Lovington High School "Panthers"

Closed High Schools Alumni Apparel
IN THE BEGINNING - Where Closed High Schools Consolidated To
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*Lovington High School
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Lovington High School Building 2012
Submitted by Parker Whitaker

Lovington High School Sign 2012
Submitted by Parker Whitaker

The History of Lovington High School
Lovington (population 1,222) is located in southeastern Illinois in the northwestern portion of Moultrie County. Illinois Route 133 and Illinois Route 32 are the main roadways to and from Lovington. County Highway 1 also takes you into town. Lovington is about 21 miles southeast of Decatur.  
An excellent history of the town and township of Lovington is found at the web address of http://www.rootsweb.ancestry.com/~ilmoult2/Publications/1881_CombinedHistory/lovingto.html .
This address is summarized as follows:
The town is named after Andrew Love, the area's first post-master. The area in which Lovington is located was first settled in 1838. In 1849 the first building in which the town of Lovington is situated was erected. Store buildings and houses began to spring up throughout the town limits.
The first school was built in 1854. The village continued to grow and prosper over the next 20 years. Lovington was incorporated as a village in April of 1873. In 1881 Lovington had over 20 businesses including four hotels, four restaurants, and five doctors. There was even an offical town band.

Lovington High School Rear Complex
Submitted by Dennis Downey

The history of Lovington High School is in need of further research. We do know that Lovington High School was started in 1885. The school system (District 303) served the community and surrounding farm families for 127 years. Falling enrollment and financial issues led to the decision to close the high school at the end of the 2011-2012 school year. The last class of Lovington High School graduated in May of 2012.  The kids of Lovington will now attend high school in nearby Arthur.
The Lovington High School building and facilities will be razed in the summer of 2012.

Lovington HS Rear Fire Escape
Submitted by Dennis Downey

Lovington HS Inscription - "Township High School"
Submitted by Dennis Downey

The following lists the enrollment at Lovington High School for most of the past decade:
2011: 78
Two excellent YouTube videos are available at the following web addresses:
Last home game alumni pom pon squad:
Lovington High School Quick Facts 
Year opened:            1885
Year closed:              2012
Consolidated to:       Arthur High School
Team Nickname:      the "Panthers"
Uniform Colors:        Purple & Gold
School Fight Song:  "Onward Lovington"
                                    Sung to University of Wisconsin Fight Song tune.
                                    Submitted by Parker Whitaker.
                                    Onward Lovington, Onward Lovington,
                                    Step up to that line!
                                    Put the ball right through the basket,
                                    Scores count up each time!
                                    Rah! Rah! Rah!
                                    Onward Lovington, Onward Lovington,
                                    Fight on for your fame!
                                    Fight Fellas, FIGHT! FIGHT! FIGHT!
                                    We'll Win This Game!
The Purple and Gold "Panthers" of Lovington High School had some real nice seasons over the 127 years the school was in existence. The athletes brought home a total of 5 District titles and 11 (yes ELEVEN!) Regional Championships and 1 Sectional Championship in a variety of sports.
We are in need of the season records and coaches names of many of these seasons. We are also curious as to the football, track, and girls basketball programs at Lovington High School. If you have any information regarding these, or any other activities at LHS please write to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net .

Lovington HS Panther Statue - 2012
Photo by Parker Whitaker

Lovington HS Panther Statue - 2012
"Classes of 2008 & 2009" Photo by Dennis Downey

The Lovington High School girls had some fantasitc seasons during their tenure. It appears that Lovington and Arthur co-oped at least in 2003-04 season for a very exciting run in the state tournament. The team won the Regional and Sectional Championships, advancing to the Sweet 16 round and a spot in the Super Sectional. Though they would lose to Casey Westfield in a hard fought game they did advance further than any other team from Lovington in its storied history.
1995-96     0 - 6                                                       Coach Jean Holmes
1996-97   10 - 12                                                      Coach Jean Holmes
1997-98     7 - 12                                                      Coach Jean Holmes
1998-99     7 - 15                                                      Coach Jean Holmes
1999-00     8 - 12                                                      Coach Jean Holmes
2000-01   10 - 10                                                      Coach Jean Holmes
2001-02   16 - 4               Regional Champions        Coach Jean Holmes
2002-03   17 - 4 - 1          Regional Champions        Coach Jean Holmes
2003-04   28 - 3              Sweet 16 Finalists!!           Coach Jean Holmes
                                     Regional Champions
                                     Sectional Champions
                                     Beat Danville Schlarman 1-0
                                     Super-Sectional Game
                                     Lost to Casey-Westfield 2-1
                                     Casey Lost in Elite 8 Round
2009-10     8 - 12                                                      Coach Matt Darling
2010-11   12 - 10                                                      Coach Matt Darling

Lovington HS Baseball / Softball Booth - 2012
Courtesy of Parker Whitaker

The Lovington High School boys baseball program was extrememly successful in the middle 1940s. The boys won three District Championships in one four year span. We are seeking season records, coaches names, and other information on these teams as well as the many other LHS diamond seasons.
1943-44       District Champions
1945-46       District Champions
1946-47       District Champions

Lovington HS Gymnasium Entrance - 2012
Submitted by Parker Whitaker

Lovington HS Gymnasium Front - 2012
Courtesy of Dennis Downey

The Lovington High School Panthers boys basketball teams had some excellent seasons over the years. Most impresssive are the two District and three Regional Championships won by the hardwood court men. The program dates back to at least 1911-12 and enjoyed at least five 20+ games-won seasons. The boys won three of their Regional titles during the last 8 years that the school was open, proven the Panthers had a fighting spirit to the very end. The team of 2004-05 seems to have the best overal record in the history of the school, going 26 - 2 enroute to a Regional Championship. We are searching for the records of the Regional title teams of 2008 and 2009 however.
1911-12    2 - 0                                                           Coach O.C. Bailey
1912-13    1 - 4                                                           Coach O.C. Bailey
1913-14    3 - 0                                                           Coach ??
1914-15    4 - 2                                                           Coach Sean Hoover
1920-21    2 - 8                                                           Coach ??
1921-22    5 - 8                                                           Coach Beidermann
1922-23    7 - 10                                                         Coach Wilber
1923-24    6 - 7                                                           Coach Brunner
1924-25  16 - 7                                                           Coach Dalton
1925-26  15 - 5                                                           Coach Paul Meier
1926-27  10 - 12                                                         Coach Paul Meier
1927-28    8 - 13                                                         Coach Paul Meier
1928-29    3 - 15                                                         Coach Klein
1929-30    4 - 13                                                         Coach C.C. Galbreath
1930-31  15 - 8                                                           Coach C.C. Galbreath
1931-32    7 - 18                                                         Coach C.C. Galbreath
1932-33  16 - 11                                                         Coach C.C. Galbreath
1933-34  11 - 13                                                         Coach C.C. Galbreath
1934-35    9 - 16                                                         Coach C.C. Galbreath
1935-36  18 - 9         District Champions                    Coach C.C. Galbreath
1936-37  18 - 10       District Champions                    Coach Bud Russell
1937-38  21 - 4                                                          Coach Bud Russell 
1938-39  19 - 5                                                          Coach Bud Russell
1939-40  17 - 5                                                          Coach Bud Russell
1940-41    9 - 12                                                        Coach Bud Russell
1941-42  11 - 10                                                        Coach Bud Russell
1942-43    9 - 11                                                        Coach Kenneth Robley
1943-44    9 - 13                                                        Coach Warren Crews
1944-45  15 - 8                                                          Coach Warren Crews
1945-46  21 - 9                                                          Coach Warren Crews
1946-47  10 - 15                                                        Coach Warren Crews
1947-48  12 - 12                                                        Coach Al Best
1948-49    8 - 16                                                        Coach W.L. Kias
1949-50  13 - 8                                                          Coach Al Best
1950-51    1 - 19                                                        Coach Jean Mason
1951-52    2 - 21                                                        Coach Jean Mason
1952-53    2 - 21                                                        Coach Jean Mason
1953-54    1 - 20                                                        Coach Thomas Pieffer
1954-55  16 - 9                                                          Coach Eddie Root
1955-56    7 - 17                                                        Coach Eddie Root 
1956-57    7 - 15                                                        Coach Eddie Root 
1957-58    5 - 17                                                        Coach Frank Bogle
1958-59    5 - 15                                                        Coach Bob McAllister
1959-60    6 - 18                                                        Coach Bob McAllister
1960-61  10 - 9                                                          Coach Bob McAllister
1961-62    5 - 16                                                        Coach Bob McAllister
1962-63    6 - 15                                                        Coach Bill Jarvis
1963-64  10 - 13                                                        Coach Bill Jarvis
1964-65    6 - 17                                                        Coach Bill Jarvis
1965-66    5 - 17                                                        Coach Ted Anderson
1966-67  15 - 8                                                          Coach Ted Anderson 
1967-68  14 - 9                                                          Coach Ted Anderson 
1968-69  11 - 12                                                        Coach Ted Anderson
1969-70    3 - 18                                                        Coach Ted Anderson
1970-71    3 - 19                                                        Coach Dale Doehring
1971-72  11 - 13                                                        Coach Dale Doehring
1972-73    6 - 16                                                        Coach Dale Doehring
1973-74    8 - 13                                                        Coach Doug Aschermann
1974-75   13 - 13                                                        Coach Doug Aschermann
1975-76   12 - 11                                                        Coach Doug Aschermann
1976-77   19 - 7                                                          Coach Doug Aschermann
1977-78     5 - 18                                                        Coach Nik Groothuis
1978-79     1 - 22                                                        Coach Nik Groothuis
1979-80     4 - 18                                                        Coach Larry Hight
1980-81     5 - 18                                                        Coach Rod Sink
1981-82     4 - 18                                                        Coach Joe Gale
1982-83     4 - 19                                                        Coach Joe Gale
1983-84     7 - 17                                                        Coach Mike Price
1984-85     4 - 16                                                        Coach Hal Spencer
1985-86   13 - 10                                                        Coach Hal Spencer
1986-87   17 - 8                                                          Coach Ray Duncan
1987-88   23 - 4         Regional Champions                Coach Ray Duncan
1988-89   15 - 10                                                        Coach Ray Duncan
1989-90   10 - 16                                                        Coach Ray Duncan
1990-91   12 - 13                                                        Coach Ray Duncan
1991-92   14 - 11                                                        Coach Ray Duncan
1992-93   11 - 15                                                        Coach Rich Wilson 
1993-94   14 - 13                                                        Coach Rich Wilson
1994-95   13 - 10                                                        Coach Rich Wilson
1995-96   15 - 9                                                          Coach Rich Wilson
1996-97   17 - 10                                                        Coach Rich Wilson
1997-98   19 - 10                                                        Coach Rich Wilson
1998-99   16 - 11                                                        Coach Rich Wilson
1999-00     5 - 21                                                        Coach Rich Wilson
2000-01     4 - 19                                                        Coach Rich Wilson
2001-02     6 - 18                                                        Coach Josh Johnson
2002-03     3 - 21                                                        Coach Mark Tovey
2003-04   21 - 6                                                          Coach Mark Tovey
2004-05   26 - 2         Regional Champions                Coach Mark Tovey
2005-06   12 - 14                                                        Coach ??
2007-08                    Regional Champions                Coach ??
2008-09                    Regional Champions                Coach ??
2011-12                    Final Season                              Coach ?? 

