Hopedale High School "Indians"

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Hopedale High School 1920 - 1975
hopedalehs19201975.jpg
From the booklet "Hopedale..My Home Town" by Ruth Schipp (Submitted by Jason Smith)

Hopedale HS Building 1895
hopedalehs1895.jpg
From the booklet "Hopedale..My Home Town" by Ruth Schipp (Submitted by Jason Smith)

                            The History of Hopedale High School
 
The "village" of Hopedale (population 929) is Illinois' 710th biggest city according to the 2000 U.S. Census. Hopedale is located in Tazwell County on Il. Route 122 approximately two miles east of Interstate Highway 155. A city near by of note is Bloomington located 25 miles to the east-northeast of Hopedale. The Illinois Central Railroad travels through the southeast side of town and the Indian Creek parts the town right down the middle. The "Mapquest" site (www.mapquest.com) shows the location of the Hopedale elementary school.
 
 
 
The following special memories of the Hopedale High School years were provided by Class of 1970 alumna Linda (Wilson) Thomas: 
 
"The building was made of sturdy red brick and was two stories tall. The home ec room was located in one corner of the basement floor. The other corner on the same side of the building housed the locker rooms and the gym took up the other half of the basement area. The library and large study hall room were located on the top floor and had a wooden floor. The staircases and hallways were speckled granite.
 
"The bleachers in the gym were raised 1/2 floor above the gym floor and were made of wood. They extended the entire length of the basketball court. (In those days, girls only played basketball in PE class and they played by girl's basketball rules.) An enthusiastic basketball crowd could and did create quite a noise. The gym was used for PE classes, FHA suppers, Christmas vespers and even for prom. Many hours were spent by ambitious juniors who determinedly transformed the gym into a fantasy land using crepe paper streamers and hand-made paper flower!
"It truly looked magical and many underclassmen looked on in admiration and dreamed of the year when they would be in charge and would be a part of the annual dance preparations.

"The grade school was located a short distance away and when it was time for lunch, there was a mad dash from the high school to the grade school gym/cafeteria.
 
"My class, the Class of 1970, had 23 students. In 1968, if I remember correctly, the school population was 50 boys and 49 girls."  
 
Research is needed regarding the origin of Hopedale. Its' school system began sometime in the late 1800's with a high school opening in the 1880's. The first class of two-year graduates were honored in 1893, then a third year was added in 1903, with a fourth year added in 1904. A new building was built in 1920.
 
In 1965, the school districts of Armington, Hopedale, and Minier consolidated but their high schools remained open on a solo basis. In the late 1960's/early 1970's, talk of consolidating several school Districts in the area surfaced. This became a reality in 1972 when the school districts of Armington-Hopedale-Minier, Atlanta, Danvers, Stanford, and McLean-Waynesville all merged to create the Olympia School District. The High School for Olympia is located in Stanford. The fate of the Hopedale High School building is a sad one, having been torn down in 1975.
 
 
Hopedale High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:              possibly late 1800s (1890s?)
First 2-yr graduates:    1893
Became 3-yr school:   1903
Became 4-yr school:   1904
Year closed:               1972
School nickname:        the "Indians"
School colors:             Maroon & White
School paper:              "Hodaco Junior" or "The Indian"
School Fight Song:      Hopedale High School Fight Song
                                             Sung to "On Wisconsin" Click Play button below and sing along!
 
                                  Hopedale High School,  Hopedale High School,
                                  We are proud of thee.
                                  There is no one that can beat us,
                                  Fight for victory!

                                  Rah Rah Rah!!

                                  Hopedale High School, Hopedale High School,
                                  Fight on for your fame.
                                  Fight, Fellas, fight 
and we will win this game!!

                                 (chanted) Cha-hee, cha-ha,
                                                Cha-ha-ha-ha!
                                                Hopedale High School, Rah, Rah, Rah!
   

