Young America High School offered basketball, track & field, and baseball (fall and spring). Football was also offered for a short period of time. Young America competed in the Ambraw Valley Conference along with Brocton-Redmon, Chrisman, Kansas, Scottland, and Westfield. It is not known for how long this conference existed, but it was in effect for sure from 1948 through 1968.
Young America HS played football for two years, 1957-58 and 1958-59. In 1957, because the Ambraw Valley conference members did not play football, YAHS also joined the East Central Conference and was a dual conference school from that point until it closed.
|YAHS Basketball 1949-50
As with most of the smaller schools, basketball was the most anticipated and supported sport at Young America HS. This was with good reason. The Young America High School Golden Eagles won a total of three District titles in what was a real hotbed of small school basketball.
One of the more interesting facts of YAHS basketball is that one of Illinois High School’s most successful coaches began his career there. You can read more about Coach Roger Beals below. As you can see, the Young America kids went out fighting with winning records in each of their last four seasons as a high school.
*Interesting trivia – Harold Stone and Latham “Butch” Heath remember this bit of local basketball history:
“The winner of the Ambraw Valley Conference Tournament always advanced to the Wabash Valley Tourney which was western Indiana schools, we are just 20 miles or so from the Indiana line. One year the Ambraw winner, Kansas (led by center Dave Redmon and former Paris great – Coach Warren Collier), was beaten by 2 points in the Wabash Valley Championship game by Terre Haute Gerstmeyer AND that year Gerstmeyer went on to place second in the Indiana State Tournament….”
1949-50 District Champs Coach John Brown
1950-51 Coach John Brown
1951-52 Coach Carroll Dunn
1952-53 Coach Carroll Dunn
1953-54 Coach Eugene Berry
1954-55 Coach Eugene Berry
1955-56 Coach Max Swinford
1956-57 Coach Max Swinford
1957-58 Coach George Merrimac
1958-59 Coach Roy Hatfield
1959-60 Coach Lynn Viseur
1960-61 Coach Lynn Viseur
1961-62 District Champs Coach Pete Cvengros
1962-63 Coach Roger Beals
1963-64 Coach Roger Beals
1964-65 12 – 10 Coach Roger Beals
1965-66 14 – 10 Coach Roger Beals
1966-67 20 – 8 District Champs Coach Roger Beals
1967-68 16 – 7 Coach Roger Beals
Coach Roger Beals began his legendary coaching career during the 1962-63 school year. After his two initial campaigns began with sub-.500 records, Coach Beals led Young America to four consecutive winning seasons to close out the school’s basketball history. In fact Coach Beals never had a losing record in any single season again.
Coach Beals went on to coach at Mid-County Varna for a year before landing at Chrisman High School in 1969. Check out some of Coach Beals more incredible accomplishments in IHSA history.
#1 all-time in consecutive winning seasons with 28 (the first four of the streak were at Young America!)
#1 all-time consecutive 20+ game-winning seasons with 15 (1978-92 at Chrisman)
#12 all-time winning percentage .785
#22 all-time in total number of wins in IHSA history with 638
#27 all-time in total wins at one school with 541 at Chrisman
And it all started for Coach Beals at Young America High School!
|YAHS District Champs
|Young America Eagles
|1966-67 District Champs
The football program at Young America High was a short one. For two seasons (one of which existed of one game) the Eagles battled with foes on the Autumn gridiron. The boys of 1957-58 and 1958-59 had the numbers, but were not supported by school administrators. After a short life, the football program at Young America High School was dropped for financial reasons.
|Young America’s Final Football Team 1958-59
|Young America’s First Football Squad 1957-58
|Young America HS Band – 1954
According to alumnus (Class of 1954) Harold Stone Young America High School was also quite successful in music competition. Mr. Stone’s comments regarding this program are as follows:
“Young America was probably better known for a remarkable music department and won many band sweepstakes trophies in state music competition mostly under the direction of Music Instructor Ernest Jones.”
|Young America HS Band State Champs 1959
|1959 Band Champions Newspaper Article
A newspaper article submitted to us by Carolyn Stone Pennington reports that Young America High won top honors in the 1959 Trenton State Music Finals!
