Rankin Township High School "Rangers"

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Rankin High School Building
rankinhighschool1.jpg
Submitted by Vern Hofer

Rankin Water Tower
rankinwatertower1dav.jpg
Submitted by Vern Hofer

The History of Rankin High School
 
Rankin (population 617) is located in far east-central Illinois.  The town was platted in the northwestern corner of Vermilion County and is situated in Butler Township.   Bloomington sits just 50 miles west of Rankin and Champaign is 30 miles southwest of town.  The Illinois Routes of 49 and 9 intersect at Rankin.  The Pigeon Creek flows through Rankin.  The Norfolk & Western Railroad travels through Rankin as well. The town was established in 1872 along the new set of railroad tracks laid in the area. The village was named after the land owners, David and William Rankin.
 
The history of Rankin's former high school is in need of research. We know through a photo (view below) provided by Vern Hofer that the town of Rankin was established in 1872.  It is probable that Rankin High School was established in the late 1800s, maybe as late as the early 1900s. 

Rankin Township High School Inscription - 2009
rankinhsbldginscriptiondav.jpg

Rankin HS Building 1902 / Now a Private Residence
rankinhsoriginalbldg1dav.jpg
http://www.rosenboomrealty.com/detail.php?prop_id=15388

Rankin High School served the community for over eight decades.  The 1980s brought with them consolidation talks between the school districts of  Rankin, Wellington, and nearby Hoopeston-East Lynn
 
Therese Thilmony LeClere tells us the following regarding the deactivation of Rankin High School:
 
"I am one of the 15 students that made up the last graduating class of RTHS. We are the class of 1987. The high school "deactivated" to Hoopeston & the elementary school students moved into the high school building for the 1987-88 school year. I am not sure when we lost our elementary school to attend Hoopeston."
 
The effort to form a new school district was finalized in 1986. The voters decided to deactivate Rankin High School at the end of the 1986-87 school year leading to the creation of the Hoopeston Area School District. The high school for the district was located in Hoopeston.

The original Rankin High School building, constructed in 1902, still stands today and was remodeled into a private residence.  Photos of the school can be viewed below.
 
The second Rankin High School building, probably constructed in the 1950s, was razed in July of 2009. 
 
A very nice website regarding the wonderful veteran's memorial in Rankin was created by Harold Keller. It can be viewed at the following web address:
 
Rankin High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                                    late 1800s
Year closed:                                     1987
Consolidated to:                                Hoopeston Area School District
Rankin HS team nickname:                the "Rangers"
RHS team colors:                              Maroon & White
School Fight Song:                            "Rankin High School"
                                                                        Sung to the tune of Washinglton Lee & Swing
                                                      Submitted by Karen Christiansen Gillispie 

                                                 Oh, when old Rankin High School falls in line
                                                 We will fight, fight, fight, all the time
                                                 And for the team we yell, we yell, we yell
                                                 And for the team we yell, we yell,                 
                                                              
                                                                   We Yell, We Yell !
                                             
                                                 And we will fight fight, fight like everything 
                                                 And we will throw that ball through the basket ring
                                                 And we will show old (opponent's name) they can beat, 
                                                 When they meet Rankin High!

                                                          (repeat)

Rankin High School Rangers Emblem
rankinrangerscurtaindav.jpg
Courtesy of Vern Hofer

Athletics
 
It is a fact that baseball, basketball, cross country, and track were offered for the boys of the Rankin (www.ihsa.org).  The girls likely competed in basketball, track, volleyball, and softball. School fight song, coach's names, and team records are all items we are searching for.
 
Boys Basketball
 
Three District Championships were the hi-lights of the Rankin High School boys basketball program. All of the titles were won in the mid-1940s to mid-1950s. Unfortunately team records and coach's names of many of these and other great RHS teams are not currently available. 
          
Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux was a long time fixture in athletics at Rankin High School. He coached the basketball program from the 1948 season through the 1966 season.
         
Some basketball scores from the IHSA Tournament were located on a website titled "Illinois Postseason Basketball Scores". The scores we located are provided below.
              
