Gridley High School "Redskins"

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Gridley High School Building 2014
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Gridley, Illinois

Gridley HS Flagpole Base Dedication Plaque
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The History of Gridley High School
 
Gridley (population 1,411) is located in east-central Illinois about 14 miles north-northeast of Bloomington. The town, located in north-central McLean County, is situated on U.S. Route 24 about 6 miles west of Interstate Highway 55. The Toledo, Peoria, & Western Railroad runs parallel to US Rt. 24 and passes through Gridley's south side. The Buck Creek flows just south of town and the Turkey Creek flows to the west of Gridley.
 
Kev Varney found this bit of information on the founding of Gridley: 
 
"Gridley is named for banker Asahel Gridley, a prominent politician and banker from Bloomington. He owned the land that the village was platted on along with Thomas Carlisle as the village was incorporated in 1856. Gridley is best known for his founding of two other communities within the same county (McLean), Lexington and Leroy, and was in good company with President Abraham Lincoln prior to Honest Abe's ascent to the White House. Gridley was also the first millionaire in McLean County, although it is thought to be that he acquired his wealth by real estate dealings, banking, and by taking advantage of others' misfortunes."
 
The real history of Gridley's school system is found in "The Gridley Centennial Book," written in 1956. The first-known school for Gridley students was actually outside the village in the country in 1857, but a new location was built inside the community two years later. Another building was built a year later to handle the enrollment, which later was added onto and where the high school began its life in 1892 as a two-year school.

Gridley High School Building Inscription Stone
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Above Front Entrance

Gridley HS Building 2014
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Building Constructed in 1906

Gridley High School continued to flourish when a new building was opened in 1906 (the one you see at top of the page) for all four grades, and it continues to serve the community today as El Paso-Gridley Junior High School. It is believed that the high school was a four-year school from the beginning with its first graduates being Cora Waid Vincent, Ludy Waid Huguenin, and C. E. McNemar.
 
In the early 2000's, Gridley residents began consolidation talks with its neighbor the west, El Paso. The talks were eventually finalized and the two towns agreed to join their school districts. The El Paso-Gridley School District became a reality in 2004. This action effectively closed the two high schools.
 
El Paso-Gridley High School students attend school at the former El Paso High School. As stated above, the Gridley High School building is now used as the El Paso-Gridley Junior High School.
 
Gridley High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                             1892 (as 2-yr school)
Year High School building built:   1906 (as 4-yr school)
Year Gridley HS closed:             2004
School nickname:                      the "Redskins"
School colors:                           Red & Black
School Fight Song:                    "Come On Old Gridley"
                                                     Sung to the Notre Dame University victory march.
                                                               
 
                                                   Oh, come on old Gridley
                                                 don't let us down!
                                                 You are the best team
                                                 yet to be found!
                                                 
                                                 Come on Gridley let us fight.
                                                 Fight to wear our Red and Black!
 
                                                 We never fumble,
                                                 We never fall!
                                                 Come on old Gridley,
                                                 Get at that ball!
 
                                                 GRIDLEY HIGH SCHOOL, G-H-S
                                                 IT'S ONWARD TO VICTORY!!

Athletics
 
The Gridley High School Redskins and Lady Redskins have an extensive history of competitive teams and athletes. IHSA hardware was won in boys' basketball along with track & field, while the football team also made five trips to the IHSA Class 1A Playoffs. The Lady Redskin volleyball team also excelled with several solid seasons and one District title. It is believed the Ladies also competed in basketball and track & field, however, no mention of their success is listed on the IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org). It is known that the school had a baseball team as early as 1910 (there is a picture from the 1956 Gridley Centennial Book that identifies a team from that year).

Gridley HS Gymnasium Interior 2014
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Boys Basketball
 
The Gridley HS boys basketball team history is listed on the IHSA web site back to the 1933-34 school year. No less than 7 Regional and 4 District titles were won by the Redskin basketball boys. One great game in Gridley basketball history occurred during the 1948-49 season when the Gridley boys upset then powerhouse (and rival) Chenoa, who had one of the best teams in the state that year. Chenoa went on later that season to the sectional championship game where they lost to Pekin in a close game.
 
Gridley's best season record-wise was the 1975-76 Resdskins, pictured above to the right. This team finished its regular season undefeated, winning the conference title. The team went on to win the Regional before bowing out in the Sectional.    

Billy Hayes - B-ball 1978-82
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Gridley's All-Time Leading Scorer

 
The Redskins' all-time leading scorer, Billy Hayes, is pictured to the right.  Hayes played at Gridley High from 1978-79 through 1981-82. As you can see the teams faired quite well. Hayes started at Gridley from the third game of his freshman year through his senior year. Bill scored a total of 1,914 points for GHS. 
 
The best seasons, as far as overall records and IHSA hardware won, are listed below. If you have more information, please write to us via e-mail.
 
