Waterman (population 1,224) is located on U.S. Route 30 just west of Il. Route 23. This places Waterman about 12 miles south of Dekalb in the mid-southern portion of Dekalb County. The Burlington Northern Railroad runs through the center of town.
The town was originally named Prairie Road after a post office was set up in 1860. The name of the town was changed to Waterman Station as it was set up along the newly formed Chicago & Iowa Railroad in 1871. The town was named after Daniel R. Waterman, who worked for the railroad. The name of the town was changed to simply “Waterman” in 1883.
The history of the high school in Waterman is in need of further research. The roots of the school probably trace back to the early 1900s. The high school was a staple in the community for several years. Based on information found on the IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org) a consolidation effort between Waterman and its neighbor to the west, Shabbona, became a reality in 1993. It was that summer that the two schools merged to form the Indian Creek School District.
Consolidated to: Indian Creek High School (Shabbona)
School nickname: the “Wolverines”
School colors: Black & Red
School Fight Song: “Come On Waterman”
(To the tune of “On Wisconsin”)
Lyrics supplied by Andi M. Gletty)
Come on Waterman, Dear old Waterman,
Break right through that line!
Pass the ball around the others,
Basket every time,
Fight! Fight! Fight!
Come on Waterman, Dear old Waterman,
Fighting for your fame.
Fight Wolverines, Fight Fight Fight,
To win this game!
The Waterman Wolverines excelled in boys basketball and had individual medal winners in boys and girls track & field. There were some excellent soccer teams at WHS in the 1980s as well. It is probable other sports such as baseball for boys and basketball and softball for girls were offered. We are hopeful a knowledgeable person will provide us with this information.
Waterman High School lays claim to a unique footnote in IHSA sports history. The first female Athletic Director for both boys and girls high school sports was assigned in Waterman. Ms. Peggy Adams served as AD for Waterman High School in 1979. She is now known as Dr. Peggy Jones.
Waterman High School Gymnasium
The Waterman boys EXCELLED in basketball in the 1930s and 1940s. Included were the following results:
6 – District Titles
5 – Regional Titles
2 – Sectional Titles
2 – Elite Eight Appearances
All of this under the old one-class system in Illinois! Two District titles were also won in the 1950s.
Some scores from the annual IHSA Tournament were located on a website titled “Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores.” These scores and season summaries (as best can be researched) are listed below.
1921-22 Aurora District Tournament Coach’s name & record needed
1st Rd Beat Plano 26-19
Lost in 2nd Rd, score unavailable
1922-23 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed
1923-24 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed
1924-25 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed
1925-26 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed
1926-27 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed
1927-28 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed
1928-29 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed
“The most memorable Basketball player I had the privilege to coach was Ron Shoger at Waterman High School during his Sophomore and Junior years. Ron was a talented ball player as well as a terrific coach and leader on the floor.”
