Joliet West High School “Tigers”

Joliet West High School
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Now the West Campus for Joliet Township HS (courtesy of

Joliet (population 129,519) is located in northeastern Illinois in west-central Will County. In fact, is the county seat of Will County and spills over into Kendall County to the west. Joliet was platted in 1834 and officially incorporated in 1852.  After much discussion over the town’s early name (it was known as Juliet from 1834 to 1845), the Joliet was settled upon to honor Louis Joliet, famous explorer who first viewed the area in 1673.

According to MapQuest (, Joliet has several major roadways and railways leading to and from it. Interstate Highway 80 is the main thoroughfare leading to Joliet, which is located just east of Interstate Highway 55.  The Illinois Routes of 7, 53, and 171 as well as the U.S. Routes of 6, 30, and 52 all lead to Joliet. The Des Plaines River flows through town as it has for thousands of years. Railroad tracks include Amtrak, the Atchison, Topeka & Sante Fe, the Elgin, Joliet, & Eastern, and the Illinois Central Gulf.

Joliet’s excellent location led to its population bursting soon after its incorporation. A high school for the children of the town was certainly in place by the late 1800s. The residents of Joliet were served by one high school (Joliet Township High School) for several years. The student population continued to grow each decade, finally forcing the issue of having more than one high school to appropriately serve the community. In the early 1960s, this initiative was realized. The year was 1964 when two new high schools emerged, Joliet West & Joliet East, were opened to relieve overcrowding at Joliet Township High (which was renamed Joliet Central).

Joliet West served the community tremendously for over three decades until declining enrollment forced the Joliet Township HS Board of Education to make a decision in the mid-1990s. After much discussion, it was decided to keep Joliet West open, but only as the West Campus of Joliet Township High School in 1993. In essence, the building still houses freshmen thru seniors like the former Joliet Central does, but there is only one program for extra-curricular activities that serves both buildings.

UPDATE (1/16/2009): We have been informed that the two schools will resume hosting their own extra-curricular and athletic programs in full force beginning in the fall of 2011.


Year opened:                                 1964

Year closed:                                  1993

Now used as:                                 West Campus for Joliet Township HS

School Nickname:                          Tigers

School Colors:                               Black, Gold & White

School Song:                                 “Joliet West Fight Song”.

Composed and lyrics written by choir director Roy Johnson

                                               Lyrics provided by David Musson

Go, West High

Go, Tigers

Fight!  Show the foe your might

Victory and glory bring

Every loyal son will sing, RAH! RAH! RAH!

Black, Gold and White

West is best, and that’s our battle cry

Loyalty and honor to the men of Joliet West High!







As a significantly-sized school (around 1,500 enrollment), Joliet West offered a wide variety of sports. According to the IHSA website (, the boys had football, basketball, baseball, track, wrestling, golf, cross-country, and tennis along with swimming and soccer, while the girls had volleyball, cross-country, golf, basketball, swimming, track, softball, tennis, bowling, and possibly soccer. If anyone has information regarding soccer information for both the boys and girls at Joliet West along with boys’ swimming, please contact us at

Joliet West’s Mascot:

According to Joliet fan Darrell G. Holmquist:

“West’s original mascot was the “Westmen”, a kind of Viking.  Because legendary football coach Ray Klootwyk was nicknamed “Tiger” and coached there until his very premature death of leukemia in the late 1970’s. The nickname “Tigers” evolved as West’s mascot.”

Patricia McCann (Class of 1966) tells us her personal experience of the Tiger nickname:

“When I was a junior, the first year that Joliet West opened, we had an election to select our mascot and also the name of the student paper.  We voted to approve the “Tiger” as the mascot, and many of us were influenced by Coach Ray Klootwyk’s nickname of “Tiger”.  We also named the school paper, “The Tiger Tales”.  As a fundraiser that year, they sold yellow and black striped fabric tiger tails to bring to games, and the gym was packed with kids waiving tiger tales.  We were “The Tigers”  that first year in all athletic events, and we were still Tigers when I graduated on June 9, 1966.”


No doubt, wrestling was the main sport at Joliet West. The Tigers qualified a number of people for the state finals, with nine of them coming home with state championships. As a team, Joliet West won a state title, had 10 top-10 finishes, and seven of those 10 were in the top four! We are in need of coaches’ names along with win-loss records to teams listed below.