1921-22             Fairbury District Tournament                  Coach's name
                          2nd Rd lost to Forrest 29-25                   & record needed
     
1922-23             McLean Co. Jr. Div. Tourney Champs   Coach Harry Hill
                          Postseason scores and record needed.
1923-24             McLean Co. Jr. Div. Tourney Champs   Coach Harry Hill
                          Postseason scores and record needed.
1924-25             Postseason scores and record needed. Coach Harry Hill
1925-26             Postseason scores and record needed. Coach Harry Hill
1926-27             McLean Co. Jr. Div. Tourney Champs   Coach Harry Hill
                          Postseason scores and record needed.
1927-28             Postseason scores and record needed. Coach Harry Hill
1928-29             Postseason scores and record needed. Coach Harry Hill
1929-30             Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1930-31             Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1931-32             Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1932-33             Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
  
1933-34             Normal District Tournament                  Coach's name & record needed
                          1st Rd Beat Danvers 28-16
                          2nd Rd lost to Lexington 18-14
                          Lexington lost to Normal U-High in semi-final
                          Normal U-High beat Bloomington in title game
   
1934-35             Bloomington District Tournament         Coach's name & record needed
                          1st Rd lost to Normal U-High 33-17
                          Normal U-High lost in title game
   
1935-36             Colfax District Tournament                   Coach's name & record needed
                          1st Rd lost to Chenoa 25-22
                          Chenoa beat Cooksville in title game
   
1936-37             Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1937-38             Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
    
1938-39              IHSA District Champions                  Coach's name & record needed
                           District scores needed
                           Chenoa Regional Tournament
                           1st Rd lost to Fairbury 19-13
                           Fairbury lost to Bloomington in semi-final
                           Bloomington beat Normal U-High in title game
         
1939-40              Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1940-41              Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
   
1941-42  15-  8   Postseason scores needed                  Coach Lynn Siron
   
1942-43              Lexington Regional Runner-Up        Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd Beat Arrowsmith 53-25
                           Semi-final Beat Normal U-High 42-41 (O/T)
                           Title Game lost to Normal HS 46-20
      
1943-44  23-  6  IHSA District Champions                   Coach E.W. Towner
                          District scores needed
                          IHSA Regional Qualifier
                          Regional scores needed
                          *McLean Co. Tourney Champs
     
1944-45  25-  6  Lexington Regional Runner-Up         Coach E.W. Towner  
                          1st Rd Beat Lexington 59-39
                          Semi-final Beat Fairbury 38-37
                          Title Game lost to Normal U-High 38-37
    
1945-46  22-  5  McLean Co. Tourney Champs            Coach L.D. Lang
                          Chenoa Regional Tourney
                          1st Rd Beat Anchor 46-42
                          Semi-final lost to Normal U-High 42-34
                          Normal U-High beat Normal HS in title game
          
1946-47  24-  5  McLean Co. Tourney Champs            Coach L.D. Lang 
                           Chenoa Regional Tourney
                           1st Rd Beat Lexington 55-35
                           Semi-final lost to Chenoa 36-35
                           Chenoa beat Normal U-High in title game
  
1947-48              Chenoa Regional Tournament              Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd lost to Normal U-High 45-40
                           Normal U-High lost to Chenoa in semi-final
                           Chenoa lost to Normal HS in title game
   
1948-49              Ellsworth District Runner-Up             Coach's name & record needed
                           Semi-final Beat Ellsworth 64-58
                           Title Game lost to Anchor 56-45
  
1949-50              Ellsworth District Tournament               Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd Beat Arrowsmith 45-34
                           Semi-final lost to Saybrook 59-39
                           Saybrook beat Bellflower in title game
  
1950-51              Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
   
1951-52  23-  5   Benson District Champions               Coach Clarence Kyger
                           1st Rd Beat Flanagan 64-43
                           Semi-final Beat Washburn 64-59
                           Title Game Beat Benson 73-41
                           East Peoria Regional Tourney
                           1st Rd Beat Washington 52-50
                           Semi-final lost to East Peoria 82-63
                           East Peoria beat Peoria Woodruff in title game
                           **Mid-State Conf. Runner-up

Gidley Basketball Team 1951-52
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Courtesy of 1956 "Gridley Centennial Book"

1952-53  23  -7  IHSA District Champions                 Coach Clarence Kyger
                           Mid-State Conf. Runner-up
                           McLean Co. Tourney Champs
                           District Scores Needed
                           Peoria Regional Tournament
                           1st Rd lost to Peoria Woodruff 67-55
                           Woodruff lost to Peoria Manual in semi-final
                           Manual lost to Peoria Central in title game
             
1953-54     Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed. 

1954-55  16-11   Mid-State Conf. Runner-up             Coach Clarence Kyger
                            Postseason scores needed
    
1955-56  15-10   Postseason scores needed               Coach Vic Durcholz
   
1956-57     Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed. 
     
1957-58              Gridley District Runner-Up              Coach's name & record needed
                           Early Rd scores needed
                           Title Game lost to Roanoke 80-64
   
1958-59              Flanagan District Tournament            Coach's name & record needed
                           Semi-final lost to Flanagan 30-22
                           Flanagan beat Low-Point-Washburn in title game
  
1959-60              Flanagan District Tournament            Coach's name & record needed
                           Semi-final lost to Roanoke-Benson 74-55
                           Roanoke-Benson beat Flanagan in title game
  
1960-61     Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed. 
  
