Chicago Cub – Former “Speedboy” – Class of 1954
Witt High School earned its nickname, the “Speedboys”, because of their style of playing boys basketball in the 1920s. The style paid off and will be written about below. Witt competed in the Egyptian -Illini Conference and later the Central Illinois Conference. Witt High School offered baseball, basketball, cross-country, and track for the boys and softball, basketball, cross-country, and volleyball for the girls.
The sports that are written about on the IHSA web site are written about here below. If you have more information regarding the Witt athletic successes please send us the information via e-mail.
The Witt High School Speedboys of 1927-28 were the classic reason for the one-class system. The team brought home a Third Place trophy from the State Tournament! The Speedboys, led by Coach Joseph Kilpatrick (in his only season at the school), beat Streator High School in the quarter finals before losing to Canton (eventual State Champion) by 2 points. The Speedboys came back with a win in the third place game over Griggsville (also on this site). The Speedboys came back the next year (1928-29) under Coach Lawrence Fornecker to make an ElIte Eight appearance before losing to Peoria Central High School.
The Witt High School boys basketball program had many great seasons through 1960. In fact the Speedboys won an additional 12 District titles besides the great seasons listed above. There were some tough years to follow though as the team did not sport a winning record again until the 1988 season. The best of the Witt Speedboys bassketball successes are listed below. Coaches names and team records are posted when available.
1920-21 Montgomery County Tourney (2nd Place)
Championship- Hillsboro 25 Witt 10
1922-23 Montgomery County Tourney (2nd Place)
Championship- Hillsboro 24 Witt 15
1925-26 21 – 6 District Champions Coaches name unavailable
Montgomery County Tourney (2nd Place)
Championship- Hillsboro 33 Witt 18
1926-27 Montgomery County Tourney (2nd Place)
Championship- Hillsboro 23 Witt 21
1927-28 37 – 2 DIstrict Champs Coach Joseph Kilpatrick
Montgomery County Tourney Champs
Beat Hillsboro 30 – 20
(Beat Collinsville in 2nd Rd. 40-18)
Placed Third In The State Tournament
Quarter-Finals – Witt 33 – Streator 31 (O/T)
Semi-Finals – Witt 17 – Canton 19 (Canton State Champs)
Third Place – Witt 40 – Griggsville 26
1928-29 31 – 6 District Champs Coach Lawrence Fornecker
Elite Eight Finalists
Quarter-Final – Witt 18 – Peoria Central 27
1929-30 District Champions
1930-31 District Champions
Lost 2nd Rd. Sectional Game to
Collinsville 32 – 23
1938-39 District Champions
Lost to Collinsville in 2nd Rd.
of Sectional 43 – 38
1941-42 District Champions
1943-44 District Champions
1944-45 District Champions
1945-46 District Champions
1946-47 District Champions
1950-51 District Champions
1951-52 District Champions
1952-53 District Champions
1959-60 19 – 7 (good record)
1987-88 16 – 12 Coach Brian Pesko
1989-90 17 – 7 (good record) Coach Brian Pesko
1990-91 14 – 11 Coach Joey Ohnesorge
1994-95 19 – 9 (good record) Coach Tom Kimball
*The teams of 1926, 1928, and 1939 were also champions of the Montgomery County Basketball Tournament.
*The gymnasium earned a title as a “cracker box” in that the end lines were only 8 inches from the walls requiring the placing of restraining lines in addition to the out-of-bounds lines.
*The 1979-80 team played in 5 overtime games during the season, winning one of them.
The Witt High School Speedgirls volleyball program is the only other sport listed on the IHSA web site which can be researched. The girls had a strong head coach in Pat Powers who served from 1976 – 1988. The best three seasons under Coach Powers leadership are listed below.
1985-86 15 – 9 Coach Pat Powers
1986-87 18 – 7 Coach Pat Powers
1987-88 17 – 7 Coach Pat Powers
Other Sports Information Needed
If you can add any information regarding the cross-country, baseball, softball, and track programs at Witt High School, please drop us an e-mail.
*Paul Chervinko, class of 1928 and a player on the Third Place winners, went to great baseball success, even playing for a time with the Brooklyn Dodgers in 1937-38.
*Glen Hobbie, class of 1954, was a star pitcher and played seven seasons of professional baseball with the Chicago Cubs and St. Louis Cardinals, establishing record of 16 – 13 in 1959.
Need More Information
As always, we are anxious to add more information regarding the town and school history of Witt. If you have any information or photos you would like to add to the site you can e-mail them to us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also write to us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Illinois 60631