Lovington High School “Panthers”

Lovington High School Building 2012
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Lovington High School Sign 2012
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The History of Lovington High School

Lovington (population 1,222) is located in southeastern Illinois in the northwestern portion of Moultrie County. Illinois Route 133 and Illinois Route 32 are the main roadways to and from Lovington. County Highway 1 also takes you into town. Lovington is about 21 miles southeast of Decatur.

An excellent history of the town and township of Lovington is found at the web address of http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ilmoult2/Publications/1881_CombinedHistory/lovingto.html .

This address is summarized as follows:

The town is named after Andrew Love, the area’s first post-master. The area in which Lovington is located was first settled in 1838. In 1849 the first building in which the town of Lovington is situated was erected. Store buildings and houses began to spring up throughout the town limits.

The first school was built in 1854. The village continued to grow and prosper over the next 20 years. Lovington was incorporated as a village in April of 1873. In 1881 Lovington had over 20 businesses including four hotels, four restaurants, and five doctors. There was even an offical town band.

Lovington High School Rear Complex
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The history of Lovington High School is in need of further research. We do know that Lovington High School was started in 1885. The school system (District 303) served the community and surrounding farm families for 127 years. Falling enrollment and financial issues led to the decision to close the high school at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. The last class of Lovington High School graduated in May of 2012.  The kids of Lovington will now attend high school in nearby Arthur.

The Lovington High School building and facilities will be razed in the summer of 2012.

Lovington HS Rear Fire Escape
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Lovington HS Inscription – “Township High School”
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The following lists the enrollment at Lovington High School for most of the past decade:









2011: 78

Two excellent YouTube videos are available at the following web addresses:

Local news report:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tw7bmfyOBH4

Last home game alumni pom pon squad:


Lovington High School Quick Facts

Year opened:            1885

Year closed:              2012

Consolidated to:       Arthur High School

Team Nickname:      the “Panthers”

Uniform Colors:        Purple & Gold

School Fight Song:  “Onward Lovington”

Sung to University of Wisconsin Fight Song tune.

Submitted by Parker Whitaker.

 Onward Lovington, Onward Lovington,

                                    Step up to that line!

                                    Put the ball right through the basket,

                                    Scores count up each time!

                                    Rah! Rah! Rah!

                                    Onward Lovington, Onward Lovington,

                                    Fight on for your fame!

                                    Fight Fellas, FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!

                                    We’ll Win This Game!


The Purple and Gold “Panthers” of Lovington High School had some real nice seasons over the 127 years the school was in existence. The athletes brought home a total of 5 District titles and 11 (yes ELEVEN!) Regional Championships and 1 Sectional Championship in a variety of sports.

We are in need of the season records and coaches names of many of these seasons. We are also curious as to the football, track, and girls basketball programs at Lovington High School. If you have any information regarding these, or any other activities at LHS please write to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net .

Lovington HS Panther Statue – 2012
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Photo by Parker Whitaker
Lovington HS Panther Statue – 2012
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“Classes of 2008 & 2009” Photo by Dennis Downey


The Lovington High School girls had some fantasitc seasons during their tenure. It appears that Lovington and Arthur co-oped at least in 2003-04 season for a very exciting run in the state tournament. The team won the Regional and Sectional Championships, advancing to the Sweet 16 round and a spot in the Super Sectional. Though they would lose to Casey Westfield in a hard fought game they did advance further than any other team from Lovington in its storied history.

1995-96     0 – 6                                                       Coach Jean Holmes

1996-97   10 – 12                                                      Coach Jean Holmes

1997-98     7 – 12                                                      Coach Jean Holmes

1998-99     7 – 15                                                      Coach Jean Holmes

1999-00     8 – 12                                                      Coach Jean Holmes

2000-01   10 – 10                                                      Coach Jean Holmes

2001-02   16 – 4               Regional Champions        Coach Jean Holmes


2002-03   17 – 4 – 1          Regional Champions        Coach Jean Holmes


2003-04   28 – 3              Sweet 16 Finalists!!           Coach Jean Holmes

                                     Regional Champions

                                     Sectional Champions

                                     Beat Danville Schlarman 1-0

                                     Super-Sectional Game

Lost to Casey-Westfield 2-1

Casey Lost in Elite 8 Round


2009-10     8 – 12                                                      Coach Matt Darling

2010-11   12 – 10                                                      Coach Matt Darling

Lovington HS Baseball / Softball Booth – 2012
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The Lovington High School boys baseball program was extrememly successful in the middle 1940s. The boys won three District Championships in one four year span. We are seeking season records, coaches names, and other information on these teams as well as the many other LHS diamond seasons.

