Sheldon High School "Rams"

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Sheldon High School
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Sheldon, IL

Sheldon High School Bldg - 2012
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The History of Sheldon High School

Sheldon (population 1,232) is located in far eastern Illinois in Iroquois County one mile west of the Indiana state line.  U.S. Routes 52 and 24 part ways in the middle of Sheldon.  The Toledo Peoria & Western Railroad runs east and west through town and intersects with the K. B. S. R. Railroad which runs north and south through town.  A larger town for reference sake might be Kankakee located about 30 miles northwest of Sheldon. 

Sheldon High School was probably established in the late 1800s as were most school systems in Illinois.  For over a century the school system in Sheldon was proudly and solely supported by the people of Sheldon.  It was not until the early 2000s that the fate of the Sheldon High School District was being finalized.  In either 2003 or possibly 2004 Sheldon High School was deactivated.  The high school aged students of Sheldon are now bussed to nearby Milford to attend high school.

Sheldon HS Bldg Cornerstone
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Sheldon High School Building Inscription
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Sheldon still hosts a grade school for the Milford school system.  The Sheldon Grade School offers grades K - 5 and is pictured above. The high school building is in poor shape however the basement of the building is still in use by the Grade School students in some capacity.

Sheldon High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                    late 1800s
Year closed:                     2003
School nickname:             the "Rams"
School colors:                  Orange & Blue
Schoo Fight Song:            Two school songs were used over the years at Sheldon High

                                       Illinois Loyalty was originally used                              
                                      Sheldon Loyalty was written by band director Mike Ferrari

                Sheldon Loyalty

Oh, we are the Rams from Sheldon,
We are here to win this game.

We do have the pep it takes to win,
And to lead this fine team to fame.

We do have the boys to whip them,
They'll jump up and get that ball.

With the fight and the cheer
From the Sheldon fans here,
We'll beat them down one and all!!!

                                       The music to Illinois Loyalty is available below

Athletics
 
When you talk of Sheldon High School athletics you must start, as the sport defined the town and really the region -- boys basketball !  Many excellent seasons were enjoyed by the fans of Sheldon High.  It is also believed Sheldon offered baseball and track for the boys as well as softball, basketball, and track for the girls.
 
The Sheldon boys also had a chance to play football.  After several year of co-oping football with Watseka, in 1993 Sheldon High began a coop with Milford which netted 2 undefeated regular seasons in their first two tries.  Several Sheldon boys played key roles during these and subsequent seasons.

Sheldon HS Gymnasium - 2012
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Boys Basketball
 
The extensive records kept on the IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org) regarding Sheldon High School Rams boys basketball tell the whole story.  Beginning with the 1925-26 school year when the Sheldon lads were led by Coach Arther "Red" Daugherty, every season is covered through the 2000-01 season. 
 
And what incredible stories and great successes there are to tell !!  How about this for a small town's excellence in one sport:
 
17 -  20+ win seasons
  1 -  35   win season
12 -  District Titles
  4 -  Regional Titles
  1 -  Coach with 200 + wins
  1 -  Coach with 300 + wins
 
The best of the Sheldon Rams' seasons are listed below.  There have to be some great personal stories of the many great teams of Sheldon's past.  One article I have read regarding the Sheldon basketball team of of 1941-42 called it one of the most talked about small school teams in the state as they entered the state playoffs with 30 wins.  This team went on to win the District and Regional titles enroute to a 35 - 2 overall record!  Even yet, there were 39 total students at Sheldon High at that time! One of the basketball players, forward Elmore Clawson, was named to the All-State 3rd team.
 
When you look at the records of the great Sheldon teams below, notice how there was not just one major "spurt" of success. Success at Sheldon High School was achieved in many different decades, a sign that the town truly backed and supported their teams.
 
IHSA Tourney scores invoolving Sheldon High School were located on a website titled "Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores."
 
1925-26                  Record & Tourney scores needed    Arthur "Red" Daugherty
1926-27                  Record & Tourney scores needed    Arthur "Red" Daugherty
1927-28                  Record & Tourney scores needed    Arthur "Red" Daugherty
1928-29 Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
1929-30 Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed
1930-31                  Record & Tourney scores needed    Brown
1931-32                  Record & Tourney scores needed    L.E. Galitz
1932-33                  Record & Tourney scores needed    L.E. Galitz
1933-34                  Milford District Tourney                   L.E. Galitz & Kenneth Stephens
                              Season record needed 
                             1st Rd Beat Buckley 25-17
                              2nd Rd Lost to Milford 24-19
                 
1934-35                  St. Anne District Runner-up!        Kenneth Stephens
                              Season record needed 
                              1st Rd Beat Martinton 36-15
                              2nd Rd Beat Momence 31-22
                             Semi-final Beat Manteno 30-22
                             Title Game lost to St. Anne 33-20
                         