1976-77 Plano Regional Tourney Coach’s name & Record Needed
1st Rd lost to Chicago Harvard St. George 62-50
Aurora Central Catholic beat Harvard St. George in title game
1977-78 Sandwich Regional Tourney Coach’s name & Record Needed
1st Rd lost to Hinckley-Big Rock 42-37
Newark beat Serena in title game
1978-79 Sandwich Regional Tourney Coach’s name & Record Needed
1st Rd lost to Yorkville 85-41
Yorkville beat Newark in title game
1979-80 Somonauk Regional Tourney Coach’s name & Record Needed
1st Rd lost to Hinckley-Big Rock 57-51
Shabonna beat Newark in title game
1980-81 Sandwich Regional Tourney Coach’s name & Record Needed
1st Rd Beat Sandwich 65-45
Semi-Final lost to Serena 62-42
Serena beat Newark in title game
1981-82 Somonauk Regional Tourney Coach’s name & Record Needed
1st Rd lost to Sandwich 57-55
Somonauk beat Newark in title game
1982-83 Sandwich Regional Tourney Coach’s name & Record Needed
1st Rd lost to Newark 93-59
Newark beat H-BR in title game
1983-84 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed
1984-85 Plano Regional Tourney Coach’s name & Record Needed
1st Rd Beat Leland 50-41
Semi-Final lost to Serena
Serena beat Somonauk in title game
1985-86 17 – 9 Somonauk Regional Tourney Coach Jeff Lewiston
1st Rd Beat Plano 56-45
Semi-Final lost to Newark 78-52
Newark beat Yorkville in title game
1986-87 8 – 16 Sandwich Regional Tourney Coach Frank Oblak
1st Rd lost to Sandwich 55-53
Newark beat Shabonna in title game
1987-88 Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed
1988-89 Somonauk Regional Tourney Coach’s name & Record Needed
1st Rd lost to Leland 76-33
Somonauk beat Sandwich in title game
1989-90 Sandwich Regional Tourney Coach’s name & Record Needed
1st Rd lost to Shabonna 60-48
Yorkville beat Shabonna in title game
1990-91 Shabonna Regional Tourney Coach’s name & Record Needed
1st Rd Beat Somonauk 66-46
Semi-Final lost to Plano 55-54
Yorkville beat Plano in title game
1991-92 Somonauk Regional Tourney Coach’s name & Record Needed
1st Rd lost to Newark 90-68
Somonauk beat Yorkville in title game
1992-93 Plano Regional Tourney Coach’s name & Record Needed
**1st Rd lost to Plano 85-66
Sandwich beat Plano in title game
**Final boys basketball game for Waterman High School. Became part of the Indian Creek High School District with Shabonna in the summer of 1993.
**Waterman High School at one time hosted their own Thanksgiving Tournament.
Waterman High School Running Track
Boys Track & Field
A total of four medals were won by three different athletes from Waterman at the IHSA State Track Meet. These accomplishments are listed below.
1955-56 Little Ten Conference Champions Coach Joe Newton
1978-79 Dan Nicoson One Mile Run 2nd Place
1979-80 Dan Nicoson 3200 Meter Run 6th Place
1992-93 Bob Bogle Triple Jump 5th Place
1992-93 Brandon Merchant Long Jump 6th Place
Waterman HS Boys Track 1970-71
Submitted by Randy Tate
Girls Track & Field
Two Lady Wolverines brought home a total of four medals which were earned by two athletes. In fact, one of the athletes, Patti Findlay, made four consecutive trips to the state meet earning three medals in the high jump! The accomplishments for the Lady Wolverines are listed below.
1978-79 Patti Findlay High Jump 3rd Place
1979-80 Patti Findlay High Jump 4th Place
1980-81 Patti Findlay High Jump 3rd Place
1982-83 Ginger Findlay 400 Meter Dash 6th Place
Waterman High School “Crows Nest” & Scoreboard
The Waterman boys soccer team had some great seasons as well. The team of 1984-85 won the school’s only Regional in this sport. Under the leadership of long-time coach Richard Townsend, the Waterman High soccer program was one of the best in the area, regardless of school size. Check out the credentials of the players and their coach below.
1984-85 Regional Champions Coach Richard Townsend
Team scored 134 goals during season – #8 in IHSA History
Defeated Paw Paw 17 – 0 #6 all-time for goals in one game!
*Player Dale Peterson – 1982-85
*119 Career Goals – #15 All-Time in IHSA History
* 55 Goals in 1983-84 season – #5 All-time
* 54 Goals in 1984-85 season – #6 All-time
* 7 Goals in win over Paw Paw
*Player Mark Fenske – 1987-90
*114 Career Goals – #19 All-Time in IHSA History
* 41 Goals in 1988-89 season
The girls basketball program got an early start when th team was formed in the very early 1900s. All schools were forced to eliminate girls basketball around 1911 by order of the IHSA. The program was alowed to be reinstated in 1978. Linda Hess provided the following information to us:
“Waterman HS had Girls Basketball Teams: in 1905 Waterman HS beat Plano High School: 4-2. Seventy-five years later, in 1978, the PHS girls basketball team beat Waterman 75-12. This was the “first” girls BB team for Waterman…at least in the modern era.”
