Springfield Cathedral/Griffin HS “Cyclones”

Springfield Cathedral HS 1939 -1958
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Cathedral High School 1931-39
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Courtesy of “Sacred Heart-Griffin: A Century of Excellence 1895-1995”

The History of Springfield Cathedral & Griffin High School

Springfield (population 111,454) is located in south central Illinois and is home to the State Capital. Springfield is also the county seat of Sangamon County, having been founded around 1821, became the county seat in 1823, and received its city charter in 1840. It was made the capital of Illinois in 1837, and the Legislature convened here for the first time in 1839 after moving from Vandalia. Interstates 55 & 72 are the major thoroughfares thru Springfield, as are US 36, Illinois 4, 29, 54, and 97. Also, the “Mother Road,” US Route 66 ran thru town while it was in service, and still serves Springfield as the Dirksen Parkway in honor of former US Senator Everett Dirksen.

According to a source, the community was founded when Zachariah Peter, William Drennan, and Rivers Cormack drove a stake in the ground at a place described when the transaction was recorded as “a point in the prairie near John Kelly’s field on the water of Spring Creek.” By 1837, due in large part to the political maneuverings of a young politician named Abraham Lincoln, Springfield became the State Capital. From that point the City’s history, and indeed its future, has been and will always be inexorably tied to this famous American.

According to the Illinois High School Association’s website (www.ihsa.org), the earliest known date that a parochial high school for boys in Springfield was 1930-31 when basketball was offered at Cathedral High School. Over time, the school grew in enrollment and was forced to relocate into a former grade school in Springfield. Cathedral existed until 1959 when the name was changed to Griffin in honor of the late Bishop James Griffin, who was the first bishop to oversee the Catholic Diocese of Springfield from 1924-48, and was the founder of Cathedral High School. A new complex was also completed in 1959 to coincide with the name change.

It is a known fact that Griffin was an all-boys’ parochial school as a companion school to the all-girls’ Sacred Heart Academy. The schools merged into one institution after the 1987-88 school to form what is now known as Sacred Heart-Griffin High School.


School opened as Cathedral:      1930

School name changed to Griffin: 1959

School closed:                             1988

Now part of:                                 Sacred Heart-Griffin High School

Cathedral HS team colors:          Purple & Gold

School nickname:                       Cyclones

School song:                               “Make Griffin High Proud of You”

(courtesy of www.shgfootball.com)

















Note:  SGHS Class of 1965 graduate Chuck Clark had this information to share about the Griffin HS fight song.

“It was adapted from a popular song of the 1950s called “Make America Proud of You” by Jack Fulton. The original song is still in use by the Boy Scouts for ceremonial purposes.”

The Springfield Cathedral High School Fight Song was found in a 1946 Cathedral yearbook by our good friend Phil Shadid:

“Cathedral Song”








Springfield Griffin High School Complex – 1959
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Courtesy of “Sacred Heart-Griffin: A Century of Excellence 1895-1995”

Cathedral offered at least boys’ basketball, baseball, and track up until the name change of the school to Griffin took place in 1959. Football was also offered, but very little is known. Under the new name, golf, swimming, tennis, and cross-country were added. If you know if the school offered more than these sports, please contact us at dr.veeman@gmail.com.


The Springfield area has had its share of successes on the diamond, and both Cathedral along with Griffin were at the state finals a total of seven times, bringing home two firsts and a second.