1935-36     18 - 10   Hoopeston Regional Tourney           Kenneth Stephens     
                             (Sheldon did not compete in District)
                             Hoopeston Regional Score
                             1st Rd lost to Hoopeston 30-10
                             Hoopeston lost in title game
                     
1936-37     20 - 8    Watseka Regional Tourney              Kenneth Stephens     
                             (Sheldon did not compete in District)
                             Watseka Regional Score
                             1st Rd lost to Donovan 30-26
                             Donovan lost in semi-final round 
           
1937-38     25 - 5    (Potseason scores unavailable)        Kenneth Stephens
                                  
1938-39     18 - 6    Watseka Regional Tourney              Kenneth Stephens     
                             (Sheldon did not compete in District)
                             Watseka Regional Score
                             1st Rd Beat Chatsworth 42-26
                             Semi-final lost to Watseka 24-19
                             Watseka won Regional tourney
                            
1939-40     16 - 6    District Champions                       Kenneth Stephens
                             (Postseason scores unavailable)
                             Regional scores unavailable
     
1940-41     27 - 9    IHSA Top 32 Finalists!                  Kenneth Stephens
                             District Champions
                             District scores unavailable
                             Regional Champions
                             Regional scores unavailable
                             Joliet Sectional Runner-up!
                             1st Rd Beat Cullom 39-36 (2 O/Ts)
                             Semi-final Beat Proviso 30-28
                             Title game lost to Waterman 30-26
                             Waterman lost in Elite 8 round
     
1941-42     35 - 2    IHSA Top 32 Finalists!                  Kenneth Stephens
                             District Champions
                             District scores unavailable
                             Regional Champions
                             1st Rd Beat Momence 44-19
                             Semi-final Beat Bradley 36-30
                             Title game Beat Kankakee 47-25 
                             Joliet Sectional Runner-up!
                             1st Rd Beat Morris 37-27
                             Semi-final Beat Aurora West 40-19
                             Title game lost to Streator 48-33
                             Streator lost in Elite 8 round.
**The 35 wins by the Rams this season places them among the top 16 seasons in IHSA history!  http://www.ihsa.org/SportsActivities/BoysBasketball/RecordsHistory.aspx?url=/data/bkb/records/index.htm
    
1942-43     13 - 8    Postseason scores unavailable       Kenneth Stephens      
      
1943-44     19 - 9    District Champions                      Kenneth Stephens
                             Postseason scores unavailable
                           
1944-45     20 - 5    Crescent City District Champs     Kenneth Stephens
                             Title Game Beat Chebanse 33-32
                             Watseka Regional Tourney
                             1st Rd Beat Herscher 39-27
                             Semi-final lost to Kankakee 41-30
                             Kankakee won Regional title
     
1945-46     24 - 6    Clifton District Champions           Kenneth Stephens
                             Title game Beat Donovan 54-28
                             Kankakee Regional Tourney
                             1st Rd Beat St. Anne 49-32
                             Semi-final lost to Bradley 37-35
                             Bradley won Regional title
    
1946-47     18 - 9     District Champions                      Kenneth Stephens
                              District scores unavailable
                              Hoopeston Regional Tourney
                              1st Rd Lost to Milford 34-31
                              Milford lost in semi-final round
      
1947-48     13 - 13    Postseason scores unavailable      Kenneth Stephens 
     
1948-49     25 - 3      Wellington District Runner-up    Kenneth Stephens
                               Semi-final Beat Stockland 40-30
                               Title Game lost to Potomac 34-31
      
1949-50     21 - 8      Sheldon District Champions       Kenneth Stephens
                               Title Game Beat Ashkum-Clifton 49-31
                               Bradley Regional Tourney
                               1st Rd Beat Momence 46-36
                               Semi-final lost to Kankakee 53-43
                               Kankakee lost in title game
     
1950-51     25 - 3      Wellington District Runner-up    Kenneth Stephens
                               1st Rd Beat Wellington 48-36
                               Semi-final Beat Crescent City 51-31
                               Title game lost to Rankin 41-39
     
1951-52     19 - 7      Wellington District Tournament      Charles Pfeffer
                               1st Rd Beat Henning 68-58
                               Semi-final lost to Rankin 64-40
                               Rankin lost in title game
    
1952-53     17 - 9      Postseason scores needed           Charles Pfeffer
      
1953-54     16 - 8      Postseason scores needed           Larry Sieg
  
1954-55       4 - 16    Postseason scores needed           Larry Sieg
   
1955-56     11 - 13    Postseason scores needed           Larry Sieg
   
1956-57     16 - 7      Postseason scores needed           Larry Sieg
   
1957-58     18 - 8      Rankin District Rnner-up            Larry Sieg
                               Title game lost to Wellington 52-41
   
