Loda High School “Trojans”

Loda High School 1923 – 1952
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The Original Loda High School
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1895 – 1923

The History of Loda High School

Loda (population 419) is located in eastern Illinois about 25 miles north-northeast of Champaign. The town is platted in the far southwestern corner of Iroquois County. U.S. Route 45 is the major roadway runing through Loda. Interstate Highway 57 passes by the western edge of town. The Spring Creek flows to the south of town and the scenic Bayless Lake lays to the west of town as well. The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad runs along-side US Route 45 and was a major influence in the town’s early successful growth. For a brief period in the early-1800’s, Loda laid claim to being Illinois’ 2nd largest city with 800 residents. The town was settled in the early 1800s as well.

Loda residents took great pride in maintaining a progressive attitude in their early history. Educational opportunities were offered for the children of Loda in the mid- 1800s. This culminated in a brick high school building being built in Loda in 1895.  This building served the town nicely until a newer building was built in 1923.

Loda High School served the town of Loda and the surrounding country kids for at least six decades, probably much longer. It was in the late 1940’s and early 50’s that consolidation talks between Loda and nearby Buckley took place. Loda and Buckley residents agreed to pool their resources in 1952 and create the Buckley-Loda School District. The high school for the new district was located in Buckley with the Loda High School building used for a grade school for the newly formed district.

Buckley-Loda High School served the two towns’ residents for about four more decades. In 1990, Buckley-Loda High School closed and consolidated with nearby Paxton. The 1923-1952 Loda High School building is being utilized as an office building today.

Loda High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                               late 1800’s

Year 1st HS building built:            1895

Year 2nd HS building built:           1923

Year Buckley-Loda HS formed:     1952

Loda School nickname:                the “Trojans”

Loda School colors:                     Maroon / Red & White

School Fight Song:                      Sung to Notre Dame University Fight Song


Loda High School Basketball
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Loda High School Basketball
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Iroquois County Tournament Champs
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Loda HS Basketball Team 1927-28


The Loda High School Trojans competed in boys basketball, baskeball, and track & field. It is possible other sports such as football were also offered at one time.  Conference affiliaton and records of some of the potentially better teams are being sought as well.

Boys Basketball

Small town basketball in the early 1900s must have been electric. The Loda Trojans certainly held up their end of that bargain. The Trojans list some excellent records in the 1920s on the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org). Included in their accomplishments was a District Championship in 1927 and an Iroquois County Tournament Championship in 1928!

A photo of the 1928 Iroquois County Tournament Championship team can be viewed above. The star player for the 1927-28 squad was Bob Goodell, who is the fourth player from the right in the front row.

1925-26                                                                        Coach Leo Changnon

1926-27    24 – 7     District Champions                         Coach Leo Changnon

1927-28    27 – 4     Iroquois County Tourney Champs  Coach Leo Changnon

1928-29                                                                        Coach Leo Changnon

1929-30                                                                        Coach Leo Changnon

1930-31                  Iroquois Co. Tourney Runner-Ups      Coach Kenneth Letsinger

1931-32                                                                        Coach Kenneth Letsinger

1932-33    13 – 12                                                          Coach Kenneth Letsinger

1933-34                                                                        Coach Kenneth Letsinger

1934-35                                                                        Coach Coral Barnes

1935-36    12 – 15                                                          Coach Coral Barnes

1936-37                                                                        Coach Wayne Maurer

1937-38                                                                        Coach Wayne Maurer

1939-40                                                                        Coach Don Miller

1940-41                                                                        Coach Don Miller

1942-43                                                                        Coach W.F Bealer

1944-45                                                                        Coach Charles Staley

1945-46                                                                        Coach Charles Staley

1946-47    17 – 9                                                            Coach  Russell Dreschler

1947-48                                                                        Coach Russell Dreschler

1948-49                                                                        Coach Russell Dreschler

1949-50                                                                        Coach Russell Dreschler

1950-51                                                                        Coach Max Smolinske

1951-52                 School’s Last Season                        Coach Max Smolinske

Loda Baseball Team
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1896 – 1897

Boys Baseball

The boys baseball team made sure Loda High School went out of its solo act on a high note.  The school’s last team won the IHSA District Championship. Unfortunately the records and coaches names of this and other great Loda teams are not available.

1951-52             District Champions

Loda HS Baseball
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More Loda Baseball

Members of the 1939-40 High School baseball team pictured to the right are: Front row L-R, Harold Marshall, Dean Jennings, Max Kelly, John Nordstrom, Duane Woods, Warren Matheny, Ray Corbly……Back row L-R Webster, Coach Miller, Frank Swantrom, Addison Goodell, Jack Moffat, Bill Keiwert, (Cheer leaders) Mary Patterson, Evelyn Swantrom.

The town of Loda actually had a very rich tradition of sports and especially baseball at the turn of the 19th century.  John Hill, and avid supporter of this sight and especially the towns of Buckley and Loda, sent us this information:

 Around 1900 the baseball team put Loda on the map as an outstanding ballclub. On a summer afternoon when a game was scheduled the whole population streamed out to the ball park.  Fans came in from around the area.  Names of teams that came to play in Loda were the: Nebraska Indians (I have picture of team), and even the Chicago White Sox played on the Loda diamond.  The 1902 team won twenty-two of twenty-five games.  Players were:  Abe Rundle (Later was a coach at Northwestern), Edgan Jackson, John Nuttall (pitched for Northwestern and beat Notre Dame in a game), Tommy Marsh, Jerry Clive, George Harris, Lewis HarrisHorace Morgan, Johnny Madix.  Loda also had Nick Altrock pitch for them (Famed Major league pitcher).”

Sounds like a wonderful time for summer in Loda during the late 1800s through the early 1900s!!

Boys Track & Field

History was made in Loda and a track record was set that can never be broken. It is told to us that Loda High School hosted the first night track meet in IHSA history!

One male trackster with the last name of  Porter brought home a 3rd Place Medal from the 1924 ‘B’ State Track Meet.

1923-24B      ??  Porter       880 Yard Run       3RD Place!

Good Athletes

Some of the better athletes to grace the courts and fields of Loda High School included Bob Goodell, Jim Varner, Joe Dwyer, Don Ross, Vincent Davis, and Don Hackerson (who went on to pitch for the University of Illinois). .

Special Thank You

A special thank you goes out to John Hill for his assistance in the making of the Loda High School page. John’s efforts are sincerely appreciated!

Always Wanting More

If you have ANY further information you would like to share with us regaring the history and acheivements of Loda HS please write to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net. You can also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631

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