Mt. Carroll High School "Hawks"

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Mt. Carroll High School
Photo Courtesy of Gerry Halpin

MCHS - Courtesy of Gerry Halpin

The History of Mt. Carroll High School
Mt. Carroll (population 1,832) is located in far northwestern Illinois in central Carroll County.  U.S. Route 52 crosses paths with Illinois Route 78 in the heart of the city. The Carroll Creek flows through the north side of town.  The CM St. P & P Railroad makes its way through Mt. Carroll as well.
Mt. Carroll is the county seat of Carroll County. The area where Mt. Carroll sits was first settled in the 1840s.  By 1860 it was considered a thriving and bustling town.  Its scenic surroundings was one of the reasons Mt. Carroll earned its nickname "New England of the Midwest".  More on the history of the town and its current status can be read on the Mt. Carroll website at http://www/ .
The forward-thinking, early residents of this town knew the importance of advanced education.  The Mt. Carroll Seminary was established in the 1840s shortly after the early settlers arrived.  Public schools soon sprang up throughout the area. A new Union School was established in 1863, noted as one of the finest institutions in the area. Mt. Carroll High School enjoyed the merits of a new building built in 1908 (pictured above).
Mt. Carroll High School served the community for well over 100 years. A newer building was built nearly a century later on the east side of town. In the early 2000s consolidation talks began between the western Carroll County high schools in Thomson  and Savanna, and Mt. Carroll High School. These talks became finalized after the 2004-05 school year when all three school districts agreed to the creation of the West Carroll School District. 
The high school for the new district is located in Savanna.  Mt. Carroll remains home to the West Central Middle School. 
The fate of the Mt. Carroll High School building is a good one. Benjamin Coleman, a former MCHS student, tells us:
"The Mt. Carroll High School building was sold at a silent auction by the city of Mt. Carroll to a private citizen in 2006.  The owner is currently trying to turn the building into a bit of an activity center for teens/adolescents.  The entire school complex (old gymnasium, K-3 Classrooms/South side, original 1908 structure, north side and new gymnasium) is still standing."
Mt. Carroll High School Quick Facts
Year opened:                                 late 1800s / early 1900s
Year closed:                                  2005
Consolidated to:                            West Carroll School District (Savanna)
Mt. Carroll HS team nickname:       the "Hawks"
MCHS team colors:                       Purple & White
School Fight Song:                        unavailable   

Mt. Carroll "Hawks" 2nd Place Basketball Team

The Hawks competed in many sports and were successful on many levels.  Included were two top four finishes in boys basketball and several Regional and Sectional trophies won in many different boys and girls sports.  Below are listed some of the better seasons attained by the Mt. Carroll High School Hawks athleitc program.
Boys Basketball
The Hawks were most impressive in their history of this sport.  Beginning in 1908 the Hawks made a total of four IHSA State Tourney appearances coming away with two 2ND Place finishes (!  Add to this two District Championships, four Regional Championships, a Sectional Championship, and a Super-Sectional Championship. The Hawks also had at least thirteen 20+ games-won seasons!  The best of the Hawks successes on the hardwood court are listed below.
1907-08               IHSA State Tournament Finalist
                              First Round
                              Mt.Carroll 47, Geneva 20

                              Hinsdale Township 34, Mt.Carroll 29
                              Hinsdale finished 4th
1908-09               IHSA State Tournament Finalist
                              Hinsdale Township 56, Mt.Carroll 7
                              Hinsdale finished 3rd
1910-11               IHSA Tournament Finalist
                              District Champions
                              Mt.Carroll 58, Paris 30
                              Rockford 60, Mt.Carroll 15
                              (Mt.Carroll finished 2nd in State)
1911-12              District Champions
1939-40              Regional Champions
1952-53  20 - 9                                                                                            Coach A.J. Hook
1953-54  22 - 6                                                                                            Coach A.J. Hook
1957-58  18 - 9                                                                                            Coach Jim Barr
1958-59  19 - 7                                                                                            Coach Jim Barr
1962-63    9 - 16  Regional Champions                                                  Coach Robert Aho
1976-77  25 - 1    Undefeated Regular Season                                    Coach Larry Lennartz
1977-78  20 - 5                                                                                            Coach Larry Lennartz
1978-79  20 - 7                                                                                            Coach Larry Lennartz
1982-83  25 - 3                                                                                            Coach Randy Jackson
1983-84  21 - 6                                                                                            Coach Randy Jackson
1995-96  16 - 9                                                                                            Coach Dave Kunkel
1996-97  23 - 3                                                                                            Coach Dave Kunkel
1997-98  23 - 3                                                                                            Coach Kevin Kunkel
1998-99  19 - 9                                                                                            Coach Steve Sandhols
1999-00  23 - 5                                                                                             Coach Chris Payne
2000-01  23 - 6                                                                                             Coach Chris Payne
2001-02  27 - 1   Regional Champoions                                                 Coach Chris Payne
                               Undefeated Regular Season

