San Jose High School "Red Devils"

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San Jose High School
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December 2005 - Photo by Jon Wheat

San Jose HS Complex 2014
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Submitted by Gerry Halpin

San Jose High School
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The History of San Jose High School
 
San Jose (population 696) is located in central Illinois approximately 25 miles due south of Peoria. U.S. Route 136 is the main roadway leading to and from San Jose (pronounced San Joes). Interstate Highway 155 is situated 7 miles to the east of San Jose and Illinois Route 29 passes by one mile to the west of San Jose.  The actual north/south road that passes through town is known as Townline Road. San Jose straddles the northern portion of the east/west border line between Mason and Logan Counties. The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad also passes through San Jose.
 
                                History of the San Jose School System
                             (provided by Jon, Jim, & Judy (Page) Wheat) 
 
Matthew Bolland arrived in San Jose in 1887, and as teacher and principal introduced work at the 9th and 10th grade levels. In the fall of 1889, he started the first class, graduating three students in 1892. A new brick building was constructed in 1892 which eventually became the elementary school.
 
Until 1916 there had been only one high school teacher--Will Hullinger served as teacher and superintendent. By 1917 the building had become so overcrowded that an addition was built to the north. It was in 1930-31 when the first separate high school building was constructed. In 1935, the high school gym was built at the cost of $27,000. The school complex was set majestically on a hill on the west side of San Jose.
 
In 1949, Unit District #122 was formed, containing 69 sections in three counties: Mason, Logan, and Tazewell, and the rural schools were closed. The District survived until the formation of the Illini Central School District in 1989. San Jose High School graduated a total of 1,458 students during its existence with the largest class being the Class of 1974 and its 36 graduates.

San Jose High School Rear Photo
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Taken By Jon Wheat - December 2005

It was in the mid-1980s when San Jose along with nearby Easton and Mason City began talks of consolidating their school districts. The talks became a reality after the 1988-89 school year. In the spring of 1989 it was decided to create a new school district to be named the Illini Central School District.
 
The high school for Illini Central was located in Mason City. Sadly neither school building in San Jose was used for the newly formed Illini Central School District. The San Jose High School building was sold to a private citizen and is seen as it looks today in the photos to the above right and below the school fight song. The photos were taken and provided by Jon Wheat in December of 2005..The San Jose Grade School building pictured at the bottom of this page is currently used as an apartment building.  
 
San Jose High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                       late 1800s
Year closed:                        1989
Consolidated to:                   Illini Central School District (Mason City)
San Jose school nickname:  the "Red Devils"
School colors:                     Red & White
School Fight Song:              "Come On, San Jose"
                                            (SUNG TO "ON WISCONSIN" - Click Play Button Below and Sing Along)
                                         
                                          Come on, San Jose
                                          Dear old, San Jose
                                          Break right through that line
                                          Pass the ball around the others
                                          Basket sure this time.
 
                                          Rah Rah Rah!
 
                                          Come on, San Jose
                                          Dear old, San Jose
                                          Fight on for your fame
                                          Fight, Devils! Fight! Fight! Fight!
                                          We'll win this game! 

San Jose HS Jacket Embroidery
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Courtesy of Anthony Friend

Athletics
 
San Jose had MANY successful seasons competing in athletics. Like most small schools, basketball is the most recorded and probably the most followed sport in town. San Jose competed in basketball, baseball, track, and later in girls' softball and volleyball. It is possible that San Jose co-oped some sports but this information is not verified as of this writing. 
 
San Jose was a member of the Mackinaw Valley Conference, along with Deer Creek-Mackinaw High School, Minier, Armington, Hopedale, Green Valley, and Delavan. 
 

San Jose High School Scoreboard 2014
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Photo by Jon Wheat

Boys Basketball
 
The San Jose High School boys basketball teams ruled their small school area in the 1940s and 1950s. Between 1939-40 and 1954-55, the teams won a total of NINE District titles and one Regional title. The boys added two more Districts and a Regional in the 1960s!  Long-time coach Doug Coriell had several solid seasons at the helm. 
 
