Chicago Forrestville High School “Jaguars”

Chicago Forrestville High School
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The History of Chicago Forrestville High School

Chicago (population 2.8 million) is in northeastern Illinois in eastern Cook County. Lake Michigan, along with the Chicago and Des Plaines Rivers are the main waterways in the city. Interstates 55, 57, 90, & 94 will all lead you to the “Windy City.” From what started as a small village in the early 1800’s along the banks of Lake Michigan, Chicago has grown to the nation’s third largest city and one of the most famous places in the world, as the result of an ethnically diverse community that adopted the city.

Forrestville High School was located on Chicago’s South Side, near the Dan Ryan Expressway (Interstate 94) and south of the Chicago White Sox home parks, Comiskey Park and U.S. Cellular Field. The opening of the school took place in the fall of 1964 to relieve overcrowding at Dunbar, DuSable, and Phillips High Schools nearby, but changed its name to King in 1971 in honor of the civil rights leader.


Year opened:                   1964

Year closed:                     1971

Now known as:                 Martin Luther King, Jr. College Prep High School

School colors:                   Black & Gold

School nickname:             “Jaguars”

School song:                    “Jaguar Rag”


The Jaguars in likelihood were members of the Chicago Public League and offered track along with football, basketball, and possibly baseball. More information is needed to complete the picture. Please see the bottom of this page for our addresses if you would like to contact us.


According to the IHSA website, this is the only item that was found during our research. In the school’s fifth year, a Forrestville student was able to qualify for the state meet and came home with a medal. Douglas Frederick was second in the long jump at the 1969 state meet held in Urbana-Champaign.

1969  Individual Medalist

          Douglas Frederick           Long Jump—2nd place 


The following information on Jaguar football was provided to us by our good man Tom Sikorski:

“Forrestville football history is brief, but worthy of note is their 1968 season. That year Forrestville fielded their first varsity team. They were undefeated in the regular season going 7-0 and winning the Green South division of the Chicago Public League under coach Ken Sims. In the Blue-Green playoffs they were awarded a first round bye then beat Roosevelt 25-6 before losing in the semi-finals to a Marshall team that featured future NFL star Darryl Stingley. An impressive 8-1 record overall.

They were moved up to the Blue division in 1969 and 1970 and had a tough time going 0-6 and 2-5, respectively. Their last game was a 8-6 win over Hyde Park.”

1968    8 – 1    Conference Champions / Undefeated Regular Season   Coach Ken Sims

1969    0 – 6

1970    2 – 5


Barbara Sizemore — As principal of Forrestville, she was the first African-American women to serve in that position at any Chicago high school, doing so until 1969. She also served as superintendent of schools in Washington, DC and later went onto become an professor at the University of Pittsburgh and DePaul University that worked with inner-city students.

Charles Allen — Mr. Allen arrived at Forrestville in the fall of 1964 and left his mark by giving the school its’ colors and nickhame, which matched his alma mater, Grambling University. He served as the first coach in basketball and baseball, and helped lay the path for future King coaches Lonnie Williams and Landon (Sonny) Cox, plus taught physical education and driver’s education at the school.


from MonaLisa McClarin Brown (class of 1968):

“It is worth mentioning that Dr. Anderson Thompson was the assistant principal while Dr. Sizemore was principal.”

from Malcolm Rockhold (dated February 6, 2019):

“Jaguar Rag” (was the name of the school song) written by the band director, Mr. Beach.”

from Michael Wilkes (dated May 5, 2019):

“Love the school. Mr. Stevens was the principal, and Miss Ida Cross (was) the teacher.”

from Rev. Anthony Kelley (class of 1969 alum, dated June 11, 2019):

“Great info you shared on your website! Thanks for the memories.

“Yes, there was a baseball team. I was a starting pitcher and played second base. Others included the late WIlliam “Soaky” Brown, Ronald Cain as the boys from Berkeley Avenue.

“The only coaches I recall having for ALL Forrestville team sports in 1968-69 were Coach Williams and Coach Allen. No outstanding records, though we competed well as a new team in the league, nor do I remember any honors received.”


the former Forrestville High School in Chicago? Now is your chance to let us know so that we can document and pay tribute to this short-lived high school. Please send us your information and photos to or by USPS to:

IHSGD Website

6439 North Neva

Chicago, IL  60631

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