|Bethany High School|
The History of Bethany High School
Bethany (population 1,287) is located in south central Illinois in western Moultrie County. Illinois Route 121 runs through town and connects it to Decatur located 10 miles to the northwest. The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad also runs through the town of Bethany. Marrowbone Creek and Brush Creek also flow to the southside of town.
Bethany had its first school recorded in 1871 in a local resident’s house. In 1874 the first school building was built. In 1877 the town of Bethany was incorporated. The high school was established in the late 1800s. Bethany High School served the community for over 100 years. In April of 2001 the residents of Bethany and nearby Findlay voted to consolidate their school districts. This created the Okaw Valley School District. A great site to read more about the history of Bethany and its school system can be found at http://www.354.com/bethany/bethanyhistory.htm.
Okaw Valley High School is located in the old Bethany High School building (pictured above).
Bethany High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800s
Year closed: 2001
School building today: Okaw Valley High School
School nickname: the “Mustangs”
the girl’s teams were known as the “Flying Fillies” or simply “Fillies”
School colors: Black & Gold
School Fight Song: “On You Mustangs”
Bethany High School competed in many sports during its existence. Boys were offered basketball, football, track, and baseball. The Lady Mustangs competed in the sports of volleyball, basketball, track, and possibly, softball.
Bethany High School was a member of both the Soya and Cenois Conferences from 1940-41 through 1959-60. Although not completely certain, it is surmised from records that the Soya membership was in football and the Cenois membership was in basketball. From 1926-27 until 1939-40, Bethany was a charter member of the Meridian Conference. Bethany returned to membership in the Meridian Conference in 1960-61 through Bethany’s consolidation with Findlay prior to the 2001-02 school year. 2001-02 was the final year of existence of the Meridian Conference.
One great fan of Bethany High School sports was Charley Austin. Charley was said to have not missed a Bethany basketball game in 40 years!
The Mustangs enjoyed their greatest overall success in the sport of boy’s basketball. IHSA (www.ihsa.org) hardware was won in the form of 9 District titles, 2 Regional titles, and add to that three great seasons to end their time as a solo high school.
All-time leading scorer for Bethany boys basketball was Dustin Bone, who played in 94 varsity games from 1995-96 through 1998-99. Dustin scored 1,510 points, including a school record 660 his senior year. A prolific three-point shooter, Dustin held the following places among IHSA all-time three point shooting records, at the time of his graduation:
*THREE POINT BASKETS, SEASON – 138 in 1998-99, good for 2nd all-time in Illinois;
132 in 1997-98, good for 4th all-time in Illinois.
*THREE POINT BASKETS, CAREER – 352 from 1995-99, good for 3rd all-time in Illinois.
Dustin Bone also set a school record for Three Point Baskets in one quarter with 7 vs. Kincaid (South Fork) in the Meridian Conference Tournament on January 23, 1999 at Bethany.
Tony Rauch, a 1978 graduate of Bethany HS, holds the single game boys basketball scoring record with 49 against Atwood-Hammond High School on February 14, 1978 at Bethany.0
David Hite, the school’s all-time leading rebounder and top-ten all-time in scoring. David had two 20+ rebounds-games in the 1980-81 season. Named to the 1980 Decatur Herald & Review All-Area team with an average of 24.4 points per game.
Jim Bone, Mike Overlot – Both athletes were selected to the 1974-75 Decatur Herald and Review 1974-75 Small school All-Area team. Both were also selected all-conference for the Meridian Conference.
Coach “Homer” Bill Barry – Though he only coached three seasons at Bethany High School in the mid-1950s, Coach Barry would go onto to become one of the winningest high school coaches in Illinois high school basketball history. Coach Barry would amass 705 wins tying him for 13th place all-time in number of wins overall in boys basketball! His good friend, Robert Firchau, tells us that Coach Barry passed away in 2007.