1958-59     16 - 11    Sheldon District Tournament         Larry Sieg
                                1st Rd Beat Crescent City 38-20
                                Semi-final lost to Stockland 65-50
                                Stockland lost in title game
          
1959-60     28 - 2       Potomac District Champions     Larry Sieg
                                1st Rd Beat East Lynn 88-42
                                Semi-final Beat Crescent City 88-64
                                Title Game Beat Potomac 62-48
                                Hoopeston Regional Tourney
                                1st Rd Beat Bismarck 80-59
                                Semi-final lost to Watseka 74-72 (2 O/Ts)
                                Watseka lost in title game
               
1960-61     29 - 3       IHSA Top 64 Finalist!                Larry Sieg
                                District Tourney Champs
                                District scores unavailable
                                Watseka Regional Champs
                                1st Rd Beat Milford 60-30
                                Semi-final Beat Cisna Park 51-49
                                Title Game Beat Hoopeston 50-44 (O/T)
                                Urbana Sectional Tourney
                                Semi-final lost to Champaign 54-46
                                Champaign lost in title game
          
1961-62     24 - 4       IHSA Top 64 Finalist!                Larry Sieg
                                Sheldon did not compete in District
                                Hoopeston Regional Champs
                                1st Rd Beat Milford 93-44
                                Semi-final Beat Cisna Park 86-54
                                Title Game Beat Watseka
                                Paris Sectional Tourney
                                Semi-final lost to Paris 60-58 (O/T)
                                Paris lost in title game
    
1962-63     13 - 12     Potomac District Runner-up      Larry Sieg
                                1st Rd Beat Rankin 75-50
                                Semi-final Beat East Lynn 60-56
                                Title Game lost to Potomac 34-32
      
1963-64     22 - 7       District Champions                    Larry Sieg
                                District scores unavailable
                                Hoopeston Regional Tourney
                                1st Rd Beat Bismarck-Henning 66-55
                                Semi-final lost to Hoopeston 62-47
                                Hoopeston won Regional title
    
1964-65     22 - 5       District Champions                    Larry Sieg
                                Postseason scores unavailable
     
1965-66     15 - 11     Postseason scores needed          Harold Finn
   
1966-67       7 - 16     Postseason scores needed          Harold Finn
    
1967-68     18 - 9       Armstrong District Runner-up     Dan Lawson
                                1st Rd Beat Rankin 55-48
                                Semi-final Beat Crescent City 61-53
                                Title game lost to Armstrong 80-48 
            
1968-69     16 - 9       Armstrong District Tournament      Howard "Jack" Roemer
                                1st Rd Beat Eat Lynn
                                Lost to Potomac 54-51
                                Potomac won District title
       
1969-70     16 - 11     Sheldon District Champions       Howard "Jack" Roemer
                                1st Rd Beat Wellington 76-46
                                Semi-final Beat Potomac 67-63
                                Title Game Beat Cisna Park 71-68
                                Hoopeston Regional Tourney
                                1st Rd lost to Watseka 61-49
                                Watseka lost in semi-final round
      
1970-71     20 - 8       Armstrong District Runner-up    John Bullock
                                1st Rd Beat Crescent City 38-36
                                Semi-final Beat Potomac 63-62 (O/T)
                                Title Game lost to Cisna Park 66-61 
    
1971-72     11 - 11     Watseka Class 'A' Regional          John Bullock
                                1st Rd lost to Milford 63-57
                                Milford lost in semi-final round
   
1972-73       3 - 19     Postseason scores needed           John Bullock          
1973-74     11 - 14     Postseason scores needed           John Bullock
1974-75     10 - 15     Postseason scores needed           John Bullock
1975-76       2 - 20     Postseason scores needed           John Bullock
1976-77       9 - 16     Postseason scores needed           Tom Weirgacz
1977-78     18 - 8       Postseason scores needed           Tom Weirgacz
1978-79     26 - 2       Postseason scores needed           Tom Weirgacz
1979-80     21 - 4       Postseason scores needed           Tom Weirgacz
1980-81     14 - 9       Postseason scores needed           John Spezia
1981-82     11 - 12     Postseason scores needed           John Spezia
1982-83     13 - 9       Postseason scores needed           Tom Crews
1983-84       6 - 18     Postseason scores needed           Tom Crews
1984-85       1 - 21     Postseason scores needed           Joe Cowan
1985-86       9 - 16     Postseason scores needed           Joe Cowan
1986-87     12 - 11     Postseason scores needed           Joe Cowan
1987-88       6 - 17     Postseason scores needed           Ferdinand LeMarr
1988-89       9 - 14     Postseason scores needed           Ferdinand LeMarr
1989-90       6 - 19     Postseason scores needed           Ferdinand LeMarr
1990-91     11 - 15     Postseason scores needed           Tom Mulligan
1991-92     17 - 9       Postseason scores needed           Guy Skrobul
1992-93     16 - 12     Postseason scores needed           Guy Skrobul
1993-94       9 - 17     Postseason scores needed           Guy Skrobul
1994-95       7 - 15     Postseason scores needed           Guy Skrobul
1995-96       3 - 24     Postseason scores needed           Guy Skrobul
1996-97       3 - 23     Postseason scores needed           Kevin Werner
1997-98       1 - 19     Postseason scores needed           Donald Emerson
1998-99       8 - 16     Postseason scores needed           Donald Emerson
1999-00     13 - 13     Postseason scores needed           Donald Emerson
2000-01       5 - 21     Postseason scores needed           Donald Emerson
2001-02 & 2002-03 Postseason scores, records, and coaches' names needed.
 
