Waterloo Sts. Peter and Paul HS “Hawks”

The History of Waterloo Sts. Peter & Paul High School

Waterloo (population 7,614) is located in southwestern Illinois in the north-central portion of Monroe County.  Illinois Route 3 and Illinois Route 156 intersect in the heart of town.  Kopp Creek flows through the northeast side of town while Fountain Creek flows through the southwest side.  Waterloo sits about 20 miles south of East St. Louis and 10 miles east of the Mississippi River.

The town’s official website has a history page that can be viewed at http://www.waterloo.il.us/JumpMenu/. Waterloo is the county seat of Monroe County. Formed from two towns in the early 1800s named Bellfontaine and Peterstown, Waterloo was given credit as being established in 1818.  Waterloo was first incorporated in 1849 and later as a city in 1888.  It has a rich and storied history.

Waterloo Saints Peter and Paul high school traces its roots to 1946 when the Sts. Peter and Paul parish began freshman and sophomore classes (http://www.gibaultonline.com/history_gibault.html).  The school celebrated its first graduating class in 1948.

Our good friend Michael M. provided the following bit of historical information on Sts. Peter and Paul High School:

“SS. Peter and Paul H.S. had always been an officially recognized  Catholic school from the start, but it was sponsored by SS. Peter and Paul Parish and so, like a typical parish grade school, it was a parish (or parochial) high school.  In 1962, the Belleville Diocese realized that a Catholic high school was needed not only for SS. Peter and Paul Parish, but for the neighboring communities as well.  So the diocese took over the operation of the high school, relieving the parish of the burden of financing and administering a high school all by itself and sharing the burden with the other surrounding Catholic parishses.   The school changed form being a parish-sponsored high school to a diocesan-sponsored high school at that time.  That is why when the new school (Gibault) was built sometime later, it became natural to change the school’s name.  Other parishes (like Immaculate Conception in Columbia, for example) would feel more connected to the school if it had a name to which everyone could relate instead of continuing to be named after only one of several parishes that now had to support it.”

The need for a more modern and effecient school was recognized as well as the need for a Catholic high school that would include participation of all of the surrounding community parishes.  Thus the idea of establishing Gibault High School came about.  Gibault was built and activated in 1967, leading to the closing of Sts. Peter & Paul High School.

The fate of the original Sts. Peter & Paul School is being sought.

Waterloo Sts. Peter & Paul High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                                      1946

Year closed:                                       1967

Consolidated to:                                  Gibault High School (Waterloo)

Sts. Peter & Paul HS team nickname:   the “Hawks”

Sts. Peter & Paul HS team colors:        unavailable

School Fight Song:                              unavailable


Boys basketball is the only sport covered on the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org) regarding the athletic program at Sts. Peter & Paul High School.  We believe that baseball and track were also offered at the school.  Team colors, fight song, and other interesting facts about the school are all items we are hoping to share.

Boys Basketball

The boys basketball program at Sts. Peter & Paul did not win any IHSA hardware, however they did have some nice season records.  Coach Andy Benyo led the Hawks for the final twelve seasons of their existence. He went on to lead the Gibault charges for the first two seasons of the new school’s existence as well.

1950-53                                   Coach Joe Viola

1953-55                                   Coach John Radoza

1955-57                                   Coach Andy Benyo

1957-58    15 – 9                       Coach Andy Benyo

1958-60                                   Coach Andy Benyo

1960-61    12 – 11                     Coach Andy Benyo

1961-62    16 – 9                       Coach Andy Benyo

1962-63    17 – 10                     Coach Andy Benyo

1963-66                                   Coach Andy Benyo

1966-67    18 – 6                       Coach Andy Benyo

School’s final season as Sts. Peter & Paul HS.  In the fall of 1967 Gibault HS opened ending the status of Sts. Peter & Paul HS.

Always Wanting More

More photos of the original Buda High School building is also being sought. Sports is not the only subject we like to talk about. If you have any information about the many other acheivements attained at Buda High School please share them with us. You send items to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or via real mail at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631

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