The 1921-22 Watseka boys basketball team will be one of the honorees for the 2019 Watseka High School Athletic Inspiration Award.
The 1921-22 team finished the season with a 27-2 record, reaching the Final Four of the 1922 Illinois state tournament. After the season, the team received an invitation to Amos Alonzo Stagg’s Interscholastic Invitational Tournament at the University of Chicago. They won their first game of the national tournament, defeating Greely, Colo., by the score of 30-22. The Warriors’ season ended the next night when lost 35-19 to Mt. Vernon, Ohio.
The only other team that defeated the Warriors was Peoria High, 22-18, in overtime in the postseason tournament. The Warriors were coached by H. R. Gerhardt and claimed two championship titles during the season: the Iroquois County Invitational against Wellington (28-24) and the IHSA state tournament district against East Lynn (39-13).
David Mitchell, of San Francisco, and a 1975 graduate of Watseka High School, has done research on the team. News media accounts described the team as a “rough, rugged bunch of youngsters with exceptional ability and possessing the classiest basket-tossers ever assembled in the eastern part of the state — all have played together four years.”
One of the forwards, Morris, weighed more than 190 pounds. The center, Pat Pasmus, stood 6-foot-3 and weighed 210. Other regulars included forward Casey, and guards Brown and Vennum. Other players on the roster were Warren, Salkeld, Hitchcock, Brockway and Roberts. (First names of all players could not be found.)
Watseka High School Athletic Director Barry Bauer is asking for additional information about this team from the community, relatives or anyone who might have information about the team. The school also is trying to find any photos of the team and first names of the players because the newspaper articles they have only list last names.
Any additional information can be emailed to the Bauer at firstname.lastname@example.org.