Malta High School "Mustangs"

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Malta High School
malta.jpg
Currently known as Wright Elementary School

Malta HS Building 1937 - ??
maltahsbldg2008dav.jpg
Photo Taken in 2008 - Now a Grade School

The History of Malta High School
 
Malta (population 969) is located in northern Illinois in west-central DeKalb County.  Malta sits quietly on Illinois Route 38 about 5 miles west of the outskirts of DeKalb.  The Chicago & Northwestern Railroad runs through the center of Malta.  
 
Malta's educational system was probably set into place in the late 1800s / early 1900s.  The town supported its own high school for several decades, possibly even more than a century.  It was in the late 1990s that talks of deactivating the school and annexing into the DeKalb School System became serious.  In the year 2000 these talks became a reality.  After the 1999-2000 school year the Malta School District was no more.

Malta School Building Inscription
maltahsbldginscriptiondav.jpg

Malta is host to two grade schools. One of them is housed in the old high school building (pictured above). That school is now called Wright Elementary School, named after a local native and the "M" shaped boulder that is in the picture has been flipped over and repainted so that it looks like a "W" for Wright. The current Wright campus, used as a DeKalb School District partnership school with Northern Illinois University, and old high school campus actually sits east of Malta on Ill. Rt. 38.
 
The other grade school is pictured to the above right and at the bottom of this page.  The building is located in the town and served as the high school building from 1937 until the more recent building was built.
 
Please e-mail us if you can add to the history of the Malta School or town. 
 
Malta High School Quick Facts 
 
Year opened:                  late 1800s / early 1900s
Year closed:                   2000
Annexed to:                   DeKalb School District
School nickname:           the "Mustangs"
School colors:                Red & White
School Fight Song:         unavailable

Early Malta High School ??? - 1937
malta_old.jpg

Athletics
 
The Malta High School Mustangs had a very long and, in many cases, successful athletic past.  There is IHSA mention (www.ihsa.org) of the boys sports of basketball, soccer and track as well as girls sports of basketball and volleyball.  It is possible that Malta also offered baseball and softball, maybe even football. Malta competed in the Little Ten Conference. If you have knowledge of the better teams, conference champions, great records and coaches, and other items of Malta High's athletic success please pass it on to share with others.
 
Boys Basketball
 
The only mention of the Malta High School Mustangs boys basketball team is of the teams of 1994-98.  Though no IHSA hardware was won, three of those seasons turned in great records. Somewhere in his coaching career, Gary Croegaert made a stop at Malta High School. He would go on to have 300+ wins as a head coach for many years with various schools. The years and coach's name is listed below.
 
1968-69    5 - 18                                                   Coach Al Modloff
1975-76  15 - 10                                                   Coach Jerry Smith
1990-91    6 - 12                                                   CoachShawn Byers
1991-92    8 - 16                                                   CoachShawn Byers
1992-93    5 - 17                                                   CoachShawn Byers
1993-94    7 - 14                                                   CoachShawn Byers
1994-95    9 - 18                                                   CoachShawn Byers
1995-96  10 - 16                                                   CoachShawn Byers
1996-97  16 - 12                                                   CoachShawn Byers
1997-98  18 - 6                                                     CoachShawn Byers
 
1998-99  23 - 4         Conference Champions       Coach Shawn Byers
*Won school's only Little Ten Conference Tournament title & captured second regular season championship. Justin Allen's senior season (see below).
 
Great Player:
 
From our good friend Brian Hoxsey:
 

"Justin Allen (1996-1999)

 

Allen was a four-year starter for the Mustangs, he is Malta's  all-time leading scorer and rebounder with 2,453 points and 929 rebounds.  Averaged 26.7 points, 15.0 rebounds and 4.7 blocks his senior year in leading the Mustangs to a 23-4 record and both the Little Ten Conference regular season and Tournament titles.  In his junior year he posted 28.0 ppg and 11 rpg for Malta.  A Little Ten All-Conference pick and Team MVP in 1997, 1998 and 1999, selected Chicago Sun Times All-State in 1998 and 1999 and Illinois Basketball Coaches Association All-State pick in 1999.  Shot over than 80 percent from the free-throw line in his career and over 40 percent from beyond the arc in his junior season.  Also an outstanding soccer goalie (All-Little 10 in 1999) who entered senior season the school's record holder with 27 shutouts.

