Easton High School “Hawks”

Easton High School Building
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Easton, Illinois
Easton School Inscription
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The History of Easton High School

Easton (population 373) is located in west-central Illinois about 35 miles southwest of Peoria and 30 miles northwest of Springfield.  Illinois Route 10 meets County Highway 21 at Easton.  The town was platted in the center of Mason County.  Samuels Ditch flows to the west of town while Ross Tyrell Ditch flows to the east.  The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad runs through town on a northwestern angle.

Research and information is needed on the history of Easton and its school system. It is probable that Easton began an educational system for its children in the late 1800s.  The high school served the town’s children for over eight decades.  It was in the late 1980s that consolidation efforts got the best of Easton High School.  After the 1988-89 school year the towns of Easton, San Jose, and Mason City combined forces to form a new school district. The new district was called the Illini Central School District.  The high school and a grade school were located in Mason City.

Easton was able to maintain a grade school in town until the end of the 2006-07 school year.  The Illini Central (Easton) Grade School was held in the former Easton High School building until that time.  The former Easton High School building was recently sold and is intended to be used as a factory.  Thank you to Josh Ebbert for this bit of information.

Holly Birch advises the Easton High School gymnasium building may still be used when needed for events by the Illini Central School District.

Easton High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                            late 1800s

Year closed:                             1989

Consolidated to:                        Illini Central School District

Easton High nickname:              the “Hawks”

Easton school colors:                Purple & Gold

School Fight Song:                   “Easton Loyatly”

                                                               Sung to Illinois Loyalty

                                                We’re loyal to you Easton High.

                                                We’re Purple and Gold, Easton High.

                                                We’ll back you to stand

                                                ‘Gainst the best in the land

                                                For we know you have sand, Easton High.

                                                Rah! Rah!

                                                So crack out the ball, Easton High.

                                                We’re backing you all, Easton High.

                                                Our team is our fame protector:

                                                On! Boys for we expect a

                                                Victory from you Easton High!


                                                Che-he, cha-ha, cha-ha-ha-ha,

                                                Easton, Easton,

                                                Rah, Rah, RAH!


                                                Fling out that dear old flag of

                                                Purple and Gold,

                                                Lead on your sons and daughters

                                                Fighting for you

                                                Like men of old, on giants.

                                                Placing reliance, shouting defiance


                                                Amid the broad green plains that nourish our land,

                                                For honest Labor and for Learning we stand.

                                                And unto thee we pledge our heart and our hand,

                                                Dear Alma Mater, EASTON HIGH!

Easton High School
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Now Illini Central Grade School


Easton High School offered boys sports for many years and joined all other Illinois schools in the early 1970s by offering girls sports. The boys competed in basketball, track, and possibly baseball. The girls played basketball, volleyball, and track. Conference affiliation, great teams and coaches, all are items needed for this page.

We are told that many of the trophies and a great many pictures of Easton High School’s storied past are available for viewing at the Easton Fire Hall.

Girls Volleyball

The Lady netters of Easton High had a couple of seasons to remember.  The 1986-87 year was a magical one indeed. The girls volleyball team of that year finished SECOND in the IHSA Class “A” Volleyball Tournament. The girls made one other Sweet 16 appearance and won Regional Championships in three other seasons including 1988-89, the school’s last. Only the 1986-87 school year has information on it. Information is needed on the other great Easton teams and coaches as well.

1983-84               Regional Champions

1984-85               Regional Champions

1985-86               Regional Champions

                            Sectional Champions

                            Sweet 16 Finalists

1986-87  33 – 4    Team Finished SECOND in IHSA Class “A” Tournament!!  Coach Betty Cress

                            Regional Champions

                            Sectional Champions

                            Super-Sectional Champions

                            Elite 8 Quarter-Final Winner over Mendon Unity

                            Final 4 Semi-Final Winner over Breese Mater Dei

                            Class A Championship Finalist –

                            Lost to Stewardson-Strasburg 15-7, 15-6

1988-89              Regional Championship

                            School’s Last Season

Boys Basketball

The boys basketball team of Easton High School held there own for several seasons as well. The program produced nine District title teams with one of those teams moving on to win the Regional Championship also. There is very limited information available on the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org) regarding the many great seasons of Easton High basketball lore. We are looking for the team records and coaches names of hte better teams on EHS history.

Several basketball scores were located on a site titled “Illinois Postseason High School Basketball Scores” which can be viewed at the following address:


1921-22               Mason City District Tournament        Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Athens 33-23

Athens beat Green Valley in title game.

1943-44               Easton District Champions             Coach’s name & record needed

Early Rd Scores Needed

                            Title Game Beat San Jose 29-27 (O/T)

                            Athens Regional Tournament

1st Rd Beat Mason City

                            Semi-final lost to Springfield Cathedral 42-15

Cathedral beat Athens in title game

1944-45  32 – 2    District/Regional Champions         Coach Lyle Drake

                            Mason County Tourney Champs

                            West Central Conf. Champs

                            Greenview District Champions

                            1st Rd Beat Kilbourne 64-38

                            Semi-final Beat San Jose 39-32

                            Title Game Beat Greenview 32-30

                            Havana Regional Champions

                            1st Rd Beat Petersburg 55-29

                            Semi-final Beat Athens 34-28

                            Title Game Beat Springfield Feitshans 44-40

                            Pekin Sectional Tournament

                            Semi-final Rd lost to Peoria Central 47-38

PEORIA CENTRAL (47): Robertson 18, Weik 15, Blane 10, Koch 2, Bond 2

EASTON (38): Cunningham 15, Lynn 10, Clark 9, Herman 3, Hovey 1.

