Waukegan East High School “Bulldogs”

Waukegan East High School
A large brick building with trees in front of it

Description automatically generated with low confidence
Now used by Waukegan HS 9th graders (courtesy: http://www.waukeganschools.org/ngc)

The History of Waukegan East High School

Waukegan (population 87,901) is located in far northeastern Illinois in east-central Lake County. The Illinois Routes of  21, 41, 43, 131, 132, and 137 all lead you to and from Waukegan. Lake Michigan serves as the eastern border of Waukegan.  The Chicago & Northwestern Railroad and the Elgin, Joliet, & Eastern Railroad both travel through the east side of town. Interstate Highway 94 runs by the west side of town. Waukegan sits just 8 miles south of the Wisconsin / Illinois border.

A nice history of Waukegan’s early days can be found at the web addresses of (Wikipedia) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Waukegan,_Illinois#History and (Waukegan Historical Society) http://www.waukeganweb.net/waukeganhistory.html. Both sites state the following:

“Waukegan, first visited by Pere Marquette in 1673, is one of the oldest communities in Illinois. The city started as a French trading post and Potawatomi Indian settlement known as “Little Fort”. Records dating back to 1829 tell of a treaty signed by the Potawatomis in which they ceded all of their land in this area to the Federal Government.

Little Fort became the County Seat of Government in 1841 by virture of its population, replacing Libertyville. Between 1844 and 1846, the town’s population grew from 150 to 750 people. In 1849 when the town was incorporated, the population had risen to 2,500.

Proud of the growth of their community and no longer wanting to be characterized as “little”, on March 31, 1849 the residents of Little Fort changed the name of their town to Waukegan, the Potawatomi word for “fort” or “trading post”.”

Waukegan residents began a school system for their children by the mid to late 1800s. It is likely that high school courses were in place by the late 1800’s.  Waukegan High School served the town and its ever-growing population through the early 1970’s. It was in 1975 that the decision was made to create a second high school in Waukegan.

Waukegan High School was renamed Waukegan East High School. The second high school was aptly named Waukegan West High School. Waukegan East High School continued to serve the high school-aged children of Waukegan for the next 15 years. The late 1980’s brought about talks of reuniting the two high schools back into one. In 1990 this became a reality.

Waukegan East High School was closed. Waukegan West High School resumed being simply called Waukegan High School. Today, only ninth graders attend classes in the Waukegan East building, while 10th, 11th, and 12th graders are located at the Waukegan West building.

Waukegan East High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                                      1975

Year closed:                                       1990

Consolidated to:                                  Waukegan High School (9th graders only)

Waukegan East HS team nickname:    “Bulldogs”

Waukegan East HS team colors:          Purple and Gold

School Fight Song:                              unavailable


Though by becoming two separate high schools may have cut the number of potential athletes in half for Waukegan East High, this did not result in a let down of athletic successes at the school. Waukegan East had many great teams and athletes succeed in several different sports. The best of these as found on the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org) are acknowledged below. We are still in need of Waukegan East High School’s school fight song.


The lady linksters of Waukegan East High School were one of the best golf programs in the state duriung their tenure!! Check out their incredible run in the IHSA Finals for the 15 year period the school was officially open. Two STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS, Eleven TOP-TEN Team Finishes, Five Regional titles, Four District titles, and Three Sectional titles.

1975-76       IHSA STATE CHAMPIONS!!         Coach Carol Voight

                   District Champions

                   Individual Medalists

                   Alicia Ogrin           5TH Place
Lori Sackman        8TH Place

1976-77       IHSA State Finals – FOURTH Place!!

                   District Champions

                   Individual Medalist

                   Alicia Ogrin           STATE CHAMPION!

1977-78       IHSA State Finals – FOURTH Place!!

                   District Champions

1978-79       IHSA State Finals – FIFTH Place!!

                   District Champions

                   Individual Medalist
Claudia Ogrin        14TH Place

1979-80       IHSA State Finals – FIFTH Place!!

                   Sectional Champions

                   Individual Medalist

                   Claudia Ogrin        5TH Place

1980-81       IHSA STATE CHAMPIONS!!         Coach Bob Franz

                   Sectional Champions

1981-82       IHSA State Finals – SECOND Place!!

                   Sectional Champions

                   Individual Medalist

                   Amy Salata           11TH Place

1982-83       IHSA State Finals – SEVENTH Place!!

                   Regional Champions

1986-87       IHSA State Finals – NINTH Place!!

                   Regional Champions

1987-88       IHSA State Finals – SEVENTH Place!!

                   Regional Champions 

                  Individual Medalist

                  Kim Hodge              11TH Place

1988-89      Team Won Regional Championship

                  Individual Medalist

                  Kim Hodge              4TH Place

1989-90      IHSA State Finals – FIFTH Place!!

                   Regional Champions


The boys track team left their mark on the WEHS sports scene as well. A STATE CHAMPIONSHIP and several Individual GOLD MEDALISTS helped the tracksters make a name for Waukegan East High School on the IHSA track & field circuit.

