Reddick R.U.C.E. High School "Bulldogs"

Closed High Schools Alumni Apparel
IN THE BEGINNING - Where Closed High Schools Consolidated To
*Ctry. Schools-Wtsde. Cty.
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Reddick High School Building
Photo Taken in 1997 by Gerry Halpin

First HS Classes Held Here
Submitted by Sherree Benoit

The History of Reddick R.U.C.E. High School
The town of Reddick (population 219) is located on Il. Route 17 about 9 miles east of Dwight and 21 miles west of Kankakee. This places Reddick in the northwest corner of Kankakee County with the west edge of town spilling over into the northeast corner of Livingston County. The Reddick Run Creek runs through town as does the Norfolk & Western Railroad line which intersects with the Conrail Railroad line just north of town.
Reddick supported its own high school for several years. Reddick started a two-year high school in 1906 and converted it to a four-year high school in 1912.  A consolidation effort of four neighboring towns (including Reddick) took place in 1950. The new school system located its high school in Reddick and was known as Reddick R.U.C.E.  The initials in "R.U.C.E." stand for Reddick, Union Hill, Campus, and Essex. Reddick RUCE operated in Reddick for several years until its consolidation with the Herscher school system in 1988.

Reddick Gym & Grade School 2017
Now the Reddick Fire Department Headquarters

The Reddick Grade School was utilized as one of the grade schools that served children of the Herscher School District for grades K - 6. This arrangement was changed to just grades 4 and 5 in approximately 2008. Sadly, due to financial concerns, the Herscher School District decided to close the Reddick Grade School in the summer of 2013.
One happy note is that the Reddick Grade School building and gymnasium were sold to the Reddick Fire Department which continues to utilize the facility today.

Reddick High School Memorial - Cornerstone
Photo Taken by Gerry Halpin (Left Click on Photo for Enlarged View)

Reddick HS Bus - 1948
Submitted by Sherree Benoit

Reddick HS Corner Stone 2017
Displayed on Former High School Building Site West of Gym

Reddick HS Building Inscription Stone #2
Displayed on Former High School Building Site West of Gym

The original Reddick High School was torn down in 1998 due to wear from aging and asbestos. The gymnasium (built in 1951), however, is still in use by the fire department today.


Rich Curl tells us the Reddick alumni still have a place to call home. Today it is on "Facebook".   All Reddick HS fans can go there as it offers a social network between alumni.  The group is called: "Reddick High School Alumni" and it was started by the Class of '71.  Mr. Jack Barker is the administrator.

Reddick HS Gym Dedication Stone 2017

Reddick High School Quick Facts
Year opened as two-year HS:        1906
Year converted to four-year HS:     1912
Year consolidated to "R.U.C.E":    1950 (Reddick, Union, Campus, Essex) 
Year "R.U.C.E." closed:                1988 (annexed to Herscher School District)
Year HS Building Demolished:       1998
H.S. Gymnasium built in 1951:      Still in use for the kids of Reddick Grade School                   
School nickname:                         the "Bulldogs"
School colors:                              Orange, Black, & White
School Fight Song:                       
                                                   "On Ye Bulldogs" (sung to the tune "On Wisconsin" - click play button
                                                                     below left and sing along!)
                                                                   "On Ye Bulldogs,
                                                    On Ye Bulldogs,
                                                    Fight for Victory!
                                                    Rah, Rah, Rah!
                                                    Kick the ball around the field,
                                                    For a touchdown sure this time!
                                                    Rah, Rah, Rah!
                                                    On Ye Bulldogs,
                                                    On Ye Bulldogs,
                                                    Fight for Victory!
                                                    Fight, Fellows, Fight,
                                                    And we will win this game!!
                                                    Ga-Hee, Ga-ha, Ga-hee Ha Ha!
                                                    Reddick High School,
                                                    Rah, Rah, RAH!!!"

Reddick HS Gymnasium - 2009 "The Cow Palace"
Submitted by Gerry Halpin

Reddick High School Mascot

The Reddick High School Bulldogs definitely competed in boys' basketball, their lone District title confirms this. The Reddick R.U.C.E. consolidation produced even more great teams. Reddick also offered baseball, track, and football.   Reddick competed from 1944-1956 in the Kankakee Valley Conference along with their then arch-rival Herscher. They then moved to the Northeast Conference for a short time before later settling in the Vermilion Valley Conference. We are hopeful for your assistance in remembering the Reddick High School athletic history.
Regarding the photo of the basketball gymnasium above, our good friend Gerry Halpin, a long-time contributor to the Glory Days site and a former student of Reddick RUCE, provides this bit of informaiton:
"The Cow Palace”.  This Quonset-hut gym was built in 1951.  It has just 5 rows of permanent bleachers on each side, and was usually packed for Bulldog games.  The low, rounded ceiling made it one of the LOUDEST gyms around – a great home court advantage.  I was a player in the 1969 fresh-soph game when a Kankakee Westview player, not used to low gym roofs, shattered the center light with a full-court shot at the end of a quarter.  This building still stands and is used by Reddick Elementary School."

Reddick HS Gym Entrance 2017

Boys Basketball
The Reddick Bulldogs and Reddick R.U.C.E. teams each brought home their own IHSA hardware. Reddick High School won a District title in the 1935-36 season. Another great season on record was the 1938-39 Bulldog team, who finished at 19 - 9. 
As Reddick R.U.C.E. the Bulldogs won another 6 District Championships to go along with five Vermillion Valley Conference titles. In fact, the Bulldogs of 1963-64 won their District and finished the regular season undefeated!  The 27 - 0  R.U.C.E. boys made it to the Regional Semifinal game (the Round of 64!!!) before losing to a tough Pontiac team to finish their season at 27 - 1.  The team of 1962-63 also finished the regular season undefeated and won their District before falling in the semi-final of the Regional tournament to finish at 26 - 3.
Between 1958 and 1971, the Bulldogs won 6 District titles, and were knocked out in the Regional by Pontiac 5 times.  The 1969 team advanced the farthest, defeating Herscher and Dwight in the Regional before losing the final to Pontiac .  Despite all the great teams, Reddick never won a Regional title in boy’s basketball.  
Reddick R.U.C.E. High School basketball has found a claim to fame also in IHSA history that may never be broken. On December 15, 1964, the Bulldogs took on the boys from Dwight High School. In a great contest, the Reddick boys fell to Dwight in nine (9) OVERTIMES 76 - 72!!! This game is also listed in the National Federation (Basketball) Record Book as one of the longest games in high school basketball history!
As Reddick High School
1927-28                                                                           Coach Orin Hertz
1928-29    3 - 2                                                                 Coach Orin Hertz
1929-33                                                                           Coach Orin Hertz
1933-34  14 - 3                                                                 Coach Orin Hertz
1934-35  15 - 7                                                                 Coach Orin Hertz
1935-36  13 - 12          District Champions                        Coach Orin Hertz

Reddick High School District Champions
1935-36 Season - RHS' First District Championship Team

1936-37                                                                           Coach Maynard Ferden
1937-38  11 - 13                                                               Coach Maynard Ferden
1938-39  19 - 9                                                                 Coach Maynard Ferden
1939-40  10 - 11                                                               Coach Maynard Ferden
1940-41    3 - 16                                                               Coach Richard Woy
1941-42  12 - 8                                                                 Coach Richard Woy
1942-43    6 - 11                                                               Coach Richard Woy
1943-44    7 - 9                                                                 Coach George Sauerwein
1944-45                                                                            Coach George Sauerwein
1945-46                                                                            Coach George Sauerwein
1946-47  14 - 8                                                                 Coach George Sauerwein
1947-48  10 - 8                                                                 Coach David Williams
1948-49    8 - 14                                                               Coach David Williams
1949-50    1 - 16                                                               Coach David Williams
As Reddick R.U.C.E. High School
1950-51     2 - 19                                                             Coach David Williams
1951-52     3 - 15                                                             Coach Ralph Keller
1952-53     7 - 16                                                             Coach Ralph Keller
1953-54     4 - 19                                                             Coach Ralph Keller
1954-55     5 - 19                                                             Coach Ralph Keller
1955-56   10 - 11                                                             Coach Ralph Keller
1956-57   16 - 8                                                               Coach Ralph Keller

1957-58   24 - 4  .         District Champions                      Coach Ralph Keller
1958-59   16 - 7                                                               Coach George Birkett
1959-60   19 - 8                                                               Coach Ralph Sackett
1960-61     9 - 14                                                             Coach Ralph Sackett
1961-62   16 - 4                                                               Coach Gary Johnson
1962-63   26 - 3            District Champions                      Coach Gary Johnson
                                   Vermilion Valley Conf. Champs
                                   Lost Regional Semi-Final to Pontiac

Reddick HS Basketball 1962-63

1963-64   27 - 1            District Champions                      Coach Gary Johnson
                                   Regional Champions
                                   Lost Regional Semifinal  to Pontiac
                                   Vermilion Valley Conference Champs
                                   Undefeated Regular Season
                                   Ranked 16th in Final Reg. Season Poll
                                   (1-Class System!)  
1964-65   17 - 9                                                               Coach Harlan Smith
1965-66   13 - 11                                                             Coach Harlan Smith
1966-67   11 - 13                                                             Coach Harlan Smith
1967-68   14 - 9                                                               Coach Harlan Smith
1968-69   24 - 4            District Champions                     Coach Glenden Lehnus
                                   Vermilion Valley Conf. Champs
1969-70   16 - 9            District Champions                     Coach Steve Tosh
                                   Vermilion Valley Conf. Champs
1970-71   17 - 10          District Champions                     Coach Steve Tosh
1971-72     7 - 16                                                            Coach Steve Tosh

1972-73   13 - 15
          Verm. Val. Conf. Tour. Champs  Coach Dennis Kagel
1973-74   22 - 6            Vermilion Val. Conf.Champs      Coach Dennis Kagel
                                   Verm. Val. Conf. Tour. Champs
1974-75   12 - 13                                                            Coach Dean Brucker
1975-76                                                                         Coach Dean Brucker
1976-77     6 - 17                                                            Coach Dean Brucker
1977-78     9 - 15                                                            Coach Jim Castle
                          (The team of 1977-78 placed 2nd
                          in the Regional tourney, beating
                          the No. 1 and 3 seeds before losing
                          the title game to the no. 2 seed.)
1978-79                                                                         Coach Tom Greene
1979-80                                                                         Coach Tom Greene
1980-81               Placed 2nd - Plano Holiday Tourney      Coach Tom Greene
1981-82   13 - 14                                                            Coach Tom Greene
1982-83                                                                         Coach Tom Greene
1983-84     8 - 17                                                            Coach Tom Greene
1984-85     1 - 20                                                            Coach Dave Lett
1985-86                                                                         Coach Dave Lett
1986-87     2 - 19                                                            Coach Dennis Hansen
1987-88                 Final Season                                     Head Coach Mike Ball
                                                                                     Asst. Coach Jim Giacchino
The Reddick High School Bulldogs used their tough, farm kid work ethic to produce some excellent football teams. The 1946 team finished at 7-1 as co-champs of the Kankakee Valley Conference and won the league title in 1947 (only their third year of competing in football) at 8 - 0!  
The 1947 boys in fact were considered the highest scoring football team in the state of Illinois! The team scored 273 points to average 34.1 points per game while allowing only 30 points for a 3.75 points per game defensive average.  The magical 1947 season is documented below and includes actual scores of the games played that year. Coach George Sauerwein left his mark on the Reddick gridiron, leading the RHS Bulldogs to a 20-16-1 record from 1944-1948. 
The success continued on the gridiron as Reddick R.U.C.E. High School.  Many tough, competitive teams competed under the Friday night lights in Reddick. The boys won Vermillion Valley Conference titles in 1957 (a perfect in 8 - 0!), 1977 (their lone IHSA playoff appearance), and in 1980. The best of the R.U.C.E. football teams are listed below too.
As Reddick High School:
1946     7-1    Kankakee Valley Conf. Co-Champs Coach George Sauerwein
1947     8-0    Kankakee Valley Conf. Champs      Coach George Sauerwein
                       Reddick  61    Gardner     0
                       Reddick  40    Momence   6
                       Reddick  34    Saunemin  0
                       Reddick  13    Bradley     12
                       Reddick  34    Herscher    6 
                       Reddick  33    St. Anne     0
                       Reddick  19    Kankakee St. Patrick   6
                       Reddick  39    Wilmington 0

Reddick HS Football
Undefeated 1947-48 Powerhouse

As Reddick R.U.C.E. High School:
1950-51    1 - 6 - 1                                                        Coach David Williams
1951-52    2 - 6                                                             Coach Ralph Keller
1952-53    0 - 8                                                             Coach Ralph Keller
1953-54    0 - 8                                                             Coach Ralph Keller
1954-55    1 - 7                                                             Coach Ralph Keller
1955-56    0 - 8                                                             Coach Ralph Keller
1956-57    3 - 4 - 1                                                        Coach Ron Thiede 

Reddick Bulldogs - Team of 1956
Submitted by Verna Thiede

1957-58    8 - 0      North Eastern Conf. Champs           Coach Ron Thiede
                            (Photos and articles below)

Reddick Backfield & Coach Thiede - 1957 Champs
"Left Click" for Enlarged Version

The Undefeated Champs of 1957
"Left Click" to View Enlarged Version

The Bulldogs of 1957-58 - Undefeated Champs
Submitted by Verna Thiede

1958-59    6 - 2                                                             Coach George Birkett
1959-60    5 - 3                                                             Coach George Birkett
1960-61    4 - 3 - 1                                                        Coach Ralph Sackett
1961-62    4 - 4                                                             Coach Gary Johnson
1962-63    5 - 3                                                             Coach Gary Johnson
1963-64    4 - 3 - 1                                                        Coach Gary Johnson
1964-65    5 - 3                                                             Coach Harlan Smith
1965-66                                                                        Coach Harlan Smith
1966-67    3 - 5                                                             Coach Harlan Smith
1967-68    4 - 4                                                             Coach Harlan Smith
1968-69    3 - 5                                                             Coach Robert Grisolano
1969-70    2 - 3 - 1                                                         Coach Steve Tosh
1970-71    0 - 8                                                              Coach Steve Tosh
1971-72    1 - 7                                                              Coach Tom Harvey
1972-73    0 - 8                                                              Coach Tom Harvey
1973-74    4 - 4                                                              Coach Greg Dempsey
1974-75    5 - 3                                                              Coach Greg Dempsey
1976-77                                                                         Coach Greg Dempsey
1977-78    8 - 2      Vermillion Valley Conf. Champs     Coach Tom Greene
                             Class 1A Playoff Qualifier
                             Lost 12 - 8 to North Shore Country Day
                             in 1st Round
1978-79    5 - 4                                                              Coach Tom Greene
1979-80                                                                         Coach Tom Greene
1980-81    7 - 2                                                              Coach Tom Greene
1981-82    6 - 2                                                              Coach Tom Greene
1982-83                                                                         Coach Tom Greene
1983-84    3 - 5                                                              Coach Tom Greene
1984-85    1 - 8                                                              Coach Dave Lett
The Reddick High School Bulldogs proved their multi-talented abilities in baseball as well. The 1939 diamond men went undefeated in the regular season, while the 1948 squad won the Kankakee Valley Conference crown. As R.U.C.E., the baseball boys had two nice seasons in the early 1970s, winning the Vermillion Valley Conference championship in 1971.
As Reddick High School
1927-28    3 - 1                                                       Coach Orin Hertz
1928-35                                                                  Coach Orin Hertz
1935-36                                                                  Coach Kenneth Leonard
1936-37                                                                  Coach Maynard Ferden
1937-38    4 - 2                                                       Coach Maynard Ferden
1938-39    6 - 0                                                       Coach Maynard Ferden
1939-40    4 - 2                                                       Coach Richard Woy
1940-41    2 - 2                                                       Coach Richard Woy
1941-42                                                                  Coach Richard Woy
1942-45                                                                 Coach George Sauerwein
1945-46    5 - 3                                                       Coach George Sauerwein
1946-47    7 - 0                                                       Coach George Sauerwein
1947-48              Kankakee Valley Conf. Champs  Coach David Williams
1948-49    4 - 2                                                       Coach David Williams
1949-50    5 - 1                                                       Coach David Williams
As Reddick R.U.C.E. High School
1950-51    2 - 6                                                       Coach David Williams
1951-52    2 - 4                                                       Coach Ralph Keller
1952-53    2 - 5                                                       Coach Ralph Keller
1953-54    2 - 5                                                       Coach Ralph Keller
1954-55    0 - 5                                                       Coach Ralph Keller
1955-56    4 - 2                                                       Coach Ralph Keller
1956-57    5 - 1                                                       Coach Ralph Keller
1957-58                                                                  Coach Ralph Keller
1958-59                                                                  Coach George Birkett
1959-60    5 - 1                                                       Coach George Birkett
1960-61                                                                  Coach Ralph Sackett
1961-64                                                                  Coach Gary Johnson
1964-68                                                                  Coach Harlan Smith
1968-69                                                                  Coach Steve Tosh
1969-70    5 - 2                                                        Coach Steve Tosh
1970-71    7 - 1   Vermillion Valley Conf. Champs  Coach Steve Tosh
1971-72    1 - 8                                                       
1972-73    5 - 4                                                        Coach Dennis Kagel
1973-74    3 - 4                                                        Coach Dennis Kagel
1974-75    4 - 5                                                        Coach Dean Brucker
1975-77                                                                   Coach Dean Brucker
1977-82                                                                   Coach Jim Castle
1982-83                                                                   Coach Jeff Wepprecht
1983-84    2 - 19
1985-86    0 - 5
1986-87    4 - 4                                                         Coach Jon Hodge
1987-88                  Last Season
Girls Athletics
Girls athletics were not recognized by the IHSA until 1974. Therefore, there are no listings of Reddick girl's teams until after that time with the exception of postal tournaments that were held in conjunction with the Girls' Athletic Association and the IHSA. The Reddick R.U.C.E. girls had some excellent seasons in volleyball, basketball, and track. The best of these are listed below.
Girls Volleyball
No less than three (3) conference championships were won by the lady netters.  The years were 1983, 1984, and 1986.  The records and coaches names are listed below.
1976-77    1 - 5                                                        Coach Janis Pritchard
1977-78                                                                   Coach Theresa Browning
1978-79                                                                   Coach Debra Freed Hanson
1979-80                                                                   Coach Barbara Jansen
1980-81    3 - 5                                                         Coach Barbara Jansen
1981-82                                                                   Coach Barbara Jansen
1982-83  19 - 4    Vermillion Valley Conf. Champs  Coach Barbara Jansen
1983-84  18 - 7    Vermillion Valley Conf. Champs  Coach Barbara Jansen
1984-85  18 - 7                                                         Coach Barbara Jansen
1985-86    8 -12                                                        Coach Wilbur
1986-87  16 - 4    Vermillion Valley Conf. Champs   Coach Dennis Hansen
1987-88    9 - 10                                                       Coach Brett Desper
Girls Basketball
Two great records along with a conference and Regional championship belonged to the talented Lady Bulldogs of the early 1980s. Their accomplishments are listed below.
1977-78                                                                   Coach Theresa Browning
1978-79                                                                   Coach Debra Freed Hanson
1979-80                                                                   Coach Barbara Jansen
1980-81    2 - 14                                                       Coach Dana Parker
1981-82  11 - 9                                                         Coach Burton
1983-84   21 - 3   Vermillion Valley Conf. Champs   Coach Tom Greene
1984-85   23 - 4   Regional Champions                     Coach Jon Hodge
1985-86                                                                    Coach Jon Hodge
1986-87   14 - 9                                                         Coach Jon Hodge
1987-88     8 - 16                                                       Coach Jon Hodge
G.A.A. Postal Tournament
The early Reddick RUCE girls could shoot the rock, too. The Illinois Girls' Athletic Association held an annual "Postal Tournament" in the days before girls' sports were recognized and organized. Each school was encouraged to enter a contest in which the girls had a set time to make as many hoops as they could. Their totals were then mailed in and a winner declared by who made the most. The Reddick RUCE ladies placed second in this event in both 1958 and 1959.  The girls actually won the State Championship in 1963! 
Girls Track & Field
Two Reddick R.U.C.E. girls medaled at the Class 'A' State Track meet.  Their excellent efforts are listed below.
1982-83    Gina Christensen     Discus          4th Place
1983-84    Gina Christensen     Discus          2nd Place
1983-84    Sandy Harris            Shot Put      4th Place
Other GREAT Accomplishments at Reddick High Schools
*Reddick High School's FFA Chapter was formed on October 17, 1929, one year after the national organization was formed. 
*Reddick High School was one of the first schools in the state to utilize buses to get the kids to and from school.  This was begun in 1934.
*The Reddick High School building doubled as a home for very brief Reddick Junior College.  The college existed from 1934-36 when then-Principal O. A. Towns was able to land state grant money. This was a boost to graduates who were unemployed and couldn't afford to go to a four-year school. Unfortunately, the money source was exhausted and Reddick J.C. ceased to exist.
Noteable Graduates
*Laurin Henry, (class of 1938), was considered a presidential transition expert.  In fact, he authored a book titled "Presidential Transitions" in 1960 regarding President Eisenhower leaving his office to the incoming President John F. Kennedy. His book received national attention and acclaim!!
*Jerry Joyce, (class of 1957) who was an Illinois State Senator from 1974 - 1981.
*Mary K. O'Brien, (class of 1984) who was an Illinois State Representative from 1996-2004 and is now an Illinois Appellate Court Judge.
*Dr. Joseph Miesenbach (class of 1966), Chief of Staff at St. Mary's Hospital in Kankakee.
*Hugh Van Voorst (class of 1952) director of the State Department of Transportation Division of Aeronautics, now Chairman of the Board of Kankakee Community College. 
*Jerry Krieg (class of 1965), starred in football and basketball at Reddick R.U.C.E. High School. Krieg played college football at Illinois State University where he was named to the Second Team Little All-American college football squad in 1969 as a defensive lineman.  In 1995, Jerry Krieg was named to the centennial all-time ISU football squad. Jerry Krieg carried his competitive edge to the hardwood court after leaving ISU. Now known as "Coach Krieg", Jerry's teams have gone to win over 400 games at four different Illinois High Schools and is a member of the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association Hall of Fame!                 
*Irma Unz (class of 1921), returned to Reddick High School as a teacher several years later and eventually became the school's principal until her retirement in 1971. She continued to serve the school system for eight more years as a substitute teacher living directly across the street from the school building.  Ms. Unz was one of the speakers at the school's final graduation in 1988. She passed away in 2000 at the age of 96.
From former principal Michael Stagliano, Ph.D, who served as Reddick R.U.C.E.'s final principal as well:
"I served as the last principal of Reddick HS.  Essentially, I was the K-12 principal of the district prior to deactivation of the high school.  I too agree with you and your graduates/posters to the site that Reddick had a rich history." 
***Special thank you to Rich Curl, true Reddick fan, as well as Jim Ridings, who authored the books "History of Reddick High School" and "Memories of Reddick High School" for providing much of the information for this page.   
If You Have Any Information... would like to share regarding Reddick High School and Reddick R.U.C.E. High School, please contact us so we can share the information with others. You can e-mail items to us at or write to us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago,  Il.    60631

Football Team and CHeerleaders of 1957-58
Photo Taken at the Class Reunion of 2008

Reddick High School

Reddick HS Gym 2017

Reddick Grade School Classrooms & Gym 2017

Reddick Grade School Building 2017

Reddick HS Gym 2017