Alexis High School “Cardinals”

Alexis High School
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Alexis, Illinois
The History of the Alexis Cardinals

Front Entrance
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Alexis High School

Alexis (population 863) is a town of about 850 residents situated 12 miles north east of Monmouth, 3 miles east of Route 67. According to “Ripley’s Believe It or Not”, Alexis is the only town in the United States sitting in two different counties, Mercer and Warren, and four different townships.

The town was settled in 1870 and first named Alexander after J.E. Alexander who platted the town. The name Alexis was chosen after learning of another Alexander, Illinois and so a unique name Alexis was chosen.  This time the town was named after Grand Duke Alexis, the heir to the Russian throne. Alexis was in the area hunting buffalo and with his consent, Alexis, Illinois was born.

Alexis High School was likely established in the late 1800s and survived through the 20th century. The school district was deactivated in 2004. Alexis and Monmouth Warren consolidated to form United High School beginning the 2004-2005 school year.

Alexis High School Memorial 2013
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Photo by Owen Pulver

The Alexis High School building was utilized as the north campus of the United Consolidated School District, housing pre-school through the sixth grade for several years. The school was eventually razed in approximately 2010. A memorial to the building now stands in front of the former gymnasium (see photo to the right). The gymnasium is utilized as a community center.

Alexis High School Quick Facts

Year School opened:             late 1800s(?)

Year School deactivated:       2004

Consolidated to:                    United School District (Monmouth)

School nickname:                 the “Cardinals”

School Colors:                      Red & White

School Fight Song:              “On Alexis”

                                          Sung to “On Wisconsin” tune          

Alexis Cardinal Scoreboard
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Alexis HS John Elder Football Field

Athletics

The Cardinals athletics teams were very competitive through their history, most notably on the grid iron.  Girls basketball and volleyball also had success at the end of the 90’s. Alexis played in the Lincoln Trail Conference from the 1970s on.

If you have any further information you would like to see added to this page please do not hesitate to contact us via the means listed at the bottom of this page.

Alexis HS Football Team 1923 – Conference Champs
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Submitted by Mike Edwards

Football

The Alexis football tradition is rich making several trips to the post season.  The biggest success story for the Cardinals was a trip to the 2A State Championship game the first year the current state playoff structure was formed.  The Cardinals finished 2nd that year with an 11-2 overall record.  To get to that game, it took a double overtime thriller to defeat Sherrard.  Illinois Coaches Hall of Fame member John Elder coached that team, among his 28 seasons as the head man in Alexis.  Elder also coached track and basketball at times throughout his time in Alexis.

Regarding the photo above and to your right which was submitted by Mike Edwards, this is the Alexis Cardinal grid iron warriors of 1923. The names of the players were provided to us by Tammie Houston and Jackie Nelson.  They are as follows:

First Row, L to R:  Berle Stover, Joe Burns, Kenneth Bellinger, W. Hall, Gale Brown, Coach Clark

Back Row, L to R: Noha McFarline, Don Bellinger, Carl Thompson, Bill Allen, Charles Metzner, ? Edwards, Leonard Criswell, Bill Page, Proffessor Jones, John Beal, Harold Pittard 

As the sign in the front of the team proclaims, this group won the conference championship that year. The Cardinals beat Keithsburg (107 – 0!), Monmouth, East Moline, Cuba, Knoxville, Industry, Aledo, and Colchester before falling to Dallas City in the season finale. This is proof positive that the Alexis football tradition extends deep into the school’s history.

Tradition also extends deep into the Edwards family.  Mike’s grandfather, Richard William Edwards, is pictured in the photo standing in the second row directly above the “Champions” sign. Mike’s father, Richard Edwards, was also named Captain and starred on Cardinal team of 1943. Mike would later suit up for the Yorkwood Golden Bears in the late 1960s. If you know any of the other players pictured on the 1923 team photo let us know so we can properly identify them.

Listed below are the more successful seasons on the field at Alexis.

