Wyoming High School "Indians" & "Injuns"

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Wyoming HS Building - 2009
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Photo Taken By Gerry Halpin

Wyoming High School
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Wyoming, Illinois

The History of the Wyoming High School Indians
 
The city of Wyoming (population 1,424) is located 19 miles southeast of Kewanee, along Il. Rt. 17 and Il. Rt. 91 approximately 9 miles east of Il. Rt. 78.  Wyoming is situated in the center of Stark County and has a great tradition dating back to the 1920s regarding its educational system. 
 
For various reasons the School Districts in Wyoming and Toulon consolidated in 1992.  The new school district is known as Stark County High School.  It is there that the great success of education continues for the Wyoming children. 
 
The old Wyoming High School building served its last classroom full of children in the spring of 2006. The original main high school building now sits vacant.  The gymnasium and "Ag" building are still utilized however.  These buildings were constructed in the 1950s.  The original building was constructed in the 1920s.
 
Wyoming High School Quick Facts
 
Year school opened:       late 1800s / early 1900s
Year school deactivated: 1992
Consolidated to:             Stark County High School (Toulon) 
School nickname:           Indians
School colors:                Red & White until the late 1970s
                                     Red & Black from the late 1970s through 1992 
School Fight Song:         "Let's GIve A Cheer!" 
                                                 Sung to the tune of "Men of Ohio" 
                                                 Courtesy of SHARON VILATTE
 
                                     Lets give a cheer for the men of Wyoming High,
                                     Who wear the colors red and white.
                                     We'll back you up through out the victory
                                     Or even if we lose the fight!
 
                                                  Rah!  Rah!
 
                                     We got the pep and got the spirit!
                                     That's what it takes to win a game!
                                     So hurry up you W-HI Indians
                                     We'll see up at the top to gain your fame!
 
                                     We are the W-Hi School Indians!
                                     We fight to keep our dear name in fame.
                                     So hurry up you W-Hi Indians
                                     Red,White,Red,White fight fight on!
 
                                     T-Hee,T-Hee,T-Hee Ha,Ha,
                                     W-Hi, W-Hi, Rah!  Rah! Rah!     

Wyoming High School Gymnasium
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Home of the

Athletics
 
Wyoming High School has a very rich tradition of competitive teams and good athletes.   The school competed in the old Black Hawk and Lincoln Trail Conferences. For more information on the Blackhawk Conference check out John Ballentine's article on the GREAT CONFERENCES page of this site. There is an extensive football record on the IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org) however the other sports are somewhat skimmed over.  If you have more information to share regarding athletics and the better teams at WHS please complete a School Submission Form. 
 
Football 
 
The boy's football team enjoyed many great Friday nights of success.  The team qualified for the IHSA playoffs on 3 occassions making it to the Sweet 16 during the 1986 season. You cannot write about Wyoming HS football and not mention Coach Gary Johnson.   The years in which he coached at Wyoming HS berfore the merger with Toulon are difficult to follow.  However when you include his record upon taking over the Stark County HS football program he finished his career with an overall mark of 180 - 113!  The better records of the Wyoming HS Indian football teams are listed below.
 
1927    7 - 1                                                          Coach's name unavailable
1950    5 - 3        4th place Blackhawk Conference
1952    5 - 2 - 1   3rd place Blackhawk Conference
1953    6 - 2        3rd place Blackhawk Conference
1954    7 - 1        Blackhawk Conference Co-Champs        Coach Howard Budreau
1955    4 - 1 - 3    2nd place Blackhawk Conference             Coach Howard Budreau
1956    7 - 1 - 1    2nd place Blackhawk Conference             Coach Howard Budreau
1958    6 - 3                                                                                    Coach Larry Leadley
1959    5 - 2 - 1    4th Blackhawk Conference
1968    5 - 3 - 1    5th place Blackhawk Conference
1971    7 - 1 - 1    2nd place Blackhawk Conference              Coach Gary Johnson
1972    7 - 2         3rd place Blackhawk Conference                Coach Gary Johnson
1973    8 - 1 - 1    2nd in the Blackhawk Conference              Coach Gary Johnson
1974    6 - 1 - 2    4th in the Blackhawk Conference               Coach Gary Johnson
   
1978    8 - 2         Class 2A Qualifier                                          Coach Gary Johnson
                              1st Rd Lost to Sherrard 34 - 0
 
1980    8 - 2         Class 1A Qualifier                                          Coach Gary Johnson
                              Black Hawk Conf. Champs
                              1st Rd Lost to Lexington 43 - 6
                               Lexington finished 2nd
   
1983    7 - 2        3rd place Indian Valley East                           Coach Gary Johnson
 
1986    8 - 3         Class 1A Sweet 16                                         Coach Gary Johnson
                              Beat Monmouth Warren 21 - 14
                              Lost to Annawan 25 - 7
   
**Wyoming last independently fielded a football team in 1989.  In 1990 and 1991 they Co-op'd with Princeville and consolidated with Toulon in 1992. 
 
Boys Basketball
 
The boy's basketball team also brougth home some IHSA hardware.  Their best seasons are listed below.  Information is being sought on the 20 game winners and better teams that failed to win IHSA hardware. Blackhawk Conference championship teams were provided to us by John Ballentine.
 
Scores involving Wyoming HS boys in the IHSA Tournament were located on a website titled "Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores." These scores are printed below.
 
1921-22                   Galesburg District Tournament               Coach's name & record needed
                                   1st Rd lost to Galesburg 43-13
                                   Galesburg beat Williamsfield in title game
   
1922-23 through 1929-30  Postseason scores, records, and coaches' names needed
   
1930-31                    IHSA District Champions                        Coach's name & record needed
                                   District scores needed
                                   Peoria Sectional Tournament
                                   1st Rd lost to Wenona 24-14
                                   Wenona lost to Peoria Manual in title game
  
1931-32  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
1932-33  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
    
1933-34                    Elmwood District Tournament              Coach's name & record needed
                                   1st Rd Beat Maquon 20-18 (O/T)
                                   2nd Rd lost to Yates City
                                   Yates City lost to Peoria Central in semi-final
                                   Peoria Central beat Farmington for title
   
1934-35                    Galva District Tournament                      Coach's name & record needed
                                   1st Rd Beat Geneseo 27-26
                                   2nd Rd lost to Galva 24-19
                                   Galva lost to Alpha in semi-final
                                   Alpha lost to Kewanee in title game 
  
1935-36                    Princeville District Tournament              Coach's name & record needed
                                   1st Rd Beat Yates City 19-17
                                   Semi-final lost to Peoria Central 18-9
                                   Peoria Central beat Toulon in title game
   
1936-37                    Elmwood Regional Tournament           Coach's name & record needed
                                   1st Rd Beat Brimfield 21-18
                                   2nd Rd Beat Toulon 31-23
                                   Semi-final lost to Dunlap 25-20
                                   Dunlap lost title game to Peoria Manual 
   
1937-38  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
   
1938-39                   Princeton Regiional Tournament           Coach's name & record needed
                                  1st Rd lost to Mendota 61-20
                                  Mendota beat DePue 29-25 in title game
  
1939-40  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
1940-41  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
              
1941-42                    Galesburg Regional Tournament         Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd lost to Knoxville 25-24
                                    Knoxville lost to MaQuon in title game
 
1942-43                     Blackhawk Conf. Champs                     Coach's name & record needed
                                    Galesburg Regional Tournament
                                    1st Rd lost to Galesburg Corpus Christi 38-25
                                    Corpus Christi lost to Galesburg in semi-final
                                    Galesburg beat Knoxville for title
      
1943-44                     Blackhawk Conf. Champs                     Coach's name & record needed
                                    Postseason scores needed     
           
1944-45      7 - 16    Kewanee Regional Tournament           Coach Ralph Zech
                                    1st Rd lost to Wethersfield 32-21
                                    Wethersfield lost to Geneseo in semi-final
                                    Geneseo lost to Kewanee in title game
   
1945-46      5 - 15    Kewanee Regional Tournament           Coach Sam St. John
                                    1st Rd Beat Toulon 50-37
                                    Semi-final lost to Kewanee 61-22
                                    Kewanee beat Wethersfield for the title
  
1946-47                     Kewanee Regional Tournament           Coach William Herdee 
                                     Season record needed
                                    1st Rd lost to Galva 39-30
                                    Galva lost to Kewanee in title game
                        
1947-48                     Kewanee Regional Tournament           Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd Beat Bradford 54-46
                                    Semi-final lost to Galva 48-33
                                    Kewanee beat Galva for the title
  
1948-49                     Kewanee Regional Tournament           Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd lost to Atkinson 47-33
                                    Atkinson lost semi-final to Galva
                                    Galva lost to Kewanee in title game 
    
1949-50                     Kewanee Regional Tournament           Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd lost to Bradford 39-35
                                     Bradford lost to Kewanee in semi-final
                                     Kewanee beat Galva for title
  
1950-51                     Kewanee Regional Tournament           Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd lost to Cambridge 69-48
                                     Cambridge lost to Kewanee in semi-final
                                     Kewanee beat Galva for title
   
1951-52                      Princeville Regional Tournament        Coach's name & record needed
                                     1st Rd lost to Kewanee 71-48
                                     Kewanee beat Mineral for title
  
1952-53                     Kewanee Regional Runner-Up             Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd Beat Atkinson 50-48
                                    Semi-final Beat Bradford 72-69
                                    Title game lost to Kewanee 63-61
   
1953-54                     Kewanee Regional Runner-Up             Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd Beat Buda 86-61
                                    Semi-final Beat Bradford 77-72
                                    Title game lost to Kewanee 67-57
   
1954-55                     Princeville Regional Tournament         Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd lost to Buda 68-55
                                    Buda lost to Kewanee in title game
   
1955-56                     Kewanee Regional Tournament           Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd lost to Princeville 61-55
                                    Princeville lost to Toulon in semi-final
                                    Toulon lost to Kewanee in title game
  
1956-57                     Kewanee Regional Champions            Coach Gerald "Chic" Anderson
                                    Blackhawk Conf. Champs
                                    Kewanee Regional Tourney
                                    1st Rd Beat Dunlap 59-49
                                    Semi-final Beat Wethersfield 46-44
                                    Title Game Beat Princeville 82-56
                                    Ottawa Sectional Tournament
                                    Semi-final lost to LaSalle-Peru 66-61
                                    LaSalle-Peru lost to Ottawa in title game 
**Coach Gerald "Chic" Anderson went on to coach at Conant High Schooland Palatine High School from the early 1960s through 1982. He was inducted into the IBCA Hall of Fame honoring his long and successful career, which likely started at Wyoming High School! (Thank you to J.V. Boltz for this information.)
   
1957-58                     Princeville Regional Tournament         Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd Beat Toulon 42-34
                                    Semi-final lost to Wethersfield 64-39
                                    Wethersfield lost to Kewanee in title game
    
1958-59                     Kewanee Regional Tournament           Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd Beat Princeville 64-54
                                    Semi-final lost to Dunlap 68-51
                                    Dunlap lost title game to Kewanee
  
1959-60                     Kewanee Regional Tournament           Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd lost to Princeville 81-61
                                    Princeville lost to Bradford in semi-final
                                    Bradford lost to Kewanee in title game
    
1960-61     12 - 12   Bradford Regional Tournament             Coach Charles Westphal
                                    1st Rd lost to Princeville 66-53
                                    Princeville beat Kewanee in semi-final
                                    Princeville beat Bradford in title game
  
1961-62                     Princeville Regional Tournament         Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd lost to Annawan 56-54
                                    Annawan beat Kewanee in semi-final
                                    Annawan lost to Princeville in title game
   
1962-63       7 - 16   Kewanee Regional Tournament           Coach Don Talbot
                                    1st Rd lost to Princeville 55-44
                                    Princeville beat Bradford in semi-final
                                    Princeville beat Annawan in title game
   
1963-64       8 - 16   Kewanee Regional Tournament           Coach Don Talbot needed
                                    1st Rd lost to Wethersfield 45-44
                                     Wethersfield beat Princeville in semi-final
                                     Wethersfield lost to Kewanee in title game
  
1964-65      6 - 17     Kewanee Regional Tournament           Coach Don Talbot
                                     1st Rd lost to Princeville 77-55
    
1965-66  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
    
1966-67                     Kewanee Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd lost to Annawan 54-36
                                    Annawan lost to Dunlap in semi-final
                                    Dunlap lost to Wethersfield in title game
  
1967-68                     Kewanee Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd lost to Wethersfield 95-75
                                    Wethersfield beat Princeville in  semi-final
                                    Wethersfield beat Kewanee in title game
   
1968-69    12 - 13    Princeville Regional Tournament          Coach Don Talbot
                                    1st Rd lost to Wethersfield 80-65
                                     Wethersfield lost to Annawan in semi-final
                                     Kewanee beat Annawan in title game
   
1969-70                     Kewanee Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                                    1st Rd lost to Henry 82-44
                                    Henry beat Princeville in  semi-final
                                    Henry lost to Kewanee in title game
  
1970-71      6 - 18     Henry Regional Tournament                 Coach John Cromein
                                    1st Rd lost to Princeville 67-52
                                    Princeville lost to Kewanee in  semi-final
                                    Kewanee beat Henry in title game
   
1971-72      5 - 15    Galva Class 1A Regional Tourney        Coach Jerry Hill
                                    1st Rd lost to Bradford 80-73
                                    Bradford lost to Toulon in semi-final
                                    Princeville beat Toulon in title game
  
1972-73      5 - 15    IHSA Class 1A Regional Tourney         Coach Jerry Hill
                                    1st Rd lost to Bradford 89-74
   
1973-74    11 - 14    Postseason scores needed                  Coach Frank Cittadino
1974-75    15 - 11    Postseason scores needed                  Coach Tom Hensel
1975-76    17 - 8      Postseason scores needed                  Coach Tom Hensel
1976-77                    Postseason scores, record needed     Coach Tom Hensel
1977-78      7  - 17   Postseason scores needed                  Coach Tom Hensel
 
1978-79    20 - 6      Blackhawk Conf. Co-Champs              Coach Tom Hensel
                                    Postseason scores needed 
  
1979-80                     Postseason scores, record needed   Coach Ron Norman
1980-81    17 - 9       Postseason scores needed                Coach Ron Norman
1981-82                     Postseason scores, record needed   Coach Ron Norman
1982-83                     Postseason scores, record needed   Coach Ron Norman
1983-84  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
1984-85  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
1985-86  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
1986-87  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
1987-88  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
1988-89  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
1989-90  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
   
1990-91                     IHSA Class 1A Regional Champions   Coach's name & record needed
                                    Regional scores needed
                                    Sectional scores needed
   
*1991-92  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
   
*Final season as the Wyoming High School "Indians".
   
Boys Track
 
Wyoming High School enjoyed some success in the early 1920s with two individuals bringing home IHSA medals.  The two led the Wyoming team to a 9th place finish in the state track meet in 1921.  This is incredible considering the one-class system being operated under at the time.
 
1919-20    Oliver Graves      880 Yard Run        4th Place
 
1920-21    Team Finished in 9th Place at the State Track Meet
 
                 Individual Medalists
                
                 Oliver Graves      440 Yard Dash      2nd Place 
                 Gale Stout            Discus                     2nd Place
 
In addition to individual accomplishments, the Toulon High School boys won a few Stark County High School Track Meets over the years.  The following information regarding this meet was provided to us by John Ballentine:
 
   "The Stark County track/field and declamatory meet was a major event for decades.  It was fiercely fought in order to win that particular year and claim county bragging rights.  Businesses and schools, even the grade schools, were closed early in order to attend the afternoon meet.  Main streets resembled ghost towns because a majority of the county's population was at the contest.
     Records were kept and trophies, plaques, ribbons, etc. were awarded.  Yet, in 1990 the county meet could no longer be held.  Castleton High no longer existed, Toulon and LaFayette Highs were consolidated, and Bradford began co-opting with Tiskilwa to form a track team.  Since Tiskilwa was not part of Stark County, this eliminated Bradford's participation leaving only Toulon-LaFayette and Wyoming as the competitors from the original 5 schools.  Therefore, the meet was permanently discontinued after 1989."
 
Wyoming High School boys reigned as champions of this once annual event during the following spring seasons:
 
1914, 1921, 1922, 1959, 1963 
 
The Indian thinclads earned a total of 5 Stark County Track Meet Championships over the years.  
 
Girls Basketball   
 
The "Injuns" (as the girls' teams were nicknamed) were not to be outdone, bringing home 3 Regional titles of their own.  The records and coaches of the better Wyoming girl's basketball teams are being sought.
 
1976-77   15 - 3     Regional Champions           Coach Ron Eisenbarth
                                 Beat Henry 60 - 29
                                 Beat Chillicothe IVC 57 - 41
                                 Regional Champ. Game
                                 Beat Dunlap 37 - 27
                                 Sectional Semi-Final
                                  Lost to Washington 47 - 41
 
**Enrollments:  Washington HS 1,690, Wyoming HS 202
                       This was before the two-class system.
 
1977-78   12 - 2     Regional Champions           Coach Ron Eisenbarth
                                 Beat Dunlap 45 - 38
                                 Regional Champ. Game
                                 Beat Bradford 63 - 34
                                 Sectional Semi-Final
                                 Lost to Kewanee 55 - 37
 
**Enrollments:  Kewanee HS approx. 800, Wyoming HS approx. 200
        The two-class system for girls started in the 1979-80 season.
 
Thank you to Mariann Harmon Griggs for the playoff information regarding the Regional Champs of 1978 and 1979!
 
1982-83   21 - 4      Regional Champions        Coach Ron Carrothers 
                                  Regional scores needed
                                  Sectional scores needed
 
Girls Volleyball and Track
 
Information is being sought regarding the volleyball and girl's basketball teams at Wyoming High School. Please complete a School Submission form if you would like to share this information with us.
 
Great Coach
 
Coach Gary Johnson is one of the legends of high school football in Illinois.  His overall record of 180 - 113 ranks # 42 all-time in IHSA football history. Coach Johnson is truly an icon not only in Wyoming but in the upper midwest region of Illinois also. 
 
Sadly Coach Johnson passed away on June 12, 2006 at the young age of 63.  He will be sorely missed by the people of Wyoming and Stark County. During the 2006 football season, the Wyoming football field was renamed Gary Johnson Field in the late coach's honor.
 
Wyoming High School Enrollment (Grades 9 - 12)
 
1954-55         209
1955-56         200
1956-57         201
 
Seeking Further Information
 
We are seeking any further information regarding Wyoming High School.  Please drop us an e-mail via the School Submission Form or Guest Commentary.  We are also seeking a photo of the old Wyoming High School building.  You may write us at:
 
 
OR
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago. Il.  60631

Gary Johnson Field
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Wyoming, IL

Wyoming High School
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Front View