 

Justin Allen became the first player in Malta history to sign with a Division I school (Arizona State University).  The beginning of his sophomore (September 2000) season Allen was diagnosed with Hodgkin's disease so he was redshirted that season and finished his chemotherapy in May of 2001.  Allen made his comeback in May of 2001.

 

His junior year (2002-2003) he helped ASU earn a trip to the NCAA tournament, earned first-team Pac-10 All-Academic honors.  Senior season Allen was second-team Pac-10 All-Academic and earned degree in justice sciences in May of 2003 with a 3.46 grade point average.

 

Allen was the recipient of the 2003 Jimmy V. Comeback Award and in 2002 the Gene Autry Courage Award."

 
Girls Basketball
 
The girls basketball has several seasons listed on the IHSA web site.  The best as far as season record is concerned is listed below.
 
1987-88    12 - 12       Coach Kim Vitek
 
Boys Soccer
 
Malta was one of only a few small schools that offered a high school soccer program, and even some of the other schools around Malta (Hinkley-Big Rock and Kirkland-Hiawatha for example) had soccer programs. Malta's program had a very successful run from the late 1970's to the middle 1990's. The most successful years are listed below:
 
1976-77   10 - 5 - 2       (good record)                   Coach Dick Schlaf
1977-78   12 - 2 - 1       (great record)                   Coach Dick Schlaf
1978-79   13 - 5 - 5       (good record)                   Coach Randy French
1979-80   19 - 3 - 1       (great record)                   Coach Randy French
1980-81   11 - 6 - 2       (good record)                   Coach Randy French
1981-82   15 - 7 - 2       (good record)                   Coach Randy French
1982-83   20 - 7            IHSA State Sweet 16     Coach Randy French
                                   Regional Champs
                                   Sectional Champs                                                 
1983-84   21 - 3            Regional Champions     Coach Randy French
1987-88   10 - 9 - 1       (good record)                   Coach Mike Engstrom
1989-90                       Regional Champions     
1990-91                       Regional Champions    
1993-94                       Regional Champions 
 
Boys Track & Field
 
One male athlete, Todd Duffield, brought home a medal from the IHSA Class A State Track Meet.  His great effort is listed below.
 
1977-78    Todd Duffield     High Jump        8th Place
 
Girls Volleyball
 
Most of the Malta High School Lady Mustang volleyball seasons are listed on the IHSA web site.  The best were picked out and are presented below.
 
1975-76   5 - 4                                  Coach Joyce Richardson
1981-82   6 - 3                                  Coach Marilyn Masilunis
1983-84  13 - 4     (great record)         Coach Cheryl Ulrich Martines
1985-86  14 - 7     (good record)         Coach Candy Weaver
1986-87  14 - 7     (good record)         Coach Kim Vitek
1987-88  18 - 6     (great record)         Coach Kim Vitek
    
Extra-Curricular Activities
 
Sports were not the only thing that occupied the time of the kids of Malta High School. Chorus, FFA, Band, Student Government, Dances, and Plays were all offered at MHS.
 
To view a very brief video clip of the Malta High School Marching Band in action during the 1980 Northern Illinois University Homecoming parade in DeKalb check out this YouTube video sent to us by "Tom":
Searching For More Information   
 
If you have any more information you can share regarding the many successes attained at Malta High School please take the time to write to us so we can share the ionformation with others.  School colors, the many other GREAT teams, and personal stories about great memories and games should be shared.  We are especially interested in photos of the original school building and great teams, players, coaches, and alumni from MHS.  You can e-mail these items to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.  You can write to us at:                        
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.   60631

Malta High School Building 1937 - ??
maltahsbldgnwsideviewdav.jpg
Now Serves as Grade School