The championship did not come without a little behind the scenes excitement. Bill Stone, the father of Carolyn Stone, was serving as driver / chaperone for the team and was the proud father of three daughters (Carolyn, Charlotte, and Sharon) who were members of the band. Upon arriving at the site of the competition in Trenton Carolyn informed her father she had forgotten her clarinet sheet music at home. Without it the clarinet trio set to perform would be unable to compete. Band director Mr. Ernest Jones who was able to get the clarinet trio’s assigned time moved back while Mr. Stone was sent on a mission to buy the correct music “across the bridge” into St. Louis, Missourri, the closest music store in the area. Bill Stone was given the directions by Mr. Jones and had to decipher between the three bridge crossings that could take him into St. Louis that day. Bill was resourceful and was able to find the music store and return to the competition with time to spare. The Clarinet trio of Carolym Stone, Kathy Galway, and Larry Fogerson received a superior rating for their performance and the band won the championship by one point, 70 – 69 over Lovington. Bill Stone and his 1956 tan and coppertone Chevy saved the day for Young America High!
Thank you to Carolyn Stone Pennington for sharing this wonderful story!!
The following is a list of the Young America High School music teachers:
1949-50 – Ernest Jones
1950-51 – Ernest Jones
1951-52 – Ernest Jones
1952-53 – Ernest Jones
1953-54 – Ernest Jones
1954-55 – Ernest Jones
1955-56 – Ernest Jones
1956-57 – Ernest Jones
1957-58 – Ernest Jones
1958-59 – Ernest Jones
1959-60 – Ernest Jones
1960-61 – Darrell Trimble
1961-62 – Darrell Trimble
1962-63 – Darrell Trimble
1963-64 – Darrell Trimble
1964-65 – Peggy Neal Klein
1965-66 – Jerome C. Hood
1966-67 – Jerome C. Hood
1967-68 – Gary Williamson – Band
1967-68 – Mary Morris – Chorus
Dr. Ted Cohen (Class of 1956) – PHD Philosophy from Harvard Uiversity, Professor at the University of Chicago
Dr. Dave Lange (Class of 1956) – Internationally known lecturer and Professor of Law, Duke University
Below is a list of all YAHS Principals and ECCU#2 Supts which included YAHS.
YA Principal Superintendent
1949-50 Carl Forrester Charles C. Newman
1950-51 Charles C. Newman Charles C. Newman
1951-52 Charles C. Newman Charles C. Newman
1952-53 Carroll L. Dunn Charles C. Newman
1953-54 Peyton Holaday Charles Watson
1954-55 Peyton Holaday Charles Watson
1955-56 Peyton Holaday Charles Watson
1956-57 Peyton Holaday Charles Watson
1957-58 Paul Preston Peyton Holaday
1958-59 Paul Preston Peyton Holaday
1959-60 Henry Grice Peyton Holaday
1960-61 Henry Grice Peyton Holaday
1961-62 Edmond Bowling Henry Grice
1962-63 Edmond Bowling Henry Grice
1963-64 Edmond Bowling Henry Grice
1964-65 Charles Voorhees Henry Grice
1965-66 Darrell Brown Henry Grice
1966-67 Max Jewell Henry Grice
1967-68 Max Jewell Henry Grice
From Class of 1963 alum Jim Palmer:
“The graduating class of 1963 was unusual in that there were 15 graduates of which there was only one girl – 14 boys and 1 girl !
Also, since Brocton-Redmon High School and Young American High School were in the same school district, they had a joint annual each year and prom. The prom location alternated each year between the gym in Hume and the gym at Brocton-Redmon High School.”
|Young America HS Class of 1956
|Submitted by Missy Litteral
If You Have ANY Information You Would Like To Share
We are looking for a photo of the original Young America High School building and any other facts about the school. Please write to us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you wish to share any further information about Young America HS. You can also write to us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
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|Metcalf School Memorial