1923     8-1       Conference Champions                           Coach Clark

1943                                                                                 Coach Francis Reed

1953     5-3-1                                                                     Coach Wayne Strum

1974   11-2   IHSA CLASS 2A STATE RUNNER-UP             Coach John Elder

                   Beat ROVA 21 – 0

                   Beat Stillman Valley 7 – 0

                   Beat Sherrard 10 – 9 (2 O/Ts)

                   Championship Game

                   Lost to Decatur St. Theresa 15 – 6  

1977   10-2   IHSA Class 1A Final 4 Finalist!                      Coach John Elder

                   (Lincoln Trail Conference Champs)

                   Beat Tremont 12 – 7

                   Beat Sterling Newman Catholic 15 – 14

                   Lost to Stockton 14 – 0 (Stockton placed second)

1979   9-2    Class 1A Elite 8 Finalist!                                Coach John Elder

                   (Lincoln Trail Conference Champs)

                   Beat Walnut 28 – 6

                   Lost to Hampshire 32 – 14 (Hampshire State Champs)

1980   9-1    IHSA Class 1A Qualifier                                 Coach John Elder

                  (Lincoln Trail Conference Champs)

                  Lost to Roseville 20 – 16

1981   9-1    IHSA Class 1A Qualifier                                 Coach John Elder

                  (Lincon Trail Conference Champs)

                  Lost to Tiskilwa 40 – 22

1983   7-3    IHSA Class 1A Qualifier                                 Coach John Elder

                  (Lincoln Trail Conference Champs)

                  Lost to Walnut 27 – 3

1988   7-3    IHSA Class 1A Elite 8 Finalist!                       Coach John Elder

                  Beat Monmouth Warren 13 – 0

                  Beat Annawan 9 – 0

                  Lost to Carthage 9 – 7 (Carthage finished 2nd)

1989   9-1    IHSA Class 1A Elite 8 Finalist!                       Coach John Elder

                   (Lincoln Trail Conference Champs)

                   Beat Bradford 28 – 0

                   Beat Westmer 12 – 10

                   Lost to Sciota NW 7 – 0

1990   8-2    IHSA Class 1A Sweet Sixteen!                      Coach John Elder

                   (Lincoln Trail Conference Co-Champs)

                   Beat Avon 28 – 6

                   Lost to Monmouth Warren 28 – 6

1999   8-2    IHSA Class 1A Qualifier                                Coach Job Lindbloom

                  (Lincoln Trail Conference East Champs)

                  Lost to Dakota 13 – 6 (Dakota lost in semi-finals) 

The Cardinals won their final game as the Alexis Cardinals 34-10 over Galva.

Alexis Cardinal Team Records

Rushing Yards/Season               (3298)   1979

Rushing Yards/Game                 (429)     1981 vs. Winola

Passing Yards/Season               (1054)   1999

Passing Yards/Game                 (189)     2000 vs. Monmouth Warren

Alexis Cardinal Individual Records

Rushing Yards/Season              (1306)    1999  Eric Humes

Rushing Yards/Game                (255)      2000  Tyler Yarde vs. Alwood

Tackles/Game                          (24)        2001  Jimmy Lawson vs. Annawan

Yards off Kickoff Returns           (143)      1988  Ryan Brown vs. Carthage

Alexis had a long running rivalry with the Aledo Green Dragons known as “The Old Shoe Rivalry”.  The series ran from 1915 to 1989, with the winner claiming host the “old shoe” for the year.  The “old shoe” retired as a Cardinal, with Alexis winning the final meeting 35-0.  Aledo won the series 34-28-3.

