Argenta High School "Bombers"

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Argenta-Oreana High School
argentahsdav1.jpg
Former Argenta High School Building?

The History of Argenta High School
 
Argenta (population 921) is located in east-central Illinois in the northwestern portion of Macon County.  Argenta sits about six miles northeast of Decatur. Illinois Route 48 is the main roadway leading to and from Argenta. Interstate Highway 72 runs to the southeast of town. The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad runs alongside Route 48 while the Kickapoo Creek flows around the northside of Argenta.
 
The history of the town of Argenta and its school system are in need of research;.  It is probable that a school system was in place for Argenta students by the late 1800s.  A high school was certainly in place by the early 1900s.  Argenta High School served the town and surrounding rural kids for over six decades.  Consolidation talks arose in the mid-1960s between the school districts of Argenta and the nearby town of Oreana.  This effort led to the creation of the Argenta-Oreana School District in 1966.
 
The high school for the new district is still located today in Argenta.  It was for many years held in the original Argenta High School building which is pictured above, with a few building additions.  Recently the Argenta-Oreana School District completed a new building for $15 million that will serve the two towns and surrounding area for many years to come.
 
Argenta High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                               late 1800s / early 1900s
Year consolidated with Oreana:  1966
Consolidated to:                          Argenta-Oreana School District
Argenta HS team nickname:       the "Bombers" (possibly the "Hawks ")
Argenta HS team colors:             Orange & Blue
School Fight Song:                      unavailable
Athletics
 
Argenta High School offered boys basketball (www.ihsa.org) and probably baseball, track, and football as well.  Team nickname, team colors, team records, coach's names, and school fight song are all items we are seeking to help better document the Argenta HS athletic program.
 
Boys Basketball
 
Argenta High School was a cause for great excitement on many a winter night.  The boys basketball team had some great seasons in the 1950s and early 1960s.  A total of SEVEN District titles and one Regional title showed the Argenta HS strengths of the era.  The year of 1950-51 saw Argenta's deepest run into the State Tourney making it all the way to Sectional Tournament action.  Coach's names and team records of these and other great Argenta teams are not currently available. Scores involving Argenta HS in the IHSA State Tournament were located on a website titled "Illinois High School Postseason Basketball Scores" and are listed below.

1921-22          Decatur District Tournament            Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd lost to Dawson 15-12
                       Atwood beat Bethany in title game
                       Atwood lost to Centralia 24-16 in State Championship Game
     
1922-23 through 1931-32  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
   
1932-33          Monticello District Tournament        Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd lost to Monticello 21-17
                       Monticello beat Cerro Gordo in title game 
1933-34          Monticello District Tournament        Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd lost to Bement 20-19
                       Mahomet beat Bement in title game    
1934-35          Decatur District Tournament            Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd lost to Decatur 31-4
                       Clinton beat Decatur in title game     
  
1935-36          Monticello District Tournament        Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd lost to Lovoington 24-23
                       Lovington beat Bement in title game 
1936-37          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd Beat Niantic 30-20
                        2nd Rd lost to Clinton 24-10
                       Decatur beat Clinton in title game 
1937-38  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed

1938-39          IHSA District Champions              Coach's name & record needed
                       District Scores Needed
                       Decatur Regional Runner-Up
                       1st Rd Beat Bement 29-25
                       Semi-final Beat Cerro Gordo 29-20
                       Title Game lost to Decatur 35-24
1939-40          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd lost to Kenny 29-28
                       Clinton beat Wapella in title game
1940-41          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd Beat Wapella 35-24
                        2nd Rd lost to Bloomington 31-18
                        Clinton beat Bloomington in title game 
  
1941-42  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1942-43          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd lost to Bloomington Trinity 40-33
                       Bloomington HS beat Clinton in title game
1943-44          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd Beat Maroa 53-17
                       2nd Rd lost to Clinton 45-27
                       Clinton beat Bloomington in title game
  
1944-45          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd lost to Bloomington 54-37
                       Bloomington HS beat Clinton in title game
  
1945-46          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd lost to Deland 61-45
                       Clinton beat Deland in title game
  
1946-47          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd lost to Bloomington 51-21
                       Clinton beat Bloomington in title game
  
1947-48          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd lost to Bloomington 49-37
                       Clinton beat Bloomington in title game
  
1948-49          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach Don Sullivan
                       1st Rd lost to Bloomington 49-36
                       Clinton beat Bloomington in title game
1949-50          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach Don Sullivan
                       1st Rd lost to Bloomington 65-51
                       Clinton beat Farmer City in title game

1950-51          Waynesville District Champions  Coach Don Sullivan
                       Semi-final Beat Kenney 54-44
                       Title Game Beat Beason 73-53
                       Clinton Regional Champions
                       1st Rd Beat Bloomington Trinity 49-46
                       Semi-final Beat Clinton 59-39
                       Title Game Beat Leroy 61-54 (O/T)
                       Decatur Sectional Runner-Up
                       Semi-final Beat Mattoon 60-58
ARGENTA (60): Dalton 21, Groves 12, Harrison 11, Walters 7, Craft 6, Reeser 2, Hallendorf 2.
MATTOON (58): South 14, Wagner 13, Sewell 13, Davis 7, Manuel 3, Branson 3.
                       Title Game lost to Decatur 73-57
DECATUR (73): Meurlot 28, Poland 19, Olivero 10, Norman 9, Shildneck 4, Hughes 2, Alderson 1.
ARGENTA (57): Walters 21, Groves 13, Dalton 13, Craft 5, Reeser 3, Harrison 2.
                       Decatur placed 4th in State Tournament
                       Argenta finished as one of the Top 32 Teams in the State!
   
1951-52          McLean District Tournament           Coach Don Sullivan
                       1st Rd lost to Beason 61-42
                       Beason beat McLean in title game  
1952-53          Argenta District Tournament           Coach Don Sullivan
                       1st Rd Beat Wapella 74-52
                       Semi-final lost to Beason 79-73
                       Beason beat Waynesville in title game 
    
1953-54          Argenta District Champions        Coach Don Sullivan
                       Early Rd Scores Needed
                       Title Game Beat Kenny 75-56
                       Clinton Regional Tournament
                       1st Rd lost to Clinton 49-45
                       Bloomington Trinity beat Clinton in title game

1954-55          IHSA District Champions             Coach's name & record needed
                       District Scores Needed
                       Clinton Regional Tournament
                       1st Rd Beat Farmer City 65-62
                       Semi-final lost to Bloomington 66-52
                       Clinton beat Bloomington in title game
  
1955-56          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd Beat Heyworth 94-59
                       2nd Rd lost to Clinton 70-56
                       Clinton beat Farmer City in title game
   
1956-57          Argenta District Champions         Coach's name & record needed
                       Semi-final Beat Beason 67-56
                       Title Game Beat Wapella 64-46
                       Clinton Regional Runner-Up
                       1st Rd Beat Bloomington Trinity 83-61
                       Semi-final Beat Farmer City 78-63
                       Title Game lost to Maroa 82-57
MAROA (82): Brown 18, G. McClung 17, Chalcraft 15, Staudt 12, L. McClung 12, Connelly 4, James 2, Thomas 2.
ARGENTA (57): Roberts 29, Fear 12, Nixon 6, Phillips 6, Justice 3, Querry 1.
   
1957-58          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd lost to Bloomington Trinity 71-64
                       Bloomington Trinity beat Clinton in title game
   
1958-59          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd Beat Bloomington Trinity 84-62
                       Semi-final lost to Maroa 68-60
                       Maroa beat Clinton in title game
1959-60          Bloomington Region Runner-Up  Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd Beat Bloomington Trinity 61-54
                       Semi-final Beat Maroa 59-58
                       Title Game lost to Clinton 57-55
CLINTON (57): May 16, Steward 14, Helm 11, Griffin 10, Hartsock 6.
ARGENTA (55): Darnall 15, Fombelle 13, McCammack 12, Allen 11, Justice 4.
1960-61          Clinton Regional Runner-Up         Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd Beat Maroa 65-42
                       Semi-final Beat Bloomington 74-62
                       Title Game lost to Clinton 71-54
CLINTON (71): McKeown 24, May 14, Steward 11, Helm 9, Hartsock 9, Wilson 2, Griffin 2
ARGENTA (54): Fombelle 13, Allan 13, Beadleston 10, Bryant 10, White 6, Drake 2.
  
1961-62          Bloomington Regional Tournament  Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd Beat Maroa 67-56
                       Semi-final lost to Bloomington 64-41
                       Bloomington beat Beason in title game
  
1962-63          Clinton Regional Tournament          Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd Beat Maroa-Forsythe 71-54
                       Semi-final lost to Bloomington Trinity 75-51
                       Trinity beat Bloomington in title game
  
1963-64          Bloomington Regional Tournament  Coach's name & record needed
                       1st Rd Beat Clinton 61-57
                       Semi-final lost to Bloomington 37-32
                       Bloomington beat Bloomington Trinity in title game

1964-65          Cerro Gordo District Champs        Coach's name & record needed
                       Semi-final Beat Illiopolis 65-41
                       Title Game Beat Cerro Gordo 61-46
                       Bloomington Regional Tournament 
                       1st Rd Beat Warrensburg-Latham 37-36
                       Semi-final lost to Stephen Decatur 89-47
                       Stephen Decatur beat Decatur in title game
                       Stephen Decatur lost in Elite 8 Round
                        
1965-66 
         Niantic District Champs                 Coach's name & record needed
                       Semi-final Beat Cerro Gordo 72-58
                       Title Game Beat Niantic-Harristown 81-66
                       Decatur Regional Tournament 
                       1st Rd lost to Warrensburg-Latham 47-45
                       Stephen Decatur beat Decatur Eisenhower in title game
                       Stephen Decatur placed 4th in IHSA state tourney.

MEMORIES

**From Michael Sullivan regarding Coach Don Sullivan (1948-49 through 1953-54):
 
"I was researching my father, Don Sullivan, basketball coaching career and found an Argenta High School page in need of information.  My father coached at Argenta beginning 1948-1949 through the 1953-1954 seasons.  After that he coached the 1954-1955 Peoria Spalding team to the Elite Eight 22-6.  His next position was a year at Farmer City 1955-1956 before moving on to coach at LaSalle-Peru.  This finished his high school coaching as he coached an AAU team "Ottawa Falstaff" and then a stint at LPO Junior College before becoming the first basketball coach at the College of DuPage.

Both my father and his brother Andy coached at the same time and were a successful part of IHSA basketball history.

I recently saw scrapbooks with newspaper articles and pictures from some of his time at Argenta, Peoria Spalding, and Farmer City.  Dad has a large frame sketch of old Peoria Spalding  in his living room given to him be a team member at a class reunion and has been a lifetime friend of a player he coached on the 1950-51 Argenta team that was beaten by Decatur in the Sectional Final."
 
**From Jim:
 
"I was in the Argenta - Oreana school district from 1961- 1973 . We were known as the Bombers the entire time.That has been their nickname for a long time. Before WWII probably was different."
     
Seeking More Information
 
More information is being sought about Argenta High School. Corrections are welcome as well. If you have more information about AHS, including photos of the school, nickname, and other great teams and high school memories you would like to share please write to us via e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net . You may also write to us via real mail at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago,  IL  60631