Cherry High School "Comets"

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Cherry High Shcool
cherryschoolmons1.jpg
Cherry, Illinois

The History of Cherry High School  
 
Cherry is a village of 509 residents located in north-central Illinois in northeastern Bureau County.  The town is located on Il. Rt. 89 eight miles north of Spring Valley and eight miles northwest of Peru.
 
Mining was the major industry drawing people to Cherry in the early 1900s. We believe that Cherry began a high schoool for its children in the late 1800s or early 1900s.  This school served Cherry for about four decades. The photo above was taken in September of 2005.  It is a photo of the current Cherry Grade School for grades K - 8.  At one time this building served as the Cherry High School. An interesting note sent to us by a daughter of a Cherry High alum stated that the tube-fire escape in the picture below (right side of building) was built in 1936-37.
 
According to Cherry High School graduate Velma Nelson Cherry High School was a three-year high school. If a student wanted to earn a high school diploma he or she would have to continue their fourth year of high school at nearby Spring Valley Hall or LaSalle-Peru high schools.  None the less, Cherry did compete in sports for their kids in grades 9 - 11.  Cherry High School ceased offering high school courses in 1943.  The kids of Cherry were then bused to nearby Spring Valley Hall High School upon their completion of 8th grade.   
 
The folks of Cherry have done a great job supporting their grade school for many years and continue to do so today. However this will come to a close at the end of the 2013-14 school year. We hope that the school building will be kept in good condition for many years to come. (http://www.bcrnews.com/2013/01/18/the-future-of-cherry-grade-school/aglfwct/)
 
 To view a 1943 Cherry High School "Cherryette" yearbook check out   
   
Cherry High School Quick Facts
 
Year School Opened:        late 1800s / early 1900s
Year School Closed:         1943
Consolidated to:                Spring Valley Hall Township School District 
School nickname:             "Comets"
School Colors:                  Red & White
School Fight Song:           unavailable
 
Athletics
 
All that is really known is that Cherry High School competed in basketball through the early 1940s and as far back as 1928.  This information was found while researching Mineral High School yearbooks.  It is not known what other sports were offered at Cherry.  It is also known there is a grade school in Cherry that houses grades K - 8.  The High School aged students from Cherry attend Hall High School in Spring Valley.
 
Boys Basketball
 
Information regariding the boys basketball team of 1942-43 was located at the web address of http://www.illinoisancestors.org/bureau/yearbooks/cherry/cherryette.htm . The boys had a nice season record that year of 10 - 7. With only 24 students in the school (grades 9 - 11) and only 9 of them boys, the team had its work cut out for it. A photo of this team and a look at the team's schedule is available below.
 
1934-35                    Princeton District Tournament      Coach's name & record needed
                                 1st Rd lost to Manlius 59-13
                                 Manlius lost to Princeton in 2nd Rd
                                 Princeton lost to DePue in semi-final
                                 DePue lost to LaSalle-Peru in title game
 
1942-43     10 - 7                                                            Coach DeMichael
                               
Captain - Jack McCook was a solid player for Cherry High School for the 1942-43 school year. Jack averaged 14.6 points a game and scored a school record 265 points for the Cherry hardwood court men.

Cherry HS Basketball Team 1942-43
cherryhsbballteam194243dav.jpg
http://www.illinoisancestors.org/bureau/yearbooks/cherry/cherryette.htm

Cherry HS Basketball Schedule 1942-43
cherrybballsched194243dav.jpg
http://www.illinoisancestors.org/bureau/yearbooks/cherry/cherryette.htm

Extra-Curricular Activities
  
Other activities offered at Cherry High School included workng on the school newspaper known as "The Echo", the Honor Role program, Mother's Day Program, Drama Club with an annual school play, all-school parties at Halloween, Christmas, and Valentines days, Girls' Club, Glee Club (chorus), Defense Activities to support the war efforts of World War II, and work on the yearbook staff of the Cherryette. 
  
Incredible History
 
If you are from northern Illinois you have most assuredly heard of the "Cherry Mine Disaster". A great website dedicated to memorializing the events surrounding this incident is located at  http://guitarjourney.tripod.com/cherrycoalminedisaster/ . 
Developed by Ray Tutaj, Jr., this is truly an amazing compilation of photos, stories. and artifacts that will leave you wanting more. If you like small town history,then you will treasure the information found in this site.
 
Seeking Further Information
 
If you have any additional information you can share regarding Cherry High School please write to us via e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net, or write us a note to the below listed address. 
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva Ave.
Chicago, Il.  60631

Cherry School Building
cherryschool1mons.jpg
Gymnasium on the Left

Cherry Comets Make Their Last Stand
 
By Holli Rapp - March 14, 2014 - sports@bcrnews.com

CHERRY— The eighth-grade recognition night for the Cherry Comets volleyball team held an extra special meaning on Thursday evening.

Along with honoring its eighth-grade players, the night marked the end of an era and another last as the Cherry Comets played the last match to be held in Anton Demichelis Memorial Gymnasium. The Cherry students will be attending a new school at the beginning of the 2014-15 school year.

Cherry Grade School is being deactivated pending the referendum in Tuesday’s primary election. If it is approved, the Cherry students will go to neighboring Dimmick School.

“We look forward to wherever we will land,” said Deb Brokaw, the Comets’ head coach and former Cherry School board member. “There is a sense of small school pride here. It’s a family.”

Along with two eighth-graders, Courtney Kobold and Madison Soldati being recognized, the program also recognized Brokaw and assistant coach Jaquelynne Hendricks. Brokaw has been the head coach of the program for the past seven years while Hendricks has been helping the program for the last five years after wearing the red and white.

“It’s bittersweet,” said Brokaw about the last match being held in the gymnasium. “We have had some very good teams who practice hard.”

The Cherry Comets have not quite made their last stand. They will enter Prairie Conference tournament play this week at Dalzell Grade School.

The history of the previous four years in the conference is recognized on a banner with four A team conference championships, and three B team conference championships.

According to Brokaw, her A team this year includes the two eighth-graders, one seventh-grader and three sixth-graders including her daughter, Hayleigh, and have filled some big shoes over the years.

“They are tiny but mighty,” said Brokaw. “I couldn’t be prouder of the team.”

Since 2001, only two coaching staffs have graced the volleyball sidelines of the Comets program including Becky Hoscheid and Wendy Raef (2001-2006) and Brokaw (2007-2014). During Hoscheid and Raef’s coaching tenure, the conference and team played during the fall season while Brokaw’s teams have always played during the winter season.

“We have had some pretty terrific years,” said Brokaw of the Cherry Comets after the A team defeated Peru Catholic 25-8, 25-8. The Cherry B team lost a heartbreaker 25-10, 23-25, 17-25 and won the C game 10-minute contest 23-14.