Biggsville Union High School “Yankees”

Biggsville Union High School Building 2020
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Now West Central High School
Biggsville Union High Schol Entrance 2020
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Now West Central High School

The History of Union High School of Biggsville

Biggsville (population 343) is located on U.S. Route 34 at the intersection with Il. Route 94 in northern Henderson County.  This places Biggsville about 14 miles southwest of Monmouth.  The BNSF Railroad runs through the town and the South Henderson Creek loops over the north side of town.

Gladstone (population 284) is located on Il. Route 164 one mile north of US. Route 34 in northern Henderson County.  Other location landmarks include being approximately 20 miles southwest of Monmouth and five miles east of the Mississippi River.  The BNSF Railroad runs through town and the South Henderson Creek also is a part of the village’s history.

Oquawka (population 1,539) is situated on the banks of the Mississippi River in far western Henderson County.  Il. Route 164 is the main highway in town.  A larger town of note in the area is Monmouth which sits 16 miles east of Oquawka.  More information is being sought regarding the town’s history.

Gulfport (population 207) is located in the same area, upper-western Illinois.  The town is located right on the banks of the Mississippi River in west-central Henderson County.  U.S. Route 34 is the main roadway connecting Gulf Port to the rest of Illinios and Iowa. The At & St Railroad travels through town.  Orchard City Lake sits on the southeast side of town.  Gulf Port is located about 20 miles southwest of Monmouth.

Gladstone-Oquawka High School was established in the late 1940s to early 1950s.  Biggsville had a high school in place by the late 1800s.  Gulf Port’s situation is in need of research regarding its educational system.  It was in 1960 that these four towns entered into a consolidation effort of the high schools of Biggsville and Gladsone-Oquawka High Schools. This effort led to the creation of the Union School District.

The high school for the Union District was located near BIggsville.  The building served these communities for about 45 years.  It was in 2005 that Biggsville Union High agreed to consolidate their educational efforts with its neighbor from the south, Stronghurst Southern High School.  The new District was named the West Central School District.

Biggsville Union HS is the home to West Central High School.

Biggsville Union High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                       1960

Year closed:                         2005

Consolidated to:                   West Central School District (Biggsville)

Union HS team nickname:   the “Yankees”

UHS team colors:                 Red, White, & Blue

School Fight Song:               “It’s a Grand Old School”

                                                        Sung to the Tune of “Its a Grand Old School”

                                                        Thank you to Roni Danner Miller (UHS Class of 1981)

                                                        Lyrics from Justin E. Parsons

                                          It’s a grand old school,

                                          It’s a victorious school,

                                          And forever will it’s colors wave.

                                          It’s the emblem of the school we love,

                                          In the home of the free and the brave.

                                          Every heart beats true for the red, white, and blue,

                                          Where there’s never a boast or brag.

                                          Should all aquaintance be forgot,

                                          When the old Union High is here!

The Union Grade School Fight Song was sung to the tune of “on Wisconsin” and was provided by Justin Parsons.  Click on the play button below and sing along!

                                          On you Yankees

                                          On you Yankees

                                          Fight for victory!

                                          We’re behind you

                                          And we’ll find you

                                          Number one you’ll see!

                                          Always fighting

                                          Always striving

                                          We’re so proud of you!

                                          Keep Fighting Yankees

                                          For that Red, White, & Blue!

Yankee Emblem of Union High School
A red and blue flag

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Submitted by Justin Parsons


The boys were competitive in basketball, football, track, and possibly baseball.  The girls competed in basketball, volleyball, track, and possibly softball.  We are in need of the school fight song and some of the better team records, and great stories, of the history of the Biggsville Union Yankees.

Sarah Seitz-Bigger sent us this information about the Bi-County Conference that

Union High competed in:

“The Bi-County Conference was conference our school was in before the Lincoln Trail.  This conference constisted of Biggsville Union, Stronghurst SouthernRoseville, Avon, Yorkwood, Monmouth Warren, La Harpe, Sciota Northwestern.”

Boys Basketball

Two Regional Championships hi-lited the Yankee hardwod court success. The better season records attained by the BUHS boys as found on the IHSA website ( are listed below.

