The Beginning of Ranger Football

1916 Benton Rangers

1915 & 1916

The first Ranger Football team in Benton (Township) High School history was in the fall of 1915 and was coached by W.E. Griffin.  The 1915 team played three games that fall and finished with a 1-2 record.  The following year, in the fall of 1916, Coach Griffin once again took the helm of the Rangers and led them to a 3-2 season...the first winning season in Ranger Football history.  That 1916 season was highlighted by a 56-0 win over soon to become arch rival West Frankfort and a 6-0 Thanksgiving Day win over Marion. 

1916 Roster:

Newton Alvis (Left End)                John Hemphill (Left Tackle)

Clifton Hill (Right Guard)               Frank Quillman (Center)

Leslie Mundell (Right Tackle)       Arthur Adams (Right End)

King Quillman (Right Guard)        Thoma Dillon (Left Guard)

Tim Cantrell (Full Back)                Burleigh Seymour (Quarterback)

John Aiken (Left End)                   Lorain Meads (Right End)

                           William Sauther (Manager)

1917 Benton Rangers

1917 Championship of

Southern Illinois Plaque


The 1917 season proved to be one of the most successful football teams in Benton High School history.  In only the third season having a football team at Benton Township High School, the 1917 team went undefeated...winning the Championship of Southern Illinois.  The defense was extremely strong, only allowing one touchdown over the course of the entire season.  B. Floyd Smith took over the reigns as head coach for that 1917 season and Harry Moses was his assistant coach, leading the team to a perfect 11-0 record.

1917 Roster:

Pyles (Right End)                              Mundell (Right Tackle)

Seeber (Right Guard) *                     Johnson (Center) *

Hill (Left Guard)                                 Dillon (Left Tackle) *

Hemphill (Left End) *                         Quillman (Left Half Back)

Martin (Right Half Back) *                  Eskew (Full Back) *

                              Adams (Quarterback)            

                     (*=All Southern Team Selection)

1917 Schedule:

Sept 22     Benton 51.....Sesser 0

Sept 29     Harrisburg (Forfeit)

Oct 6         Benton 7.....Vienna 0

Oct 13       Murphysboro 7.....Benton 23

Oct 27       Harrisburg (Forfeit)

Nov 5        Benton 71.....Eldorado 0

Nov 10      Eldorado (Forfeit)

Nov 10      Sesser 0.....Benton 51

Nov 29      Vienna (Forfeit)

Nov 29      East St Louis 0.....Benton 13

Nov 30      Carbondale University High (Forfeit)