1966              Mike Cookas                145 lbs—2nd Place

1967           District Champions                          Coach unknown

Ron Brown                   103 lbs—4th Place

Mike Cookas                145 lbs—4th Place

1968           District & Sectional Champions        Coach unknown

Ron Brown                   112 lbs—3rd Place 

1969           District Champions                          Coach unknown

                     Dave Wright                 180 lbs—3rd Place 

1970           Eighth in State Finals                    Coach unknown 

                     Jarrett Hubbard           145 lbs—STATE CHAMPION!!

                     Joe Crisp                     HWT——-6th Place

1972           Sectional Champions                    Coach unknown

                   Sixth in State Finals

                     Jack Darin                     98 lbs—6th Place

                     Ellis Betts                     112 lbs—6th Place

                     Marvin Carson              167 lbs—STATE CHAMPION!!


1973           Fourth in State Finals                   Coach unknown

                     John Cabrera                 98 lbs—2nd Place

                     Dwayne McCallum       167 lbs—3rd Place

1974           Third in AA State Finals                Coach unknown

                     John Cabrera               105 lbs—AA STATE CHAMPION!!

                     Dwayne McCallum       167 lbs—AA STATE CHAMPION!!  

1976           District Champions                          Coach unknown

Greg McCallum            126 lbs—AA STATE CHAMPION!!

1977           Second in AA State Finals            Coach unknown

                     Dane Nasenbenny          98 lbs—2nd Place

                     Greg McCallum            132 lbs—AA STATE CHAMPION!!

                     Curt Phelps                  167 lbs—3rd Place

1978           Sectional Champions                    Coach unknown

                    Second in AA State Finals

                     Dane Nasenbenny         98 lbs—AA STATE CHAMPION!!

                     Tim Moore                   138 lbs—6th Place

                     Jeff Dillman                 155 lbs—5th Place

                     Curt Phelps                  167 lbs—AA STATE CHAMPION!!

1979           District & Sectional Champions     Coach unknown

                 Second in AA State Finals

                     Todd Sterr                     98 lbs—2nd Place

                     Dane Nasenbenny       105 lbs—2nd Place

                     Ted Cook                     155 lbs—2nd Place

1980           District & Sectional Champions        Coach unknown

Todd Sterr                   105 lbs—2nd Place

1981           AA STATE CHAMPIONS!!!!             Coach Mike Cookas

                     Phil Daniels                   98 lbs—6th Place

                     Todd Sterr                   112 lbs—AA STATE CHAMPION!!

                     Steve DeJarld              126 lbs—4th Place

                     Tom Anderson             155 lbs—3rd Place

1982            Tenth at AA State Finals              Coach unknown

District & Sectional Champions

                      Brad Peterson               98 lbs—4th Place 

                      Dean Magro                185 lbs—2nd Place

1983            Regional & Sectional Champions     Coach unknown

1984 11-8-1  Fourth in AA State Finals             Coach Mike Cookas

                    Regional & Sectional Champions

                      Craig Sterr                  112 lbs—2nd Place

                      Mike Moreno               145 lbs—6th Place

1985             Mike Honiotes               145 lbs—4th Place

                    Keith Reinhard              185 lbs—3rd Place

1987             Booker Hopson             119 lbs—2nd Place

1989             Doug Buell                    171 lbs—5th Place

1990             Monte Love                   160 lbs—5th Place

1991             Derek Kinder                 152 lbs—5th Place

1992             Derek Kinder                 189 lbs—3rd Place



When the Illinois High School Association began offering a state championship in girls’ hoops, Joliet West was one of the first teams to claim the first place trophy. The Lady Tigers made it out of a very competitive hotbed of girls’ basketball (Joliet East, Joliet Central, and St. Francis Academy were also very good) to be members of the “Elite Eight” the first two years, and the school went on to win four more Class AA regionals before 1993.

1976-77  26-2   Regional & Sectional Champs           Coach Jo Streit

Beat Harvey Thornton 51-50 in 2 OT @ Supersectional

                        Elite Eight Finalist

                         Lost to Centralia 56-47 in quarterfinals

(Cathy Boswell named to all-tournament team)

1977-78  29-2   STATE CHAMPIONS!!!                        Coach Jo Streit

                        Regional & Sectional Champions                        

                        Supersectional Winners over Harvey Thornton 51-44

                         Elite Eight Finalist

                          Beat Chicago Marshall 64-46 in quarterfinals

                          Downed Moline 60-40 in semifinals

                          Defeated Lincoln 64-48 in title game

                         (Cathy Boswell & Elaine Holpuch named to all-tourney team)

