(Varna) Mid-County High School "Bulldogs"

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IN THE BEGINNING - Where Closed High Schools Consolidated To
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Mid-County High School 1972-95
Now used as Midland High School

The History of Mid-County High School
Lacon (population 1,979) is located along the banks of the Illinois River at the intersection of Il. Route 17 and Il. Route 29. This places Lacon in the middle of Marshall County about 25 miles north and a little east of Peoria. The Lacon/Marshall County Airport is located on the southeast side of town.
Varna (population 436) is located at the intersection of Il. Route 89 and Il. Route 17.  This places Varna in the center of Marshall County. A city of reference would be Metamora located 20 miles southwest of Varna.
Both of these north-central Illinois towns originally supported their own high schools and both currently have pages on this site. The late 1940's saw the towns of Varna and Lacon began talks of consolidation for their school districts. The year was 1949 when this effort was realized. The result was the creation of the Mid-County School District.
The high school for the Mid-County DIstrict was located in Varna. David Wier tells us the following about the new high school building constructed for Mid-County High School:
"I was a 1973 graduate of Mid-County. The last year for the Varna building was 1973.  My brother Timothy, who is one year younger and graduated one year behind me, was in the first class which graduated from the new facility on Route 17."
The new building opened up about four or five miles west of Varna on Illinois 17, and still stands today. Mid-County welcomed their neighbor to the west, Sparland, in 1995 to join them to form Midland High School. The high school for the Midland DIstrict uses the 1973 building.   
Mid-County High School Quick Facts
Year opened:                                    1949
Year new building opened:                1973
Year consolidated:                            1995
Consolidated to:                                Midland School District (Varna)
Mid-County HS team nickname:         the "Bulldogs"
M-CHS team colors:                          Black & White
School Fight Song:                            unavailable

Mid-County High School 1949 - 1972
Varna, Illinois

The Mid-County High School Bulldogs competed hard, year-in and year-out. The boys were offered baseball, basketball, cross country, football, and track. The Lady Bulldogs were offered basketball, track, volleyball, and softball (www.ihsa.org). It is possible that other sports were offered. Team records and coaches' names are needed. 
Boys Baseball
The boys baseball team of Mid-County High won two Regional titles.   
1984-85                     Regional Champions
1993-94                     Regional Champions

