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  • Writer's pictureLawrence Lore

Sumner High School Basketball

According to a 1962 Yearbook, the Sumner High School sports teams known as the Arabs, received their name in 1910. In that year Sumner was only a three- year high school, but they had a basketball team. They were in no conference but rather played teams in Southern Illinois and Indiana. Because this part of Illinois was called “Little Egypt” and because the team roamed Little Egypt playing different teams, they became known as the Arabs because of the similarity between their nomadic team and the Arab tribes that roamed the deserts of Egypt.

1911 SHS Arabs Basketball Team

1911 SHS Cheerleaders

In 1911 the Arabs were the undisputed champions of the Southeastern Illinois, winning 17 of 18 ballgames, the loss being to St. Francisville in one of the four games with the Saints that year. They also played 8 games in Indiana winning 2 of them. Considering that there were 6 boys on the team and only 11 boys in the high school, this is quite an accomplishment. The next memorable Arab team was the Arabs of ’27. The team won the District and kept winning until they were defeated by a tough East St Louis team.

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