1961-62              Roanoke District Tournament             Coach's name & record needed
                           Semi-final lost to Roanoke-Benson 64-52
                           Roanoke-Benson beat Flanagan in title game 
                          
1962-63  17-  8   Roanoke District Runner-Up            Coach Ken Hearn
                           Mid-State Conf. Co-Champs           
                           Mid-State Conf. Tourney Champs
                           District Scores
                           Semi-final Beat Low Point-Washburn 62-56
                           Title Game lost to Roanoke-Benson 63-45
             
1963-64     Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed. 
1964-65     Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed. 
1965-66     Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed. 
1966-67     Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed. 
  
1967-68  13-10  Heyworth District Tournament             Coach Dave Darnall
                          1st Rd lost to Wapella 60-54
                           Wapella lost to Lexington in semi-final
                           Lexington lost to Cofax Octavia in title game
      
1968-69  17-  7  Colfax Octavia District Tourney           Coach Dave Darnall
                           Mid-State Conf. Co-Champs
                           District Tourney Scores
                           1st Rd Beat Downs Tri-Valley
                           Semi-final lost to Colfax Octavia 63-58
                           Octavia beat Wapella in title game

Gridley HS Conference Co-Champs 1968-69
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Submitted by Michael Morin

1969-70             Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
     
1970-71  16-  8  Leroy District Tournament                  Coach Pete Meiss
                           1st Rd lost to Chenoa 64-62
                           Chenoa lost to Wapella in semi-final
                           Wapella lost to Colfax Octavia in title game
   
1971-72              Fairbury Class 'A' Regional                Coach Pete Meiss
                           (Season record needed)
                           1st Rd Beat Fairbury-Cropsey
                           Semi-final lost to Colfax-Octavia 76-67
                           Octavia lost to Normal U-High in title game
                
1972-73  18-  8  Postseason scores needed                 Coach Pete Meiss
1973-74  16-10  Postseason scores needed                 Coach Pete Meiss 
                         
1974-75  23-  3  Mid-State Conf. Champs                   Coach Pete Meiss
                          McLean Co. Tourney Champs
                          Woodford Co. Tourney Champs
                          Postseason scores needed
       
1975-76  27-  1  IHSA Regional Champions               Coach Pete Meiss
                          Mid-State Conf. Champs (14-0)
                          McLean Co. Tourney Champs
                          Woodford Co. Tourney Champs 
                          Undefeated Regular Season
                          Regional Scores
                          Semi-final Beat Colfax Octavia 73-57
                          Title Game Beat Lexington 77-62
                          Normal Sectional Runner-Up
                          Semi-final Beat Mason City 90-47
                          Title Game lost to Bloomington CC 68-63
                          BCC lost in Elite 8 Round

Gridley HS 1975-76 Regional Champs
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Undefeated Regular Season - 27 - 1 Overall

1976-77  19-  6   Mid-State Conf. Co-Champs          Coach Pete Meiss
                            McLean Co. Tourney Champs 
                            IHSA Regional Score
                            1st Rd lost to Fairbury-Cropsey 46-44
      
1977-78  25-  3   IHSA Regional Champions            Coach Pete Meiss
                            Mid-State Conf. Champs
                            Regional Scores Needed
                            Normal Sectional Tournament
                            Semi-final lost to Deland-Weldon 63-57
                            Deland-Weldon lost to Mason City in title game
DELAND-WELDON (63): Gregory 17, S. Pearl 14, Rich 10, Worthey 10, Rudisill 7, D. Pearl 5.
GRIDLEY (57): Gundy 16, Roth 14, Jenkins 12, Kuerth 10, Meiss 2, Umland 2, Moulton 1.
   
1978-79  21-  8   IHSA Regional Champions            Coach Pete Meiss
                           Regional Scores Needed
                           Normal Sectional Runner-Up
                           Semi-final Beat Saybrook-Arrowsmith 66-54
                           Title Game lost to Bloomington CC
                           BCC lost in Elite 8 Round
    
1979-80  17-  8   Mid-State Conf. Runner-up            Coach Pete Meiss
                            McLean Co. Tourney Champs
                            Postseason scores needed
   
1980-81           Postseason scores & record needed   Coach Pete Meiss

1981-82  23-  4   Mid-State Conf. Runner-up            Coach Pete Meiss
                            McLean Co. Tourney Champs
                            Postseason scores needed
    
1982-83  20-  7   Postseason scores needed              Coach Pete Meiss
     
1983-84  18-10   IHSA Regional Champions            Coach Pete Meiss
                            McLean Co. Tourney Champs
                            Regional Scores Needed
                            Pontiac Sectional Tournament
                            Semi-final lost to Bloomington CC 53-49
                            BCC lost to Toluca in title game
                            Toluca lost in Sweet 16 Round
      
