Irving High School "Eagles"

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Irving High School Building
irvinghsnewerdav.jpg
http://www.irvingmuseum.org/IRVING2005.html

The Original Irving School Building Built in 1866
irvinghs1866dav.jpg
http://www.irvingmuseum.org/IRVING2005.html

The History of Irving High School
 
Irving (population 495) is located in southwest-central Illinois.  Irving sits in the central part of Montgomery County on Illinois Route 16 about 40 miles south of Springfield.  A branch of the Little Creek flows through into Irving. The Conrail Railroad line has tracks that mirror Route 16 and travel through Irving as well.
 
The town of Irvig is blessed with an incredibly informational website developed by the Irving Area Historical Museum.  This site can be viewed at  http://www.irvingmuseum.org/index.html.  The site provides a great history of the town and a brief history of the school system the town once supported on its own.
According the website's page http://hostingprod.com/@irvingmuseum.org/Village/HistoryOfVillage.html, Irving was first settled in the mid-1840s and almost immediately began to grow. A post office was established in 1856.  By the early 1870s several businesses helped to make Irving a fast growing, independent community.
 
The year was 1856 when the first Irving school was established. It was replaced by a brick school house in 1866.  The brick school is pictured above.  It is quite likely that high school classes were in place for the Irving school-aged kids by the late 1800s.  Irving High School served the community for over five decades.  Dwindling enrollment and financial concerns caught up to the Irving residents.  In 1948 it was decided to discontinue their high school. After the 1947-48 school year Irving students were sent to nearby Hillsboro to continue their education. 
 
In spite of this tough blow, the Irving High School students never let their school spirit die.  In June of 2005 the alumni of Irving High reunited to honor one of their most famous basketball teams and its accomplishments.  More will be written about that below.
 
Irving High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                             late 1800s
Year closed:                              1948
Consolidated to:                         Hillsboro Community High School
Irving HS team nickname:            the "Eagles"
Irving HS team colors:                 Black & White 
School Fight Song:                     Irving Eagles School Song
                                                       Sung to Illinois Loyalty - Click Play Below and Sing Along! 

                                                        We're Loyal to you I.H.S.
                                                        We'll always be true I.H.S.
                                                        We'll back you to stand
                                                        Against the best in the land
                                                        For we know you have sand, I.H.S.
                                                       
                                                        Rah!     Rah!

                                                        So toss in the ball I.H.S.
                                                        We're backing you all I.H.S.
                                                        Our team is our fame protector
                                                        On boys for we expect
                                                        A victory for you, I.H.S.!!
                                                       
                                                        Chee Ch-ha
                                                        Ch-ha Ch-ha Ch-ha
                                                         I.H.S.
                                                        RAH!     RAH!    RAH!!!

Athletics
 
The Irving High School students unfortunately did not win any IHSA hardware (www.ihsa.org).  However it is a fact that the boys competed basketball and softball. The basketball program had two great seasons and the softball team also had an undefeated campaign in the mid-1940s.  We continuously are searching for any information available on the great history of the Irving High School Eagles.

Irving High School Eagles of 1945-46
irvinghseagles46.jpg
35 - 8 National Scoring Champions!

Boys Basketball  
 
Sometimes magical time periods are simply meant to happen.  A group of boys and solid coach come together and make for an electric atmosphere that should be remembered forever.  Such is the case for the Irving High School Eagles basketball teams of 1944-45 and 1945-46. Just two years before the high school would close, the Irving High School hardwod court men burst onto a State, and even National, level of recognition.  The Eagles led the entire nation in scoring in 1945-46 and set a state record as well.  Take a look at the following Irving Area Historical Museum pages:
 
Led by Coach Julius Podshadly, the Eagles overcame small numbers and a horrific tragedy to burst into the national spotlight.  The 1943-44 Eagles aquired a record of 10-14, hardly earth-shattering.  However the stage was set for two exciting years ahead.  First a young freshman on that 1944 team, Dale White, was proving himself to be an incredible player.  Secondly, Coach Podshadly saw the importance of the fast break and allowed Irving boys to run with the ball.
 
Though the 1944-45 season rightfully anticipated as a good one, tragedy would strike the small community.  Two of the Irving players, and one of its former cheerleaders, were killed in a train versus car crash in January of 1945 while enroute to a game.  The team continued on with heavy hearts and finished the 1945 season at 12 - 29. The team's star player, Dale White, was but a sophomore.  He came within four points of breaking Dwight Eddleman's state scoring record that year.  The Irving team did, however, set a new state standard with an average of 59.99 points per game!
 
The tragedy seemed to strengthen the bonds between the boys who returned for the 1945-46 season.  Hopes were running high, and a chance to help folks recover from the loss in January helped to motivate the boys.  With but 23 students in the three-year high school (11 boys), Irving folks were hopeful for a great turnaround in the won-loss column. They would not be disappointed.  
 
In the fall of 1945 the boys turned out an undefeated softball campaign. When basketball season started there was simply no looking back. Now a junior, Dale White was a force on the court.  The Irving boys ran fast and furious through their opponents in the area.  In fact, the Eagles set a NATIONAL RECORD for most points scored in a season with 2,705.  Dale White picked up where he left off for the 1944-45 season  by setting a new single-season scoring mark for the State of Illinois with 1,029, breaking the famous Dwight Eddleman's record set only four years before. 
 
With this incredible scoring pace the victories began to pile up.  A record of 35 - 8 kept the state and Irving area abuzz with anticipation.  Several occasions saw the Irving boys break the 100 point mark. The year was so spectacular that two games and season marks are still mentioned on the IHSA website.
 
I urge you to take a look at the Irving Historical Museum's web page.  I have but glossed over the hi-lites.  There are many facts I have not mentioned.  If you are a fan of small-town high schools and their sports, this is a MUST READ site.  Again, go to
 
1943-44                        Coach Julius Podshadly
1944-45                        Coach Julius Podshadly
1945-46      35 - 8          Coach Julius Podshadly
 
IHSA Records STILL Listed by the Irving High School Eagles of 1945-46:
 
Margin of Victory -
#8 All-Time    119 points, Irving (133) vs. Harvel (14), Jan. 15, 1946
 
#17 All-Time  109 points, Irving (122) vs. Donnellson (13), Jan. 18, 1945
 
Most Victories in a Season - Not Listed - Should be #16 All-Time with 35 Wins in 1945-46
 
Individual Most Points in a Season -
#12 All-Time  1,029, Dale White (Jr. Year), Irving High School , 1945-46
 
#28 All-Time     965, Dale White (So.Year), Irving High School, 1944-45
 
Individual Most Points in a Game:
#14 All-Time  68 Points, Dale White, Irving vs. Rockbridge, Jan. 19, 1946 (32 FG, 4 FT)
 
#22 All-Time  64 Points, Dale White, Irving vs. Donnellson, Jan. 18, 1945 (29 FG, 6 FT)
 
#33 All-Time  62 Points, Dale White, Irving vs. Marine, Jan. 9, 1946 (30 FG, 2 FT)
 
#51 All-Time  60 Points, Dale White, Irving vs. Harvel, Jan. 15, 1946 (28 FG, 4 FT)
 
#60 All-Time  59 Points, Dale White, Irving vs. Oconee, Dec. 7, 1945 (28 FG, 3 FT)
 
#169 All-Time 53 Points, Dale White, Irving vs. Panama, Jan. 2, 1946 (25 FG, 3 FT)
 
#305 All-Time 50 Points, Dale White, Irving vs. Donnellson, Nov. 28, 1944 (24 FG, 2 FT)
 
#305 All-Time 50 Points, Dale White, Irving vs. Harvel, Feb. 21, 1945 (21 FG, 8 FT)
 
REMEMBER - Irving High School was a three-year high school.  Dale White completed his Senior year at Hillsboro High School.  Talk about a "who-knows" situation.  Who knows what records Irving High and Dale White might have set had there been a fourth year for both?!! 
 
Congrats to Dale White and the Irving HS boys of 1945-46!!
 
Boys Softball
 
This is not a misprint, the boys in the area of Irving High competed in softball as did many of the smaller schools in Illinois.  The team of 1945-46 set the stage for their incredible basketball season by finishing their softball campaign that fall at 16 - 0 and champions of their conference!
 
1944-45      16 - 0      Conference Champions                 Coach Julius Podshadly
 
Football
 
The Irving boys competed on the grid iron in the early 1900s. The following scores were sent to us by Mark Jurenga.  The boys competed with a much larger Hillsboro squad and faired quite well.
 
1899- Hillsboro 29 Irving 0
1905- Irving 2 Hillsboro 0
         Irving 6 Hillsboro 6 (TIE)
         (2 games against Hillsboro in 1905)
 
 
WE WANT TO KNOW MORE….

…about Irving High School's history. If you have more information you’d like to share with us, please email us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or send it to the address below. We are interested in photos of the school building along with anything else that was of significance to the school’s history. Our address is: 

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 North Neva

Chicago, IL 60631