Pocahontas High School "Indians"

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Original Pocahontas Gymnasium to the Rear
pocohontasgymnasiumdav.jpg
New Grade School in Foreground - Submitted by Douglas Combs

New Pocahontas Center Grade School
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Pocahontas, Illinois

The History of Pocahontas High School
 
Pocahontas (population 727) is located on Interstate Highway 70 and U.S. Route 40 about 40 miles northeast of East St. Louis.  This places Pocahontas in the southwest corner of Bond County. The Conrail Railroad and a branch of the Shoal Creek both run through town.  
 
The history of the town and its school system are in need of research. 
 
Roger Haberer provided the following memories and information on the Pocahontas school system:
 
"I grew up in Pocahontas but missed by 2 years in attending Pocahontas High School .  I attended school in Pocahontas from the 1st thru 8th grades in the original school building and current gym.  In 1958 I started high school in Greenville (Bond County Community Unit District #2 High School), graduating in 1962.  Both of my parents graduated from PHS.  My father, in fact, played basketball for Joe Lucco while he coached there.  Joe Lucco’s home town was Pocahontas. As a child it was always exciting attending basketball games on Friday nights.

Pocahontas HS School Board - 1910
pocohontasschoolboarddav.jpg
Submitted by Douglas Combs

Pocahontas HS Building Cornerstone - 1910
pocohontascornerstonedav.jpg
Now Base of School Bell - Courtesy of Douglas Combs

The last year for Pocahontas High School was 1956 when Bond County Community Unit District #2 was formed and the schools of Pocahontas, Sorento, and Greenville (and maybe Reno ) attended the new Bond County Community Unit District #2 High School (known of course as Greenville High School ).

The school building at Pocahontas was torn down and the grade school built on its location – I do not know the date.  The high school gym (which at that time also consisted of the band room, ag room and cafeteria) was left intact and is now used by the grade school.  Part of the new school was built in front of, and is connected to, the gym."  

The Pocahontas Center Grade School building is pictured above.  The picture was found on the school web site :  http://www.bccu2.k12.il.us/pes/homepage.html .
 
Pocahontas High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:               late 1800s?
Year closed:                1956
Consolidated to:          Bond County High School (Greenville) 
School nickname:        the "Indians"
School colors:             Purple & Gold
School yearbook:         the "Powhatan"
School Fight Song:      unavailable

Pocahontas High School Trophy Case
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Photo Taken by Douglas Combs

Pocahontas Gymnasium Half Court Logo
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Photo Courtesy of Douglas Combs

Athletics
 
Pocahontas High School (c'mon, they HAD to be the "Indians"!) definately offered boys basketball.  Track and baseball may have also been offered to the boys. We have VERY limited information available.  We are hopeful a Pocahontas resident or former alumnus can help us out.
 
Boys Basketball
 
According to the IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org) the Pocahontas High School boys basketball team brought home two District titles during their existence.  The team records and coach's names were not available.  If you have information on these two teams as well as other Pocahontas High School accomplishments please e-mail us the information so we can share it with others.
 
Roger Haberer added this information regarding the Pocahontas gymnasium:
 
"I haven’t been in the gym for several years but originally the benches and scoring table were located on the stage.  The stage was on the west side of the court and was about 4’ above the floor.  After timeouts, the substitute players always had to help their Coach get back to the bench on the stage.  The wooded bleachers only on the east side began about 4’ above the floor and consisted of 8 to 10 rows.  The floor was very near the walls with only about 1’ between the out of bounds line and the wall."
 
What a great atmosphere it must have been to play at old PHS!
 
Some of the scores listed below were found on a website titled "Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores".
 