1976-77     Individual Medalists

                 Relay Team     1 Mile Relay       6TH Place

1977-78     Individual Medalists

                 Relay Team     1 Mile Relay       4TH Place

Artis Yancey     440 Yard Dash    7TH Place

1979-80     IHSA STATE CHAMPIONS!!                       Coach Marvin Arrington

Individual Medalists

David Greathouse       Long Jump        STATE CHAMPION!!

                                                   300 M Hurdles    6TH Place

                Nate Sloan                  200 M Dash       STATE CHAMPION!!

                                                   100 M Dash        7TH Place

                Relay Team                4×100 M Relay   STATE CHAMPIONS!!
4×400 M Relay   4TH Place

1980-81    Individual Medalist

               Kevin Johnson       400 M Dash      5TH Place

                                             200 M Dash      7TH Place

               Clint Solomon        Long Jump     7TH Place 

1981-82    Team Placed EIGHTH at IHSA State Meet!

Individual Medalists

       Clint Solomon       Long Jump     4TH Place (tie)

                Dwight Newsome  Long Jump     4TH Place (tie)
Wayne Norman     800 M Run       4TH Place

                Trent Robinson     Triple Jump     6TH Place

                Relay Team          4×100 M Relay 7TH Place

1982-83    Team Placed THIRD at IHSA State Meet!!  

                Sectional Champions

                Individual Medalists

                Don Wells           Long Jump        2ND Place

                                           200 M Dash        7TH Place

                Trent Robinson   Triple Jump       2ND Place
Clint Solomon     Long Jump        3RD Place
Triple Jump       3RD Place

1985-86    Individual Medalists

               Stan Griffin          Triple Jump       5TH Place
Qahhar Islam       Triple Jump       8TH Place


The boys baseball team brought home two Regional Titles in back to back seasons during the mid-1980’s. Unfortunately, the team records and coach’s names of these and other great baseball teams in WEHS history are not currently available.

1983-84          Regional Champions
1984-85          Regional Champions


The boys’ basketball team also enjoyed several solid seasons on the hardwood court. Five different teams won Regional Titles, all under the leadership of Coach Larry Lennartz. Four of these titles were in consecutive years during the mid-1980’s as well.

1975-77                                                           Coach Robert Joor

1977-79                                                           Coach Mel Yancey

1979-80                                                           Coach Larry Lennartz

1980-81   18 – 7                                                Coach Larry Lennartz

1981-82   22 – 5    Regional Champions           Coach Larry Lennartz

1982-83                                                           Coach Larry Lennartz

1983-84   11 – 11                                              Coach Larry Lennartz

1984-85   17 – 10  Regional Champions           Coach Larry Lennartz
1985-86   12 – 12  Regional Champions           Coach Larry Lennartz
1986-87   12 – 12  Regional Champions           Coach Larry Lennartz
1987-88   15 – 12  Regional Champions           Coach Larry Lennartz

1988-89                                                           Coach Larry Lennartz


Two seasons of basetball for the girls lead to Regional Titles as well. Unfortunately, the coach’s names and team records of these and other great girls’ basketball teams are not currently available.

1981-82          Regional Champions             Coach James Askew

1982-83          Regional Champions             Coach James Askew


Dave Erdal was the only Waukegan East harrier to earn medalist honors at the IHSA State Cross Country meet.

1975-76    Individual Medalist – Dave Erdal       10th Place


We know the boys competed on the grid iron, however, currently no records are available for the years that Waukegan East High School was technically open.


The linksters of East High School had some nice seasons as well. In fact, Dave Ogrin brought home the IHSA Individual Championship in the school’s first year of existence, 1975-76!  Even today, Ogrin continues playing as a card-carrying member of the Professional Golfers’ Association (PGA).

1975-76      Team Won District Championship

                  Individual Medalist

                  Dave Ogrin            STATE CHAMPION!!

1976-77      Team Qualified for IHSA State Finals
1977-78      Team Won District Championship
1979-80      Team Won District Championship


The boys soccer program at WEHS had some nice seasons to remember. Including some good records and TWO Regional titles.

1975-78                                                                     Coach Mike Radakovich

1978-79    7 – 7 – 3                                                      Coach Mike Radakovich

1979-80                                                                     Coach Mike Radakovich

1980-81  10 – 6 – 2                                                      Coach Ray Martinez

1981-83                                                                     Coach Robert Smith

1983-84                                                                     Coach Rommel Guzman

1984-85    7 – 4 – 4                                                      Coach Rommel Guzman

1985-86                                                                     Coach Rommel Guzman

1986-87  13 – 5 – 1                                                      Coach Rommel Guzman

1987-88  12 – 5 – 5  Regional Champions                   Coach Rommel Guzman
1988-89                 Regional Champions                   Coach Rommel Guzman

1989-90                                                                     Coach Rommel Guzman


Four District Championships highlighted the successes of the lady’s tennis program at Waukegan East High School.

