The New Holland - Middletown Wildcats had many great years of success playing in front of big home town crowds.
The Wildcats won a Regional in baseball and a District in boys basketball. There were also some highlights that
are stories for the ages. One particular story regarding baseball will be told below. We are looking for coach's names
and the record of the 1977-78 baseball champs.
The season was the 1986-87 school year. The Wildcats were having a great year on the baseball diamond under the
leadership of Coach Troy Washko. This year the Wildcats were crowned champions of Lincolnland
and Tri-Central conferences and finished with a record of 19 - 11. The highlight of the season was an upset win
over heavily favored Petersburg PORTA. The PORTA boys came into New Holland the night after defeating eventual
AA champ Springfield Griffin. No one gave the Wildcats much of a chance, this was suppose to be an easy victory chalked
up in the PORTA win column. But this was one of those magical nights that every high school player has been a part
of to some extent. The New Holland - Middletown boys pulled out a stunning 15 - 9 victory! The team was led
by Jim Vipond, Tim Aper, and Phil Tibbs.
It is also a fact that former major league baseball player Kevin Seitzer, who had 200 hits in his rookie
year with the Kansas City Royals, attended NHMHS his freshman year (1977-78) before transferring to nearby Lincoln HS.
1972-73 7 - 6 Coach
Conference Runner-up Coach Robert Gillespie
1977-78 N.R.A. Regional Champions
Coach's name unavailable
1986-87 19 - 11 Tri-Central & Lincolnland Champs
Coach Troy Washko
The Boys Basketball team had some real nice seasons including a District championship in 1965. The better records
recorded on the IHSA web site are listed below.
Coach Charles Conrady
1963-64 21 - 4 2nd Pl. District Tourney Coach
1964-65 20 - 9 District Champions
Coach Jerome Beenders
Coach Bob Witters
1965-66 13 - 13
1969-70 13 - 12
1974-75 13 - 13
Coach Robert Gillespie
All-Time Leading Scorers
Jim Vipond (84-87) 1,209 points
Mike Behrends (67-70) 1,202 points
Boys Cross Country
The harriers of 1972-73 finished second in the Lincoln Land Conference with a record of 6 - 3 and were coached by Jim
The girls sports in the 1970s were coached by Sara McCawley. The 1973-74 archery top
shooters were Vicki Holmes (216) and Phyllis Bloomquist (216).
It is believed the Wildcats also offered track and cross country for boys and girls as well as archery and
volleyball for girls. We do know that the volleyball coach in NH-M's final season was Ron Boyer. We
are seeking further information on these and other accomplishments at NHMHS.
**From John Meacham (Class of 1966):
"I found your site this evening, while searching for information on the old Kickapoo Conference
. I am a 1966 graduate of New Holland-Middletown High School
, and can fill in a few gaps now and probably
a few more later, after I consult my old yearbooks
-- provided I can find them. I recall that New
Holland and then New Holland-Middletown were members of the Kickapoo Conference until the 1963-64 season, when NHMHS and some
other schools formed a new conference -- the name of which I can't remember.
The coach the year we won the district basketball tournament (1965) was Jerome Beenders, and he was assisted by Bob Witters. It
was Beenders' second year at NHMHS. He took over from Charles Conrady in 1963-64. Conrady went to Forest City-Manito, if I
remember right. I think the 63-64 team had a better record (21-4 sounds about right) than the 64-65 team, but we
lost to Elkhart in
the district championship in 1964. We'd beaten them twice during the regular season, but couldn't do it a third time. That
cost us our shot at whipping the Lincoln Railsplitters, which was always the goal of every high school in Logan County. I
think Elkhart did beat Lincoln that year and won the regional.
The 1964-65 team won 18 in the regular season, I believe. Can't remember who we beat in the district final, but I remember
we beat Williamsville in the first game of the regional, then lost to Mt. Pulaski. Some of the stars of the 1964-65 team
were Stanley Coers, Barry Kohl, Gene Zumwalt, Lester Martin and Richard Maaks. I kept a
spot on the bench warm.
I was a pretty fair pitcher, though. In fact, I was NH-M's only real pitcher from my sophomore
on. (We only had about 120 students in the whole school, so it wasn't a matter of putting the best player
at each position -- it was a matter of putting a player
at each position!) There were several guys who could throw
harder than I could, but their pitches were as likely to go over the backstop as over the plate. I could throw strikes. I
guess the highlight of my career came in the 1964 district tournament, when we beat Armington
. However, we had to play Atlanta the next day. I don't remember who pitched for us, but I do know we lost."
**From former grade school student and resident, Dan Saint:
"My sister, Penny, attended New Holland-Middletown up until the consolidation with Lincoln
(she was a junior at the time and actually was part of the protest to keep the school open at least one more year so the soon
to be Seniors could say they graduated from NH-M...unfortunetly it didn't work). NH-M did not offer girls basketball
much to the dismay of my sister.
I was only 7 or 8 at the time of closure, but one vivid memory
I have is just above the entrance to the gym, there was a painting of a roaring wildcat head in the colors of purple and gold.
And in the back fur, you could see the words "Wildcats".
One game I remember was NH-M playing
Calvary Acadamy of Springfield,
led by a young PG named Rennie Clemons (who wound up starting for the University of Illinois)"
SPECIAL THANK YOU!!
Special thanks to Jon Wheat, Jon's father, and Jon's uncle Dan Wheat
for their time and effort in providing the photos and "leg work" for this page!!
Also to a former Wildcat cheerleader for providing several items of interest including her quip of "I CAN
ALSO SAY THAT WE HAD GOOD TIMES IN THIS LITTLE SCHOOL". I am sure sentiments are echoed several times over by other
Need More information
If you have any information you would like to share regarding the athletic program and other accomplishments at New Holland
- Middletown High School, especially photos of the high school building and great teams, please e-mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org
. You can also write to us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il. 60631