Paw Paw High School "Bulldogs"

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Paw Paw High School Building 2018
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Paw Paw High School Gym Sign 2018
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Paw Paw Population Sign 2018
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The History of Paw Paw High School 
 
Paw Paw (population 870) is located in north-central Illinois in the southeast portion of Lee County. The town sits about 12 miles northeast of Mendota. Interstate Route 39 passes to the west of town while County Roads 9 & 10 intersect at Paw Paw. According to Place Names of Illinois by Edward Callary Paw Paw is named after the Paw Paw trees that were abundant in the area during its early establishment. The first post office was set up in Paw Paw in 1836.

Paw Paw residents set up a school for their children very early on. A high school was established by the late 1800s. High School classes continued in Paw Paw through the 2018-19 school year. Paw Paw High School graduated its last group of seniors in May of 2019. The high-school aged kids of Paw Paw now attend Indian Creek High School located in nearby Shabonna.  

A nice history of the village of Paw Paw is found at the following Genealogy Trails website link:   http://genealogytrails.com/ill/lee/leecitypawhistory.html
This article states the following regarding the school district at Paw Paw:

Paw Paw Water Tower 2018
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"For many years Pawpaw maintained an accredited four year high school. The frame building standing on the west side of town burned in 1897 and a brick building was erected in the east end of the village. This building also burned and in 1926, the present building was completed. Three years ago Pawpaw joined with several other villages in organizing the East Lee County Community Unit, which is the largest school district in the sate in area."
 
Declining enrollment and financial concerns led to talks with nearby Indian Creek High School in Shabonna regarding the closing of Paw Paw High School. These discussions resulted in the closing of Paw Paw High School at the end of the 2018-19 school year. In the Fall of 2019 the high school-aged children of Paw Paw began attending Indian Creek High School.  
 
Sauk Valley News Article regarding the final graduation held at Paw Paw High School, May 24, 2019.
 
Happiness, hopes – and a little bit of heartbreak: Paw Paw High School says farewell to its final group of graduates
 
 

PAW PAW – “Timothy Joseph McNally.”

With those words from superintendent Stan Adcock, the Paw Paw High School Class of 2019 salutatorian became the final student in the 117-year history of the eastern Lee County high school Friday night to clench a high school diploma that read “Paw Paw High School.”

The commencement exercise was the final one for the school. Incoming freshman through senior students now will make a 22-mile round trip to attend Indian Creek High School in Shabbona, starting in August.

Voters in DeKalb, LaSalle and Lee counties in and around Paw Paw approved a referendum in November to cease high school operations at the school.

“It’s pretty cool being the last class to graduate from here,” McNally said. “We’ll be the last [class] picture in the hallway, and that’s pretty neat.”

McNally, who also was class president, was among 15 students who bid farewell to the school. Anthony Castaldo was its final valedictorian.

“Paw Paw is not a large town, but the thing that makes it special is the love and care that the community has shown to each and every one of us,” Castaldo said.

For some of the graduates, trying to find a way to keep their yellow flower buds pinned to their purple graduation capes was the last problem they had to figure out inside the high school.

“It’s different, knowing that there will not be a high school next year,” McNally said. “Hopefully the kids will do good next year transitioning to a new school.”

The remaining high school student body will trade their Bulldog purple and gold for Timberwolf red and black. Some Paw Paw students already had become Timberwolves; the school’s athletic department merged with Indian Creek at the beginning of this year.

Graduates Joshua Wiseman and Riley Oros said that as the year wound down to a close, there were plenty of bittersweet moments – not just for the class, but for the high school as a whole.

“It’s a weird feeling knowing that we’re the last ones out of here, after every other class that’s gone through,” Wiseman said.

“It’s cool knowing that we are the last graduating class,” Oros added. “It’s kind of sad at the same time. It’s emotional.”

Ken Cradduck graduated from Paw Paw High 64 years ago today in the Class of 1955. He and 1998 graduate Sue Johnston attended in support of graduate Zachary Clayton.

“It hurts my heart,” Cradduck said, trying to hold back a tear. “The kids are getting so few.”

Cradduck grew up on a nearby farm.

“We all had a good, fun time.”

Johnston said that she, and several alumni and residents, are hopeful that they can have a high school back in the town of 870 residents once more, but can understand the need for change.

“We definitely love to have that sense of community pride and sense of togetherness here in Paw Paw,” Johnston said. “It’s kind of bitter to see them go and be part of Indian Creek, but at the same time I’m excited for the students to be able to have more opportunity, more classes, and just having a different experience getting to know different students.”

Castaldo has hopes that this may not be the end at Paw Paw.

“I am proud to soon be an alumni of Paw Paw High School, part of the last graduating class of Paw Paw High School for some time,” Castaldo said. “Whether that time be a few short years, or forever, just know that the legacy of this school will last eternally in our hearts.”

 
Paw Paw High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                        1902
Year closed:                          2019
Consolidated to:                    Indian Creek High School (Shabonna)
School Building Use:             Now Paw Paw Grade School
Paw Paw Team Nickname:  "Bulldogs"
Paw Paw Team Colors:        Purple & Gold
Paw Paw School Fight Song:  (needed)

Paw Paw High School Gym & Flagpole 2018
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ATHLETICS 
 
The pride of the town of Paw Paw is displayed proudly on its water tower. "Home of the Bulldogs" is written across two sides of the structure, along with a likeness of the school's mascot.
 
The Paw Paw "Bulldogs" and "Lady Bulldogs" competed in several sports throughout the years. Baseball, basketball, and track were all a part of the Paw Paw school scene in the early 1900s through the early 1970s. Girls sports were added in the mid-1970s and the Paw Paw teams competed on a solo basis through the early 2000's.
 
At some point, Paw Paw entered into a co-op agreement with the Leland-Earlville co-op which had already been formed in 2007. The years that Paw Paw entered into this agreement may have varied for different sports. This information is being sought.
 
The Paw Paw "Bulldogs" has some great seasons and success stories over the years. Below are listed the outcomes of each sport as found on the IHSA website. (www.ihsa.org). Please contact us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net if you can assist with more season records and historical information regarding Paw Paw High School.

 
BOYS BASEBALL

The Paw Paw boys competed in baseball. The 1973-74 team had a season record of 12-2. Information on several other seasons is needed.
 
1955-56    1 - 6 
1956-57                                                                            Coach Richard Eckert 
1957-58                                                                            Coach Gary Allen
1958-59 through 1962-63   Information needed.
1963-64                                                                            Coach Rieke
1964-65 & 1965-66             Information needed.
1966-67    2 - 10                                                               Coach Dave Dudzik
1967-68                                                                            Coach Terry Ambler
1968-69    2 - 6                                                                 Coach Terry Ambler
1969-70    2 - 7                                                                 Coach Terry Ambler
1970-71                                                                            Coach Terry Ambler
1971-72    4 - 5                                                                 Coach Rich Schlaf
1972-73    9 - 5                                                                 Coach Rich Schlaf
1973-74  12 - 2                                                                 Coach Rich Schlaf
1974-75    8 - 6                                                                 Coach Marvin Leuschke
1975-76                Information Needed.
1976-77                Information Needed.
1977-78                Information Needed.
1978-79                                                                            Coach Kunneman
1979-80    3 - 9                                                                 Coach Joe Jordan 
1980-81    3 - 6                                                                 Coach Joe Jordan
1981-82                                                                            Coach Mike Williams
1982-83    6 - 5                                                                 Coach Mike Williams
1983-84                Information Needed.
1984-85                Information Needed.
1985-86     0 - 10                                                              Coach John Zick
1986-87     0 - 13                                                              Coach John Zick
1987-88     6 - 12                                                              Coach John Zick
1988-89     1 - 19                                                              Coach John Zick
1989-90     3 - 12                                                              Coach John Zick
1990-91   11 - 13                                                              Coach JIm Muntz
1991-92     2 - 22                                                              Coach JIm Muntz
1992-93                Information Needed.
1993-94                Information Needed.
1994-95                Information Needed.
1995-96                Information Needed.
1996-97                Information Needed.
1997-98                Information Needed.
1999-00                Information Needed.
2000-01                Information Needed.
2001-02                Information Needed.
2002-03     3 - 19                                                              Coach Tom O'Niell
2003-04                Information Needed.
2004-05                Information Needed.
2005-06                                                                            Coach Kurt Bohlmann
2006-07                                                                            Coach Kurt Bohlmann
2007-08     1 - 22                                                              Coach Kurt Bohlmann
2008-09 through closing of school information needed

 
BOYS BASKETBALL

The "Bulldogs" won 3 District Championships and one Regional Championship during their tenure. The teamof 1997-98 had a record of 25-3 losing in the Sectional Tourney to eventual State Runner-Up Spring Valley Hall HS. The program also had some great success in the annual Little Ten Tournament and regular season conference schedule.
 
1937-38       8 - 12                                                              Coach Clifton E. Wick
1938-39       7 - 12                                                              Coach Clifton E. Wick
                              
1939-40                    Steward District Champions          Coach H.H. Flancher
                                 Early Rd Scores Needed
                                 Title Game Beat Franklin Grove 41-26
                                 Dixon Regional Tourney
                                 1st Rd lost to Rock Falls 35-25
                                 Sterling beat Dixon in title game
                         
1940-41                    Franklin Grove District Champs     Coach H.H. Flancher
                                 1st Rd Beat Rollo 35-23
                                 Semi-Final Beat Franklin Grove 60-44
                                 Title Game Beat Lee 53-41
                                 Sterling Regional Tourney
                                 1st Rd lost to Amboy 37-28
                                 Dixon beat Sterling in title game 
                                 
1941-42                                                                               Coach H.H. Flancher
                  
1942-43                   Lee District Champions                   Coach H.H. Flancher
                                Semi-Final Beat Steward 37-27
                                Title Game Beat Lee 35-25
                                Sterling Regional Tourney
                                1st Rd lost to Amboy 49-45
                                Amboy lost to Dixon in title game
                                                     
1943-44       3 - 14                                                              Coach H.H. Flancher
1944-45     10 - 12                                                              Coach William Groves
1945-46     22 - 5                                                                Coach William Groves
1946-47       5 - 15                                                              Coach William Groves
1947-48       2 - 18                                                              Coach William Groves

Paw Paw HS Boys Basketball Team 1947-48
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1948-49       3 - 17                                                              Coach William Groves
1949-50     12 - 10                                                              Coach William Groves
1950-51     11 - 10                                                              Coach William Groves
1951-52                                                                              Coach Giles Culver
1952-53                                                                              Coach Paul Henkel
1953-54                                                                              Coach John Bednarcik
1954-55                                                                              Coach John Bednarcik
1955-56       1 - 15                                                              Coach Richard Eckert
1956-57                                                                              Coach Richard Eckert
1957-58       3 - 15                                                              Coach Gary Allen
1958-59       7 - 13                                                              Coach Gary Allen
1959-60       6 - 17                                                              Coach Gary Allen
1960-61       8 - 14                                                              Coach Gary Allen
1961-62       2 - 22                                                              Coach Pat Wiske
1962-63       4 - 19                                                              Coach Pat Wiske
1963-64       8 - 14                                                              Coach Richard Ortiz
1964-65     20 - 5                                                                Coach Richard Ortiz
1965-66     23 - 4                                                                Coach Richard Ortiz
1966-67       9 - 14                                                              Coach Richard Ortiz
1967-68       7 - 15                                                              Coach Richard Ortiz
1968-69       8 - 16                                                              Coach Richard Ortiz
1969-70       6 - 16                                                              Coach Bob Startz
1970-71       3 - 20                                                              Coach Bob Startz
1971-72       7 - 16                                                              Coach Rich Schlaf
1972-73     10 - 13                                                              Coach Rich Schlaf
1973-74     10 - 14                                                              Coach Rich Schlaf
1974-75       7 - 14                                                              Coach Rich Schlaf
1975-76                                                                              Coach Donald Byram
1976-77       4 - 19                                                              Coach Donald Byram
1977-78                                                                              Coach Donald Byram
1978-79       4 - 17                                                              Coach Steve Kunnemann
1979-80     13 - 8                                                                Coach Joe Jordan
1980-81       3 - 19                                                              Coach Joe Jordan
1981-82     14 - 11                                                              Coach Joe Jordan
1982-83     20 - 6                                                                Coach Joe Jordan
1983-84       7 - 17                                                              Coach Joe Hilliker
1984-85       4 - 20                                                              Coach Brian Schoenhardt
1985-86       5 - 20                                                              Coach Brian Schoenhardt
1986-87       6 - 18                                                              Coach John Zick
1987-88       5 - 18                                                              Coach John Zick
1988-89                    Information Needed.
1989-90                    Information Needed.
1990-91                    Information Needed.
1991-92                    Information Needed.
1992-93                    Information Needed.
1993-94       9 - 16                                                              Coach Phil Aderton
1994-95       7 - 18                                                              Coach Phil Aderton
1995-96       9 - 16                                                              Coach Steve Herren
1996-97     22 - 4                                                                Coach Steve Herren
               
1997-98     25 - 3     Amboy Regional Champions          Coach Steve Herren
                                Regional Scores Needed
                                IHSA Sectional Tourney
                                Semi-Final lost to Spring Valley Hall 62-37
                                Hall would place 2nd in State Tourney
                             
1998-99       0 - 25                                                              Coach Steve Herren
1999-00       4 - 22                                                              Coach Steve Herren
2000-01       0 - 25                                                              Coach Steve Herren
2001-02       2 - 21                                                              Coach Steve Herren
2002-03       2 - 21                                                              Coach Andy Fritz
2003-04       4 - 21                                                              Coach Galen Noard
2004-05       5 - 21                                                              Coach Galen Noard
2005-06       9 - 16                                                              Coach Galen Noard
2006-07                    Information Needed.
2007-08                    Information Needed.
2008-09                    Information Needed.
2009-10                    Information Needed.
2010-11                    Information Needed.
2011-12                    Information Needed.
2012-13                    Information Needed.
2013-14                    Information Needed.
2014-15                    Information Needed.
2015-16                    Information Needed.
2016-17                    Information Needed.
2017-18                    Information Needed.
2018-19       Information Needed / School's Final Season

Paw Paw High School Baseball & Soccer Field 2018
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BOYS SOCCER

Paw Paw was likely one of the first schools in Illinois to participate in interscholastic soccer. The program continued at the school from 1974-75 through its closing in 2019.
 
1974-75       4 - 10                                                            Coach Gerald Crabtree
1975-76     11 - 3 - 4                                                         Coach Gerald Crabtree
1976-77       9 - 10 - 1                                                       Coach Gerald Crabtree
1977-78       8 - 6 - 4                                                         Coach Gerald Crabtree
1978-79       8 - 9 - 3                                                         Coach Scott Stevens
1979-80       6 - 8                                                              Coach Joe Jordan
1980-81       2 - 12                                                            Coach Joe Jordan
1981-82       6 - 9 - 3                                                         Coach Joe Jordan
1982-83       9 - 9 - 1                                                         Coach Joe Jordan
1983-84       2 - 14                                                            Coach Joe Hilliker
1984-85       4 - 11 - 1                                                       Coach Brian Schoenhardt
1985-86       3 - 12 - 2                                                       Coach Brian Schoenhardt
1986-87       3 - 14 - 3                                                       Coach Richard Schlaf
1987-88       6 - 13 - 2                                                       Coach Richard Schlaf
1988-89                        Information Needed.
1989-90                        Information Needed.
1990-91       6 - 14                                                            Coach Jim Muntz
1991-92       5 - 13 - 3                                                       Coach Jim Muntz
1992-93                        Information Needed.
1993-94                        Information Needed.
1994-95                        Information Needed.
1995-96                        Information Needed.
1996-97                        Information Needed.
1997-98                        Information Needed.
1998-99                        Information Needed.
1999-00                        Information Needed.
2000-01                        Information Needed.
2001-02                        Information Needed.
1002-03                        Information Needed.
2003-04                        Information Needed.
2004-05                        Information Needed.
2005-06       1 - 6                                                              Coach Doug J. Balder
2006-07                        Information Needed.
2007-08                        Information Needed.
2008-09                        Information Needed.
2009-10                        Information Needed.
2010-11                        Information Needed.
2011-12                        Information Needed.
2012-13                        Information Needed.
2013-14
2014-15                        Information Needed.
2015-16                        Information Needed.
2016-17                        Information Needed.
2017-18                        Information Needed.
2018-19         Information Needed / School's Final Season

 

BOYS TRACK & FIELD

A student named White holds the banner high for Paw Paw HS in track & field. In 1921-22 this student-athlete placed 4TH in the IHSA Class 'B' State Track & Field Meet.  
 
1921-22        ?? White           Pole Vault     4TH Place   (Class 'B' Meet)

GIRLS BASKETBALL

The Lady Bulldogs competed in basketball as part of the Little Ten as well. The early 1980s saw some very competitive teams at PPHS.
 
