Hebron High School “Giants”

Original Hebron High School Building
A picture containing text, building, old, house

Description automatically generated
Submitted By D. Bentley

The History of Hebron High School

Hebron HS Building 2011
A picture containing grass, outdoor, sky, green

Description automatically generated

Hebron, Illinois (population 1,038) is located in McHenry County . The history of the Hebron school system started in 1837 with a schoolhouse and another was built to replace that in 1878. In 1887, the high school was organized with six graduates in 1888: Minnie Stone, Wray Rove, George Boughton, Emma Mead, Nellie Brown and a Mrs. William Giddings.

In 1926, the school was named Hebron Union High School due to the annexation of the smaller Union School District, formed of mostly country schools.  Hebron High School’s enrollment for grades 9 – 12 in the 1939-40 school year was 101 students.

Hebron HS Insription
A picture containing text, container, box

Description automatically generated
“Dist. 159 Hebron Community High School 1924”

The community supported it’s own high school curriculum until the year in which the consolidation era began, 1948. That year, Hebron and Alden (West of Hebron) combined their districts and Hebron retained their high school. Alden-Hebron High School is named the way it is based on the District offices located in Alden, so this is to avoid any confusion as to why the school is not called Hebron-Alden H.S. The new school carried on the name and colors of Hebron H.S.

The original Hebron High School building is used as part of the Alden-Hebron High School with additions made to accommodate the growing student enrollment.

Alden-Hebron High School is most famous for winning the IHSA State Basketball Championship in 1952, with a total of 98 students and defeated Quincy (a school 25x bigger than A-H!) in the championship game. Photos of this team can be viewed at:   www.eteamz.com/aldenhebrongiants

Hebron High School Building
A large building with trees in front of it

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
Submitted by Eileen Chamberland

Hebron High School “Quick Facts”:

Year Opened:                               1887

Year High School Name Change: 1926 (Hebron-Union High School)

Year Consolidated:                       1948

Building Status:                            unknown

School Nickname:                        The “Giants” and also “The Green and White”

School Colors:                              Green & White

School Song:                                “Hebron Loyalty”

                                                                        Sung to “Illinois Loyalty”

                                                                        Click play button below and sing along!

                                                We’re loyal to you Hebron High.

                                                We’re ever true blue Hebron High,

We’ll best you to stand

 Against the best in the land,

                                                For we know you will stand Hebron High,

Go crashing ahead Hebron

Go thru that defense Hebron High,

Our name is a fame protector

                                                On boys for we expect a

Victory from you Hebron High!


Hebron High School offered Basketball, and maybe offered Track and Field and Football. Listed below are the successes of the Hebron Basketball team per the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org).

Hebron HS All-Stater Howie Judson
A person holding a basketball

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
Submitted by Dean Bentley

Hebron High School started football in 1946, and they also had Baseball back then. Howie Judson was an All State Basketball player from 1941-1943 & John Kjellstrom was also an All State player in 1941.

Howie went on to play & the University of Illinois. He is the older brother of the Judson twins, Rob and Paul, who would lead Hebron to the State championship in 1952.

A newspaper article dated Friday, April 2, 1943 that was submitted by Dean Bentley reads as follows:

Hebron Star Makes All-State Basketball Team

Howard Johnson of Hebron’s Green Giants was named on Pat Harmon’s All-State basketball team it was revealed Wednesday night in Champaign. The first and second team squads, announced by Harmon in collaboration with coaches and sports writers through out the state, also included Bob Morton of Elgin on the second team. Judson, six foot two inch forward, paced the Hebron squad through out his four year high school career, and, as in previous years, led his teammates to plenty of victories. Hebron did not get to the state finals, losing to Elgin in that final hectic night of the regional meet.”

A picture containing timeline

Description automatically generated
Submitted by Dean Bentley (left click on photo for larger view)

As is seen above, Howie Judson’s athletic career did not end after his remarkable high school career at Hebron. Howie would go on to play for the Chicago White Sox and Cincinatti Reds of professional baseball fame! Howie joined the White Sox in 1948 as a right handed pitcher, and played through the 1954 season. A link to read more about Howie Judson’s baseball career can be viewed at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Howie_Judson .

