Belleville Cathedral High School “Crusaders”

Belleville Cathedral High School
A large brick building with trees in front of it

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
Submitted by Dennis Downey

The History of Belleville Cathedral High School

Belleville (population 41,410) is located in southeastern Illinois about 12 miles southeast of East St. Louis in the center of St. Clair County. The Illinois Routes of 13, 15, 158, 159, and 161 all pass through the town of Belleville. Interstate Highway 64 passes to the north of town.The Norfolk Southern and Illinois Central Gulf are two of the railroads that pass through Belleville. The Richland Creek flows through town as well.

According to the Wikipedia web address of,_Illinois, Belleville is the county seat of St. Clair County. Belleville (French for “beautiful city”) was founded by George Blair in 1814. Belleville was incorporated as a village in 1819 and as a city in 1850. An excellent historical timeline regarding Belleville can be viewed at

The city of Belleville has a very log history of providing quality education to its children. This includes the offering of a Catholic school education very early on. The Belleville archdiocese began a Catholic school for boys and a catholic school for girls quite probably in the late 1800s, possibly in the early 1900s. The boys high school was known as Belleville Cathedral.

Belleville Cathedral High School served the community for several decades. We know through an article in the Belleville News-Democrat newspaper ( that Cathedral High School was in existence from 1922 through 1964. It was in the early part of the 1960s that the archdiocese began making plans for combining the boys school of Cathedral with the all-girls school of Notre Dame. This plan was finalized in 1964 with the creation of Althoff High School, a co-ed catholic high school.

Belleville Cathedral was closed as was Notre Dame. The fate of the original Belleville Cathedral school building has turned out badly. Kent Agne tells us via the above mentioned newspaper article the Cathedral High School building has been razed.

Belleville Cathedral High School Quick Facts

Year GS opened:                     1898

Year HS opened:                     1922

Year closed:                            1964

Consolidated to:                       Belleville Althoff HS

Cathedral HS team nickname:   the “Crusaders”

Cathedral HS team colors:        Blue & Gold

School Fight Song:                   Composed by band teacher Brother Mertens.

(Original tune & lyrics / Now Utilized by Althoff High School)

Thank you to Bill Hausmann for this information.

Belleville Cathedral Fight Song
A sheet of music

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Submitted by Bill Housmann

Belleville Cathedral definitely competed in boys basketball. It is likely that baseball, track, and football were offered as well. If you have ANY information on these sports please contact us at We are also interested int he “quick facts” portion of this page. What was Cathedral’s team school fight song? What were the coach’s names and great accomplishments? Please contact us if you have this information and would like to share it on this page.


The Cathedral High School basketball program had some real nice seasons though they never brought home any IHSA hardware. The competition in the Belleville area is fierce and we are sure it was difficult to get through the Regional there. However, there were several memorable seasons for the Cathedral alum to be proud of. The folllowing list was located on the IHSA website (

1932-33   18 – 5

1933-34                       Coach Alphonse Scherer

1934-35   18 – 9            Coach Alphonse Scherer

1935-36   12 – 10          Coach Alphonse Scherer

1936-37   15 – 7            Coach Alphonse Scherer

1937-38                       Coach Bob Schmidt [partial] / Coach Edward Dunne [partial]

1938-39   20 – 6            Coach William Siemer

1939-40                       Coach Rothermich

1940-41                       Coach Henry Heideman

1941-42                       Coach Leo Wagner

1942-43                       Coach Alphonse Scherer

1943-44   14 – 11          Coach Albert Stein

1944-45   14 – 9            Coach Albert Stein

1945-46                       Coach Martin McMurtrey

1946-47   16 – 10          Coach Martin McMurtrey

1947-49                       Coach Martin McMurtrey

1949-53                       Coach Francis Haug

1953-54                       Coach Dan Crogham

1954-55   13 – 11          Coach Francis Haug

1955-56   16 –  8           Coach Francis Haug

1956-57   14 – 11          Coach Adrian Jansen

1957-58   20 – 7            Coach Adrian Jansen

1958-59   21 – 5            Coach Adrian Jansen

1959-60   23 – 5            Coach Adrian Jansen

1960-61   16 – 11          Coach Adrian Jansen

1961-62   16 – 8            Coach Adrian Jansen

1962-63   17 – 7            Coach Adrian Jansen

1963-64                       Coach Adrian Jansen

School’s Last Season as Belleville Cathedral was 1963-64.

Coach Adrian Jansen saw to it that the school went out on a very high note. In Jansen’s eight seasons at Cathedral the school had an overall record of of 136-39, a .663 winning percentage! This included three straight twenty-plus games won seasons from 1957-58 through 1959-60.


One linkster brought home a top-ten individual medal from the State Golf Tournament. Robert Kosar earned a SEVENTH Place finish in the individual standings in 1947!

1947           Robert Kosar          7TH Place


The Crusaders won several conference titles in the St. Louis Catholic League, five of them in the late-1940’s. Cathedral took on the likes of Alton Marquette, St. Louis St. Joseph, St. Louis Chaminade, and Kirkwood Coyle in league action.

From former student Dennis Stockley:

During the ’62-’63 school year the Varsity Football Team, under head coach Max Hamilton, racked up an impressive record of 9-1. The only loss being to BTHS.  As a side note, the assistant coach that year was Glennon Schott whom I believe is currently head coach at Althoff. I believe it was his first year at the school.

In the final season (’63-’64) Coach Hamilton lead the Crusaders to an 8 – 2 season with losses to Assumption and again BTHS.

1945             Catholic League Champs

Comes from behind to defeat cross-town rival Belleville High (first time in 19 years)

1946             Catholic League Champs

1947             Catholic League Champs

1948             Catholic League Champs

1949             Catholic League Champs

1962   9 – 1                                            Coach Max Hamilton

1963   8 – 2    (Final Season)                   Coach Max Hamilton

Alumni Great

From the Belleville News-Democrat (, an article about Henry Eversmann WWII veteran from Belleville (Cathedral). Thank you to Mark Jurenga for this great find.

Henry Eversmann

*Served in World War II; United States Army, 36th Infantry Division.

*Advanced to Corporal.

*Earned Purple Heart and Bronze Star.

*Campaigns include: Naples-Foggia, Rome-Arno, Southern France


**From Dennis R Stockley, Althoff Class of ’66

“Just to give you a bit more info about the school. It was staffed by the Brothers of Mary for, I believe, 59 years according to the CRUSADER ’64, the yearbook for the schools final year. It also has a Class of 1911, Class of 1912 and Class of 1964 on the inside front cover page. The principal that final year was Brother Francis Haug S.M. and the vice-principal was Brother Thomas Egolf S.M.

……the old Cathedral High School building had a bowling alley in the basement.  I think it was only two or possibly four lanes. It used pin boys since it predated automatic pin setters.

I graduated from Althoff in 1966 attending Cathedral my Freshman and Sophomore years.”

**From Gary N, Helfrich (Cathedral Class of 1964):

“Reading your article on my high school, I’d just like to add that Cathedral High School did indeed have a bowling alley in the basement. It had four lanes and my brother and I set pins there for two years. My Junior and Senior years. I also remember a cigarette machine was in the basement’s hallway. You would not see that today. I was sorry to see the school building torn down two or three years ago.”

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Illinois HS Glory Days

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