Boys Basketball
The hardwood court men of Mid-County High School won a total of SEVEN Regional Championships, and five Tri-County Conference Tournament titles. Legendary Coach Roger Beals made a brief stop in Mid-County as well.
The Bulldog boys' basketball team won five Tri-County Conference tournaments (1952-80-89-92-94).  Coach Ralph Hallam was a legendary skipper for the Bulldogs during the 1970's and '80's as his win-loss record would show, and was a colorful character off the court by the quotes he gave to the media in post-game interviews, too.
1948-49               Varna District Tournament                       Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd Beat Sparland 59-54
                            Semi-final lost to Lostant 55-43
                            Long Point Beat Lostant in title game
1950-51     Postseason scores, record, and coach's name needed.
1951-52               Granville Regional Champions            Coach's name & record needed
                            Tri-County Tournament Champions
                            Regional Scores
                            1st Rd Beat Wenona 45-39
                            Semi-Final Beat Long Point 54-45
                            Title Game Beat Henry 53-49
MID-COUNTY (53): Blackburn 16, Lundgren 13, Capponi 9, Wunder 6, Armstrong 6, Petter 3.
HENRY (49): Stoner 19, McAllister 10, Koehler 9, Schlosser 3, Bokner 3, Hurd 2, Maddux 2, Quinn 1.
                            LaSalle Sectional Tournament
                            1st Rd lost to Ottawa 67-45
                            Ottawa beat DePue in title game 
OTTAWA (67): Dekreon 18, Meckenstock 16, VanSchalk 12, Olson 11, Gromm 4, McIntyre 3, Renwick 3.
MID-COUNTY (45): Lundgren 23, Capponi 8, Blackburn 5, Armstrong 5, Wunder 3, Pettet 1.
1952-53               Henry Regional Champions            Coach's name & record needed 
                            1st Rd Beat Cornell 68-55
                            Semi-Final Beat Minonk 61-46
                            Title Game Beat Henry 63-49
MID-COUNTY (63): Blackburn 24, Guderjan 12, Wunder 10, Harvey 8, Schwanke 4, Carlson 4, Strong 1.
HENRY (49): Ingels 19, McAllister 15, Hurt 7, G. Koehler 5, Huggett 3.
                            LaSalle Sectional Tournament
                            1st Rd lost to Normal 60-47
                            Peoria Central Beat Normal in title game
NORMAL (60): Metzger 20, Cushman 11, Zehr 9, Bonny 7, Shoemaker 6, Nelson 5, Todd 2.
MID-COUNTY (47): Guderjan 13, Carlson 11, Blackburn 8, Armbruster 8, Wunder 5, Havey 2.
1953-54               Granville Regional Runner-Up            Coach's name & record needed 
                            1st Rd Beat Toluca 66-63
                            Semi-Final Beat Tonica 57-51
                            Title Game lost to Wenona 57-50
WENONA (57): Kemp 16, Isaacson 12, Richards 12, Rednier 11, Manley 6.
MID-COUNTY (50): Gudjerjan 19, Strawn 12, McKee 6, McCasky 5, Halmstrom 3, Lundgren 3, Babington 2.
1954-55               Henry Regional Tournament                   Coach's name & record needed 
                            1st Rd Beat Henry 69-49
                            Semi-Final lost to Tonica 60-58
                            Tonica beat Wenona in title game
1955-56               Granville Regional Champions            Coach's name & record needed 
                            1st Rd Beat Henry 60-54
                            Semi-Final Beat Mononk-Dana 59-50
                            Title Game Beat Granville Hopkins 70-53
MID-COUNTY (70): Cook 20, Holmstrom 17, Monard 10, Turpin 8, Pettit 5, Zimmer 4, Holsinger 2.
GRANVILLE HOPKINS (53): Lyons 13, Braun 11, Wallin 9, Bean 9, Fassino 8, Aimone 3.
                            LaSalle Sectional Tournament
                            1st Rd lost to Kewanee 64-60
                            LaSalle-Peru beat Kewanee in title game
1956-57               Streator Woodland Regional Tourney   Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd Beat Toluca 73-65
                            Semi-Final lost to Granville Hopkins 54-46
                            Streator Woodland beat Hopkins in title game
1957-58               Henry Regional Tournament                   Coach's name & record needed 
                            1st Rd Beat Sparland 54-52
                            Semi-Final lost to Toluca 60-52
                            Toluca beat Streator Woodland in title game
1958-59               Granville Regional Tournament               Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd lost to Toluca 52-45
                            Toluca beat Granville Hopkins in title game
1959-60               Granville Regional Runner-Up            Coach's name & record needed 
                            Tri-County Tournament Runner-Up
                            Regional Scores
                            1st Rd Beat Granville Hopkins 76-57
                            Semi-Final Beat Minonk 66-61
                            Title Game lost to Toluca 64-47
TOLUCA (64): Rankin 20, Baldwin 18, Gardner 18, Imm 5, Hemenway 3.
MID-COUNTY (47): Varney 18, Wood 10, Orrison 7, Kanive 6, Starks 4, Leihley 2
1960-61               Streator Woodland Regional Tourney     Coach's name & record needed
                            Tri-County Tournament Runner-Up
                            Regional Score
                            1st Rd lost to Minonk-Dana-Rutland 57-55
                            Toluca Beat Woodland in title game
1961-62               Henry Regional Tournament                   Coach's name & record needed 
                            1st Rd Beat Granville Hopkins 54-51
                            Semi-Final lost to Toluca 71-55
                            Toluca beat Henry in title game
1962-63               Granville Regional Tournament               Coach's name & record needed 
                            Tri-County Tourney Runner-Up
                            Regional Scores 
                            1st Rd Beat Granville Hopkins 65-41
                            Semi-Final lost to Wenona 58-56
                            Toluca beat Wenona in title game
1963-64               Wenona Regional Tournament               Coach's name & record needed 
                            1st Rd Beat Streator Woodland 61-48
                            Semi-Final lost to Wenona 62-54
                            Toluca beat Wenona in title game
1964-65               Streator Woodland Regional Tourney    Coach's name & record needed 
                            1st Rd Beat Woodland 67-60
                            Semi-Final lost to Toluca 53-47
                            Wenona beat Toluca in title game
1965-66               Henry Regional Tournament                   Coach's name & record needed 
                            1st Rd Beat Hennepin 50-45
                            Semi-Final lost to Toluca 67-43
                            Wenona beat Toluca in title game
1966-67               Wenona Regional Tournament               Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd lost to Toluca 52-49
                            Toluca beat Wenona in title game
1967-68               Wenona District Tournament                   Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd lost to Roanoke-Benson 88-65
                            Toluca beat R-B in title game.
1968-69   18 - 8   Wenona District Tournament                   Coach Roger Beals
                            1st Rd Beat Lowpoint-Washburn 66-59
                            Semi-Final lost to Toluca 88-54
                            Toluca Beat Roanoke-Benson in title game
1969-70               Wenona District Runner-Up                  Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd Beat Minonk-Dana-Rutland 94-53
                            Semi-Final Beat Lowpoint-Washburn 71-65
                            Title Game lost to Toluca 70-66
1970-71               Wenona District Tournament                   Coach's name & record needed 
                            1st Rd Beat Minonk-Dana-Rutland 76-63
                            Semi-Final lost to Toluca 62-52
                            Toluca beat Metamora in title game
1971-72              Metamora Class 'A' Regional Tourney     Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd Beat Sparland 63-52
                            Semi-final lost to Henry 63-42
                            Toluca beat Henry in title game
1972-73              Roanoke Class 'A' Regional Tourney       Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd lost to Roanoke-Benson 69-54
                           Toluca beat Henry in title game
1973-74               Henry Class 'A' Regional Tournament     Coach's name & record needed 
                            1st Rd Beat Sparland 78-53
                            Semi-Final lost to Roanoke-Benson 42-38 (O/T)
                            Roanoke-Benson beat Toluca in title game
1974-75               Varna Class 'A' Regional Runner-Up   Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd Beat Lowpoint-Washburn 60-56
                            Semi-Final Beat Roanoke-Benson 63-56
                            Title game lost to Toluca 43-41
1975-76              Roanoke Class 'A' Regional Tourney       Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd lost to Minonk-Dana-Rutland 69-68
                           Roanoke-Benson beat Toluca in title game
1976-77               Varna Class 'A' Regional Runner-Up   Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd Beat Flanagan 55-54
                            Semi-Final Beat Toluca 72-65
                            Title game lost to Roanoke-Benson 74-65
ROANOKE-BENSON (74): Aeschleman 20, Mueser 13, Scherer 12, Martino 10, Wagner 10, Schoon 7, Kirby 2.
MID-COUNTY (65): Fenoglia 19, Wonder 16, Wynns 12, Myercord 8, Strong 7, Fennelia 3.
1977-78               Minonk Class 'A' Regional Runner-Up Coach's name & record needed
                            1st Rd Beat Minonk-Dana-Rutland 60-56
                            Semi-Final Beat Lowpoint-Washburn 63-58
                            Title game lost to Flanagan 54-53
FLANAGAN (54): Augsburger 16, Abels 14, Kruger 10, Weldy 8, Bertsche 4, Hassinger 2.
MID-COUNTY (53): Fenoglia 18, Wenz 16, Wall 11, Fennell 4, Hedger 4.
1978-79               Toluca Class 'A' Regional Runner-Up Coach Ralph Hallam 
                            Tri-County Tourney Runner-Ups
                             Regional Scores  
                            1st Rd Beat Sparland 65-44
                            Semi-Final Beat Flanagan 71-56
                            Title game lost to Roanoke-Benson 85-83
1979-80               Varna Class 'A'  Regional Champs      Coach Ralph Hallam
                            Tri-County Tournament Champions
                            Regional Scores  
                            1st Rd Beat Minonk-Dana-Rutland 80-60
                            Semi-Final Beat Wenona
                            Title Game Beat Toluca 57-48
                            Prineton Sectional Tournament
                            Semi-Final lost to Kewanee Wethersfield 67-61
                            DePue beat Wethersfield in title game 
1980-81              Peru St. Bede Class 'A' Regional             Coach Ralph Hallam
                           1st Rd Beat Sparland 63-49
                           Semi-Final lost to Putnam County 73-52
                           Putnam County beat Tonica in title game
1981-82              Granville Class 'A' Regional Tourney       Coach Ralph Hallam
                           1st Rd lost to Henry Senachwine 61-40
                           Putnam County beat Spring Valley Hall in title game
1982-83              Varna Class 'A' Regional Champs        Coach Ralph Hallam
                           1st Rd Beat Sparland 63-47
                           Semi-Final Beat Putnam County 55-53
                           Title Game Beat DePue 49-45
                           Spring Valley Hall Sectional Tournament
                           1st Rd lost to Tiskilwa 61-47
                           Tiskilwa beat Mendota in title game
TISKILWA (62): Schertz 21, Compton 14, Moretz 14, Perry 13.
MID-COUNTY (47): Greer 14, Winkler 13, Neff 6, Fennell 6, Pries 3, Peugh 2, Keffeler 2, Schoepke 1.
1983-84              Henry Class 'A' Regional Champs        Coach Ralph Hallam
                           1st Rd Beat Henry Senachwine 61-49
                           Semi-Final Beat Putnam County 53-51
                           Title Game Beat Sparland 61-49
                           Plano Sectional Tournament Runner-Up
                           Semi-Final Beat Tiskilwa 70-62
                           Title Game lost to Hinckley-Big Rock 51-50
MID-COUNTY (70): Paugh 20, Sundberg 16, Fennell 15, Condit 11, McClary 8.
TISKILWA (62): Wooden 17, Moretz 16, Perry 12, Prusator 11, Merkley 4, Sears 2.
HINCKLEY-BIG ROCK (51): Edmondson 19, Chapman 10, Smith 8, Ott 6, Smith 4, Thurow 2, Goodin 2.
MID-COUNTY (50): Sundberg 13, Fennell 12, Paugh 10, McClary 9, Condit 4, Querciagrossa 2.
1984-85              Henry Class 'A' Regional                          Coach Ralph Hallam
                           1st Rd Beat Spring Valley Hall 56-36
                           Semi-Final lost to Peru St. Bede 45-41
                           St. Bede beat Princeton in title game
1985-86              Granville Class 'A' Regional Tourney       Coach Ralph Hallam
                           1st Rd Beat Tonica 79-28
                           Semi-Final lost to Princeton 49-45
                           Princeton beat Putnam County in title game

1986-87              Varna Class 'A' Regional Tourney            Coach Ralph Hallam
                           Tri-County Tourney Runner-Up
                           Regional Scores
                           1st Rd Beat Putnam County 66-52
                           Semi-Final lost to Spring Valley Hall 49-47
                           Hall beat St. Bede in title game
1987-88              Wenona Class 'A' Reg. Runner-Up       Coach Ralph Hallam 
                           1st Rd Beat Gridley 68-47
                           Semi-Final Beat Toluca 62-61 (4 O/Ts)
                           Title game lost to Flanagan 68-59
1988-89              Varna Class 'A' Regional Champs        Coach Ralph Hallam 
                           Semi-Final Beat Minonk-Dana-Rutland 81-50
                           Title Game Beat Flanagan 65-61 (2 O/Ts)
                           Stanford Sectional Tournament
                           Semi-Final lost to Downs Tri-Valley 57-51
                           Tri-Valley beat Olympia in title game
TRI-VALLEY (57): Williams 15, Tallon 11, West 11, Stone 8, Zenor 7, Holm 5.
MID-COUNTY (51): Guderlan 22, Spires 12, Barker 8, Foster 5, Hulten 4.
1989-90              Granville Class 'A' Regional Tourney       Coach Ralph Hallam 
                           1st Rd Beat Toluca 56-47
                           Semi-Final lost to Minonk-Dana-Rutland 41-34
                           Gridley beat Minonk in title game
1990-91              Wenona Class 'A' Regional Tourney        Coach Ralph Hallam 
                           1st Rd Beat Wenona 61-32
                           Semi-Final lost to Flanagan 54-27
                           Flanagan beat Lowpoint-Washburn in title game
1991-92              Varna Class 'A' Regional Runner-Up   Coach Ralph Hallam
                           Tri-County Tourney Champs
                           Regional Scores
                           1st Rd Beat Wenona 81-34
                           Semi-Final Beat Gridley 66-54
                           Title game lost to Flanagan 49-43
1992-93              Roanoke Class 'A' Regional Tourney      Coach Ralph Hallam
                           Tri-County Tourney Runner-Ups
                           Regional Score
                           Semi-Final lost to Minonk Fieldcrest 58-53
                           Gridley beat Fieldcrest in title game
1993-94              Minonk Class 'A' Regional Tourney         Coach Ralph Hallam
                           Tri-County Tourney Champs
                           Regional Scores
                           1st Rd Beat Lowpoint -Washburn 63-46  
                           Semi-Final lost to Roanoke-Benson 64-57
                           Minonk Fieldcrest beat R-B in title game
1994-95 10 - 14  Varna Class 'A' Regional Tourney          Coach Ralph Hallam
                           1st Rd Beat Flanagan 67-56
                           *Semi-Final lost to Roanoke-Benson 64-62
                           Roanoke-Benson beat Minonk Fieldcrest in title game
*Final varsity basketball game for the Mid-County HS "Bulldogs." Sparland joined the district in the summer of 1995 to form the Midland HS "Timberwolves."
Boys Cross Country
The Bulldog harriers made their mark as well. The team of 1994 qualified for the IHSA State Meet Competition
1993-94               Team Qualified for the IHSA State Meet!!

Mid-County Bulldogs of 1955

Boys Football
We do not know the exact years, but as the photo to the right attests, football was offered to the boys of Mid-County at least in the mid-1950's. If you have any records or coach's names please forward them so we can share them on this page. Thank you to Rolf Sivertsen for sharing the the photo of the 1955 Bulldog football team. The photo below depicts the boys from the fall of 1952.  It states that this was the third season of football for the school.  Thank you to Mark & Terri Taylor of TnT Images for sharing this with us.  Click on either photo to view an enlarged version.
**From Bill Austin, regarding the photo of the football team of 1955:
"My dad is #35 in the photo, “Chuck” Charles Austin, son of Bill and Lilian Austin.

Mid County HS Football Team of 1952
Courtesy of Terri & Mark Taylor (www.tntimages.com)

Girls Golf
The Lady Bulldog linksters had some great success in the early 1990's. The girls won a total of three Regional titles and qualified for the IHSA Class A State Tournament on two occassions. Unfortunately, the coaches' names are not currently available.
1989-90      Team Finished TENTH in the IHSA Class A State Meet!!
                  Individual Medalist
                  Julie Orrison              14TH Place
                  Final Team Standings    
                  1)  Wilmette Regina Dominican                 707   
                  2)  Winnetka New Trier                             742   
                  3)  Normal Community                              767  
                  4)  New Lenox Providence Catholic            774  
                  5)  Waukegan East                                  777  
                  6)  Naperville North                                   780   
                  7)  Hinsdale Central                                  783 
                  8)  Edwardsville HS                                  798 
                  9)  Galesburg HS                                     799   
                10)  VARNA MID-COUNTY HIGH SCHOOL 826  
1990-91      Regional Champions
1991-92      Regional Champions
                  Team Qualified for State Meet
                  Individual Medalist
                  Julie Orrison                11TH Place

1993-94      Regional Champions
Girls Softball
The Lady Bulldogs had a great run in softball as well. Five Regional titles and two Sectional titles were the hi-lites of the diamond-ladies seasons. Most of the team records and coach's names of these and other good Mid-County softball teams are not available. 
1986-87     21-  6   Regional Champions             Coach Bill Scott
                             Sectional Champions
                              Team Qualified for IHSA State Competition
1987-88                Regional Champions
1988-89     25-  8   Regional Champions            Coach Mike Orrison
1991-92                Regional Champions 
1993-94                Regional Champions 
Boys Track & Field
One male trackster earned the only medal in IHSA competition in the history of Mid-County High School. His excellent accomplishment is listed below.
1991-92             Jay Wingfield          100 Meter Dash        8TH Place
Girls Volleyball
The Mid-County lady netters were not without their moments. A Regional title was earned in 1983!
1982-83      Regional Champions 
Boys Golf
The Mid-County Bulldogs competed in boys golf as well. One linkster even earned a medal at the IHSA State Meet competition.  Kris Hahn did this in 1988 by finishing in 14th Place!!
1988        Kris Hahn      14TH Place!!

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. Mid-County High school participated in this festival in 1984 and 1986.
From Jeanne Orrison:
    "One of our friends just e-mailed us this website.  We enjoyed scrolling through it. 
     My husband, Mike Orrison, was a teacher and a coach at the Mid-County High School/ Midland High School in Varna from 1969 - 2000 when he retired and we moved out here to Kernersville NC.  We can add some information to "our" site.  One of the statements was that the school song was "unknown".  The tune was the same as the Ohio State fight song.  We know the words if you want them.
    He also started the Girls' Golf Team in 1988 and continued coaching them until 2000 when he retired.  I (Jeanne Orrison) became his assistant at that time as he was also the Boys' Golf Coach.  Individual girls could play on the boys' team before 1988 and try to qualify in the girl's state tournament.  Susan Orrison was one of these individuals who qualified for the sectionals in 1985.  Mike coached many good golfers and had 22 straight years of coaching either a boy or a girl who qualified for sectionals either as a team or as an individual. Some went on to play in the State tournaments.  
    Mike also coached girls' softball which you already have on the website.  Here is some additional information... In 1988 the girl's team won BOTH the regional and sectional tournaments and advanced to the state tournament."
**From Danny Dunn:
I remember art class in 1982 sitting next to LaVonne Missel who went on to become "Miss Illinois" and was a top 10 finalist for "Miss America"! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O5hJVCjkpU0 .
Need Your Assistance
If you have any further information regarding the many successes attained at Mid-County High School before its merger with nearby Sparland, please write to us via 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

Mid-County Gym
Home of the Bulldogs!!