Mineral High School Basketball Program

Our Beloved Mineral High School Leopard Basketball Teams

Tiny Mineral High School Boasts Great Cage Record Over Two Years”

“Mineral, School of 15 Boys, Makes Great Two Year Record on Court”

“Mineral Gains Regional Final”

“With But 15 Boys in School How Can Mineral Win 28 Games in One Season”

Mineral HS Basketball Letter Winners – 1961
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These are but a few of the newspaper headlines found in scrapbooks of players from the basketball teams at Mineral High School. One article goes on to state “Mineral…….offers one of the most interesting studies in prep athletics to be found in the middlewest.” Another article states “One of the most talked about district squads in the state is tiny Mineral with its enrollment of 15 boys – and since the team won 30 games this year that means two victories for each boy.”

The decades of the 1940s and 1950s were truly magical times for the boys basketball program at Mineral High School.  The Leopards of these two decades had some incredible success and truly incredible records.  Coach Oliver Jochum led the charge, becoming one of the most respected men in the community not only for his ability to coach, but also for his ability to teach and form young people into adults.

The above photo shows that the Leopard pride continued through the very end. In the school’s final year of existence, every boy in the high school, grades 9 – 12. all 15 of them, played basketball. The combined record of the varsity and fresh-soph teams that final year was 23 – 18 (varsity 12-11). The following are the seasonal recards of the Mineral Leopard basketball program as well as can be researched.

1922-23            Postseason scores, record, and coach’s name needed.

Players included Ray Rakestraw, Robert Rakestraw, Linaweaver,

                                         Emerson, Carrington, Sierens


1923-24                   Rock Island District Tourney

Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Annawan 15-8

Players included Roy Rakestraw, Ray Rakestraw, Lester

                               Linaweaver, Mendenhall, Carlisle Ulrich,

                               Riley, Stone, Fred Getz

1924-25                   “Conference Champions”                  Coach Cully Rydholm

                               Players included: Ray Rakestraw, Robert Rakestraw, Roy Rakestraw,

                              Carlisle Ulrich, Middleton, Fred Getz, Ward Riley 


1925-26                   Moline District Tournament               Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Alpha 21-19

1926-27                   Princeton District Tournament          Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Malden 32-9


1927-28                   Princeton District Tournament           Coach’s name & record needed

1st Rd lost to Bureau Township HS 35-10

1928-29                   Geneseo District Tournament            Coach J.C. Forsberg

1st Rd lost to New Windsor 13-11

Players: Riley, F. Moore, Nelson, Sierens

                                Immesoete, Moore, Lorenson

1929-30     13 – 7     Kewanee District Tournament            Coach J.C. Forsberg

1st Rd lost to Altona 24-16

Players:  Riley, Nelson, Immesoete,

                                Moore, Norman (possibly Morman),

                                Brandt, Croegaert, Matson


1930-31                   Kewanee District Tournament            Coach J.C. Forsberg

                                1st Rd Beat Atkinson 29-27

                                2nd Rd Beat Lafayette 26-12

                                Semi-Final lost to Kewanee 30-8

3rd Place Game lost to Geneseo 35-15

Newpaper Article (Moline Dispatch, March 9, 1931) referred to this team in the following manner:

Mineral’s brave little band of midgets, deserving of much credit for scrappiness against strong teams, put up a stubborn battle for third place against Geneseo for third place honors, but the Maple city lads, smarting from afternoon defeat, didn’t propose to lose again.”

*Team placed in top 4 of the Bureau County Tournament with 15 teams entered. Won Ohio District of the Bureau County Tournament by beating Manlius and Ohio.

Players:  L. Brandt, F. Moore, Madsen, C. Croegaert, Morman, V. Croegaert, Bennet, Ulrich.


1931-32                   Geneseo District Tournament             Coach J.C. Forsberg

1st Rd lost to Annawan 23-9

Annawan lost to Kewanee in Semi-final.

Players:  Brandt, Moore, Bennet, Croegaert, Madsen

Kewanee Placed 4th in IHSA State Tourney.

1932-33                   Galva District Tournament                  Coach J.C. Forsberg

                                1st Rd lost to Neponset 22-19

Players:  P. Ulrich, Reider, Clark, Hodgett, Bennett,

                                Christian, Croegaert.

1933-34    12 – 6     Princeton District Tournament            Coach J.C. Forsberg

                                1st Rd Beat Malden 25-20

                                2nd Rd lost to Princeton 36-22

Players:  Hodgett, Reider, Carlson, Bennett, Barthelman

1934-35                  Princeton District Tournament                Coach J.C. Forsberg

1st Rd lost to Malden 29-22

LaSalle Peru beat DePue in title game

1935-36                  Sheffield District Tournament                 Coach J.C. Forsberg

                               1st Rd Beat Bureau Junction 53-8

Semi-Final lost to Lamoille 30-21

Lamoille beat Ohio in title game.

1936-37                  Princeton District Tournament                Coach J.C. Forsberg

1st Rd lost to Manlius 29-25

Wyanet beat Sheffield in title game

1937-38                  Sheffield District Tournament      .          Coach J.C. Forsberg

1st Rd lost to Buda 52-19

(Buda had won Bureau County Tournament

Mineral had beaten Buda earlier that season)

1938-39                  Sheffield District Tournament      .          Coach J.C. Forsberg

1st Rd forfeited to Lafayette 2-0

Cases of scarlet fever in Sheffield –

Mineral and Hooppole chose not to

participate in Sheffield District Tournament)

1939-40                  Cambridge District Tournament  .          Coach J.C. Forsberg

1st Rd lost to Sheffield 38-18


1940-41     29 – 6    Sheffield District Champs                   Coach Oliver Jochums

                               Enrollment – 40 students (15 boys)

                               District Scores

                               1st Rd Beat Tampico 48-20

                               Semi-Final Beat Annawan 46-28

                               Title Game Beat Sheffield 40-26

                               Kewanee Regional Tournament

                               1st Rd Beat Wethersfield 26-21

                               Semi-Final lost to Geneseo 35-23

Kewanee beat Geneseo in title game.

1941-42     30 – 5    Sheffield District Champs                   Coach Oliver Jochums

                               Enrollment – 38 students (15 boys)

                               District Scores

                               1st Rd Score Needed

                               Semi-Final Score Needed

                               Title Game Beat Sheffield 46-22

                               Kewanee Regional Tournament

1st Rd lost to Galva 39-32

                               Kewanee beat Geneseo in title game

1942-43     13 – 3    Atkinson District Tourney                  Coach C.C. Clapper

                               Enrollment – 38 students (16 boys)

                               District Scores

                               1st Rd lost to Atkinson 35-31

Title Game Manlius Beat Sheffield

1943-44     13 – 10  Atkinson District Runner-Up              Coach Cleo “Swede” Carlson

                               1st Rd Beat Neponset 65-16

                               Semi-Final Beat Sheffield 32-30

                               Title Game lost to Atkinson 42-30

1944-45       8 – 10  Atkinson District Tourney                       Coach Bill Sollit

                               1st Rd lost to Atkinson 66-28

Sheffield beat Atkinson in title game

1945-46     16 – 11  Atkinson District Tournament                 Coach Omar Robinson

                                1st Rd Beat Lyndon 48-32

Semi-Final lost to Atkinson 46-36

Atkinson Beat Sheffield in title game.


