Elburn High School “Trojans”

Elburn High School Building 2012
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Now a Community Center

The History Of Elburn High School

Elburn HS Dedication Plaque & Sports Trophies

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Submitted by Bruce Firchau (left click on photo for larger view)

Elburn is located on the intersection of Illinois Routes 38 and 47 west of St. Charles. It was first called Blackberry Station before changing to Elburn in 1885. Today, Elburn is a fast-growing community in a faster-growing Western Chicagoland area.

Before 1930, all students K-12 were housed in the same building, in which there were two, one before the other. The latter was located on the south end of First Street. In 1930, the newer Elburn High School was built, north of Elburn’s downtown district.

In 1948, when the state encouraged Unit school districts to form and eliminating the countryside schoolhouse, Community School District #302 was organized.  In 1958, the Kaneland High School was built and the former Elburn High School became the Elburn Elementary School. Students from Elburn, Kaneville, Maple Park and Sugar Grove were taken to the newer school. The school was used as an elementary school until 1984. Today, there is a newer state-of-the-art school (built in 1998) that serves the growing community. The Kaneland school district is in talks of building a couple more high schools. If the community continues to grow, there could be a newer high school OR an “Elburn High School” in the near future.

Kaneland High School is located outside of Maple Park on Keslinger Road. An informative page on the history of Elburn can be found at:  http://www.elburn.il.us/history/martinhistory.html .

Elburn High School “Quick Facts”:

Year opened:                 1890’s

Year deactivated:            1958, in favor of Kaneland High School

Building used for now:     Grade School until 1984, Elburn and Countryside Community Center today

School Colors:                Red & Black

Nickname:                      the “Trojans”

Fight Song:                     unavailable


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Elburn HS Bleachers & Balcony – 2012
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Courtesy of Bruce Firchau (left click on photo for larger view)
Elburn HS Gym From Balcony – 2012
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Courtesy of Bruce Firchau (left click on photo for larger view)
Elburn H.S. Gym
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Floor also used as a stage, seats are to the right (left click on photo for larger view)


Elburn High School offered Basketball, Football, and probably Track and Baseball.

Boys Basketball

Elburn won five IHSA District Basketball Championships: This was a great accomplishment, especially in the 1920s when the District tournament included all schools from the area, regardless of their enrollment. Many scores involving Elburn HS playing in the IHSA Tournament were found on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores” and are listed below as well.

Coach’s names and season records are needed for many of the seasons listed below, as well as the other seasons that are not listed.

1923-24                     District Champions                           Coach’s name & season record needed

(District scores needed)

Joliet Sectional Tourney. 

                                 1st Rd. – Beat Bloom Twnshp 18-16

                                 Semi-final – Lost to Batavia 14-12

                                 Batavia lost to Elgin in title game.

1924-25                     District Champions                           
Coach’s name & season record needed

                                 (District scores needed)

                                 Joliet Sectional Tourney. 

                                 1st Rd. – Lost to Streator 27-16

Streator lost in semi-final to Elgin


1926-27                     District Champions                            Coach’s name & season record needed

                                 (District scores needed)

                                 Sterling Sectional Tourney. 

                                 1st Rd. – Lost to Moline 30-28 (O/T)

Moline lost in semi-final

1933-34                     DeKalb District Tournament                  Coach’s name & record needed

    Qtr Final – Beat Maple Park  37-17

                                 Semi-final – lost to Sycamore 28-16

Sycamore won District title.


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

1st Rd. – Lost to Kirkland 20-15

Kirkland lost in 2nd Rd.

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

    Qtr Final – Beat Burlington 26-11

                                 Semi-final – lost to Hampshire 21-19

Hampshire lost title game

1936-37 through 1943-44 Coaches names, records, postseason scores needed.

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

1st Rd. – Lost to Mooseheart 44-39

Mooseheart won District title

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

1st Rd. – Lost to Yoirkville 44-22

Yorkville won District title

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

1st Rd. – Lost to  Mooseheart 87-16

Mooseheart lost in semi-final.

1947-48                     Hebron District Tournament                     Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd. – Lost to West Chicago 59-46

West Chicago lost in 2nd Rd.

1948-49                     Mooseheart District Tournament             Coach’s name & record needed

 1st Rd. – Beat Batavia 42-38

                                 Semi-final – Lost to Geneva 72-46

Geneva lost title game

1949-50                     Geneva District Tournament                    Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd. – Lost to Mooseheart 34-33 (O/T)

Mooseheart won District title.

1950-51                     Oswego District Tournament                  Coach’s name & record needed

 1st Rd. – Beat Oswego 59-36

                                 Semi-final – Lost to Mooseheart

Mooseheart won District title.

1951-52                     Mooseheart District Tournament             Coach’s name & record needed

2nd Place in Tourney!

 1st Rd. – Beat Yorkville 37-33

                                 Semi-final – Beat Mooseheart 42-41

                                 Title Game – Lost to Oswego 57-55

1953-54                     District Champions                              Coach Nate DeLong

(Record & District scores needed)

Batavia Regional Tournament

                                 1st Rd. Lost to St. Charles 54-48 (O/T)

St. Charles lost in title game

1954-55   30 – 2          District Champions                              Coach Bill Ebenezer

                                 (District scores needed)

Aurora Regional Tournament

                                 1st Rd. – Beat Wheaton 64-62

                                 Semi-final – Beat Aurora West 80-51

                                 Title Game – Lost to Aurora East 69-68 (O/T)

**Regarding the final game versus Aurora East from 1955 Elburn HS team member Michael McWilliams:

“East got off to a fast start and led Elburn 20-13 at the end of the first quarter. Itr was a 36-29 lead for East at halftime. The game was tied 46-46 at the end of three quarters. East Aurora led 60-58 with five seconds to play and East missing a free throw. In a wild scramble for the loose missed free throw, Mel Lye (of Elburn) gained possession, and was fouled just as the horn sounded to end the game.

The Referees determined the the foul occurred just as time expired.  Mel (a sophomore) would get to shoot a 1 and 1 free throw, but there was no time left and the other players were not allowed to line-up for the free throw. Lye made his first attempt. This gave him the 1 bonus free throw to possibly tie the game. (More than a little pressure here, on my young friend)  He hit the second free throw (nothing but net on both) and the game was tied 60-60 at the end of regulation time.

Elburn led with 13 seconds left in overtime 68-67.  Ron Lye (Mel’s brother) had fouled out in the final minute of regulation time. Bob Carlson had replaced Ron Lye at that time, and had scored the opening basket in O.T. Elburn had possession with 19 seconds left in O.T. and had possession after a time out, following a missed East Aurora shot.

East tried to steal the inbound pass to Carlson, failed, and fouled Carlson with 13 seconds left to play.  The free throw missed, and East gained possession.  A pass from Dave Timok to Don Campbell gave Don a open shot from 15 feet in the corner, which he hit – for a 69-68 East lead with less than five seconds to play. No time to get the ball upcourt for a shot, East Aurora won the thriller 69-68.

Dave Timok scored 25 points in this game to led EA in scoring 21 of these points were free throws.  He was 21 of 24 from the foul line. The 21 free throws, and 24 attempts, are still East Aurora all time single game records.

Elburn starters were:  Bud Wise (Our season high-scorer)  Bud led our varsity in scoring his final three seasons. Ron Lye, Don Henderson, Mike McWilliams (all seniors), and sophomore – Mel Lye.

Bud Wise later became Mayor of Elburn.  Elburn, a expanding community, has honored Bud by naming a new street after him – Wise Street.  Bud still lives in Elburn, with his wife (also a Elburn High School, Class of ’55 grad, MarilynDon Henderson lives in Sycamore, after many years in Elburn. Mike McWilliams is located in Tulsa, OK. Ron and Mel Lye are both deceased, as is Bob Carlson.  Also, our great coaches Nate De Long coached  1952 and 1953, and Bill Ebeneezer 1951 and 1955 have passed on. Ebby was drafted into service (Korea) and missed two seasons.  Nate De Long replaced him while Ebby was gone. Both were great men and great leaders.”

