Stronghurst Southern High School “Rebels” (boys) or the “Belles” (girls)

Stronghurst Southern High School Building – 2008
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Photo by Mike Edwards

The History of Stronghurst Southern High School

Stronghurst (population 896) is located in the upper-western portion of Illinois.  The southeastern Henderson County town is situated on Illinois Route 94 about one mile south of Illinois Route 116.  The A,T & SF Railroad angles through town.  The Dixson Creek and its branches surround Stronghurst from the north.  The Mississippi River flows about 8 miles west of Stronghurst.  Macomb is located about 16 miles southeast of Stronghurst.

Media (population 130) is located on Il. Route 116 approximately 12 miles west of U.S. Route 67.  This places Media in eastern Henderson County approximately 15 miles southwest of Monmouth (“as the crow flies”).  The A,T & SF Railroad runs through town as does the Ellison Creek.

Both towns supported their own high schools for several decades.  The late 1960s brought a consolidation effort between the high schools of Stronghurst and Media.  The effort was realized in 1971 with the creation of the Southern School District.

Southern High School was located and remained in the Stronghurst High School building.  Southern High served the towns and southeast area of Henderson County for 34 years.  In 2005 a new consolidation effort was realized between the school districts of Biggsville Union and Stronghurst Southern.  The new district was called the West Central School District.

The high school for  the West Central School District was located in Biggsville.  The Stronghurst High School building remains in use as a grade school for the West Central District.

Stronghurst Southern High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                           1971

Year closed:                            2005

Consolidated to:                       West Central School District (Biggsville)

Southern HS team nickname:    the “Rebels” (boys) and “Belles” (girls)

Southern team colors:               Red, Gray, & White

School Fight Song:                   Sung to “Waiting on the Robert E Lee”


The Stronghurst Southern Rebels and Lady Rebels competed in, and were successful in, many different sports (  The boys competed in football, baseball, basketball, and track while the girls were offered volleyball, basketball, softball, and track. The lyrics to the Stronghurst Southern school fight song are being sought.  Unfortunately we are missing many of the team records and coach’s names for many of the better teams in Southern HS history.


The Southern High School Rebel boys baseball program had some real nice success in State Tourney action. Four Regional titles and two Sectional titles highlighted the program’s success.  Coach Jim Cole had a great eleven year run from 1993 to 2003.

1992-93    12 – 3                                                               Coach Jim Cole

1993-94    14 – 4                                                               Coach Jim Cole

1994-95    19 – 3         ELITE 8 FINALISTS                        Coach Jim Cole

                                 Regional Champions

                                 Sectional Champions

                                 Elite 8 Finalist

                                 Lost to Roanoke-Benson 13 – 0

Roanoke-Benson State Champs

1995-96                      Regional Champions                    Coach Jim Cole

1996-98                                                                           Coach Jim Cole
1998-99                      Regional Champions                    Coach Jim Cole

1999-02                                                                           Coach Jim Cole

2002-03    29 – 2          SWEET 16 FINALIST                     Coach Jim Cole

                                  Regional Champions

                                  Sectional Champions


The Lady Rebels won an incredible TEN Regional Basketball titles and two Sectional titles during their existence.  Only two of the seasons list coach’s names and only one lists a season record.  If you have more information to share about the many great seasons in girls basketball history at Southern HS please write to us via e-mail.

1978-79                Regional Champions 

1979-80                SWEET 16 FINALISTS                     Coach Will Bavery

                            Regional Champions

                            Sectional Champions

                            Sweet 16 Finalist

                            Lost to Spoon River Valley 55 – 42

Spoon River lost in Elite 8 Round

1984-85                Regional Champions

1986-87                Regional Champions
1987-88                Regional Champions
1988-89                Regional Champions
1993-94                Regional Champions
1994-95                Regional Champions

1995-96    25 – 3    SWEET 16 FINALISTS                     Coach Tim Bresnahan

                            Regional Champions

                            Sectional Champions

                            Sweet 16 Finalists

                            Lost to Carthage 51 – 31

Carthage Finished 2ND

1996-97                 Regional Champions


Stronghurst Southern HIgh School made a total of 13 trips to the IHSA Football playoffs.  Coach Will Bavery stands out as a great coach for the Rebels leading them to the playoffs ten of those times.

1974-75                  Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs        Coach Will Bavery

                              ELITE 8 FINALIST

                              Beat Table Grove VIT 26 – 8

                              Lost to Flanagan 46 – 12

Flanagan State Champs

Stronghurst Southern Football Team 1974
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Submitted by Richard Savage (From IHSA State Playoff Program)

1975-76                  Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs        Coach Will Bavery

                              ELITE 8 FINALIST

                              Beat Annawan 40 – 6

                              Lost to Princeville 26 – 24

Princeville Finished 2ND

1976-77                   Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs       Coach Will Bavery

                               SWEET 16 FINALIST

                               Lost to Cambridge 21 – 20

1978-79                   Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs       Coach Will Bavery

                               FINAL 4 FINALIST

                               Beat Minonk-Dana-Rutland 25 – 22 (O/T)

                               Beat Colfax Octavia 18 – 0

                               Lost to Hampshire 40 – 36

Hampshire Finished 2ND

1979-80                   Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs       Coach Will Bavery

                               FINAL 4 FINALIST

                               Beat Table Grove VIT 24 – 0

                               Beat Milledgeville 20 – 13

                               Lost to Hampshire 26 – 16

Hampshire State Champions

1980-81                   Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs       Coach Will Bavery

                               Lost to Table Grove VIT 36 – 14 
1988-89                   Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs       Coach Joel Morgan

                               Lost to Astoria 40 – 14

1991-92                   Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs       Coach Joel Morgan

                               Lost to Hamilton 8 – 0

1994-95    7 – 3         Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs       Coach Joel Morgan

                               Lost to Deer Creek Mackinaw 6 – 0 (O/T)
1995-96    7 – 3         Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs        Coach Joel Morgan

                               Lost to Sciota Northwestern 34 – 8

1997-98                                                                            Coach Mark Miller

1998-00                                                                            Coach Will Bavery

2000-01    7 – 3         Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs         Coach Will Bavery

                               Lost to Galena 24 – 12

2001-02    6 – 4         Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs         Coach Will Bavery

                               Lost to Freeport Aquin 41 – 24

2002-03  10 – 2         Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs         Coach Will Bavery

                               ELITE 8 FINALIST

                               Beat Abingdon 38 – 0

                               Beat Annawan 26 – 24

                               Lost to Wethersfield 34 – 12

2003-04     5 – 4                                                                 Coach Scott Dillard

2004-05                   School’s Final Season                          Coach Scott Dillard


TEN Regional titles, one District title, and three Sectional titles high-lighted the Lady Rebel netters successes.  Coach Evelyn Ford set the stage for a winning volleyball program early on winning five Regional titles and a District title along with two Sectional Championships

1977-78    6 – 4                                                           Coach Evelyn Ford

1978-79  10 – 1                                                           Coach Evelyn Ford

1979-80  10 – 3                                                           Coach Evelyn Ford

1980-81  10 – 3                                                           Coach Evelyn Ford
1981-82  14 – 1      SWEET 16 FINALIST                      Coach Evelyn Ford

                            District Champions

                            Sectional Champions
1982-83  17 – 2      SWEET 16 FINALIST                      Coach Evelyn Ford

                            Regional Champions

                            Sectional Champions
1983-84  20 – 3      Regional Champions                     Coach Evelyn Ford

1984-85  18 – 3                                                            Coach Evelyn Ford

1985-86  28 – 4      Regional Champions                     Coach Evelyn Ford
1986-87  27 – 3 – 1 Regional Champions                      Coach Evelyn Ford
1987-88  30 – 2      Regional Champions                      Coach Evelyn Ford
1988-89                SWEET 16 FINALIST

                            Regional Champions

                            Sectional Champions
1993-94                Regional Champions
1994-95                Regional Champions
1995-96                Regional Champions
1996-97                Regional Champions


The Stronghurst Southern boys basketball program won a total of four Regional Championships.  Unfortunately coach’s names and team records are not currently available for these or other great SSHS teams.

1976-77               Roseville Regional Champions      Coach’s name & record needed

Semi-Final Beat Roseville 68-57

                            Title Game Beat Bushnell-Prairie City 48-41 

                            Bushnell Sectional Tourney

Semi-Final lost to 57-52

Dunlap lost to Aledo in title game

1983-84               Roseville Regional Champions      Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd Beat Biggsville Union 77-51

Semi-Final Beat Roseville 30-26

                            Title Game Beat Knoxville 56-43 

                            Sherrard Sectional Tourney

Semi-Final lost to Monmouth 59-54

Monmouth beat Princeville in title game

1988-89               Monmouth Regional Champions   Coach’s name & record needed

Semi-Final Beat Avon 47-46

                            Title Game Beat Monmouth 60-59 

                            Orion Sectional Tourney

Semi-Final lost to Orion 56-51

ORION (56): Orendorff 12, VanHoutte 12, Duncan 8, Garrett 7, McCunn 6, McGaughy 6, Burrage 3, Sottos 2

STRONGHURST SOUTHERN (51): Pogue 24, Anderson 14, Simmons 6, Duncan 5, Vancil 2.

Orion beat Knoxville in title game

2001-02              IHSA Regional Champions              Coach’s name & record needed

Regional Scores Needed

                           Rated 7th in Regional Tourney

                           1st Rd Beat Roseville

                           Semi-Final Beat Macomb

                           Title Game Needed

                           IHSA Sectional Tourney

                           Semi-Final lost to Farmington 55-34

Farmington won sectional over Galva           



The Lady Rebel softball program also won four Regional Championships. The final three titles came in the final three seasons of the school’s existence! The softball field at Southern High School was dedicated to Stanley Ray Fisher in 2006.

1999-00   23 – 1    Regional Champions          Coach Jim Fisher

                         Undefeated Regular Season  Asst. Coach Ray Mills

                         Beat Warsaw 8-1 in Regional Final

                         Lost to Payson Seymour in

1st Rd of Sectional for only loss

2002-03               Regional Champions

2003-04               Regional Champions
2004-05               Regional Champions


Two male tracksters won medals at the IHSA Class A State Meet.  Their accomplishments are listed below.

1985-86A      Tony Scott                Long Jump              2ND Place

2004-05A      Darick Clark             100 Meter Dash        8TH Place


Six individuals and one Relay Team brought home a total of FOURTEEN medals from State Track Meets over the years.  Check out Theresa Brokaw’s incredible distance event accomplishments during the school’s last three years!

1978-79A      Mary Huffman          Discus                      7TH Place

                    Theresa Nelson        Discus                     8TH Place

1985-86A      Cheryl Lefler            Discus                      7TH Place
1986-87A      Relay Team              4x800m relay          5TH Place

1988-89A      Paula Hageman       Long Jump              6TH Place

1991-92A      Jenny Gibb               200 Meter Dash       6TH Place
400 Meter Dash       6TH Place
1992-93A      Jenny Gibb               400 Meter Dash       7TH Place

2002-03A      Theresa Brokaw       1600 Meter Run       3RD Place
3200 Meter Run       2ND Place
2003-04A      Theresa Brokaw       1600 Meter Run       3RD Place
800 Meter Run        4TH Place
2004-05A      Theresa Brokaw       1600 Meter Run       2ND Place
800 Meter Run        2ND Place

Need Your Assistance

If you have ANY information regarding the achievements and history of Stronghurst Southern High School please write to us at  You can also write to us via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.    60631

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