Gibson City High School “Greyhounds”

Gibson City High School – 1984
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After Window and Door Renovation
Drummer Township High School 1874 – 1912
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Gibson City, Illinois

The History of Gibson City / Drummer Township High School

Gibson City (population 3,373) is located in eastern Illinois about 35 miles east of Bloomington and 30 miles north of Champaign. This places Gibson City in southwestern Ford County. The town website, , calls Gibson City “The BIGGEST LITTLE CITY of Ford County.” Gibson City is a haven for travel. The Illinois Routes of 47, 54, and 9 all travel to and from Gibson City. Two railroad lines, the Norfolk & Western and the Illinois Central Gulf, have lines that cross in town. Drummer Creek flows on the west side which includes a pond and a lake as well.

The following “History of Gibson City Schools” was written by Tom Benefiel.  It is the most thorough and well-written history of any school on the site.  Great job Tom!


                                                  by Tom Benefiel

The history of the Drummer Township schools and Gibson City schools is as old as the township itself. Drummer Township was the second to organize in Ford County and takes its name from a small grove of trees named after a hunting dog, “Drummer.” “Drummer” got his name because he was so good at “drumming up game.”.

Jonathan B. Lott bought 240 acres of land in 1869 in Section Eleven of the township. He married Margaret Stevens Lott in 1870. The original town of Gibson (named after Mrs. Lott’s maiden name) was platted by Lott and his brother, James, and initially listed 12 city blocks officially in 1870.

The town was incorporated on June 10th, 1872, and Mr. Lott helped the young village to get three railroads to run through town. Soon after, the city of Gibson became Gibson City. “City” was added to the town’s official title because there was post office confusion between Gibson and Gilson, IL. One of the widest streets in Gibson City is named Lott Boulevard in Jonathan’s honor.

The first school in Gibson City was located on Drummer Creek, two miles northwest of town. The Drummer Grove school district was formed before the City of Gibson in 1866. In 1872, the district disbanded the Drummer Creek school and used Union Hall on Sangamon Avenue in Gibson City for classes.

A school was built for $10,000 and opened on December 4th, 1874, at the northeast corner of Melvin and Third Streets. The school grounds took up half a block. As Gibson City grew, Third Street became Ninth Street. Eventually, the address where there was an active school on that block for over a century was 200 N. Melvin Street. The first high school class met on the upper floor of this building in 1876 and graduated a class of four students in 1880.

A small building was added to the grounds in 1882 and a larger addition was built in 1888. These structures were destroyed in a fire on January 10th, 1912. The bell that was in the tower at the school was fished out of the ashes and today is on a stand next to the entrance of the unit office on 17th Street.

A new grade school was built that year for $50,000 on the same site where the building still stands today. However, the current-day building never housed high school students, being a kindergarten through 8th grade facility until 1955. The 1912 Gibson City Grade School was closed at the end of the 1984-85 school year. It sat abandoned to vandals and pigeons until 1994 when a local developer bought the building and converted it into low-income senior citizen housing that thrives today.

The Drummer Township School District was officially formed in 1911. Fortunately for the school district, the new Drummer Township High School building was dedicated on October 27th, 1911 before the winter, 1912, elementary school fire. This school was located on the south-east corner of Church and 16th Streets and was built for $65,000. Initially, the 9th through 12th grade High School housed 120 students.

As with many smaller schools after World War II, thirteen rural schools in and around Gibson City held elections to form the Gibson City Community Unit School District #1 on July 3rd, 1948. With consolidation came the need for more facilities with the building of class rooms, and a shop north of the old Drummer Township High School building, now known as the Gibson City High School.

In October, 1955, a brand new Gibson City High School building was opened across Church Street to the west of the old Drummer High building on the grounds of the athletic field. Built to handle up to 550 students, initial enrollment was 296 students with a high enrollment in 1975 of just under 500.

The athletic field was moved just west of the new high school across Sangamon Avenue where it is still in use today. The former high school was converted into the Gibson City Junior High School, housing 5th through 8th grades. At this time the Melvin Street facility became a kindergarten through 4th grade building.

An addition to the south end of GCHS was completed in 1964 and included a separate shops building directly west of the school. At the same time, unit offices were moved from the high school building to the north end of the GCJHS building where the shops used to be housed.