1984-85  24-  5   IHSA Regional Champions            Coach Pete Meiss
                            Mid-State Conf. Champs
                            Regional Scores Needed
                            Pontiac Sectional Tournament
                            Semi-final Beat Leroy 49-42
                            Title Game lost to Mason City 74-63
                            Mason City lost in Sweet 16 Round
   
1985-86  17-  9   McLean Co. Tourney Champs       Coach Pete Meiss
                            Postseason scores needed
  
1986-87          Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1987-88          Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1988-89          Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
    
1989-90  14-14   IHSA Regional Champions            Coach Tim Fairchild
                           Regional Scores Needed
                           IHSA Sectional Qualifier
                           Sectional Scores Needed

1990-91  19-  6   Mid-State Conf. Runner-up            Coach Tim Fairchild
                            Postseason scores needed
   
1991-92  22-  5   McLean Co. Tourney Champs       Coach Tim Fairchild
                            Postseason scores needed
   
1992-93  25-  4   IHSA Regional Champions            Coach Tim Fairchild
                           Mid-State Conf. Champs
                           McLean Co. Tourney Champs
                           Regional Scores Needed
                           IHSA Sectional Qualifier
                           Sectional Scores Needed
   
1993-94  15-10   Postseason scores needed              Coach Tim Fairchild
   
1994-95          Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1995-96          Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
    
1996-97  16-  9   Postseason scores needed              Coach John Stella
   
1997-98          Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1998-99          Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1999-00          Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
2000-01          Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
2001-02          Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
2002-03          Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
     
2003-04          Postseason scores & record needed    Coach Tim Fairchild

*2003-04 was the final basketball season for the Gridley High School "Redskins."
 
Three-time All-Conference Basketball Players:
*Wilbur Haney - 1953, '54, '55
*Rob Tipsord - 1969, '70, '71
*Greg Umland - 1975, '76, '77
*Mike Jenkins - 1977, '78, '79
*Billy Hayes - 1980, '81, '82
*Phil Meiss - 1980, '81, '82
*Matt Jenkins - 1991, '92, '93
 
Overall School Record from 1933 to 2004:
944 - 778    .548 Winning %
 
*Coach Dave Darnall - after gaining his coaching start at Gridley, went on to become the head coach of Eureka College men's basketball.
 
**Successes attained at the Bloomington-Normal State Farm Holiday Classic as researched by Mark Jurenga:
 
1992 - Grand Championship - Gridley 62 Chilicothe (IVC) 57
All-Tournament 
- Matt Jenkins, Benjie Zeller
 
 
Boys Football
 
The Gridley High School gridiron was not exactly willing to take a back seat to the basketball program. This was true, especially in the early 1980's and early 1990's. Consecutive trips in the early parts of both decades were the highlights of those seasons listed. The best seasons of the Gridley Redskins with the pigskin are listed below.

Gridley High School
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Football Field

1919-20    5-3                                                                  Coach W.H. "Harry" Hill
1920-21    7-0                                                                  Coach W.H. "Harry" Hill
       
The 1920 Redskin Football Team (the school's second season under Harry Hill) scored 650 points that season. Some of the the scores included 84-3 over Leroy, 105-0 against Fairbury, and 169-0 (this is not a misprint) over Chenoa. According to the 1956 Gridley Centennial book, this team averaged 92.85 points per game!

Gridley HS Football Team of 1920
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Undefeated at 7 - 0 (Courtesy of 1956 "Gridley Centennial Book"

Members of the 1920 Redskin Football Team Pictured Above-Right:
Front Row, L to R : Fred Kent, Lyle Kehr, Harold Brown, Dale King, Virgil Blumershine, Ernest Blessman, Don Fenton
Back Row, L to R: Raymond Simpson, Roy Coyle, Clayton Ellis, Earl Lynch, Ralph Frey, Eugene McNaught, Coach Harry Hill
 
1921-22    4-1                                                                  Coach W.H. "Harry" Hill
1922-23    7-1                                                                  Coach W.H. "Harry" Hill
1923-24    7-0                                                                  Coach W.H. "Harry" Hill
1924-25    7-1                                                                  Coach W.H. "Harry" Hill
1925-26    8-0                                                                  Coach W.H. "Harry" Hill
1926-27    6-0                                                                  Coach W.H. "Harry" Hill
   
In 1926, the Redskin football squad stretched an unbeaten string to 21 games (after losing the opening game of the 1924 season and winning the rest of the games that year along with going undefeated in 1925 & 1926), defeating the likes of Chenoa (34-6), McLean (107-0) and
Lexington (116-0).