Below are the Bethany HS seasons we were able to research. Many of these seasons do not provide an overall team record and coach’s name. If you can help fill in the missing information (including conference championship teams) please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
1920-21 10 – 4 Coach John T. Belting
1921-22 18 – 4 District Champions Coach B. W. Ward
1922-23 12 – 5 Coach B. W. Ward
1923-24 15-10 District Champions Coach B. W. Ward
1924-25 17 – 5 Coach B. W. Ward
1925-26 9 – 9 Coach B. W. Ward
1926-27 22 – 10 District Champions Coach Guy Cunningham
1927-28 15 – 9 Meridian Conf. Champs Coach Guy Cunningham
1928-29 25 – 5 Moultrie County Champs Coach Guy Cunningham
1929-31 Coach Guy Cunningham
1931-32 22 – 8 Coach Guy Cunningham
1932-33 20 – 7 Meridian Conf. Champs Coach Guy Cunningham
1933-34 13 – 10 Coach Guy Cunningham
1934-35 19 – 7 Meridian Conf. Champs Coach Guy Cunningham
1935-36 12 – 12 District Champions Coach Guy Cunningham
1936-37 19 – 6 District Champions Coach Guy Cunningham
1937-38 14 – 12 District Champions Coach Dominic A. Tarro
1938-39 Coach Dominic A. Tarro
1939-40 Coach H. Dale Walraven
1940-41 16 – 5 Cenois Conf. Champs Coach Ivan C. Johnson
1941-42 12 – 8 Coach Ivan C. Johnson
1942-43 21 – 6 Moultrie County Champs Coach Ivan C. Johnson
1943-44 16 – 10 Coach Ivan C. Johnson
1944-46 Coach Ivan C. Johnson
1946-49 Coach Harold O. Petty
1949-50 Coach Louid W. Baker
1950-51 20 – 3 District Champions Coach Louid W. Baker
Cenois Conf. Champs
1951-52 16 – 9 Coach Louid W. Baker
1953-57 Coach Richard E. Jostes
1957-58 7 – 14 Coach Homer L. Barry
1958-59 16 – 9 Coach Homer L. Barry
1959-60 17 – 8 Coach Homer L. Barry
1960-61 18 – 9 District Champions Coach Robert E. Parrish
1961-62 16 – 12 District Champions Coach Robert E. Parrish
Meridian Conf. Tourn. Champs
1962-63 19 – 6 Meridian Conf. Co-Champs Coach Donald L. Dell
1963-64 17 – 5 Meridian Conf. Tourn. Champs Coach Donald L. Dell
1964-65 18 – 4 Coach Donald L. Dell
1965-66 16 – 5 Coach Donald L. Dell
1966-67 18 – 6 District Champions Coach Kenneth G. Huckstep
1967-68 Coach Kenneth G. Huckstep
1968-70 Coach Francis L. “Buzz” Overlot
1970-71 14 – 8 Coach Bill Pine
1971-72 Coach Carl Fieldbinder
1972-73 Coach Bill Pine
1973-74 19 – 8 Coach Bill Pine
1974-75 26 – 2 Regional Champions Coach Bill Pine
Meridian Conf. Champs
1975-76 26 – 1 Regional Champions Coach Bill Pine
Meridian Conf. Champs
Meridian Conf. Tourn. Champs
Undefeated Regular Season
1976-77 16 – 8 Coach Bill Pine
1977-78 15 – 9 Coach Bill Pine
1978-79 18 – 7 Coach Bill Pine
1979-80 21 – 4 Meridian Conf. Champs Coach Randy Inman
Meridian Con. Tourn. Champs
1980-81 18 – 10 Coach Randy Inman
1981-83 Coach Randy Inman
1983-84 15 – 10 Coach Randy Inman
1984-85 18 – 9 Coach Randy Inman
1985-86 12 – 11 Coach Randy Inman
1986-87 20 – 7 Meridian Tourn. Champs Coach Randy Inman
1987-89 Coach Kevin Long
1989-90 Coach Brent Phillips
1990-91 14 – 11 Coach Brent Phillips
1992-94 Coach Brent Phillips
1994-96 Coach Jim Lawrence
1996-98 Coach Brett Robinson
1998-99 21 – 8 Meridian Conf. Champs Coach Brett Robinson
1999-00 20 – 8 (good record) Coach Brett Robinson
2000-01 18 – 10 Meridian Conf. Champs Coach Brett Robinson
School’s Final Season
The Flying Fillies also earned some IHSA hardware as the team of 1979-80 won a Regional title. The team record this other good Fillie basketball teams are not available. Coach Jo Ann Foster was a pioneer among the early days of girls high school basketball in Illinois.