1946-47     28 – 4    Atkinson District Champs                   Coach Oliver Jochums

                               Enrollment – 28 students (14 boys)

                               District Scores

                               1st Rd Beat Sheffield 56-30

                               Semi-Final Beat Annawan 43-31

                               Title Game Beat Atkinson 32-28

                               Kewanee Regional Tournament

                               1st Rd Beat Bradford 40-30

                               Semi-Final lost to Galva 38-31

Kewanee beat Galva in title game

1947-48     19 – 5    Atkinson District Runner-Up               Coach Oliver Jochums

                               Enrollment – 32 students (18 boys)

                               District Scores

                               1st Rd Beat Buda 45-32

                               Semi-Final Beat Annawan 46-16

                               Title Game lost to Atkinson 40-28

1948-49    11 – 13  Atkinson District Tournament                  Coach Oliver Jochums

                              1st Rd lost to Atkinson 56-28

Atkinson beat Cambridge in title game

1949-50   16 – 13    Atkinson District Champs                   Coach Oliver Jochums

                               Enrollment – 40 students (15 boys)

                               District Scores

                               1st Rd Score Needed.

                               Semi-Final Beat Buda 36-21

                               Title Game Beat Atkinson 50-41

                               Kewanee Regional Tournament

                               1st Rd Lost to Cambridge 47-40

                               Kewanee beat Galva in title game


1950 -51    17 – 11  Atkinson District Champs                   Coach Oliver Jochums

                               Enrollment – 51 students (24 boys)

                               District Scores

                               1st Rd Bye

                               Semi-Final Beat Annawan 51-39

                               Title Game Beat Sheffield 39-36

                               Kewanee Regional Tournament

                               1st Rd Beat Wethersfield 47-41

                               Semi-Final lost to Galva 55-33

Kewanee beat Galva in title game

1951-52     26 – 5    Sheffield District Champs                   Coach Oliver Jochums

                               Enrollment – 52 students (24 boys)

                               Two-Rivers Conference Regular Season Champs

                               District Scores

                               1st Rd Bye

                               Semi-Final Beat Annawan 47-28

                               Title Game Beat Atkinson 59-28

                               Princeville Regional Tournament

                               1st Rd Beat Wethersfield 56-27

                               Semi-Final Beat Bradford 56-40

Title Game lost to Kewanee 64-41

1952-53     20 – 8    Atkinson District Runner-Up               Coach Oliver Jochums

                               Enrollment – 53 students (27 boys)

                               Two-Rivers Conference Tourney Champs

                               District Scores

                               1st Rd Beat Neponset 65-54

                               Semi-Final Beat Annawan 44-37

                               Title Game lost to Atkinson 49-45

1953-54       6 – 20  Atkinson District Tournament                 Coach Oliver Jochums

1st Rd lost – score needed.

Buda beat Atkinson in title game.

1954-55     10 – 16  Atkinson District Tournament                 Coach Oliver Jochums

                               1st Rd lost – Score needed.

Buda Beat Atkinson in title game.

1955-56       5 – 19  Atkinson District Tournament                 Coach Earl Jay

                               1st Rd lost to Atkinson 77-49.

Buda Beat Atkinson in title game

1956-57       0 – 20  Tampico District Tournament                 Coach Fred Gore 

                               1st Rd lost to Atkinson 79-39

                               Tampico beat Atkinson in title game

1957-58       7 – 17  Atkinson District Tournament                 Coach Don Deterding

1st Rd lost to Buda 63-46

Neponset beat Atkinson in title game

1958-59     15 – 11  Annawan District Tournament                 Coach Don Dolieslager

                               1st Rd Beat Neponset 64-57

                               Semi-Final lost to Atkinson 76-67

Atkinson beat Annawan in title game.

1959-60     15 – 11  Buda District Runner-Up                      Coach Don Dolieslager

                               Enrollment – 36 students (19 boys)

                               Little 6 Conference Champs

                               District Scores

                               1st Rd Beat Buda 66-46

                               Semi-Final Beat Atkinson 48-46

                               Title Game lost to Annawan 65-44


1960-61     12 – 11  Annawan District Tournament                 Coach Don Dolieslager

                               1st Rd Beat Atkinson 58-51

                               *Semi-Final lost to Tampico 48-44

Annawan beat Tampico in title game

*Final boys basketball game for the Mineral High School “Leopards.”

Mineral Leopard Basketball Quick Facts

Overall Record 1939 – 61 330 wins – 252 losses Winning Percentage – .567

Home Record 1939 – 57 109 wins – 53 losses Winning Percentage – .672

(Games from the 1958 – 61 yearbooks are not listed as “here” or “there”)

Two Great Coaches

Coach Oliver Jochums

The first individual we would like to recognize is Coach Oliver Jochums (1941-42, 1947 – 55). There are several players and MHS alumni of this era still residing around the Mineral area. One thing you can count on is the respect and admiration you receive when they talk about Coach Jochums.

Jochums’ first season at M.H.S. was one of his most successful in terms of wins and losses (29 – 6). This was accomplished with only 38 students (15 boys) in the entire High School. His “First Team” consisted of three seniors, one junior, and one sophomore.. His reserves came from two seniors, two juniors, three sophomores and two freshmen. This does not appear unusual until you consider that this was the TOTAL number of boys (14) in the entire high school! Well, actually there was one other boy but he chose to serve as the team manager. Coach Jochums was forced to juggle numbers like this throughout his eleven year stay at Mineral.

Coach Jochums’ overall record at Mineral H.S. was a highly respectable 212 wins and 106 losses – a .667 winning percentage. Only one year did he have the luxury of having five seniors on his “first” string (1952). The 1940-41 season also boasted five seniors however only three of them were starters. The remaining nine years had no more than 4 seniors (1953,54,55) and as few as one senior (1949, 1950, and 1951) on his roster. Coach Jochums did not let the numbers game effect his thinking or coaching ability. Coach actually seemed to thrive on the underdog roll he was hired into. In Jochums’ first four seasons at MHS his teams had a combined record of 106 – 20, an average of 26 wins and 5 losses per year! During these first four seasons MHS’s enrollment averaged 33 students of which 15 were boys for the entire high school, grades 9 – 12. Overall Coach Jochums averaged 19.3 wins and 9.6 losses during his eleven year stay. The smallest enrollment during Jochums’ stint was 25 students (1948) with the largest being 53 students (1954) (also the largest in school history). During Coach’s eleven years at Mineral he produced five seasons of 20+ wins.

What really made Jochums a step above other coaches was his ability to prepare for the State Tournament. During Coach’s eleven year stay at Mineral his teams appeared in eight District Championship games. Of the eight games, Mineral won six of them. Six District Championships in eleven years! In Bureau County only Ohio and DePue can boast similar records during that time. Coach Jochums sported an impressive post season record of 25 wins and 11 losses for a .696 winning percentage. Three of the District titles occurred in consecutive seasons from 1950 – 1952. If you speak to coaches and players of the “District Era” you will find a consensus that winning a District Title was very similar to winning a regional today. A District title set your team above those around you – i.e. those you competed against throughout the season.

Coach Jochums was not one to scream and yell at his players in public. Most players remember the steely-eyed stare given by Jochums when they made a mistake. Coach mainly sat on the bench in John Wooden like fashion, addressing the team when he was able and point-blankly addressing the mistakes needing correction. Coach also held a review for his players each Monday. His team would sit on the stage in the gym and Coach would go to each one individually giving them “pointers” on how to improve.