Linda Hess’ research also discovered some scores from the Waterman High School football team that were played in 1925-1928. Conference historian Tom Sikorski provided the win-loss totals from these seasons.
1925: 3-2 Coach unknown
WHS beat Genoa 32-0
WHS lost to Hinckley 6-18
WHS lost to Sandwich 19-32
WHS beat Plainfield 19-6
WHS beat Hinckley 13-6
1926 1-2 Coach unknown
Waterman HS beat Plano HS 20-0
(NOTE: Conference historian Tom Sikorski notes that there is one result missing from this season.)
1927 5-1 Coach E.G. Croft
Waterman HS beat Plano HS 7-6 and 46-7
1928 0-5 Coach unknown
Waterman HS lost to Plano HS 0-38
(NOTE: there may have been more games, since Tom Sikorski’s records show gaps where there may have been games played but newspaper or yearbook account are unavailable.)
During various seasons the boys competed in Cross Country as well.
1946-47 Little Ten Conference Runner-Up Coach Hartley
1955-56 Little Ten Conference Champions Coach Joe Newton
Waterman HS Track & Cross-Country 1955-56
Waterman HS Yearbook
The Waterman High School boys competed in baseball as well. Some of the season records located in yearbooks are listed below.
1952-53 Coach R.L. Metcalf
1953-54 4 – 2 Coach R.L. Metcalf
1954-55 Coach Joe Newton
1955-56 7 – 2 Coach Joe Newton
*Coach Richard Townsend –
*Overall Boys Soccer record at Waterman – 210 – 93 – 31 !!!
*Coach Ernie Eveland –
*Led Waterman to State in 1931 and later coached at Paris and Cisne, becoming the fourth all-time winningest coach in Illinois Boys Basketball history!! Had a career record of 779-175! Ernie was named one of the top 100 legends of IHSA basketball in 2006 – check out his bio at http://www.ihsa.org/initiatives/legends/index.htm.
*Coach Bob Metcalf –
See information written at the bottom of this page.
Great Athletes in Waterman HS History
*Duane Swanson (Class of 1930) Olympic Gold Medalist
Information provided by Brian Hoxsey:
Duane Swanson played on Waterman’s team that went to state in basketball in 1930 (game box below). Swanson went on to play on the 1936 US Gold Medal basketball team (below that story from USA Olympic Basketball site)
1930 IHSA Quarter-Final Game
Beardstown 29, Waterman 27 (4 OT)
Quarterfinal Game at Champaign [UI, Huff Gym]
Thursday, March 20, 1930
Player FG-FGA FT-FTA Pts PF
John Brockschmidt 0 0 0 0 0
Omar Hager 1 0 0 2 0
Clyde Peter Martin 3 2 3 8 1
Frank “Mike” Myers 6 1 1 13 3
Kendell Toureen 0 0 0 0 0
Willis Venters 3 0 0 6 0
TOTAL 13 3 4 29 4
Player FG-FGA FT-FTA Pts PF
Harold Boekenhauer 0 0 0 0 0
George Keene 1 0 0 2 1
Ralph Reingardt 5 1 1 11 0
Duane Swanson 3 0 3 6 0
William Swanson 1 0 0 2 2
Fayette Thompson 3 0 0 6 0
LeRoy Thompson 0 0 0 0 0
TOTAL 13 1 4 27 3
Beardstown 2 6 ( 8) 2 7 ( 9) 2 2 2 6 — 29
Waterman 8 0 ( 8) 7 2 ( 9) 2 2 2 4 — 27
At four overtimes, this remains the longest game in tournament history.
Duane Swanson went on to compete in AAU basketball and eventual played for the Universal Pictures AAU squad from California. At the 1936 Olympic trials Swanson’s team won the trials’ tournament and the 6′ 02″, 175 pound Duane Swanson was selected as a member fo the United States Olympic basketball squad.Swanson’s squad the Gold Medal at the Olympic games that year!