OVERALL BOYS BASKETBALL RECORD AT SHELDON HIGH SCHOOL:
 
974 wins, 725 losses     .573 Winning %     66 Seasons Recorded
 
If we had some of the season records from the 1920s and early 1930s it is a fact that Sheldon High School would top the 1,000 win plateau in number of victories.
 
Incredibly Great History!!!
 
Sheldon Player Ken Laffoon:
Brenda Stewart tells us the folloiwing about former Sheldon All-Star Ken Laffoon:
 
"Ken Laffoon, a graduate of Sheldon High School "79" has led Danville Iowa Bears to two State Class 2A Basketball Championships (2000-01and 2001-02) and a State Class 1A Runnerup in 2010-11."
       
Girls Basketball
 
Though not as long, the girls also recorded a measure of success in basketball.  Team records and coach's names are not available.  The Lady Rams basketball team of 1980-81 brought home an IHSA Regional title! The girls were also the first Iroquois County tournament champs ion their sport.  We are seeking in-put on other great seasons as well.
 
1975-76       Iroquois County Tournament Champions
1980-81       Regional Champions 
 
Boys Track & Field 
 
One male athlete won a medal at the State Track Meet. His accomplishment is listed below.
 
1953-54     Charles Darrough       100 Yard Dash         5th Place
 
Baseball
 
It is known that Sheldon had a baseball program during it's existance. Towards the later years of the school, Sheldon was involved in a co-op with nearby Watseka High School. One of the great pitchers from Sheldon was Josh Harris. In 2000, Harris threw two no-hitters for the co-op. We are sure there were many other great baseball players, and other athletes, to walk the halls of Sheldon High.
 
Great Coaches
 
As you can see by viewing the basketball success above, two coaches in Sheldon High School history really stick out.  Their accomplishments are listed below.
 
Coach Kenneth Stephens:
                                         337 - 110   Overall in 17 seasons (one season record not listed)
                                             7 - District Championships
                                             2 - Regional Championships
                                             1 - 35 win season (1941-42  -  35 - 2)
                                             9 - 20 win seasons   
                                           16 - Winning Seasons - never more than 9 losses
                                            GREAT JOB COACH STEPHENS!
 
Coach Larry Seig:
                                           219 - 96  Overall - 12 seasons
                                               4 - District Championships
                                               2 - Regional Championships
                                               5 - 20+ win seasons
                                1960,61,62  - 81 - 9 in these three consecutive seasons!!
 
Memories 
 
From Dr. Rodney Merkle:
 
"Some of the top Basketball Players on the 1977-78 and 1978-1979 squads included John Gooding, Rich Gross, and Ken Laffoon.  The 1978-79 team that was 26-2 lost both games to Watseka. Once during the Iroquois County Tournament  championship game and also in the Regional championship game.  Ironically the same player, Kenton Carley hit the winning shot in both games.  The 1979-1980 team was lead by Rich Gross. The team captured three straight Iroquois Conference Championships 1977-78, 1978-79, and 1979-80.  They were an excellent team that played the game the right way.  Today, Ken Laffoon has done an outstanding job coaching the Danville (Iowa) Bears to two state basketball titles in class 2A earlier in this decade.

Sheldon High School Student Body 1906
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Submitted by Connie Voss

Asking For Your Help
 
If you have ANY more information regarding the great successes attained at Sheldon High School we are hopeful you will share them with us. If the above photo is not the former Sheldon HS building or if you have a better photo to offer we would welcome and add it to the site. Team photos and personal stories are also welcome.  You can e-mail photos and information to us a ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.  You can also write to us at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago,  Il.  60631

Sheldon HS Bldg 2012 - Southside View
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Sheldon Grade School
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Sheldon, Illinois