1979-80          7 - 7                                                           Coach Kay Kuchel
1980-81        10 - 8                                                           Coach Doug Schnorr
1981-82        15 - 10                                                         Coach Doug Schnorr
1982-83        15 - 8                                                           Coach Doug Schnorr
1983-84        15 - 8                                                           Coach Doug Schnorr
1984-85          4 - 16                                                         Coach Joyce Grove
1985-86          3 - 22                                                         Coach Joyce Grove
1986-87          8 - 15                                                         Coach Joyce Grove
1987-88                         Information Needed.
1988-89                         Information Needed.
1989-90                         Information Needed.
1990-91                         Information Needed.
1991-92                         Information Needed.
1992-93                         Information Needed.
1993-94                         Information Needed.
1994-95                         Information Needed.
1995-96                         Information Needed.
1996-97                         Information Needed.
1997-98                         Information Needed.
1998-99                         Information Needed.
1999-00                         Information Needed.
2000-01                         Information Needed.
2001-02                         Information Needed.
2002-03                         Information Needed.
2003-04                         Information Needed.
2004-05                         Information Needed.
2005-06                         Information Needed.
2006-07                         Information Needed.
2007-08                         Information Needed.
2008-09                         Information Needed.
2009-10                         Information Needed.
2010-11                         Information Needed.
2011-12                         Information Needed.
2012-13                         Information Needed.
2013-14                         Information Needed.
2014-15                         Information Needed.
2015-16                         Information Needed.
2016-17                         Information Needed.
2017-18                         Information Needed.
2018-19                         Information Needed.

GIRLS SOFTBALL
 
Paw Paw HS competed in girls softball as well. Information is needed to complete this section. 
 
From Start of Program to 2006-07        Information Needed. 

2007-08         7 - 15                                                            Coach Corey Iverson
2008-09                          Information Needed.
2009-10                          Information Needed.
2010-11                          Information Needed.
2011-12                          Information Needed.
2012-13         8 - 15                                                             Coaches Larry Klema
                                                                                             & Jennifer Penman
2013-14                          Information Needed.
2014-15                          Information Needed.
2015-16                          Information Needed.
2016-17                          Information Needed.
2017-18                          Information Needed.
2018-19                          Information Needed.

GIRLS VOLLEYBALL

Probably the most successful sport for the girls athletic program was volleyball. A District Championship and an undefeated season were the highlights of the early 1980s.
 
1974-75          2 - 6                                                             Coach Kay Kuchel
1975-76          3 - 6                                                             Coach Kay Kuchel
1976-77          5 - 8                                                             Coach Kay Kuchel
1977-78          6 - 7                                                             Coach Kay Kuchel
1978-79          9 - 6                                                             Coach Kay Kuchel
             
1979-80        14 - 1    Undefeated Regular Season         Coach Kay Kuchel
                             
1980-81        11 - 3                                                             Coach Kay Kuchel
                      
1981-82        11 - 8    IHSA District Champions              Coach Kay Kuchel

1982-83        11 - 10                                                           Coach Kay Kuchel
1983-84        16 - 5                                                             Coach Kay Kuchel
1984-85          8 - 12                                                           Coach Kay Kuchel
1985-86        13 - 11                                                           Coach Kay Kuchel
1986-87          9 - 13                                                           Coach Kay Kuchel
1987-88          5 - 16                                                           Coach Kay Kuchel
1988-89                        Information Needed.
1989-90                        Information Needed.
1990-91                        Information Needed.
1991-92                        Information Needed.
1992-93                        Information Needed.
1993-94                        Information Needed.
1994-95                        Information Needed.
1995-96                        Information Needed.
1996-97                        Information Needed.
1997-98                        Information Needed.
1998-99                        Information Needed.
1999-00                        Information Needed.
2000-01                        Information Needed.
2001-02                        Information Needed.
2002-03                        Information Needed.
2003-04                        Information Needed.
2004-05                        Information Needed.
2005-06                        Information Needed.
2006-07        12 - 16                                                           Coach Linda Herren
2007-08                        Information Needed.
2008-09                        Information Needed.
2009-10        14 - 15                                                           Coach Erin Odle
2010-11                        Information Needed.
2011-12                        Information Needed.
2012-13                        Information Needed.
2013-14                        Information Needed.
2014-15                        Information Needed.
2015-16                        Information Needed.
2016-17                        Information Needed.
2017-18        19 - 18                                                           Coaches Jennifer Penman         
                                                                                            & Jenny Oros
2018-19          Information Needed / School's Final Season

SEEKING MORE INFORMATION
 
If you have any further information regarding Paw Paw High School please contact us. Activities outside of athletics are being sought as well. Our e-mail address is as follows:
 

Paw Paw School Message Board 2018
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Paw Paw Grade School Building 2018
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