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Harry Davis
The Centralia Sports Hall of Fame
2010 Veteran Award Winner


 

  It was just before 2 pm, on the cool and clear afternoon of April 25, 1914 when Centralia Track Coach Floyd Stables saw his gamble begin to pay off.  He had named Junior transfer student Harry Davis team captain, and even allowed the CTHS Junior to act as Assistant Coach of the squad.  In just a few moments the coach would know if his star athlete was a real leader.

  A hush fell over the spectators, athletes and coaches from 15 schools who had assembled at Harrisburg’s White City Park as Davis, wearing number 44 on his white with red CTHS singlet, strode onto the track for the 50-yard dash final. At the crack of the gun, Davis dug furiously down the dirt straightaway and very nearly nipped the winner Parrish of Harrisburg, who tied the Illinois interscholastic record for the event at 5 2/5 seconds.  Centralia was on the board with its first 3 points of the afternoon. It was the last time all day Davis would finish second.

  Forty minutes later Harry won the 100-yard dash in 10 2/5 seconds.  In just 20 more minutes, he tied Cuthbertson of Harrisburg with a 25 flat in the 220. As the sun dipped toward the horizon, the CTHS captain blazed down the runway and launched himself toward the sandpit to win the long (broad) jump with a 20'10" mark.

  His 17 points in 4 events won Davis a handsome gold plaque as individual champion of the meet...a distinction previously almost always won by field men. Centralia took second on the day with 21 points.

  At Carbondale, on May 27, Davis was the outstanding individual again, setting 2 new Southern Illinois marks.  He took the 220 in 23 3/5 seconds, the long jump with a leap of 21'3" and also won the 100-yard dash.  Although Centralia was again second to Harrisburg (22-32), the school's Intellectual team placed first. The telegraphic report of the day’s fine work by Centralia’s track and scholastic squads was posted on the front window for curious crowds of passers-by to marvel at.

  On May 16th, at Champaign, Centralia Township High School placed third at the state track and field meet.  All of Centralia's 14 points were scored by Harry Davis.  He won the 100-yard dash in a time of 10.5 and placed second in the 50-yard dash, 220-yard dash, and the long jump.

  In 1915 Davis finished third in the 100-yard dash at the state meet. He also set a school record in the 220 at 22.1. This record stood until 1987.


 

 

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