Manito Forman High School “Braves”

Manito Forman High School
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Original Forman HS Building
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The History of Manito Forman High School

Manito (population 1,733) is located in central Illinois about 20 miles southwest of Peoria.  Roads leading to and from the northeastern Mason County city are County Road #4 and County Road #15.  The Chicago & Midland Railroad also leads you through the town of Manito.

Manito supported its own high school (on this site as well) independently for over five decades.  The late 1940s brought the State of Illinois push for consolidation leading to a change in Manito. Several area country schools and possibly even a small town high school or two (Forest City?) joined forces with Manito to create the Forman School District. This effort became a reality in 1951 with the high school for the new district located in Manito.

Manito Forman School District served the area for forty years.  In the late 1980s and early 1990s consolidation talks arose between the Forman and Green Valley (also on this site) School Districts.  This effort was finalized in 1991 with the creation of the Midwest Central School District.  The high school for this district remained in Manito.

The original Manito Forman High School building is now used as an apartment building.

Manito Forman High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                                   1951

Year consolidated with Green Valley: 1991 (Midwest Central High School created)

Forman HS team nickname:              the “Braves”

School team colors:                          Orange & Royal Blue

School Fight Song:                           Forman Braves Fight Song

                                                       Thank you to Angela Knuppel

Behind the Forman Braves we’ll fall in line 

                                                      We’re gonna win that game for sure tonight

                                                      It’s for the dear old school we love so well,

                                                      We’re gonna yell and yell and yell and yell and yell

                                                      We’re gonna fight fight fight for every score

                                                      And then we’ll turn around and fight some more

                                                      We’re gonna leave old (game opponent) in the dust

                                                      Yes we must

                                                      Rah, Rah, Rah ah ah !!!


Manito Forman High School had some great success on many levels throughout its existence (  Boys competed in baseball, basketball, golf, track, and wrestling for sure.  The girls were offered basketball, volleyball, softball, and track.  Forman competede against their rivals from Green Valley, Mason CIty, Easton, and Havana in the Blackhawk Conference.   If you have information on other sports being offered please write to us via e-mail.  We are also looking for the school fight song for Manito Forman High School.


The baseball program at Manito Forman High School truly hit its peak in the 1980s.  Six Regionals, four Sectionals, and four trips to the state finals in Class’A’ highlighted the diamond success of the Forman High School hardballers.

Unfortunately these are currently the only records and information we have available.  The excellent accomplishents of the 1980s are listed below.

1981-82                  Regional Champions

Still noted from this season is Chris Kniseley’s no hitter, pitched against Hartem (Hartsburg-Emden), on May 11, 1982!

1982-83                  Regional Champions

1983-84    22 – 4      IHSA Class ‘A’ Final Four             Coach Randy Cihlar

                              Regional Champions

                              Sectional Champions

                              Quarter Final Winner

                              Beat Eldorado 5 – 4

                              Final Four Finalist

                              Lost to Alton Marquette 5 – 4

Marquette eventual State Champs

1986-87    29 – 6       IHSA Class ‘A’ Final Four            Coach Randy Cihlar

                               Regional Champions

                               Sectional Champions

                               Quarter final Winner

                               Beat Teutopolis  7 – 1

                               Final Four Finalist

                               Lost to Columbia 6 – 1

Columbia eventual State Champs

1987-88    33 – 2       IHSA Class ‘A’ Elite Eight             Coach Randy Chilar

                               Regional Champions

                               Sectional Champions

                               Elite 8 Finalist

                               Lost to Alton Marquette 10 – 9

Marquette eventual State Runner-up

1988-89    18 – 14     IHSA Class ‘A’ Elite Eight              Coach Randy Cihlar

                               Regional Champions

                               Sectional Champions

                               Elite 8 Finalist

                               Lost to Anna-Joneboro 14 – 4

Anne-Jonesboro placed Third


The Manito High School girls basketball program made a state finals appearance of their own.  The 1980s saw the peak of this program as well. A total of five Regionals were won during a six year period.  The team of 1981-82 made a run to the State Finals by winning their Sectional and Super-Sectional titles after finishing the regular season undefeated.  The coaches name and team record of the 1982 squad are listed below.  The records and coaches names of the other teams are not currently available.

