Fairbury-Cropsey High School “Tartars”

Fairbury-Cropsey High School Building
A large building with a lawn in front of it

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                              The History of Fairbury-Cropsey High School

The cities of Fairbury (population 3,968, southeast Livingston County) and Cropsey (population 240, northeast McLean County) are located in east-central IIlinois. Both cities are located about 30-35 miles northeast of Bloomington. The history and backgrounds of each city can be reviewed on their individual pages on this site.

The towns of Fairbury and Cropsey both supported their own high schools from the late 1800s through 1951. The year 1951 is exact, in fact, as to when the high schools located in Fairbury and Cropsey joined forces to create the Fairbury-Cropsey School District. The high school was located in Fairbury, while the school in Cropsey was used as part of the Fairbury-Cropsey School System until it was declared unsafe during the 1970’s.

Fairbury-Cropsey faired quite well for exactly 35 years. It was at the end of the 1984-85 school year when a new consolidation effort took place with Chatsworth and Forrest-Strawn-Wing High Schools. It was then, in 1985, that the Prairie Central School District was formed. Though technically the Fairbury-Cropsey High School District was deactivated, the location of the high school and atmosphere for the students of both towns did not change. Prairie Central High School remained located in the Fairbury-Cropsey High School buildiing.

Fairbury-Cropsey High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                   1951

Year deactivated:            1985

Consolidated to:              Prairie Central High School (Fairbury)

School nickname:           the “Tartars”

School colors:                 Green & Gold

School Fight Song:         “F.C. High”


To F.C. High the school we love, we sing a song of praise

To all her many victories won, and high her banners raise

To glorify our alma mater and work for her with zest

To show that all the word around that F.C. High is best…

So let’s sing out a cheer while we’re all gathered here

Cheer for old F.C. High.  Rah, rah!

We are ready and bold for the green and the gold

Of dear old F.C. High

For her honor and fame and her glorious name

We will send every loyal man.

So let’s cheer, cheer, the gang’s all here

All out for F.C. High.

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The Fairbury-Cropsey Tartars had many great teams and successful athletes in their short run together. IHSA hardware (www.ihsa.org) was won in the boys sports of track & field, wrestling, and one journey into the state football playoffs. The boys had some nice sesons in basketball as well. The girls also won some hardware in track & field, including several individual medals, as well as some good success in volleyball. It is believed the Lady Tartars also competed in basketball.

A very informational blog by Jim Munz helps chronicle the athletic history of Fairbury-Cropsey: www.rememberthetartars.blogspot.com. What is a Tartar, you ask? A Tartar was a Mongolian Warrior. And a brave sole at that!

Boys Basketball

The Tartars were competitive in both the Mid-State and Sangamon Valley Conferences while the school was open, taking one IHSA regional title and three conference plaques to go along with some nice seasons recorded on the IHSA web site. The best of those are listed below. Scores from the IHSA State Tourney located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores” are also listed below.

1951-52               Lexington Regional Tournament        Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Lexington 69-43

Lexington won Regional over Normal U-High

1952-53   15- 9    Mid-State Conf. 3rd Place (10-4)        Coach John Reakes

Fairbury Regional Tournament

1st Rd Beat Normal U-High 69-57

Semi-final lost to Normal HS 81-69

Normal HS beat Lexington in title game

1953-54               Fairbury Regional Tournament           Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Normal HS 55-53 (O/T)

Semi-final lost to Lexington 68-56

Lexington beat Colfax Octavia in title game

1954-55               Fairbury Regional Tournament           Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Chenoa 74-56

Semi-final lost to Normal 81-68

Normal beat Normal U-High in title game

1955-56   16-11   MId-State Conf. Champs (10-2)       Coach George Fyke

Fairbury Regional Tournament

1st Rd Beat Normal U-High 69-65

Semi-final lost to Normal 70-62

Normal beat Forrest in title game

1956-57   23- 7    Mid-State Conf. Champs (11-1)       Coach George Fyke

Normal Regional Runnner-Up

                            1st Rd Beat Lexington 82-76

                            Semi-final Beat Colfax Octavia 68-60

                            Title Game lost to Forrest-Strawn-Wing 79-69

FORREST-STRAWN-WING (79): Rieger 35, J. Bachtold 18, R. Bachtold 14, Merritt 6, Aellig 4, E. Bachtold 1.

FAIRBURY (69): Moore 26, Bach 12, Doran 12, Kafer 11, Bazzell 6, Yeck 2.

1957-58   24- 6    Fairbury Regional Champions        Coach George Fyke

                            1st Rd Beat Colfax Octavia 67-48

                            Semi-final Beat Normal U-High 72-61

                            Title Game Beat Forrest-Strawn-Wing 69-66

                            LaSalle Sectional Tournament

                            Semi-final lost to Ottawa 71-58

Ottawa beat Tiskilwa in title game

OTTAWA (71): Varland 20, Clements 16, Lindemann 15, Parkins 13, Martin 7.