1943-44       District Champions

1945-46       District Champions

1946-47       District Champions

Lovington HS Gymnasium Entrance – 2012
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Lovington HS Gymnasium Front – 2012
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Courtesy of Dennis Downey


The Lovington High School Panthers boys basketball teams had some excellent seasons over the years. Most impresssive are the two District and three Regional Championships won by the hardwood court men. The program dates back to at least 1911-12 and enjoyed at least five 20+ games-won seasons. The boys won three of their Regional titles during the last 8 years that the school was open, proven the Panthers had a fighting spirit to the very end. The team of 2004-05 seems to have the best overal record in the history of the school, going 26 – 2 enroute to a Regional Championship. We are searching for the records of the Regional title teams of 2008 and 2009 however.

1911-12    2 – 0                                                           Coach O.C. Bailey

1912-13    1 – 4                                                           Coach O.C. Bailey

1913-14    3 – 0                                                           Coach ??

1914-15    4 – 2                                                           Coach Sean Hoover

1920-21    2 – 8                                                           Coach ??

1921-22    5 – 8                                                           Coach Beidermann

1922-23    7 – 10                                                         Coach Wilber

1923-24    6 – 7                                                           Coach Brunner

1924-25  16 – 7                                                           Coach Dalton

1925-26  15 – 5                                                           Coach Paul Meier

1926-27  10 – 12                                                         Coach Paul Meier

1927-28    8 – 13                                                         Coach Paul Meier

1928-29    3 – 15                                                         Coach Klein

1929-30    4 – 13                                                         Coach C.C. Galbreath

1930-31  15 – 8                                                           Coach C.C. Galbreath

1931-32    7 – 18                                                         Coach C.C. Galbreath

1932-33  16 – 11                                                         Coach C.C. Galbreath

1933-34  11 – 13                                                         Coach C.C. Galbreath

1934-35    9 – 16                                                         Coach C.C. Galbreath

1935-36  18 – 9         District Champions                    Coach C.C. Galbreath

1936-37  18 – 10       District Champions                    Coach Bud Russell

1937-38  21 – 4                                                          Coach Bud Russell 

1938-39  19 – 5                                                          Coach Bud Russell

1939-40  17 – 5                                                          Coach Bud Russell

1940-41    9 – 12                                                        Coach Bud Russell

1941-42  11 – 10                                                        Coach Bud Russell

1942-43    9 – 11                                                        Coach Kenneth Robley

1943-44    9 – 13                                                        Coach Warren Crews

1944-45  15 – 8                                                          Coach Warren Crews

1945-46  21 – 9                                                          Coach Warren Crews

1946-47  10 – 15                                                        Coach Warren Crews

1947-48  12 – 12                                                        Coach Al Best

1948-49    8 – 16                                                        Coach W.L. Kias

1949-50  13 – 8                                                          Coach Al Best

1950-51    1 – 19                                                        Coach Jean Mason

1951-52    2 – 21                                                        Coach Jean Mason

1952-53    2 – 21                                                        Coach Jean Mason

1953-54    1 – 20                                                        Coach Thomas Pieffer

1954-55  16 – 9                                                          Coach Eddie Root

1955-56    7 – 17                                                        Coach Eddie Root

1956-57    7 – 15                                                        Coach Eddie Root

1957-58    5 – 17                                                        Coach Frank Bogle

1958-59    5 – 15                                                        Coach Bob McAllister

1959-60    6 – 18                                                        Coach Bob McAllister

1960-61  10 – 9                                                          Coach Bob McAllister

1961-62    5 – 16                                                        Coach Bob McAllister

1962-63    6 – 15                                                        Coach Bill Jarvis

1963-64  10 – 13                                                        Coach Bill Jarvis

1964-65    6 – 17                                                        Coach Bill Jarvis

1965-66    5 – 17                                                        Coach Ted Anderson

1966-67  15 – 8                                                          Coach Ted Anderson

1967-68  14 – 9                                                          Coach Ted Anderson

1968-69  11 – 12                                                        Coach Ted Anderson

1969-70    3 – 18                                                        Coach Ted Anderson

1970-71    3 – 19                                                        Coach Dale Doehring

1971-72  11 – 13                                                        Coach Dale Doehring

1972-73    6 – 16                                                        Coach Dale Doehring

1973-74    8 – 13                                                        Coach Doug Aschermann

1974-75   13 – 13                                                        Coach Doug Aschermann

1975-76   12 – 11                                                        Coach Doug Aschermann

1976-77   19 – 7                                                          Coach Doug Aschermann

1977-78     5 – 18                                                        Coach Nik Groothuis

1978-79     1 – 22                                                        Coach Nik Groothuis

1979-80     4 – 18                                                        Coach Larry Hight

1980-81     5 – 18                                                        Coach Rod Sink

1981-82     4 – 18                                                        Coach Joe Gale

1982-83     4 – 19                                                        Coach Joe Gale

1983-84     7 – 17                                                        Coach Mike Price

1984-85     4 – 16                                                        Coach Hal Spencer

1985-86   13 – 10                                                        Coach Hal Spencer

1986-87   17 – 8                                                          Coach Ray Duncan


1987-88   23 – 4         Regional Champions                Coach Ray Duncan

1988-89   15 – 10                                                        Coach Ray Duncan

1989-90   10 – 16                                                        Coach Ray Duncan

1990-91   12 – 13                                                        Coach Ray Duncan

1991-92   14 – 11                                                        Coach Ray Duncan

1992-93   11 – 15                                                        Coach Rich Wilson 

1993-94   14 – 13                                                        Coach Rich Wilson

1994-95   13 – 10                                                        Coach Rich Wilson

1995-96   15 – 9                                                          Coach Rich Wilson

1996-97   17 – 10                                                        Coach Rich Wilson

1997-98   19 – 10                                                        Coach Rich Wilson

1998-99   16 – 11                                                        Coach Rich Wilson

1999-00     5 – 21                                                        Coach Rich Wilson

2000-01     4 – 19                                                        Coach Rich Wilson

2001-02     6 – 18                                                        Coach Josh Johnson

2002-03     3 – 21                                                        Coach Mark Tovey

2003-04   21 – 6                                                          Coach Mark Tovey


2004-05   26 – 2         Regional Champions                Coach Mark Tovey

2005-06   12 – 14                                                        Coach ??

2007-08                    Regional Champions                Coach ??

2008-09                    Regional Champions                Coach ??

2011-12                    Final Season                              Coach ??

“Lovington Panthers” Painted Wall Sign – 2012
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Scoreboard – Final home Game Players
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Lovington HS Gym Interior – 2012
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Lovington HS Gym Center Circle – 2012
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The lady netters of Lovington High School had some great seasons. We do know for certain that the Lovington High School girls team won FOUR Regional Championships. We are in need of season records and coaches names for these and other great Lady Panther volleyball teams.

1973-74                                                                  Coach Ellen Thomas

1974-75                                                                  Coach Ellen Thomas

1975-76    5 – 7                                                        Coach Ellen Thomas

1976-77    3 – 9                                                        Coach Ellen Thomas

1977-78    4 – 8                                                        Coach Rosalyn Clements

1978-79    2 – 13                                                      Coach Polly Cook

1979-80    6 – 10                                                      Coach Kathy Bolsen

1980-81    5 – 12                                                      Coach Kathy Bolsen

1981-82    7 – 10                                                      Coach Kathy Bolsen

1982-83  11 – 7                                                        Coach Kathy Bolsen

1983-84    8 – 12                                                      Coach Kathy Bolsen

1984-85  16 – 8                                                        Coach Kathy Bolsen

1985-86  15 – 8                                                        Coach Kathy Bolsen

1986-87  14 – 5                                                        Coach Kathy Bolsen

1987-88  22 – 7                                                        Coach Kathy Bolsen


1988-89                       Regional Champions


1993-94                       Regional Champions


1997-98                       Regional Champions


2002-03  25 – 4                                                         Coach Carol Smith


2003-04                       Regional Champions


Lovington HS Gymnasium Bleachers
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Dennis Downey



One Panther thinclad brought home a medal in the IHSA state-wide track meet. Jeff Davis accomplished this incredible feat in 1977 when he placed 2nd in the Class ‘A’ triple jump competition.

1976-77     Individual Medalist – JEFF DAVIS    Triple Jump    2nd Place 

Lovington HS Football Press Box – 2012
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Lovington HS Press Box Contributers
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Lovington HS Football Crow’s Nest – 2012
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Lovington HS Football Scoreboard – 2012
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Lovington HS Concession Stand – 2012
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If you have any further information regarding Lovington High School, including personal memories and fact, you can write to us via e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net . You can also write to us via the postal service to the following address:

IHSGD Website

6439 N. Neva Ave.

Chicago, IL.   60631

Printed in USA Today Newspaper, March 16, 2012

As annexation nears, Lovington prepares to say goodbye to its high school

Bertetto Lisa – Herald & Review/Jim Bowling

USA Today Newspaper, March 16, 2012
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Art teacher Lisa Bertetto sets up a display of masks below a row of historical photos and sports trophies at Lovington High School. The school will be closing after 105 year when the district is annexed by Arthur.

LOVINGTON — After a long and sometimes contentious process, the last days of the Lovington School District are here.

Come July 1, Lovington High School will officially be a part of history. Students will attend high school in Arthur beginning in August. Elementary students will remain in Lovington. Arthur will annex the Lovington district.

“It’s sad,” said senior Alicia Strode. “I’ve lived in Lovington all my life. My mother went (to the high school). My grandmother went there.”

The proposal to join forces with another district first came up in 2002. Shrinking enrollment and a lack of industry with its accompanying tax base combined to make finances tight in Lovington, with few options. Similar proposals failed twice before the annexation proposal passed in April 2011.

Annexation differs from consolidation in that Lovington will become part of Arthur School District, rather than the two districts uniting to make a new district, though the plan is to call the district Arthur-Lovington.

For the final basketball game of the 2012 season, the alumni association held a celebration of Lovington High School, said Superintendent Kyle Von Schnase, with recognition for the head coach.

Amber Kauffman and her mother were part of the pompom squad that performed the traditional routine at the last game of the season. Kauffman graduated in 2002.

“I remembered most of (the routine),” she said. “We had one practice and uploaded our practice video onto YouTube so we could practice at home. It was really a great last hurrah, and it felt good to get back together with people.”

Lovington has no pompom squad this year but asking former squad members back also was a way to celebrate the school’s history.

Kauffman’s son is 2 and will grow up knowing no other experience than sharing a district with Arthur, and Kauffman said that’s OK. Even while she was in high school, students had to take classes in Sullivan and play sports in combination with Arthur because Lovington lacked the resources to provide all those opportunities alone.

At the moment, no other public event is planned. One reason is that no one wants to disturb the students’ last year in their school. Nothing will be moved or changed until school lets out for summer.

“We want to keep things as normal as possible up until graduation,” Von Schnase said. “That means we don’t want to be doing a lot of moving of boxes and taking things down. We want them to remember the building like everyone else does. When they walk out the last day, that’s what I want them to remember. I don’t want them to remember the pictures being gone.”

The photos eventually will be moved to the grade school and carefully preserved, along with some of the trophies and banners now at the school. Lovington’s local businesses have agreed to display the rest of the high school memorabilia as a way to keep it in the community.

Beginning in the fall, the high school and its gymnasium will be razed, with efforts to save as many of the trees as possible. No final decision has been made about what to do with the land, which is adjacent to the grade school. Von Schnase said the community decided it would be less painful to tear the building down than to watch it deteriorate over time.

Senior Stephanie Harris said with the loss of the high school, Lovington loses almost its last public entity. There are a couple of bars, the phone company and a bank, but most of the businesses have gone.

“We’re such a small community, and now, I won’t say it’s ‘dying,’ that’s the wrong term, but there’s not much left,” she said.

The transition will be as smooth as the two districts can make it. A lot of students already know each other from sports, and in addition, students attended an orientation in February. An Ag Night is scheduled for March 22. Lovington schools have agriculture classes, but there’s a greater emphasis on it in Arthur.

Teachers and administrators worked on aligning curriculum so Lovington students will be able to seamlessly move into classes in Arthur, and that task is already done.

And no personnel will lose a job, Von Schnase said. Teachers, custodians, kitchen and office staff will be a little overstaffed, but several retirements are expected in the next few years, and the larger staff will allow for more math sections, a dedicated Response to Intervention time daily, and more custodians will be kept busy with all the work of turning two high schools into one.

