The Lady Cardinals competed in basketball with only one season listed on the IHSA web site. The year and team's
coach are listed below.
1979-80 8-11 Coach Jody Smith
One athlete at Cornell High excelled in Cross-Country. John Jacobson medaled in three consecutive years,
winning the State Individual Championship in 1982 with a time of 14:43.2!!
Cornell did not compete in cross-country as a team or school. However, they realized John's talent and
found ways for him to compete in several meets in the area.
John became associated with the Streator Woodland team and entered several meets in which they were a part of. John
then entered the State meet as a solo athlete from Cornell. John's three great seasons are listed below.
1980-81 John Jacobson 9th Place
1981-82 John Jacobson 6th Place
1982-83 John Jacobson STATE CHAMPION
Boys Track & Field
John Jacobson didn't rest on his laurels from cross-country. John added to his state medaling ability
in Track as well. In fact, John Jacobson's efforts won him a total of 6 medals including 4 individual
gold medals!! His efforts further gave the Cornell High School thinclads two consecutive top ten finishes in the Class
A State Track Meet. John's incredible efforts are listed below.
In addition to Jacobson's efforts, the Cardinals of 1954 finished second to Chenoa in the Mid-State Conference track
meet. Two Cardinal tracksters were three-time conference champions as well. John Snyder (see famous
alumni below) won the mile in 1949-50-51 as well as adding the 880 championship in 1950. Roger Ernhardt
took the 880 championship in 1951-52-53.
1953-54 Mid State Conference Runner-up
1980-81 John Jacobson 800 Meter Run
1600 Meter Run 5th Place
1981-82 Cornell High School Cardinals Finished 5th at the Class A Track Meet
1600 Meter Run STATE CHAMPION!
3200 Meter Run STATE CHAMPION!
1981-82 Final Team Standings
- Class A State Track Meet
5) CORNELL HIGH SCHOOL
Mel - 20
Illini Bluffs - 18
1982-83 Cornell High School Cardinals Finished 6th at the Class A
1600 Meter Run STATE CHAMPION !!
3200 Meter Run STATE CHAMPION !!
1982-83 Final Team Standings
- Class A State Track Meet
1) Cairo 45
2) St. Anne 40
3) Chicago Leo 34
4) Walther Lutheran 29
5) Christopher 23
6) CORNELL HIGH SCHOOL 20
9) Tuscola 19
The Cardinal athletic program included football through the 1970-71 school year. The team was one of the
charter members of the Mid-State Conference competing against the likes of El Paso
, Flanagan, Lexington, Chenoa
, and Streator Woodland. The Cardinals had some very strong teams.
Their best year in the conference was in 1959 when the boys of the gridiron shared the conference title with El Paso. The
team was led by running back Claude Jacobson (leading scorer with 61 points), along with all-conference selections
Francis Hinshaw (offfensive tackle), Bill Meyer (defensive back), and Bob McMenamin
The best of the Cornell High School football seasons from 1949 through 1970 are listed below.
1959-60 6-2 Conference Champions
Coach Marty Stromberger
(5-1 in Conference Play)
1960-61 4-4 Finished 3rd in Conference
The football team won the conference sportsmanship award in 1960, 1962, 1963, 1964, and 1965!
The Cornell High School Cardinals baseball teams of 1959 and 1960 also finished well in Mid-State Conference play. Both
finished in second place.
1958-59 4-2 in conference play - Conference Runner-Up
1959-60 Conference Runner-Up
GREAT ATHLETES / ALUMNI / COACHES
*John Jacobson has to be one of the greatest long distance runners in Class A history in Illinois. John
won a total of 9 individual medals in IHSA competition. Truly incredible performance and athletic career at
Cornell High by John Jacobson!!!
*Coach John Snyder (Cornell HS Class of 1951) - Member of Illinois High School Coaches
Association Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame for compiling over 500 victories as a head basketball coach for Bloomington Trinity/Central
Catholic High School (Trinity was renamed Central Catholic). Coach Snyder is also a member of the Illinois
State University Athletic Hall of Fame as well as the Illinois Basketball Hall of Fame.
*Coach Jack Murphy (Cornell HS Class of 1950) -
Also a member of the Illinois High School Basketball
Coaches Association Hall of Fame for compiling over 500 victories as a head basketball coach in Illinois at high schools
in Tremont, Pontiac, Taylorville, Pawnee, and Minonk-Dana-Rutland
*Cornell Grads who played for Illinois State - Normal University and Coach Joe Cogdal in
the 1930's include: Charles Beck, Pete Miner, and Mose Moore. Dick Murphy, who
played at CHS in the early 1940's, also went on to compete at ISNU.
Sports were not the only thing that occupied the time of the kids of Cornell High School. Chorus, FFA, Band, Student
Government, Dances, and Plays were all offered at CHS.
To view a very brief video clip of the Cornell High School Marching Band in action during
the 1980 Northern Illinois University Homecoming parade in DeKalb check out this YouTube video sent to us by "Tom":
SPECIAL ALUMNI GATHERING FOR CORNELL HIGH SCHOOL GRADUATES AND TOWNSPEOPLE
From Jo Morrison (Class of 1967):
It was a very special event in Cornell that took place on October 02, 2010.
This was a glorious day. A great celebration of our school, community, roots, and memories being rekindled.
"Cornell Alumni Tribute to Mrs. Godden."
We honored all alumni and faculty by a tree planting and plaque at the site of the former school and we
paid tribute to longtime teacher Jean Godden. "