1960-61     21 – 4   Macomb Regional Tourney                        Coach J. Reynolds

1st Rd Beat Stronghurst 72-59

                              Semi-final Monmouth 64-51

Monmouth beat Macomb in title game

1961-62     20 – 4   Macomb Regional Tourney                        Coach J. Reynolds

1st Rd Beat Abingdon 61-56

                              Semi-final Galesburg 91-52

Galesburg beat Monmouth in title game

1962-63                 Bushnell Regional Tourney                        Coach J. Reynolds

1st Rd lost to Galesburg 57-49

Galesburg beat Abindon in title game

1963-64                 Postseason scores & record needed.        Coach J. Reynolds


1964-65                 Sciota District Tourney                               Coach J. Reynolds

1st Rd lost to Roseville 79-65

Macomb Western beat Sciota NW in title game

1965-66                 Postseason scores & record needed.        Coach J. Reynolds


1966-67                 Postseason scores & record needed.        Coach J. Reynolds


1967-68                 Stronghurst District Tourney                      Coach J. Reynolds

1st Rd lost to Macomb Western 91-54

Macomb Western beat Stronghurst in title game

1968-69                 Sciota District Tourney                               Coach J. Reynolds

1st Rd lost to Avon

Roseville beat Sciota NW in title game

1969-70                 Stronghurst District Tourney                      Coach J. Rima

1st Rd lost to Roseville 54-36

Roseville beat Stronghurst in title game

1970-71     17 – 5   Macomb Regional Tournament                 Coach J. Rima

1st Rd lost to Knoxville 82-38

Macomb Beat Galesburg in title game

1971-72     16 – 7   Sciota Class ‘A’ Regional                           Coach J. Rima

1st Rd lost to Roseville 80-66

Bushnell-Prairie City beat Roseville in title game.

1972-73     10 – 10 Sciota Class ‘A’ Regional                           Coach J. Rima

                               1st Rd lost to Stronghurst Southern 83-66

Bushnell-Prairie City beat Stronghurst Southern in title game

1973-74                 Sciota Class ‘A’ Regional                           Coach J. Rima

                               1st Rd lost to Stronghurst Southern 60-48

Sciota NW beat Bushnell-Prairie City in title game

1974-75     14 – 10 Sciota Class ‘A’ Regional                           Coach J. Rima

                               1st Rd lost to Avon 59-55

Bushnell-Prairie City beat Sciota NW in title game


1975-76     16 – 8   Sciota Class ‘A’ Regional Runner-Up     Coach J. Rima

1st Rd Beat Roseville 74-53

                               Semi-final Beat Stronghurst Southern 69-58

                               Title game lost to Bushnell-Prairie City 49-41

1976-77                  Roseville Class ‘A’ Regional                      Coach T. Avery

                               1st Rd lost to B-PC 55-52

Stonghurst Southern beat Bushnell-Prairie City in title game

1977-78                  London Mills Class ‘A’ Regional                Coach D. Renwick

                               1st Rd lost to Sciota NW 85-40

B-PC beat Valley in title game


1978-79     12 – 12  Macomb Regional Tourney                      Coach D. Renwick

1st Rd Beat Avon 62-57

                               Semi-final lost to B-PC 93-58

Bushnell-Prairie City beat Stronghurst Southern in title game

1979-80                  Roseville Class ‘A’ Regional                     Coach Dan Dillard

                               1st Rd lost to Valley 74-42

Sciota NW beat Bushnell-Prairie City in title game

1980-81                  London Mills Class ‘A’ Regional                Coach Dan Dillard

                               1st Rd Beat B-PC 65-64

Semi-Final lost to Roseville 77-63

Farmington beat Roseville in title game


1981-82     20 – 7    Roseville Regional Champions             Coach Dan Dillard

1st Rd Beat Spoon River Valley 65-51

                               Semi-Final Beat Abingdon 50-48

                               Title Game Beat Roseville 59-49

                               Sherrard Class ‘A’ Sectional Tourney

Semi-Final Beat Williamsfield 55-53

BIGGSVILLE UNION (55): Gray 21, Simpson 12, J. Johnson 8, T. Johnson 6, Hamilton 6, Gray 2, Ferguson 2.

WILLIAMSFIELD (53): Moore 22, Howard 19, McClellan 6, Lunberry 6, Newell 2.

Title Game Lost to Monmouth 61-42

MONMOUTH (61): Hayes 16, Biasi 15, Miller 13, Birditt 9, McCurdy 5, Lovdahl 2, Kinney 1.

BIGGSVILLE UNION (42): Simpson 13, J. Johnson 11, Hamilton 6, Ferguson 5, P. Gray 5, J. Gray 2.

NOTE: Monmouth went on to a 2nd place finish in the state tournament losing to Lawrenceville.

1982-83                  Abingdon Class ‘A’ Regional                     Coach Russ Galusha

                               1st Rd lost to Stronghurst Southern 59-44

Abingdon beat Southern in title game

1983-84                  Roseville Class ‘A’ Regional                     Coach Russ Galusha

                               1st Rd lost to Stronghurst Southern 77-51

Southern beat Knoxville in title game

1984-85     17 – 9    Knoxville Class ‘A’ Regional                     Coach Russ Galusha

                               1st Rd Beat SR Valley 65-52

Semi-Final lost to Avon 61-45

Avon beat Roseville in title game

1985-86                  Roseville Class ‘A’ Regional                     Coach Russ Galusha

                               1st Rd lost to Avon 84-49

Avon beat Abingdon in title game

1986-87                  Monmouth Class ‘A’ Regional                   Coach Russ Galusha

                               1st Rd lost to Monmouth 89-59

Roseville beat Monmouth in title game

1987-88                  Abingdon Class ‘A’ Regional                     Coach Russ Galusha

                               1st Rd Beat Roseville 85-76

                               Semi-Final lost to Avon 64-54

Avon beat Abingdon in title game

1988-89                  Monmouth Class ‘A’ Regional                   Coach’s name & record needed

                               1st Rd lost to Monmouth 66-43

Stronghurst Southern beat Monmouth in title game

1989-90                  Abingdon Class ‘A’ Reg. Runner-Up     Coach’s name & record needed.

1st Rd Beat Stronghurst Southern 66-56

                               Semi-final Beat Monmouth 68-60

                               Title game lost to Avon 69-62

1990-91                  Abingdon Class ‘A’ Regional                      Coach’s name & record needed

                               1st Rd lost to Abingdon 79-36

Avon beat Abingdon in title game

1991-92                  Abingdon Class ‘A’ Regional                      Coach’s name & record needed

                               1st Rd lost to Avon 62-42

Abingdon beat Avon in title game

1992-93                  Abingdon Class ‘A’ Regional                      Coach’s name & record needed

                               1st Rd lost to Avon 60-37

Monmouth beat Avon in title game

1994-94                  Abingdon Class ‘A’ Regional                      Coach’s name & record needed

                               1st Rd lost to Roseville 87-54

Roseville beat Monmouth in title game

1994-95                  Roseville Class ‘A’ Regional                      Coach’s name & record needed

                               1st Rd lost to Stronghurst Southern 60-44

Abingdon beat Monmouth in title game

1995-96                  Abingdon Class ‘A’ Regional                      Coach Galen Noard

                               1st Rd lost to Stronghurst Southern 47-22

Abingdon beat Southern in title game


1996-97     18 – 11  Monmouth Regional Champions            Coach Galen Noard

                               1st Rd Beat Monmouth Warren 63-47

                               Semi-Final Beat Abingdon 78-73

                               Title Game Beat Monmouth 81-75

                               Sherrard Sectional Tournament

                               Semi-Final Beat Rockridge 67-45

BIGGSVILLE UNION (67): Meyer 26, Robbins 11, Noard 9, Shutwell 8, Cole 7, Hetrick 6.

ROCKRIDGE (45): Peschang 21, Hafermann 8, Lund 6, Stevens 4, Wheatley 2, Wynes 2, Jo. Dunnett 2.