1986-87          AA Regional Champs                         Coach Bob Dwyer

1987-88          AA Regional Champs                         Coach Bob Dwyer

1988-89          AA Regional Champs                         Coach Bob Dwyer

1989-90  26-5  AA Regional & Sectional Champs      Coach Tracy Djerf

                         Lost in Supersectional to Aurora West 60-50

Three players wound up receiving All-State honors while representing Joliet West. Cathy Boswell was a three-time all-state selection by the Chicago Tribune in 1977-78-79, and received the same honor from the Champaign News-Gazette in 1979. Alison Arnoldi and Jackie Williams were also honored in 1990 by the Chicago Sun-Times, while Williams was also on the News-Gazette’s all-state list that year. Williams repeated with both papers the next year, and was added to the Tribune‘s all-state team in 1991.


1977-78 State AA Basketball Champs
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The Tigers were known for honing their game on the Joliet-area courses to the point that they were in the top 10 of the team standings at the state tournament

four times in nine years. Also to be considered is that three players were in contention for state medalist honors in two of those seasons.

1968    10th in State                                        Coach unknown

District Champs & Qualified for State

1969    3rd in State                                          Coach unknown

District Champs & Qualified for State

           Team Standings 

1-Belleville West                    628

2-St. Charles                         630

             3-Joliet West                        633  

             4-Homewood-Flossmoor         634

5-Galesburg                           639

Northfield New Trier W.        639

7-Champaign Central              646

8-Freeport                             647

Glen Ellyn Glenbard W.       647

Park Ridge Maine E.           647

             Individual Efforts

 Ted Meier                           tied for 7th (153)

              John Wilson                        tied for 13th (155)

1970    Tied for 4th at State Meet                           Coach unknown

            District Champs & Qualfied for State Finals

             Team Standings 

1-Homewood-Flossmoor        618

2-Belleville West                   628

Waukegan                         628

4-Galesburg                          629

                  Joliet West                       629 

                  Champaign Central             629

7-Northfield New Trier W.        630

Park Ridge Maine E.           630

9-Quincy                               632

10-Dixon                                634

             Individual Effort               

              Dave Johnson                      tied for 8th (152)

1974    Sectional Champions                          Coach unknown

Qualified for State Tournament

1977    7th in AA State                                    Coacn unknown

             District & Sectional Champs

1978    District Champs                                   Coach unknown

Qualified for State Tournament


The Tiger thinclads of Joliet West High School had some incredible successes over the years.  Led by Hall of Fame coach John Harr, the boys won the IHSA State Class AA Championship in 1990!!  The team also finished thrid in 1988 and eighth in 1972.  Several boys placed in the top 8 including SIX Gold Medalist performances.  The record of the Joliet West Boys Track & Field team, as found on is listed below.

1966-67     District Champions

1968-69     Individual Medalist

                Bob Cipolle           120 Yard Hurdles   3RD Place

1969-70     District Champions

1970-71     District Champions

                 Individual State Meet Medalists

                 Gary Woolford     180 Yard Hurdles   3RD Place

                 Bob Hertel           120 Yard Hurdles    6TH Place

1971-72     Team Placed EIGHTH in IHSA State Meet!!

                 District Champions

                 Individual State Meet Medalist

                 Gary Woolford    120 Yard Hurdles   STATE CHAMPION!
180 Yard Hurdles   3RD Place

Final Team Standings

1)  Evanston (Twp.)                       28

2)  Chicago Heights (Bloom Twp.)  20

3)  Alton (Sr.)                               13

4)  Harvey (Thornton)                     12

4)  Lebanon                                  12

6)  Hillside (Proviso West)             11

7)  East St. Louis (Sr.)                  10

8)  Joliet (West)                            9

1972-73        District Champions

1976-77        Individual State Meet Medalist

                    Dan Reinhardt   Discus                  4TH Place


1978-79        Individual State Meet Medalist

                   Terry Matichak   Long Jump           8TH Place

1980-81        Individual State Meet Medalist

                   Brian Phillips     Discus                   3RD Place


1983-84AA   Sectional Champions

                   Individual State Meet Medalists

                   Charles Hogue   100 Meter Dash     4TH Place

                   Derrick Foster    High Jump            5TH Place
Relay Team       4×100 Meter Rel.   6TH Place                 

                   Felix Adams      Triple Jump           8TH Place

1984-85AA   Individual State Meet Medalists 

                   Paul Jones        Long Jump            4TH Place
Triple Jump           3RD Place
Derrick Foster   High Jump             7TH Place

1985-86AA   Individual State Meet Medalist

                   Paul Jones       Long Jump             2ND Place
Triple Jump            4TH Place

1986-87AA   Individual State Meet Medalist

                   Steve Kelly      400 Meter Dash       3RD Place
Relay Team     4×100 Meter Relay  7TH Place

1987-88AA   Team Placed THIRD in IHSA State ‘AA’ Meet!!

                   Individual State Meet Medalists

                   Relay Team     4×100 Meter Relay  STATE CHAMPIONS!!
Steve Kelly      100 Meter Dash       STATE CHAMPION!!
400 Meter Dash       STATE CHAMPION!!

                   Relay Team     4×400 Meter Relay  6TH Place

Final Team Standings

1)  Chicago Heights (Bloom Twp.)   38

2)  East St. Louis (Sr.)                   37

3)  Joliet (West)                           33

4)  Rock Island (H.S.)                    29

5)  Aurora (West)                          22

1988-89AA   Individual State Meet Medalists

                   John Foskett           1989AA  pole vault     1
Tony Marion            1989AA  high jump      7
Rich Walters           1989AA  400m dash      7

1989-90AA   TEAM WON IHSA ‘AA’ CHAMPIONSHIP!!      Coach John Harr

                   Sectional Champions

                   Individual State Meet Medalists

Relay Team     4×400 Meter Relay  STATE CHAMPIONS!!

                   Terry Collins    110 Meter Hurdles   STATE CHAMPION!!
300 Meter Hurdles   3RD Place
Relay Team     4×100 Meter Relay  2ND Place
Tony Marion    High Jump              2ND Place

                   John Foskett    Pole Vault              2ND Place
Relay Team     4×200 Meter Relay  6TH Place
Darnell Jordan 400 Meter Dash       6TH Place

Final Team Standings

1)  Joliet (West)             56

2)  East St. Louis (Sr.)     61

3)  Danville (H.S.)            38

3)  Waukegan (West)      38

5)  Elmhurst (York)          27

1990-91AA     Individual State Meet Medalists

                     Relay Team    4×100 Meter Relay    2ND Place
Terry Collins   110 Meter Hurdles     2ND Place

                     Relay Team    4×200 Meter Relay    8TH Place


The Lady Tiger track program was among the elite at the state AA finals, placing in the top ten three times within a four-year period, and having a relay along with one individual (Chris Crowther) bring home gold in three events.

1974           Carolyn Davis                   6th Place—High Jump

1975           Mickey Barnes                  7th Place—Shotput

1977           Mickey Barnes                  3rd Place—Shotput

                                                           3rd Place—Discus

1978          DISTRICT CHAMPS                  Coach unknown

                  Mickey Barnes                  4th Place—Shotput

1979          3RD IN AA MEET                      Coach unknown

                   TEAM STANDINGS

                  1-East St. Louis Lincoln        64

2-East St. Louis Senior         54

 3-Joliet West                      29.5

                  4-Bensenville Fenton            24

5-Chicago Dunbar                20

Dolton Thornridge              20

Rock Falls                        20

8-Chicago Lindblom              19

9-Wheaton North                  18

10-Chicago Calumet              17

                  880 YD Medley Relay        STATE CHAMPIONS!!!

(Members: Chris Crowther, Sylvia Freudenthaller, Shirley Hayes, Sheila Stobart)
440 YD Relay                     2nd Place