As Cathedral

1945            IHSA Elite 8 Qualifier                      Coach John Hendricks

                    District Champions

                    Sectional Champions

                    Qualified for State Finals

Lost to Maywood Provison 6-0 in quarterfinals

1947            District Champions

1950  17- 4 IHSA Elite 8 Qualifier                       Coach Luke Gleason

                   District Champions

                   Sectional Champions

                   Qualified for State Finals 

Lost to Elgin HS 3-1 in quarterfinals

1956            District Champions                         Coach John Finigan

As Griffin

1963            Regional Champions

1964  23- 8 IHSA STATE CHAMPIONS!             Coach Dick Murawski

                   Regional & Sectional Champions

                   Qualified for State Finals 

                   Edged Rock Island Alleman 4-3 in quarterfinals

                   Got Past Danville HS in semifinals, 3-2

                   Defeated Skokie Niles West in title game, 6-5

1968  28- 5 IHSA Elite 8 Qualifier                       Coach Dick Murawski

                   Regional Champions

                   Sectional Champions

                   Qualified for State Finals

Lost to Champaign Central 7-3 in quarterfinals

1969             Regional Champions


1981             Regional Champions

1982   31- 7 IHSA State Tourney Runner-Up!   Coach Robin Cooper

                    Regional & Sectional Champions

                    Qualified for AA State Finals

                    Edged Peoria Spalding 1-0 in quarterfinals

                    Defeated Dolton Thornridge 8-2 in semifinals

Lost to Darien Hinsdale South in title game, 5-2

1983             Regional Champions

1987   37- 4  IHSA STATE CHAMPIONS!!!        Coach Ron Wojcicki

                     Regional & Sectional Champions

                     Qualified for State AA Tournament

                     Beat Chicago Vocational 14-1 in quarterfinals (5 innings)

                     Topped Belleville East 7-2 in semifinals

                     Defeated Barrington 9-1 in championship game

1988   20-20 IHSA Elite 8 Qualifier                    Coach Ron Wojcicki

                     Regional Champions

                     Sectional Champions

                     Qualified for State AA Tournament

Lost to Chicago Marist in quarterfinals, 4-2



Before they changed their name from Cathedral to Griffin, the school won a state championship as a member of the former Illinois State Catholic High School Athletic Association (ISCHSAA). The school was admitted to the IHSA in 1941 and reached the state’s single-class Sweet 16 three times during the same decade. But what makes it more interesting is that the Cyclones did it with three different coaches. As you can tell below, the basketball program had its share of successes almost from the time that the school opened.

As Cathedral

1930-31    9-10  (first season)                                     Coach Earl Reavy

1931-32  10-10                                                            Coach Earl Reavy

1932-33  14-  7                                                            Coach Earl Reavy

1933-34  23-  6                                                            Coach Earl Reavy

1934-35  12-10                                                            Coach Don Anderson

1935-36  22-  2    Illinois Catholic State Tourney 3RD Place!    Coach Don Anderson

Springfield Cathedral “Starting 5” – 1935-36
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Coach Don Anderson,Rich Holmes,Joe Kohorst,Dick Brooks,Frank Kohorst,John Miller
Springfield Cathedral Season Summary 1935-36
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Submitted by Jim Miller
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1936-37    5-17                                                               Coach Charles Dirksen

1937-38  13-13                                                               Coach Greg Sloan

1938-39  22-  8  State Catholic Tourney Champs!!!   Coach Greg Sloan

1939-40  13-12                                                               Coach Jack Fabri

1940-41  14-15                                                               Coach Jack Fabri

1941-42  27-  4   IHSA Sweet 16 Qualifier                   Coach Jack Fabri

                           Springfield Regional Champs

                           1st Rd Beat Auburn 41-18

                           Semi-final Beat Pawnee 34-20

                           Title Game Beat Springfield Lanphier 38-29

                           Jacksonville Sectional Champions

                           1st Rd Beat Roodhouse 48-43

                           Semi-final Beat Pittsfield 33-31

                           Title Game Beat Winchester 36-29

                           Sweet 16 Qualifiers 

                           1st Rd lost to Cicero Morton 47-32

Morton placed 4th in State Tourney

1942-43  19-  5   Lincoln Regional Tournament             Coach Jack Corcoran

                           1st Rd Beat Middletown 52-42

                           Semi-final lost to Lincoln 33-31

Lincoln beat Mt. Pulaski in title game

1943-44  25-  4   IHSA Regional Champions               Coach John Hendricks

Beat Athens 35-34

                           Springfield Sectional Tournament

                           1st Rd lost to Taylorville 57-26

Taylorville beat Jacksonville in title game

(Taylorville would win IHSA State Title

with a season record of 45-0.)

1944-45  10-17   Virden Regional Runner-Up              Coach John Hendricks

                                    1st Rd Beat to Farmersville 56-49

                           Semi-final Beat Virden 39-35

                           Title Game lost to Springfield 48-20

Springfield lost in Sweet 16 Round

1945-46  22-12   IHSA Sweet 16 Qualifier                    Coach Al Lewis

                           Springfield Regional Champions

                           1st Rd Beat Auburn 41-30

                           Semi-final Beat Spfld Feitshans 45-37

                           Title Game Beat Springfield 41-32

                           Pekin Sectional Champions

                           Semi-final Beat Peoria Manual 44-38

                           Title Game Beat San Jose 43-32

                           IHSA Sweet 16 Qualifier

Lost to Collinsville 50-28

Collinsville lost in Elite 8 Round

1946-47  19-  9   Lincoln Regional Tournament              Coach Al Lewis

                           1st Rd Beat Elkhart 60-29

                           Semi-final lost to Mt. Pulaski 47-34

Mt. Pulaski beat Lincoln in title game

1947-48  23-  6  IHSA Elite 8 Qualifier                          Coach Luke Gleason

                          Springfield Regional Champions

                          1st Rd Beat Raymond 62-27

                          Semi-final Beat Springfield 46-36

                          Title Game Beat Springfield Lanphier 42-32

                          Springfield Sectional Champions

                          Semi-final Beat Decatur 44-43

                          Title Game Beat Clinton 39-34

                          IHSA Sweet 16 Qualifiers

                          Beat Harvey Thornton 57-50

IHSA Elite 8 Finalists

Lost to Pinckeyville 58-36

(Pinckeyville won state championship)

1948-49  16-  9  Virden Regional Tournament                Coach Luke Gleason

                          1st Rd Beat Raymond 49-38

                          Semi-final lost to Girard 49-46

Girard lost to Springfield in title game

1949-50  18-  7  Springfield Regional Tournament         Coach Luke Gleason

                           1st Rd Beat Glenarm Ball Township 50-29

                           Semi-final lost to Spfld Lanphier 44-37

Lanphier lost to Springfield in title game

1950-51  10-13   Havana Regional Tournament             Coach Luke Gleason

1st Rd lost to Mason City 62-52

Mason City beat Easton in title game

1951-52  18-  7  Springfield Regional Champions      Coach Luke Gleason

                          1st Rd Beat Auburn 67-35

                          Semi-final Beat Spfld Lanphier 59-51

                          Title Game Beat Springfield 52-48

                          Jacksonville Sectional Runner-Up

                          Semi-final Beat Mason City 66-57

                          Title Game lost to Jacksonville 58-57

Jacksonville lost in Elite 8 Round

JACKSONVILLE (58): Wright 12, Kemp 12, Beasley 12, Williams 11, Harrell 6, Billow 3, Stansfield 1, Ezard 1.

SPRINGFIELD CATHEDRAL (57): Denny 22, Stenger 16, Masterson 8, Bristol 5, Vrfankas 3, Rockford 2, Flannigan 1.


1952-53  23-  5  Auburn Regional Champions            Coach Luke Gleason

1st Rd Beat Virden 90-58

                           Semi-final Beat Springfield 44-35

                           Title Game Beat Auburn 76-54

                           Springfield Sectional Runner-Up

                           Semi-final Beat Havana 82-59

                           Title Game lost to Hillsboro 65-58

Hillsboro lost in Sweet 16 Round

HILLSBORO (65): Terneus 18, Hart 17, Westbrook 14, Casey 9, Mormino 7.

SPRINGFIELD CATHEDRAL (58): Urbankus 17, Aiello 13, Flanagan 11, Denny 6, Masterson 5, Teer 2, Miles 2, Faxer 2.

1953-54  12-12   Springfield Regional Runner-Up      Coach Luke Gleason

                            1st Rd Beat Athens 61-55

                            Semi-final Beat Spfld Feitshans 64-56

                            Title Game lost to Springfield 61-45

1954-55  14-12   Lincoln Regional Runner-Up            Coach John Finigan

                            1st Rd Beat Atlanta 61-52

                            Semi-final Beat Hartsburg-Emden 53-52

                            Title Game lost to Lincoln 55-48

Lincoln lost in Elite 8 Round

1955-56    7-19   Springfield Regional Runner-Up      Coach John Finigan

                            1st Rd Beat Raymond 63-58

                            Semi-final Beat Spfld Feithshans 86-75

                            Title Game lost to Spfld Lanphier 71-51

Lanphier lost in Sweet 16 Round

1956-57    0-26   Morrisonville Regional Tournament     Coach John Finigan

1st Rd lost to Auburn 59-32

Auburn lost to Girard in semi-final

Girard lost to Springfield in title game

Springfield lost In Sweet 16 Round

1957-58  19-  9   Springfield Regional Tournament         Coach Jim Belz

                            1st Rd Beat Palmyra NW 47-20

                            Semi-final lost to Springfield 28-23

Springfield beat Spfld Feitshans in title game

Springfield lost in Elite 8 Round

1958-59  18-  7   Springfield Regional Tournament         Coach Jim Belz

                            1st Rd Beat Virden 74-58

                            Semi-final lost to Spfld Feithshans 64-50

Feitshans lost to Springfield in title game

Springfield won IHSA State Tourney!

As Griffin

1959-60  15-  9    Postseason scores needed                 Coach Jim Belz


1960-61  18-  8    Springfield Regional Runner-Up      Coach Jim Belz

                             1st Rd Beat Auburn 69-51

                             Semi-final Beat Chatham Glenwood 69-36

                             Title Game lost to Springfield 55-53

Springfield lost in Elite 8 Round


1961-62  13-13    Springfield Regional Tournament        Coach Jim Belz

                            1st Rd won – score needed

                            Semi-final lost to Springfield 65-47

Springfield beat Spfld Lanphier in title game

Springfield lost in Sweet 16 Round

1962-63  20-  6    Springfield Regional Tournament        Coach Jim Belz

                            1st Rd Beat Virden 75-37

                            Semi-final lost to Springfield 51-45

Springfield lost to Spfld Lanphier in title game

Spfld Lanphier placed 3rd in IHSA State Tourney!

1963-64  23-  4    Springfield Regional Runner-Up      Coach Jim Belz

                             1st Rd Beat Virden 95-47

                             Semi-final Beat Raymond Lincolnwood 75-40

                             Title Game lost to Springfield Lanphier 73-68

Lanphier lost in Sweet 16 Round

1964-65  10-15    Springfield Regional Tournament        Coach Jim Belz

                            1st Rd Beat Chatham-Glenwood 55-36

                            Semi-final lost to Raymond Lincolnwood 59-44

Lincolnwood beat Spfld Lanphier in title game

1965-66  17-10    Springfield Regional Runner-Up      Coach Jim Belz

                            Early Rd Scores Needed

                            Title Game lost to Springfield 63-42

Springfield lost in Sweet 16 Round

1966-67  17-10    Springfield Regional Runner-Up      Coach Jim Belz

                             1st Rd Beat Raymond Lincolnwood 71-54

                             Semi-final Beat Chatham Glenwood 64-55

                             Title Game lost to Springfield 67-61

Springfield placed 3rd in State Tourney

1967-68  12-15    Springfield SE Regional Runner-Up Coach Bob Martin

                             1st Rd Beat Chatham Glenwood 75-50

                             Semi-final Beat Springfield SE 76-65

                             Title Game lost to Springfield Lanphier 86-63

Lanphier lost in Sweet 16 Round

1968-69    2-23    Springfield Regional Tournament        Coach Bob Martin

1st Rd lost to Chatham Glenwood 91-74

Glenwood lost to Spfld Lanphier in title game


1969-70    3-21    Springfield Regional Tournament        Coach Bob Martin

1st Rd lost to Spfld SE 73-69

Spfld SE lost to Spfld Lanphier in title game

1970-71    9-17    Springfield Regional Tournament        Coach Bob Martin

                             1st Rd Beat Virden 92-58

                             Semi-final lost to Raymond Lincolnwood 87-78

Lincolnwood lost to Spfld Lanphier in title game

Lanphier placed 4th in State Tourney

1971-72    8-17    Quincy Class AA Regional Tourney    Coach Larry Sellinger

                            Semi-final lost to Quincy 75-52

Quincy beat Jacksonville in title game

Quincy placed 2nd in State Tourney!

1972-73  14-11    Postseason scores needed                 Coach Larry Sellinger

1973-74    6-18    Postseason scores needed                 Coach Larry Sellinger

1974-75    9-15    Postseason scores needed                 Coach Larry Sellinger

1975-76  10-14    Postseason scores needed                 Coach Larry Sellinger


1976-77  14-13    IHSA Regional Champions               Coaches Larry Sellinger

                                                                                         & Bill Fleischli

                            Regional Scores Needed

                            Decatur Sectional Tournament

Semi-final lost to Springfield Lanphier 70-66

Lanphier placed 2nd in State Tourney!


1977-78  15-12    Postseason scores needed                 Coach Bill Fleischli


1978-79  13-14    IHSA Regional Champions               Coach Bill Fleischli

                            Regional Scores Needed

                            Decatur Sectional Tournament

                            Semi-final lost to Decatur Eisenhower 59-57

Eisenhower lost to Quincy in title game

Quincy placed 2nd in State Tourney!

1979-80  16-11    Postseason scores needed                 Coach Bill Fleischli


1980-81  24-  4    IHSA Regional Champions               Coach Bill Fleischli

                            Regional Scores Needed

                            Decatur Eisenhower Sectional

Semi-final lost to Quincy 69-44

Quincy beat Springfield in title game

Quincy won State Championship!

**Griffin Won Breese Mater Dei Christmas

Tourney During Season

1981-82  20-  8    IHSA Regional Champions               Coach Gary Dorr

Regional Scores Needed

                            Springfield Sectional Tourney

                            Semi-final lost to Quincy 71-42

Quincy beat Lincoln in title game

Quincy placed 3rd in State Tourney!


1982-83    0-27    Postseason scores needed                 Coach Gary Dorr

1983-84  18-  9    Postseason scores needed                 Coach Gary Dorr

1984-85  15-10    Postseason scores needed                 Coach Gary Dorr

1985-86    7-17    Postseason scores needed                 Coach Gary Dorr

1986-87    6-18    Postseason scores needed                 Coach Gary Dorr

1987-88    5-20    Postseason scores needed                 Coach Gary Dorr

Final season as Springfield Griffin H.S.

Notable Roundball Athlete

Tom McDermott – Helped lead the Cyclones on the court during the early 1940s, eventually garnering All-State honorable mention honors in 1941-42, the year his team won the Regional and Sectional championships, and made it to the Sweet 16.

**The following information regarding Griffin’s paticipation in the annual Breese Mater Dei Christmas Classic Tournament was sent to us by our good friend Mark Jurenga:

“The Twentieth Annual Tournament (1980-81 season) found Griffin, led by future Major League shortstop Dick Schofield, beating Mater Dei in the Championship.”

2005 Breese (Mater Dei) Christmas Classic program, pg. 1.

Breese (Mater Dei) Tourney Facts Regarding Springfield Griffin HS:

All-Time Record: 24 wins 14 losses

Championships- 1980

2nd Place- 1982, 1983

3rd Place- 1981

All-Tournament Team Selections:

1975- Jeff Edmunds

1980- Dick Schofield

1982- Dave Snedecker

1983- Mike Hatman

NOTE: Through the 2004 Tournament, Schofield was #26 in career scoring with 200 pts.”

Cathedral Football Team of 1935
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Courtesy of “Sacred Heart-Griffin: A Century of Excellence 1895-1995”


By far and way, the gridiron successes of the Cyclones started early and have continued today even after the Sacred Heart-Griffin merger. Tremendous coaching & talent were the reasons why football was a successful sport for the Purple & Gold.