Peoria Central beat Bloomington in title game

Peoria Central lost in Elite 8 Rd.

Easton High School Basketball Team of 1944-45
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Submitted by Phil Shadid / Courtesy of Gene Hermann, Bob Kuntzmann, & Ted Connolly

BACK ROW, L TO R: Paul Jockisch-mgr., Dean Pottorf, John McCoy, Marvin Huber, Dale Phelps, coach Lyle Drake. 

FRONT ROW, L TO R: Gerald Riegel, Don Hovey, Stanley Cunningham, Richard Lynn, Gene Hermann, Harold Clark.

             From our good friend Phil Shadid regarding the team of 1944-45:

The Hawks won the San Jose Holiday Tournament, the West Central Conference and the Mason County Tournament.  A loss to Ashland on Feb. 9, 1945, was their only blemish on the regular season.  They then won the District Tourney and beat Springfield Feitshans (44-40) to claim the Havana Regional.  In the Sectional at Pekin on March 06, they bowed out with a 47-38 loss to Peoria Central (1038 students).  Coach Drake’s boys led the Peoria team entering the fourth quarter, but a 11 point surge by the Lions cost Easton the game.

Coach Drake (also principal) was a graduate of Western State Teachers College (now Western Ill. Univ.) and had a Masters degree from the Univ. of Illinois.  He was in his eighth year as coach of the 86-student school.  His top players were: 6-3 Gene Hermann, 6-1 Stanley Cunningham, 6-foot Richard Lynn, 5-11 Donald Hovey, and Harold Clark.  First off the bench was Gerald Riegel.

The weekly newspaper, Mason County Democrat, ran this profile of the team just before the conclusion of the season: “Except for Cunningham, the others on the team came from farms in the Easton vicinity, and none had played basketball except in high school.  The were drilled in the only department of the game which counts: good shooting from any angle of the floor, combined with a fast break and tight defense. All of the players use one-handed shots for both long and short attempts, and take pride in their defense as well as offense.  The team as a whole has averaged 45 points per game, to their opponents 26.”


1954-55              IHSA District Champions                   Coach’s name & record needed

District Scores Needed

                           Havana Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Havana 71-55

Havana beat Springfield in title game

Havana lost in Sectional

1955-56              Chandlerville District Champions      Coach’s name & record needed

Semi-final Beat Chandlerville 73-60

                           Title Game Beat Ashland

                           Havana Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Petersburg 73-66

Mason City beat Havana in title game

1956-57  23 – 2   Mason County Tourney Champs        Coach Ed Reeves.

Lost to Ashland during the regular season

and lost to them in the District tournament.

Easton HS won their conference, and the

Mason County Tournament, and kept the

“Green Duck” for the entire season!

Easton District Runner-Up

                           Semi-final Beat Greenview 64-48

Title Game lost to Ashland 83-67

1958-59              Easton District Champions            Coach’s name & record needed

Semi-final Beat Greenview 68-61

                           Title Game Beat Bath Balyki 61-58

                           Havana Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Manito Forman 65-57

Mason City beat Athens in title game


1960-61              Greenview District Champions      Coach’s name & record needed

Semi-final Beat Chandlerville 61-55

                           Title Game Beat Greenview 65-46

                           Havana Regional Tournament

1st Rd Beat Athens 53-46

Semi-final lost to Mason City 66-45

Mason City beat Manito Forman in title game

1961-62              Bath District Champions                Coach’s name & record needed

Semi-final Beat Ashland 60-53

                           Title Game Beat Bath Balyki 43-38

                           Havana Regional Tournament

1st Rd Beat Pleasant Plains 43-40

Semi-final lost to Havana 58-39

Havana beat Athens in title game


1964-65              Easton District Champions            Coach’s name & record needed

Semi-final Beat Ashland 109-67

                           Title Game Beat Greenview 47-34

                           Havana Regional Tournament

1st Rd Beat Petersburg 68-66

Semi-final lost to Mason City 67-64

Mason City beat Pleasant Plains in title game

1971-72  19 – 9                                                          Coach Hugh Friday

1972-73  22 – 2                                                          Coach Hugh Friday

1981-82  19 – 8                                                          Coach Doug Graven

1982-83  17 – 10                                                        Coach Doug Graven    

1983-84  18 – 10                                                             Coach Doug Graven

1988-89               School’s Final Year                       Coach’s name & record needed

**From our good friend Phil Shadid:

Information regarding the MASON COUNTY BOYS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT, which was held for 68 years, and ended in 1989:

EASTON: won 6 County Tourney championships and finished second 9 times!!”

Boys Track & Field

Two Easton High School tracksters made the trip to the IHSA State Finals brought home some hardware. One “kid”, a boy named Holl, won the Class “B” State Championship in the pole vault in 1925!! In 1986, Jerry Payne followed that up with an 8th Place finish in the 800 meter run.

1925B     Lyle Roll          Pole Vault             STATE CHAMPION!!

1986A     Jerry Payne     800 Meter Run       8TH Place


The Illinois Theatre Festival is the largest, non-competitive high school theatre festival in the world. It was organized in 1976 by teachers from the Chicago suburbs. This festival is still going strong as they perform at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and Illinois State University every other January. Easton High school participated in this festival in 1978 and 1985.

Special Thanks

The photos on this page are courtesy of Jon, Jim, and Dan Wheat taken in January of 2006!

Need More Information

If you have any more information that will help make the Easton High School page complete, please e-mail us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net. You can also write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631

Easton Grade School Building
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Submitted by Dorothy Fahs
Easton Grade School Building 1958
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Submitted by Dorothy Fahs
Easton Grade School 5th Grade Team 1958-59
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Submitted by Rich Lascelles

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