Cherry High School “Comets”

Cherry High Shcool
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Cherry, Illinois

The History of Cherry High School  

Cherry is a village of 509 residents located in north-central Illinois in northeastern Bureau County.  The town is located on Il. Rt. 89 eight miles north of Spring Valley and eight miles northwest of Peru.

Mining was the major industry drawing people to Cherry in the early 1900s. We believe that Cherry began a high schoool for its children in the late 1800s or early 1900s.  This school served Cherry for about four decades. The photo above was taken in September of 2005.  It is a photo of the current Cherry Grade School for grades K – 8.  At one time this building served as the Cherry High School. An interesting note sent to us by a daughter of a Cherry High alum stated that the tube-fire escape in the picture below (right side of building) was built in 1936-37.

According to Cherry High School graduate Velma Nelson Cherry High School was a three-year high school. If a student wanted to earn a high school diploma he or she would have to continue their fourth year of high school at nearby Spring Valley Hall or LaSalle-Peru high schools.  None the less, Cherry did compete in sports for their kids in grades 9 – 11.  Cherry High School ceased offering high school courses in 1943.  The kids of Cherry were then bused to nearby Spring Valley Hall High School upon their completion of 8th grade.

The folks of Cherry have done a great job supporting their grade school for many years and continue to do so today. However this will come to a close at the end of the 2013-14 school year. We hope that the school building will be kept in good condition for many years to come.


To view a 1943 Cherry High School “Cherryette” yearbook check out


Cherry High School Quick Facts

Year School Opened:        late 1800s / early 1900s

Year School Closed:         1943

Consolidated to:                Spring Valley Hall Township School District

School nickname:             “Comets”

School Colors:                  Red & White

School Fight Song:           unavailable


All that is really known is that Cherry High School competed in basketball through the early 1940s and as far back as 1928.  This information was found while researching Mineral High School yearbooks.  It is not known what other sports were offered at Cherry.  It is also known there is a grade school in Cherry that houses grades K – 8.  The High School aged students from Cherry attend Hall High School in Spring Valley.

Boys Basketball

Information regariding the boys basketball team of 1942-43 was located at the web address of .

The boys had a nice season record that year of 10 – 7. With only 24 students in the school (grades 9 – 11) and only 9 of them boys, the team had its work cut out for it. A photo of this team and a look at the team’s schedule is available below.

1931-32                    Princeton District Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Mendota 54-15

Sheffield beat DePue in title game

1932-33  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1933-34  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

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

1st Rd lost to Manlius 59-13

Manlius lost to Princeton in 2nd Rd

Princeton lost to DePue in semi-final

DePue lost to LaSalle-Peru in title game

1935-36                    Mendota District Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Mendota 54-15

Mendota beat Earlville in title game

1936-37                    Wyanet District Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Buda 48-25

Wyanet beat Sheffield in title game

1937-38                    Wyanet District Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Bureau Junction 20-19 

2nd Rd lost to Malden 16-14

Manlius beat Tiskilwa in title game

1938-39                    Wyanet District Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Hennepin 34-19

2nd Rd lost to Ohio 37-25

Manlius beat Malden in title game


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

1940-41                    LaMoille District Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Bureau Township 22-13 

2nd Rd lost to Lamoille 25-20

Lamoille beat Malden in title game

1941-42                    LaMoille District Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Tiskilwa 33-21

Tiskilwa beat Lamoille in title game.”

Cherry HS Basketball Team 1942-43
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Cherry HS Basketball Schedule 1942-43
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1942-43     10 – 7      Lamoille District Tournament             Coach DeMichael

                                 1st Rd Beat Bureau Township 26-18

                                 Semi-Final lost to Ohio 56-41


Captain – Jack McCook was a solid player for Cherry High School for the 1942-43 school year. Jack averaged 14.6 points a game and scored a school record 265 points for the Cherry hardwood court men.

1943-44                    LaMoille District Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Malden 37-32

Semi-Final lost to Ohio 68-49

Granville Hopkins beat Ohio in title game

1944-45                    LaMoille District Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Tiskilwa 30-29

Semi-Final lost to Ohio 56-21

Ohio beat Manlius in title game

1945-46                    LaMoille District Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Wyanet 39-28

Semi-Final lost to Tiskilwa 34-18

Ohio beat Tiskilwa in title game

1946-47                    LaMoille District Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

*1st Rd lost to Wyanet 58-30

Ohio beat Manlius in title game

*Final varsity boys basketball game for the Cherry High School “Comets


Extra-Curricular Activities


Other activities offered at Cherry High School included workng on the school newspaper known as “The Echo”, the Honor Role program, Mother’s Day Program, Drama Club with an annual school play, all-school parties at Halloween, Christmas, and Valentines days, Girls’ Club, Glee Club (chorus), Defense Activities to support the war efforts of World War II, and work on the yearbook staff of the Cherryette.


Incredible History

If you are from northern Illinois you have most assuredly heard of the “Cherry Mine Disaster”. A great website dedicated to memorializing the events surrounding this incident is located at .

Developed by Ray Tutaj, Jr., this is truly an amazing compilation of photos, stories. and artifacts that will leave you wanting more. If you like small town history,then you will treasure the information found in this site.

Seeking Further Information

If you have any additional information you can share regarding Cherry High School please write to us via e-mail at, or write us a note to the below listed address.

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva Ave.

Chicago, Il.  60631

Cherry School Building
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Gymnasium on the Left

Cherry Comets Make Their Last Stand

By Holli Rapp – March 14, 2014 –

CHERRY— The eighth-grade recognition night for the Cherry Comets volleyball team held an extra special meaning on Thursday evening.

Along with honoring its eighth-grade players, the night marked the end of an era and another last as the Cherry Comets played the last match to be held in Anton Demichelis Memorial Gymnasium. The Cherry students will be attending a new school at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.

Cherry Grade School is being deactivated pending the referendum in Tuesday’s primary election. If it is approved, the Cherry students will go to neighboring Dimmick School.

“We look forward to wherever we will land,” said Deb Brokaw, the Comets’ head coach and former Cherry School board member. “There is a sense of small school pride here. It’s a family.”

Along with two eighth-graders, Courtney Kobold and Madison Soldati being recognized, the program also recognized Brokaw and assistant coach Jaquelynne Hendricks. Brokaw has been the head coach of the program for the past seven years while Hendricks has been helping the program for the last five years after wearing the red and white.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Brokaw about the last match being held in the gymnasium. “We have had some very good teams who practice hard.”

The Cherry Comets have not quite made their last stand. They will enter Prairie Conference tournament play this week at Dalzell Grade School.

The history of the previous four years in the conference is recognized on a banner with four A team conference championships, and three B team conference championships.

According to Brokaw, her A team this year includes the two eighth-graders, one seventh-grader and three sixth-graders including her daughter, Hayleigh, and have filled some big shoes over the years.

“They are tiny but mighty,” said Brokaw. “I couldn’t be prouder of the team.”

Since 2001, only two coaching staffs have graced the volleyball sidelines of the Comets program including Becky Hoscheid and Wendy Raef (2001-2006) and Brokaw (2007-2014). During Hoscheid and Raef’s coaching tenure, the conference and team played during the fall season while Brokaw’s teams have always played during the winter season.

“We have had some pretty terrific years,” said Brokaw of the Cherry Comets after the A team defeated Peru Catholic 25-8, 25-8. The Cherry B team lost a heartbreaker 25-10, 23-25, 17-25 and won the C game 10-minute contest 23-14.


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