1976-77        District Champions
1977-78        District Champions
1978-79        District Champions
1979-80        District Champions


Several lady tracksters earned individual medals at the IHSA State Track Meet.  Included in this group is Long Jump State Champion Kim Atwater!

1981-82     Individual Medalist

                 Vanessa Vernon      Long Jump      4TH Place

1982-83     Individual Medalists

                 Relay Team             4×100 M Relay  6TH Place

                 Brenda Lee             100 M Dash       8TH Place

1983-84     Individual Medalists

                 Relay Team            800 M Med Rel  5TH Place

                 Kim Atwater            400 M Dash       7TH Place
Brenda Lee             100 M Dash       7TH Place

1984-85     Individual Medalist

                 Kim Atwater            Long Jump       STATE CHAMPION!!

                                                400 M Dash        8TH Place

1988-89     Individual Medalist

                 Kiecia Webb           400 M Dash        6TH Place


The WEHS girls volleyball program was highly competitive in the IHSA Tourney.  Three District, Three Regional, and One Sectional title helped make the girls volleyball program one of the best in its area.

1975-76   10 – 5    District Champions               Coach Kat Kincaid

1976-77                                                            Coach Kat Kincaid

1977-78   12 – 8    IHSA SWEET 16 Finalist!!      Coach Laura (Menser) Dunn

                           District Champions

                           Sectional Champions

1978-79   10 – 12                                                Coach Laura (Menser) Dunn

1979-80     9 – 9                                                 Coach Laura (Menser) Dunn

1980-81   17 – 15   District Champions               Coach Laura (Menser) Dunn

1981-82     7 – 10                                               Coach Laura (Menser) Dunn

1982-83   11 – 7     Regional Champions           Coach Laura (Menser) Dunn

1983-84     7 – 8                                                 Coach Laura (Menser) Dunn

1985-86   22 – 12   Regional Champions           Coach Gina Ensalaco
1986-87   19 – 15   Regional Champions           Coach Gina Ensalaco

1987-88   10 – 18                                               Coach Gina Ensalaco


The grapplers earned Three Top-Ten finishes in State Finals Competition. Two District titles, Two Regional titles, and One Sectional title concluded the team successes. Dan Mota led the Indivdiual Medalists with TWO GOLD MEDALS in consecutive seasons.

Waukegan East HS’s freshmen wrestling coach was Lawrence TenPasCoach TenPas was once known as State Champion wrestler Larry TenPas of Waukegan High School.  As a high school wrestler Larry TenPas won consecutive state championships at the 145 lbs. weight class in 1951 and 1952.  His brother, Charles TenPas, took 2nd place at 120 lbs. in 1952 as well.  Coach Larry TenPas has a record for pinning all four of his opponents in the State Finals.  He is also only 3-Time all American Wrestler from Waukegan!

1975-76      Individual Medalist                                      Coach Lawrence TenPas              

                  Mark Smith             145 lbs. Wgt. Class     3RD Place

1978-79      Individual Medalist                                      Coach Lawrence TenPas

                  Chris Nicholson       HWT Wgt. Class         6TH Place

1979-80      Team Placed SIXTH in the State Finals!     Coach Lawrence TenPas

                  District Champions

                  Individual Medalists

                  Chris Nicholson       HWT Wgt. Class         3RD Place
Mario Urbina           112 lbs. Wgt. Class     4TH Place

1980-81      Team Placed NINTH in the State Finals!     Coach Lawrence TenPas

                  Individual Medalists

                  Dan Mota                145 lbs. Wgt. Class     STATE CHAMPION!!
Tyrone Harris          138 lbs. Wgt. Class     5TH Place


1981-82      Team Placed THIRD in the State Finals!     Coach Lawrence TenPas

                  District Champions

                  Sectional Champions

                  Individual Medalists

                  Dan Mota                155 lbs. Wgt. Class     STATE CHAMPION!!
Tyrone Harris          145 lbs. Wgt. Class     3RD Place
Otis Boose               167 lbs. Wgt. Class    3RD Place

1986-87      Team Won Regional Championship     Coach Tim Albers

                  Freshmen coach – Lawrence TenPas


1987-88      Individual Medalist                               Coach Tim Albers

                  Keith Elrod              155 lbs. Wgt. Class     5TH Place

                  Freshmen coach – Lawrence TenPas


1988-89      Team Won Regional Championship     Coach Tim Albers

Freshmen coach – Lawrence TenPas



Three individuals earned medals in the IHSA’s Individual Events Speech Competition. In fact, Neil Flynn and Mike Shklair won GOLD Medals in their respective duet event in 1978!!

1977        Lee Murkey   Prose                 3RD Place
1978        Neil Flynn      Humor Duet      STATE CHAMPION!
1978        Mike Shklair  Humor Duet      STATE CHAMPION!


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IHSGD Website

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631   


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