At the end of the 1965-66 school year, the Foosland Grade School was closed and students were enrolled at the Gibson City Grade School. After the 1969-70 year, the Elliott Grade School was converted to a special education building until closing in the early 1980s. The Foosland school has been since torn down, after having been on the east side of town, empty and abandoned. The Elliott school became the Elliott Community Center until storm damage in the 1990’s was too costly to repair and the building razed.

In 1974, stress cracks were found in the attic of the junior high building due to outer walls bowing outward, causing floors to seperate from the outer shell, thus making the building unstable. A new Gibson City Middle School housing 5th through 8th grade was built just south from the old school. A block of 16th street between Church Street and Lott Boulevard was closed for the new building.

Drummer Township High School Building
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Gibson City Grade School
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Gibson City High School
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Built in 1955

The old Drummer High School building was razed that same year. The original gymnasium and girls’ locker room are still in use today. After the old Drummer High building was demolished, a cafeteria was built to service the middle school on the “footprint” of the old school. High schoolers now had to walk across the street for lunch, for the old high school cafeteria was converted into a study hall. This room was converted into the current-day high school library in 1985.

During the summer of 1984, Gibson City High School had over 75-percent of original single-pane, energy-wasting windows removed from the facility’s facade. New exterior walls were constructed where windows were removed, some new windows were added, the roof was repaired, and the renovation was finished after the start of school in October, 1984.

With the aforementioned closing of the Gibson City Grade School, the Gibson City Middle School became the kindergarten through 6th grade facility at the start of the 1985-86 school term, while the 7th and 8th grades were moved across Church Street into the Gibson City High School. The middle school was now known as Gibson City Elementary, while the old high school was now the Gibson City Junior-Senior High School.

Decided by the residents of Gibson City, Melvin, and Sibley in 1992, the Gibson City and Melvin-Sibley districts merged to form the current-day Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley Unit School District #5 in 1993. Gibson City High School, the school colors of maroon and white, the mascot “Greyhounds,” and the Drummer yearbook named after the old hunting dog, “Drummer,” from Drummer Grove all those years ago, ceased to exist at the end of the 1992-93 school year. This gave way to “progress” – pedestrian colors of red and black, a Falcon bird for a mascot, the new high school annual called the “Falconer” (how original), and the GCMS moniker.

Old Gibson City district facilities still live on in use today. The Junior-Senior High School became the new GCMS High School, the GC Elementary School became the GCMS Elementary School, and a new GCMS Middle School was built north of 19th Street in 2002. Mentioned before, elementary students still enjoy playing in the old Drummer High School gym.

Gibson City HS Enrollments

1971-1972     417

1979-1980     330

1992-1993     247


For information about the Drummer/GCHS Greyhound Festival, honoring all ‘Greyhounds’, please go to :

Gibson CIty / Drummer Township High School Quick Facts

Year opened as Drummer Township HS:              1874

Year named Gibson City HS:                              1955

Year Consolidated with Melvin-Sibley HS:            1993

HS Building today:                                             Gibson City Melvin-Sibley High School

Gibson City School Colors:                                 Maroon & White

School Nickname:                                             the “Greyhounds”

School Fight Song:                                            Gibson Loyalty

Click below for tune

Gibson City High School
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Letter Jacket Emblem – 1967


The Gibson City Drummer Township High School Greyhounds had MANY years of success and attained marked success in many different sports as members of the Wauseca and Sangamon Valley Conferences. The boys have had IHSA success in football, basketball, baseball, track, and wrestling. The Lady Greyhounds won state tourney hardware in basketball, volleyball, track, and bowling. It is possible other sports were offered at the school, however they are not mentioned on the IHSA website (

Conference championships, team records, and coaches names in many sports and many different seasons are needed. If you have any information you can add to this site, please contact us at .

Gibson City HS Gym 2012 – Now GCMS HS Gym
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Photo by Bruce Firchau
Gibson City HS Gym Bleachers 2012
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Photo by Bruce Firchau (Now Gibson City Melvin-Sibley HS Gym

Boys Basketball

Gibson City had many good boys’ basketball teams that included the Dennis Graff-led 1971-72 squad that made the Elite 8 in the IHSA State Tournament and finished with a 24-4 record. Duplicating the feat was Coach Jack Cowgill’s 1979-80 team that featured dominating center Jay Meyer. During the late 1970’s through the mid-1980’s, Gibson City boys’ basketball was one of the more successful teams in the area..