Athletics
 
Hopedale High School definitely offered boys' basketball, baseball, and boys' track. Only basketball and track were mentioned on the IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org). They may also have offered football. We are in need of your help here.
 
Boys' Basketball
 
An excellent record was kept of the boys' basketball progress through the closing of the school in 1972. The school produced two District Titles and two other twenty-game winners. Hopedale started its program in 1918-19 with a female head coach and started winning that season by winning a tournament. 
 
The Hopedale High School gynasium was known as a "cracker box" (as were many small town gyms of the day). The bleachers covered one side of the floor and were only three rows high. The stage at one end of the gym filled up quickly with a standing-room-only availability. Some fans even developed seats using the window sills found on each end of the floor. The length of the court also played a part in Hopedale's home court advantage as the top of the key intersected with the center circle. There was also only one foot of room between the wall on the three sides of the gym and the out of bounds line. (thank you to Roger Springer for this information and insight). 
 
The great thing is the two best seasons listed record-wise occurred during the last two years the school was opened. The Hopedale High Indians boys basketball team went out on a great note, thanks in part to 6-7 post player Steve Rich, who set a single-game scoring record at the McLean County Tournament in 1971. Rich is considered the tallest player in school history.
 
1918-19                   first season                                      Coach Estelle Yewell
                               Won Bi-County Tournament
1921-22                   Won Tazewell County Tournament     coach unknown
1930-31        8-14                                                           Coach Burton Carlock
1938-39      15-  9                                                           Coach Ray Caton
1946-47      10-13                                                           coach unknown
1948-49      20-  8     (good record)                                   Coach Ed Tomlin
1956-57        9-12                                                           Coach (?) Adolphson 
1958-59      20 - 8     (good record)                                   Coach Ron Thomas
1969-70      14 - 12   District Champions                         Coach Richard Burt
1970-71      22 - 5     District Champions                         Coach Richard Burt
                               McLean County Tourney Champs
1971-72      21 - 6     (good record, last season)                 Coach Richard Burt
                                 Mackinaw Valley Conference Champs
 
Some of the great players in Hopedale High's history include:
Orville Augsburger, Class of 1932?; Robert J. Anderson, baseball, Class of 1942; Steven Rich, basketball, Class of 1972 
 
Boys Track & Field
 
Two Indians brought home medals from the IHSA State Track Meet under the one-class system. B. A. Prater was the coach and athletic director at Hopedale High in the 1960's. Mr. Prater and Richard Dutton spent one summer putting in Hopedale's cinder track. Now that is small town dedication at its best!
 
1928-29     Emitt Lentz    High Jump         3rd Place
1962-63     Jim Morris     440 Yard Dash    2nd Place
 
 
Baseball
 
The Indians had a program that was playing as far back as the fall of 1924, and competed in the Corn Belt League with members such as Carlock, Stanford, Delavan, Minier, Tremont, Mackinaw, and Armington.  Hopedale won several conference titles in this league and also showed their worth in the Mackinaw Valley Conference as well.
 
1924-25   5-5   in fall                                      Coach Lyle Baker
                       Won Corn Belt League title in spring
1925-26           Corn Belt League champs    coach unknown
1926-27           Corn Belt League champs    coach unknown
1927-28           Corn Belt League champs    coach unknown
1929-30           Corn Belt League champs    coach unknown
1930-31           Corn Belt League champs    coach unknown
1948-49  7-3     2nd in Mackinaw Valley          coach unknown
1950-51           2nd in Mackinaw Valley           coach unknown
1958-59  4-2                                                 coach unknown
1967-68  5-5                                                 coach unknown
1971-72           Last season                           Coach Dick Burt  
 
 
Looking for More Info
 
We are hopeful an area enthusiast can "fill in the blanks" regarding the Hopedale High School successes and history. We are always in need of photos of the old school building and great teams. If you wish to help us out, please complete a School Submission form or Guest Commentary form. You may also e-mail us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or write us at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.    60631