"Lovington Panthers" Painted Wall Sign - 2012
Photo by Dennis Downey

Scoreboard - Final home Game Players
Courtesy of Dennis Downey

Lovington HS Gym Interior - 2012
Photo by Dennis Downey

Lovington HS Gym Center Circle - 2012
Photo by Dennis Downey

The lady netters of Lovington High School had some great seasons. We do know for certain that the Lovington High School girls team won FOUR Regional Championships. We are in need of season records and coaches names for these and other great Lady Panther volleyball teams.
1973-74                                                                  Coach Ellen Thomas
1974-75                                                                  Coach Ellen Thomas
1975-76    5 - 7                                                        Coach Ellen Thomas
1976-77    3 - 9                                                        Coach Ellen Thomas
1977-78    4 - 8                                                        Coach Rosalyn Clements
1978-79    2 - 13                                                      Coach Polly Cook
1979-80    6 - 10                                                      Coach Kathy Bolsen
1980-81    5 - 12                                                      Coach Kathy Bolsen
1981-82    7 - 10                                                      Coach Kathy Bolsen
1982-83  11 - 7                                                        Coach Kathy Bolsen
1983-84    8 - 12                                                      Coach Kathy Bolsen
1984-85  16 - 8                                                        Coach Kathy Bolsen
1985-86  15 - 8                                                        Coach Kathy Bolsen
1986-87  14 - 5                                                        Coach Kathy Bolsen
1987-88  22 - 7                                                        Coach Kathy Bolsen
1988-89                       Regional Champions
1993-94                       Regional Champions
1997-98                       Regional Champions
2002-03  25 - 4                                                         Coach Carol Smith
2003-04                       Regional Champions

Lovington HS Gymnasium Bleachers
Dennis Downey

One Panther thinclad brought home a medal in the IHSA state-wide track meet. Jeff Davis accomplished this incredible feat in 1977 when he placed 2nd in the Class 'A' triple jump competition.
1976-77     Individual Medalist - JEFF DAVIS    Triple Jump    2nd Place 

Lovington HS Football Press Box - 2012
Submitted by Dennis Downey

Lovington HS Press Box Contributers
Photo by Dennis Downey

Lovington HS Football Crow's Nest - 2012
Courtesy of Parker Whitaker

Lovington HS Football Scoreboard - 2012
Photo by Dennis Downey

Lovington HS Concession Stand - 2012
Submitted by Dennis Downey

If you have any further information regarding Lovington High School, including personal memories and fact, you can write to us via e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net . You can also write to us via the postal service to the following address:
IHSGD Website
6439 N. Neva Ave.
Chicago, IL.   60631

USA Today Newspaper, March 16, 2012

Art teacher Lisa Bertetto sets up a display of masks below a row of historical photos and sports trophies at Lovington High School. The school will be closing after 105 year when the district is annexed by Arthur.