Gridley Redskin Football Team of 1926
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Winners of 21 Straight Games! (Courtesy of 1956 "Gridley Centennial Book"

Members of the 1926 Football Squad Pictured Above-Right:
Front Row, L to R: Loren Vandegraft, Bill Klopfenstein, Lynn Gibbs
Middle Row, L to R: Leon Fruin, Jim Andrews, LaVerne Frey, Frank Fruin, Clifford Schram, Leslie Kirkton, Lowell Andrews
Back Row, L to R:  Manager William Coe, Robert Kirkton, Duke Kiefer, Harold Frey, William Hanifin, Coach Harry Hill
 
Coach's names and season records are listed below for the Gridley High School Football Program.
1927-28    3-4-1                                                                    Coach W.H. (Harry) Hill
1928-29    (record needed)                                                   Coach W.H. (Harry) Hill
1929-30                                                                                 Coach W.H. (Harry) Hill
1930-31    1-4-2                                                                     Coach Krughoff
1931-32    0-6-1                                                                     Coach Claggett
1932-33    1-5-2                                                                     Coach Claggett
1933-34    2-5-1                                                                     Coach W.H. (Lynn) Gibbs
1934-35    2-4-2                                                                     Coach W.H. (Lynn) Gibbs
1935-36    0-6                                                                        Coach Frank Leach
1936-37    0-1                                                                        Coach Frank Leach
1937-38    2-3-1                                                                     Coach Frank Leach
1938-39    5-3                                                                        Coach Frank Leach
1939-40    3-4                                                                        Coach W.H. (Harry) Hill
1940-41    1-7                                                                        Coach W.H. (Harry) Hill
1941-42 through 1944-45  Records & coaches' names needed.
1945-46    1-7                                                                        Coach L.D. Lange
1946-47    5-3-1                                                                     Coach L.D. Lange
1947-48    1-7                                                                        Coach Jesse Durham
    
1948-49    8-0-1   Prairie Conference Champions             Coach Jesse Durham
   
1949-50    4-4-1                                                                     Coach Jesse Durham
    
1950-51    8-1    Mid-State Conf. Champions (6-0)            Coach Jesse Durham
   
1951-52    5-3                                                                        Coach Clarence Kyger
1952-53    4-5                                                                        Coach Clarence Kyger
   
1953-54    5-2-1 Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (5-2)              Coach Clarence Kyger
1954-55    5-1-2 Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (4-1-2)           Coach Clarence Kyger
    
1955-56    3-3-2                                                                      Coach Vic Durchholz
1956-57    1-7                                                                         Coach Vic Durchholz
   
1957-58    5-2    Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (5-1)              Coach Martin Moon
1958-59    4-3-1 Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (4-2)              Coach Martin Moon
    
1959-60    3-5                                                                         Coach Martin Moon
1960-61    0-8                                                                         Coach Frank Edmonds
1961-62    3-4-1                                                                      Coach Frank Edmonds
  
1962-63    7-0-1 Mid-State Conf. Champions (6-0-1)          Coach Frank Edmonds
    
1963-64    5-2-1 Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (4-1-1)           Coach John Hacker
1964-65    4-3-1                                                                     Coach John Hacker
1965-66    5-3    Mid-State Conf. Sportsmanship Award   Coach John Hacker
     
1966-67    2-6                                                                        Coach John Hacker
           
1967-68    6-2    Mid-State Conf. Runner-up                       Coach John Hacker
                   Michael Morin - All-Conference Tight End (Unanimous)
                   Fred Finck - All-Conference Guard
                   Byron Stoller - All-Conference Halfback
                   Brent Ehresman - All Conference D-Back
1968-69    4-4                                                                        Coach Gene Cwick

Gridley HS "Redskins" Football 1968-69
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Submitted by Michael Morrin

1969-70    6-1-1 Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (5-1-1)          Coach Gene Cwick
1970-71    3-4-1                                                                     Coach Gene Cwick
1971-72    1-6                                                                        Coach Gene Cwick
1972-73    2-4-2                                                                     Coach Gene Cwick
1973-74    4-4-1                                                                     Coach Gene Cwick
1974-75    7-2    Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (5-2)              Coach Gene Cwick
1975-76    7-2    Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (5-2)              Coach Gene Cwick
1976-77    3-6                                                                        Coach Ron Ervin
1977-78    3-6                                                                        Coach Ron Ervin
1978-79    1-8                                                                        Coach Ron Ervin
1979-80    2-7                                                                        Coach Ron Ervin
1980-81    5-4                                                                        Coach Ken Leonard
          
1981-82  10-2    Class 1A Playoff Qualifier                        Coach Ken Leonard
                           Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (6-1)
                           Elite 8 FInalist
                           Beat Bradford 20-7
                           Beat Tiskilwa 14-12
                           Lost to Freeport Aquin 43-0
       
1982-83  10-1     Class 1A Playoff Qualifier                       Coach Ken Leonard
                           Undefeated Regualar Season (9-0)
                           Mid-State Conference Champs (7-0)
                           Sweet 16 Finalist 
                           Beat Monmouth Yorkwood 12-10
                           Lost to Kewanee Wethersfield   16-12
    
1983-84    7-2   Mid-State Conf. Co-Champs (6-1)            Coach Ken Leonard
1984-85    Record & coach's name needed. 
1985-86    Record & coach's name needed.
1986-87    2-7                                                                        Coach Denny Kapper
1987-88    3-6                                                                        Coach Denny Kapper
1988-89    2-7                                                                        Coach Rod Wertz
1989-90    1-8                                                                        Coach Rod Wertz
1990-91    4-5                                                                        Coach Rod Wertz
    
