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They played for BHS 110 and 111 season ago


Bluffton High School boys' basketball team of 1910-11 • Check the bottom of the story for the 1911-12 team photo. (Thanks for Mary Ann Moser for providing these photos)

Click here to view the team photos from 1915-16. And, many of these players were on the baseball team in 1910-11. Click here to view the baseball team photo.


Meet the Bluffton High School boys’ basketball team from 110 and 111 seasons ago.


They were not yet the Pirates, but we believe they wore red and white, based upon what the girls’ teams during the era wore.


Although we lack the names of most of the players, we have some identifications, which we will explain here:


The 1910-11 team includes Rene Studler as a sophomore (standing, second from left). He is also on the 1911-12 team as a junior, (seated, center row, left).


Harley Spangler, another sophomore on the ’10-11 team is on the front row, far left. In the 11-12 team photo, as a junior, he is on the front row, far right.


A third player, not identified, but on both teams, is the player on the back row, left side of both photos.


The coach of both teams is unknown; however, he is in a photograph of the 1906-07 Bluffton HS boys’ basketball team as a player. He is also in a member of a 1910 Bluffton community football team named the Bluffton Warriors.


Basketball games were played in the 1911 building in what was later the band room.


The team had one ball. Ralph Patterson, a Bluffton HS athlete during this era said in an interview that he didn’t recall any boy in the whole town of Bluffton who owned a basketball.


We understand that at this time there were no limitations on the number of fouls a player could have. And, with a jump ball taking place after each point was scored, you might understand while some of the games were low scoring.


And, you would also understand the importance of a tall player able to work the jump balls.


Players traveled to games that were close to Bluffton via team of horses hitched to a “sample wagon.” For games at a distance the team traveled by trains and interurbans.


As we indicated, we don’t know the names of all the players in the photos, however we do have the names of Bluffton High School graduates in the classes involved in these photos. The possibilities of team members follow:


1913 grads

Harley Spangler

Harry Hall

Harvey Steiner

Walter Gratz

Emmet Gratz

Hiram Althaus

Rene Studler

Raymond Stauffer

Paul Ewing

Calvin Fett


1912 grads

Herbert Marshall

Felix Cunningham

George Woods

Lawrence Huber

Andrew Stauffer



1911 grads

Earl Heckathorn

Albert Bixler

Levi Gratz

Thomas Matter

Walter Klay

Milton Steiner

Ralph West



BHS boys' basketball team of 1911-12

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