Highland St. Paul High School ‘Trojans” & “Vikings”

The History of Highland St. Paul High School

Highland (population 8,438) is located in southwestern Illinois about 35 miles east-north-east of East St. Louis.  The town is situated in the southeast corner of Madison County. U.s. Route 40 and Illinois Route 143 travel to and from town and connect it to Interstate Highway 70 which travels just north of town.  Illinois Route 160 also travels through Highland.  The Conrail Railroad line passes through the northwest side of town while the Sugar Creek passes by the east side of town.

The history of the town of Highland and its former parochial high school St. Paul is in need of research.  We believe St. Paul High School was probably established in the late 1800s, possibly in the early 1900s.  Highland St. Paul served the community for many years.  It was in 1986 that Highland St. Paul High School closed her doors.

The following information was provided by Matthew Wiegand, St. Paul Class of 1980:

“The school did close in 1986. Thru the years they were known as the Trojans and the Vikings. I am not sure what the school colors were for the Trojans but I am in the process of finding that information. As for as the Vikings the school colors were royal blue, gold, and white. Our school fight song was the Notre Dame Fight Song.  The girls tournament at Highland High School originally started at St. Paul High School in the school year of 1978-79.”

The St. Paul school building serves as an elementary school for grades PK – 8 today.

Highland St. Paul High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                        late 1800s/early 1900s

Year closed:                         1986

St. Paul HS team nickname:  the “Trojans” for several years and the “Vikings”

St. Paul HS team colors:       Royal Blue, Gold, & White

School Fight Song:               “Cheer, Cheer for old St. Paul High”

                                           UNIVERSITY OF NOTRE DAME FIGHT SONG TUNE


Highland St. Paul High School was a very competitive school in the realm of athletics. Boys basketball is covered quite nicely on the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org).  The boys also had success in track and cross country.  The ladies are mentioned in volleyball and track.  The girls probably competed in basketball as well but are not mentioned.

Boys Basketball

The boys basketball team won three District titles and three Regional titles during their existence.  Several twenty-games-won seasons highlighted the history of the St. Paul boys basketball program as well.

1932-33                                                                     Coach Elmer Gundlach

1933-35                                                                     Coach Fr. Bertman

1935-36   13 – 8                                                          Coach Eddie Newlauer

1936-37   10 – 8                                                          Coach Pete Neudeeker

1937-40                                                                     Coach Jim Ratchford

1940-41                                                                     Coach Victor Reichert

1941-42   19 – 9                                                          Coach Victor Reichert

1942-43   14 – 9                                                          Coach Victor Reichert

1943-44                                                                     Coach Victor Reichert

1944-45   12 – 11                                                        Coach Victor Reichert

1945-48                                                                     Coach Fr. H.J. Knoedler

1948-49   16 – 11                                                        Coach Fr. H.J. Knoedler

1949-51                                                                     Coach Fr. Ed Adamski

1951-52   14 – 11                                                        Coach Fr. Ed Adamski

1952-53   19 – 8                                                          Coach Fr. Luke Kelly

1953-54   20 – 6                                                          Coach Fr. Luke Kelly

1954-56                                                                     Coach Fr. Luke Kelly

1956-57                                                                     Coach Richard Mason

1957-58   20 – 7                                                          Coach Richard Mason

1958-59   18 – 9                                                          Coach Richard Mason

1959-60                                                                     Coach Richard Mason

1960-61   17 – 7                                                          Coach Richard Mason

1961-63                                                                     Coach Maurice Klingele

1963-64   22 – 6      District Champions                      Coach Maurice Klingele
1964-65   22 – 5      District Champions                      Coach Maurice Klingele

1965-67                                                                     Coach Robert Wutz

1967-68   16 – 10                                                        Coach Mike Henning

1968-69   17 – 10                                                        Coach Mike Henning

1969-70                                                                     Coach Byron Johnston

1970-71   20 – 7       District Champions                     Coach Byron Johnston

1971-72   25 – 3       Regional Champions                  Coach Jeff Carling

1972-73   23 – 4                                                          Coach Jeff Carling

1973-74   19 – 9       Regional Champions                  Coach Don Litteken

1974-75   12 – 12                                                        Coach Joe Klosterman

1975-76                                                                     Coach Joe Klosterman

1976-77   14 – 11                                                        Coach Rick Moss

1977-78   20 – 7                                                          Coach Rick Moss

1978-79   25 – 3       Regional Champions                  Coach Rick Moss

1979-82                                                                     Coach Mike Curran

1982-84                                                                     Coach Ron Stern

1984-85   14 – 14                                                        Coach Ron Stern

1985-86   14 – 13                                                        Coach Steve Lanxon

High Scorer:

The IHSA website lists Francis Coffey of St. Paul HS as having one of the highest scoring games in the history of Illinois High School basketball.  Francis scored 63 points in a game against Bunker Hill in 1958 making his total the 28th highest in IHSA history (www.ihsa.org)!!

[28.]  63Francis Coffey, Highland (St. Paul) vs. Bunker Hill, Jan. 24, 1958 (30 FG, 3 FT)

The following information was submitted regarding the Breese Mater Dei annual Christmas Classic and the St. Paul Vikings’ participation:

Highland (St. Paul)

Consolation champs 1972 and 1977

2nd place 1978 (lost to Nashville who went on to 3rd in state).

Team’s career record at MD tourney was 10-19.

1973 game between St. Paul and Greenville is tied for tourney record for Most Pts. in a game for two teams – 190

GHS 96 St. Paul 94.

All time top career scorers in MD tourney,

Dennis Luber (1977, 1978) 231 pts. That is 13th place all-time.

All-Tourney – 1972

Dan Koishor

All-Tourney – 1977 and 1978

Dennis Luber

Other Notable Roundball Athlete

Leo Buehler – Led Highland’s team during the late 1930s and early 1940s, and was honorable mention All-State in 1940-41.

Great Coach:

Highland St. Paul Coach Rick Moss (1977-79) was quite successful not only at Highland St. Paul, but also after leaving the school.  Coach Moss is listed among the best basketball coaches in IHSA history in the following categories and as coaching at the following schools:

All-Time Wins

[88.]  464Rick Moss, Centralia, Summit (Argo), Vandalia, Highland (St. Paul), 1976-2002 (464-123)

Highest Winning Percentage, Career

[11.]  .789Rick MossHighland (St. Paul), Vandalia, Argo (Summit), Centralia, 1976-2002 (464-123)

In addtion, Coach Moss served as an assistant coach at the University of Iowa.

Girls Volleyball

The lady netters won a Regional title of their own.  Unfortunately this is the extent of the information currently available.

1984-85             Regional Champions

Boys Cross Country

One individual brought home an INDIVIDUAL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP for the St. Paul harriers.  Mark Capelle accomplished this in 1977!!

1976      Mark Capelle     4TH Place

1977      Mark Capelle     STATE CHAMPION!!

Boys Track & Field

Mark Capelle led the tracksters as well.  Capelle won a total of FIVE individual medals including an INDIVIDUAL STATE CHAMPIONSHIP in the 2 Mile Run in 1978!!

1975-76       Mark Capelle      1 Mile Run       2ND Place
1976-77       Mark Capelle      1 Mile Run       2ND Place
2 Mile Run        2ND Place
1977-78       Mark Capelle      1 Mile Run       3RD Place
2 Mile Run        STATE CHAMPION!!

Girls Track & Field

Theresa Daiber brought home the only lady thinclad medal with an 8th Place finish in the discus in 1978!

1977-78       Theresa Daiber      Discus            8TH Place

Need More Information

If you have any more information you can provide regarding Highland St. Paul High School please submit a Guest Commentary Form or a School Submission Form.  We like to share photos of the great teams and coaches if possible.  You can also e-mail us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or write us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.     60631

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