To view more excellent information on Alexis High School Football please take a look at the web address of www.geocities.com/umhur .  Truly a thorough look at the major records in Cardinal Football history. A majority of the records listed are in turn listed below:

STATS

Rushing Yards in a Season

1,306  Eric Humes  1999

1,008  Tyler Yarde 2001

Rushing Yards in a Game

255  Tyler Yarde vs. Alwood   2000

238  Eric Humes vs. Princeville 1999

224  Tyler Yarde vs. Union  2000

216  Jerry Henderson vs. Toulon 1986

Rushing Touchdowns in a Season

20  John Tucker  1979

19  Eric Humes  1999

Rushing Touchdowns in a Game

5   Eric Humes vs. Princeville 1999

5   Tyler Yarde vs. Alwood  2000

5   Ben Corben vs. Galva  2000

Longest Runs From Scrimmage

97 yards  Eric Humes vs. Wethersfield 1999

89 yards  Eric Humes vs. Princeville  1999

86 yards  Dan Patterson vs. ROVA  1985

76 yards  Jerry Henderson vs. Toulon 1986

76 yards  Tyler Nelson vs. Galva 2001

74 yards  Jimmy Lawson vs. Annawan 1999

70 yards  Tyler Yarde vs. Alwood 2000

70 yards  Tyler Yarde vs. Union 2000

PASSING

Most Passing Yards in a Season

1,054  Ryan Peterson  1999

988  Graham Johnson 2001

776  Gary Swanson   1981

691  Graham Johnson 2000

682  Gary Goodman   1979

Passing Yards in a Game

198  Graham Johnson vs. Galva 2001

189  Graham Johnson vs. Warren 2000

188  Graham Johnson vs. Cambridge 2001

172  Graham Johnson vs. Alwood 2001

169  Ryan Peterson vs. Wethersfield 1999

Touchdown Passes in a Season

12  Gary Goodman   1979

11  Graham Johnson 2001

11  Gary Swanson   1981

10  Ryan Peterson  1999

Touchdown Passes in a Game

3  Ryan Peterson vs. Alwood 1999

3  Darrin Frye vs. ROVA 1983

Longest Touchdown Pass

92 yards Swanson to Donn Sperry vs. ROVA 1981

91 yards Swanson to Brian Nall vs. Aledo 1982

83 yards Frye to Brian Nall vs. Winola 1983

79 yards Peterson to Eric Humes vs. Wethersfield 1999

78 yards G.Johnson to Scott Swiler vs. Annawan 2001

77 yards McGuire to Brian Nall vs. Toulon 1984

69 yards Lindley to Dave Cook vs. Winola 1985

65 yards Swanson to Donn Sperry vs. Alwood 1981

62 yards Swanson to Brian Nall vs. Winola 1982

Completion % in a Season

48.5% Graham Johnson  2000

41.7% Ryan Peterson 1999

RECEIVING

Receiving Yards in a Season

466  Scott Swiler 2001

434  Kyle Flowers 2000

344  Tyler Yarde  1999

Receiving Yards in a Game

140  Grant Gilliland vs. Warren 2000

119  Scott Swiler vs. Cambridge 2001

116  Scott Swiler vs. Annawan 2001

96  Tyler Yarde vs. Alwood 1999

94  Scott Swiler vs. Alwood 2001

89  Kyle Flowers vs. Galva 2000

Touchdown Receptions in a Season

7  Donn Sperry   1981

5  Brian Nall    1983

4  Donn Sperry   1980

4  Scott Swiler  2001

3  Derek Clayton 1999

3  Kyle Flowers  2000

Receptions in a Season

27  Kyle Flowers 2000

27  Scott Swiler 2001

23  Ben Corben 2000

18  Jimmy Lawson 2001

16  Kyle Flowers 1999

16  Tyler Yarde 1999

Receptions in a Game

10  Scott Swiler vs. Cambridge 2001

TOTAL OFFENSE

Total Offense in a Season

1,412 yards(1,306 rushing + 106 receiving) Eric Humes  1999

Total Offense in a Game

276 yards  Ryan Peterson(153 passing+123 rushing) vs. Princeville 1999

262 yards  Eric Humes(183 rushing+79 receiving) vs. Wethersfield 1999

Total Touchdowns in a Season

23 (19 rushing, 1 receiving, 1 kickoff return, 2 punt returns)Eric Humes 1999

DEFENSE

Tackles in a Season

159  Jimmy Lawson 2001

121  Ben Corben 2000

119  Breck Wilson 1999

Tackles in a Game

24  Jimmy Lawson vs. Annawan 2001

23  Jimmy Lawson vs. Galva 2001