1955-56  Coach’s name, record, & postseason scores needed.

1956-57   20 – 9                                                                      Coach Bill Ebenezer

(postseason scores needed)

1957-58   18 – 11                                                                    Coach Ron Johnson

(postseason scores needed)

Inside Elburn H.S.
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IHSA Championships and trophies welcome you in
Elburn HS District Championship Trophy 1927
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Submitted by Bruce Firchau (left click on photo for larger view)
Elburn HS 1924 Basketball, 1925 & 1927 Track
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Submitted by Bruce Firchau (left click on photo for larger view)

Basketrball Memories

Regarding the 1953-54 and 1954-55 basketball teams, great ones at that, from 1957 alum Nels Howard:

“The 1953-54 basketball team was very good with a number of players who had played basketball together since they were little kids. Bill Ebenezer was the coach of that team (as well as the football team) and often made use of a “double pivot” lineup using two centers, each over 6’4″ (Robert “Rube” Stevenson and Mike McWilliams). They were both plenty tall for centers in those days. I don’t remember their final record.

But the next year, 1954-55, the basketball team under Coach Ebenezer was perhaps one of the best teams in Elburn’s history. They came close to becoming the legend that Hebron High School established a few years earlier when they won the state championship with a school population of just 98. — There were no class divisions in those days so small-town schools played big city schools for a single state title.

The Elburn ’54-’55 team ended up with a 30-2 record. They lost a game in mid-season to a local team (I think it was Somonauk) in a fluke loss but easily overpowered most of the schools they played. At one point, at the season’s end, Elburn was ranked 15th in the state by one of the major Chicago newspapers.

The starting five was Bud Wise (later a mayor of Elburn), Don Henderson, Mike McWilliams (“Rube” Stevenson had graduated) Ron Lye and his younger brother, sophomore, Mel Lye. Their games were often won by 20 and 30 point margins. As the season wore on, their games became magnets for everyone who lived in or near Elburn. When the regular season ended and the District games began, the town was empty on game nights.

The route to the “Sweet Sixteen” in Champaign-Urbana required winning the District, the Regional and The Sectional tournaments. I don’t remember if there were Super-Sectionals  then. All teams in the state were funneled down to one championship. — Remember, the entire Elburn High School only had 135 students in 1955. — But the team waltzed through the District games. Then, in the first game of the Regional tournament, played in the West Aurora gym, they defeated Wheaton high school. The next team they face was West Aurora and they outscored them by 31 points.

The final was against East Aurora with an enrollment  of  over  1300 at  the time. The game went back and forth for four quarters. As the buzzer sounded the end of the regular game, East Aurora appeared to have won by two points. The crowd got up and started to leave. But as the buzzer was sounding, a referee was waving his hands. Mel Lye had been fouled. He was just a sophomore but calmly stepped to the free-throw line and sank two perfect free throws. The crowd sat back down and the game went into overtime. The game ended in overtime with East Aurora winning by 1 point.  It didn’t end the way everyone in Elburn wanted it to, but it was probably the most exciting basketball game any of us ever saw before or since.”

Thanks for sharing that information and the memories, Nels!

Great Coach

Early his career Coach Ron Johnson guided the Elburn boys basketball team in his rookie season (1957-58).  This is significant because Coach Johnson went on to become the 10th all-time winningest coach in IHSA Basketball history with an overall record of 710 – 406.  Coach Johnson lists the schools he coached at from 1957 to 1998 as Elburn, Maple Park Kaneland, and St. Charles.


The following accomplishments and better team records of the Elburn High School Trojan football program are listed below and were provided by our good friend Tom Sikorski..

1953  4-2-1   2nd place Rainbow conference

1954  6-1       Rainbow Conference Co-Champs       Coach Bill Ebeneezer

1955  3-2-1   2nd place Rainbow conference                 Coach Bill Ebeneezer

Seeking Further Information

If you have more Information about Elburn High School, including photos of the school, high school memories, and other great athletic teams you would like to share please e-mail this web site 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

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