FAIRBURY (58): Kafer 18, Doran 16, Moore 12, Bach 5, Goembel 4, Ward 3


1958-59   15- 8    Normal Regional Tournament            Coach George Fyke 

                            1st Rd lost to Colfax Octavia 72-59

Octavia lost to Normal HS in title game

1959-60               Fairbury Regional Runner-Up          Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Colfax Octavia 58-54

                            Semi-final Beat Forrest-Strawn-Wing 58-52

Title Game lost to Normal HS 102-68

1960-61               Normal Regional Tournament             Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Colfax Octavia 37-36

Octavia lost to Lexington in title game

1961-62               Fairbury Regional Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Colfax Octavia 53-51

Octavia beat Normal U-High in title game

1962-63   13- 8    Normal Regional Tournament              Coach Dwayne Roe

1st Rd lost to Lexington 52-43

Lexington lost to Octavia in semi-final

Octavia beat Normal HS in title game

1963-64               Fairbury Regional Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Normal HS 64-54

Octavia beat Normal in semi-final

Octavia beat Lexington in title game

1964-65               Normal Regional Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Bloomington Trinity 61-42

Trinity beat Normal U-High in title game

1965-66               Bloomington Regional Tournament      Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Normal U-High 59-42

Normal lost to Bloomington in semi-final

Bloomington lost to Normal U-High in title game

1966-67               Fairbury Regional Tournament            Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Normal HS 64-54

Normal U-High lost to Normal in semi-final

Normal beat Bloomington Trinity in title game

1967-68               Normal Regional Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Bloomington C.C. 63-36

B.C.C. lost to Normal U-High in title game

Normal U-High beat Normal in title game

1968-69               Bloomington Regional Tournament      Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Normal HS 74-39

Normal beat Bloomington C.C. in title game

1969-70               Normal Regional Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Normal U-High 77-44

Normal U-High beat Colfax Octavia in title game

1970-71   16- 8   Sangamon Valley Conf. Champs      Coach Bill Winn

                            Bloomington Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Normal HS 93-60

Normal lost to Normal U-High in semi-final game

Normal U-High beat Bloomington HS in title game

1971-72               Fairbury Class ‘A’ Regional Tourney   Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Gridley

Gridley lost to Colfax Octavia in semi-final

Octavia lost to Normal U-High in title game

1972-73 through 1979-80  Postseason scores, records, and coaches’ names needed.

1980-81   18- 8    Sangamon Valley Conf. Champs     Coach Dennis Kagel

Postseason scores needed.

1981-82 through 1984-85  Postseason scores, records, and coaches’ names needed.


The boys football team at Fairbury-Cropsey High School also had some good seasons on record. Starting with the first year that the school was in existence, F-C was a contender for the Mid-State Conference title, winning the conference in 1956 and stopped Chenoa’s 44-game unbeaten conference streak that season.

During their stint in the Mid-State as Fairbury or Fairbury-Cropsey, the Tartars sported a conference record of 40-12-2 (.769 winning percentage)!! In Sangamon Valley play, the 1970 & 1973 teams won confernece titles as the 1970 squad was undefeated! The team of 1983-84 even ventured into the 2A state playoffs. The best of the Fairbury-Cropsey Tartar football seasons are listed below.

1951-52    6-2      Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (6-2)            Coach Bob Hainline

1955-56    5-2-2  Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (5-1-1)         Coach Pat Zuchowski

1956-57    8-1      Mid-State Conf. Champs (7-0)               Coach Pat Zuchowski

1970-71    9-0     Undefeated Regular Season                   Coach John Feely

                                Sangamon Valley Conf. Champs

1973-74    7-2     Sangamon Valley Champions                Coach John Ayres

1974-75    7-2                                                                       Coach John Ayres

1975-76    6-3                                                                       Coach Ken Johnson

1979-80    6-3                                                                       Coach Curt Christenson

1982-83    7-2                                                                       Coach Randy Clifton

1983-84    9-1     Sangamon Valley Champs                     Coach Randy Clifton

                                Undefeated Regular Season

                                  Lost to Dwight 34-6 in State 2A Playoffs


The Fairbury-Cropsey Tartars had two individuals win medals at the state wrestling tournament. Their efforts led the FCHS grapplers to a 5th place finish in the IHSA tournament in 1980. This was Fairbury-Cropsey’s best finish on a state competition level in its short history.

Jim Farley followed up his FOURTH place effort of 1980 in the 105 LBS. Weight Class with a STATE CHAMPIONSHIP in the 112 LBS. Weight Class in 1981!!