“I was really against it at first, but we went over there for a meeting, and it seems less complicated and not as bad as it did,” said sophomore Brittany Rader, whose mother and brother graduated from Lovington. “I really think that’s how everyone feels about it now.”

As schools close, towns try to preserve memories, community

By Judy Keen, USA TODAY, April 17, 2012

LOVINGTON, Ill. – Each day, students gather in the Lovington High School science lab to catalog and repair trophies won by their classmates and some of their parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.

The school, built in 1907, is in its last weeks. The trophies won’t follow Lovington students 10 miles to Arthur and the newly renamed Arthur-Lovington High School this fall. They will be displayed in the bank, phone company, library, grain elevator and churches here.

A year ago, voters approved — by a 32-vote margin — the annexation of the Lovington School District by the Arthur School District, which has about 115 students in its junior and senior high school. LHS has 78 students, including 16 seniors.

The last day of classes is May 25. “It’s going to be tough after spending all my life here,” says Lovington sophomore Logan West, 16. “There’s a time in everyone’s life where they have to make a change. I’m fine with it.”

Others in this village of 1,300 are taking it harder. The school and its sports teams were the community’s glue and entertainment. Some worry that its closure will give area residents one fewer reason to come to town, hurting businesses.

“I’d hate to see this community die down,” says Gary Smith, a former Lovington mayor, its current fire chief and manager of the grain elevator. “I hope it doesn’t happen.” A 1973 LHS graduate whose father was in the class of 1939, he voted against annexation.

“A lot of people have a stake in this school,” LHS Principal Brandon Stone says.

Wave of closures

Shrinking budgets and enrollments are forcing school closures and consolidations across the nation. From 2008 to 2009, 1,822 public elementary and secondary schools closed, according to the National Center for Education Statistics. A year earlier, 1,515 closed.

Two Pittsburgh high schools are undergoing the same transition as LHS. Oliver’s 300 students will move this fall to archrival Perry, which has 650. Unity activities began in January and will continue through the summer

Perry Principal Nina Sacco says it’s important that Oliver students feel they have a voice in their future school. “This is their home now,” she says.

Money was a factor here, says Kyle VonSchnase, Lovington School District superintendent. The state, which contributes a third of the district’s $3 million budget, is behind on payments and the district has dipped into reserve funds. Facing the annexation has been difficult for some, he says, but “everyone has just pulled together as a community.”

Mayor Kelly Bennett, whose daughter is a senior, says it was time. “There’s a lot of sentimental value to these old schools, but when they no longer serve their purpose, let them go,” she says.

The elementary school, which has 245 students, will remain in Lovington. Although some people explored whether a religious school might move into the high school, it will be demolished after asbestos is removed.

By mid-October, VonSchnase says, it will be gone. Bricks from the school will be available to anyone who wants one. A Civil War-era flag hanging in the school will go to the Moultrie County Historical Society. Some furniture will be auctioned. The trophies are getting special care.

“We heard of many cases of consolidation where all the memories and trophies and memorabilia were stored away in an attic and totally lost,” says Ray Duncan, owner of Hardware State Bank and a former LHS basketball coach whose two children graduated from the school. When alumni return for homecoming, Duncan says, they will be able to visit the trophies. A big homecoming celebration is “part of the identity of this community,” he says, and it will continue.

Treasured symbols

Aaron Fleming, 18, salutatorian of the class of 2012, says those trophies and photos of graduating classes are what he’ll remember most. His grandmother is in a photo of the class of 1947. “Things like that make this school special,” says valedictorian Austin Evans, 18.

Most sports at Lovington and Arthur merged because neither school had enough students to field a team, but volleyball and boys basketball teams remained separate — and archrivals. Students will help decide whether Lovington’s panther mascot or Arthur’s knight will be used or whether a new mascot will be chosen.

The day the school becomes rubble will be difficult, says Pastor Al Rennert of First Christian Church. “There are many people here who were born, raised and lived here,” he says. “They had their moments of glory there.”

Many of them, he says, “still believe that it didn’t have to happen.”

To view another article regarding the closing of Lovington HS click on this web address link:  http://agc.stparchive.com/Archive/AGC/AGC06062012p12.php

Lovington School Auctioin Flyer

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Lovington HS Gym & FB Announcer’s Booth – 2012
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Lovington HS Bldg 2012
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Lovington HS Bldg Front 2012
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Lovington High School Front – 2012
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Lovington High School Building
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