Was named All-Little Ten in his senior year in the 1939-40 season, in which he lead his team to the Little Ten conference tournament title. Then took his basketball talents to the University of Illinois.
“He was the first player around this area and our conference to use a one-handed shot,” said Serena guard Woodrow Hoxsey, who’s Husker team defeated Waterman in the 1939-40 regular season to take that title. “With his height and his ability to shot from the outside, he was a tough player to defend.”
The early 1940s saw the era of the “Whiz Kids” at Illinois, a high-scoring, fast-breaking squad. In 1942, the team won a Big Ten title with a team of four sophomores (one being Smiley) and a junior. Beating teams by an average margin of 24 points, the Fighting Illini would win the Conference championship again in 1943, losing only one nonconference game. That season Smiley was named to the All-Big Ten team. However, the “Kids” were not able to finish out their college careers as all were called to service in the armed forces immediately prior to the 1943 NCAA tournament.
Smiley played and coached basketball professionaly, first with the Fort Wayne Pistons of the NBA in 1949. That season Smiley played in 59 games, averaging 6.7 points per game. The next year he split time between the Anderson Packers (12 games) and Waterloo Hawks (47 games, 6.6 ppg). He was also a player/coach for 27 games, earning a 11-16 record.
He also returned later to coach basketball at Waterman, but his starting season and length of tenure is unknown at this time.
**Ron Shoger –
The following information on this Waterman basketball star of the mid-1960s was provided to us by Brian Hoxsey. Check out Brian’s website on the history of Little Ten Conference at the web address of http://ltcbasketball.tripod.com/ .
“In the great history of the Little Ten Conference there have been many great players, many with interesting stories. Ron Shoger would be one of those players.
Shoger quickly made a name for himself in the 1965-66 season by leading the LTC in scoring as a sophomore, averaging 23.4 points per game. Waterman, under head coach Bernie Langheim, finished 10-12 overall and tied for third in the conference with a 7-2 record. Shoger was held under 20 points only four games all season was named to the first team All-LTC team. His junior year Waterman finished 20-7, 7-2 (2nd) in the LTC and he again was named All-LTC and led the league in scoring (24.2), but things would change for Shoger after that season.
“I lived on a farm on the west edge of Aurora, then our family moved to a farm outside Waterman in eighth grade,” said Shoger. “(At Waterman) we always had a pretty good team. Our rival was Hinckley-Big Rock and it just so happened (Hinckley-Big Rock star) Mark Voreis and I moved into DeKalb our senior years and joined up together.”
“My dad was in the farming business. We didn’t own the farm, but we had a lot of cattle die and we had to make ends meet. Dad got a job in DeKalb and Voreis’ dad worked in town, so it just so happened we moved at the same time and it turned out okay.”
Ron played his senior year at Dekalb High School, helping lead them to a fourth place finish in the State Tournament. Ron continued his basketball career at Northwestern University in Evanston, starring there his junior and senior years.
**From Dr. Peggy Jones:
“I used to Coach at Waterman Junior High /High School. I taught there from 1974-1979 and coached soccer, volleyball, and track for junior high girls during the year of 1977-1979 — that is when they brought on sports for junior high girls.
We had an undefeated girls soccer team in 1977-78 and I was very proud of all of the girls.
I was also assigned as the first Athletic Director in the state of Illinois for both girls and boys sports in the spring of 1979, but then moved to Florida that fall.
When I taught at Waterman, I was Miss Heenan and Mrs. Adams.”
Need Your Assistance
We are in need of more information regarding the many accomplishments of Waterman High School. Team records, great coaches and players, more information on girls sports, all are needed to enhance this page. If you have any information to share please complete a Guest Commentary Form. We are always interested in photos of the high school building and of the great teams of Waterman’s past. You can e-mail these items to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also write us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva Av.