Coriell's 1968-69 team appears to be the school's best of all time. After finishing the regular season undefeated the San Jose boys cruised to the District title and proceeded to beat the "big boys" in the Regional before falling in the Sectional. Their final record was an astonishing 28-1!  The boys of 1945-46 also won their District and subsequent Regional before falling in the Sectional. Information is needed as to the facts of this and other great San Jose teams. Coaches names and records of some squads are not currently available.
 
1930-31               Mason Co. Tourney Runnersup    Coach's name & record needed
1931-32   Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1932-33   Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1933-34   Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
  
1934-35                Mason City District Tournament   Coach's name & record needed
  
1935-36                Greenview District Runner-Up  Coach's name & record needed
                             1st Rd Beat Astoria 18-14
                             Semi-final Beat Greenview 16-14
                             Title game lost to Petersburg 16-15
  
1936-37   Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1937-38   Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1938-39   Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
     
1939-40   27 - 4   IHSA District Champions           Coach Maurice T. Root
                            District Scores Needed
                            IHSA Regional Qualifier
                            Regional Scores Needed
   
1940-41   22 - 3   IHSA District Champions           Coach Maurice T. Root
                            District Scores Needed
                            IHSA Regional Qualifier
                            Regional Scores Needed
    
1941-42   19 - 6   IHSA  District Champions          Coach Maurice T. Root
                            District Scores Needed
                            Havana Regional Tournament
                            1st Rd Beat Petersburg 23-21
                            Semi-final lost to Havana 31-28
                            Havana Beat Athens in title game
     
1942-43   21 - 3   IHSA District Champions           Coach Maurice T. Root
                            District Scores Needed
                            Petersburg Regional Runner-Up
                            1st Rd Beat Williamsville 34-18
                            Semi-final Beat Havana 41-26
                            Title Game lost to Springfield 32-28
                            Springfield lost in 1st Rd of Sectional
   
1943-44   15 - 10 Postseason scores needed          Coach Maurice T. Root
     
1944-45   Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
     
1945-46   34 - 3   Greenview District Champions Coach Harold Goben 
                             Semi-final Beat Chandlerville 47-33
                             Title Game Beat Greenview 54-45
                             Petersburg Regional Champions
                             1st Rd Beat Havana 44-36
                             Semi-final Beat Athens 44-38
                             Title Game Beat Easton 37-35
                             Pekin Sectional Runner-Up
                             Semi-final Beat Pekin 39-32
                             Title Game lost to Springfield 43-32
                             Springfield lost in Sweet 16 game
      
1946-47  24 - 5    IHSA District Champions           Coach James E. Murphy
                            District Scores Needed
                            Athens Regional Tournament
                            1st Rd Beat Pleasant Plains 44-34
                            Semi-final lost to Springfeild 59-33
                            Springfield beat Athens in title game
                            Springfield won Sectional, lost in Sweet 16
       
1947-48   Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
  
1948-49               San Jose District Tournament       Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd Beat Minier 75-42
                            Semi-final lost to Hopedale 54-49
                            Hopedale lost to Green Valley in title game
  
1949-50   Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
   
1950-51               IHSA District Champions            Coach's name & record needed
                            District Scores Needed
                            Pekin Regional Runner-Up
                            1st Rd Beat Glasford 46-41
                            Semi-final Beat Tremont 39-36
                            Title Game lost to Pekin 43-40
                            Pekin lost to Woodruff in title game of Sectional
                            Woodruff lost in Elite 8 game
  
1951-52   Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
      
1952-53  10 - 15  IHSA District Champions           Coach Bob Hildebrand
                            District Scores Needed
                            Pekin Regional Tournament
                            1st Rd Beat Deer Creek-Mackinaw 66-44
                            Semi-final lost to Delavan 53-50
                            Delavan lost to Manito Forman in title game
    
1953-54  12 - 14  Postseason scores needed.         Coach George Stimeling
      
1954-55  21 - 8    IHSA District Champions           Coach George Stimeling
                            District Scores Needed
                            Limestone (Peoria) Regional
                            1st Rd lost to Morton 66-55
                            Morton lost to Pekin in title game
                  