One story of Coach’s is remembered by his sister, Eunice Montgomery, as told to her by Coach. The Leopards were losing during Coach’s first year (1940-41) and were not playing up to their best ability. Coach was upset and entered the locker room at halftime after the team had sat down. Coach simply placed his foot on a bench and stood there, glaring at each player, moving from face to face. This went on for several moments without a word being said. Finally team captain Morris Foes could no longer take it. He simply said “Let’s go out and win one for Coach”. The Leopards ran onto the court and won the game by twenty points.

Coach Jochum’s abilities were respected by his peers as well. After the Leopard’s hard fought loss to Kewanee in the Regional Championship in 1952 Coach was given one of the highest compliments he could receive from the assistant coach to one of the areas most well respected coaches, H.F. Brockman. Coach Landis was quoted in the Kewanee Star Courier as saying that Mineral was the most well coached small school team they had ever played against.

When you have a small school you also have a small budget. Each faculty member had to contribute in as many ways as possible. Coach Jochums was no different. Not only did he coach the first and second teams at the high school level, he also coached the Grade School “Little Leopards” basketball teams. He was also coach of the school’s short lived (three seasons) venture into football. He served as track coach (Coaching several conference and county champions) and baseball coach during all of his eleven years at Mineral. On top of this he was a class sponsor, taught English and History classes, and even served as one of the school’s three bus drivers.

Coach Jochums was a strict disciplinarian on and off the court. Coach had strict rules regarding diet, conditioning, and dating. Mickie DeFauw (‘47) recalls a time when Coach took the team to his mother-in-law’s for dinner. Coach observed Mickie and one of the other guys eating “homemade rolls”. Coach did not say a word about it until they returned to Mineral. He then took the boys into the gym to run laps so it wouldn’t stick! Other rules included no sweets, no pop, and no dating the night before a game. Violation of these rules resulted in disciplinary action.

Palsy Rakestraw and Don Miller (‘52) recalled a time when Coach caught the team’s star player, Bill Baird (‘52), talking to his girlfriend after school instead of shooting baskets in the gym. He suspended Bill for the next nights game against Tampico. Coach showed his human side when he inserted Bill with three minutes left in the game and Mineral trailing. The Leopards still lost the game but the message to Bill was clear. Coach was also very high on conditioning. Rigid calisthenics were a part of every practice.

It is remembered by many of his students that his simply walking into a classroom brought a hush to the students without his speaking a word. Coach also liked to be a good role model and mentor for his students. He was remembered by Robert Studley (‘46 – ‘48) to say that “many things can be taken from you, but a good education stays with you for life”. Bob used this as inspiration for he and those close to him as encouragement to further their educations beyond high school. Several alumni, both men and women alike, felt Mr. Jochum’s was an even better teacher than he was a coach.

Coach’s initial stay at Mineral was interrupted in dramatic fashion. After his first two highly successful seasons at MHS (1940-41, 41-42) coach was called upon to service for his country in World War II. According to Coach’s sister, Eunice Montgomery of Riverside , Ca., Coach Jochums was assigned as a Military Police officer in the army and was within hours of boarding a ship for Japan in 1946 when his orders were recalled. Coach Jochums could have easily moved on to a bigger school with possibly better prospects of winning when his tour of duty finished however he called the superintendent of MHS to ask about the status of his job. There was no big surprise in that Coach was told his job was waiting for him. One alumnus, Sam Hodgett (‘54) said he would never forget the sight of Coach Jochums walking up the sidewalk in uniform to the school in the fall of 1946. Sam was in 5th grade and this was something that sticks in his mind to this day. It is felt by many that had Coach been able to remain at MHS for the four seasons he missed he would have easily improved his and MHS’s winning percentages.

Though he moved on from Mineral Coach always carried a sincere fondness for the people and time he spent at Mineral. Coach Jochums was a humble man and always talked about the great kids he had to work with at Mineral. He did not want the limelight on himself. He made a few treks back to Mineral from his home in Kalamazoo, Mi. Coach’s fondness was sincere when he said wished there were a two class system in Illinois when he was coaching at MHS. He really believed his teams could have advanced through several rounds.

Coach Oliver Jochums Highlights:

* MHS record under Coach Jochums between 1939 – 61  – 212 wins – 106 losses (.667 win %)

MHS record under other Coaches between 1939 – 61   – 118 wins – 146 losses (.484 win %)

MHS record w/out Jochums and Dolieslager 1939 -61 – 77 wins – 113 losses (.427 win %)

* MHS post season with Coach Jochums 1939 – 1961   – 25 wins – 11 losses (.696 win %)

MHS post season without Coach Jochums 1939 – 61 – 6 wins – 10 losses (.375 win %)

MHS post season w/out Jochums and Dolieslager ‘39 – 61 – 3 wins – 7 losses (.300 win %)

* Coach Jochums had five basketball seasons of 20+ games won in his 11 year career at MHS.

* Coach Jochums’ six District titles places him among the top small school coaches in the Quad Cities area during that time period (1941 – 55).

* Coach Jochums’ teams won five conference titles in basketball in his 11 year stay.

* Coach Jochums’ 212 wins at MHS place him among the top 200 coaches in Illinois High School history for number of victories at one school.

* Coach Jochums average basketball season record at MHS was 19 wins and 9 losses.

* Coach Jochums won at least two track & field conference titles during his 11 year stay.

* Coach Jochums was 12-0 in baseball with one conference title (as far as can be researched).

Another Excellent Coach

Coach Donald Dolieslager was also an excellent coach for Mineral High School Coach Dolieslager arrived at MHS with the basketball program in turmoil. During the previous three years, all post Jochums teams, the combined record for MHS was a dismal 12 – 56. Mineral had not had a winning season in the five seasons leading up to Dolieslager’s arrival. Coach Dolieslager had an immediate impact on MHS’s fortunes. In his initial campaign (1958 – 59) Coach brought the Leopards back to respectability with a 15 – 11 record.

Most importantly Coach Dolieslager was an excellent fit for the community of Mineral. The previous three coaches all had tried different approaches to attain success. The coach previous to Dolieslager, Don Deterding, in fact came with impressive credentials. Deterding played his high school basketball at Collinsville and was named to the second team all-state squad. After a successful career in college Deterding landed his first job at Mineral. Though extremely knowledgeable, Coach Deterding lacked the patience needed at a small school to teach and succeed. This set the stage for the arrival of Coach Dolieslager.

It was said by more than one of his former players that they would “have run through a brick wall for Dolieslager”. Coach brought an excellent combination of knowledge and patience to the Leopards and his ability was rewarded immediately. Coach’s knack for gaining his player’s respect and making them believe in themselves resulted in a winning season for the first time in six years. This was also the Leopards last year in the Two Rivers Conference. The team finished with a respectable 6 – 6 conference record including wins over Prophetstown and Riverdale. They also won the Conference’s Tournament Consolation Championship. Dolieslager brought the Leopards their first post season win in six years, too.

His second season was his most successful one at MHS. The 1959 – 60 Leopards also went 15 – 11 but more importantly won their first conference title in seven years. Now in the Little Six Conference Mineral went 4 – 1 for the regular season championship. Coach’s team also placed third in the Tampico holiday tournament. This team returned to near post-season glory by finishing second in the District tournament to Annawan. Coach showed he was developing a program at Mineral as his fresh-soph team finished the season at 15 – 5 with four of their losses by less than six points.