Hebron HS Basketball Team of 1912
A group of people sitting at a table

Description automatically generated with low confidence
Submitted by Dean Bentley


Hebron enjoyed a successful run with it’s Basketball program, which has it origins, as far as we know it, dating back to 1912. The Giants won eight District Championships, two Regional Championships, a Sectional Championship and qualified for the IHSAA State Tournament in 1940.

Scott Johnson and Julie Kistler’s book Once There Were Giants (2002) documents some of the history of the program pre-1952. Basketball came to Hebron in the early 1900’s and flourished ever since. Lowry B. Crane, a recent graduate from the University of Chicago and star at Chicago Englewood High School, was hired as the JV coach but took over the varsity spot shortly after when Hebron’s varsity coach resigned.

In 1924, Hebron won the McHenry County championship, and made it all the way to the Regional Tournament finals where they fell to Elgin, 65-11. It would be 11 years until Hebron would win another county championship.

In the 1938-39 season, Hebron took great advantage of an 1936 rule that placed the top two teams at the District Tournament into Sectionals. They defeated Elgin in the semis and fell to Dundee in the championship. They went on to the Sectional Tournament, where they fell to Rockford High (a school 35x larger than Hebron), 39-34. Rockford won the state championship that year, which was Crane’s last full year as head coach.

Crane has moved on to become a physics instructor at Chicago Senn and Ed Willett became coach. Willett, a player at Wooster College and Northwestern University, led the 1939-40 squad to 20 straight wins to start the season before falling to Crystal Lake. In the Regionals, Hebron beat Elgin 26-23 in overtime with a come-from-behind effort of -10 points. Hebron won the Regional with a 37-34 win over Dundee (a game coached by Crane in Willett’s absence). In the Sectionals, they beat Mount Morris 37-22 and Freeport 40-29 before taking on the Rockford High School Rabs once again.

In the final basketball game in Rockford High School history, Hebron defeated them 36-24 and went to the State Tournament at Huff Hall on the campus of the University of Illinois. There, they had a good 30-24 lead but the opposing team, Lewistown, rallied to score the last seven points of the game and win, 31-30.

The 1941-42 Green Giants beat McHenry in the District tournament, and then defeated Elgin and lost to Dundee in the Regionals and beat Rochelle and fell to Rockford East in the Sectionals.

In 1942-43, the country was at war and it’s effects took a toll on Hebron Basketball. Willett left for Rockford West and Les Harman guided Hebron, who had a 25-win season, beating Crystal Lake and Dundee in the Regionals and falling to Elgin, 38-29 at the Elgin Sectional.

The next season, Harman called to duty and was replaced by Mel Stuessey, the coach at Woostock St. Mary’s. He was coaching two teams at the same time: running practices at Hebron and St. Mary’s and actually coaching St. Mary’s while Hebron Superintendent Paul Tigard coached in Hebron games.

In the District Tournament finals, Hebron and St. Mary’s faced each other. This was also noted on Ripley’s “Believe it or Not” that a coach coached two teams pitting each other in a game. Stuessey knew Hebron like the palm of his hand and defeated Hebron, 33-30.

In 1944-45, former Hebron player George Simes and Hebron Principal Claude Higdon both coached.