1922-23                Ford County Tourney Champs      Coach unknown

1935-36                District Champions

1941-42                Wauseca Conference Champs         coach unknown

1945-46                Regional Champions

1946-47                Regional Champions

1947-48                Wauseca Conference Champs         coach unknown

1950-51   17-10                                                          Coach Bill Hughes       

1951-52   15-12     Wauseca Conference Champs         Coach Bill Hughes

1952-53   14-13                                                          Coach BIll Hughes

1953-54   13-12                                                          Coach Bill Hughes 

1956-57   16-  9                                                          Coach Jack Hayes

1957-58   22-  7                                                          Coach Jack Hayes

1958-59   21-  5                                                          Coach Jack Hayes

1959-60   16-  9                                                          Coach Bill Fink   

1960-61   17-  6                                                          Coach Bill Fink

1964-65   16-  8                                                          Coach Jim McCarthy

1967-68   16-10     Regional Champions                    Coach Jim McCarthy

1969-70   14-10                                                          Coach Jim McCarthy

1970-71   14-11                                                          Coach Jim McCarthy

1971-72   24-  4     Elite 8 Finalist                               Coach Jack Wright

Gibson City Greyhounds 1971-72
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GCMS Hall of Fame 2012 – Submitted by Ryan Tompkins

                            Wauseca Conference Champions

                            Regional Champions

                            Sectional Champions

                            Super-Sectional Champions

                            Beat Normal U-High  69-61

                            Elite 8 Finalist

Lost to Raymond Lincolnwood 68-66

**For more about this Greyhound team

see below.

1971-72 Team Inducted into the 2012 Gibson City Melvin-Sibley Hall of Fame!

1971-72 Team Members – Photo Taken in 2012
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GCMS Hall of Fame 2012 – Submitted by Ryan Tompkins

from left to right: Terry Acree, John Meredith, Ralph Rhodes, Scott Craig, Mike Foster, Doug Roesch, Coach Jack Wright, Dan Stacey, Glenn Hudson, John Nettleton, Dennis Graff, Kim Schmidt, Andy Thomas.

Kneeling Dennis Culbertson and Bill Hunter

The induction program write-up on the team of 1971-72:

“In the first season of two-class basketball in Illinois the Greyhounds capitalized with a memorable run to the Assembly Hall and on their 40th anniversary will become the 4th team inducted into the GCMS Athletic Hall of Fame.  The coaching staff of assistant coaches Mike Zebarth, Ron Vyverberg, and head coach Jack Wright led the Hounds to a 24-4 record which is a Greyhound record for most wins in a season by a boys basketball team.  Gibson City averaged a whooping 72.8 points per contest and defeated their opponents by an average of more than 20 points per game.  They won the Gibson City Holiday Tournament over Christmas break and in their run to the Hall they defeated rival Paxton in the Regional Title before moving on the Danville Schlarman Sectional where they would avenge three of their season’s losses with wins over Schlarman and Watseka.  In the Super-Sectional, the Hounds defeated the U-High Pioneers 69-61 to advance to the Elite Eight.  In Champaign they lost to Lincolnwood 68-66 in their quarterfinal contest to end their season.  These Greyhounds are immortalized as the first team in school history to advance to state tournament play in boys basketball.  Team members are managers Dennis Culbertson and Bill Hunter, sophomore team members Scott Craig and Andy Thomas, junior team members Dan Stacey, Mike Foster, and Kim Schmidt, and seniors Terry Acree, John Meredith, John Nettleton, Dennis Graff, Doug Roesch, and team captains Glenn Hudson and Ralph Rhodes.”

1972-73  16-12    Regional Champions                     Coach Ted Nehls

1974-75  12-15    Regional Champions                     Coach Ted Nehls

1975-76  16-11                                                          Coach Jack Cowgill

1976-77  18-  9                                                          Coach Jack Cowgill

1977-78  23-  6    Regional Champions                     Coach Jack Cowgill

                           Wauseca Conference Co-Champs

1978-79  18 – 8    Regional Champions                     Coach Jack Cowgill

1979-80  21-  9    Elite 8 Finalist                                Coach Jack Cowgi

Gibson City H S Greyhounds 1979-80
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IHSA Class ‘A’ Elite 8

                           Regional Champions

                            Sectional Champions

                            Super-Sectional Champions

                            Beat Normal U-High  56-53

                            Elite 8 Finalist

Lost to Peoria Bergan 66-55

(Bergan finished 2nd)

1980-81  16-  8                                                           Coach Jack Cowgill

1981-82  16-  9                                                           Coach Jack Cowgill

1982-83  16-10                                                           Coach Jack Cowgill

1984-85  18-11      Regional Champions                    Coach Jack Cowgill

1985-86  13-17      Regional Champions                    Coach Jack Cowgill

1986-87  20-  9      Regional Champions                    Coach Jack Cowgill

Gibson City Greyhounds 1986-87
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Regional Champs – Seniors on this time were state qualifiers in 7th and 8th grade.

1989-90  16-11                                                           Coach Jack Cowgill

1990-91  18-  8                                                           Coach Jack Cowgill

1991-92  21-  8                                                           Coach Jack Cowgill

1992-93  23-  5     Gibson City HS Final Season           Coach Jack Cowgill

                            Sangamon Valley Conference Champs

*Great Coach – Jack Cowgill

                        1975-76 through 1992-93

                        Coach Cowgill led the Greyhounds for 17 memorable seasons.

                        His most successful team was the 1979-80 Elite 8 Finalists.

                        Won 403 total games while coaching at Gibson City, Leland, & Donovan

                        His victory total ranks him #142 all-time in IHSA history.

                        Inducted into the Illinois Basketball Coaches Assoc. Hall of Fame.

                        His Gibson City High School highlights are listed below:

                        303 – 187 Overall at GCHS  —  a .618 winning %

                          14 – Seasons of .500 or better record

                          14 – Seasons of 16 wins or more  

                            6 – Regional Championships

                            5 – Seasons of 20+ games-won

                            1 – Sectional Championship

                            1 – Sweet 16 appearance

                            1 – Super-Sectional Championship

                            1 – Elite 8 appearance

**The following information regarding the Elite 8 finalists of 1971-72 was found in the 1972 IHSA State Tournament program by our good freind Mark Jurenga:

“Team leaders include Dennis Graff scoring 33.7 ppg. with a high game of 67 points. Other standouts: Doug Roesch, Dan Stacy. In two state tournament games, Graff scored 59 points and was named to the all-tournament team. Roesch had 32 pts in the tourney and Stacy scored 29. In the two-point loss to Raymond (Lincolnwood) in the quarterfinals, Graff had 34 points.”

***The following successes were attained in the Bloomington-Normal State Farm Holiday Classic Tournament by the Greyhounds as reported by Mark Jurenga:

Tournament Records

Most Field Goals, Game Both Teams 72, Mendota 37 Gibson CIty 35, 1977


1977 – Jeff Christensen

1976 – Jeff Christensen, Jim Gulliford

Notable Gibson City players that led the Wauseca Conference in scoring:

1940-41   Bob Royal

1941-42   Burdette Collins

1954-55   Bruce Anderson

1963-64   Steve Arends (later starred at Illinois State University, and has since been inducted into their Hall of Fame)

1964-65   Hal Graff

Gibson City HS Gym 2012 (Now GCMS HS Gym)
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GCMS HS Gym 2012 – Formerly Gibson City HS Gym
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Photo by Bruce Firchau

Girls Basketball

The Lady Greyhounds started their own tradition of winning seasons and great teams under the guidance of long-time coach Ossie Jordan. Coach Jordan led the girls basketball program from 1977-78 until the consolidation with Melvin-Sibley in 1992-93. Coach Jordan and the 1992-93 team in fact saved their best for last. The Lady Greyhounds brought home a 3rd Place Finish in the IHSA Class ‘A’ State Playoffs. This team included starters Lisa Noble, Karissa Main, Kathy Arnold, Angie Nettleton and Erin Devaney. Coach Ossie Jordan was also one of the most beloved teachers in school history. This was a great way for the old Gibson City school district to go out of business.

In addition the program won a total of five Regional Championships, one Sectional and one Super-Sectional title. Their best seasons are listed below.

1976-77    6-  5                                                                Coach Rita Carlson

1979-80  11-  8                                                                Coach Ossie Jordan

1980-81  18-  5                                                                Coach Ossie Jordan

1981-82  18-  5      Regional Champions                         Coach Ossie Jordan

1982-83  16-  5                                                                Coach Ossie Jordan

1983-84  22-  2      Regional Champions                         Coach Ossie Jordan

1984-85  18-  8      Regional Champions                         Coach Ossie Jordan

1989-90  15-  9                                                                Coach Ossie Jordan

1990-91  27-  1      Regional Champions                         Coach Ossie Jordan

                            Undefeated Regular Season!

1991-92  24-  2                                                                Coach Ossie Jordan

1992-93  30-  2      IHSA Class A THIRD Place Winners!  Coach Ossie Jordan

Gibson City Lady Greyhounds
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1992-93 IHSA State Tournament 3rd Place

                            Regional Champions

                            Sectional Champions

                            Super-Sectional Champions

                            Elite 8 Quarter-Final Score

                            Beat Tolono Unity 59-41

                            Final Four Semi-Final Score

                            Lost to Carthage 63-43

                            Consolation Game Final Score

                            Beat Stockton 62-51


*Lisa Noble, Kathy Arnold, and Erin Devaney were all in the top-ten for scoring from the super-sectionals through the championship round and Lisa Noble was named to the All-Tournament Team for 1992-93.

                Gibson City High School’s final season!

*Great Coach – Ossie Jordan

                        1979-80 through 1992-93

                        Coached at Gibson City for 16 memorable seasons

                        245 – 147 Overall at GCHS  –  a .659 winning %

                          81 – 5 Record during last three seasons

                          10 – Seasons of .500 or better records

                            9 – Seasons of 15+ games won 

                            5 – Regional Championships

                            4 – Seasons of 20+ games-won

                            1 – Season of 30 games-won

                            1 – Undefeated Regular Season

                            1 – Sectional Championship

                            1 – Sweet 16 Appearance

                            1 – Super-Sectional Championship

                            1 – Elite 8 appearance

                            1 – Final 4 appearance

                            1 – IHSA Tournament Finals Trophy won – Finished 3rd

Greyhound Football Patch
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1985-86 Conference Tri-Champions

Boys Football

There were many successful athletic teams and individuals in Drummer Township / Gibson City High School history including dominant football teams of the early and mid-1950’s. The school was also thrilled by the Jeff Christiansen-quarterbacked gridders in 1976-77, and the last Wauseca Conference football championship in school history in 1985. Christiansen went on to a stellar college career at Eastern Illinois University and played for a time as a back-up in the National Football League.

One of the best football teams at Gibson City may have been the squad of 1957-58. This group was reported to be undefeated & unscored upon until the fourth quarter of the last game. Fairbury scored a touchdown, but the Greyhounds’ defense denied the extra point, winning 7-6. Offensive Guard Paul Garvis went on to University of Missouri and started in two bowl games for the Tigers. Halfback Larry Brooks graduated in 1962 – One of the best in Central Illinois during that time. Brooks set some GCHS records for touchdowns/yardage.

Three of the Greyhound grid iron teams qualified for the IHSA State Playoffs. The best seasons are listed below:

1950-51            Wauseca Conference Champions

1951-52            Wauseca Conference Champions

1956-57            Wauseca Conference Champions

Gibson City HS Football 1956-57
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Wauseca Conference Champions

1957-58  8-  0   Undefeated Season/Conference Champs

                       Allowed one touchdown all season!

1976-77  8-  3   IHSA Class “2A” State Qualifier          Coach Ron Metz

Gibson City Greyhounds Football 1976-77
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Conference Champions – State Playoff Qualifier

                        Wauseca Conference Champions

                         1st Round Beat Tuscola 29-22

                         2nd Round (Elite 8) Lost to Hamilton 15-8

1977-78  6-  4   IHSA Class “2A” State Qualifier          Coach Ron Metz

Gibson City Greyhounds Football 1985-86
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Conference Champs – State Playoff Qualifier

                        Wauseca Conference Champions

                         1st Round (Sweet 16) Lost to Nokomis 35-14


1985-86  8-  3   IHSA Class “2A” State Qualifier          Coach Gene Everett

Gibson City HS Football 1977-78
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Conference Champions – State Playoff Qualifier

                      Wauseca Tri-Conference Champions

                       1st Round Beat Seneca 21-7

                       2nd Round Lost to Paxton 21-14

INTERESTING (AUSPICIOUS) TIDBIT – in the 1985 2A playoff game against Paxton, the Greyhounds’ Rich Fields set a 2A playoff record with nine punts in a game that still stands

Boys Track & Field

The Gibson City High School boys’ track program had several excellent athletes and seasons of great success sprinter Sonny McCall in the early 1940’s. In 1978, boys track enjoyed their first state championship ever at the IHSA State Tournament in Charleston, with the mile relay helmed by Craig Patton, Jeff Nagle, Roy Acree, and Ty Royal. They also qualified for the 440-yard relay. In 1979, Patton, Nagle, and Acree, with Marc Knowles won the 440-yard relay, were the runner-up in the 880-yard relay, and qualified for the mile relay. Discus-hurler Paul Blissard set the state record at the 1979 state track meet as well.

For three consecutive seasons (1977-78 through 1979-80), the Greyhound thinclads placed in the top five of the IHSA Class “A” State Finalists! In addition a total of 22 medals were earned by the boys track program.

1905-06    Individual Medalist

                H. Smith                Shot Put                2ND Place

1910-11    Individual Medalist

                C. McConnell         220 Yard Dash       3RD Place

1937-38    Individual Medalist

                Owen McCall         220 Yard Dash       3RD Place

1939-40    Individual Medalist

                Owen McCall         220 Yard Dash       STATE CHAMPION!!

                                              100 Yard Dash       5TH Place

1971-72    Individual Medalist

                Mark Kramer          Pole Vault            4TH Place

1976-77    Individual Medalist

                Jeff Nagle              880 Yard Run        7TH Place

1977-78    Team Finished FOURTH in the IHSA Class “A” STATE MEET!!


               Individual Medalists

Relay Team            1 Mile Relay         STATE CHAMPIONS!!

               Relay Team            440 Yard Relay     2ND Place

               Ty Royal                 440 Yard Dash       2ND Place

               Roy Acre                100 Yard Dash       7TH Place

               Final Team Standings

1.)  Robinson HS                               35

2.)  Madison HS                                32

3.)  St. Anne HS                                31


               5.)  Casey HS                                   25

Gibson City HS Track & Field
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1977-78 Boys Relay Team – State Medalists

1978-79   Team Finished SECOND in the IHSA Class “A” STATE MEET!!

               Individual Medalists

               Paul Blissard          Discus                   STATE CHAMPION!!

               Relay Team            440 Yard Relay     STATE CHAMPIONS!!

               Relay Team            880 Yard Relay     2ND Place

               Relay Team            1 Mile Relay         3RD Place

               Final Team Standings

1.)  Chicago Luther South HS            42


3.)  Rochester HS                             29

4.)  Madison HS                               27

5.)  Aurora Central Catholic HS          26.5

Gibson City Boys Track & Field
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1978-79 Relay Team

1979-80   Team Finished FIFTH in the IHSA Class “A” STATE MEET!!

               Individual Medalists

               Relay Team          4 X 100 Meter Relay   2ND Place

               Relay Team          4 X 200 Meter Relay   2ND Place

               Dave Arnold         Long Jump                 6TH Place

                                            300 Meter Hurdles      7TH Place

               Final Team Standings

               1.)  Chicago Luther South HS               32

2.)  Metropolis HS                               28

3.)  Mahomet-Seymor HS                    25

4.)  Freeburg HS                                 22


1981-82   Individual Medalist

Doug Tankersley       200 Meter Dash       7TH Place

1983-84   Individual Medalist

               Greg Knowles           200 Meter Dash       4TH Place

                                                100 Meter Dash       5TH Place

Girls Track & Field

The Lady Greyhound Tracksters won some IHSA hardware of their own. A total of seven individual medals were won by the girls track team.

1977-78    Individual Medalists

                Barb Green              100 Yard Dash         3RD Place

                                                220 Yard Dash         3RD Place

                Relay Team             440 Yard Relay        6TH Place

1979-80    Individual Medalist

                Cindy Knight            Discus                     6TH Place

1981-82    Individual Medalists

                Cindy Knight            Discus                     2ND Place

                Rhonda Bayles         800 Meter Run        7TH Place

1982-83    Individual Medalist

                Cindy Knight            Discus                     2ND Place

Dave McClure – Gibson City Wrestling
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State Champion – 1986


Several Gibson City wrestlers qualified for mat action at the IHSA State Tournament at the University of Illinois’ Assembly Hall, with Mike McClellan being the first Greyhound grappler to win a medal for 4th place in 1978. Other state qualifiers included over the years Brian Swanson, Dave Naour, and the first Gibson City state wrestling champion, Dave McClure in 1986.

1968-69     Daryl Brewer        180 Lbs. Weight Class      5TH Place

1973-74     Team Won District Championship

1977-78     Mike McClellan     132 Lbs. Weight Class      4TH Place

1983-84     Dave Naour           119 Lbs. Weight Class      3RD Place

1984-85     Pat Badger            105 Lbs. Weight Class      3RD Place

1985-86     Dave McClure        138 Lbs. Weight Class      STATE CHAMPION!!

1986-87     Dave McClure        145 Lbs. Weight Class      2ND Place

Boys Baseball

The baseball program made one great “last stand” as well. The school’s final team won the Regional Championship, sending GCHS out on a good note.

1992-93                  Regional Champions

Girls Volleyball

The Lady Greyhound netters won three Regional Championships to help the GCHS athletic cause.  Team records and coaches names are not available.

1975-76           Regional Champions

1976-77           Regional Champions

1979-80           Regional Champions

Girls Bowling

Many opportunities were afforded at Gibson City High School.  The Lady boulders took advantage of their opportunity in 1976 winning the District title and qualifying for the State Tournament Finals!

1975-76    Team Qualified for the State Tournament Finals

                Team Won District Championship

The Greyhound Logo

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Gibson City High School



Class of 1990:                      Class of 1994:                           Class of 1998:                  Class of2009: 

Sonny McCall                      Vernon Yates                           Ty Royal                              1993 Greyhound Girls Basketball

Dennis Graff                         Jana Leonard                            Tom Schlickman            Cord Schroeder

Jeff Christensen                                                                                                                                                                                 

Bill Gross                                Class of 1995:

Paul Garvis                            Dale Patton                               Class of 1999:                 Class of 2010:

                                                     Dave McClure                         Mike Acree                      1951 Greyhound Football

Class of 1991:                      Glenn Cothern                         Craig Patton                     Mike Whitaker            

Bill Hughes                                                                                                                                        Dave Arnold

Marc Knowles                    Class of 1996:                           Class of 2000:                    Tom Rhodes                   

Don Brokate                         Barb Green-Horsch               Hal Graff

                                                      Louis Miller                               Mark Kramer                   Class of 2011:

Class of 1992:                                                                                                                                   Marvin Beck

Dee McClure                      Class of 1997:                           Class of 2008:                    1978 Boys Mile Relay

Norman Farmer                 Paul Blissard                              Steve Mueller                 1979 Boys 440-yd Relay

                                                     Daryl Brewer                             Lisa Noble                          Mike Lange

Class of 1993:                      Dick Elkin                                     1957 Greyhound Football           

Doug Roesch  

Larry Brooks                                                                                                                                       Class of 2012:

                                                                                                                                                                    Jay Rhodes

                                                                                                                                                                    Angie Fackler

                                                                                                                                                                    1972 GCHS Boys Basketball

Jay Rhodes Class of 1960
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GCMS Hall of Fame 2012 – Submitted by Ryan Tompkins

Jay Rhodes – Class of 1960

While at GCHS Jay accumulated, a then record, 12 career varsity letters in track, football, basketball, and baseball.  In football, he was a 1st Team All-Wauseca tackle his senior season while also garnering Special Mention News-Gazette All-State honors.  He was twice voted team captain and was team MVP in 1958.  As a track athlete, he twice qualified for state in the discus and graduated with school records in the shot put and discus.  After high school, Jay attended Western Illinois University and earned six career varsity letters in track and football.  While at Western, he was named 1st Team All-Conference as an offensive tackle in football and was a NAIA National Qualifier in the discus.  After college, Jay coached 37 seasons at Sterling High School as an assistant defensive coordinator and lineman coach and also coached 25 years of track as the throwing coach.  In 1972 Jay was named Illinois Prep Sports Special Illinois High School Shot and Disc Coach of the Year.  Jay was also a team member of the 1957 Greyhound Football Team which was the first team named to the GCMS Athletic Hall of Fame in 2008.

Angie Fackler – Class of 1982
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GCMS Hall of Fame 2012 – Submitted by Ryan Tompkins

Angie Fackler – Class of 1982

Shortly after its inception in 1976 girls’ basketball at Gibson City was a relative unknown but that changed as the Lady Hounds won 18 games in back to back seasons in 1980-81 and ’81-’82 capped off with a 1982 Regional Title and Sectional Championship appearance, Both teams were led by sharp shooting Angie Fackler who, in her four-year career, scored 1,295 points, won three MVP awards, was twice named 1st Team All-Conference (including a Wauseca League MVP in 1982), and was AP Honorable Mention All-State her senior year. She averaged 23.3 points a game as a senior and was the program’s first 1,000 point scorer and ranks third all-time in career scoring at GCHS/GCMS,  Angie was also a four year starter in volleyball at GCHS and was named 1st team All-Wauseca Conference as a senior after earning 2nd team honors her junior.year. In her career she earned 10 varsity letters and is remembered as a girls’ basketball trailblazer for future Lady Greyhounds and Lady Falcons.

Drummer HS Newspaper Cover – Feb. 15, 1924
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Submitted by George H. Scheetz


Not to be forgotten are fine arts in Gibson City school history. IHSA Sweepstakes winners were plentiful in the 1950’s in both band and chorus. There was a dry spell in the 1960’s until the arrival of vocal teacher William Nicholls in 1969. Nicholls revived a non-existant boys chorus and re-tooled the girls and mixed choruses into an annual contest-winning machine.

While it took a little longer, the band started winning combined band and chorus Sweepstakes titles again in the early 1980’s under the teachings of Diane Knutson.

Current-day teacher Frank Titus arrived at the start of the 1987-88 school year and the tradition of band excellence continues.

Also successful was the English Department with successes in Speech contests held by the IHSA. In fact, the Individual Speech team placed fourth in State competition in 1957. The team of 1957 also placed 7th in the Speech Sweepstakes competition. This was due mainly to the effort of Marvin Kumler who was crowned STATE CHAMPION in the Extemporary Speech category as well as finishing 4th in the After Dinner Speech Category.

The many accomplishments listed above are broken into their respective categories below:

Music Sweepstakes Competition

1968-69        Team Won IHSA Class “B” STATE SWEEPSTAKES!!

1982-83        Team Won IHSA Class “C” STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!!

1984-85        Team Won IHSA Class “C” STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!!

1990-91        Team Won IHSA Class “C” STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!!

Speech Individual Events

1940-41      H.M. Kemple            Comedy                 4TH Place

1956-57      Team Finished FOURTH in STATE INDIVIDUAL Competition!!

                  Indvidual Medalist

                  Marvin Kumler          Extemporary         STATE CHAMPION!!

                                                   After Dinner           4TH Place

                  Speech Individual Final Team Standings

                  1.)  Arlington Heights HS                  10

1.)  Rock Island HS                          10

3.)  Joliet HS                                     8

                  4.)  GIBSON CITY HIGH SCHOOL     7

4.)  Mattoon HS                                 7

4.)  Pekin HS                                    7

Speech Sweepstakes Final Team Standings

1.)  Joliet HS                                     18

2.)  Pekin HS                                     11

3.)  LaGrange Lyons HS                     10

3.)  Arlington Heights HS                    10

3.)  Rock Island HS                            10

6.)  Glenbrook North HS                       9

                  7.)  GIBSON CITY HIGH SCHOOL       7

Freeport, Thornton Fractional, Mattoon, Elgin, all tied with 7 as well.


A sincere and heartfelt degree of gratitude goes out to Gibson City High School’s own alumnus, Tom Benefiel. Tom is a great asset to the former and current Gibson City High School and provided a GREAT deal of the information for this page.  It is one of the most thorough pages completed on this site.  Thanks Tom, a TRUE Greyhound Fan!!!   


If you have ANY further information to add regarding the history and MANY successes of Gibson City High School, please write to us via e-mail at  You can write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.    60631

Gibson City HS Junior Class Photo – Taken in 1918
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Laverna Meiner(1st on far left) Submitted by Lauren Conklin

**Regarding the class photo above from Lauren Conklin:

“This photo is of Drummer High School in Gibson City. It has my grandmother Laverna Meiner (1st on far left), who later became wife to my grandfather C.A. Conklin, coach of Arrowsmith high school basketball team. It  says “Junior Class” on it . I think it was taken in 1918. C.A. Conklin was a very loved and respected doctor in Mclean county Illinois”

Gibson City High School
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Shop Building Addition – 1964
Gibson City High School
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1964 South Addition to Building

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