1955-56  17 - 12  Postseason scores needed          Coach George Stimeling
1956-57    9 - 18  Postseason scores needed          Coach George Stimeling
1957-58    3 - 20  Postseason scores needed          Coach Dan Talbot
1958-59    4 - 21  Postseason scores needed          Coach Larry Exton
     
1959-60    9 - 14  Tremont District Tournament        Coach Larry Exton
                             1st Rd lost to Danvers 89-77
                             Danvers lost to Green Valley in semi-final
                             Green Valley beat Delavan in title game
   
1960-61    0 - 21  Postseason scores needed          Coach Hank Burbridge
                       
1961-62    1 - 20  Tremont District Tournament        Coach Hank Burbridge
                            1st Rd lost Delavan 54-39
                            Delavan lost to Tremont in title game
  
1962-63    1 - 22  Green Valley District Tourney      Coach William Bostwick
                            1st Rd lost to Tremont 57-30
                            Tremont lost to Green Valley in title game
    
1963-64  10 - 13  Postseason scores needed         Coach William Bostwick 
    
1964-65  18 - 7    Postseason scores needed         Coach William Bostwick 
    
1965-66  19 - 8    IHSA District Champions          Coach Doug Coriell
                            District Scores Needed
                            IHSA Regional Qualifier
                            Regional Scores Needed
     
1966-67  19 - 7    Postseason scores needed         Coach Doug Coriell
    
1967-68  21 - 4    Green Valley Dist. Runner-Up  Coach Doug Coriell
                            1st Rd Beat Danvers 86-45
                            Semi-final Beat Tremont 73-56
                            Title Game lost to Green Valley 53-52
    
1968-69  28 - 1    Undefeated Regular Season     Coach Doug Coriell
                            Tremont District Champions
                            Semi-final Beat Green Valley 80-58
                            Title Game Beat Stanford-Minier 77-59
                            Peoria Limestone Regional Champions
                            1st Rd Beat Morton 71-66
                            Semi-final Beat East Peoria 66-61
                            Title Game Beat Peoria Limestone 72-65
                            Peoria Sectional Tournament
                            Semi-final lost to Peoria Spalding 75-60
                            Spalding beat Manito Forman in title game
                            Spalding placed 4th in State Tourney
    
1969-70  13 - 11  Delavan District Tournament       Coach Doug Coriell
                            1st Rd lost to Hopedale 57-56
                            Hopedale beat Stanford in title game
   
1970-71  13 - 11  Green Valley District Tourney     Coach Doug Coriell
                            1st Rd lost to Green Valley 87-46
                            Green Valley lost to Hopedale in title game
    
1971-72  10 - 13  Mason City Class 'A' Regional     Coach Doug Coriell
                            1st Rd lost to Green Valley 45-42
                            Green Valley lost to Illini Bluffs in semi-final
                            Illini Bluffs beat Easton in title game
                            Illini Bluffs lost in title game of Sectional
   
1972-73    7 - 16  Postseason scores needed         Coach Doug Coriell
1973-74  16 - 9    Postseason scores needed         Coach Doug Coriell
1974-75  16 - 9    Postseason scores needed         Coach Doug Coriell
1975-76    4 - 19  Postseason scores needed         Coach Doug Coriell
1976-77  15 - 9    Postseason scores needed         Coach Doug Coriell
1977-78  12 - 12  Postseason scores needed         Coach Doug Coriell
1978-79    5 - 18  Postseason scores needed         Coach Doug Coriell
1979-80    4 - 19  Postseason scores needed         Coach Doug Coriell
1980-81    4 - 19  Postseason scores needed         Coach Doug Coriell
1981-82  12 - 12  Postseason scores needed         Coach Wally Utich
1982-83  15 - 11  Postseason scores needed         Coach Doug Coriell
1983-84    8 - 15  Postseason scores needed         Coach Doug Coriell
1984-85    2 - 23  Postseason scores needed         Coach Brian Boyd
1985-86  11 - 12  Postseason scores needed         Coach Dan Dhobalt
1986-87  12 - 13  Postseason scores needed         Coach Dan Dhobalt
1987-88  11 - 15  Postseason scores needed         Coach Dan Dhobalt
1988-89    7 - 14      School's Last Season              Coach Mark Tovey
                            Postseason scores needed
 
