Mazon-Verona-Kinsman High School “Red Devils”

Mazon-Verona-Kinsman HS Bldg – 2011
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Now MVK Grade School
Mazon-Verona-Kinsman High School
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Mazon, Illinois (Photo Taken by Kev Varney)

The History of Mazon-Verona-Kinsman High School

Mazon (population 904), as stated on the Mazon High School page of this site, is located on Il. Route 47 eight miles south of Morris in middle Grundy County. The “Johnny Run” creek runs through town.

Verona (population 257) is located in middle-western Grundy County at the intersection of Division Road and State Street. This places Verona about 8 miles southeast of Seneca and about 10 miles southwest of Morris. It is believed that Verona never supported its own high school. Its grade school building, once part of the M-V-K School District, is pictured above to the right.

Kinsman (population 109) is located in southwestern Grundy County on Kinsman Road just south of Burkhart Road. This places Kinsman about 10 miles south-southeast of Seneca and about 14 miles southwest of Morris. Kinsman also supported its own high school at one time.

All three towns are connected by, and were possibly started by, the famous railroad of song, the Atchison, Topeka, & Santa Fe.

In 1973, Mazon, Verona, and its neighbor Kinsman joined forces to create a new school district. The new district was named the Mazon-Verona-Kinsman School District. “M-V-K” High School was situated in Mazon. It is not known if there were schools active in Verona and Kinsman as part of the new district.

M-V-K High School lasted throughout the 1970s and 1980s, racking up several successful school years. It was in the late 1980s that consolidation talks began to surface. Eventually, the Mazon-Verona-Kinsman High School District was deactivated and annexed into the Seneca High School District in 1990. An elementary school is still active in Mazon. The school is still called the Mazon-Verona-Kinsman School. The MVK Middle School hosts grades 5-8 and is housed in the former high school building.

Mazon-Verona-Kinsman High School Quick Facts

Year MVK opened:      1973

Year closed:               1990

School nickname:       “Red Devils”

School colors:             Red & White

School Fight Song:      unavailable


Variety and success define the Mazon-Verona-Kinsman High School fortunes in sports. Seven different sports are recorded on the ISHA web site ( regarding athletics offered at M-V-K High School. Other sports than those listed below may have been offered. If so please drop us an e-mail at

Mazon-Verona-Kinsman HS Gym 2014 (Capacity 1000)
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Photo by Bruce Firchau
M-V-K HS Gymnasium 2014
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Photo by Bruce Firchau

Boys Basketball

The Mazon-Verona-Kinsman HS Red Devil boys brought home a regional title and some real nice seasons along the way. Coach Chuck Snow guided the MVK hardwood men to a 100-90 record from 1980 through 1987. This included a Class ‘A’ Regional title in the 1986-87 season. The best seasons are listed below.

Several scores involving M-V-K HS in the IHSA State Tournament were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” These scores are [posted below as well.

1973-74                     Marseilles Class ‘A’ Regional         Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Minooka 71-54

Minooka lost to New Lenox Providence in title game

1974-75                     Clifton Class ‘A’ Regional               Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Cullom Tri-Point 52-48

Tri-Point lost to Dwight in semi-final

Dwight beat Odell in title game

1975-76  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1976-77                     Dwight Class ‘A’ Regional               Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Coal City 69-61

Semi-final lost to Gardner-SW 58-54

GSW lost to Reed Custer in title game

1977-78                     Gardner Class ‘A’ Regional             Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Coal City 75-53

Semi-final lost to Gardner-SW 80-69

GSW lost to Dwight in title game

1978-79                     Gardner Class ‘A’ Regional             Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Coal City 70-51

Semi-final lost to Gardner-SW 70-50

GSW lost to Dwight in title game

1979-80     15 – 10     Postseason scores needed            Coach Chuck Snow


1980-81       5 – 19     Dwight Class ‘A’ Regional              Coach Chuck Snow

1st Rd lost to Reddick 77-65

Reddick lost to Dwight in semi-final

Dwight lost to Coal City in title game

1981-82     11 – 12     Gardner Class ‘A’ Regional            Coach Chuck Snow

1st Rd lost to Reddick 70-63

Reddick lost to Reed Custer in semi-final

Reed Custer lost to Gardner-SW in title game

1982-83     13 – 12     Postseason scores needed            Coach Chuck Snow

1983-84     14 – 9       Postseason scores needed            Coach Chuck Snow

1984-85       8 – 12     Postseason scores needed            Coach Chuck Snow

1985-86     16 – 9       Postseason scores needed            Coach Chuck Snow


1986-87     18 – 7    IHSA Class ‘A’ Regional Champs   Coach Chuck Snow

                                   Regional Scores Needed

                               IHSA Class ‘A’ Sectional Qualifier

                                   Sectional Scores Needed


1987-88  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

1988-89  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

*1989-90  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

*School’s final season, consolidated to Seneca in the summer of 1990.

