The New Holland - Middletown Wildcats had many great years of success playing in front of big
hometown crowds. The Wildcats won a Regional in baseball and a District in boys basketball. There were also
some highlights that are stories for the ages. One particular story regarding baseball will be told below. We are looking
for coach's names and the record of the 1977-78 baseball champs.
The season was the 1986-87 school year. The Wildcats were having a great year on the baseball
diamond under the leadership of Coach Troy Washko. This year, the Wildcats were crowned
champions of Lincolnland and Tri-Central conferences and finished with a record of 19-11. The highlight of the season
was an upset win over heavily favored Petersburg PORTA. The PORTA boys came into New Holland the night after defeating
eventual AA champ Springfield Griffin.
No one gave
the Wildcats much of a chance, this was suppose to be an easy victory chalked up in the PORTA win column. But this was
one of those magical nights that every high school player has been a part of to some extent. The New Holland-Middletown boys
pulled out a stunning 15 - 9 victory! The team was led by Jim Vipond, Tim Aper, and Phil Tibbs.
It is also a fact that former major league baseball player Kevin Seitzer, who
had 200 hits in his rookie year with the Kansas City Royals, attended NHMHS his freshman year (1977-78) before transferring
to nearby Lincoln HS.
product of the Wildcat baseball program was Aaron Johnson, who graduated from the school in 1980. He went on to become executive
vice president and chief operating officer of Farm Credit Illinois.
1972-73 7 - 6
Coach Jerome Beenders
Conference Runner-up Coach Robert Gillespie
1977-78 N.R.A. Regional Champions
Coach's name unavailable
1986-87 19 - 11 Tri-Central & Lincolnland Champs
Coach Troy Washko
The Boys Basketball team had some real nice seasons including a District championship in 1965.
The better records recorded on the IHSA web site are listed below.
Coach Charles Conrady
1963-64 21 - 4 2nd Pl. District Tourney
Coach Jerome Beenders
1964-65 20 - 9 District
Champions Coach Jerome Beenders
Asst. Coach Bob Witters
1965-66 13 - 13
1969-70 13 - 12
1974-75 13 - 13
Coach Robert Gillespie
All-Time Leading Scorers
Jim Vipond (84-87) 1,209 points
Mike Behrends (67-70) 1,202 points
Boys Cross Country
The harriers of 1972-73 finished second in the Lincoln Land Conference with a record of 6-3 and
were coached by Jim Vipond.
The girls sports in the 1970's were coached by Sara McCawley. The 1973-74
archery top shooters were Vicki Holmes (216) and Phyllis Bloomquist (216).
It is believed the Wildcats also offered track and cross country for boys and girls as well
as archery and volleyball for girls. We do know that the volleyball coach in NH-M's final season was Ron
Boyer. We are seeking further information on these and other accomplishments at NHMHS.
**From John Meacham (Class of 1966):
"I found your site this evening, while searching for information on the old Kickapoo Conference. I am a 1966 graduate of New Holland-Middletown High School,
and can fill in a few gaps now and probably a few more later, after I consult my old yearbooks -- provided I can find them. I recall that New Holland and then New Holland-Middletown were members
of the Kickapoo Conference until the 1963-64 season, when NHMHS and some other schools formed a new conference -- the name
of which I can't remember.
"The coach the year we won the district basketball tournament (1965) was Jerome Beenders, and he
was assisted by Bob Witters. It was Beenders' second year at NHMHS. He took over from Charles Conrady in 1963-64. Conrady
went to Forest City-Manito, if I remember right. I think the 63-64 team had a better record (21-4 sounds about right)
than the 64-65 team, but we lost to Elkhart in the district championship
in 1964. We'd beaten them twice during the regular season, but couldn't do it a third time. That cost us our shot at whipping
the Lincoln Railsplitters, which was always the goal of every high school in Logan County. I think Elkhart did beat Lincoln
that year and won the regional.
"The 1964-65 team won 18 in the regular season, I believe. Can't remember who we beat in the district
final, but I remember we beat Williamsville in the first game of the regional, then lost to Mt. Pulaski. Some of the
stars of the 1964-65 team were Stanley Coers, Barry Kohl, Gene Zumwalt, Lester Martin and Richard
Maaks. I kept a spot on the bench warm.
"I was a pretty fair pitcher, though. In fact, I was NH-M's only real pitcher from my sophomore year on. (We only had about 120 students in the whole school, so it wasn't a matter
of putting the best player at each position -- it was a matter of putting a player at each position!) There
were several guys who could throw harder than I could, but their pitches were as likely to go over the backstop as over the
plate. I could throw strikes. I guess the highlight of my career came in the 1964 district tournament, when we beat Armington. However, we had to play Atlanta the next day. I don't remember who pitched for us, but I do know we lost."
**From former grade school student and resident, Dan Saint:
"My sister, Penny, attended New Holland-Middletown up until the consolidation with Lincoln (she
was a junior at the time and actually was part of the protest to keep the school open at least one more year so the soon to
be Seniors could say they graduated from NH-M...unfortuntely it didn't work). NH-M did not offer girls basketball, much
to the dismay of my sister.
"I was only 7 or 8 at
the time of closure, but one vivid memory I have is just above the entrance to the gym, there was a painting of a roaring
wildcat head in the colors of purple and gold. And in the back fur, you could see the words "Wildcats".
"One game I remember was NH-M playing Calvary Acadamy of Springfield, led by
a young PG named Rennie Clemons (who wound up starting for the University of Illinois)."
SPECIAL THANK YOU!!
Special thanks to Jon Wheat, Jon's father, and Jon's uncle
Dan Wheat for their time and effort in providing the photos and "leg work" for this page!!
Also to a former Wildcat cheerleader for providing several items of interest including
her quip of "I CAN ALSO SAY THAT WE HAD GOOD TIMES IN THIS LITTLE SCHOOL." I am sure sentiments are echoed
several times over by other NHMHS students.
Need More information
If you have any information you would like to share regarding the athletic program and other accomplishments
at New Holland-Middletown High School, especially photos of the high school building and great teams, please e-mail us
at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also write to us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il. 60631