Roanoke High School

Roanoke High School Building
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Now Roanoke-Benson High School

The History of Roanoke High School

Roanoke (population 1,994) is located in upper-central Illinois in central Woodford County, about 20 miles east and a little north of Peoria. Illinois Routes 116 and 117 run concurrently through town. The At & St. Railroad travels through Roanoke, too. The West Branch of the Panther Creek flows through the town in a couple of areas.

The history of the town and its school are being sought. It is quite probable that Roanoke began a school for its children by the late 1800’s. A high school was likely in place by the early 1900’s, possibly even the late 1800’s. Roanoke High School served the town for about six decades on its own. It was in the mid-1950s that Roanoke and nearby rival Benson began consolidation talks. The effort to consolidate became a reality in 1956 with the creation of the Roanoke-Benson School District.

The high school for the newly created district was located in Roanoke. A new high school building was built in Roanoke to house the R-BHS students. The original Roanoke High School building served as a grade school for several years before being razed. Only the gym remains from those years when it was just Roanoke High School.

Roanoke High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                                 late 1800’s/early 1900’s

Year closed:                                  1956

Consolidated to:                             Roanoke-Benson High School

Roanoke HS team nickname:          unavailable

RHS ream colors:                           unavailable

School Fight Song:                         unavailable

Roanoke-Benson High School Gym
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Home of the Rockets
Roanoke-Benson HS Gym Inscription
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Roanoke High School competed in baseball, basketball, and track as a member of the Tri-County Conference. These sports are all recognized on the IHSA website ( Roanoke High School team nickname, colors, fight song, coach’s names and team records of the better baseball teams and some of the better basketball teams are all in need of updating.


Roanoke High School truly excelled in boys’ basketball. A total of NINE District Championships were won at Roanoke High. Included in this was two undefeated regular seasons. Consistency was the rule.

Between 1916 and 1956, there were only four coaches at Roanoke High.  Lawrence Cravens’ great 23-year run highlighted this 41-year period. All four Roanoke coaches listed on the IHSA website had winning records while at the school. The best of these seasons are listed below.

1916-17  13-  5                                                  Coach Raymond D. Yeck

1917-18  15-  2                                                  Coach Raymond D. Yeck

1918-19  14-  7                                                  Coach Raymond D. Yeck

1919-20  15-  3                                                  Coach Charles Thompson

1920-21  14-  8                                                  Coach Charles Thompson

1921-22  14-  4                                                  Coach Charles Thompson

1922-23  13-  5                                                  Coach Charles Thompson

1923-24  11-  5                                                  Coach Charles Thompson

1924-25                                                            Coach Charles Thompson

1925-26  12-  6                                                  Coach Charles Thompson

1926-27  15-  3                                                  Coach Charles Thompson

1927-28  20-  4   District Champions                 Coach Charles Thompson

                          Woodford Co. Tourney Champs

1928-29  15-  8                                                  Coach Charles Thompson

1929-30  17-  7                                                  Coach Lawrence Cravens

1930-32                                                            Coach Lawrence Cravens

1932-33  20-  4  Nice Record!                             Coach Lawrence Cravens

1933-34  24-  1 UNDEFEATED Regular Season Coach Lawrence Cravens

1934-35  18-  5                                                  Coach Lawrence Cravens

1935-36  21-  3                                                  Coach Lawrence Cravens

1936-37            District Champions                   Coach Lawrence Cravens

1937-38            District Champions                   Coach Lawrence Cravens

1938-39            District Champions                   Coach Lawrence Cravens
1939-40            District Champions                   Coach Lawrence Cravens

1940-41                                                            Coach Lawrence Cravens
1941-42            District Champions                   Coach Lawrence Cravens

                        Beat Metamora 47-45 for title

1942-43            District Champions                   Coach Lawrence Cravens

1943-44  17-  7                                                   Coach Lawrence Cravens

1944-47                                                             Coach Lawrence Cravens

1947-48  16-  9                                                   Coach Lawrence Cravens

1948-49  13-12                                                   Coach Lawrence Cravens

1949-50  17-  9                                                   Coach Lawrence Cravens

1950-52                                                             Coach Lawrence Cravens

1952-53  19-  2  Nice Record                               Coach Dick Broers

1953-54  14-10                                                   Coach Dick Broers

1954-55  28-  1  District Champions                   Coach Dick Broers

                          Undefeated Regular Season
1955-56  21-  7  District Champions                   Coach Dick Broers

                         Tri-County Conference Tourney Runner-Ups

                          School’s Final Season

Great Coaches

Coach Raymond D. Yeck  –  1916-17 through 1918-19

Three Seasons

42 – 14 Overall

.750 Winning %

Coach Charles Thompson – 1919-20 through 1928-29

10 Total Seasons

136 – 58 Overall

.701 Winning %

One District Title

Coach Lawrence Cravens – 1929-30 through 1951-52

23 Total Seasons

370 – 58 Overall (#174 All-Time in IHSA HIstory)

.864 Winning %

Six District Titles

One Undefeated Regular Season

Coach Dick Broers – 1952-53 through 1955-56

Four Total Seasons

102 – 28 Overall Record

.785 Winning %

Two District Champions

One Undefeated Regular Season

Went on to coach at Roanoke-Benson for 28 more seasons!


The boys’ baseball program at Roanoke High won a District title as well.  Unfortunately the coach’s name and team record of this and other great RHS teams are not currently available

1941-42           District Champions

Boys’ Track & Field

Two Roanoke High School thinclads won medals at the IHSA State Track Meet.  Their incredible accomplishments are listed below.

1915-16    ??  Hodel                1 Mile Run        3RD Place

1946-47    Gerald Sander        1 Mile Run        4TH Place

Need Some Help

If you have ANY information you can share regarding the many great successes of Roanoke High School, please send it to us to we can share with others. There had to be other great teams and great accomplishments that may be forgotten if not shared here. You can e-mail items to us at, or write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, IL  60631

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