                   Chris Crowther                 5th Place—440 dash

                                                            7th Place—220 dash

                   Darlene Swank                 3rd Place—1 mile

1980       4TH IN AA STATE FINALS           Coach unknown

                TEAM STANDINGS

1-East St. Louis Lincoln          61.5

2-Chicago South Shore           45

3-East St. Louis Senior           35.5

4-Joliet West                        29

                 5-North Chicago                     25

6-Evanston                            23

7-Chicago Hts. Bloom Trail     22

8-Downers Grove North           18

Wheaton North                   18

                10-Oak Lawn                          15.5

                 400 meter relay                   4th Place

                   Sheila Stobert                   8th Place—Long Jump

                   Chris Crowther                  8th Place—200 Dash

                                                            2nd Place—200 Hurdles

                                                            2nd Place—400 Dash

                   Lisa McCollum                  3rd Place—Shotput

1981       10th IN AA STATE FINALS          Coach unknown

                TEAM STANDINGS 

1-Chicago South Shore           52

2-East St. Louis Lincoln          48

3-East St. Louis Senior           44

4-Chicago Hts. Bloom Trail      35

5-Blue Island Eisenhower        29

6-Country Club Hills Hillcrest   24

7-Addison Trail                       23

8-Park Ridge Maine East        18

9-Harvey Thornton                  17

10-Joliet West                        16

Moline                                16

Glen Ellyn Glenbard West    16

400 Meter Relay                  7th Place

                   Lisa McCollum                  7th Place—Discus

                   Chris Crowther                  3rd Place—200 Hurdles

                                                            3rd Place—400 Dash 

1982       6th IN AA STATE FINALS            Coach unknown

Chris Crowther                   200 Hurdles—STATE CHAMPION!!!

                                                            400 Dash—STATE CHAMPION!!!

1987          Kim Whitener                     Long Jump—5th Place

1988          Kim Whitener                     Long Jump—7th Place

1990          Laurie Goolsby                   800 Run—5th Place

1991          800 Relay                           3rd Place

                 Lakesha Drains                  100 Dash—8th Place

1992          Lakesha Drains                  100 Dash—6th Place

                                                           200 Dash—6th Place



The Tigers won seven regionals and qualified for the state tournaments on three occasions before ceasing play as a school. We are in need of win-loss records and coaches’ names from the three regional winners of the late ’60’s, so please contact us if you have that information. One Joliet West player even went onto a Major League career…Jeff Reed (class of 1980) and played for six teams before hanging up his spikes in 2000.

1966          Regional Champions                  Coach unknown

1969          Regional Champions                  Coach unknown

1970          Regional Champions                  Coach unknown

1973 18- 7  Regional & Sectional Champs   Coach Frank Miller

                 Qualified for State Tournament

                 Lost to Belleville West 3-1 in quarterfinals

1976 20-10 Regional Champs                      Coach Frank Miller

1978 15- 6  AA Regional & Sectional Champs Coach Frank Miller

                 Qualified for AA State Tournament

                 Lost to Mundelein H.S. 2-0 in quarterfinals

1983 28- 4 AA Regional & Sectional Champs  Coach Craig Spiers

                 Qualified for AA State Tournament

                 Beat Winnetka New Trier 3-0 in quarterfinals

                 Lost to Collinsville 9-4 in semifinals (Collinsville wound up 2nd)


Chris Crowther had good reason to be competitive in track for the Lady Tigers…she was also a star for the Joliet West girls’ cross-country team, which was good conditioning for the track standout. Crowther placed in the top 11 of the states’ top AA runners twice, which gathered all-state honors on both occasions. Four other individuals were also all-staters, and the last five teams in school history won AA regionals and qualified for state.

1979      Chris Crowther–4th Place    (11:50/11 seconds behind champ)  Coach Roger Swank

             Darlene Swank–13th Place (12:09)

1981      Chris Crowther–11th Place  (11:52)                                             Coach Roger Swank

1983      Barbie Lambert–21st Place                                                       Coach Roger Swank

1988     REGIONAL CHAMPIONS              

Qualified for AA State Meet

1989     REGIONAL CHAMPIONS              Coach unknown

Qualified for AA State Meet

1990     REGIONAL CHAMPIONS              Coach unknown

Qualified for AA State Meet

1991     REGIONAL CHAMPIONS              Coach unknown

Qualified for AA State Meet

             Crista Fabrycki–3rd Place   (12:11/five seconds behind champ)

1992     REGIONAL CHAMPIONS              Coach unknown

Qualified for AA State Meet



The Tigers were on the prowl when taking to the hardwood, winning five regionals and two sectionals while advancing to the state AA supersectionals twice in the school’s final ten years under coach Mike O’Connell.

