Sheffield High School “Cardinals”

Sheffield High School Building – 2008
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Home of the Cardinals
Sheffield High School Building – Angle Side View
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Taken in 2008

Sheffield (population 946) is located in the north-central portion of Illinois in the west-central part of Bureau County.  The bustling town is located on US Rt. 6 / U.S. Rt. 34  approximately 15 miles west of Princeton. Sheffield has a grand history and was an important part of western Bureau County’s early growth.

Sheffield High School Unit District # 132 and the Sheffield school system was established in the mid-1800s.  Sheffield High School celebrated its first graduating “class” in 1868.  The class was a total of one person.  That person was Emily Pitkin, Sheffield High School’s first alumnus.  A brick high school building, pictured above, was built in 1921.

Sheffield School Inscription
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Sheffield School Inscription
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The high school closed her doors in 1961 after a consolidation effort was forged with nearby Buda High School.  The two schools formed Buda Western High School and enjoyed many great years of athletics.  The Sheffield High School Cardinals also enjoyed many great years of success in athletics.  Buda Western High School later formed a consolidation effort with other nearby towns and created the Bureau Valley School District.

The Bureau Valley School District utilized the Sheffield school building as an elementary school (K-5) through the 2005-06 school year.  The decision was then made to close the Sheffield school and resume all classes in the Buda school buildings.

The Sheffiedl High School building sat proudly for six more years, being utilized only as a place for students to wait inside for the bus pick up in inclement weather. In 2012 demolition plans for the building were completed and the building was razed. All that remains of the school complex is the flag pole and athletic fields in the background. A photo of what now remains of the Sheffield school site was taken in 2013 and provided by Owen Pulver

Former Sheffield HS Grounds – 2013
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Photo by Owen Pulver

Sheffield High School Cardinals “Quick Facts”

Year school opened:      Mid-1800s

First Graduating Class:  1868

Year closed:                 1961

Consolidated to:            Western High School (Buda)

School nickname:          Cardinals

School Colors:               Scarlet & White

School Building:             Still standing – vacant

School Fight Song:        “Sheffield High School Fight Song”

                                     To Sheffield High the school we love

                                     Let’s sing a song of praise

                                     Tell of her many victories

                                     And high her banners raise

We’ll sing her praises everywhere

                                     We’ll work for her with zest

                                     And show to all the world around

                                     That Sheffield is the BEST!!

So let’s join in a cheer

                                     While we’re all gathered here

                                     Cheer for old Sheffield High!

                                     We are ready to fight for the Scarlet & White

                                     Of dear old Sheffield High!

                                     We are proud of her name

                                     We will add to her fame

                                     To advance her we’ll ever try

                                     So let’s CHEER, CHEER, the gangs all here

                                     All out for Sheffield High,  RAH!!!! 


Sheffield competed in the Little ‘8’ Conference.  The school offfered boys football, basketball, track, and possibly baseball.  Very limited information is known by the writers of this web site regarding Sheffield HS.  Assistance is being sought for  more information to share with others.

Sheffield High School Gymnasium & Stage – 2008
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School Gym Center Circle
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The first Sheffield Basketball team has be traced back to as far as 1916, falling in a game to Kewanee by the score of 30-15. Competitive, tough, athletic, all were words used to desribe a game against the Sheffield Cardinal basktetball teams.  Some incredible games were played against neighboring rivals Buda and Mineral.  It is known Sheffield had some great teams in the 1940s and 1950s, however, again, your assistance is needed. 


It is also known that Sheffield won the Little 8 Conference title three staight years going undefeated in the conference each year.  This 21 game conference winnning streak occurred during the 1943-44, ’44-’45, and ’45–’46 seasons.  Below is listed the Cardinal District Championship teams as well as some of the better years in Cardinal hardwood history.

Several scores from the IHSA Tournament were located on a site titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores“. The scores involving Sheffield High School are reprinted below.

Thank you to Mike Pratt for several of the items listed below..

1915-16     6 – 8                                                                     Coach Ball

1920-21   10 – 7                                                                     Coach Hacker


1921-22               Moline District Tourney                             Coach’s name needed

1st Rd lost to Port Byron 29-25

Moline beat Annawan in title game


1922-23  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s names needed.

1923-24  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s names needed.

1924-25  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s names needed.


