This page is still under construction, having additional information added to it as we uncover additional facts.
The Evolution of Female Inter-Scholastic Athletics at ELHS began in 1915.
From Keramos we have the following:
FOR the first time in the history of the school a girls' basket ball team was organized to represent the school in this line of athletic activities and as a result one of the best teams that will represent the school was formed. A most pleasing record was established, with nine victories and two defeats.
At the opening of the season several of the girls who had berths on the team had previously been members of the Y. W. C. A. teams. With this to work with Coach Mensforth succeeded in rounding out an exceptionally strong sextet.
It was thought at this time by many that the girls' team would not prove to be a self-sustaining sport, but instead it has proven to be a money-making proposition and will be continued in the future. This year's team was composed wholly of members of the Senior class, with the exception of two reserve players, and it will prove a task next year to duplicate the team of this season.
Too much credit cannot be bestowed upon the players, every one of them being responsible for the splendid showing. Miss Vorndran, right forward, was the greatest point-maker, while her able partner, Miss Harries, figured greatly in the under basket passwork; the centers, Miss Ankrim and Miss Mackall, proved themselves worthy of their place by clever guarding and passing; the Misses Judge and Huffman, guards, will be hard to duplicate, even though neither are large in stature.
Mentioning a word about the class league, we might say much interest was shown and a great amount of promising material will be found among those who have one or more years yet of high school life.
Finally, it could be stated, in short, that the girls' basket ball team was a new triumph and was equally as successful as the other athletic teams.
It is interesting to note that the first girls' basketball team at ELHS went 9-2 and some of the schools they played already had established girls' basketball teams. In addition they were the county champions that first year. Their modern era counterpart, the 1973-74 girls's basketball team went 9-1. That 9-1 was against schools that already had established teams. The girls in both those cases set the bar high for other girls to strive for. Webmaster.
Beginning in school year of 1915-16 and up until 1932, girls played intramural basketball at East Liverpool High School as well as inter-scholastic basketball.
That First Team, That first Year - 1915-1916
With the opening of the new high school, girls basketball was started in 1915-16. Arthur Mensforth was first coach, and in the first game ever, defeated Chester, 41-14.
The 1915-16 ELHS girls basketball team.
The basketball seems a bit bigger than that used today.
From The Evening Review, December 9, 1915
E.L.High Girls B.B. Schedule
December 17: Beaver or Chester (pending)
January 7: Steubenville At East Liverpool (pending)
January Lisbon at East Liverpool
January 28, Beaver at Chester (pending)
February 4, East Liverpool at Salem
February 11, Steubenville at Steubenville
February 18, open
March 3, East Liverpool at Lisbon
March 10, Salem at East Liverpool
March 17, East Liverpool at Beaver
However, we must pull a Paul Harvey here and tell you the "Rest of that story."
The Girls were scheduled to play Chester, December 17, 1915. That was to be their opening game, their first ever official varsity game.
We refer to The Eveing Review, December 6, 1915 for the following information:
GIRLS FLOOR GAME
The girls basketball team, representing the Chester high school, will play a practice game with the East Liverpool High school girls Friday evening on the local floor.
The Evening Review, December 11, 1915
Local Girls Win Game
The East Liverpool High School Girls' basket ball team easily defeated the Chester High Girls last night on the Chester court by the score of 41 to 14. The local team was handicapped by the absence of three regular players. Judging from the showing made last evening against the over-river team the local girls should have little trouble in downing the team of their sex in this vicinity. The line-up:
East Liverpool 41. Chester 14.
Miss Frederick F Miss Wells
Miss Torrence -------- C.-- Miss Stevenson
Miss Smith ------------ C ------- Miss Finley
Miss Huff --------------- G--------Miss Bourne
Miss Wallace.G.---------- Miss Johns
Officials-Miss Eunice Allison and Arthur Mensforth.
Girls Will Open Season Here Friday
The girls basketball team of the East Liverpool high school will play the first scheduled game of the season Friday night, when they meet the Chester girls five.
The two teams met in a practice session at Chester last week and the local girls completely outclassed them.
Two Days before the game was to be played this appeared in The Evening Review:
Girls Game Off
According to information received last evening by Miss Amelia Vorndran, manager of the high school girls basketball team, the game which was to be played Friday night at the local school with Chester was canceled. Chester gave as its reason for cancellation: they think their team was not in condition.
That was the rest of that story -- Webmaster.
From The Evening Review, December 29, 1915
High Girls Will Open Season Jan, 7
Miss Amelia Vorndran, manager of the girls basketball team of the East Liverpool high school announced last evening as she had secured for an attraction here on Friday night, January 7, the speedy Wellsburg, West Virginia, high girls quintet.
It will be the first game staged by the female tossers in this city and a record crowd will no doubt be on hand to witness the combat.
The local team will practice every evening next week in preparation for the contest. The regular lineup will be used.
The Brooke County team comes here highly recommended and have met and defeated in the last two years some of the best girls teams in Ohio and West Virginia.
The Evening Review, January 4, 1915
Girls Have a Hard Game
The members of the girls basketball team of East Liverpool high school are practicing hard for their game Friday night with the Wellsburg high girls in the local gymnasium.
The Brooke County team comes here highly recommended and have not lost a game so far this season. To date they have played the Claysville, Pennsylvania, and Wheeling, West Virginia girls teams
The local team will use their regular lineup. It will be the first home appearance of the high school girls and the first time in the history of the local high school that the girls have had a representative team.
The Evening Review, January 5, 1915
Girls Have a Good Game
Local basketball fans will be given their first opportunity of seeing in action a girls basketball team on Friday night when the East Liverpool high school girls team is scheduled to open their season with the speedy girls team of Wellsburg, West Virginia high school.