1921-22            Centralia District Tournament                 Coach's name & record needed
                         1st Rd lost to Coulterville 28-22
                         Coulterville lost to Farina in quarter-final round
                         Farina lost to Centralia in title game
  
1922-23  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1923-24  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
    
1924-25            IHSA District Champions                      Coach's name & record needed
                         Defeated Nokomis in the Semi-finals
                         Defeated Witt in the Championship game
                         Springfield Sectional Tournament
                         1st Rd lost to Industry 16-9
                         Industry lost in 2nd Rd.
                         Springfield beat Athens in title game
   
1925-26  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1926-27  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1927-28  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1928-29  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1929-30  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1930-31  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
 
1931-32            Carlyle District Tournament                     Coach's name & record needed
                         1st round Pocahontas 24 Beckemeyer 23
                         2nd round Pocahontas 34
Keyesport 10
                         Semifinal Centralia 30 Pocahontas 20
                         Centralia - District Champs
   
1932-33  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
   
1933-34            Carlyle District Tournament                     Coach's name & record needed
                         1st Rd Beat Beckemeyer 35-18
                         2nd Rd lost to Centralia 53-22
                         Centralia beat Ashley in title game
   
1934-35            Vandalia District Tournament                  Coach's name & record needed
                         1st Rd lost to Mulberry Grove 39-30
                         Mulberry Grove lost to Fillmore in 2nd Rd
                         Fillmore beat Vandalia in title game
   
1935-36            Highland District Tournament                  Coach's name & record needed
                         1st Rd lost to Venice 51-36
                         Venice beat Troy in title game
  
1936-37            IHSA District Champions                      Coach's name & record needed
                         District Scores Needed
                         Greenville Regional Tournament
                         1st Rd Beat Carlyle 35-19
                         Semi-final lost to Greenville 28-16
                         Greenville lost to Vandalia in title game
   
1937-38            Pocahontas District Runner-Up           Coach's name & record needed
                         Title Game lost to Panama 45-25
   
1938-39  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1939-40  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1940-41  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
   
1941-42            Highland Regional Tournament               Coach's name & record needed 
                         1st Rd lost to Staunton 32-23
                         Staunton lost to Livingston in semi-final
                         Livingston lost to Collinsville in title game
  
1942-43            Greenville Regional Tournament             Coach's name & record needed 
                         1st Rd lost to Livingston 56-33
                          Livingston lost to Staunton in semi-final
                          Staunton lost to Greenville in title game
  
1943-44  Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
  
1944-45            Greenville Regional Tournament             Coach's name & record needed 
                         1st Rd lost to Greenville 47-43
                         Greenville lost to Livingston in semi-final
                         Livingston beat St. Jacob in title game
 
1945-46            Highland Regional Runner-Up             Coach's name & record needed 
                         1st Rd Beat Highland St. Paul 51-32
                         Semi-final Beat Livingston 44-40
                         Title Game lost to Greenville 59-27
  
1946-47            Greenville Regional Tournament             Coach's name & record needed 
                         1st Rd lost to Livingston 66-31
                         Livingston beat Greenville in title game
 
1947-48            Highland District Tournament                   Coach's name & record needed
                         1st Rd Beat Mulberry Grove 47-44
                         Semi-final lost to Livingston 59-31
                         Livingston beat Highland in title game
  
1948-49            Greenville Regional Tournament             Coach's name & record needed 
                         1st Rd lost to East St. Louis Lincoln 45-42
                         East St. Louis Lincoln beat Highland in title game
  
1949-50            Highland Regional Tournament               Coach's name & record needed 
                         1st Rd lost to Madison Dunbar 41-23
                         Madison Dunbar beat Carlyle in title game
   
1950-51            Greenville Regional Tournament             Coach's name & record needed 
                         1st Rd lost to Highland 67-38
                         Highland beat Greenville in title game
  
1951-52            Highland Regional Tournament               Coach's name & record needed 
                         1st Rd lost to Witt 40-38
                         Witt lost to Livingston in semi-final
                         Livingston beat Carlyle in title game
  
1952-53            Greenville Regional Tournament             Coach's name & record needed 
                         1st Rd lost to Greenville 58-51
                         Greenville beat Collinsville in title game
  