1980-81                Regional Champions

1981-82  25 – 1      IHSA Class ‘A’ Elite 8 Finalist              Coach Dave Brown

                            Undefeated Regular Season

                            Regional Champions

                            Sectional Champions

                            Super-Sectional Champions

                            Beat Farmington East  54 – 48 (O/T)

                            Elite 8 Finalist

                            Lost to Quincy Notre Dame 54 – 47

Notre Dame eventually Third Place winners

1983-84                Regional Champions

1984-85                Regional Champions

1985-86                Regional Champions


The Manito High School boys team also had some great seasons in their day.  A total of EIGHT Regional titles were won by the hardwood court boys teams.  The best seasons in the program’s history are listed below.

1951-52  15 – 8                                                             Coach Gene Brodman

1952-53  19 – 6    Regional Champions                        Coach Gene Brodman

1953-54  21 – 7                                                             Coach Gene Brodman

1954-55    6 – 18                                                           Coach Gene Brodman

1955-56  11 – 12                                                           Coach Don Eklund

1955-57    9 – 16                                                           Coach Don Eklund

1957-58  15 – 11                                                           Coach Wayne Beach

1958-59  19 – 8                                                             Coach Earl Neeman

1959-60  21 – 9    Regional Champions                        Coach Earl Neeman

1960-61  17 – 9                                                             Coach Earl Neeman

1961-62    9 – 16                                                           Coach Harry Statham

1962-63  10 – 13                                                           Coach Harry Statham

From Phil Shadid:

“After coaching basketball two seasons at Forman (his first as a high school head coach), Harry Statham coached three years at Dwight Township High (24-45 record), and then became the men’s head basketball coach (1966) at McKendree College in Lebanon, IL.  He is now in his 43rd season and has become the winningest men’s basketball coach in college history.  As of Feb. 1, 2009, he has coached in 1363 games, which is a record, and has 984 wins, also a record.”

1963-64  18 – 9    Regional Champions                        Coach Chuck Conrady

1964-65  13 – 10                                                           Coach Chuck Conrady

1965-66  13 – 14                                                           Coach Chuck Conrady

1966-67  20 – 7                                                             Coach Chuck Conrady

1967-68  16 – 10                                                           Coach Chuck Conrady

1968-69  25 – 3    Regional Champions                        Coach Chuck Conrady

1969-70  13 – 12                                                           Coach Chuck Conrady

1970-71    9 – 14                                                           Coach Mike Akin

1971-72    9 – 14                                                           Coach Jim Johnson

1972-73  16 – 11                                                           Coach Mike Mueller

1973-74  14 – 12                                                           Coach Mike Mueller

1974-75  21 – 6                                                             Coach Mike Mueller

1975-76  21 – 5                                                             Coach Bill Wills

1976-77  13 – 12                                                           Coach Bill Wills

1977-78  19 – 8                                                             Coach Rich Vana

1978-79  13 – 14                                                           Coach Rich Vana

1979-80  18 – 8                                                             Coach Rich Vana

1980-81  20 – 8    Regional Champions                        Coach Rich Vana

1981-82  21 – 5    Regional Champions                        Coach Rich Vana

                          Macon Co. Tourney Runner Up

1982-83  10 – 15                                                           Coach Rich Vana

1983-84  15 – 13  Regional Champions                        Coach Rich Vana

1984-85  15 – 11                                                           Coach Rich Vana

1985-86  13 – 13                                                           Coach Rich Vana

1986-87  15 – 10                                                           Coach Stan Prosser

1987-88  12 – 13                                                           Coach Stan Prosser

1988-89    3 – 20                                                           Coach Stan Prosser

1989-90    8 – 17                                                           Coach Stan Prosser

1990-91  12 – 13   School’s Last Season                         Coach Siltman

*In 1987 Doug Swan was named to the All-Tournament team of the prestigious Macomb-Western Holiday Basketball Tourney.

**From our good friend Phil Shadid:

“Information regarding the MASON COUNTY BOYS BASKETBALL TOURNAMENT, which was held for 68 years, and ended in 1989:

Manito Foreman won the County tournament 3 times and finished second 12 other times!!”


MFHS competed in boys golf.  The coach of the linksters from 1977 through 1980 was Coach Mike McGuckin.

1977-80       Coach Mike McGuckin


The Manito High School ladies had some success on the diamond as well. The girls of 1986-87 brought home a Regional title.  We are searching the team record of this and other great MFHS softball teams.