Girls Basketball

The girls of M-V-K HS also competed in basketball. Their best season as listed on the IHSA web site is listed below.

1986-87           10-8            (nice record)                          Coach Mary Mitchell

Boys Golf

The boys golf team at M-V-K won a Regional Title which is listed below.

1985-86       N.R.A.      Regional Champions          Coach’s name unavailable

Mazon-Verona-Kinsman HS Gym 2014
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Courtesy of Bruce Firchau
M-V-K HS Gym 2014
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Photo by Bruce Firchau

Girls Volleyball

The Lady Red Devils volleyball team won a District and a Regional. The records and coaches names of these teams are not available.

1979-80    N.R.A.    District Champions           Coach’s name unavailable

1985-86    N.R.A.    Regional Champions        Coach’s name unavailable

Boys Wrestling

Two boys brought home medals from the state wrestling tournament. Their successes are listed below.

1973-74     Dave Brockman      Weight Class 132 lbs.       4th Place

1974-75     Marlin Hartman       Weight Class 138 lbs.      3rd Place

M-V-K Baseball / Soccer Field
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Girls Softball

The diamond girls for Mazon-Verona-Kinsman enjoyed some excellent success.  Though it is not recorded that they won any IHSA hardware, M-V-K HS had some very good seasons under the guidance of Coach Mary Mitchell. The best are listed below.

1974-75     8 – 2         Coach Mary Mitchell 

1975-76     8 – 2         Coach Mary Mitchell

1976-77     8 – 0         Coach Mary Mitchell

1977-78     8 – 3         Coach Mary Mitchell

1978-79     8 – 3         Coach Mary Mitchell

1979-80   10 – 2         Coach Mary Mitchell

1980-81   13 – 2         Coach Mary Mitchell

1985-86   14 – 7         Coach Mary Mitchell

1986-87   14 – 7         Coach Laurie Roe

Boys Track

Two Mazon-Verona-Kinsman boys won medals at the State Track Meet.

1979-80    Mike Murray      Long Jump        7th Place

1981-82    Todd Williams   Long Jump        6th Place


The Illinois Theatre Festival is the largest, non-competetive high school theatre festival in the world. It was organized in 1976 by teachers from the Chicago suburbs. This festival is still going strong as they perform at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and Illinois State University every other January. MVKHS participated in this festival from 1976 to 1985 and again in 1988.

Memories & Information

From Jan (Esgar) Murray Class of 1976:

“I am a graduate of Mazon-Verona-Kinsman High School class of 1976.  The former Mazon High School became a Unit district in 1973, following my freshman year.  Four of my siblings and I attended the school as did my father, Paul W. Esgar (Class of ’41) and my mother Ardella (Male) Harris (Class of ’48).

My father-in-law, William R. Murray came to M-V-K in 1973 as the principal when the former principal of Mazon High School, William “Scottie” Lynch became the Superintendent for the newly formed M-V-K district.”

From Kelli (Houchin) Unger (Class of 1974):

I am an alum of Mazon-Verona-Kinsman High School. I graduated with the class of 1975. My name is Kelli (Houchin) Unger. I have 1 sister and 3 brothers that also graduated from M-V-K. My dad is Keith Houchin. He taught Freshman English, was Athletic Director, and coached basketball, baseball, and golf at M-V-K. He had the magical Red Devil’s basketball team of 1967-1968. In 1990, when M-V-K annexed with Seneca, they took all of the tenured teachers over with them. My brother, Kirk Houchin had just been tenured that year and was fortunate to be among the ones moving to Seneca. He was the Spanish teacher, but now is the Guidance Counselor/Varsity baseball coach at Seneca. My dad taught 3 years at Seneca (which is also HIS alma mater), then retired.

I remember the very last graduation at M-V-K HS as told to me by my dad. He was asked by the school to help ‘lead’ the graduates when it came time to change the tassels on their caps to the other side. My dad got up in front of the crowd, sang the M-V-K school song by himself, then instructed the graduating class to move their tassels over to the other side. He, then, finished by singing the Seneca school song by himself. It was a nice touch/smooth transition when one thinks of ending one school and moving on to the other.”

Seeking More Information

If you have any information you would like to share regarding Mazon, Verona, Kinsman or the consolidated school of Mazon-Verona-Kinsman High Schools, please complete a Guest Commentary Form. We love to share photos of great teams and people associated with its school history. You can e-mail these items to us at You can also write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631

Former Verona Grade School building
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Now a private excavating business

  1. I was the high school band and chorus teacher at MVK High School from the fall of 1978 until the spring of 1982, and again during the 1985-1986 school year. I then became the high school principal from the spring of 1986 until the spring of 1989. During my tenure, I instituted a spring concert featuring the stage band and swing choir. During the 1981-1982 school year, the swing choir presented 37 performances for community groups and was featured with a two-page spread in The School Musician magazine.

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