**San Jose won the Mason County tourney titles in 1940, 1941, 1943, 1947, 1950, 1967, 1968, and 1969. The Red Devils finished second in 9 other Mason County tournaments!! (thank you to Phil Shadid for this research)
 
*Coach Maurice T. Root's overall record from 1936 through 1944 was an excellent 130 - 64!! This included four District Championships. 
 
*Coach Doug Coriell coached for 18 seasons at San Jose High School.  He led the troops from 1965-66 to 1980-81 before taking a year off and coming back for two more seasons, 1982-83 and 1983-84. His overall record at San Jose was 229 - 211.
Boys Baseball
 
The San Jose High baseball team won back-to-back District titles in the early 1940s. Unfortunately there are no team records available on these and other great San Jose teams.
 
1942-43            District Champions                                       Coach Maurice Root
1943-44            District Champions                                       Coach Maurice Root
1967-68            Mackinaw Valley Conference Co-Champs
     
Boys Cross Country
 
The San Jose harriers had one athlete medal in cross country at the IHSA State Meet. John Waller accomplished this feat in 1985.
 
1985-86       John Waller      21st Place at IHSA Class "A" State Meet
 
Boys Track & Field
 
Two San Jose tracksters won medals at the IHSA Track & Field Meet as well. Eddie Meyers won the Class "B" State Championship in the 440 Yard Dash in 1925! Jim Yontz followed that with a 2nd place finish in the mile in 1933 in the one-class system.
 
1924-25B    Charles Meyers   440 Yard Run         STATE CHAMPION!!
1932-33      Jim Yontz            1 Mile Run             2ND Place
 
**Track facts from Jim Wheat:
 
*Jim Yontz’s (1933)  2nd place finish in the State had a recorded time of 4:32.5.
*Dale Engelhorn (1933) and Dale Moehring (1964) hold the school record for the 100 yard dash at 10.0. sec (That was on cinders)!
*Engelhorn also holds the school record in the 220 yard dash in 22.0 sec. also on cinders, ( 1933).
*Engelhorn and Moehring also share the long jump record of 21 ft 7 1/2 in.
 
These records were established some 56 and 25 years by these 3 athletes, and stood long before the school closed in 1989.
           
Extra-Curricular Activities
   
San Jose High School had a great deal of opportunities to offer for its students. The school offered band, chorus, student government, and FHA. There was also a very strong Future Farmers of America (FFA) program at SJHS.
  
Annual recognitions such as valedictorian were made as well. Anthony Friend was the final recipient of this award in 1989. 

San Jose High School FFA Jacket
sanjoseffajacketdav.jpg
Courtesy of Anthony Friend

Red Devil Spirit as Strong as Ever!
 
The San Jose Alumni Association is still alive and well. There is a gathering of alumni at the San Jose United Methodist Church every year, the first Saturday in April, unless it falls on Easter Weekend, then San Jose grads meet the Saturday a week prior to Easter. The 2005 honorees were members of the 1969 Basketball team and there were 250 in attendance. Normally each year an average of around 175 still attend.
 
Special Thank You 
 
Thank you to Jon, Jim, and Judy (Page) Wheat for their many contributions to the San Jose Red Devils page!
 
If You Have ANY Further Information Regarding San Jose High School...
 
...please write to us via e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net. You can also write to us via real mail at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.  60631

San Jose HS Building 2014
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Photo by Gerry Halpin

San Jose Gym Entrance 2014
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Submitted by Gerry Halpin

San Jose HS Side View 2014
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Photo by Gerry Halpin

San Jose Grade School
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San Jose, Illinois