LOVINGTON — After a long and sometimes contentious process, the last days of the Lovington School District are here.

Come July 1, Lovington High School will officially be a part of history. Students will attend high school in Arthur beginning in August. Elementary students will remain in Lovington. Arthur will annex the Lovington district.

“It’s sad,” said senior Alicia Strode. “I’ve lived in Lovington all my life. My mother went (to the high school). My grandmother went there.”

The proposal to join forces with another district first came up in 2002. Shrinking enrollment and a lack of industry with its accompanying tax base combined to make finances tight in Lovington, with few options. Similar proposals failed twice before the annexation proposal passed in April 2011.

Annexation differs from consolidation in that Lovington will become part of Arthur School District, rather than the two districts uniting to make a new district, though the plan is to call the district Arthur-Lovington.

For the final basketball game of the 2012 season, the alumni association held a celebration of Lovington High School, said Superintendent Kyle Von Schnase, with recognition for the head coach.

Amber Kauffman and her mother were part of the pompom squad that performed the traditional routine at the last game of the season. Kauffman graduated in 2002.

“I remembered most of (the routine),” she said. “We had one practice and uploaded our practice video onto YouTube so we could practice at home. It was really a great last hurrah, and it felt good to get back together with people.”

Lovington has no pompom squad this year but asking former squad members back also was a way to celebrate the school’s history.

Kauffman’s son is 2 and will grow up knowing no other experience than sharing a district with Arthur, and Kauffman said that’s OK. Even while she was in high school, students had to take classes in Sullivan and play sports in combination with Arthur because Lovington lacked the resources to provide all those opportunities alone.

At the moment, no other public event is planned. One reason is that no one wants to disturb the students’ last year in their school. Nothing will be moved or changed until school lets out for summer.

“We want to keep things as normal as possible up until graduation,” Von Schnase said. “That means we don’t want to be doing a lot of moving of boxes and taking things down. We want them to remember the building like everyone else does. When they walk out the last day, that’s what I want them to remember. I don’t want them to remember the pictures being gone.”

The photos eventually will be moved to the grade school and carefully preserved, along with some of the trophies and banners now at the school. Lovington’s local businesses have agreed to display the rest of the high school memorabilia as a way to keep it in the community.

Beginning in the fall, the high school and its gymnasium will be razed, with efforts to save as many of the trees as possible. No final decision has been made about what to do with the land, which is adjacent to the grade school. Von Schnase said the community decided it would be less painful to tear the building down than to watch it deteriorate over time.

Senior Stephanie Harris said with the loss of the high school, Lovington loses almost its last public entity. There are a couple of bars, the phone company and a bank, but most of the businesses have gone.

“We’re such a small community, and now, I won’t say it’s ‘dying,’ that’s the wrong term, but there’s not much left,” she said.

The transition will be as smooth as the two districts can make it. A lot of students already know each other from sports, and in addition, students attended an orientation in February. An Ag Night is scheduled for March 22. Lovington schools have agriculture classes, but there’s a greater emphasis on it in Arthur.

Teachers and administrators worked on aligning curriculum so Lovington students will be able to seamlessly move into classes in Arthur, and that task is already done.

And no personnel will lose a job, Von Schnase said. Teachers, custodians, kitchen and office staff will be a little overstaffed, but several retirements are expected in the next few years, and the larger staff will allow for more math sections, a dedicated Response to Intervention time daily, and more custodians will be kept busy with all the work of turning two high schools into one.

“I was really against it at first, but we went over there for a meeting, and it seems less complicated and not as bad as it did,” said sophomore Brittany Rader, whose mother and brother graduated from Lovington. “I really think that’s how everyone feels about it now.”

As schools close, towns try to preserve memories, community

Lovington School Auctioin Flyer
Supplied by Dennis Downey

Lovington HS Gym & FB Announcer's Booth - 2012
Photo by Dennis Downey

Lovington HS Bldg 2012

Lovington HS Bldg Front 2012

Lovington High School Front - 2012

Lovington High School Building