It will be the first game ever staged by a girls basketball team in this city and the first girls team that has ever represented the local high school. A record crowd is expected to witness the initial contest. Game called at 8:15.
The Evening Review, January 6, 1915
Girls Ready For the First Floor Game
All arrangements have been completed for the opening game of the East Liverpool high school girls basketball team when they meet the Wellsburg girls five Wellsburg high school tomorrow night in the high school gym.
The local team has been hard at practice this week and are confident of winning the opening encounter. Following are the tentative lineups for tomorrow night's game:
The Evening Review, January 7, 1915
High Girls Open Season Tonight
The girls basketball team of East Liverpool high school open their season this evening when they will meet the speedy girls quintet from the Wellsburg high school in the high school gym.
The locals will use their regular lineup. The Brooke County team has quite a reputation as won from many the downriver girls teams this season. A good preliminary between two of the class teams will precede the big game which will start promptly at 8:15.
We will cover the second game here and then move on as the games are recapped in the 1915-16 teams section on this site as well.
From The Evening Review, January 10, 1916
High Girls Will Play Lisbon 5
The manager of the girls basketball team of the East Liverpool high school has arranged to play Lisbon high girls quintet here Friday evening.
The County seat lasses have in former years made excellent records for themselves by defeating many of the leading teams of the state.
Judging from the interesting game staged here last Friday evening the crowd will be even larger at this weeks contest. The local girls deserve much credit for their remarkable progress at floor game considering that it is their first year at the sport.
From the Evening Review, January 12, 1916.
Local Girls Make Ready for Lisbon
The members of the East Liverpool high school girls basketball team are hard practice preparatory to their game Friday night in the local high school gymnasium.
The County seat high school as in past years been represented by first-class teams of this sex and this year will be no exception. A preliminary game between two girls class teams will precede the big game.
From The Evening Review, January 13, 1916.
High Girls Ready For Lisbon Game
The East Liverpool high school girls basketball team will hold final practice tonight in the high school gymnasium preparatory for their game tomorrow evening with a champion Lisbon girls quintet.
the County seat girls are coming here confident of winning. Should the local lasses display the same skill in the game with the Wellsburg girls, it is safe to say they will be easy winners.
Following are the tentative lineups for tomorrow night's game.
East Liverpool ------ Lisbon
Miss Vorndran ------ Miss Albright
Miss Harris ------- Miss Cope
Miss Torrence ----- Miss Rigby
Miss Ankrim ------------------
Miss Judge --------- Miss Hartman
Miss Huffman --------- Miss Bell
From The Evening Review, January 14, 1916
Girls Expect to Win From Lisbon
A real basketball game is on tap this evening when the East Liverpool high school girls team will clash with the Lisbon high girls quintet in the high school gymnasium.
This will be the second game of the season for both teams. Lisbon was defeated last week by the Salem girls in the local girls won from the Wellsburg lasses. The game will start promptly at eight o'clock.
In this time period the High School had a varsity Football team as well as frequently a boys varsity track, basketball and sometimes baseball team. Beginning with the start of the basketball season in December 1915 a Girls varsity basketball team as well.
Along with the above the High School classes, the Freshmen, Sophomore, Junior and Senior classes each had football and basketball teams. At the least the girls had class basketball teams which played among themselves. However, we did find in one occasion, at least, a report where the Junior class from East Liverpool played the Senior class from Chester in a game which the ELHS Junior class easily won. Two of the Chester players were from the Chester girls varsity team.
Many time these class games served as a game prior to the main varsity game such as the JV games in high School Basketball does today.
There appeared to be a high number of organizations that had football teams and basketball teams in East Liverpool, even instances of neighborhood football and basketball teams that played each other.
It appears that maybe the love affair with girls varsity basketball didn't continue throughout the entire first year. This is from the Keramos Vol.VII -- East Liverpool, Ohio, February 1916 No.4. "Lack of interest Lack of interest in the girls' games is felt by many "Hi" students especially the boys who think them slow, but this is due to the fact that they do not understand the fine points in a girls' game and the difference of durability between girls."
1917_Girls Basketball Team.
1918_Girls Basketball Team.
1930_Girls Varsity Basketball Team.
1932_Girls Varsity Basketball Team.
Ara Feldkamp is second from right, Middle Row. Thanks to Frank "Digger" Dawson for loan of the photo and for pointing out Ara in the photograph.
Mildred Johnson Sauerbrei, Class of 1933, was inducted into the East Liverpool High School Athletic Hall Of Fame, Saturday May 27, 1989. On Saturday, December 1, 1990 Kathryn Steffen Dearth, Class of 1930, was also inducted into the East Liverpool High School Athletic Hall Of Fame.
Courtesy of Frank Dawson from his book: Picking Elderberries "A Small Town Story."Kate Steffen was considered good enough to play nationally and, along with Johnson, was named to the ELHS Athletic Hall of Fame. Ara Feldkamp may have been overlooked for the honor since she was not a scorer in the days when the teams were divided, and three defensive players never crossed the centerline. She did, however, go on to become an excellent swimmer and scratch golfer after relocating in California.
On Tuesday, November 20, 1932, the officials of Chester, Wellsville and East Liverpool schools made an anticipated, but, nonetheless disappointing, joint announcement "(due to the) inability to complete (an) acceptable schedule." Girls basketball was to be discontinued, not to be resumed until nearly 40 years later.
CONTINUE TO THE MODERN ERA: The Evolution of Female Inter-Scholastic Athletics at ELHS 2