1925-26   21 – 1   IHSA District Runner-Up                          Coach’s name needed

Lost District Championship Game

Ottawa 32   Sheffield 22

Outscored opponents 465 – 247

Bureau County Tourney Champs   

Little Six Conference Champs

Undefeated Regular Season


1926-27  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s names needed.

1927-28  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s names needed.

1928-29  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s names needed.

1929-30  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s names needed.

1930-31  Postseason scores, record, and coach’s names needed.


1931-32               Princeton District Champs                       Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Tiskilwa 32-16

2nd Rd Beat Beat Buda 24-12

Semi-Final Beat Lamoille 32-7

Title Game Beat Buda 27-21

Moline Sectional Tourney

1st Rd Lost to Galesburg 7-5 (O/T)

Galesburg lost in title game to Kewanee


1932-33               Princeton District Tourney                        Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Malden 26-15

DePue beat Malden in title game


1933-34               Princeton District Tournament                 Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Buda 29-14

Semi-final lost to Princeton 25-19

Princeton lost in title game to DePue


1934-35               Princeton District Tourney                       Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Spring Valley Hall 32-31

2nd Rd Beat Bureau Township 43-20

Semi-final Rd Lost to LaSalle-Peru 31-18

L/P won District title


1935-36               Sheffield District Tournament                  Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Lost to Manlius 26-18

Manlius lost in semi-final


1936-37               Princeton Regional Tournament              Coach’s name & record needed

Sheffield did not compete in District

1st Rd of Reg. – Beat Malden 23-22

Semi-final lost to Bureau Twnshp 35-27

Bureau Twnshp won District title


1937-38               Sheffield District Runner-Up                  Coach’s name & record needed

Early Rd Scores Needed

Title game – lost to Buda 27-26


1938-39  Postseason scores, coach’s name, and record needed


1939-40               Cambridge District Champs                   Coach’s name & record needed

Early Rd Scores Needed

Title Game Beat Neponset 51-37

Kewanee Regional Tourney

1st Rd lost to Geneseo 40-25

Kewanee beat Galva in title game


1940-41               Sheffield District Runner-up                  Coach’s name & record needed

Beat Neponset in semifinal 51-35

Lost to Mineral in championship 26-40


1941-42   12 – 17 Sheffield District runner-up                   Coach Edward Daniels

                            Beat Manlius in semifinal 41-30

                            Lost to Mineral in championship 46-22


1943-44               Little 8 Conference Champs                 Coach’s name & record needed

Postseason scores unavailable


1944-45   27 – 3  Atkinson District Champs                     Coach Wayne Sturm

Little 8 Conf. Reg Season &

Conf. Tourney Champs

District Tourney Scores

1st Rd Beat Buda 39-22

Semi-Final Beat Cambridge 29-25

Title game Beat Atkinson 46-33

Regional Tourney Scores

Lost to Geneseo 42 – 36

Geneseo lost title game

Information on Sheffield High School’s District Championship team of 1944-45 was provided to us by Brian Hoxsey:

“In 1944-45 season, Sheffield High School claimed a district championship with a 46-33 victory over Atkinson High School .  Sheffield’s season ended with a loss to Geneseo High School in Regional play, putting their final record at a grand 27-3.

(*Information gathered in Dixon Evening Telegraph archives)”


1945-46    19 – 7  Atkinson District Runner-up                Coach Wayne Sturm

Conference Champs (7-0)

District Tourney Scores

1st Rd Beat Annawan 51-35

Semi-final Beat Tampico 66-32

Title game Lost to Atkinson 41-39


1946-47    5 – 18  Atkinson District Tournament               Coach Wayne Sturm

1st Rd Lost to Mineral 56-30

Mineral won District title


1947-48   12 – 12  Atkinson District Tournament              Coach Wayne Sturm

Little 8 4th Place (5 – 3)

District scores unavailable

Atkinson won District title


1948-49   12 – 14  Atkinson District Tournament              Coach Wayne Sturm

Little 8 3rd Place (5-3)

F/S Conf. Tourney Champs

Atkinson District Scores

1st Rd Beat LaFayette 62-40

Semi-final Lost to Atkinson 66-27

Atkinson won District title


1950-51               Atkinson District Runner-up                 Coach’s name & record needed

 1st Rd Beat Atkinson 70-54

2nd Rd Beat Neponset 73-50

Title game Lost to Mineral 39-36


1951-52      6 – 7   Atkinson District Tournament              Coach Randunzel

1st Rd Lost to Annawan

Annawan lost in semi-final round


1952-53              Atkinson District Tournament                Coach’s name & record needed