1964-65             First season                      Coach Leroy Lesile

1966-67   14-  9                                          Coach Leroy Lesile

1967-68   22-  6 (good record!)                     Coach Leroy Lesile

1968-69   17-10                                          Coach Bill Edwards

1969-70   13-11                                          Coach Bill Edwards

1970-71   18-  9                                          Coach Bill Edwards

1971-72   21-  6 (good record!)                     Coach Bill Edwards

1976-77   19-  9                                          Coach Bob Parker

1978-79   14-12                                          Coach John Harr

1979-80   18-  9                                          Coach John Harr

1983-84   20-10 REGIONAL CHAMPS         Coach Mike O’Connell

                         SECTIONAL CHAMPS

                         Lost 66-59 to Champaign Centennial at Normal AA Supersectional

1984-85   19-10 REGIONAL CHAMPS         Coach Mike O’Connell

1987-88   20-  6 (good record!)                     Coach Mike O’Connell

1988-89   15-10                                          Coach Mike O’Connell

1989-90   23-  7 REGIONAL CHAMPS         Coach Mike O’Connell

                         SECTIONAL CHAMPS

Lost to Chicago Heights Bloom Trail 65-49 in Aurora East AA Supersectional

1991-92             Regional Champs              Coach unknown

1992-93             Regional Champs              Coach unknown


Boy, could these girls make some waves! The Lady Tigers had a third place finish at the state meet and had three state champions come home with gold in the late 70’s-early 80’s.

1975                   200 Medley Relay        6th Place

1976                    Paula Hummel           100 Freestyle—2nd Place

                                                             200 Freestyle—4th Place

1979 (Nov.)       3rd IN STATE FINALS                       Coach unknown

                         TEAM STANDINGS

1-Hinsdale Central                       178

2-Winnetka New Trier East           157

                           3-JOLIET WEST                           91

4-Wheaton St. Francis                   62

5-St. Charles HS                           45

6-Northfield New Trier West            44

Northbrook Glenbrook North        44

8-Macomb                                    42

Glenview Glenbrook South         42

10-Evanston                                   35

                          200 Medley Relay       2nd Place

                          400 Freestyle Relay    4th Place

                           Donna Decker           100 Freestyle—STATE CHAMPION!!

                           Carol Wiegand         100 Backstroke—STATE CHAMPION!!


1980                    Carol Wiegand           100 Butterfly—STATE CHAMPION!!

1981                    Carol Wiegand           100 Backstroke—2nd Place

                                                              100 Butterfly—5th Place

1983                    Lisa Rakoski               100 Butterfly—3rd Place

1984                    Lisa Rakoski               100 Butterfly—4th Place

                                                              200 Freestyle—5th Place

1986                    Lisa Rakoski               100 Butterfly—3rd Place

                                                              200 Individual Medley—5th Place

1990                    Kristen Rakoski           100 Butterfly—10th Place

                                                              200 Ind. Medley–12th Place



The Tiger gridders were successful in the late 60’s under coach Ray Klootwyk, going undefeated in 21 consecutive games and winning back-to-back Illini-8 Conference titles in 1968 & 1969. According to our conference guru and good friend Tom Sikorski, Joliet West never won more than five games in a season after 1969, and had only one conference finish above third when they took second in the SICA West in 1991. The Tigers’ only chance to make the IHSA playoffs came the following season, when they lost the final game of the season to Romeovillle, 21-17, in what would be the school’s final football game in its history. Three Joliet West players went on to sign professional contracts and dress in the NFL: John Arp, Gary Woolford, & Brent Snyder.

1964             First season                                       Coach Ray Klootwyk

1967    4-4-1                                                           Coach Ray Klootwyk

1968    9-0    ILLINI-8 CONFERENCE CHAMPS        Coach Ray Klootwyk

1969    7-1-1 ILLINI-8 CONFERENCE CHAMPS        Coach Ray Klootwyk

1970    5-2-1 4th Place Illini-8 Conference                  Coach Ray Klootwyk

1972    5-4                                                              Coach Ray Klootwyk

1975    5-3    3rd Place Illini-8 Conference                  Coach Frank Miller

1979    5-4                                                              Coach Dean Goldie

1983    5-4                                                              Coach Dale O’Connell

1991    5-4    2nd Place SICA West Conference         Coach Brett Kooi

1992    5-4                                                              Coach Alan Greenburg


Joliet West had several good seasons on the skinned infields of Joliet, including two that wound up at the state tournament finals. Just like Dale O’Connell, Jo Streit was successful as a coach of more than one sport at the school, taking the softball team towards the top of state’s best in addition to the girls’ basketball program.

1976              Regional Champions                        Coach unknown

1977  19- 4    Regional Champions                     Coach Jo Streit

                       Sectional Champions/Qualified for State Finals

Lost to Richton Park Rich South in quarterfinals 7-2

1978  20- 2    Regional Champions                     Coach Jo Streit

Sectional Champions/Qualified for State Finals

Lost to Winnetka New Trier East in quarterfinals 5-4

1993  19- 8     (good record)                                  Coach Dale O’Connell


As a team, the Tigers brought home hardware six times, taking three district titles and three regional plaques, and had a player place in the top eight of the state singles finals. We are in need of win-loss records and coaches’ names of these teams.

