Farina (LaGrove) High School “Bobcats”

Farina LaGrove High School Building – 2015
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Now Farina South Central High School Building

The History of Farina (La Grove) High School

The town of Farina (population 558) is located in southern Illinois in southeastern Fayette County.  The Illinois Routes of 185 and 37 intersect in town just east of Interstate Highway 57.  The East Fork of the Kaskaskia River flows through town.  The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad also lays tracks through town.  A town of note for reference might be Effingham located 25 miles northeast of Farina.

Farina La Grove alum (Class of 1988) Andy Heustis provided this bit of history on Farina LaGrove High School:

“The name La Grove actually came from the merger of La Clede township and Long Grove township (with Farina being in the middle of the two). I don’t know exactly when this happened, but it was before the 1940’s.

The current building that the school uses (now it is South Central) was built in 1941. There was an addition to the building in 1978 which added a new gym, library, music and band rooms.

The merger between La Grove and Kinmundy-Alma occurred in 1990. The merger was actually started in 1984 with a few students from each school attending a few morning classes at the other school. In 1988 when I graduated, it came to the point where we would go to Kinmundy for morning classes and then both schools would go to Farina for afternoon classes.  I was the last one in my

family to graduate from La Grove. My little sister was the first to graduate from South Central in 1990.

The High School building in Farina is still the High School for the district. The High School building in Kinmundy is now the Junior High(6th-8th grades) for the district. Both towns still have a Grade Schools that have K-5th grades.”

Farina (LaGrove) High School Quick Facts

Year Farina La Grove HS started:     1942

Year became Farina South Central:  1990

School nickname:                               the “Bobcats”

School colors:                                    Blue & Red

School Fight Song:                             unavailable


The success of the Farina (LaGrove) High School athletic program is well documented on the IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org). Accomplishments are listed in boys basketball, girls basketball, and girls volleyball.  We are certain Farina (LaGrove) HS also offered girls track and boys track and baseball.  We are truly in need of some research from an area fan or resident of Farina.  The accomplishments listed on the IHSA web site are listed below.

Boys Basketball

Farina (LaGrove) High School has a very extensive listing on the IHSA web site.  Records and coach’s names are available for all the FLHS boys teams from 1942 to 1988.  Though no IHSA hardware was won Farina (LaGrove) enjoyed many great seasons on the hardwood court.  The best of those records and successes are listed below. To view scores of Farina LaGrove High School in the IHSA State Tournament click on the following website link:  https://sites.google.com/site/xtmi2000/

1941-42   17 – 10     (nice record)                           Coach Paul Monical

1955-56   21 – 6       (nice record)                           Coach Art Manwaring

1968-69   17 – 8       (nice record)                           Coach Bill Sarver

1969-70   22 – 4       (great record)                          Coach Bill Sarver

1971-72   21 – 4       (great record)                          Coach Dan Garrett

1973-74   17 – 8       (nice record)                           Coach Tom Jackson

1974-75   20 – 5       Midland Trail Conf Champs  Coach Tom Jackson

1977-78   18 – 7       (nice record)                           Coach Gary Sessions

Vandalia Holiday Tourney highlights from Mark Jurenga:

1973 – 3rd Place  LaGrove beat Trenton (Wesclin). Outscored Wesclin 18-0 at the Free Throw line. Steve Soldner of LaGrove scored 38 points in the game.

1974 – Champ – 2nd Place – Nokomis 56 LaGrove 44

1976 – Consolation Champ LaGrove beat Oblong

All-Tournament Team

1973 – Steve Soldner

1974 – Steve Soldner (MVP)

Soldner went on to become a standout basketball player at Kansas State University (see below). Soldner still (as of 2007) holds the tournament record of 72 rebounds (in 3 games) in 1974.(Currently teams in the VHT play 5 games and have since at least 1993, but Soldner’s record remains.) Soldner was a rebounding machine. According to the 2007 Vandalia Holiday Tournament Program (pg. 8), “his 38 rebounds against Casey still stands as the best individual rebounding performance.”

St. Elmo Tournament Highlights from Mark Jurenga:

1968- Champions over Altamont

1970- 2nd Place; lost to Findlay

1971- Champions over St. Elmo

Cheerleader Awards

1979- 1st Place

1986- 1st Place

**Great Player – as researched by Mark Jurenga:

Steve Soldner

*Averaged 26.2 ppg and 23, yes 23, rebounds per game.

*Farina LaGrove won the Midland Trail Conference in 1974-75

*Played basketball at Kansas State from 1976-1979.

*Was named team captain his senior year.

*Played in 74 career games.

*Played for Big 8 regular season and tournament champions in 1977.

*Averaged 8.7 ppg including 12.1 his senior year; #66 in K-State career points.

*He amassed 433 rebounds in his career; 5.9 per game.

*He led K-state in rebounds in 1977-78.

*He still holds the all-time career field goal percentage mark with.558 (255-430).

*He is #2 and #3 in field goal percentage for a season.

– 1977-78 .600 (108-180)

– 1978-79 .584 (135-231)

Girls Basketball

The girls basketball program at Farina (LaGrove) also enjoyed many great seasons. Included in their success was the winning of one Regional title.  Team records and coach’s names are listed on the IHSA web site and the best of these are again listed below.

1976-77     8 – 5     (nice record)                    Coach Jimmy Page

1977-78   10 – 5     (nice record)                    Coach Jimmy Page

1980-81   14 – 6     (nice record)                    Coach Ann Stock

1981-82   17 – 2     Regional Champions     Coach Brien Guy

1982-83   11 – 5     (nice record)                    Coach Brien Guy

Girls Volleyball

The Farina (LaGrove) High School girls volleyball team also brought home some IHSA hardware.  In fact the team won three District titles and one Sectional title.  Unfortunately coaches names and team records are not available.  These successful seasons are listed below.

1979-80     District Champions

1980-81     District Champions

1981-82     District / Sectional Champions!!

Always Looking for More Information

If you have ANY more information you would like to share regarding the history and successful accomplishments of Farina (LaGrove) High School we hope you will write to us so we can share it with others.  We are especially interested in a photo of the original Farina La Grove High School building.  We are also seeking information on the mergers mentioned above.  You can e-mail information and photos to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or you can write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631

Farina Grade School Building 2015
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Now a Private Business
Farina Grade School Building 2015
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Now a Private Business
Farina Grade School Gym 2015
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Farina Grade School & Gym Buildings 2015
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Now a Private Business

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