Semi-Final lost to 59-55

Atkinson beat Mineral in title game

1953-54    16 – 4   2nd in Little 8 (7 – 2)                            Coach Johnson

District scores unavailable


1954-55      8 – 14 District scores unavailable                   Coach James White


1955-56      7 – 14 Atkinson District Tourney                    Coach James White

1st Rd lost to Buda 38-18

Buda beat Atkinson in title game


1956-57    11 – 13 Tampico District Tourney                     Coach Andrews

1st Rd lost to Neponset 47-45

Title Game Tampico beat Atkinson


1957-58    15 – 14 Atkinson District Tourney                    Coach Andrews

1st Rd Beat Lyndon 60-54

 Semi-final lost to Neponset 55-37

Neponset beat Atkinson in title game


1958-59      8 – 15 Annawan District Tournament             Coach Andrews

                             1st Rd Lost to Tampico 80-59

Tampico lost in semi-final round

1959-60    10 – 15 Annawan District Tournament             Coach’s name needed

(JV went 8-13)

1st Rd Lost to Tampico 80-66

Tampico lost in semi-final round


1960-61    15 – 9   2nd place in Little 8 Conf.                   Coach Carmon Mest

Annawan District Tournement

1st Rd Beat Atkinson 58-51

**Semi-Final lost to Annawan

Title game Annawan beat Tampico

**Final game for Sheffield High School boys basketball.


**Wendell Smith (Class of 1953) was Sheffield’s all-time leading scorer.      



Records of football offered at Sheffield High School date back to the early 1900s Several records researched and documented are listed below.  Please contact us to help fill in some more of the great Sheffield football team records and accomplishments.

1916      2 – 5        Coach’s name unavailable

From the 1916 yearbook provided by Mike Spratt:

“Interesting quoter from yearbook:  “First 2 weeks were taken up in showing the boys how to fall on the ground without hurting themselves.”


1920      6 – 1        Coach Hacker

Season highlight – An 87 – 0 drubbing

of neighbor Bureau Township HS

Outscored opponents 205 – 25!


From the 1926 yearbook provided by Mike Spratt:

“Fourteen boys out for team (my grandpa was a freshman), first game against Neponset with Sheffield losing.  No wins this year.  Quote from yearbook:  “Due to unfavorable conditions the team was forced to disband and only a few games were played.”


1941      2 – 4                                                                 Coach Edward Daniels

1944      8 – 0        Little 8 Conference Champs           Coach Wayne Sturm

                           Outscored Opponents 402 – 19!

1945      6 – 0        Little 8 Conference Champs           Coach Wayne Sturm

1946      4 – 2        2nd place tie Little 8                        Coach Wayne Sturm

                                                                                      Coach Schwind

1947      7 – 1        2nd place in the Little 8                   Coach Wayne Sturm

Outscored opponents 334-47

(As of this season…Coach Sturm’s teams have won 35 out of the last 40 games!)

1948      4 – 2 – 1   2nd place tie Little 8                        Coach Wayne Sturm

1950      5 – 3 – 1                                                           Coach Bob Cronsiter

1951      4 – 5        4th in Little 8                                   Coach Fred Radunzel

                                                                                     Asst. Coach Schwind

1952      9 – 0        Little 8 Conference Champs           Coach Fred Radunzel

Sheffield HS Football Team 1952 Conference Champs
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Submitted by Wayne & Scott Smith

Names of Players in Photo Above (submitted by Anne Drew):

Left to Right, front row:  Jack Gentry, Kaye Garrison, Harold Lambert, Wayne Smith, Conrad Hewitt.

Backfield:  Driscoll Drew, Roland Fisher, Terry Nutter, Wendell Smith

In the back:  Coach Radunzel

1953      4 – 5                                                                  Coach Johnson

1954      3 – 6                                                                  Coach James White

1955      2 – 6                                                                  Coach James White

1956      2 – 6                                                                  Coach Joe Salisbury

1957      5 – 3                                                                  Coach Joe Salisbury

1958      5 – 1 – 1   2nd place Little 8                              Coach Joe Salisbury

1959      2 – 6                                                                  Coach Joe Salisbury

                                                                                       Asst. Coaches:


1960      3 – 5                                                                  Coach Joe Salisbury

Sheffield last independently fielded a football team in 1960.