  Title Game Lost to Williamsfield 84-65

1997-98     14 – 13  Abingdon Class ‘A’ Regional                  Coach Galen Noard

                               1st Rd Beat Roseville 61-42

                               Semi-Final lost to Abingdon 74-47


1998-99     15 – 11  Biggsville Class ‘A’ Reg. Runner-Up      Coach Galen Noard

                               1st Rd Beat Monmouth Warren 73-70

                               Semi-Final Beat Stronghurst Southern 50-38

                               Title Game lost to Monmouth 72-60

1999-00     16 – 10  Monmouth Class ‘A’ Regional                     Coach Galen Noard

                               1st Rd Beat Roseville 46-42

Semi-Final lost to Alexis 46-29

2000-01                  Alexis Class ‘A’ Regional                             Coach Craig Rima

                               1st Rd lost to Alexis 47-42

2001-02                  Roseville Class ‘A’ Regional                        Coach Craig Rima

                               1st Rd lost to Roseville 67-39

2002-03                  Monmouth Class ‘A’ Regional                      Coach John Vandenburg

1st Rd lost to Monmouth Yorkwood 65-46

2003-04                  Alexis Class ‘A’ Regional                             Coach John Vandenburg

**1st Rd lost to Monmouth 69-59

**Final boys varsity basketball game for Biggsville Union High School.

Girls Volleyball

The Lady Yankee netters, after some tough early years, developed a great volleyball program in the 1990s:

The BUHS girls won a total of six Regional titles, five in the 1990s!  

They won four straight Lincoln Trail Conference championships from 1998 to 2001! The Lady Yankees also won the LTC Tournament three straight times from 1999 to 2001!

1977-79                                                                            Coach Deborah Mass

1979-80                                                                            Coach Dan Ashton

1980-81                                                                            Coach Ray Sykes

1981-82                                                                            Coach Dan Ashton

1982-83                                                                            Coach Pat Olson

1983-84     10 – 6                                                              Coach Pat Olson

1984-87                                                                            Coach Pat Olson

1987-88     13 – 12                                                            Coach Pat Olson

1989-90                      Regional Champions                   Coach Pat Olson

1990-91                      Regional Champions
                   Coach Pat Olson

1992-93                      Regional Champions                   Coach Pat Olson

1995-96     26 – 4 – 1  Bi-County Conference Champs  Coach Pat Olson

1996-97                      Regional Champions                   Coach Pat Olson

1997-98                      Regional Champions                   Coach Pat Olson

1998-99                      LTC Champions                           Coach Pat Olson

1999-00                      LTC Champions    

2000-01                      Regional and LTC Champions


2001-02                      LTC Champions

Union High School Football Bleachers
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The Union Yankees made three trips to the IHSA State Football playoffs.  They made the most of their opportunity in 1981, making all the way to the Championship Game before falling to finish 12 – 1!!  The Yankee grid iron hi-lites are listed below, at least those from 1975 through 2004.

1975-76                                                                              Coach Joe Jake

1976-80                                                                              Coach Dale Grawe

1980-81     7 – 2                                                                  Coach Dan Dillard

1981-82   12 – 1       IHSA CLASS 2A RUNNER-UP!!       Coach Dan Dillard

                               Undefeated Regular Season (9 – 0)

                               Beat Hamilton 18 – 0

                               Beat Havana  16 – 13

                               Beat Dupo  38 – 0

                               Lost Championship Game

to Danville Schlarman  28 – 6   

1982-83     5 – 4                                                                  Coach John Mowery

1985-86     5 – 4

1990-91                                                                              Coach Edward Smith

1992-93     5 – 4

1993-94     5 – 4

1994-95                                                                              Coach Jeff Flater

1995-96                                                                              Coach Galen Noard

1996-97     8 – 3        IHSA Class 1A Playoff Qualifier    Coach Galen Noard

                                Sweet 16 Finalist

                                Beat Lewistown  52 – 22

                                Lost to Sciota Northwestern 41 – 0

Sciota Finished 2nd in Class 1A

1997-98     8 – 3        IHSA Class 1A Playoff Qualifier    Coach Galen Noard

                               Sweet 16 Finalist

                               Beat Deer Creek-Mackinaw 21 – 6

                               Lost to Villa Grove 45 – 20

1998-99                                                                              Coach Galen Noard

1999-00                                                                              Coach Galen Noard

2000-02                                                                              Coach Brad Crisco

2002-04                                                                              Coach Patrick Lynch

In a October 23, 1992 game against Monmouth Warren, their regular season finale, Union’s Brandon Clark recovered a fumble and ran 92 yards for a touchdown, setting a school record for such a run.