1953-54            Highland Regional Tournament               Coach's name & record needed 
                         1st Rd lost to Carlyle 55-47
                         Carlyle lost to Greenville in title game
  
1954-55  12- 8 Greenville Regional Tournament             Coach James Kesner 
                         1st Rd lost to Highland 84-51
                         Highland lost to Greenville in title game
HIGHLAND (84): B. Tuffli 24, Ward 23, H. Tuffli 17, Byrne 11, Loyet 4, Williams 2, Ginter 2, Zobrist 1.
POCAHONTAS (51): Schollinger 12, Romy 12, Hutchinson 8, McCassland 7, Sugg 7, Haberer 3, Kinberlin 2.
  
1955-56            Highland Regional Tournament               Coach's name & record needed 
                         **1st Rd lost to Aviston 82-59
                         Aviston lost to Greenville in semi-final
                         Greenville lost to Highland in title game
 
**Final basketball game for Pocahontas High School.
   
One of the top 50 winningest coaches in the state of Illinois, Joe Lucco, started his coaching career at Pocahontas High School. After stints at Kincaid and Edwardsville, Lucco had a career record of 562-267.
 
Pocahontas versus Collinsville from research by Mark Jurenga:
 
Despite the obvious enrollment difference, Pocahontas took on many bigger schools, including:
Pocahontas High School Record vs. Collinsville
*Collinsville High sits at #2 behind Centralia as the winningest team in IHSA history with 1,939 wins after the 2006-2007 season.
 
The Series:
4 meetings
Collinsville won series: 4-0
At Collinsville: Collinsville led 3-0
At Pocahontas: NA
Neutral Site: Collinsville led 1-0

1938 State Fair Band Championship Trophy
pocohontasstatebandchampsdav.jpg
Submitted by Douglas Combs

Band
 
The Pocahontas band of 1938 had a lot to toot their horns about.  The trophy pictured to your right was won at the Illinois State Fair that year.  The trophy reads:
 
Governor Hori(ver?) Trophy
Champion High School Band Group #1
1938 Illinois State Fair    
 
 
 
 
 
 
Information from the 1953-54 Yearbook
Courtesy of Mark Jurenga
 
Principal: Mr. James Kesner. Principal/coach/History teacher/co-sponsor of Sr. class.
 
1954 Senior class history.
Frosh (23 enrolled)
President..................Delores Albert
Vice-Presdient...........Arnold Zobrist
Secretary.................Eunice Miles
Treasurer.................Karla Kuhn
 
Soph.
President.................Edith Zobrist
Vice-President..........Delores Albert
Secretary................Shirley Weiss
Treasurer................Karla Kuhn
 
Junior
President................Clifford Gruner
Vice-President.........Karla Kuhn
Treasurer...............Delores Albert
Reporter................Marlene Mettler
Sergeant-at-Arms....Elvin Zimmerman
*Delores Albert won the title as Pocahontas Queen that year.
 
Senior (20 enrolled)
President...............Lucille Farley
Vice-President........Karla Kuhn
Secretary..............Clifford Gruner
Treasurer..............Edith Zobrist
 
Senior Play for Class of 1954 "Gown of Glory"
Senior "skip-hike" to Washington D. C., New York City and Niagara Falls.
 
Sports in the 1953-54 school year were boys baseball and basketball.
 
Clubs included FFA, FHA
 
NOTE: Despite showing a picture of the baseball team, no schedule or results were printed.
 
Teams on the basketball schedule included: Aviston, Breese, Coffeen, Highland, Highland (St. Paul), Livingston, Mulberry Grove, Troy, Trenton, Venice, Worden. They also played in something called the MBC Tourney at Trenton. (I'm assuming that was the Madison and Bond County Tourney, perhaps a conference tourney.)
 
Seeking Your In-Put
 
Pocahontas High School did exist due to the hard and heartfelt efforts of the folks who lived there during that time. Their efforts deserve to be remembered.  If you can offer any infomation regarding the many accomplishments and successes made at PHS you can 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