Westchester Immaculate Heart of Mary High School "Tigers"

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Immaculate Heart of Mary High School
immaculateheartmaryhsdav.jpg
courtesy of "A History of Offices, Agencies, and Institutions in the Archdiocese of Chicago"

           The History of Westchester Immaculate Heart of Mary High School
 
 
Westchester (population 16,824) is located in far northeastern Illinois in west-central Cook County. Westchester is a western suburb of Chicago located about 5 miles west of the Chicago city limits. U.S. Route 12 (Manheim Road) and U.S. 38 (Roosevelt Road) intersect in Westchester. In addition, Interstate Highway 290 is located on the north side of Westchester. The Salt Creek flows through the south side of town. The Soo Line Railroad runs through the east side of Westchester.
 
The web address of http://www.franzosenbuschheritagesociety.org/Histories/Westchester/Early%20Village%20History.htm#Creation%20and%20Early%20History%20of%20The%20Village, has some excellent history of Proviso Township and the establishment of the city of Westchester. It would appear that Westchester would be one of the newer cities in Illinois, certainly one of the newer cities on this site. Westchester was incorporated in October of 1925 and was chartered in January of 1926.  Village growth went from the mid-300's in the 1930's to 620 in 1940. By 1955, Westchester had a population of approximately 11,000!
 
The population growth saw the need for educational facilities. This eventually led to the creation of an all-boys' and an all-girls' catholic high school in Westchester. Immaculate Heart of Mary was established in 1960 and served the young girls of the area for 45 years. The school was in the planning stages when the land was purchased in 1946, but the official announcement did not come until 1959. The Sisters Servants of the Immaculate Heart of Mary (IMH) was the order that was in charge of the school when it admitted 314 girls in September 1960 at the boys' high school nearby, St. Joseph.
 
The IMH building was not ready until March of 1962, and the first four-year class graduated 285 students in the spring of 1964. Up to 1,400 students were enrolled in the fall of 1965, which was the peak of enrollment for Immaculate Heart of Mary, which also offered exchange and summer programs with St. Joseph during that time.
 
The school went thru some tough financial times in the late-1960's and early-1970's that consolidation talks with St. Joseph were raised in 1971. The two schools were located close to each other. Although it was once one of the premier girls catholic high schools in the entire Chicago area, declining enrollment and a changing economic environment began to take its toll in the early 2000's. It was finally decided to close the high school after the 2004-05 school year. 
 
An article about the closure can be found at the following web address:
 
 
Immaculate Heart of Mary High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                                1960
Year closed:                                 2005
Consolidated to:                            St. Joseph's High School (Westchester)
IHM team nickname:                      the "Tigers"
IHM team colors:                           Royal Blue & White
School Fight Song:                        "IHM High"
                                                     Provided by Susan Colaire, written by Sr. Patrick Mary

                                                        IHM High
                                                        Lead us ever nigh,
                                                        To goals both high and true,
                                                        For minds trained and friends gained,
                                                        We're grateful now to you! 

                                                        As the years roll by,
                                                        Our standards high,
                                                        We'll tell the whole world why
                                                        In our Hall of Fame,
                                                        You'll find the name of IHM High!
ATHLETICS
 
The Immaculate Heart of Mary (IHM) Tigers had some incredible moments in Illinois High School Association girls sports. GIrls basketball led the way for IHM with a STATE CHAMPIONSHIP to their credit in 1986-87. According to the IHSA website (www.ihsa.org) soccer, softball, track, and volleyball were also offered at the school. It is possible other sports were offered as well. School fight song and team records of many of the better teams are needed.
  
BASKETBALL
 
Coach Dave Power, a legend in girls basketball in Illinois High School history, spent eleven seasons as the head coach of the Tigers from 1982-83 through 1992-93. After spending his first six seasons at Proviso West, Coach Powers quickly turned the IHM program into one of the premier programs in the state during his tenure there. Lets look at the IHM program and Coach Powers by the numbers:
 
1  -  STATE CHAMPIONSHIP!!!!   (1986-87)
1  -  THIRD Place Finish!!            (1988-89)
2  -  Final 4 Appearances
3  -  Elite 8 Finals Appearances
3  -  Super-Sectional Championships
4  -  Sweet Sixteen Appearances
4  -  Sectional Championships
8  -  Consecutive Regional Titles under Coach Powers (1984-85 through 1991-92)
10 -  Regional Titles Overall (in an 11 year period)
10 - Consecutive Seasons of 20+ Wins
 
*Coach Power's Overall Record at IHM  -  261 - 68 (a .793 winning %)
*Coach Power currently ranks #2 All-Time in IHSA history for most overall wins with 639 (and counting)
*Coach Power is the only Class AA coach in IHSA history to:
              Coach two teams to the State Tournament Finals
              Coach two teams to the State Tournament Final Four
              Coach two teams to the State Championship Game
              Win the State Championship with two different teams (IHM and Fenwick)
 
Nice Job Coach Power and the IHM Tigers of the hardwood court!!
     
Here is a season by season look at the IHM basketball prowess:
 
1982-83   13 - 12                                                                Coach Dave Power
1983-84   21 - 11                                                                Coach Dave Power
1984-85   20 - 7     Regional Champions                            Coach Dave Power

1985-86   25 - 4     Sweet 16 Finalist                                  Coach Dave Power
                            Regional Champions
                            Sectional Champions
                            Super-Sectional Finalist
                            Lost to Lockport 53 - 48

1986-87   32 - 2     IHSA Class AA STATE CHAMPIONS!!    Coach Dave Power
                            Regional Champions
                            Sectional Champions
                            Sweet 16 Finalist
                            Beat Romeoville 57 - 46
                            Elite 8 Finalist
                            Beat Elmhurst York  52 - 41
                            Final 4 Finalist
                            Beat Geneseo 52 - 40
                            STATE CHAMPIONSHIP GAME Finalist
                            BEAT Metropolis Masaac County  45 - 43!!

1987-88   25 - 4     Regional Champions                            Coach Dave Power

1988-89   30 - 3     IHSA CLASS AA THIRD PLACE!!!          Coach Dave Power
                            Regional Champions
                            Sectional Champions
                            Sweet 16 Finalist
                            Beat Dixon   68 - 49
                            Elite 8 Finalist
                            Beat Jerseyville 84 - 42
                            Final 4 Finalist
                            Lost to Winnetka New Trier  69 - 56
                            New Trier finished second
                            Third Place Game Finalist
                            Beat Moline  68 - 65 (3 O/T)
                              
1989-90   28 - 3     IHSA CLASS AA ELITE 8 FINALIST!      Coach Dave Power
                            Regional Champions
                            Sectional Champions
                            Sweet 16 Finalist
                            Beat Dixon  61 - 54
                            Elite 8 Finalist
                            Lost to Chicago Marshall 53 - 44
                            Marshall eventual State Champions

1990-91   27 - 4     Regional Champions                            Coach Dave Power
1991-92   20 - 9     Regional Champions                            Coach Dave Power
1992-93   20 - 9     Regional Champions                            Coach Dave Power
1993-94   18 - 11   Regional Champions                            Coach John Ryan
1994-95   18 - 11   Regional Champions                            Coach John Ryan
 
SOCCER
 
Only one season is recorded on the IHSA website regarding the IHM soccer program. That season happened to be the school's last.   
 
1995-96   11 - 0 - 1            GCAC Conference Champions!
    
2004-05   13 - 6 - 1            Coach Karl Pretzer

SOFTBALL
 
Coach Dave Power showed his leadership capabilities on the ball diamond as well. Coach Power led the IHM girls for seven years with no losing records and a 122-71-1 record overall for a .631 winning %. The program won its only Regional title however in 1991-92. The coach's name of this team is being sought.
 
1984-85   20-  7                                               Coach David Power
1985-86   13-13                                               Coach David Power
1986-87   14-12                                               Coach David Power
1987-88   15-11                                               Coach David Power
1988-89   17-  8                                               Coach David Power
1989-90   25-  8                                               Coach David Power
1990-91   18-12-1                                            Coach David Power
1991-92                   Regional Champions

TRACK & FIELD
 
One Lady Tiger trackster brought home a medal from the IHSA Class AA State Meet!
 
1978-79      Margot Rogus        High Jump        5TH Place
 
VOLLEYBALL
 
The netters won a title as well, bringing home the Regional Championship hardware in 1994-95! Coach's name and team record are being sought.   
 
1994-95      Regional Champions
 
 
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. Immaculate Heart of Mary High school participated in this festival in 1982 and 1992.
 
 
SEEKING FURTHER INFORMATION
 
If you have ANY further information you wish to share regarding the Immaculate Heart of Mary Tigers, please write to us so we can share it with others. We know there was a lot more to the school than just sports. A photo ot the high school building is being sought as well. Items can be sent to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net or via real mail at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Illinois  60631