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Dearrel Bates

If you're thinking Davenport Central's losing streak might be a state or national mark, think again. Records of that type, however, are difficult to track down.

The National Federation of High School Associations' record book doesn't list negative records. It hasn't in a number of years.

The Illinois High School Association has 68 consecutive losses by Rockford Auburn, ending in 1999, listed as its longest losing streak by a girls basketball team. Officials at the IHSA say schools are reluctant to give them negative records, and they don't press the issue. So that might or might not be Illinois' record.

Mike Henderson, information director of the Iowa Girls High School Athletic Union, no longer keeps statistics of that variety. But he recalled Lineville-Clio High School, located in Wayne County in southern Iowa near the Missouri border, having a streak that exceeded 100.

"I'm not sure what the streak was, and I was the coach,'' said Sally Johnson, now the principal at Lineville-Clio, the smallest public school in the state, with 95 students in kindergarten through 12th grade. "The streak was going when I became the girls coach during the 1977-78 school year.

"There was always discussion about how many losses in a row the streak was because we played some other schools' junior varsity teams, and should those count as losses. In addition, we played 6-on-6 games against Iowa teams and 5-on-5 against some Missouri teams before Iowa made the switch to 5-on-5.

"Some people said the streak was 130-to-140 games, but I'm not sure. I do know we ended it by beating Grand Valley in 1981, and there was a big celebration when it happened. People even brought in copies of articles on the losing streak, and we burned them. The following season our girls team was in the sectional final.''

Lineville-Clio's athletic director and boys basketball coach Mike Snyder said 11 of the 18 girls currently enrolled at the high school are on the team this season. He remembers when the girls team was going through the long losing streak, because he was there in junior high at the time.

"I remember one of the games the team lost was like 115-3 to Diagonal, because I took a pep bus there for the girls-boys doubleheader,'' Snyder said. "I was in high school when the losing streak ended, and it was a pretty big deal at the time. But I'm not sure, nor is anybody for sure, how many games it was.''

Retired Wheeling (W.Va.) Intelligence newspaper sports editor Doug Huff is the unofficial expert on national high school records. He writes for the monthly "Student Sports Magazine'' and helps maintain a Web site, www.studentsports.com.

"Unofficially, articles I have credit Williford (Ark.) High School with the longest girls losing streak — 129 games from 1995 to December of 1999,'' Huff said. "There are a number of schools who have lost over 100 straight. By the way, the boys high school unofficial streak is 138 by Friendsville (Tenn.) High School from 1967-1973.''

Dearrel Bates can be contacted at (563) 383-2277 or dbates@qctimes.com.

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