Rossville-Alvin High School "Bobcats"

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Rossville-Alvin Grade School
rossvillealvinhs.jpg

The History of Rossville-Alvin High School
 
The towns of Rossville (population 1,217) and Alvin (population 316) are located in far eastern Illinois in eastern and northeastern Vermillion County.  Both towns are located along the Louisville & Nashville Railroad.  You can read the history and educational past of each individual town and its high school on this site.
 
The townspeople of both towns began consolidation talks in the late 1940s.  In 1948 the two towns agreed to a consolidation effort between their school districts.  The two districts would form what would be known as the Rossville-Alvin School District.  The high school and grade school for Rossville-Alvin  was located in Rossville.
 
The school district served both communities proudly until the early 2000s.  Financial problems and falling enrollment led to the demise of Rossville-Alvin High School.  It was decided in 2005 to close the Rossville-Alvin High School.  The high school-aged students, upon graduating from Rossville-Alvin Grade School, have their choice of attending Bismark-Henning or Hoopeston Area High Schools.  
 
The fate of the Rossville-Alvin High School building has been provided to us by Penny Lithgow:
 
"As of Feb. 27, 2009 the former high school building still has an office for a secretary for the Rossville-Alvin Elementary School.  The high school Agriculture class still holds classes there as well as FFA meetings and functions for both Hoopeston and Bismarck high school students.
 
Also, the former high school building is the home of non-for-profit Mustard Seed Christian Daycare that has approximately 25-30 students enrolled with 6 staff members.
 
The elementary grade school students still eat lunch and breakfast in the high school building cafeteria.  C.A.R.E. holds classes for pre-kindergarden children in the north part of the building. There's open gym for basketball playing for anyone who wishes one day a week in the winter months.
 
An exciting fact is that the Hoopeston Area Cornjerkers high school boys basketball team, which has former Rossville-Alvin students on the team, came out in Bobcat black, red and white uniforms and played a game against Schlarman on Feb 10, 2009 in the former Rossville-Alvin high school gym!
 
My daughter is the Director of the Mustard Seed Christian Daycare who also attended and graduated from Rossville-Alvin HS. My son was a Freshman when the school closed. My other son attended and graduated from R-AHS."
 
Rossville-Alvin High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                   1948
Year closed:                    2005
School nickname:            the "Bobcats"
School colors:                 Red, Black, & White
School Fight Song:          "On Rossville-Alvin"
                                      Sung to "On Wisconsin"
Athletics
 
Rossville-Alvin High School offered many sports for both boys and girls. The girls competed in golf, cross country, volleyball, basketball, softball, and track.  The boys competed in golf, cross country, baseball, basketball, football, and track.
 
The Bobcats competed in the following conferences, in historical order:
Red Warrior
East Central
East Okaw
Sangamon Valley
Vermilion Valley
 
Special Thanks to former R-AHS Coach Kevin Thomas for providing this information!!
 
Football
 
The Rossville-Alvin football team has the most extensive history listed on the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org).  Season by season coverage is available for every team from 1965 until the end of the school's existence in the spring of 2005.  There were some great ones at RAHS as well.  The 1989-90 team sticks out as the most successful.  This group followed an 8 - 1 regular season with two wins in the playoffs before losing in the quarterfinals (an Elite 8 appearance!).  The best of the Rossville-Alvin HIgh School grid iron seasons are listed below.
 
1968-69    5 - 3                                                          Coach Clinton Goodin
1969-70    6 - 3                                                          Coach Bill Spencer
1970-71    5 - 4                                                          Coach Norton Spencer
1973-74    6 - 3                                                          Coach Mike Whitaker
1974-75    6 - 3                                                          Coach Mike Whitaker
1975-76    5 - 4                                                          Coach Mike Whitaker
1982-83    6 - 3                                                          Coach Dave McDonald
1983-84    6 - 3                                                          Coach Dave McDonald
1986-87    5 - 4                                                          Coach Dave McDonald
1987-88    6 - 3                                                          Coach Dave McDonald
1989-90  10 - 2      IHSA Class 1A Playoff Qualifier    Coach Dave McDonald
                            ELITE 8 FINALIST
                            Beat Atwood-Hammond 36 - 6
                            Beat Bement  20 - 6
                            Lost to Arcola 30 - 6
1994-95   6 - 3                                                           Coach Dave McDonald
 
Some of the great football players at Rossville-Alvin include Scott Dunavan and Ryan Cox. Dunavan set a school record with a receiving average (per reception) of 27.7, and in the process caught 13 passes for 300 yards. Cox set a school record with four interceptions in their second round playoff game on November 4, 1989 against Bement.
                        