Chicago, Il. 60631
Waterman HS Girls Athletic Association 1955-56
Waterman HS Yearbook
Waterman High School Building
Left Click on Photo for Larger Version
Waterman High School Rear of Building
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Waterman HS Building – 2011
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Former Coach BOB METCALF
Information as researched by Brian Hoxsey on former Waterman HS coach Bob Metcalf:
Coached three years at school (1951-1954)
(FROM THE VALPORAISO UNIVERSITY WEBSITE)
Hall of Fame Member Bob Metcalf
Hall of Fame Class: 2001
Valpo Basketball Player: 1946-50
“He was an All-America basketball player for VU in 1949 and 1950, Bob Metcalf was described as “one of the greatest competitors ever to wear a Crusader uniform, an honor student, and a very hard worker.”
He coached basketball at three different Illinois high schools (including Waterman) from 1950 until 1980, compiling a record of 426-269. Metcalf’s teams won 24 of 29 tournament championships and 31 total championships.
Since 1980, Metcalf spends time in China, Mongolia, Indonesia and Sudan where he trains basketball coaches and players. He is the recipient of many awards for his coaching successes, the most recent being his induction into the National High School Athletic Coaches Hall of Fame.”
(FROM NORMAL HIGH SCHOOL WEBSITE)
“Dr. Robert Metcalf graduated with distinction as an honor student from Valparaiso University with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Physical Education and triple majors in chemistry, history, and mathematics. He was inducted into the Valparaiso University Athletic Hall of Fame and as a team member to the Indiana Basketball Hall of Fame. Valparaiso has been identified as “a college that encourages character development.” At least in Metcalf’s case, that certainly seems to be true.
Metcalf is a high caliber individual who has given tremendously to University High School. He first joined the school in 1961 as director of athletics and assistant professor of health and physical education. He retired from the directorship a professor in 1982. During his tenure, Metcalf’s coaching accomplishments include taking the boy’s basketball team to the Sweet 16 four times and under his leadership the 1971 team was inducted into the Illinois Coaches Association (ICA) Basketball Hall of Fame. Metcalf himself is also a member of the ICA Basketball Hall of Fame and the National High School Athletic Coaches Association (NHSACA) Hall of Fame. He ended 18 years of coaching the boy’s basketball team with a 254-168 record. Eleven years after retirement, Metcalf came back to U-High and served as a consultant to the boy’s basketball team for 14 years.
While Metcalf was the boy’s head golf coach, the Pioneers took 26 championships, held second place in the State twice and won the State Championship once. He was named ICA Golf Coach of the Year twice and named NHSACA District Golf Coach of the Year. Metcalf also was inducted into the ICA Golf Hall of Fame, making him the first coach in the State to be in both basketball and golf ICA Hall of Fames. In addition to his involvement with boy’s basketball and golf, Metcalf started the boy’s cross country and the girl’s golf programs at U-High. He served as head coach for both programs two and three years, respectively. He also served as the girl’s assistant basketball coach for eight years after he retired.
Since his retirement, Metcalf has been very active teaching and coaching basketball around the world. With over 11 trips to China, Metcalf has lived in the country the equivalent of more than three years. He has taught over 1,000 Chinese coaches in both national and provincial workshops. He has coached seven national-leveled Chinese – the first American coach in China to do so. His high school team won the Chinese National Championship in 1987. He trained two college teams to Chinese national championships in 1993 and 1994. Metcalf has also coached national and professional teams in Mongolia, Indonesia, Sudan, and Hong Kong. He has written extensively on basketball and shooting fundamentals.
In 1985, Metcalf co-founded the Drug Enforcement Agency/National High School Coaches Association Drug Prevention Seminar. He revises the materials for the Association annually and is still their seminar director. He is also founder, chairperson, and co-organizer of the ICA/Bloomington-Normal Shrine Club annual high school all-star football game, which in its first ten years raised over $200,000 for Shriner Hospitals.
In recognition of his local, national, and international impact on basketball, Metcalf has received the NHSACA’s National Distinguished Service Award, The NHSACA’s Dwight T. Keith Award, the NHSACA’s National Citation Award, and the Illinois Coaches Basketball Association’s Buzzy O’Connor Outstanding Service Award.
In acknowledgment of his selfless efforts, Dr. Robert Metcalf is truly a friend of University High School!”: