Griggsville High School “Tornadoes”

Griggsville High School
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Griggsville, Illinois

The History of Griggsville High School

Griggsville (population 1,258) is located in western Illinois on Il.Rt. 107 and County Rd. 2.  This is in the eastern portion of Pike County approximately 30 miles due west of Jacksonville.

Griggsville likely had a school system in place for its children by the late 1800s.  Griggsville High School served the town and surrounding farm kids on a solo basis for about 100 years.  In 1995 Griggsville consolidated with nearby Perry High School to form the Griggsville -Perry School District.

According to an anonymous source, some information about the Griggsville school system is as follows:

“The school building is used as the high school for the Griggsville-Perry district.  There are adjoing buildings that house pre-k through fourth grades.  Our middle school is in the Perry school building in Perry and houses grades five through eight.

There was another bulding adjoining the high school that use to house the jr high. It was torn down about five years ago and a new addition was built in its place to give both the grade school and high school additional room.

The Tornado mascott was kept after the consolidation and so were the school colors of maroon, white and gold.  The middle school colors of purple, gold and white and the mascott of eagles were also kept.”

The High School for the Griggsville – Perry School District is located in Griggsville and is pictured above. It is also the original Griggsville High School building.

Griggsville High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                               probably late 1800s

Year consolidated with Perry HS:  1995

School nickname:                         the “Tornados”

School colors:                              Maroon, Gold & White

School Fight Song                        “On GHS”


On  to victory!

Take that ball away from them,

A basket there must be!

Rah, Rah, Rah!


Fight on for her fame!

Fight fellows, fight, fight, fight!

We’ll win this game!


Griggsville fight, Griggsville fight, Griggsville fight!


Griggsville had some great athletic teams over the years.  IHSA hardware was won in Boy’s Basketball and Boy’s Track. Baseball was offered. It is assumed other sports were offered for boys and girls and we are seeking this information from a fan, alumnus, or resident of Griggsville.

Our anonymous source also tells us:

“Griggsville High School has had great success in all sports both before and after the consolidation. Many regionals and quite a few sectionals have been won by both boys and girls in all sports.  The middle school boys basketball has been very successful in state play, with alot of state tournement trophys and a couple of state championships won. The middle school has Coach Ken Stauffer.”

The most successful teams according to the IHSA web site ( are listed below.

Boy’s Basketball

The Griggsville High School Boy’s Basketball team of 1927-28 is probably one of the great stories of Illinois High School basketball tournament history.  The GHS boys made it to the final four before losing its final two games to finish an incredible fourth place overall.  Remember the IHSA was then a one-class basketball system. The Griggsville boys basketball team won a total of five Regional and two District championships. Their IHSA success is listed below.

1927-28     22 – 8     District/Regional/Sectional Champions     Coach Ross Nichol

                              Team Placed 4th in the State Tournament!!

Elite Eight    –  Griggsville 22 – Hutsonville 21

                              Semi-final   –   Aurora West 31 – Griggsville 24

Third Place –   Witt 40  –  Griggsville 26

1950-51     N.R.A.   Regional Champions                                  Coach’s name unavailable

1953-54     N.R.A.   Regional Champions                                  Coach’s name unavailable

1970-71     N.R.A.   District Champions                                     Coach’s name unavailable

1975-76     N.R.A.   Regional Champions                                  Coach’s name unavailable

1988-89     24 – 6.   Regional Champions                                  Coach Howard “Jack” Roemer

*In a January 13, 1989 game against Industry, the Tornadoes scored 50 points in the fourth quarter in a win. No other Tornado team has scored more than 50 in one quarter.

*In the 1950 Macomb-Western Holiday Basketball Tournament, the Griggsville HS boys took 2nd place, losing the championship to Mason City 55 – 46.

Boy’s Track & Field

It is probably no coincidence that the best track athlete at the school also excelled in 1928.  His name and accomplishment are listed below.

1927-28   Leonard Edmonston      High Jump              2nd Place


It is known that in the 1980’s, Griggsville had a very good baseball program. Some of the teams records include most hits in a game with 13 against Colchester on April 27, 1985; most extra base hits in a game with 13 against Barry on September 9, 1983 (4th best in Illinois history) and most homeruns in a game with six against Payson on September 30, 1985.

Also on September 18, 1985, Tornado pitcher Mike Baker had an impressive performance in a game against Payson. He pitched 14 innings and threw 25 strikeouts in one game. That feat hasn’t even been done on the Major League level yet!

Great Coaches

Ken Stauffer 

*Gil Love – Had a brief stop in his coaching career at Griggsville. He also coached at Ellisville, Mendon, Morris and Ottawa. He had a career record of 505-209.

Great Players

Henry Laird


“My Great-grandmother, grandpa, and dad all graduated from Griggsville HS.  My Great-grandma’s dad and my grandpa both served on the Griggsville School Board.  I believe they may still present an a ward each year in memory of my grandpa, Henry Laird.”

Joey M.   submitted May 15, 2005

Seeking More Information

We are seeking assistance regarding further research on Griggsville High School.  School colors, nickname, fight song, year opened, and some of the better athletic successes are being looked for.  If you can help us please complete a School Submission Form or Guest Commentary Form.  You may also write us at or:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.      60631


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