1991-92  10-2   Class 1A Playoff Qualifier                         Coach Rod Wertz
                         Mid-State Conf. Co-Champs (6-1) 
                         Elite 8 Finalist
                         Beat Chenoa 8-0
                         Beat Deer Creek-Mackinaw 15-0
                         Lost to El Paso 3-0
                   
1992-93  10-1   Class 1A Playoff Qualifier                         Coach Rod Wertz
                         Mid-State Conference Champs (7-0)
                         Sweet 16 Finalist
                         Beat Cerro Gordo 10-6
                         Lost to Deer Creek-Mackinaw 34-28
       
1993-94   7-3    Class 1A Playoff Qualifier                          Coach Rod Wertz
                         Mid-State Conference Champs (6-1) 
                         Lost to Heyworth 29-6
    
1994-95   4-5                                                                          Coach Rod Wertz
1995-96   1-8                                                                          Coach Thad Olson
1996-97   3-6                                                                          Coach Thad Olson
1997-98   2-7                                                                          Coach Thad Olson   
1998-99   0-9                                                                          Coach Ron Tomczak
1999-00   1-8                                                                          Coach Troy Kaupp
2000-01   1-8                                                                          Coach Troy Kaupp
2001-02   2-7                                                                          Coach Troy Kaupp
2002-03   4-5                                                                          Coach Troy Kaupp
2003-04   4-5     Final Season                                                Coach Troy Kaupp
       
Girls Volleyball
 
The Lady Redskin netters had just two long-standing head coaches during their 30-year existence. Coach Barbara Ringger led the Gridley High School volleyball program for their first 14 years from 1974-75 through 1987-88. Coach Penny Grusy took over the reigns from 1991-92 through the school's last season of 2003-04. Both coaches had their share of great seasons. Coach Ringger's teams in fact sported a 14 year record of 174-87- 6 at Gridley High School and brought home the District title in 1982. The best seasons are listed below. 
 
1974-75     5-  1                                                                       Coach Barbara Ringger
1976-77   10-  5    Mid-State Conf. Tourn. Champs             Coach Barbara Ringger
1977-78   17-  3    Mid-State Conf. Tourn. Champs             Coach Barbara Ringger
1978-79   17-  3    Mid-State Conf. Tourn. Champs             Coach Barbara Ringger
1979-80   20-  3    Mid-State Conf. Champions (5-1)           Coach Barbara Ringger
1980-81   16-  4    Mid-State Conf. Champions (6-1)           Coach Barbara Ringger
   
1981-82   20-  5    IHSA District Champions                                 Coach Barbara Ringger
                              Mid-State Conf. Co-Champs (6-1)
      
1982-83   14-  7                                                                       Coach Barbara Ringger
1987-88   16-  7    Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (6-1)             Coach Barbara Ringger
1993-94   19-  9                                                                       Coach Penny Grusy
2002-03   23-  7                                                                       Coach Penny Grusy
2003-04   20-10     Last Season                                              Coach Penny Grusy
 
*Three-time All-Conference Players:
 
Elizabeth Grusy - 1989, '90, '91
Danielle Stoller - 1991, '92, '93
 
*Named to the all-time girl's volleyball team for McLean County by the 1994 book titled "Another Sentimental Journey":
 
Suzy Jenkins McKinsey (Class of 1983)   
 
Great Job Lady Redskins!!

Gridley High School
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Gibbs Athletic Field

Boys Track & Field
 
The greatest acheivement as far as IHSA success goes was attained by the boys track & field team of 1923-24. The boys of this season brought home a fifth place finish from the Illinois State "B" Track Meet. In all, 11 medals were won by male athletes of Gridley High School. Their accomplishments are listed below.
 
1921-22B   Merle Ririe           220 Yard Dash          4TH Place
1922-23B   Merle Ririe           220 Yard Dash          STATE CHAMPION!!
1923-24B   TEAM FINISHED 5TH IN STATE "B" TRACK MEET
                 
                 Individual Medalists
 
                 Merle Ririe         220 Yard Dash            STATE CHAMPION!!
                 Merle Ririe         100 Yard Dash            3RD Place
                 880 Yard Relay Team                           STATE CHAMPIONS!!
 

880 Yard Relay - State 'B' Meet Champions - 1924
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Courtesy of 1965 "Gridley Centennial Book"

 
State Championship 880 Yard Relay Team members pictured above are (from left to right) Coach Harry Hill, Merle Ririe, Perry Burroughs, Virgil Andrews, and Levi "Duke" Kiefer. The alternate was Lowell Andrews. Also pictured is the team's trainer, Earl Lynch. This combination clicked as a winner 10 consectutive times that school year, setting records on seven occasions....including a time of 1:35.2!                     
 
                 Final Team Standings    
 
                 1)  Girard  HS                          20
                 2)  Chesterfield HS                  16
                      White Hall HS                    16
                 4)  Carlinville  HS                     15
                 5)  GRIDLEY HIGH SCHOOL    13
                      Hinsdale HS                       13
                 7)  Wheaton HS                      12
                 7)  Bridgeport HS                    12
                 9)  Hoopeston HS                     9
               10)  Chicago Pullman HS            8
               10)  Abingdon HS                       8
 
1924-25B    880 Yard Relay Team                                5TH Place
1926-27      Leon Fruin                    880 Yard Run     5TH Place
1926-27      Levi Kiefer                    440 Yard Run     5TH Place
1950-51      Team was Mid-State Conference Runner-up
      
1968-69      McLean County Track Meet Champions        
             Curt Fleming was the individual Champion of the 200 Meters (23.8)
             Michael Morin was the Individual Champion of the 400 Meters (56.2)
             The 880 Relay
Team of Curt Fleming, Pat Kinsella, Bob Fleming and Rob Tipsord set a new McLean County Record in that Event

Gridley HS McLean County Track Meet Champs 1969
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Gridley HS 880 Yard Relay Champs 1969
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Left Click on Photo for Larger View

Gridley HS Mile Relay Champs 1969
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Left Click on Photo for Larger View

1983-84A    Brian Radke                 100 Meter Dash  6TH Place
                    Brian Radke                 200 Meter Dash  5TH Place
      
1984-85A    Brian Radke                 Long Jump        STATE CHAMPION!!
 
Individual Conf. Multiple (3-Time Minimum) Event Winners - Track & Field:
*Dave Burke-1950-120 Yard High Hurdles, 200 Yard Low Hurdles, High Jump
*Dave Burke-1951-120 Yard High Hurdles, 180 Yard Low Hurdles, High Jump
*Ricky Finck-100 Yard Dash Champion - 1959, '61, '62
*Ricky Finck-1962-100 Yard Dash, 220 Yard Dash, 440 Yard Dash
*Dave Roth-1963-Pole Vault, Long Jump, 220 Yard Dash
*Marty Lomelino-Shot Put Champion - 1981, '82, '83
*Brian Radke-1984-100 Meter Dash, 200 Meter Dash, Pole Vault
 
Boys Baseball

The Gridley High School boys had some real nice seasons on the baseball diamond. below is a photo of the Gridley "Redskins" of 1910 followed by some of the more successful seasons in GHS history.

Gridley High School Baskeball Team of 1910
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Courtesy of 1956 "Gridley Centennial Book"

Baseball Team Members of 1910 Pictured Above include:
Top Row, From L to R: George Kent, Les Mool, C.B. Anthony, Don Coyle, Russell Young, Jack Ehresman, Everett Kent
Bottom Row, L to R: Edwin Nuehauser, Henry Andrews, Drew Castle, Claude Steele, George Young 
      
 
Conference success was found on the diamond as well for the Gridley Redskins.
 
1952-53    6-1   Mid-State Conf. Co-Champs (5-1)       Coach Ken DeYoung
1959-60            Mid-State Conf. Champs (5-1)            Coach Don Holler
1961-62            Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (4-2)
1968-69    6-3   Mid-State Conf. Tourney Runner-up
1974-75           Mid-State Conf. Tourney Runner-up
1991-92   13-5  Mid-State Conf. Co-Champs (11-3)      Coach Rod Wertz
1992-93    9-6   Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (6-1)         Coach Rod Wertz
 
A good fan of the IHSGD website, Mark Jurenga, provided the following information on Gridley alum Perry Roth:
 
"Gridley alumnus Perry Roth is currently an NCAA Division I assistant baseball coach. He just finished his 8th year in D1 and his 10th in college coaching.
 
School                       Tenure
UAB                          1 year
Birmingham Southern  3 years
Bradley                      1 year
Illinois State               3 years
Greenville (D3)            2 years
 
Girls Basketball
 
One Gridley Lady Redskin team faired well overall and in conference play. The school did not offer girl's basketball from 1986-93. The school co-oped with Flanagan from 1994 until the consolidation with El Paso in 2004.
 
1979-80    11- 5    Mid-State Conf. Runner-up (7-3)
 
Girls Softball
 
One Lady Redskin softball player had a great career in the sport. Heather Stella was a three-time All-Conference selection as a catcher (1993, '94, '95). Heather earned a scholarship for softball to Illinois State University where she became a four-year starter at third base. She is currently playing professional softball for Poneke Kilbirnie, a Premier One Women's Major Fastpitch Softball Team in New Zealand.
 
Scholastic Bowl
 
Chalk up some serious success for the "brainiacs" of Gridley High. The Redskins won no less than nine Mid-State Conference Scholastic Bowl Championships for Coach Suzanne McGroarty. The Mid-State Conference title years are listed below.
 
1978, 1979, 1986, 1988, 1989, 1990, 1991, 1992, and 1993 
 
                
 
Speech - Individual Events
 
Strike one up for the English Department. One Gridley Redskin claimed a State Medal in speech competition. 
 
