Basketball was the feature sport at Mineral High School. The Leopards won six District titles
during the early 1940s and 1950s. The following six teams won District Championships. The teams of 1941, 1942,
1947, and 1952 were conference champs as well. The team of 1941 finished second in the then 18 team Bureau County
tournament. All six teams were inducted into the Bureau County Sports Hall of Fame in June of 2004.
1940-41 29 - 6 District Champs Enrollment
- 40 students (15 boys) Coach Oliver Jochums
1941-42 30 - 5 District Champs Enrollment
- 38 students (15 boys) Coach Oliver Jochums
1946-47 28 - 4 District Champs Enrollment
- 28 students (14 boys) Coach Oliver Jochums
1949-50 16 - 13 District Champs Enrollment
- 49 studnets (22 boys) Coach Oliver Jochums
1950 -51 17 - 11 District Champs Enrollment
- 51 students (24 boys) Coach Oliver Jocums
1951-52 26 - 5 District Champs Enrollment
- 52 students (24 boys) Coach Oliver Jochums
In addition the following teams were conference champs and the bottom three played in the District
1924-25 N.R.A. Conference Champs
1942-43 13 - 3 Conference Champs Enrollment
- 38 students (16 boys)
1947-48 19 - 5 Conference Champs Enrollment
- 32 students (18 boys)
1952-53 20 - 8 Conference Champs Enrollment
- 53 students (27 boys)
1959-60 15 - 11 Conference Champs Enrollment -
36 students (19 boys)
Football, Baseball, and Track
The Leopard Baseball and Track teams had many successful seasons. The Track team won a Conference
Championship in 1941. This is the same year Mineral's most successful track athlete, Russell Buysse,
advanced to the State Track Meet in the 100 and 220 yard dashes. We know that the Track and Field program dates to as
far back as 1935, when they were involved in a quadrangular with Geneseo and three other teams, this according to a 1935 Geneseo
The Baseball team won Conference Championships in 1936,1941, and 1942.
The Football team played a total of three seasons, from 1949 to 1951. Due to the small enrollment
Mineral played 6-man football in the old Two Rivers Conference. Members of the Two Rivers Conference included Tampico, Lyndon, Annawan, Atkinson, Prophetstown, Erie, Cordova, Hillsdale, and Port Byron. The football team did not fair well, winning only 3 games in the three seasons they competed. Ironically
all three wins were against Annawan, the school they would consolidate with in 1962.
Mineral School athletes won over 80 trophies between 1930 and 1961. The six District Championship
trophies still hang proudly on the wall of the village hall.
Individual Events - Speech
Mineral High School had one person fair quite well in the IHSA's Speech competition held annually.
That person was Arvilla Rakestraw who place 5th in the "Original Oratory" event in the competition.
This was a state-wide competition which included schools of all sizes. GREAT JOB ARVILLA !!!
Two coaches in Mineral High School history really standout. The best and true Mineral
legend is Coach Oliver Jochums. Jochums coached the Leopards basketball teams during the 1940-41 and 41-42
seasons. He compiled a record of 59 - 11. He then served in the Army during World War II. Upon his return for
the 1946-47 season Jochums' team posted a 28 - 4 record. He continued to coach at Mineral through the 1954-55
season winning SIX District titles and playing in the District championship game two other times. His overall record
during 11 seasons at Mineral was 212 wins and 106 losses.
Coach Jochums also served as baseball, track, and football coach at Mineral.
This was not only at the High School level but also at the grammar school level. A small school meant a small budget,
so Jochums also served as one of the school's bus drivers, class sponsor, drama teacher, as well as teaching
history and english. Coach Oliver Jochums was inducted into the Bureau County Sports Hall of Fame in June of
The other great coach was Don Dolieslager. Coaching from 1958-59 until the school
closed after the 1960-61 season, Dolieslager's basketball teams compiled a record of 42 wins and 33 losses. He
also incurred all of the duties given Coach Jochums. Dolieslager's 1959-60 club won a conference title as well
as finishing second in the District tournament.
Mineral Leopard School Fight Song
Imagine yourself in the locker room at halftime of a tight game against your arch rivals from nearby Sheffield,
Annawan, or Atkinson. As you sat there gaining instruction from your coach, the packed gym, led by the beautiful cheerleaders,
bursts out in a chorus of the Mineral High School fight song. No wonder the Mineral Leopard basketball teams won
nearly 70 % of their home games!
Sung to the tune of "On Wisconsin" (click the play button below and sing along)
On Ole Mineral, On Ole Mineral,
Get up, Step in line!
Knock the ball right through the basket,
Scores count up each time!
Rah, Rah, Rah
On Ole Mineral, On Ole Mineral,
Fight on for your fame!
Fight and you shall win this game!
Cha He, Cha Ha, Cha Ha Ha Ha!
Mineral High School Rah Rah Rah!!!
(Repeat one more time:)