2002-03  32 - 2   IHSA CLASS A STATE RUNNER-UP !!                        Coach Chris Payne
                               Regional Champion
                               Sectional Champion
                               Super-Sectional Champion
                               Mt. Carroll 59, Abingdon 48
                               Elite 8 Finalist
                               Mt. Carroll 69, Auburn 62
                               Final Four Finalist
                               Mt. Carroll 73, Cairo 64
                               STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME!!
                               Chicago (Hales Franciscan) 58, Mt. Carroll 53
2003-04  17 - 11                                                                                      Coach Cordell Juhola
2004-05  18 - 11                                                                                      Coach Cordell Juhola
The football program at Mt. Carroll High was not without its moments as well.  A great season by season account of the grid iron success at Mt. Carroll High School can be found on the IHSA website ( .  The best of these seasons are listed below.  
1928-30                                                                                                Coach Harold B. Walker
1930-31   5 - 1 - 2                                                                                Coach Harold B. Walker
1931-32   5 - 3 - 1                                                                                Coach Harold B. Walker
1932-33   3 - 0 - 1                                                                                Coach Harold B. Walker
1933-34   3 - 0 - 1                                                                                Coach Harold B. Walker
1934-35   4 - 0                                                                                      Coach Harold B. Walker
1935-36   4 - 4                                                                                      Coach Harold B. Walker
1936-37   7 - 2                                                                                      Coach Harold B. Walker
1937-38   6 - 0                                                                                      Coach Harold B. Walker
1938-39   3 - 1 - 1                                                                                 Coach James Long
1939-40   6 - 1                                                                                      Coach James Long
1940-41   6 - 0 - 1                                                                                 Coach James Long
1941-43                                                                                                 Coach John Lusk
1943-47                                                                                                  Coach Carl W. Kellman
1947-49                                                                                                  Coach Robert Duffield
1949-50   5 - 4                                                                                       Coach Robert Duffield
1950-51                                                                                                  Coach Robert Duffield
1951-52   4 - 2 - 1                                                                                  Coach Robert Duffield
1952-53   4 - 3                                                                                        Coach Robert Duffield
1953-54                                                                                                   Coach Robert Duffield
1954-56                                                                                                   Coach Ken Buikeman
1956-59                                                                                                   Coach Duncan Reed
1959-60   6 - 1 - 1                                                                                   Coach Lloyd Morriss
1960-61   4 -  4                                                                                        Coach Lloyd Morriss
1961-65                                                                                                    Coach Al Schoenbach
1965-68                                                                                                    Coach John Fippinger
1968-70                                                                                                    Coach Ed Knirlberger
1970-71   5 - 2 - 1                                                                                   Coach Ed Knirlberger
1971-72   7 - 1                                                                                         Coach Ed Knirlberger
1973-74   8 - 1                                                                                         Coach Ed Knirlberger
1974-75   7 - 2                                                                                         Coach Ed Knirlberger
1975-76                                                                                                    Coach Ed Knirlberger
1976-77   5 - 4                                                                                         Coach Ed Knirlberger
1977-78   5 - 3                                                                                         Coach Ed Knirlberger
1978-79   7 - 3          Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs                      Coach Ed Knirlberger
                                     Top 16 Teams in State
                                     Lost to Hampshire 20 - 12
                                     Hampshire placed 2nd 
1979-80   4 - 4                                                                                         Coach Ed Knirlberger
1980-81   5 - 4                                                                                         Coach Ed Knirlberger
1981-82                                                                                                    Coach Ed Knirlberger
1982-83   5 - 4                                                                                         Coach Ed Knirlberger
1983-84   8 - 3          Qualified for Class 1A Playoffs                      Coach Ed Knirlberger
                                     Elite 8 Finalist
                                     Beat Freeport Aquin 12 - 6
                                     Lost to Walnut  25 - 0 
1984-86                                                                                                    Coach Ed Knirlberger
1986-87   6 - 3                                                                                         Coach Ed Knirlberger
1987-88   6 - 3                                                                                         Coach Ed Knirlberger
1988-89   9 - 1           Qualified for Class 2A Playoffs                     Coach Ed Knirlberger
                                     Top 32 Teams in the State
                                      Lost to Galena 15 - 8
1989-91                                                                                                    Coach Ed Knirlberger 
1991-92                       Qualified for Class 2A Playoffs                    Coach Ed Knirlberger
                                      Top 32 Teams in the State
                                       Lost to Morrison 44 - 0  
1994-97                                                                                                    Coach Ed Knirlberger
1997-98                                                                                                    Coach Jeff Voltz
1998-01                                                                                                    Coach Jeff Holley
2001-02                                                                                                    Coach Shane Sikkema
2002-03                                                                                                    Coach Andy Hughes
2003-04                                                                                                    Coach Brandon Farrell 
In a September 24, 1999 game against Milledgeville, Craig Murray connected on four field goals. The first one went for 24 yards and was followed consecutively by kicks of 28, 37 and 25 yards. This tied the state record! Murray also recovered six fumbles that season, as well as averaging 17.3 yards per reception in his career from 1998 to 1999. He had 31 catches for 539 yards.

Mt. Carroll Girls Basketball Team

Girls Basketball
The Lady Hawks won a Regional title in the 1999-2000 season.  Unfortunately the team record and coach's name of this and other great MCHS teams are not currently available.
1999-00              Regional Champions
Girls Volleyball
The Lady Hawk netters had some nice seasons as well.  A District title and a Regional title were the hi-lites of the Lady Hawk program.  The District title was followed by a Sectional title before ladies lost in the Super-Sectional showdown. 
1980-81                     District Champions
                                    Sectional Champions
                                    Sweet 16 Finalist

1999-00                     Regional Champions
2003-04  21 - 7 - 1                                                                              Coach Chris Falk
Boys Track & Field
No less than TEN individual athletes brought home medals from the IHSA State Track Meet.  Of those TWO brought back "the Gold". 
1905-06         Allan Berkstresser            1 Mile Run                  STATE CHAMPION!!
                                                                         880 Yard Run           3RD Place
1929-30         Kenneth Williamson           Javelin                       4TH Place
1935-36         Arnold Wilson                      440 Yard Dash          5TH Place
1950-51         John Decker                         Shot Put                     5Th Place
1952-53         Floyd "Bud" Smith               High Jump                 STATE CHAMPION!!
1957-58         Mike Mullin                            1 Mile Run                  2ND Place
1984-85         Ross Richardson                 Shot Put                     6TH Place
1988-89         Dan Ramsey                          300 M Hurdles          5TH Place
1996-97         Andrew Ricklefs                   3200 M Run               8TH Place
Girls Track & Field
Three Mt. Carroll HS female tracksters won a medals at the IHSA State Track Meet as well.   Barb and Kris Fogel in fact won a total of 10 medals with Barb winning 8 of those!  Barb's efforts led thge 1980-81 team to a NINTH place finish overall!
1979-80        Barb Fogel            200 M Dash                  2ND Place
1980-81        Team Finished NINTH in State Meet Competition!!
                        Individual Medalist
                        Barb Fogel           400 M Dash                   STATE CHAMPION!!
                                                       100 M Dash                   2ND Place
                                                       200 M Dash                   8TH Place
1981-82         Barb Fogel           400 M Dash                   2ND Place
                                                       200 M Dash                   5TH Place
                                                       100 M Dash                   6TH Place
1982-83         Barb Fogel           400 M Dash                   2ND Place
1983-84         Kris Fogel            400 M Dash                   6TH Place
1985-86         Kris Fogel             800 M Run                     8TH Place
1989-90         Jenny Gorham    300 M Hurdles              4TH Place
Seeking More Information
If you have any further information you can provide or corrections that need to be made regarding Mt. Carroll High School please complete a School Submission Form or a Guest Commentary Form. We are especially seeking a photo of the high school building. You can e-mail us at or you may also write us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago,  Il.  60631

Mt. Carroll High School Built in 1908
Courtesy of the Mount Carroll Website

School Entrance