|Brookport High School Building 1919 – 1981|
|Courtesy of “Brookport’s History” and Judy Askew|
|First Brick School Building – Brookport, Illinois|
|Submitted by Judy Askew and the Brookport Library|
The History of Brookport High School
Brookport (population 1,054) is located in far southern Illinois in the southeastern portion of Massac County. Brookport is situated on the banks of the Ohio River and is connected to Paducah, Kentucky via the U.S. Route 45 bridge. An unnamed creek passes through the west side of town. According to http://www.iltrails.org/massac/towns/brookport.html Brookport was “laid out” in 1850 and incorporated in 1855. First named Brooklyn, Brookport began as a small community which grew immensely with the building of a railroad through town.
The history of the educational attributes of Brookport are in need of research. It is probable that schooling was available to the younger students early on in the town’s growth. A high school was probably in place by the very late 1800s. Brookport High School served the community for several years. The late 1970s brought with them consolidation talks with Brookport’s neighbor and rival to the northwest, Metropolis. This effort was realized in 1981 with the creation of the Massac County School District.
The following information was sent to us by former Brookport resident Jeff Rankin:
“As a youngster in the mid-1980s I attended Brookport Elementary School, and my father was a graduate of Brookport High School (Class of 1974). After the Brookport and Metropolis high schools were consolidated into Massac County High School in the early 80s the Brookport high school building then became Brookport Elementary School. Meanwhile the building that had housed Brookport elementary (directly across the street from the high school building) sat unused except for storage and for the restrooms (which we would have to use at times, as the old high school/now elementary school building’s restrooms were located in the basement, which tended to flood with too much rain). Both school buildings were razed in the last decade (around 2002 or 2003 if I’m not mistaken) and now a completely new building houses Brookport Elementary School. The only remaining building from the old school is the gymnasium/cafeteria, which was purchased by the City of Brookport and is now used for various functions (there was, for example, a local pro-wrestling promotion that held events in the gymnasium for a time).”
|Brookport Grade School Building|
|Thank You to the Brookport Library and Judy Askew|
The high school for the Massac County District was located in Metropolis. Brookport still hosts an elementary school as part of the Massac County District.
Brookport Library serves the community as a volunteer organization. The supporters of this library have a developed a book regarding the history of Brookport and its former school. The library continues to support the former high school’s memories by displaying graduation photos from 1945 through 1981. To purchase a copy of this book contact Judy Askew at email@example.com .
Brookport High School Quick Facts
Year opened: late 1800s
Year closed: 1981
Consolidated to: Massac County High School (Metropolis)
Brookport HS team nickname: the “Bulldogs”
BHS team colors: Blue & White
School Fight Song: unavailable
Brookport High School had some great seasons in boys basketball (www.ihsa.org). This is, however, the only sport listed on the IHSA website. We believe that Brookport High also offered the boys sports of baseball and track as well as the girls sports of basketball, volleyball, and track. School team colors, school fight song, and information on the other sports offered at BHS are all being sought.
Four Regional titles and one District title hi-lighted the Brookport High School boys basketball success. The IHSA website has a very thorough listing of all the BHS seasons from 1935-36 through the school’s closing in 1980-81. The better season records and coach’s names are listed below.
Information on the Regional Championship teams was supplied by Robert Lingle.
1935-36 District Champions
1939-40 19 – 5 Coach Clovis Wallace
1940-41 20 – 9 Coach Clovis Wallace
1941-42 15 – 13 Coach Clovis Wallace
1942-43 20 – 11 Coach William Krosky
1943-44 13 – 13 Coach Thomas Barton
1945-46 15 – 9 Coach Howard Trampe
1946-47 Coach Howard Trampe
1947-48 10 – 10 Coach Claude Shelton
1948-49 Coach Claude Shelton
1949-50 11 – 8 Coach Newton Buchanan
1950-51 20 – 8 Coach Newton Buchanan
1951-52 18 – 10 Regional Champions Coach Charles Taylor
Linn Smith scored 718 points including one game of 50 points as Brookport beat Metropolis for the championship and then lost to Anna-Jonesboro in the sectional by a score of 59-36. Smith went to McKendree College.
Also on the team were Morris Ellis, Warner Johnson, Harry Abell, Kenny Davis, Carleton Caldwell, Wilkie Austin, Harry Statham and Chester Clark. They were coached by Charles Taylor.
1952-54 Coach Charles Taylor
1954-55 20 – 9 Regional Champions Coach Charles Taylor
Charles Taylor was still coach as the Bulldogs upset Metropolis in the semi-finals and went to win the title. Playing at the Marion sectional they once again lost to Anna-Jonesboro this time 67-59. Wilkie Austin, who had been a freshman on the 1952 team, was the leading scorer. Another player who was on both the 52 and 55 was Harry Statham who went on to become the coach at McKendree College winning over 800 games and still going strong. Also on the team were Bob Edmonds, Benny Cissell and T. J. Pryor who were sophomores along with Statham, Jimmy Rush, Jimmy Sanders, Herb Reynolds, Adrian Greenwall, Buddy Smith and Clell Green.
1955-56 18 – 8 Coach Charles Taylor
1956-57 17 – 12 Regional Champions Coach Charles Taylor
Taylor was still the Bulldog coach and Edmonds, Cissell and Pryor were now seniors. They joined with other regulrs Lloyd Austin, Bob Suttles and Louis Adams to defeat Metropolis in the Regional finals. The three seniors each scored over 400 points each. At the West Frankfort sectional they were defeated by Mount Vernon by a score of 84-62.
1957-59 Coach Charles Taylor
1959-65 Coach Linn Smith
1965-66 Coach Bill Jordan
1966-67 19 – 7 Coach Bill Jordan
1967-68 12 – 12 Coach John Waggoner
1968-69 Coach Jay Burnett
1969-70 Coach Charles Crews
1970-71 Coach John Waggoner
1971-72 13 – 10 Coach John Waggoner
1972-73 20 – 6 Coach John Waggoner
1973-74 23 – 6 Regional Champions Coach John Waggoner
John Waggoner was the coach of the Bulldogs who were led by Terry Pearcy who scored over 1600 points in his career as the Bulldogs all-time leading scorer. They defeated Metropolis once again to take the championship. At the Eldorado sectional they defeated Du Quoin 64-55 to advance to the finals. There they lost to defending state champion Ridgway by a 50-48 score with Pearcy getting 22 of their points. Pearcy went to play at the University of Tennesse at Martin and later coached and became a school adminstrator.
Other team members included John Hohman, Willie Jones, Donnie Green, David Davis, Burt Rogers, Vic DuRall and Curt Warfield as well as Marvin Neely, Bill Hodge, Jerry Priddy, Kenton Smith (Linn’s son), Victor Atwell and Kirt Bryant. Sidenote: Gerren Rogers who played for Massac County when they went to the Elite Eight in 2004 and David Rogers who played for Massac in 2007 and 2008 were sons of Burt Rogers.
1974-75 17 – 8 Coach John Waggoner
1975-76 Coach John Waggoner
1976-77 Coach Terry Krueger
1977-78 14 – 10 Coach Terry Krueger
1978-79 13 – 11 Coach Terry Krueger
1979-80 Coach Terry Krueger
1980-81 Coach Linn Smith
Read about one of Brookport’s most influential residents, Colonel Donald Askew, at the following web address:
Seeking Further Information
We are seeking further information regarding the Brookport High School, and the better athletic accomplishments the Bulldogs enjoyed. We are very hopeful a resident or history buff from the area will help us out. If you have any information you would like to share please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We are especially interested in a photo of the school building. You may also write us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il. 60631