Coach Dolieslager’s final year at Mineral was also MHS’s final year of existence. The Leopards went out on a winning note, finishing with a 12 – 11 record. The most impressive win of the season was a victory over Bureau Township HS. Coached by the legendary Chips Giovanni (who happened to be a good friend of Dolieslager) Bureau entered the Mineral HS gym with a 42 game regular season winning streak. Mineral used its home court to its advantage in soundly defeating Bureau 54 – 38. The win was costly for coach though as he had to “spring” for a chicken dinner for his team to make good on a pre-game promise. The fresh-soph Leopards finished the season at 11- 7. Coach Dolieslager’s three year record at MHS was a very respectable 42 – 33. Most importantly he brought the Leopard basketball program back to the respect and dignity it deserved. Judging by his F/S records at MHS the program was in good shape all the way to the end. Coach Dolieslager stated that his three years at MHS were the most enjoyable in his career as a coach.

The Great Teams


29 wins – 6 losses

Coach Oliver Jochums

The 1940 – 41 Leopards had a record of 29 wins and 6 losses. The team placed second in the Bureau County tournament losing to a highly favored Spring Valley Hall Township team by 12 in the championship game. The team was led by seniors Morris Foes, Chuck Hasbrook, Frank Foes, Harold “Peewee” Jenkins, and Howard Notschaele . Along with the five seniors were juniors Herb Gingrich, Herb Pierson, sophomore Russell Buysse, and freshman Don Rodgers. This was Coach Jochum’s first year at Mineral. The Leopards were crowned champions of the Little Four Conference. Winning the District Championship and advancing into the Regional, the Leopards made it to the second round before losing to Geneseo High School by 12 points. Geneseo’s enrollment was over 400 students with Mineral’s holding at 39. For this game one of the Leopards team leaders and excellent junior guard Herbert Gingrich was ill and unable to play. With a total of 15 boys in the entire high school what this team accomplished was truly incredible and was so recognized by local newspapers.

Team Members:  Russell Buysse, Francis Foes, Morris Foes, Herbert Gingrich, Vernon Hansen, Charlie Hasbrook, Harold Jenkins, Howard Notschaele, Herb Pierson, Don Rodgers, Dean Studley,

Cheerleaders:  Eileen Tunney,  Arvilla Rakestraw

(Yearbook states “Mineral had a very successful basketball season winning 29 games and losing only 6.” However only 34 total games are listed)

Mineral 33   Hillsdale 10

Mineral 24   Lyndon 13

Mineral 40   Cherry 22

Mineral 22   Malden 20

Mineral 52   Neponset 12

Mineral 40   Manlius 12

Mineral 42   Buda 25

Mineral 22   Wethersfield 23 (revenge comes in the Regional)

Mineral 16   Annawan 13

Mineral 41   Hooppole 12

Mineral 37   Atkinson 15

Mineral 22   LaMoille 18

Mineral 32   Hillsdale 10

Mineral 39   Annawan 17

Geneseo Holiday Tourney

Mineral 20   Alpha 23

Mineral 50   Lyndon 20

Mineral 41   Buda 27

Mineral 26   Moline Sophs 33

Bureau County Tourney

Mineral 31   Sheffield 19

Mineral 28   DePue 26

Mineral 30   Walnut 25

Mineral 25   Spring Valley Hall 37

(Championship Game of county tourney, Mineral’s runner-up was their best finish ever in the County Tourney, they were the 2nd smallest high school in the County (39 total students, 19 boys), only Cherry HS, a 3-year HS, was smaller).

Mineral 29   Atkinson 25

Mineral 28   LaMoille 17

Mineral 19   Sheffield 27 (Bet Coach was ticked about this one!)

Mineral 55   Hooppole 15

Mineral 31   Annawan 25

Mineral 35   Andover 16

Mineral 49   Neponset 35

District Tournament

Mineral 48   Tampico 20

Mineral 46   Annawan 28

MIneral 40   Sheffield 26 (Championship Game)

Regional Tournament

Mineral 26   Wethersfield 21

Mineral 25   Geneseo 37


30 wins – 5 losses

Coach Oliver Jochums

Coach Jochum’s second year was even more remarkable. Mineral’s best by number of wins.  A newspaper article said they entered the Regional at 29 – 4. They won the first game of the Regional and lost the second to Geneseo again to finish 30 – 5 under Coach Jochums. The yearbook did not list the game by game scores.The 1941 – 42 Leopard’s ended their season with an incredible 30 wins and 5 losses.  After opening the season with 16 sraight victories this team won a District championship but fell to Galva in the first round of the regional. It was reported in the newspaper that their star player, Herbert Gingrich, had sprained his ankle the night before in the District Championship game and was only playing at about half his capabilities. This team finished second in what was described as the biggest holiday tournament in northern Illinois (16 teams), the Geneseo Christmas tournament. Mineral lost to Geneseo HS by three points in the championship game in what was referred to as “a real David versus Goliath game”. Several newspapers picked up on the Leopards successful back to back seasons under Coach Jochums. This team was described by one newspaper as one of the most talked about District teams in the state and possibly one of the most intriguing sports stories in the entire mid-west. One article pointed to Mineral’s enrollment of 39 students which included 15 boys. Of the 15 boys in the school 14 played basketball and the 15th was the team manager. The remainder of the student body (24 girls) served as the cheering section. The regular season included wins over Blackhawk Conference champions Galva and Little Eight Champs Sheffield. Losses included close contests to Geneseo, Eureka, and St. Bede, all considered top teams in their areas.

Team Members: Harry Baird, Russell Buysse, John Christian, Byrl Clark, Herb Gingrich, Chet Goossens, Vern Hansen, Herb Pierson, Don Rodgers, Dean Studley

Cheerleaders:  Arvilla Rakestraw, Kathryn Clark


28 wins – 4 losses

Coach Oliver Jochums

The overall record for this group was 28 wins and 4 losses. The “boys” from this team were District Champions and lost in the second round of the Kewanee Regional. What is most incredible about these accomplishments is the fact that the entire high school enrollment (9th – 12th grades) was only 29 students. The number of boys in the school again totaled 15! This team was champion if the Little Four Conference.

The best offensive player on this team was Robert Studley, a sophomore. The team’s three seniors, Wayne Studley, Donald Moore and Mitch DeFauw greatly contributed to the team. Juniors Wayne Prokup and Dale Gingrich, sophomores Dick Fellows, Gene Tunney and Marshall Lyons along with freshman Richard Nielson completed the roster. This team proved what a great asset Coach Jochums was to Mineral High School. Coach’s team seemed to pick up right where he left off in 1942. This was Jochums’ as well as MHS’ best season as far as winning percentage.

Mineral 40   Bureau Township 17

Mineral 70   Cherry 20

Mineral 37   Sheffield 21

Mineral 31   Hooppole 24

Mineral 32   Peru St. Bede 52

Mineral 46   Neponset 34

Mineral 52   Wyanet 24

Mineral 39   Prophetstown 35

Mineral 58   Annawan 34

Mineral 38   Atkinson 36

Mineral 43   Sheffield 21

Mineral 38   Geneseo 34 (wow!)

Mineral 48   Annawan 26

Mineral 39   DePue 52

Mineral 43   Ohio 31

Mineral 43   Geneseo 34

Mineral 46   Prophetstown 29

Mineral 75   Tampico 23

Mineral 41   Neponset 30

Mineral 55   Hooppole 45

Mineral 54   Manlius 44

Mineral 47   Buda 23

Mineral 33   Atkinson 29

Mineral 52   LaFayette 23

Mineral 69   Tampico 32

Bureau County Tourney

Mineral 62   Wyanet 39

Mineral 37   Ohio 46

District Tourney at Atkinson

Mineral 56   Sheffield 30

Mineral 43   Annawan 31

Mineral 32   Atkinson 28  (District Tourney Champs)

Regional Tourney @ Kewanee

Mineral 40   Bradford 30

Mineral 31   Galva 38


16 wins – 13 losses

Coach Oliver Jochums

The teams from the 1949-50, 1950-51 seasons also claimed District Championship titles. The 1949-50 team was led by lone senior Richard Nielson, junior Benny Morey, and sophomores Bill Baird, Robert Rakestraw, and Duane Rakestraw. The team sported a record of 16 wins and 13 losses with 7 of the losses by less than 10 points.

(Only a partial schedule is currently available)

Sheffield Invitational Tournament

Mineral 43   Tampico 38

Mineral 49   Sheffield 70

Mineral 39   Erie 56

Mineral 43   Tampico 38

Mineral 54   Sheffield 68

Mineral 40   Lyndon 45

Mineral 29   Port Byron 31 (O/T)

Mineral 45   Atkinson 43

Atkinson District Tourney

Mineral 45   Lyndon 37

Mineral 36   Buda 22

Mineral 45   Atkinson 43  (District Tourney Champs)

Kewanee Regional

Mineral 40   Cambridge 47

Fresh/Soph Tournament @ Annawan (played after Regional)

Mineral 63   Tampico 28

Mineral 34   Neponset 33

Mineral 50   Manlius 59


17 wins – 11 losses

Coach Oliver Jochums

The 1950-51 team was led by lone senior Benny Morey. Juniors Bill Baird (leading scorer), Don Miller, Robert and Duane Rakestraw, and Irvin Flint were keys to a good season. The season record was 17 wins and 11 losses. This team advanced to the second round of the regional.

Mineral 33   Cambridge 47

Mineral 49   Manlius 41

Mineral 56   Atkinson 33

Mineral 49   Sheffield 60

Mineral 33   Prophetstown 46

Mineral 42   Annawan 39

Mineral 40   Hillsdale 53

Mineral 72   Cordova 34

Mineral 41   Manlius 44

Mineral 66   Annawan 62

Mineral 50   Wyanet 53

Mineral 54   Buda 43

Mineral 42   Coal Valley 40

Mineral 42   Erie 58

Mineral 41   Tampico 36

Mineral 36   Sheffield 41

Mineral 56   Lyndon 50

Mineral 52   Neponset 27

Mineral 73   Port Byron 56

Mineral 39   Atkinson 30

Fulton Invitational Tournament

Mineral 35   Fulton 42

Two Rivers Conference Tournament

Mineral 37   Prophetstown 52

Mineral 41   Atkinson 25

Mineral 67   Port Byron 42 (Consolation Bracket Champs)

District Tournament

Mineral 51   Annawan 39

Mineral 39   Sheffield 36 (District Tourney Champs)

Regional Tournament

Mineral 47   Wethersfield 41

Mineral 33   Galva 55

1951 – 52

26 wins – 5 losses

Coach Oliver Jochums

The 1951-52 team is considered by many as the most successful team as far as the state tournament is concerned in MHS’s history. The 1951-52 Leopards ended their season with 26 wins and 5 losses. The team was led by five senior starters. Bill Baird was in his fourth year as a starter and led the team with 462 total points. His classmates included Duane “Palsy” Rakestraw, Robert Rakestraw, Don Miller, and Irvin Flint. Also contributing greatly was juniors Ron Childs, Ron Jensen, and sophomore Eldon Hodgett. This team was champions of the regular season Two Rivers Conference (Prophetstown, Hillsdale, Cordova, Annawan, Erie, Tampico, Lyndon, Port Byron, and Atkinson were listed as conference games). They advanced to the championship of the Kewanee Regional where they faced an excellent Kewanee H.S. team that featured Em Lindbeck and Bob Prusator. Mineral’s enrollment that year was 50 total students with 27 boys. I would guess that Kewanee was in the enrollment range of well over 700 students.

The team could be overlooked due to this being the same year that Hebron won the State Championship and DePue was ranked 14th. However this should not detract from their excellent accomplishments. The only seniors alive today are Palsy Rakestraw and Don Miller. They still reside in the Mineral area.

Mineral 44   Cambridge 40

Mineral 43   Atkinson 27

Mineral 31   Manlius 55

Mineral 61   Sheffield 30

Mineral 52   Prophetstown 49

Mineral 54   Annawan 32

Mineral 66   Hillsdale 41

Mineral 78   Cordova 39

Mineral 46   Annawan 31

Mineral 45   Manlius 40

Mineral 52   Neponset 40

Mineral 73   Tampico 40

Mineral 67   Hillsdale 20

Mineral 60   Erie 58

Mineral 48   Tampico 51

Mineral 54   Sheffield 39

Mineral 51   Lyndon 48

Mineral 53   Port Byron 43

Mineral 54   Atkinson 35

Mineral 77   Coal Valley 44

Fulton Holiday Tournament

Mineral 37   Fulton 25

Mineral 40   Erie 31

Mineral 29   Morrison 52  (Tourney Runner-Up)

Two Rivers Conference Tournament

Mineral 37   Hillsdale 38

Mineral 58   Tampico 31

Mineral 59   Atkinson 28  (Consolation Bracket Champs)

District Tournament

Mineral 47   Annawan 28

Mineral 59   Atkinson 28  (District Champs)

Regional Tournament

Mineral 56   Wethersfield 27

Mineral 56   Bradford 40

Mineral 41   Kewanee 64 (Regional Runner-Up)

More Great Teams

Three other teams during this period also had excellent records and accomplishments however did not win District Championship titles. They did compete in the District Championship game though.

1943 – 44

13 wins – 10 losses

Coach Cleo “Swede” Carlson

The ‘43-‘44 Leopards finished the season with a record of 13 – 10. Though the record itself was not overly impressive, the team did place second in the District tournament. The most interesting game of the season came in the semi-final of the District tournament. Poly Hagerman canned a last second (literally) half court shot to beat Sheffield and advance to the final. This was later described by one radio sportscaster as one of the most exciting games he had ever seen.

Mineral 56   Neponset 19

Mineral 35   Annawan 37

Mineral 41   LaFayette 29

Mineral 29   Buda 32

Mineral 58   Malden 35

Mineral 46   Annawan 48

Mineral 54   Walnut 43

Mineral 74   Neponset 19

Geneseo Tourney

Mineral 37   Wehtersfield 47

Mineral 31   Mineral Alumni 45

Mineral 27   Atkinson 36

Mineral 46   Walnut 41

Mineral 39   Malden 36

Mineral 47   Atkinson 49

Mineral 46   U.S.O. Traveling Team 23

Bureau County Tournament

Mineral 36   DePue 48

Mineral 25   Sheffield 33

Mineral 35   Buda 34

Mineral 47   Wyanet 38

Mineral 38   Sheffield 55

District Tournament

Mineral 65   Neponset 16

Mineral 32   Sheffield 30

Mineral 30   Atkinson 42

1947 – 48

19 wins – 5 losses

Coach Oliver Jochums

This team followed the 28 – 4 team of 1946 – 47. This team ended its season at 19 wins and only 5 losses.  They made it to the District Championship game before losing to Atkinson. This team’s winning percentage was among the best of the 21 seasons covered.

Mineral 46   Tampico 21

Mineral 45   Lyndon 20

Mineral 52   Neponset 21

Mineral 42   Prophetstown 43

Mineral 48   Buda 26

Mineral 47   Sheffield 34

Mineral 62   Annawan 26

Mineral 31   Atkinson 22

Mineral 35   Port Byron 32

Mineral 40   Annawan 33

Mineral 43   Bureau Township 33

Mineral 63   Wyanet 30

Mineral 52   Manlius 29

Mineral 36   DePue 57

Mineral 55   Neponset 27

Mineral 62   Tampico 35

Mineral 27   Sheffield 25

Mineral 47   Bradford 34

Mineral 55   Buda 29

Mineral 22   Atkinson 50

Bureau County Tourney

Mineral 32   Wyanet 39

District Tournamnet @ Atkinson

Mineral 45   Buda 32

Mineral 46   Annawan 16

Mineral 26   Atkinson 40

1952 – 53

20 wins – 8 losses

Coach Oliver Jochums

Mineral’s last twenty game winner had a record of 20 wins and 8 losses.  This group had the tough task of following the class of ‘52 and their three straight District titles. They nearly made it a fourth straight but lost in the District Championship game. Most impressive was the first and only Two Rivers Conference Tournament Championship they won for MHS.

Mineral 32   Atkinson 51

Mineral 34   Cambridge 58

Mineral 66   Tiskilwa 35

Mineral 47   Sheffield 62

Mineral 59   Prophetstown 45

Mineral 64   Annawan 42

Mineral 67   Cordova 45

Mineral 65   Manlius 64

Geneseo Holiday Tournament

Mineral 56   Geneseo 71

Mineral 45   LaMoille 65

Mineral 58   Neponset 34

Mineral 61   Buda 60

Two Rivers Conference Tournament

Mineral 63   Lyndon 44

Mineral 40   Prophetstown 36

Mineral 50   Atkinson 46  (Tournament Champions)

Mineral 43   Erie 57

Mineral 51   Tampico 42

Mineral 61   Sheffield 40

Mineral 66   Lyndon 41

Mineral 49   Manlius 45

Mineral 59   Port Byron 46

Mineral 29   Atkinson 28

Mineral 50   Orion 48

Mineral 53   Annawan 57

District Tournament

Mineral 65   Neponset 54

Mineral 44   Annawan 37

Mineral 45   Atkinson 49 (District Tourney Runner-Up)

1959 – 60

15 wins – 11 losses

Coach Don Dolieslager

After a streak of five straight losing seasons Mineral fans were glad to return to the winning ranks during the 1958 – 59 season under Coach Don Dolieslager. Dolieslager’s second team was even more successful. The 1959 – 60 Leopards ended their season with a record of 15 wins and 11 losses. Most impressively this team was crowned champions of the Little Six Conference. They also continued their success in the post season reaching MHS’s first District Championship game since the 1953 season. The team was led by first team all-conference selection Oris Miller and second team selection Roger Lorenson.

Mineral 58   Lostant 61

Mineral 67   Neponset 63

Mineral 73   Williamsfield 74

Mineral 71   Lyndon 22

Mineral 63   Tampico 61

Mineral 60   Buda 66

Mineral 32   Annawan 74

Mineral 63   Tampico 61

Mineral 45   LaRose 41

Mineral 48   Brimfield 64

Mineral 91   Magnolia-Swaney 45 (Most Points Ever Scored by a MHS Team)

Mineral 79   Lyndon 49

Mineral 63   Sheffield 58

Mineral 47   Bureau Twnshp 53

Mineral 45   Lafayette 77

Mineral 61   Hennepin 58

Mineral 41   Annawan 45

Mineral 72   Wyanet 74

Mineral 69   Buda 58

Mineral 52   Sheffield 47

Tampico Tournament

Mineral 67   Malden 59

Mineral 28   Bureau Twnshp 31

Mineral 44   Sheffield 43 (Third Place In Tourney)

District Tournament

Mineral 66   Buda 46

Mineral 48   Atkinson 46

Mineral 44   Annawan 64  (Tourney Runner-Up)

Other Teams of the Era 

1938 – 39

8 wins – 11 losses (and 2 forfeits)

The yearbook said the team sported brand new uniforms this season paid for by the “Mineral Shipping Association, Household Science Club, P.T.A., school carnival, and the selling of magazines.”

Coach Charles Bender

Mineral 19   Buda 16

Mineral 24   Neponset 16

Mineral 27   Hooppole 6

Mineral forfeits to Manlius

Farmers Institute Game

Mineral 17   Annawan 18

Mineral 36   Neponset 20

Mineral 21   Atkinson 23

Mineral 24   Buda 32

Mineral 25   Annawan 27

Geneseo Christmas Tourney

Mineral 14   Cambridge 26

Mineral 20   Ohio 29

Mineral 28   Atkinson 23

Mineral 13   Annawan 31

Bureau County Tourney

Mineral 22   Walnut 20

Mineral 17   Malden 25

Mineral 19   Hooppole 24

Mineral 26   Ohio 37

Mineral 31   Manlius 27

District Tourney

Mineral forfeits to LaFayette

Little Four Tourney (played after the District Tourney)

Mineral 53   Hooppole 21

Mineral 23   Atkinson 27


7 wins – 13 losses

Coach Charles Bender

Mineral 14   Buda 10

Mineral 23   Neponset 25

Mineral 26   Buda 16

Mineral 28   Manlius 48

Farmer’s Institute Game

Mineral 13   Annawan 16

Mineral 59   Hooppole 12

Mineral 25   Atkinson 16

Mineral 16   Annawan 26

Geneseo Christmas Tourney

Mineral 14   Geneseo 32

Mineral 24   Mineral Alumni 28

Mineral 35   Manlius 32

Mineral 22   Atkinson 27

Bureau County Tourney

Mineral 20   Tiskilwa 24

MIneral 32   Annawan 41

Mineral 76   Hooppole 14 (Mineral’s largest margin of victory ever, Hooppole was a 3-year HS though)

Mineral 18   Neponset 30

Mineral 20   Lyndon 24

District Tourney

Mineral 16   Sheffield 36

Little Four Tourney (played after the District Tourney)

MIneral 25    Annawan 27

Mineral 38   Hooppole 12

1942 – 43

13 wins – 3 losses

Coach C.C. Clapper

The “what could have been” team of the era. I know it has been stated previously but it can never be overstated, this was the first year after Coach Jochums went into the armed services. The year before this the Leopards compiled an incredible 30 – 5 record. This team’s record was 13-3. Jochums must have been real excited about the prospects of this team. It returned three starters from the previous year. Two of the starters were the second and third leading scorers from the ‘42 team. This team I am certain was headed for greatness. After Jochums left however the program failed to schedule the appropriate number of games to do it justice. One player I talked to stated the team basically coached itself. There was also the issue of gas rationing which greatly hampered the team’s number of games.

Bob Rogers, the brother of Don Rogers (Mineral’s Star Player) said Don dropped an ice block on his big toe and broke it before the District. Another “who knows” what would have happened had Jochums been there.

Mineral 33   Malden 24

Mineral 47   LaFayette 23

Mineral 39   Manlius 28

Mineral 35   Buda 19

Mineral 34   Atkinson 39

Mineral 61   Annawan 28

Mineral 52   Hooppole 14

Mineral 26   Sheffield 16

Bureau County Tourney

Mineral 26   Spring Valley Hall 33

Mineral 30   Buda 25

Mineral 60   Hooppole 25

Mineral 39   Walnut 33

Mineral 49   Annawan 31

Mineral 32   Sheffield 31

Mineral 42   Atkinson 41

District Tournament

Mineral 31   Atkinson 35

1944 – 45

8 wins – 10 losses

Coach BIll Sollitt

With only one senior boy and two junior boys in the entire school this would have been a difficult year no matter who the coach was. Finishing the year at 8 – 10 was actually a very good accomplishment. Some of the underclassmen gained invaluable experience which would prove important in the next three years. This was also the year that the junior high Leopards won the Bureau County Tournament. Great things were on the way.

Mineral 33   Manlius 39

Mineral 17   Sheffield 39

Mineral 35   Neponset 33

Mineral 51   Buda 39

Mineral 41   Hooppole 36

Mineral 45   Annawan 36

Mineral 26   Prophetstown 34

Mineral 31   Neponset 14

Mineral 25   Atkinson 49

Mineral 34   Annawan 42

Mineral 22   DePue 44

Mineral 26   Atkinson 53

Bureau County Tourney

Mineral 37   Tampico 24

Mineral 39   Manlius 42

Mineral 66   Hooppole 23

Mineral 41   DePue 55

Mineral 37   Wyanet 31

Mineral 30   Sheffield 47

Mineral 26   Buda 39

District Tournament

Mineral 28   Atkinson 36

1945 – 46

16 wins – 11 losses

Coach Omar Robinson

This team finished its season at 16 – 11. One interesting fact about this team is that the only two senior boys in the school who were also on the team, Orville Croegart and Jack Jenkins, left with five games remaining in the season to join the Navy. The juniors on this squad would turn in one of the best seasons the next year when Coach Jochums returned.

MIneral 51   Malden 21

Mineral 38   West Bureau 22 (Bureau Township HS, located in the country about 5 miles due north of Wyanet, the gym is still standing!)

Mineral 41   Mineral Alumni 43

Mineral 26   Sheffield 29

Mineral 55   Manlius 22

Mineral 33   Neponset 34

Mineral 42   Malden 27

Mineral 55   Annawan 42

Mineral 22   Prophetstown 43

Mineral 51   Hooppole 24

Mineral 36   Prophetstown 31 (at Mineral, must have been a great home court


Mineral 24   Geneseo J.V. 30

Mineral 52   Annawan 56

Mineral 50   Ohio 57

Mineral 30   Atkinson 43

Mineral 34   Sheffield 29

Mineral 40   Buda 30

Bureau County Tournament

Mineral 38   Walnut 40

Mineral 34   Wyanet 32

Mineral 30   Buda 26

Mineral 29   Neponset 25

Mineral 37   Geneseo J.V. 32

Mineral 54   Atkinson 37

Mineral 58   LaFayette 65

Mineral 51   Hooppole 24

District Tournament

Mineral 48   Lyndon 32

Mineral 35   Atkinson 47

1948 – 49

11 wins – 13 losses

Coach Oliver Jochums

Finishing the season at 11 – 13 was not bad considering the handicap this team faced at the beginning of the season. The previous two year’s top scorer, Robert Studley, was forced to leave school when his family moved to a farm in the Wyanet school district. Robert would have been the difference of several wins. Luckily the class of ‘52 were freshmen this year. The team also featured junior Richard Nielsen and sophomore Ben Morey. This turned out to be an invaluable year of experience that led to three straight District titles beginning the next season.

Mineral 28   Bureau Township 26

Mineral 24   Wyanet 34

Mineral 35   Tampico 34

Mineral 39   Neponset 27

Mineral 43   Sheffield 37

Mineral 42   Buda 34

Mineral 26   Prophetstown 54

Mineral 32   Annawan 34

Mineral 34   Hillsdale 35

Mineral 39   Port Byron 44

Mineral 43   Annawan 46

Mineral 60   Cordova 27

Two Rivers Conference Tourney @ Erie

Mineral 39   Lyndon 27

Mineral 43   Port Byron 64

Mineral 37   Annawan 28

Mineral 35   Tampico 38 (consolation runner-up)

Bureau County Tourney @ Princeton

Mineral 25   Princeton 59

Mineral 22   Atkinson 62

Mineral 30   Neponset 27

Mineral 30   Tampico 51

Mineral 37   Sheffield 49

Mineral 60   Lyndon 25

District Tourney @ Atkinson

Mineral 36   Buda 27

Mineral 36   Atkinson 60

1953 – 54

6 wins – 20 losses

Coach Oliver Jochums

This was a year of Murphy’s Law. It is believed this class only lost one game in grammar school and were champions of the Two Rivers Conference. However two key players left the school in their freshman and sophomore years. The teams tallest player and starter the previous year, Clarence Flint, was stricken with appendicitis. This forced him to miss a great deal of the season. The team was very competitive which was not revealed in their overall record of 6 – 20. They lost 9 games by less than 7 points.

Mineral 40   Cambridge 45

Mineral 44   Tiskilwa 39

Mineral 46   Sheffield 47

Mineral 40   Prophetstown 42

Mineral 32   Annawan 46

Mineral 56   Hillsdale 63

Mineral 47   Erie 58

Mineral 62   Cordova 37

Mineral 45   Manlius 62

Ohio Holiday Tournament

Mineral 41   LaMoille 49

Mineral 37   Tampico 39

Mineral 77   Neponset 42

Mineral 52   Atkinson 48

Two Rivers Conference Tournament

Mineral 55   Erie 70

Mineral 49   Prophetstown 44

Mineral 37   Tampico 45

Mineral 61   Erie 81

Mineral 41   Tampico 59

Mineral 22   Sheffield 41

Mineral 39   Lyndon 66

Mineral 28   Port Byron 31

Mineral 38   Manlius 65

Mineral 37   Atkinson 40

Mineral 52   Wyanet 49

Mineral 48   Annawan 49

District Tournament

Mineral 29   Atkinson 31

1954 – 55

10 wins – 16 losses

Coach Oliver Jochums

Jochum’s last season at Mineral produced a record of 10 – 16. The players may have lacked the experience on the varsity level due to the great success and number of players that played the previous four years. This was also a time when Mineral’s enrollment starting catching up to them. Being so successful for so many years against schools 5 – 10 times bigger than you will eventually take its toll. This may have been the case this year.

Mineral 31   Cambridge 39

Mineral 54   Tiskilwa 44

Mineral 51   Sheffield 63

Mineral 45   Prophetstown 64

Mineral 64   Annawan 52

Mineral 46   Hillsdale 51

Mineral 33   Erie 49

Mineral 53   Cordova 48

Tiskilwa Holiday Tournament

Mineral 37   Tiskilwa 54

Mineral 49   Neponset 34

Mineral 40   Atkinson 42

Mineral 38   Manlius 52

Two Rivers Conference Tournament

Mineral 56   Annawan 42

Mineral 67   Tampico 62

Mineral 42   Erie 45

Mineral 42   Port Byron 51 (Mineral Placed 4th)

Mineral 59   Erie 41

Mineral 63   Tampico 68

Mineral 46   Sheffield 49

Mineral 55   Lyndon 69

Mineral 48   Port Byron 47

Mineral 64   Atkinson 54

Mineral 32   Wyanet 76

Mineral 63   Annawan 46

Mineral 39   Manlius 57

District Tournament

Mineral 44   Atkinson 45

1955 – 56

5 wins – 19 losses

Coach Earl Jay

The post-Jochums era began on a down note. This team’s record was an indication that a good coach can make a big difference. Posting a record of 5 – 19 was what it was. The players were not as bad as the record indicated.

