New Holland - Middletown High School "Wildcats"

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New Holland-Mddletown HS Adition
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New Holland, Illinois

New Holland-Middletown High School
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The History of New Holland - Middletown High School
 
The towns of New Holland (population 318) and Middletown (population 434) are both located in south central Illinois in western Logan County.  Each town is approximately 12 miles west of Lincoln. For more insight, check each town's individual page on this site.
 
The townspeople of New Holland and Middletown agreed on a consolidation between the two schools in the early 1960s. The effort took place in 1961 with the creation of the New Holland-Middletown School District. The High School was located in New Holland with the grade school located in Middletown. 
 
This system was very successful for 27 years until it was deactivated after the 1988 school year. The children of the two towns now attend high school in nearby Lincoln. The Middletown Grade School is still active as part of the Lincoln school system, serving grades K-8. The New Holland school building, which served as the NHMHS building, is now owned by a private carnival company and is used as storage. If only its walls could talk.... 
 
New Holland - Middletown High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                1961
Year closed:                  1988
Enrollment Final Year:   63 students
School nickname:          the "Wildcats"
School colors:               Purple, Gold, & White
School Fight Song:       "Hey, Look Me Over"
                                                     (Tune being sought) 
 
HEY LOOK US OVER
LEND US AN EAR 
NEW HOLLAND MIDDLETOWN
LETS ALL GIVE A CHEER.   
 
WE ARE THE WILDCATS 
PURPLE GOLD AND WHITE.  
WERE FIGURING ON WINNING
THE GAME TONIGHT
SO COME ON TEAM
LETS FIGHT AND FIGHT. 
 
SO HEY LOOK US OVER 
LEND US AN EAR  
WERE PROUD OF OUR SCHOOL
LETS ALL GIVE A CHEER
(HEY)  WILDCAT VICTORY HERE WE COME!  
 
CHA HEE CHA HA CHA HA HA HA  
NEW HOLLAND MIDDLETOWN
RAH! RAH! RAH!  

Inscription on NHMHS School Building
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"Community High School"

Athletics
 
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.
 
Baseball
 
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. 

Another 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
1974-75                  Lincolnland 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
 
Boys Basketball
 
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.
 
 
1962-63                                                           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. 
 
Girls Athletics
 
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).
 
Other Sports 
 
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.
 
Memories
 
**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 WheatJon'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 ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net. You can also write to us at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.   60631

New Holland-Middletown High School Side View
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