As Cathedral

1933   3-3-1          Coach Earl Reavy

1934   1-8             Coach Earl Reavy

1935   4-4             Coach Don Anderson

1936   3-5             Coach Charles Dirksen

1937   5-3             Coach Charles Dirksen

1938   5-4             Coach Gregory Sloan

*1938 saw tragedy strike the Cyclones as John dalBello died of injuries sustained while making a tackle vs. Carlinville HS

1939   6-2             Coach Gregory Sloan

1940   2-6-1          Coach John Fabri

1941   7-0-2          Coach John Fabri

1942   2-6             Coach John Corcoran

1943   6-2-2          Coach John Hendricks

1944   4-3-1          Coach John Hendricks

1945   6-2             Coach John Hendricks

1946   5-2-1          Coach Al Lewis

1947   0-6-1          Coach Luke Gleason

1948   2-5             Coach Luke Gleason

1949   8-1             Coach Luke Gleason

1950   7-1             Coach Luke Gleason

1951   2-6             Coach Luke Gleason

1952   5-2-1          Coach Luke Gleason

1953   5-3             Coach Luke Gleason

1954   0-9             Coach Joe Beja

1955   1-7-1          Coach Joe Beja

1956   6-0-2          Coach James Weithman

1957   7-1-1          Coach James Weithman

1958   4-4-1          Coach James Weithman

As Griffin

1959   4-5                                                                 Coach James Weithman

1960   3-5                                                                 Coach James Weithman

1961   7-2                                                                 Coach Bob Astroth

1962   3-6                                                                 Coach Bob Astroth

1963   3-6                                                                 Coach Bob Teater

1964   2-7                                                                 Coach Bob Teater

1965   5-3                                                                 Coach Bob Teater

1966   8-0        Undefeated Season!                      Coach Bob Teater

1967   6-2                                                                 Coach Bob Teater

1968   4-5                                                                 Coach Bob Teater

1969   8-1                                                                 Coach Bob Teater

1970   6-2-1                                                              Coach Bob Teater

1971   8-1                                                                 Coach Bob Teater

1972   6-2-1                                                              Coach Bob Teater

1973   4-5-1                                                              Coach Bob Teater

1974   2-7                                                                 Coach Bob Teater


1975 10-3    IHSA CLASS 4A RUNNER-UP!!!!      Coach George Fleischli

                    1st Rd Beat Lincoln 9-8 

                    2nd Rd Beat Carbondale 33-6

                    Semi-Final Beat La Salle-Peru 12-0

Title Game Lost to Joliet Catholic 34-14

1976   8-1                                                                 Coach George Fleischli


1977   9-3    IHSA CLASS 4A SEMI-FINALIST     Coach George Fleischli

                    1st Rd Beat Bloomington HS 34-14 

                    2nd Rd Beat Danville HS in OT 20-14

                    Semi-Final lost to La Salle-Peru 22-12

L-P lost to Joliet Catholic in title game

1978 10-1   IHSA CLASS 4A ELITE 8 FINALIST Coach George Fleischli

           1st Rd Beat Roxana 33-7

2nd Rd lost to Danville HS 16-6

Danville lost to LaSalle-Peru in Semi-finals

L-P lost to Joliet Catholic in title game

1979   8-4    IHSA 4A PLAYOFF QUALIFIER        Coach George Fleischli

1st Rd lost to Belleville Althoff 27-14

Althoff lost to LaSalle-Peru in Semi-finals

L-P lost to Wheaton North in title game

1980   9-1    IHSA 5A PLAYOFF QUALIFIER        Coach Robin Cooper

                    1st Rd lost to Peoria Central 27-21

Peoria lost to Calumet City TF North in 2nd Rd

TF North lost to Chicago Mt. Carmel in semi-final

Mt. Carmel beat Hinsdale South in title game

1981   9-2    IHSA 5A PLAYOFF QUALIFIER        Coach Robin Cooper

                    1st Rd Beat Granite City North 15-7

2nd Rd lost to Champaign Central 14-13

C.C. lost to Joliet Catholic in semi-final

Joliet Catholic beat Deerfield in title game

1982   12-1    IHSA CLASS 4A RUNNER-UP!!!!      Coach Robin Cooper

                      1st Rd Beat Mt. Zion 33-0

                      2nd Rd Beat Champaign Central 13-9

          Semi-final Defeated Roxana 29-8

Lost to Geneseo Darnall 44-36 in title game

1983     8-2    IHSA 4A PLAYOFF QUALIFIERS      Coach Robin Cooper

1st Rd Lost to Washington 27-6

Washington lost to Woodstock in title game

1984     8-2    IHSA 4A PLAYOFF QUALIFIERS      Coach Ken Leonard

1st Rd lost to Lincoln 10-6

Morris beat Lincoln in 2nd Rd

Morris won state title

1985   10-1    IHSA 4A PLAYOFF QUALIFIERS      Coach Ken Leonard

                      1st Rd Beat Mount Zion 35-15

                      2nd Rd lost to Washington 21-18

Washington won state title

1986   12-1    IHSA CLASS 4A ELITE 8 FINALIST  Coach Ken Leonard

                      1st Rd Beat Peoria Central 10-6

                      2nd Rd Beat Peoria Woodruff 10-7

Quarter-final lost to Rock Island Alleman 15-6

Alleman lost in title game

1987   10-1    IHSA 4A PLAYOFF QUALIFIERS       Coach Ken Leonard

                      1st Rd Beat Mount Zion 29-7

2nd Rd lost to Rantoul 18-14

Rantoul lost to Roxana in semi-final

Roxana lost to Providence Catholic in title game

Two players that wore the Purple and Gold of Griffin later went on to play in professional football. Doug Bartlett was a lineman with the Philadelphia Eagles during the 1988 season, while defensive back Jim Rockford played with the 1985 San Diego Chargers before spending the next four seasons at Hamilton in the Canadian Football League.


In addition to having a state champion medalist (J.C. Anderson won in a playoff after shooting a 146 to win the 1979 AA title), Griffin’s linksters were prominent in the state prep golf circles by placing in the top 10 five times over an eight-year period with two of them being state championships under coach Ron Brian.

1973             Ninth Place at State Finals                  Coach Bob Martin

1  Belleville West                 619

2  Pekin                               623

3  Hinsdale Central             627

Homewood-Flossmoor   627

5  Peoria Richwoods           633

6  Rockford Guilford            634

7  Decatur Lakeview           635

8  Edwardsville HS             638

9  Decatur MacArthur         642

Springfield Griffin         642 

                         Normal University           642

Mt. Prospect                   642

1974           Qualified for State Tournament           Coach Bob Martin

1976           District Champions                                 Coach unknown

1977           Seventh in AA State Finals                    Coach unknown

1  Winnetka New Trier East  616

2  Palatine Fremd                 620

3  McHenry                           625

4  Moline HS                         626

5  Freeport HS                      628

6  Hinsdale Central               633

7  Springfield Griffin           635 

                   8  Homewood-Flossmoor     637

9  Northfield New Trier West 639

10  Franklin Park East Leyden 645

Individual Medalist

                    J.C. Anderson–5th place—150, finished four strokes back

1978          AA STATE CHAMPIONS!!!   633     Coach Ron Brian

2  Peoria Spalding                  646

3  Hinsdale Central                 651

Arlington Heights Hersey    651

5  Naperville North                  652

6  Rockford Guilford                653

7  Homewood-Flossmoor        654

8  Freeport HS                        657

LaGrange Lyons                 657

10  Libertyville                           663

                  District Champions

                   Sectional Champions

Individual State Medalists

                    J.C. Anderson–2nd—152, lost by three strokes

                    Doug Williams–8th—158 (three-way tie)

1979          AA STATE CHAMPIONS!!!    630       Coach Ron Brian

2  Peoria Richwoods               633

3  Naperville North                  635

4  Champaign Central             639

Winnetka New Trier East    639

6  West Frankfort Frankfort     640

7  South Holland Thornwood  641

8  LaGrange Lyons                 644

9  Belleville West                    647

10  Homewood-Flossmoor       649

                  District Champions

                  Sectional Champions

Individual AA State Medalist

                   J.C. Anderson–STATE CHAMPION!!! 146 (won in playoff)    

1980          Fifth in AA State Finals                            Coach unknown

1  Crystal Lake South          626

2  Naperville North              629

3  Belleville West                 635

4  Barrington                        637

5  Springfield Griffin          644

6  Lincoln                             647

DeKalb                             647

8  McHenry                          650

9  Rock Island HS               655

LaGrange Lyons             655

                     District Champions

1982           Individual AA State Medalist                 Coach unknown

Todd Gedaminski –9th—tied at 154



The Griffin Cyclones made some waves in the pool during the late 1970’s and early 1980’s by winning some state hardware and having one swimmer come home with three finishes in the top three of the state, including a state championship.

1977-78       Individual State Medalist              Coach unknown

Rich Suhs–100 backstroke              3rd place (lost by .18!!)

1978-79      District Champions                          Coach unknown

Individual State Medalist

Rich Suhs–100 butterfly                  STATE CHAMPION!!! (:51.236)

100 backstroke                2nd place

1980-81       District Champions

1981-82       District Champions 

1982-83       Sectional Champions

(NOTE: Suhs lost to future Olympian and five-time gold medalist Tom Jager of Collinsville in the 100 backstroke finals in 1979. Jager went onto to become the world’s fastest swimmer with a time of :21.8 in the 50 freestyle.)


As both Cathedral and Griffin, the school was represented by individuals who brought home medals from the state track meet as one of the best in their respective events.

As Cathedral

1953         Al Urbanckas–High Jump    3rd place                     Coach Leo Kilfoy

1954         Al Urbanckas–High Jump    STATE CHAMPION!!  Coach Leo Kilfoy

As Griffin

1978AA     Brad Gair–2 mile run           6th place


Even the harriers were successful, qualifying for the state AA finals in 1978. According to Griffin alum Todd Schneider (Class of 1979), this team was one of 27 that made it to state that year, under head coach Joe Galassi. Co-MVPs of the 1978 harriers were Mark Brahler and Todd Schneider.


The Griffin netters won a pair of titles at the state tournament level, including one that might be considered one of the final championships as an all-boys’ school before the merger with Sacred Heart.

1982          District Champions

1988          Sectional Champions

Great Athletes

Al Urbanckas (Class of 1954) – Al holds a basketball record at Cathedral as SHG has a huge banner up in the gym spotlighting Al’s accomplishment. He held the high jump record at the University of Illinois for 14 years before they changed the method of jumping to the flop. Al is one of the charter members in the Springfield Sports Hall of Fame.

Dick Schofield (class of 1981) – played major league baseball for the California Angels after being drafted right out of high school.

Special Thanks

In researching information, we’d like to thank Sr. Diana Doyle from Sacred Heart-Griffin for helping us out. As a 1948 graduate of Sacred Heart Academy, Sr. Diana furnished us with a copy of “Sacred Heart-Griffin: A Century of Excellence 1895-1995” that helped tell the story of Cathedral, Griffin and Sacred Heart as high schools that educated youth in the Springfield. Some of the photos that you see on these pages are from the book, so we appreciate the assistance!


If so, we’d like to hear from YOU! Information such as the words and music to the school song. names of coaches and athletes, win-loss records, and great memories are all welcome. You can email your information to us at dr.veeman@gmail.com or by regular mail:

Illinois High School Glory Days

6439 North Neva

Chicago, IL  60631

Springfield Cathedral Class of 1936
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Submitted by Jim Miller
Cathedral Beats Witt December 1, 1935
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Submitted by Jim Miller
Springfield Cathedral Preseason Article
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Submitted by Jim Miller
Cathedral Loose Ball Photo – 1936
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Submitted by Jim Miller
Cathedral Rebound – 1936
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Submitted by Jim Miller

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