1986-87              Regional Champions                         Coach Becky Hayes


The Lady tracksters had some real nice success in the late 1980s winning two Sectioinal Championships in 1988 and 1989.  The program also boasted several individual and relay mecalists which are listed below,

1979-80   Julie Hasty            Discus                  8TH Place

1980-81   Julie Hasty            Discus                  6TH Place

               Karen Sondag      High Jump           6TH Place

1982-83   Teresa Miller        200 M Hurdles       6TH Place

1987-88   Team Won the Sectional Championship

               State Meet Medalsits

 Relay Team          4 X 100 M Relay   7TH Place

               Relay Team          800 M Medley       7TH Place

               Relay Team          4 X 200 M Relay   8TH Place

1988-89   Team Won the Sectional Championship

               State Meet Medalists

               Relay Team          800 M Medley       7TH Place

1990-91    Relay Team          4 X 100 M Relay   3RD Place

               Relay Team           4 X 200 M Relay   5TH Place


The thinclads on the boys side were not without their moments.  Two Medals were won at the IHSA Class ‘A’ State Track Meet.

1984-85    Relay Team   4 X 800 M Relay       6TH Place

1988-89    Pete Hilst       300 M Hurdles          6TH Place


The lady netters did not bring home any IHSA hardware but they did have a very successful program.  The best records and the coach’s names are listed below.

1975-76                                                                          Coach Stampanato

1976-77                                                                          Coach Pieczanka

1977-78                                                                          Coach Pieczanka

1978-79                                                                          Coach Barb White

1979-80  10 – 9                                                                Coach Barb White

1980-81                                                                          Coach Stan Prosser

1981-82  12 – 7                                                                Coach Stan Prosser

1982-83                                                                          Coach Stan Prosser

1983-84  12 – 11                                                              Coach Stan Prosser

1984-85  15 – 10                                                              Coach Stan Prosser

1985-86                                                                          Coach Stan Prosser

1986-87  16 – 9                                                                Coach Stan Prosser

1987-88                                                                          Coach Stan Prosser


The Manito Forman High School grapplers had some great individual performances over the years   Two of the boys, Cory Daker and Shane Daker, each won individual state championships in the respective weight classes!

Team records and coaches names are not available at this time.

1983-84     Tom Nelson    112 lbs. Weight Class     4TH Place

1984-85     Chuck Reed    105 lbs Weight Class      2ND Place

1985-86     Chuck Reed    112 lbs. Weight Class     2ND Place

Tom Nelson    132 lbs. Weight Class     2ND Place

1989-90     Cory Daker     103 lbs. Weight Class     STATE CHAMPION!!

                 Shane Daker  125 lbs. Weight Class     STATE CHAMPION!!

1990-91     Cory Daker      112 ;bs. Weight Class     STATE CHAMPION!!




We know the boys of Forman High School competed in cross-country.  James Daniel McIntosh was a member of the harriers in 1980.  If you have any further information regarding the Forman HS cross country team please contact us.


The English Department at Manito Forman was not without merit.  How about its claim to a top five state-wide finish in this IHSA sponsored competition?!  This occurred in the 1958-59 school year when the Forman team placed FIFTH in State Competition. The main cause behind this finish was the state championship won by Larry Woiwode in the Original Comedy Category.  Great Job Larry!

1958-59      Team Finished FIFTH in STATE Competition!!

                  Individual Medalist

                  Larry Woiwode        Original Comedy     STATE CHAMPION!!


                  Final Team Standings

1.)  Calumet City (Thornton Fractional)              14

2.)  DuQuoin (H.S.)                                          10

3.)  LaGrange (Lyons)                                        9

3.)  Maywood (Proviso East)                               9

5.)  MANITO FORMAN HIGH SCHOOL              5

5.)  Elgin (H.S.)                                                 5

5.)  Geneseo (Darnall)                                        5

5.)  Champaign (H.S.)                                        5

9.)  Winnetka (New Trier)                                    4

9.)  Northbrook (Glenbrook)                                 4

9.)  Carthage                                                     4

9.)  Greenville                                                    4

9.)  Staunton                                                     4

9.)  Freeport (H.S.)                                             4


There are MANY missing parts to the wonderful history of Manito Forman High School.  IF you can help fill in the information we are searching for, as well as any new information you wish to share, please write to us at  We are especially interested in a photo of the Manito Forman HS building.  You can aslo write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago,  Il.  60631

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