1973             District Champions

1978             District Champions

1979             District Champions

1987             Regional Champions

1988             Regional Champions

Individual Medalist—Mickey Chaudhuri–7th in Singles

1989             Regional Champions


The Lady Tigers sent two individuals to the state meet and came back home with honors for placing in the top three of the state.

1988             Nicole Brandolino    STATE CHAMPION!!! (2,387 pins)

1989             Nicole Brandolino    2nd Place (2,262 pins)

                    Cathy Hoth               3rd Place (2,261 pins)


NOTE: The 1989 state champ wound up with 2,278 pins, so it was a tight finish!!!


Joliet West was competitive on the hills and dales of northeastern Illinois during the time that the school was open, just like the girls’ cross-country program. One of the boys’ teams came home with a district title, but the name of the coach is missing.

1974              District Champions                          Coach Roger Swank


During the 1970’s, the Lady Tiger netters had success at the state meet level, taking four district championships in five years and had one player place in the top eight in singles. We are in need of the win-loss records and coaches’ names of those teams.

1974           District Champions

1975           District Champions

1976           District Champions

1977          Individual Medalist—

                     Sandy Lesile                           7th in Singles

1978          District Champions


Joliet West competed and had some success in volleyball during the fall season with three plaques being added to the trophy case by the Lady Tiger spikers. Coaches’ names are missing, so we are hoping that a Joliet West alumnus might be able to tell us along with the win-loss records of these teams.

1978                   District Champions

1988  30 – 3         AA Regional Champions       Coach Traci Djerf 

1989  24 – 16       AA Regional Champions       Coach Traci Djerf


Even the Lady Tigers competed on the uneven parallel bars, vault, balance beam, and in floor exercises along with all-around performance. They were competitive enough that they won one district title at the state level. Again, the name of the head coach and the win-loss record are unknown at this time.

1982           District Champions



In its early years, Joliet West put its best foot forward to show the public that opening the school was a worthy choice, taking a first place in state competition in just its second year in operation, followed by a third place three years later.

1966      STATE CHAMPIONS!!!             Sponsor B.F. Johnston            


Performed “Camino Real”



2-Peoria Woodruff

3-Northbrook Glenbrook North

Macomb Western


East Alton-Wood River

1969       3RD IN STATE                             Sponsor unknown

Qualified for State Finals


1-Bensenville Fenton





Normal University

East Alton-Wood River

1974        District Champions                    Sponsor unknown

1976        District Champions                    Sponsor unknown


Again, the intellectual side of Joliet West was instrumental in providing success in the school’s first years, as the 1966 speech team was third at the IHSA state finals, and had a number of individuals place high in their specialty events.

1966     3rd IN STATE                               Sponsor unknown


1-Peoria Woodruff                    14

2-Pekin                                   12

3-Joliet West                         11

Winnetka New Trier East       11

5-Park Forest Rich East           10

6-Bradley-Bourbonnais              9

7-Highland Park                        8

8-Aurora East                           6

Ottawa Township                   6

Macomb Western                  6

Northbrook Glenbrook North    6


Don Hagen                            Radio Speaking–6th Place

1969       Arnold Tracy                           Comedy–2nd Place

1970       Sami Porter                            Prose Reading–3rd Place

1971       Scott Johnson                         Original Comedy–5th Place

1976       Dean Hunter                           Dramatic Interpretation–5th Place

1977       Deide McFadden                     Oratorical Declamation–2nd Place

1978       Deide McFadden                   Verse Reading—STATE CHAMPION!!

1985       Mike Bryson                           Humorous Interpretation–5th Place

1986       Don Dees                               Radio Speaking–6th Place


Joliet West showed its talents in trying to convince an audience with their debate team, winning one sectional title while the school was open.

1967-68   Sectional Champions            Sponsor unknown


The Tigers won a district title in each category that is connected with the Speech team to add IHSA hardware to the school’s trophy case. We definitely would like to know more about these categories, so please contact us if you have information at the addresses listed below.

1969      Individual Events———-District Champions

1974      Group Interpretation——District Champions

Notable Joliet West Faculty & Alumni

Ray Klootwyk—football coach, 1964-72. Klootwyk led the Tigers to their best seasons ever on the gridiron in 1968 & 1969 with conference championships and had a win-loss record of 41-33-6 in those nine seasons. As a tribute, the football field at Joliet West was named after him.