1978-79     District Champions                                     Coach Curt Christenson

Individual Medalist

Tom Odom      Weight Class – 138          3rd Place

1979-80    Fifth Place at IHSA Tournament                 Coach Curt Christenson

                      Individual Medalists

Tom Odom        Weight Class  – 138       3rd Place

                         Jim Farley         Weight Class  – 105       4th Place

                  Final Team Standings

                  1.)  Savanna HS                                        101.5

                  2.)  New Lenox Providence HS                 59.5

3.)  Mahomet-Seymour HS                        41.5

4.)  Erie HS                                                   40

                  5.)  FAIRBURY-CROPSEY TARTARS        32.5

6.)  Dakota HS                                              32

7.)  Princeton HS                                          29

8.)  Yorkville HS                                            28

9.)  London Mills Spoon River Valley HS 26

10.) Westville HS                                           24

1980-81   21- 2                                                              Coach Randy Clifton

              Individual Medalist

                 Jim Farley          Weight Class – 112         STATE CHAMPION!!

Girls Track & Field

The Fairbury-Cropsey Lady Tartars had some great success in track & field. A total of eight medals were brought back from the State Track Meet. The girls also won a District title.

1977-78       Team Won a District Championship


                   Individual Medalists   

                         Kathy Ward             Long Jump                                4th Place

                                                            440 Yard Relay Team             7th Place

1978-79        Teresa Bachtold      440 Yard Run                              2nd Place

                                                            440 Yard Relay Team             2nd Place

1979-80        Teresa Bachtold      400 Meter Dash                           4th Place                                             

1980-81                                            800 Meter Medley Relay           3rd Place

                                                           4 X 100 Meter Relay                6th Place

                                                           4 X 200 Meter Relay                8th Place

Girls Volleyball

The Lady Tartar netters won four District titles, two Regional Titles, and a Sectional title. Unfortunately, the team records and coach’s names are not available.

1974-75       District Champions

1977-78       District/Sectional Champions

1978-79       District Champions

1981-82       District Champions

1983-84       Regional Champions

1984-85       Regional Champions

Boys Baseball

The Tartars knew their way around the baseball diamond as well. The teams of from 1952-55 were in the thick of the Mid-State Conference race by staking a claim to a conference title in those years, plus in 1970 and 1971, Fairbury-Cropsey won Sangamon Valley Conference Championships completing their run with only one defeat each season.

1950-51    6-  3                                                                       Coach unknown

1951-52    8 – 2   Mid-State Conf. Champions                     Coach Bob Foard

1952-53  12 – 4   Mid-State Conf. Co-Champs (5-1)            Coach John Reakes

1953-54    7 – 8   Mid-State Conf. Co-Champs (4-1)            Coach John Reakes

1954-55               Mid-State Conf. Co-Champs (4-1)           Coach John Reakes

1967-68  10-5-1                                                                      Coach Dave Jeffries

1968-69  10-  5                                                                       Coach Dave Jeffries

1969-70              Sangamon Valley Conf. Champs             Coach Dave Jeffries

1970-71   16- 1  Sangamon Valley Conf. Champs              Coach Dave Jeffries

Boys Track

The Male thinclads showed great speed and agility as well in their neck of the woods, taking the runner-up position in the Mid-State Conference three times during the 1950’s along with a title in 1956-57, and in 1970-71, the Tartars won the Sangamon Valley Conference Championship.

1952-53     Mid-State Conference Runner-up                                

1954-55     Mid-State Conference Runner-up

1955-56     Mid-State Conference Runner-up

1956-57     Mid-State Conference Champions                    Coach George Fyke

1969-70     8-7 record in duals                                                Coach Bruce Nofftz

1970-71     8-1-1 Sangamon Valley Conf. Champs             Coach John Feely

*Dick Stevens won the Mid-State Conference high jump championship during three consecutive seasons in 1953, ’54, and ’55.

Boys Golf

The Tartars also took the links while the school was open and even though they didn’t come home with IHSA hardware, they did have some winning teams. Here’s a look at some of those squads:

1967-68                                                                                 Coach George Fyke

1968-69    8- 8                                                                       Coach George Fyke

1980-81  11-1-1                                                                     Coach George Fyke

1981-82  10-1-1                                                                     Coach George Fyke


From Cindy Helmers:

“Especially during the 1970’s, FCHS also had an extraordinarily great award-winning band….the “Marching Tartars” directed by Mr. Bruce Hammitt.

Seeking More Information

The Fairbury-Cropsey High School Tartars existed for 34 years and deserve to be remembered for their many accomplishments. If you have any information you can share, you can e-mail it to us at dr.veeman@gmail.com or you can write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631


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