Stuver serves as Grand Marshal
Sitting down with the Grand Marshal
I was honored to have an interview with Mr. Cecil “Hop” Stuver regarding his life history and his involvement with Chillicothe High School (CHS) athletics. The Student Council chose Stuver as the 2021 Homecoming Grand Marshal, and the title is well deserved. He is an outstanding example of what it means to be a committed member of the Chillicothe community, and he takes great pride in his work with the chain gang.
Stuver has a fascinating history, most of which took place in our very own Chillicothe although he was actually born in Minnesota. He moved around several times in his elementary school career, before finally arriving in Chillicothe in the 5th grade. He really enjoyed school and his favorite class was English, because it taught you how to communicate with others. Miss Virginia Wall was his English teacher, and he shared many fond memories of her with me. He was a football player in high school, playing during his freshman, sophomore and senior seasons. In his junior year, he was unable to play because he had to work to earn money. When he went back to football his senior year, he focused on the defensive side as an inside linebacker. He was known for being an outstanding tackler due to his determination. His senior year finished out with a 7-2 record.
Chicago was calling Stuver’s name once he graduated from CHS in 1955. He went to work on the railroad so that he could make a living. The railroad paid a $1.85 an hour, and the new member had to cook for the rest of the crew. The dishes weren’t worth it to Stuver, so he returned to Chillicothe after only a year. His hope was that he might have a family. He worked at the dairy for several years before working for the Donaldson Company until his retirement in 2000. During that time, he was an extremely involved member of the Chillicothe community.
Stuver primarily supported the community through his support of athletics. For many years he coached baseball in our community. In 1976, he joined the football chain gang after Larry Dayton retired. He has now been involved in the chain gang (moving the ten-yard chains to determine first down) for 45 years, with hopes to do it for 20 more. It is of utmost importance to the chain gang that they do not miss a single game, and Stuver assures that none of the current members have ever missed. The chain gang takes their job very seriously and only wishes to show their support for the Hornets. Stuver shows his support for athletes in other ways as well. He has made it his personal mission to collect sports equipment, which he then donates for student-athletes. He also regularly watches other Hornet sports.
Stuver is extremely proud of the administration, teachers, and students of the Chillicothe community. He has witnessed a sense of pride in the students that shows in everything they do, whether that be sports competitions, band concerts, or drama performances. “The kids in this community are outstanding,” Stuver said. “Win or lose, they are going to fight right until the end.”