Sheffield HS Girls Basketball Team 1912
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Submitted by Wayne & Scott Smith


Though not really recognized as a high school sport by the IHSA, girls basketball did exist in the early 1900s.  The girls traveled to other towns to take on other teams of the area. A few of the seasons documented in yearbooks are listed. Most of this research has been conducte by Mike Spratt. Quotes from Mike’s research appear in italics below.

1912-13      2 – 0    Coach’s name unavailable

1913-14      3 – 0

“The girls were 2-0 on the season and decided to play against a 2-0 Walnut team in a Championship game in Princeton.  Sheffield won 17-12.  We had 5 girls out for b ball.”

1915-16      5 – 1    Coach’s name unavailable

“Six girls were on team.”


“One game played in public between our freshman and sophomores.  Sophs won 17 to 10.”


The yearbook of 1916 pointed out that the girls participated in gymnastics that year. Mike Spratt’s research tells us 9 girls were out for the sport and Miss Boyd was the coach!

Sheffield HS Football, Baseball, & Track Fields
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The boys competed in baseball as well. Mike Spratt’s research included the following information from Sheffield High School yearbooks.

1913-14    3 – 1 – 1

“Fourteen players out, 5 games played in the fall of ’13, 3 wins, 1 tie, and 1 loss to Tiskilwa.  They then played 10 games in the spring of ’14.

1920-21    4 – 0   Little Six Conference Champs     Coach Hacker

“Ten boys out, SHS Won “little 6″ conference title, going 4-0 while beating Buda, Walnut, Manlius, and Wyanet.”

Cinder Track Curve at Sheffield HS
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Sheffield HS excelled on the oval track as well. The following information was supplied by Mike Pratt.

1941-42      15 Boys Out for Track                          Coach Edward Daniels


1944-45  Little 8 Conference Champions              Coach Wayne Sturm

                  21 Boys Out for Track

**Sheffield awarded Little 8 Conference sportsmanship trophy for winning conference football, basketball, and track titles for 1944-45!

1945-46       16 Boys Out for Track                          Coach Wayne Sturm

1946-47       3rd in Little 8 Conf. Meet                     Coach Wayne Sturm

22 Boys Out for Track

1947-48      Little 8 Conference Champs                 Coach Wayne Sturm 

                 27 boys on team

                 3rd at Galva Meet (35 Teams participated!)

                 880 Yard Relay Team Set Record

                 (Doc Gilter, Duke Malmquist, Dave Griffin, Duane Nelson)

1948-49     19 Boys Out for Track                              Coach Wayne Sturm

1951-52      Little Conf. 2nd Place                             Coach Cronister

                 Undefeated in Triangular Meets

1953-54      Team placed 4th in Little 8 Conf. Meet   Coach Johnson

                 Harold Lambert represented Sheffield HS at State

Meet in the hurdles!

1954-55     14 boys out for team                              Coach James White

1955-56     20 boys out for team                              Coach James White

1956-57     14 boys out for team                              Coach Andrews

1957-58     2nd Place in Little 8 Conf. Meet              Coach Lehning

19 boys out for team

1958-59     10 boys out for team                              Coach Lehning

1959-60     12 boys out for team                              Coach Lehning

1960-61      Little 8 Conference Champions             Coach Lehning

27 boys out for team

880 relay placed 4th out of 30 schools at Galva Relays:  (Joe Edlin, Austin Folk, Dick Kaufman, Dave Smith)  Yearbook states that this was one of Sheffield’s best track teams in several years up to this point!!!



The boys competed in this sport for a short time. They won conference championships for certain from 1950-51 through 1953-54!

1950-51     Little 8 Conference Champions

1951-52     Little 8 Conference Champions

1952-53     Little 8 Conference Champions

1953-54     Little 8 Conference Champions



Sheffield High School girls participated in the Girls Athletic Association. In the 1946-47 school year 28 girls participated in this club coached by Miss Iona Burgess!


We are truly hopeful some of the esteemed alumni of Sheffield HS will provide the details and share a story or two.  It is also known some of these teams were even inducted into the Bureau County Sports Hall of Fame.


If you have any information you can share regarding Sheffield High School, especially a photo of the high school building, please complete a Guest Commentary Form.  You can contact us via e-mail at or write to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.   60631

Sheffield Brickyard Factory – Photo Taken 2005
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Buildings Have Since Been Razed
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