Great Player – Jodi Foster was one of the all-time great Fillie basketball players, earning All-State honors during her senior year of 1979-80. She went on to be Millikin University’s all-time leading scorer, a title she still holds today. She is the Fillies’ all-time leading scorer and the daughter of Coach Jo Ann Foster.
1979-80 Regional Champions Coach Jo Ann Foster
The boys of the baseball diamond won a Regional title as well. We are seeking the team record and coach’s name of this and other great Mustang teams.
One of the more prolific players in Bethany High School baseball history was Brett Robinson. Brett earned NCAA Division III All-American honors at Illinois Wesleyan University.and went to play for the Chicago Cubs at the AA level!
Sean Martin also made his mark in baseball. Sean was an all-conference star in three sports his senior year, including a selection to the All-State baseball team in 1987. Sean went on to play college baseball at Lake Land College and was the starting center-fielder in Lake Land’s last appearance at the College World Series.
1983-84 12 – 7 Coach Randy Inman
1984-85 14 – 6 Coach Randy Inman
1985-86 16 – 6 Coach Randy Inman
1986-87 15 – 5 Coach Randy Inman
1994-95 Regional Champions Coach Dave Benning
There is very limited information regarding the football program at Bethany High. Records are only available from the early 1970s though 1993. We are hopeful a Bethany alum can fill us in on the many great seasons and possible conference championships won by the Bethany High School Mustangs of the grid iron.
This story of Bethany football came from our good friend from Illiopolis, “Kaylorjd”:
“Just a fond memory of our (Illiopolis) football game against Bethany in 1982. Brett Robinson, then Bethany’s quarterback and kicker, just missed a 50 yard field goal attempt that hit the cross bar. Most of us Pirates will always remember that awesome attempt and many of us wished for Robinson’s sake that he had made it, as he had earned it. Great attempt Brett!!
1915 1-2 First Recorded Football Season Coach M.K. Gordon
1916 6-3 Coach Charles F. McCaslin
1917 3-2 Coach Charles F. McCaslin
1918 3-0 Coach Charles F. McCaslin
1919 2-2-1 Coach John T. Belting
1920 1-0 Coach John T. Belting
1921 7-1 Coach B.W. Ward
1922 Coach B.W. Ward
1923 5-3-2 Coach B.W. Ward
1924 5-2-1 Coach B.W. Ward
1925 3-0 Coach B.W. Ward
1926 4-2 Coach Guy Cunningham
1927 3-2 Coach Guy Cunningham
1928 5-0-1 Coach Guy Cunningham
1929 3-2-1 Coach Guy Cunningham
1930-31 Coach Guy Cunningham
1932 6-2 Coach Guy Cunningham
1933 Coach Guy Cunningham
1934 5-1-2 Cenois Conf. Champs Coach Guy Cunningham
1935 5-2 Cenois-Meridan Conf. Champs Coach Guy Cunningham
1936 2-0-4 Coach Guy Cunningham
1937-39 Coach Dominic A. Tarro
1940 5-2-1 Soya Conf. Co-Champs Coach Ivan C. Johnson
1941 8-0 Undefeated Season Coach Ivan C. Johnson
1942 6-0-1 Soya Conf. Co-Champs Coach Ivan C. Johnson
1943 3-2 Coach Ivan C. Johnson
1944 4-4 Coach Ivan C. Johnson
1945 6-1-1 Coach Ivan C. Johnson
1946 6-1 Coach Harold O. Petty
1947 5-2-1 Coach Harold O. Petty
1948 Coach Harold O. Petty
1949 Coach Louid W. Baker
1950 5-2 Soya Conf. Co-Champs Coach Louid W. Baker
1951 6-2 Coach Louid W. Baker
1952 Coach Richard E. Jostes
1953 8-1 Soya Conference Champ Coach Richard E. Jostes
1954 Coach Richard E. Jostes
1955 4-3-1 2nd place Soya Conference Coach Richard E. Jostes
1956 Coach Richard E. Jostes
1957 Coach Homer L. Barry
1958 5-1-1 Soya Conference Champs Coach Homer L. Barry
1961 5-3 2nd place (tie) Meridian Conference Coach Bob Parrish
1962 5-3-1 4th Place Meridian Conference Coach Donald L. Dell
1963 6-1-1 Meridian Conference Champs Coach Donald L. Dell
1964 Coach Donald L. Dell
1965 Coach Donald L. Dell
1966 5-2-1 2nd place (tie) Meridian Conference Coach Ken Huckstep
1967 Coach Ken Huckstep
1968 Coach Don L. Bone
1969 Coach Don L. Bone
1970 1-3-4 (yes 4 ties!) Coach Bill Pine
1971 Coach Carl Fieldbinder
1972 Coach Bill Pine
1973 Coach Bill Pine
1974 6-2 3rd place (tie) Meridian Conference Coach Bill Pine
1975-78 Coach William Miller
1979 Coach Jay Hurdle
1980 Coach Craig Bundy
1981 Coach James Archer
1982-84 Coach Gene Patient
1985 6-3 Coach Gene Patient
1986 Coach Gene Patient
1987 6-4 Qualified for IHSA Class 1A Playoffs Coach Kevin Crandall
lost to Moweaqua 28-16
1988 Coach Kevin Crandall
1989 Coach Mike Thorton
1990 Coach Kris Wheeler
1991 Last football season in Bethany HS history. Coach Mike Mose
Bethany HS boys played as part of the
Sullivan HS football program after this season.
Great Player – Class of 1980 alum Chris Stiles played linebacker at Oklahoma State University as a teammate of NFL great running back Barry Sanders. Chris later assisted at Notre Dame University before becoming a successful high school football coach in Texas and Oklahoma.
Boys Track & Field
There were two Bethany male tracksters who won IHSA medals at the State Track meet. Their accomplishments are listed below.
1958-59 Dwayne “Bud” Barnes 220 Yard Dash 5TH Place
(Bud also holds the BHS High Jump record at 6′ 02″)
1991-92 Ryan Martin Long Jump 7TH Place
Girls Track & Field
Two of the Flying Fillie thinclads also won IHSA medals.
1972-73 Sheila Standerfer High Jump 5TH Place
1973-74 Sheila Standerfer High Jump 2ND Place
1979-80 Jodi Foster Long Jump 6TH Place
The Bethany High School Band was a great one indeed, winning the IHSA Class “D” State Music Championship three years in a row from 1979 to 1981. The state championship bands were directed by Barb Ozier in 1979 and 1980 and by Marti Lindvahl in 1981.