Girls Volleyball
 
The girls volleyball program is well recorded but only for the years of 1976-77 through 1987-88.  Nancy Cox led the lady netters to a twelve year record of 114 - 91, a .556 winning %!.  Coach Cox' best seasons are listed below.
 
1976-77       3 - 3                                                               Coach Nancy Cox
1977-78       8 - 8                                                               Coach Nancy Cox
1979-80     13 - 5                                                                Coach Nancy Cox
1980-81     14 - 3                                                                Coach Nancy Cox
1985-86     17 - 7                                                                Coach Nancy Cox
1986-87     17 - 6                                                                Coach Nancy Cox
 
Boys Basketball
 
The Rossville-Alvin boys basketball team brought nome some hardware from the State Tournament.  The boys won Regional titles in 1960 and 1969 in the old one-class system.  Unfortunately the records of these two teams are not currently available. They also had some nice seasons recorded along the way. Some of the great Rossville-Alvin players in the late 1980's to the early 2000's were Joshua Sroufek, Dylan Alt, Ryan Cox and Todd Becicka.
 
1959-60                   Regional Champions       Coach Max Swinford
1968-69                   Regional Champions       Coach Keith Baldwin 
1979-80    17 - 11                                             Coach Ken Crawford
1980-81    15 - 9                                               Coach Ken Crawford
1994-95    15 - 12                                             Coach Kevin Thomas
1999-00        15 - 13                                             Coach Kevin Thomas
 
Rossville-Alvin Basketball Statistics "By The Numbers"
 
545 - School record for most three-point shots attempted, held by Dylan Alt.
210 - School record for most three-point shots made, also held by Dylan.
162 - Consecutive games with at least one three-point field goal made. This streak lasted from the eighth game of the 1994 season until the eighth game of the 2002 season.
28 - Free throw attempts by Todd Becicka in a game against Gibson City-Melvin-Sibley on January 16, 2004. He made 24 of 28.
16 - Three-point shots attempted by Dylan Alt in a January 3, 1996 game against Donovan. He was 10 of 16 from behind the arc.
9 - Three-point shots made by Ryan Cox in a December 5, 1989 game against Urbana University, a record he would hold until Alt's 10 made in 1996.
.561 - The field goal percentage put forth by Joshua Sroufek from 1997-2001, the best in school history. He was 472 of 842 overall.
 
Coach Ken Crawford coached R-AHS from the 1977-78 season through the 1980-81 season. He then went to Teutopolis and retired after the 2006-07 school year, becoming a Hall of Fame coach.  At Teutopolis and has a career record of 490-158 through the 1999-2000 school year.
 
Another RAHS coach, Keith Baldwin, began his coaching career at R-AHS and also had success at Ridge Farm and Watseka High Schools, accumulating a record of 476-233.
 
From Dr. Rodney Merkle:
 
"Rossville-Alvin High School hosted the holiday (Christmas) tournament from the late 1960s to the 1990s. It was at its peak in the 1970s and 1980s with usually 16 teams playing over a 3 day period.  During its era it was one of the premier class A tournaments in the state.  Some of the notable players who played in this annual classic included:  Rick Schmidt of St. Joseph-Ogden later University of Illinois; John Timmons, Harry Gudeman, and Scott Eells of Hoopeston ( Indiana University (32- 0) national champions); Brian Moore and Monte Hazelbaker of Oakwood; Jeff Slavik and Scott Finet of Westville;  Charlie McCloud of Georgetown;  John Gooding, Rich Gross, and Ken Laffoon (all four year starters) from Sheldon; Jeff Jacob, Rod and Tim Wyss of Cissna Park (state scoring leader in 1981-1982 later played at Eastern Il. and Northwestern);  Kevin Root, Greg Matta and Thad Matta (current Head Coach of the 2005-2006 of The Ohio State Buckeyes) of Hoopeston; Tab Carmien (univ. of Ill. football) and Lance Freeman of St. Joe-Ogden; Stu Selock of Beecher; and  David Chandler of Chrisman.  There were many other outstanding players that could be mentioned and I encourage others to add the names that I overlooked.  There were many Illinois Basketball Coaches who became legends who lead their teams.  Some of the Coaches include:  Randy Feller-Hoopeston, Jack Hardy-Westville, and  Roger Beals-Chrisman.  The bottom line is that Rossville-Alvin High School did an outstanding job of hosting this great East-Central Illinois Event.  There was tremendous fan support and excitement at a time before cable tv during the holiday season."
 