Biggsville Union High School Football Field 2020
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Biggsvile Union HS Football Scoreboard 2020
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Boys Golf

From the “where there’s a will, there’s a way” category of life:

Biggsville Union did not have a notable golf program per say, however one athlete represtented the school incredibly well in the sport.  Does the name Todd Hamilton ring a bell to any of you sports fans?  Todd Hamilton won the IHSA State Class A Individual Championship in consecutive years in 1981-82 and 1982-83, his junior and senior years.   Todd’s career did not fade away there.  He went on to a career on the Professional Golf Association Tour, and was crowned Champion of the British Open in 2004! 

1981-82      Todd Hamilton       IHSA Class A STATE CHAMPION!!

1982-83      Todd Hamilton       IHSA Class A STATE CHAMPION!!     

Boys Track & Field

One male athlete brought home a medal from the IHSA Class A State Track Meet!

1974-75A           Rod Slover         Long Jump          3RD Place

Girls Track & Field

The Lady Yankee tracksters had four different girls bring home a total of 14 medals from the IHSA State Meet.  Megan Shutwell led the way with a total of NINE individual medals won in her career.  This includes at least two in each of her last three years of high school!!  Stephanie Higgins faired well too winning two medals each in two different seasons.

The efforts of Megan Shutwell and Stephanie Higgins led the Lady Yankee thinclads to a SEVENTH PLACE FINISH in the 2000-01 State Class A Track Meet!! 

1993-94              Tara Rice                 Shot Put                    8TH Place

1998-99              Megan Shutwell      100 Meter Dash          8TH Place
400 Meter Dash           5TH Place
1999-00              Megan Shutwell      100 Meter Dash           7TH Place
200 Meter Dash            7TH Place
400 Meter Dash           4TH Place

2000-01              Team Finished SEVENTH in STATE MEET Competition!!

                             Individual Medalists                            

                             Megan Shutwell         100 Meter Dash       7TH Place
200 Meter Dash       9TH Place
400 Meter Dash      4TH Place
Long Jump            7TH Place

                             Stephanie Higgins  High Jump                  4TH Place

                                                                 Triple Jump           3RD Place

                             Final Team Standings

                             1)  Elmhurst (Timothy Christian)                 63

2)  South Holland (Seton Academy)            37

3)  Braidwood (Reed-Custer)                      34½

4)  Kewanee (Wethersfield)                        31

5)  Aurora (Central Catholic)                       28

6)  Wheaton (St. Francis)                          27


7)  Milledgeville                                         26

9)  Eureka                                                24

9)  St. Joseph (S.J.-Ogden)                       24

2001-02              Stephanie Higgins     High Jump                2ND Place

                                                                    Triple Jump              3RD Place

Girls Golf

BUHS had a successful Girls Golf program during the turn of the 21st century. They won two Lincoln Trail Conference championships during that time.

1999-00             LTC Champions

2001-02             LTC Champions


From Justin E. Parsons (Class of 2001):

“I was a student at Union High School from 1997-2001. I mainly remember the rivalry between Union and Southern. We always talked about how much we hated Southern, but we never really had a reason why. For most of us it was just passed down from our parents since that was how it’s been for years.

I was a Senior when both Union and Southern school districts started talking about co-oping for sports. I was fairly on the fence, but leaned more towards no. Mainly due to the fact that I was afraid someone was going to be better than me in the Shot-Put in track.

It was later that we realized that there wasn’t going to be a co-op in sports, but instead, a consolidation of both schools. We found out that it wouldn’t happen until much later, after I graduated.

I will say, I do miss Union High School. It still doesn’t seem right to not have a Union vs. Southern rivalry. I know I’m not the only one.”

Seeking Your Assistance

If you have ANY further information about Biggsville Union High School, please share it with us. Special thank you to Patrick Devitt for his contributions to this page.  Photos and information can be e-mailed to us at  You can write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.    60631

Biggsville Union HS Football Visitors Bleachers
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