1951   Roger Calhoun     Oratory Declamation    5TH Place
 
Great Coaches
 
*Coach W.H. "Harry" Hill - Boys' Football - 1919-20 through 1929-30, then again 1939-40
                                          12 Total Seasons (no football 1928-29 season)
                                          58-26 overall record
                                            4 - undefeated/untied seasons
                                            3 - one-loss seasons
Coach Hill was described by Coach Pete Meiss in this manner:
                   "Harry Hill was the greatest coach Gridley ever had. His name
                     is a legend as a coach and a teacher."   
 
*Coach Pete Meiss - Boys' Basketball - 1969-70 through 1985-86
                                318-128  (.713 winning %)
                                17 - seasons as head coach
                                14 - seasons with winning records
                                  7 - seasons of 20 or more wins
                                  5 - Regional Championships
 
*Coach Barbara Ringger - Girls' Volleyball - 1974-75 through 1987-88
                                        174-87  (.663 winning %)
                                          14 - seasons as head coach
                                            7 - Conference Championships
                                            2 - seasons of 20 or more wins
                                            1 - District Championship
                               
*Coach Ken Leonard - Boys' Football - 1980-81 through 1983-84
                                    32- 9 Overall Record
                                      4 - seasons as head coach
                                      2 - trips to the State Playoffs
                                      1 - undefeated regular season
                                            
 
*Coach Tim Fairchild - Boys' Basketball - 1987-88 through 1994-95, 2002-03 through 2003-04
                              141-122 Overall Record
                               10 - seasons as head coach
                                 2 - Regional Titles
                                 2 - seasons of 20 or more wins
 
*Coach Penny Grusy - Girls' Volleyball - 1991-92 through 2003-04
                              181 wins 
                                13 - seasons as head coach
                                  4 - consecutive winning seasons to close out the school's program
                                  2 - seasons of 20 or more wins including final two of school's existence
 
*Coach Rod Wertz - Boys' Football - 1992-94 through 1995-96
                                  3 - consecutive seasons of qualifying for the IHSA playoffs
 
*Coach E.W. "Duke" Towner - Boys' Basketball - 1943-44 and 1944-45
                                 48-12 (.800 winning %)
                                   2 - seasons coached at Gridley
                                   2 - seasons of 20 or more wins
                                   1 - District Title
 
*Coach Suzanne McGroarty      Scholastic Bowl Coach
                                                  Nine-Time Conference Champions
 
*Coach Gene Cwick - Boys' Football Coach
                             34-27-5 overall record in eight seasons
                             2 - second place finishes in Mid-State Conference play
                             1-  third place in Mid-State Conference standings
 
Great Athletes
 
1920s - Merle Ririe, Leon Fruin, Levi Kiefer
1940s - Wilber Haas, Rogers Kaufman, Ty Kaufman
1950s - Dave Burke, Wilbur Hany
1960s - Mark Dalton, Larry Gilmore, Pat Kinsella, Ricky Finck, Dave Roth, Michael Morin
1970s - Ted Roth, Rob Tipsord, Greg Umland, Mike Jenkins, Dan McKey
1980s - Bill Hayes, Brad Radke, Marty Lomelino, Phil Meiss, Suzy Jenkins  
1990s - Heather Stella, Elizabeth Grusy, Danielle Stoller, Matt Jenkins
 
A Song in Tribute
 
One alumnus of Gridley High honored his alma mater with a song. Jerry Meiss' "Good-By Gridley High" receives local air play each spring near graduation time.  The lyrics are as follows:
 
                                               "Good-by Gridley High"
 
                              Let's take a look back at the years gone by,
                              You know I graduated from Gridley High.
                              Guess you could say I'm an alumni,
                              Got my diploma from Gridley High School.
                                       
                              I remember the good times,
                              Back in those Redskin days.
                              But nobody wanted the cane that I raised.
                              All of my teachers thought my mind was decayed,
                              But I got educated at Gridley High School
 
                              Good-bye, Gridley High,
                              My memories will never die.
                              I couldn't forget you if I tried,
                              So long Gridley High School
              
                              All of my friends thought I was really cool
                              With my hair slicked down and pennies in my shoes.
                              And when I made headlines in the Gridlite News,
                              I was a big hit (doo wap a doo) at Gridley High School.
 
                              When I got a little older I got married you see,
                              And my wife even fell right in love with me.
                              When a couple of kids enlarged our family,
                              We sent 'em right on to Gridley High School.
 
                                                        (chorus)
 
SPECIAL THANK YOU!
 
Special thank you goes out to Pete Meiss and Merlin Haas for providing a great deal of information and time to make this page informative and interesting!
 
Seeking Your Assistance   
 
If you would like to add, delete, or correct ANY information on this page regarding the Gridley Redskins and Gridley High School in general, please contact us via e-mail. Additional photos are also welcome. You can e-mail items to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or write to us at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.    60631

Gridley High School Building Cornerstone
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Gridley HS Gymnaskum Bleachers 2014
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Gridley High School
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Gridley, Illinois