1979 Music State Champions 516 points Instructor Barb Ozier
1980 Music State Champions 546 points Instructor Barb Ozier
1981 Music State Champions 561 points Instructor Marti Lindvahl
*Louid Baker – Coached basketball and football from 1949 – 1952. A former athlete who played at Bethany for Coach Bakers, Bill Bland, had this to say about Coach Baker:
“Lou was an all conference quarterback at Illinois State Normal (now Ilinois State University) out of Monticello High School in Illinois. He coached us to a conference football championship in 1950 and a conference basketball championship in 1951with a 20-3 record. Lou left Bethany for Arcola H.S in Illinois where he was very successful before being hired at Paris H.S. in Illinois where he was never happy with Ernie Eveland the famous Paris basketball coach looking over his shoulder. Lou joined the Colorado State football staff in the late 50’s and then moved to the University of Illinois to join Pete Elliot’s staff. After the slush fund scandal on Elliot’s watch at Illinois Lou retired to his home town of Monticello.
I’ve coached football, basketball and track and field for many years in Tucson, AZ, and was inspired to go into coaching by the excellent coaching I received from Coach Baker in both football and basketball. I’m sure my teammates would all concur that he is worthy of being listed as one of Bethany’s greatest coaches in both football and basketball.”
*Homer “Bill” Barry – Coached Basketball at Bethany during the 1950s and 1960s and went on to coach at Forest-Strawn-Wing, Huntley and Marengo. He is ninth on the all-time wins list for Illinois coaches with a career record of 718-345 from 1958 to 1997.
*Randy Inman – led the Mustang boys basketball and baseball programs in the 1980s. Finished with a career record of 121 – 79 in basketball and 57 – 24 in baseball.
*Kevin Crandall – Coached Bethany to their only Football playoff season and is doing the same currently as head coach of the Rochelle Hubs.
Mike Overlot –
One of the most accomplished high school male athletes in BHS history, if not THEE most accomplished, was Mike Overlot, the son of long-time Bethany CUSD #301 teachers, Buzz and Marge Overlot. From 1972-73 through 1975-76, Mike lettered in all four of the sports offered to boys for all four years of high school – the only BHS athlete to accomplish this. He was the point guard of the back-to-back regional champions of 1974-75/75-76, leading the Mustangs to an incredible 52-3 record over those two years. He went on to be an all-conference baseball player at Millikin University.
Special thank you to Brett Robinson, Glenn E. Austin, and Randy Inman for the incredible amount of information supplied on the athletic history of Bethany High School.
From a resident of the Bethany area, Dan Reedy:
“I love your website as it brings back many memories of growing up in Central Illinois. I have now lived in the Chicago area for 25 years.
Regarding Bethany High School, even though I did not attend BHS I lived only 4 miles away. Bethany High School also had a great Ag and FFA chapter that closed down in 1969. There were many State and National FFA winners from the chapter, the instructor before closing was E.L. Bosomworth.
The fight song was “On Wisconsin”. One of the instructors for the sweepstakes in the late 70’s and early 80’s was Judy Patrick, a 1967 graduate of BHS. There were other years in which they won the sweepstakes in the 60’s under the direction of Eunice Dansby. Music was always very strong in Bethany.
BHS did play in the Meridian Conference until its consolidation. Other high schools in this conference which are no longer in existence are Stonington which closed in the mid to late 80’s and whose students now attend Taylorville. ( Stonington was always very good in basketball because of there all time great Coach Jack Dettro they made it to state in the early 80’s).
Illiopolis High school is another high school from the area. They recently consolidated with Niantic (Sangamon Valley). Illiopolis was great in football in the late 60’s and early 70’s. They also won the state track meet for girls in one of the first years when it was still one class. The Meridian Conf. when I left central Illinois had 12 schools in it in 1981. Only 2 schools remain the same as then; Maroa-Forsyth and Lovington ( where I graduated from). The 10 other schools have consolidated or disbanded (including Tower Hill and Stonington). the other schools were Blue Mound, Macon, Findlay, Bethany, Niantic, Illiopolis, Assumption, and Moweaqua.”
Need More Information
Bethany High School has to have a good alumni base to provide some excellent information regarding their alma mater. How about the many conference championships, and even the non-sports related accomplishments, of the school’s history? You can e-mail information to us at email@example.com. You can also write to us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il. 60631