–Jo Streit—girls’ basketball & softball coach, 1976-78. In only two seasons, Streit’s teams went to the state tournament quarterfinals in each sport, winning the state girls’ basketball championship in just the second year of the IHSA’s history of having a tournament for the ladies. Her teams were 55-4 on the hardwood, and 39-6 on the softball diamond.

Mike O’Connell— boys’ basketball coach, 1983-90. O’Connell’s Tigers won three Class AA regionals, and advanced to the Sweet 16 twice, compiling a record of 112-77 in seven seasons.

Bill Edwards–boys’ basketball coach. 1968-72. Edwards took over a program that was just starting to take off when he replaced Leroy Lesile, and kept the winning tradition going with a 69-36 record in his four years at the helm of Joliet West hoops.

Frank Miller–football coach and baseball coach (circa 1972-78). Twice during his coaching career as Tiger baseball mentor, Miller’s teams went to state before bowing in the quarterfinals in 1973 & 1978. All told, Joliet West won three regionals under Miller, and won 20 games in 1976.

Greg McCallum–wrestler, 1975-77. McCallum was the only Tiger wrestler to win two state championships, winning at 126 pounds in 1976, then following it up at 132 pounds the next season.

Gary Woolford, John Arp, & Brett Snyder—football players. Each one of these Tiger gridiron stars wound playing in college and was on the roster of an NFL roster for at least part of one season. Woolford was drafted by Houston in 1977 out of Florida State, but got his NFL experience with the New York Giants in 1980 as a defensive back in 12 games. Arp was a member of the Chicago Bears in 1987 during a season where the regular players were on strike and the owners used replacement players in their place for two games. Since the Chicago Bears’ website only has Arp listed as playing in two games, it could have possible he was a replacement player in those two games (thus, could he have been a “spare Bear?”). Snyder later spent time with the Bears in 1989 and 1990 as a practice squad member and dressed with the team for the final game of the 1989, but there is no record of statistics that showed that he got into the game.

Cathy Boswell–basketball player, 1976-79. In a time when the Joliet area had some girls that could play basketball like Pam Gant at Joliet East and Chris Prieboy at Joliet Central, Boswell was a starter from freshman year and led her team to the first two state tournaments for girls’ hoops. She was named to the all-tournament teams both years, and an all-stater three times by the Chicago Tribune. Boswell was also head and shoulders above her classmates in the class of 1980, graduating one year ahead of schedule and going to Illinois State University on scholarship. As a Lady Redbird, Boswell set the school career scoring mark (2,005) which still stands as of this writing in June 2006, set several other school records, was an All-American, led her team to post-season play each season from 1980-83, and was a member of the 1984 USA Olympic team that won the gold medal. Her jersey number at ISU (#44) is only one of two female basketball players to have her name retired at the school.

Chris Crowther–Without question, she may be the most decorated athlete in Joliet West history, bringing home two gold medals from the 1982 state AA track finals, two seconds in 1980, two thirds in 1981, a fifth and a seventh in 1979 along with an eighth in 1980. She also was fourth in the state cross-country finals in 1979 and had an 11th in 1981. All told, Crowther received 11 medals at IHSA state finals.

Carol Wiegand–swimmer, 1979-81. As a sophomore, Wiegand won the 100 backstroke in 1979, then followed it up with a win in the 100 butterfly finals at the 1980 IHSA state finals. She qualified for the finals in both events in 1981, taking second in the backstroke, and fifth in the butterfly. Wiegand was also part of the school’s 200 medley and 400 freestyle relays that took second at state in 1979.

Andy Dick—actor, comedian, class of 1984. Before becoming a cast regular of prime-time television comedy programs “Newsradio” and “Less Than Perfect,” Dick was voted homecoming king during his senior year in 1983 and referred to as the class clown. After high school, he attended Columbia College in Chicago where he was later discovered as a comedian and led to his appearances on TV.

–John Barrowman—actor, musician, performer, class of 1985. Barrowman was similar to Dick as an actor, and acted in school plays. He is a British native, and came to Joliet when his father was transferred to a job at a Joliet industrial plant. Barrowman continues to perform, but back in Great Britain, where he still maintains a dual citizenship with both the US and Great Britain.


If you have additional information about Joliet West High School, photos of teams and individuals, or even the words and music to the school fight song, we could use your help. You can forward your items and comments to us at or send it via USPS to:

Illinois High School Glory Days

6439 N. Neva

Chicago, IL  60631 

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