Hebron High School “Giants” of 1919-20
A group of men in basketball uniforms

Description automatically generated with medium confidence
Submitted by Eileen Chamberland

1920-21                   Joliet District Tourney                 Coach’s name & record needed

Semi-final lost to New Trier 30-17

New Trier beat Joliet in title game

1921-22                   Rockford District Tourney           Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Lee Center 28-20

                                2nd Rd lost to New Milford 50-14

Rockford beat New Milford in title game

1923-24      N.R.A.  McHenry County Champs          Coaches name unavailable

District scores not available

1924-25  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1925-26  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1926-27  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1927-28  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1928-29  Postseason scores & record needed.         Coach Lowry Crane

1929-30  Postseason scores & record needed.         Coach Lowry Crane

1930-31  Postseason scores & record needed.         Coach Lowry Crane


1931-32                   Woodstock District Tourney       Coach Lowry Crane

1st Rd lost to Huntley 12-11

Dundee beat Elgin in title game

1932-33                   Dundee District Tourney            Coach Lowry Crane

1st Rd lost to Crystal Lake 36-17

Dundee beat Hampshire in title game

1933-34                   Crystal Lake District Tourney     Coach Lowry Crane

1st Rd lost to Palatine 51-15

Dundee beat Huntley in title game

1934-35                   Crystal Lake District Tourney     Coach Lowry Crane

1st Rd lost to McHenry 26-22

Elgin beat Dundee in title game

1935-36                   Wauconda District Champs    Coach Lowry Crane

                                1st Rd Beat Capron 42-15

                                Semi-Final Beat Palatine 22-15

                                Title Game Beat McHenry 31-30

                                Woodstock Regional Tourney

                                1st Rd Beat Dundee 26-16

                                Semi-Final lost to Harvard 24-23

Woodstock beat Harvard in title game


1936-37      13-8      Palatine District Champions   Coach Lowry Crane

Semi-Final Beat Ela 23-22

                                Title Game Beat McHenry 32-27

                                Crystal Lake Regional Tourney

                                1st Rd Beat Harvard 33-10

                                Semi-Final lost to Woodstock 41-24

Dundee beat Woodstock in title game

1937-38  Postseason scores & record needed.         Coach Lowry Crane


1938-39      23-3      IHSA District Champions        Coach Lowry Crane

                                District Scores Unavailable

                                Dundee Regional Runner-Up

                                1st Rd Beat Maine 30-26

                                Semi-Final Beat Elgin 22-21 (O/T)

                                Title Game lost to Dundee 59-13

1939-40      31-2      Hebron District Champions    Coach Ed Willett
Early Rd Scores Needed

                                Title Game Beat Harvard 24-23

                                Crystal Lake Regional Champs

                                1st Rd Beat Arlington Heights 52-32

                                Semi-Final Beat Elgin 26-23 (O/T)

                                Title Game Beat Dundee 55-40

                                Rockford Sectional Champs

                                1st Rd Beat Mt. Morris 37-22

HEBRON (37): Johnson 12, Kjellstrom 9, Bigelow 5, Behrens 3, Judson 2, Voltz 2, Ryan 2, Rehorst 2.

MOUNT MORRIS (22): Knodle 6, Merriman 5, Shoemaker 4, Ballard 2, Coffman 2, Kump 2, Wynne 1

Semi-Final Beat Freeport 40-29

HEBRON (40): Johnson 25, Judson 10, Kjellstrom 3, Ryan 2.

FREEPORT (29): Werntz 11, Belle 6, Howington 6, Anderson 6.

Title Game Beat Rockford 35-24

HEBRON (35): Johnston 16, Kjellstrom 8, Burgett 5, Judson 4, Ryan 2.

ROCKFORD (24): Speck 7, Alonzo 7, Wood 6, Lee 2, Tronske 2.

IHSA Sweet 16 Finalist

1st Rd lost to Lewistown 31-30

Lewistown lost in Elite 8 Round

Granite City Beat Herrin in title game

1940-41      29-4      Hebron District Champions    Coach Ed Willett
1st Rd Beat McHenry 49-23

                                Semi-Final Beat Antioch 43-19

                                Title Game Beat Huntley 33-14

                                Woodstock Regional Champs

                                1st Rd Beat Arlington Heights 55-27

                                Semi-Final Beat Elgin 33-16

                                Title Game Beat Dundee 56-34

                                Waukegan Sectional Tourney

                                1st Rd lost to Waukegan 20-18

WAUKEGAN (20): Tennyson 7, Emmons 4, Kerkorian 2, Demos 2, Pasiewitz 2, Sackman 2.