21  Jimmy Lawson vs. Alwood 2001

18  Breck Wilson vs. Annawan 1999

Tackles for a Loss in a Season

12  Cory McKeown  1999

10  Jimmy Lawson  2001


Interceptions in a Season

4  Lawrence McGuire 1984

3  Tyler Yarde 2000

2  Jimmy Lawson 1999

2  Eric Humes  1999

2  Ben Corben 2000

2  Grant Gilliland 2000

Interceptions in a Game

3  Tyler Yarde vs. Annawan 2000

3  Lawrence McGuire vs. Abingdon 1984

2  Grant Gilliland vs. Annawan 2001

Longest Interception Return for a TD

75 yards  Scott Swiler vs. Alwood 2000

55 yards  Darrin Frye vs. Galva 1983

47 yards  Brian Nall vs. Alwood 1984

45 yards  Brian Nall vs. Winola 1984

42 yards  Tom Jones vs. Abingdon 1983


Longest Fumble Return for a TD

27 yards Randy Schwab vs. Toulon 1983

25 yards Travis McKelvie vs. Annawan 1999

23 yards Anthony Fredrickson vs. Galva 2001

12 yards Brian Nall vs. Abingdon 1984


Sacks in a Game

4  Brad Leffler vs. Union 1999

3  Scott Swiler vs. Union 2001

Sacks in a Season

7  Scott Swiler 2001

6  Jimmy Lawson 2001

SPECIAL TEAMS

Kick Return Touchdowns in a Season

1  Tyler Yarde 2000

1  Ryan Peterson  1999

1  Eric Humes  1999

Longest Kick Return for a Touchdown

92 yards  Ryan Peterson vs. Annawan 1999

90 yards  Tyler Yarde vs. Warren 2000


Punt Return Touchdowns in a Season

2  Eric Humes      1999

Longest Punt Return for a Touchdown

65 yards  Eric Humes vs. Alwood 1999

47 yards  Tyler Yarde vs. Union 2000

The Alexis HS Gymnasium
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Courtesy of Beau Spencer

Boys Basketball

The Alexis Cardinal boys basketball team won a total of FOUR District titles throughout their history. Several scores involving Alexis High School in the IHSA State Tournament play were found on a webiste titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” These scores and the location of the tournament are listed below. Also listed below are seasons Alexis won district titles, season reocrds and coaches’ names of other seasons are needed.

1921-22 through 1932-33  Postseason scores, records, and coaches’ names needed.

1933-34                  Roseville District Tournament           Coach’s name & record needed

 1st Rd Beat Stronghurst 26-13

                              2nd Rd Beat Monmouth 21-16

Semi-final lost to Media 14-12

Media beat Keithsburg for the title

1934-35                  Roseville District Tournament           Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Avon 27-26

Avon lost in 2nd Rd to Stronghurst

Stronghurst lost to Roseville in title game

1935-36                  Blandinsville District Champions  Coach’s name & record needed

Semi-Final Beat Oquawka 27-14

                              Title Game Beat Blandisnville 20-16

                              Roseville Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Biggsville 22-15

Biggsville lost to Monmouth in semi-final

Monmouth lost to Macomb in title game

1936-37  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1937-38  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1938-39                  Aledo Regional Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

                              1st Rd Beat Oquawka 32-23

                              Semi-final lost to Alpha 48-19

Alpha beat Sherrard in title game

1939-40  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed

1940-41  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed

1941-42                   Joy Regional Tournament               Coach’s name & record  needed

1st Rd Beat Biggsville 46-27

                               2nd Rd lost to New Boston 36-29

Viola beat Aledo for title

1942-43                   Aledo Regional Tournament            Coach Francis Reed

                              Season record needed

1st Rd lost to Alpha 47-24

Alpha lost to Aledo in title game

1943-44  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed

1944-45                   Aledo Regional Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Aledo Roosevelt Military 32-21

Roosevelt Military lost to Alpha in title game

1945-46                   Joy Regional Tournament               Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Aledo 52-20

Aledo beat Alpha for title

1946-47                   Aledo Regional Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Biggsville 91-29

Biggsville lost to Sherrard in 2nd Rd.

Roosevelt Military beat Sherrard in title game

1947-48                   Aledo Regional Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Aledo 39-35

Aledo beat Joy in title game

1948-49                   Aledo Regional Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to New Boston 63-46

New Boston beat Aledo in title game

1949-50                   Joy Regional Tournament               Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to New Boston 54-44

New Boston lost to Aledo in title game

1950-51                   Aledo Regional Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Aledo 79-55

Aledo lost to Sherrard in title game

1951-52                  Joy Regional Tournament               Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Viola 45-33

Viola lost to Aledo in semi-final

Aledo beat Sherrard for title

1952-53      9 – 15     Aledo Regional Tournament           Coach Wayne Strum

1st Rd Beat Reynolds 62-55

                               Semi-final lost to Aledo 69-58

Joy beat Aledo in title game

1953-54                   Joy Regional Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Winola 63-46

Winola lost to Joy in title game

1954-55                   Sherrard Regional Tournament       Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Joy 72-39

Joy beat Aledo for title

1955-56                   Aledo Regional Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Winola 73-44

Winola lost to Little York in semi-final

Little York beat Aledo in title game

1956-57                   Sherrard Regional Tournament        Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Alwood 78-48

Alwood beat Aledo for title

1957-58                   Aledo Regional Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Sherrard 46037

Sherrard lost in semi-final

Alwood beat Aledo for title

1958-59                   Alexis Regional Tournament           Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Aledo 49-45

Aledo lost to Sherrard in semi-final

Alwood beat Sherrard in title game

1959-60  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed

1960-61                   Woodhull Regional Runner-Up   Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Winola 72-59

                              Semi-final Beat Sherrard 43-40

                              Title Game lost to Aledo 73-34

(Aledo won all 3 of their Regional

games by an average of 40 points)

1961-62     15-10     Alexis District Champions            Coach Bob Houser

                             Semi-final Beat Warren 57-53

                             Title Game Beat Alwood 50-40

                             Aledo Regional Tournament

                             1st Rd lost to Aledo 60-44

Aledo lost to Galva in title game

1962-63                  Alexis District Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Yorkwood 58-51

Yorkwood beat Cambridge for title

1963-64  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed


1964-65     14-11      IHSA District Champions             Coach Ronald Powell

                              District scores needed

IHSA Regional Tournament

Regional scores needed

1965-66  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed

1966-67  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed

1967-68     18-7        Woodhull District Runner-Up      Coach Ronald Powell

Season record needed

Semi-final Beat Alwood 69-63

                               Title Game lost to Cambridge 75-58

1968-69                  Alexis District Tournament              Coach Ronald Powell

Season record needed

1st Rd lost to Yorkwood 58-52

Yorkwood lost to Warren in title game

1969-70                  Woodhull District Tournament          Coach Ronald Powell

1st Rd Beat Alwood 77-72

                             Semi-final lost to Cambrige 63-61

Cambridge beat Yorkwood for title

1970-71     9-14      Woodhull District Champions        Coach Ronald Powell

Semi-Final Beat Warren 89-76

                             Title Game Beat Cambridge 87-86 (O/T)

                             Sherrard Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to ROVA 74-73

ROVA lost semi-final to Galva

Galva beat Aledo in title game

1971-72     19-6      Knoxville ‘A’ Regional 2nd Place  Coach Ronald Powell

                             1st Rd Beat Knoxville 91-71

                             Semi-final Beat Yorkwood 77-63

                             Title Game lost to Abingdon 71-59

1989-90                 Lincoln Trail Conference Champs  Coach Ron Smith

Record needed

Postseason scores needed

1990-91                 Lincoln Trail Conference Champs  Coach Ron Smith

Record needed

Postseason scores needed

1972-73 through 2003-04  Postseason scores, records, and coaches’ names needed.

*The Cardinals had other successful seasons on the basketball court. They won the LTC Conference championship back-to-back in 1990 and 1991.  Coach Ronald Powell won 156 games as the head coach including an 18-7 campaign in 1967-1968 and a 19-6 record in 1971-1972

Girls Basketball

The girls basketball program at Alexis had good runs in the late 1990’s winning three regional titles.  Below are those seasons.

1997-98   N.R.A.   Regional Title     Coach Peg Mitchell

1998-99   N.R.A.   Regional Title     Coach Peg Mitchell

1999-00   N.R.A.   Regional Title     Coach Jeff Whitsitt

LTC Conference championships were won in 1976, 1977, 2000 and 2001 (tie).

Alexis Cardinal Girls Basketball Scoring Leaders
Carrie Yerkey
     (1662)     1995-1998

Andrea Swiler    (1121)     1998-2001

Amber Martin     (1040)     1998-2001

Volleyball

Where the Girls Basketball success tired out the Regional Titles came in for the Volleyball teams at Alexis.  Listed below are the Regional titles for Alexis Volleyball.

2000-2001   N.R.A.     Regional Title    Coach Donn Damos

2002-2003   N.R.A.     Regional Title    Coach Donn Damos

2003-2004   N.R.A.     Regional Title    Coach Donn Damos

LTC Conference championships were won in 1987 (tie) and 2002 (tie). They also won the LTC Volleyball Tournament in 2002.

Track & Field

Listed below are Alexis Track & Field state medalists. Note STATE CHAMPION and three time medalist Tony VanFleet!!

Tony VanFleet   1975   Triple Jump     7th place
Tony VanFleet   1976   Triple Jump     3rd place
Tony VanFleet   1977   Triple Jump     State Champion!!

The Cardinal Boys team won LTC Conference championships in 1977, 1980, 1981 and 1982.

Diane Hilliard    1978   440 yd. dash     2nd place
Matt Dutton        1991   Discus              8th place
Matt Dutton        1992   Discus              3rd place
Mike Smith        1992   Triple Jump     4th place

The Cardinal Girls team won LTC Conference championships in 1980 and 1982.

Individual Events

Alexis also had their fair share of success in the English activity spotlight, as they won four District Championships in Individual Events in the following years: 1962, 1966, 1969 and 1970.

Great Coach

The name John Elder is renowned around the state of Illinois football as much as it is in the town of Alexis.  Coach Elder stalked the sidelines of Alexis High School from 1965 to 1993 amassing a 167-99-4 record with a trip to the State title game in 1974 and two appearances state semi-finals.  Elder also served as the schools High School Principal from 1968 to 1995 and Superintendent from 1984 to 1995.  Coach Elder is a member of the Illinois Coach’s Hall of Fame, and has been a recipient of the Ray Elliot Award, a Distinguised Service Award, as well as a recipient of the Gerald Ford All-American Coach.

Seeking Further Information

We are seeking further information regarding the Alexis High School Cardinals and their many successful seasons.  If you wish to share any information please write us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net

Alexis HS Gym & Memorial 2013
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Courtesy of Owen Pulver
Alexis Gymnasium Entrance 2013
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Photo by Owen Pulver
Alexis HS Foundation Bricks 2013
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Photo by Owen Pulver
Alexis HS Commencement Program 1944
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Courtesy of Mike Edwards
Alexis HS Commencement Program 1944
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Submitted by Mike Edwards
 


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