols Street School, the Merle Fisher Football field at the high school, the (Gerald) Goodman Gym in the junior high school, the (Dr. Lowell) Murphy Gym and the (Pat) Drouhard Auditorium in the high school.
Referring to the gyms, sparks memories of the basketball games played on the gym floor in the Nichols Street School. That room is now the school library and the adjoining stage is a class room but from 1925, after it was constructed as part of the new school, it was the scene of countless
basketball games. My mother played on the girls’ team on that floor in 1926-29. One of the boys’ teams won the county championship in 1932-33 and two of those team members, Bob Osborn and LeRoyd Shaffer, were still talking about that win 75 years later. Both men are deceased but it was their team members and coach who chose the “Pirate” tag for the Cardington sports teams.
I was a spectator at games played in that gym during my school career and can remember the three levels of bleachers being packed for big games and people standing in the doorway and those in the hall could not see but could only get a play by play description from those in front of them. During my school career I watched teams coached by Dennis Bell that included Dewey Yake, Paul Bowman, Bill Maxwell (remember the shot Bill made at Edison that won us a big game), Louis Levering and Kent Curl, etc. Playing on that floor in later years was Don Kelley who went on to earn honors at Ohio State University in basketball and baseball.
I will never forget the tears that flowed when the CHS basketball team, comprised of several of my classmates, was defeated by Iberia in the county championship game played at Marion Veterans coliseum in 1950. We did go on to win the runner up game. Funny, how those things stick with you no matter what life throws at you in later years.
What is now the Dick Pace field was the site of high school baseball games played there until the current high school was built in 1968. Football games were played on the field behind the Pace field. Cardington always fielded winning baseball teams and that was proven in 1979 when Coach Bill Clauss led the team to the Class A state championship. The town celebrated in a huge way.
Later, I attended games played in the Patterson Gym and after 1968, in the (first) Murphy Gym that is now the Drouhard auditorium. Today, games are played in the new Murphy Gym with loyal fans always in attendance.
We followed football games played on the Fisher Field and track and field events are played on the beautiful track infield.
Our school will continue to develop outstanding athletes – and I know they will be remembered and honored for many years to come.