1921-22                   Watseka District Tournament                Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd Beat Wellington 17-13
                               2nd Rd Beat Loda 24-17
                               Semi-final lost to East Lynn 24-17
                               East Lynn lost to Watseka in title game                     

1932-33                   Hoopeston District Tournament             Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd lost to Hopeston 23-16
                               Potomac beat Armstrong in title game
     
1933-34                   Milford District Tournament                   Coach's name & record needed
                              1st Rd. Beat Alvin 27-16
                              2nd Rd. Beat Wellington 19-11
                              RHS Lost in 3rd Rd., Score Unavailable
        
1934-35                   Milford District Tournament                   Coach's name & record needed
                              1st Rd lost to Rossville 35-23
                              Rossville lost in semi-final round
   
1935-36 Postseason scores, coach's name, and record needed
   
1936-37                   Hoopeston Regional Tournament           Coach's name & record needed
                              Rankin did not compete in District tourney
                              1st Rd Beat Armstrong 29-17
                              2nd Rd lost to Milford 37-32
                              Milford lost in title game
          
1937-38 through 1939-40 Postseason scores, coach's names, and records needed
         
1940-41                   Hoopeston Regional Tournament           Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd lost to Hoopeston 62-42
                               Hoopeston beat Potomac in title game
  
1941-42                   Hoopeston Regional Tournament           Coach's name & record needed
                              Rankin did not compete in District tourney
                              1st Rd Beat Wellington 80-60
                              2nd Rd lost to Hoopeston 53-44
                              Hoopeston won Regional title.
      
1942-43                   Potomac District Tournament                  Coach's name & record needed
                              Semi-final lost to Potomac 45-33
                              Potomac lost to East Lynn in title game
  
1943-44                   Milford Regional Tournament                  Coach's name & record needed
                              Rankin did not compete in District tourney
                              1st Rd Beat Armstrong 42-40
                              Semi-final lost to Milford 43-42
                              Cissna Park beat Milford in title game
    
1944-45                   Hoopeston Regional Tournament           Coach's name & record needed
                              Rankin did not compete in District tourney
                              1st Rd. Lost to Hoopeston 50-38
                              Hoopeston lost in semi-final
           
1945-46                   Potomac District Champions              Coach's name & record needed
                              1st Rd Beat Henning 62-31
                              Semi-final Beat Wellington 35-32
                              Title game - Beat East Lynn 35-29
                              Milford Regional Tournament
                              1st Rd lost to Watseka 40-32
                              Watseka lost in semi-final round.
       
1946-47 Postseason scores, coach's name, and records needed
   
1947-48                   Milford Regional Tournament                 Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux 
                              Rankin did not compete in District tourney
                              1st Rd. Lost to Rossville 67-29
                              Rossville lost in semi-final round.
         
1948-49                   Hoopeston Regional Tournament            Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux
                              Rankin did not compete in District tourney
                              1st Rd Beat Cissna Park 39-37
                              2nd Rd Lost to Hoopeston 64-34
                              Hoopeston lost in semi-final round
      
1949-50 Postseason scores and record needed                    Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux
  
1950-51                   Wellington District Champions           Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux
                              1st Rd Beat East Lynn 49-42
                              Title game - Beat Sheldon 41-39
                              Hoopeston Regional Tournament
                              1st Rd lost to Watseka 44-41
                              Watseka lost in title game
           
1951-52                   2nd Place Wellington District Tourney    Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux
                              1st Rd Beat Stockland 52-32
                              2nd Rd Beat Potomac 64-40
                              Title game Lost to East Lynn 34-32
      
1952-53                   Rankin District Tournament                  Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux
                              1st Rd Beat Sheldon 60-48
                              Semi-final lost to East Lynn
                              East Lynn beat Potomac in title game
   
1953-54                  Rankin District Tournament                    Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux
                              Rankin Scores Needed
                              East Lynn beat Potomac in title game
  
1954-55               Postseason scores & records needed.       Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux  

1955-56                 Rankin District Runner-Up                     Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux
                             1st Rd Beat Henning 60-35
                             Semi-final Beat Wellington 69-63
                             Title Game lost to Potomac 54-43 
     
1956-57                  Sheldon District Champions                 Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux
                              1st Rd Beat Henning 53-51
                              Semi-final Beat Wellington 73-61
                              Title Game Beat Sheldon 70-51 
                              Watseka Regional Tournament
                              1st Rd lost to Armstrong 70-69
                              Armstrong lost in semi-final round.
         
1957-58                   Rankin District Tourney.                          Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux      
                               1st Rd lost to Wellington 56-46
                               Wellington beat Sheldon in title game
           
1958-59                   Sheldon District Tournament                   Coach W.J. (Doc) Coltreaux 
                               1st Rd. Lost to Stockland 70-61
                               Stockland lost in title game.
    
1959-60                   Potomac District Tournament                  Coach W.J. (Doc) Coltreaux
                              1st Rd Beat Stockland 72-58
                              Semi-final lost to Potomac 56-49
                              Potomac lost in title game.
    
1960-61                   Sheldon District Runner-Up                  Coach W.J. (Doc) Coltreaux
                               1st Rd Beat East Lynn 72-39
                               Semi-final Beat Potomac 73-61
                               Title game lost to Sheldon 55-40
    
1961-62                   Rankin District Tournament                      Coach W.J. (Doc) Coltreaux
                              1st Rd Lost to Crescent City 42-41
                              Crescent City Lost title game
        
1962-63                   Potomac District Tournament                   Coach W.J. (Doc) Coltreaux
                              1st Rd lost to Sheldon 75-50
                              Sheldon lost in title game
         
1963-64               Postseason scores & record needed            Coach W.J. (Doc) Coltreaux
  
1964-65                   Rankin District Tournament                      Coach W.J. (Doc) Coltreaux 
                               1st Rd lost to Armstrong 62-48
                               Sheldon beat Wellington in title game
  
1965-66                   Sheldon District Tournament                    Coach W.J. (Doc) Coltreaux 
                               1st Rd lost to Potomac 65-63
                               Sheldon lost to Armstrong in title game
           
1966-67                   Rankin District Tournament                      Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd lost to Armstrong 62-48
                               Sheldon beat Wellington in title game
       
1967-68                   Armstrong District Tournament                Coach's name & record needed
                              1st Rd lost to Potomac 77-75 (O/T)
                              Armstrong beat East Lynn in title game
        
1968-69                   Armstrong District Tournament                Coach's name & record needed
                              1st Rd lost to Potomac 66-58 (O/T)
                              Armstrong won District title.
          
1969-70                   Sheldon District Tournament                   Coach's name & record needed
                              1st Rd lost to East Lynn 43-38
                              East Lynn lost in semi-final round
         
1970-71                   Armstrong District Tournament                Coach's name & record needed
                              1st Rd lost to Potomac 83-52
                              Armstrong lost in semi-final round.
           
1971-72                   Bismarck Class 'A'  Regional Tourney     Coach's name & record needed
                              1st Rd lost to Potomac 59-54
                               Potomac lost to Danville Schlarman in title game
    
1972-73                   Gibson City Class 'A'  Regional Tourney Coach's name & record needed
                              1st Rd lost to Fisher 78-56
                               Gibson City beat Fisher in title game
   
1973-74                   Paxton Class 'A' Regional Tournament   Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd lost to Mahomet-Seymour 77-41
                               Mahomet-Seymour beat Gibson City in title game
   
1974-75                   Gibson City Class 'A'  Regional Tourney Coach's name & record needed
                              1st Rd lost to Paxton 64-62
                               Gibson City beat Fisher in title game
   
1975-76    Postseason scores, coach's name, and record needed. 
 
1976-77                   Paxton Class 'A'  Regional Tournament  Coach's name & record needed
                               1st Rd lost to Paxton 57-46
                               Paxton beat Gibson City in title game
   
1977-78                   Gibson City Class 'A'  Regional Tourney Coach's name & record needed
                              1st Rd Beat Cissna Park 72-65
                              Semi-final lost to Paxton 38-34
                              Gibson City beat Paxton in title game
 
1978-79                   Paxton Class 'A' Regional Tourney         Coach's name & record needed
                              1st Rd lost to Paxton 64-62
                               Gibson City beat Fisher in title game
 
1979-80   Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
 
1980-81                  Paxton Class 'A' Regional Tourney         Coach's name & record needed
                              1st Rd lost to Mahomet-Seymour 75-58
                               Fisher beat Mahomet-Seymour in title game
 
1981-82                  Mahomet Class 'A' Regional Tourney     Coach's name & record needed
                              1st Rd Beat Paxton 66-48
                              Semi-final lost to Mahomet-Seymour 64-60
                              Fisher beat M-S in title game
 
1982-83 through 1986-87  Postseason scores, records, and coaches' names needed.
    
              
Notable Roundball Athlete
 
Bob Shepard - Was one of the leaders for Rankin on the court during the late 1930s and early 1940s, eventually garnering All-State honorable mention honors in 1940-41.
 
 
Boys Cross Country
 
One male harrier earned a position among the elite runners in the State of Illinois by finishing in the top-twenty at the IHSA State Class A Cross County Meet!  Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux led the Rankin harriers from 1948 through the 1978-79 season.
 
1948 through 1979                                              Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux
 
1981-82A      Shawn Young          19th Place!!
 
 
Boys Track & Field
 
Three male thinclads won a total of four individual medals at the IHSA Class A State Track Meet. Head coach of the Ranger track program from 1948 through 1979 was W.J. (Doc) Colteaux.
 
1947-48 through 1967-68                                                                    Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux
                   
1968-69       William Cornelius        Long Jump         3RD Place      Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux
                   **Team won Vermilion County Track Meet
                      Edged Hoopeston 48-47
 
1969-70       Phil Mikalik                   2 Mile Run         5TH Place      Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux
 
1970-71 through 1978-79                                                                    Coach W.J. (Doc) Colteaux
           
1983-84       Billy Stewart                 Long Jump        5TH Place     
                                                        Triple Jump        8TH Place
 
Boys Baseball
 
The Rankin boys competed in baseball at least from 1948 through 1965. The sport may well have been played in the fall and spring some years. The coach for all seasons from 1948 through 1965 was W.J. (Doc) Colteaux. Team records and other statistics are needed for the baseball program.
 
Girls Athletics
 
The ladies are not mentioned on the IHSA website.  If you have any information on the Lady Rankin High athletes or the other sports offered to the boys please write to us so we may add the appropriate information to this page.
 
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. Rankin High school participated in this festival from 1977-78.
 
MEMORIES
             
**From Dan Howard:
         
"Rankin High School had a very competitive chess team in the 1976-1978 period, and won scholastic bowl in the Regional tournament during one of those years as well. RHS also had a debate and extemporneous speaking team in 1977."
         
**From Angie Tyler Foster:
 
"Rankin High School was deactivated in 1987. The vote was done in the fall of 1986 and passed. I know this as I was to graduate in 1988 from Rankin and had to go Hoopeston my senior year. At the time of its closing at the end of 1987 the last yearbook picture captured all the remaining faculty and students in one group picture. The total people in the photo were 46. This was the entire student body and faculty.
Angie Tyler. Class of 1988. Rankin/Hoopeston "
     
**From Virginia Clemens Wood:
 
"The big brown building originally housed both the grade school and high school until sometime in the early 1950s I believe. I started first grade there in 1955 and the new high school had already been built. The stage which is pictured is in the big brown building was upstairs near the seventh- and eighth-grade area. All through my grade- and high-school years there were no ladies' competitive athletics. All we had was P.E."
   
**From Corrine Colteaux Bretz:
 
"My dad was a coach at Rankin HS for many years.  His name was W.J. (Doc) Colteaux.  As a coach, his biggest thrill (as told to Fowler Connell, Commercial News sportswriter) was winning the Vermilion County Track Meet in May 1969 with a stirring victory over Hoopeston, 48-47. 
He coached the following:
 
Baseball          1948-1965   
Basketball       1948-1966
Track              1948-1979
Cross Country 1948-1979
 
My Dad passed away in 1989 and my Mom in 1999 so the information I'm getting is from my brothers, John Colteaux and Jeff Colteaux who were both athletes at RTHS."
                         
Rankin High School Information Needed  
 
We need your help here.  Only limited information was found on the IHSA web site regarding Rankin High School.  If you have any information regarding Rankin and its school system please submit a School Submission Form or a Guest Commentary Form, or write us a note at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.  You can also write to us at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.   60631

Below are photos of the Rankin High School building built in 1902. Photos were taken in 2009. The building now serves as a private residence.

Rankin HS Building / Built in 1902
rankinhsoriginalbldgdav.jpg
http://www.rosenboomrealty.com/detail.php?prop_id=15388

Rankin HS Front - Built in 1902
rankinhsfrontoutsidedav.jpg

Rankin HS Classroom - Original Building - 2009
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Rankin HS Hallway - Original Building - 2009
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Rankin HS Stage - Original Building - 2009
rankinhsauditoriumstagedav.jpg

Rankin Centennial Celebration 1972
rankincentennialcelebrationdav.jpg
Provided by Vern Hofer

The following photos were taken of the interior of the newer Rankin HS building prior to its complete demolition.

Rankin HS Building Being Razed - July, 2009
rankinhswrecked1dav.jpg

Rankin HS Building 2009 - Undergoing Demolition
rankinhsbldg2009frontdav.jpg
Welcome Sign and Flagpole in Front

Rankin HS Classroom Facing Fields
rankinhsclassfacingfieldsdav.jpg
(Taken prior to school's demolition)

Rankin Classroom Facing Route 39
rankinhsclassfacing49dav.jpg
(Taken prior to school's demolition)

Rankin HS Wall Locker Space
rankinhslockerareadav.jpg
(Taken prior to school's demolition)

Rankin HS Hallway
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(Taken prior to school's demolition)

Original Bldg. - Rankin HS Staircase - 2009
rankinhsstaircasedav.jpg

Rankin HS Cafeteria - 2009
rankinhscafeteriadav.jpg

Rankin Township HS Teacher's Lounge - 2009
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Gymnasium in Original Building - 2009
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Original Rankin HS Gym - 2009
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