From James E. Bryant:
 
"I echo Mr. Merckle's comments regarding the Rossville-Alvin Tournament. I was a regular attendee at many of those prestigious tournaments from my early childhood on until its later demise. In my book Remember Westville, the story of the 1976 Tigers basketball team their hopes, dreams and the season the town can not forget, I talk about how traditional it became for many fans to make the journey north through the wintery Christmas holiday season to watch their beloved Tigers in action against some of the best teams around the east central portion of Illinois. Westville was fortuante to win the 1976 Rossville Tournament that year. The teams that participated in the tournament ranged from as far north as Beecher to as far south as Chrisman. It was regarded in its time as the most competitive Class A tournament in the state of Illinois and was a first class operation that was put together by the people in Rossville. I looked forward every season to this memorable tournament. Its a shame that it had to end."
 
To obtain a copy of James Bryant's book, Remember Westville, go to the web address of www.rememberwestville.com .    
 
Girls Basketball
 
The Rossville-Alvin Lady Bobcats won a Regional title of their own.  Unfortunately the coach's name and team record of this team is not available. In fact no other team records are available regarding the RAHS girls basketball program.  Please e-mail us with any information you might be able to provide.
 
1994-95                  Regional Champions                  Coach Dave McDonald
 
Track and Field
 
The Rossville-Alvin thinclads had some great success on the boys and girls sides.  All of the medals won by both the girls and boys teams were won between 1990 and 2002, proving the RAHS talent was strong to the end.  Three boys won a total of six medals at the IHSA State Meet while one girl and a girl's relay team also earned a medal.
 
Boys Track Medalists
 
1989-90       Individual Medalist
                   Tom Gregory           300 Meter Hurdles           6TH Place
1990-91       Individual Medalist
                   Tom Gregory           110 Meter Hurdles           7TH Place
1996-97       Individual Medalist
                   David Loschen         High Jump                      8TH Place
1997-98       Individual Medalist  
                   David Loschen         High Jump                      5TH Place
1998-99       Individual Medalist
                   Ryan Andrews          1600 Meter Run              6TH Place
1999-00       Individual Medalist
                   Ryan Andrews          1600 Meter Run              3RD Place
 
Girls Track Medalists
 
1991-92       Individual Medalist
                   Jane Gregory            High Jump                     8TH Place
2001-02       Relay Medalists
                   Relay Team              4 X 200 Meter Relay       3RD Place
 
Cheerleading
 
Rossville-Alvin also had an excellent cheerleading program.  Kayla Whorrall tells us the girls faired very well in several county-wide competitions.  The ladies took first in 2001-02 and again in 2002-03.  In 2004-05, the school's final year, the cheerleading team finished second in the county's annual competition!
 
Theatre

The Illinois Theatre Festival is the largest, non-competetive high school theatre festival in the world. It was organized in 1976 by teachers from the Chicago suburbs. This festival is still going strong as they perform at the University of Illinois (Champaign-Urbana) and Illinois State University every other January. Rossville-Alvin High school participated in this festival in 1989.
 
 
Great Teachers    
 
If you went to Rossville-Alvin between the 1970s and 2005, you know who Mr. Ward is.  Mr. Ward was not only a great teacher, but an excellent role model for the kids, with a personality that no one could forget!   
 
Searching for More Information
 
If you have any information regarding the may successes of Rossville-Alvin High School please send us an e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.  You can also write to us via real mail at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.   60631