Mineral 35   Williamsfield 48

Mineral 36   Cambridge 45

Mineral 45   Tampico 61

Mineral 30   Tiskilwa 84

Mineral 56   Prophetstown 97

Mineral 44   Annawan 58

MIneral 64   Hillsdale 34

Mineral 45   Erie 80

Tiskilwa Holiday Tournament

Mineral 38   Amboy 96

Mineral 37   Neponset 64

Mineral 56   Atkinson 69

Mineral 54   Hillsdale 52

Two Rivers Conference Tournament

Mineral 59   Port Byron 82

Mineral 47   Hillsdale 52

Mineral 66   Erie 81

Mineral 71   Tampico 76

Mineral 72   Sheffield 82

Mineral 71   Lyndon 47

Mineral 54   Port Byron 80

Mineral 43   Atkinson 89

Mineral 65   Lyndon 49

Mineral 50   Wyanet 55

Mineral 65   Annawan 53

District Tournament

Mineral 49   Atkinson 75

1956 – 57

0 wins – 20 losses

Coach Gore

Mineral’s only winless season at 0-20. The most interesting fact about this team is that they could score very well. In fact seven players finished with more than 100 points scored, this was also a first at MHS.

Mineral 54   Williamsfield 64

Mineral 30   Cambridge 67

Mineral 37   Tiskilwa 74

Mineral 42   Neponset 54

Mineral 39   Lyndon 47

Mineral 38   Tampico 59

Mineral 39   Buda 45

Mineral 41   Annawan 48

Mineral 53   Port Byron 64

Mineral 51   Prophetstown 54

Mineral 49   Erie 98 (most points ever scored against MHS)

Mineral 40   Lyndon 48

Mineral 44   Tampico 68

Mineral 40   Erie 87

Mineral 52   LaFayette 64

Mineral 46   Annawan 71

Mineral 40   Wyanet 64

Mineral 63   Port Byron 83

Mineral 35   Prophetstown 69

District Tournament

Mineral 50   Sheffield 72

1957 – 58

7 wins – 17 losses

Coach Don Deterding

The stage began to be set for brighter days ahead for the Leopards and their fans. The record was 7 – 17 but the games were back to being competitive nearly every time out. The third new coach in as many seasons came with great credentials. Coach Don Deterding had a great high school career at Collinsville and a great college career. He also played semi-pro basketball for New Bedford during his stay at Mineral. Coach Deterding and the boys of this team did bring back respectability to the program. After a 5 – 2 start however, the going got tough.

Mineral 53   Williamsfield 52

Mineral 38   Neponset 40

Mineral 58   Malden 34

Mineral 46   Lyndon 44

Mineral 54   Tampico 52

Mineral 48   Buda 60

Mineral 50   Annawan 46

Mineral 37   Prophestown 72

Mineral 35   Erie 59

Mineral 35   Sheffield 49

Mineral 33   Lyndon 48

Mineral 35   Tampico 41

Mineral 35   Erie 50

Mineral 60   LaFayette 69

Mineral 41   Riverdale 54

Mineral 43   Annawan 50

Mineral 51   Wyanet 50

Mineral 65   Prophetstown 86

Mineral 56   Sheffield 73

Tampico Holiday Tournament

Mineral 36   Sheffield 46

Two Rivers Conference Tournament

Mineral 36   Tampico 38

Mineral 56   Lyndon 44

District Tournament

Mineral 46   Buda 63

1958 – 59

15 wins – 11 losses

Coach Don Dolieslager

This team marked the return of respectability to the Mineral Leopard program. Coming off of five straight losing seasons, Coach Dolieslager’s boys finished the season with a record of 15 – 11. The team started the season 5 – 0 and at one time was 14 – 5.  Focusing on true team work they did not possess great overall height, however they made up for it with excellent athleticism. Coach Dolieslager was a perfect fit for the small town and small enrollment at Mineral. He began working with the underclassmen and began building the program back up. This was also the final year in the Two Rivers Conference, allowing Mineral to move to the Little Six to compete against schools more of its size. The “Second Team” (F/S) finished 9 – 14 this year as well.

Mineral 59   Williamsfield 44

Mineral 73   Neponset 49

Mineral 75   Lyndon 33

Mineral 54   Tampico 47

Mineral 69   Buda 36

Mineral 46   Annawan 57

Mineral 60   Riverdale 64

Mineral 66   Buda 39

Tampico Holiday Tournament

Mineral 45   Manlius 52

Mineral 60   Prophetstown 51

Two Rivers Conference Tournament

Mineral 50   Riverdale 52

Mineral 64   Lyndon 24

Mineral 70   Tampico 57 (Consolation Bracket Champs)

Mineral 74   Sheffield 67

Mineral 61   Tampico 59

Mineral 27   Erie 48

Mineral 63   Lyndon 22

Mineral 61   LaFayette 57

Mineral 67   Riverdale 64

Mineral 44   Annawan 49

Mineral 56   Wyanet 57

Mineral 69   Prophetstown 73

Mineral 48   Erie 82

Mineral 72   Sheffield 76

District Tournament

Mineral 64   Neponset 57

Mineral 67   Atkinson 76

1960 – 61

12 wins – 11 losses

Coach Don Dolieslager

The final year of Mineral High School ended on a very high note. The Leopards finished the year at 12 – 11. Their best accomplishment was beating the Bureau Township team coached by Chips Giovanni. Bureau entered the Leopard gym with a 42 game regular season win streak. They left needing to start a new streak. It must have been an empty feeling for the players knowing each time they wore the green and white brought them closer to the end of history. The freshman/sophomore team ended the season at 11 – 7 showing the Leopards cupboard was not bare all the way to the end. One memorable “junior varsity” game listed in the 1961 yearbook tells of the Mineral HS JV playing with 4 players (“Second Team Heroes” as the article described them) and defeating the Williamsfield  “five and all the subs” 47 – 37.

Mineral 60   Williamsfield 53

Mineral 56   Lostant 59

Mineral 73   Lyndon 44

Mineral 53   Neponset 42

Mineral 51   Buda 53

Mineral 53   Brimfield 68

Mineral 42   Tampico 37

Mineral 72   LaRose 42

Mineral 35   Annawan 49

Mineral 60   Sheffield 47

Mineral 37   Annawan 61

Mineral 48   Buda 52

Mineral 41   LaFayette 42

Mineral 47   Sheffield 40

Mineral 92 Magnolia-Swaney 49 (most points ever scored by an MHS team)

Mineral 80   Lyndon 42

Mineral 42   Hennepin 57

Mineral 54   Bureau 38

Mineral 80   Lyndon 42

Mineral 70   Neponset 46

Mineral 60   Buda 67

Mineral 63   Sheffield 71

Mineral 63   Lyndon 34

District Tournament (Mineral High School Leopards’ boys basketball final game)

Mineral 44   Tampico 48