HEBRON (18): Kjellstrom 7, Judson 5, Burgett 3, Peterson 2, Behrens 1.

Morton beat Waukegan in title game


1941-42      25-7      Hebron District Champions    Coach Ed Willett
Early Rd Scores Needed

                                Title Game Beat McHenry 32-27

                                Dundee Lake Regional Runner-Up

                                1st Rd Beat Woodstock 40-31

                                Semi-Final Beat Elgin 33-23

                                Title Game lost to Dundee 35-30


1942-43      27-3      Hebron District Champions    Coach Ed Willett
1st Rd Beat Plato Center 58-17

                                Semi-Final Beat Capron 74-23

                                Title Game Beat Huntley 42-17

Howie Judson scores 20 points in the District title game as Hebron advances to the Elgin Regional Tournament.

                                Elgin Regional Runner-Up

                                1st Rd Beat Crystal Lake 66-20

                                Semi-Final Beat Dundee 37-18

                                Title Game lost to Elgin 38-29

1943-44      N.R.A.  Hebron District Tourney               Coaches Paul Tigard and Mel Steussey

                                Early Rd Scores Needed

                                Title Game lost to Woodstock St. Mary’s 33-30

1944-45      N.R.A.  Hebron District Tourney               Coaches Paul Tigard and George Simes

1st Rd lost to McHenry 45-30

McHenry beat Woodstock St. Mary in title game

1945-46      N.R.A.  Hebron District Runner-Up       Coach Mort Murphy

                                1st Rd Beat Capron 46-27

                                Semi-Final Beat Woodstock St. Mary 39-37

                                Title Game lost to Elgin St. Edward 44-38

1946-47      21-4      Hebron District Champions      Coach Mort Murphy

                                1st Rd Beat Huntley 60-46

                                Semi-Final Beat Woodstock St. Mary 56-32

                                Elgin St. Edward 51-38

                                Woodstock Regional Tourney

                                1st Rd Beat Arlington Heights 40-31

                                Semi-Final lost to Elgin 60-36

Dundee beat Elgin in title game

1947-48      N.R.A.  Hebron District Runner-Up        Coach Mort Murphy

                                Round I – Played in Hebron

Elgin St. Edward – BYE

Capron 44, Huntley 33

Hebron 50, Richmond 33

Woodstock St. Mary’s 47, Alden 15

Round II

Elgin St. Edward 58, Capron 47

Hebron 47, Woodstock St. Mary’s 43


Elgin St. Edward 55, Hebron 40

An incredible run by the Giants!

Great Coach

Ed Willett – Guided the Giants to a 85-13 record in three seasons as head coach, coaching the 1939-40 team to the state tournament.

Lowry Crane – Was the first coach in the Hebron program, had an instrumental role in building the tradition of the Hebron (and later Alden-Hebron) Basketball program.

Seeking More Information

More information is being sought about Hebron High School; use the Guest Commentary Form to sumbit. Corrections are welcome as well. If you have more Information about HHS, including photos of the school and high school memories you would like to share please use the Guest Commentary Form or you may also write us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or via USPS at:

Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago,  IL  60631

Hebron High School Graduating Class of 1920
A group of people posing for a photo

Description automatically generated
Submitted bhy Eileen Chamberland

Regarding the photo above from Eileen Chamberland:

“The photo (which is quite damaged) is inscribed on the back “Graduating Class Hebron HS 1920.”  My grandmother, Mary Helen Lemmers is the center person (7th from left in the back row).  She is wearing a dark lanyard, probably with a medal she won.  I don’t know the names of any of the other individuals in the photo.”

Hebron High School Graduating Class of 1945
A picture containing text, old, various, different

Description automatically generated
Submitted by Dean Bentley
Hebron Water Tower 2018
A picture containing text, sky, aircraft

Description automatically generated
Photo by Dean Bentley




Leave a Reply