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.
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!
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.
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-CropseyTartar 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
Tom Odom Weight Class – 138 3rd Place
1979-80 Fifth Place at IHSA Tournament Coach Curt Christenson
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
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
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
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
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
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
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.
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 email@example.com or you can write to us at: