Lanark High School "Beavers"

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"Old" Lanark High School
lanarkpublicschool.jpg
Lanark, IL

The History of Lanark High School
 
The city of Lanark (population 1,584) is located in northeastern Carroll County at the intersection of US Rt. 52 and IL Rt. 72. If you are unfamiliar with the area, Lanark is located about 25 miles north and a little west of Sterling, in northwestern Illinois. The CM St. P. Railroad runs through the middle of town. 
 

The first school was built by the city of Lanark. Completed in August 1867, this building situated on the site of the present grade school was used both as a grammar and high school. On November 25, 1893, the school was destroyed by fire.

 

The Old North Side School House was built on the north side of the railroad tracks. Grades 1-6 were taught here, and upon completion of these grades the students moved on to the old high school. The building was not used after 1894 and was finally torn down.

 

“Lanark’s Pride,” the school building, was built in the summer of 1894 on the same site as the building which burned the year before. In 1912, an addition was added to this building, and in 1928, a gymnasium was built. Upon completion of the grade school building in 1958, this building was torn down.

 

The new Lanark Grade School was competed and ready for use in the fall of 1958. The building stands on the same lot as the former high/grade school, and the old gymnasium was remodeled to serve the dual purpose of a cafeteria and a gymnasium.

 

The new Lanark High School was completed in the winter of 1951. An addition of four rooms for the Junior High was ready for use in the fall of 1957. In 1955, a bus garage was built and in 1957, the Lions' Club sponsored the building of the tennis courts located north of the school.

 
Lanark High School was consolidated with nearby Shannon High School in 1986 to form the Eastland School District. The high school for Eastland is located in Lanark. The high school building remained the same for the new Eastland High School. 
 
Lanark High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:            First school - 1867
Year closed:             1986
School nickname:     the "Beavers"
School colors:          Blue & White
School Fight Song:   unavailable     

"New" Lanark High School Campus
lanark.jpg
Now Eastland High School

Lanark High School Math Club
lanarkhsmath.jpg
Early 1910's

Athletics
 
Lanark High School "Beaver" athletes enjoyed a great deal of success on many different levels. IHSA hardware was won in five different sports. The most successful seasons according to the IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org) are listed below. LHS enjoyed MANY other great seasons of success but did not win IHSA hardware. If you know of Conference Champions or teams with excellent records you would like to share, please drop us a line.
 
Boys Football
 
Before the days of playoffs, the 1967 football team won the Northwestern Conference Championship with a perfect 8-0 season. Only one touchdown was scored against this team. On the first play in the game against Stockton, an opponent ran 60 yards for a touchdown, but the Beavers went on to win the game, 14-6. One of the games played by this team was on a snowy Halloween. The students from study halls were recruited to clear the field of snow by rolling snowballs.     

 

Members of the team included Dan Harms, Gregg Sisler, Larry Dietz, Mike Eckberg, John Mosher, John Weber, Bruce Christensen, Richard Gordon, Mike Mowen, Gary Dambman, Ed Grant, Justin Merchant, Jack Rowley, Perry Hartman, Randy Martz, Leslie Gordon, Steve Smith, Norm Varner, John Barnhart, Paul Crofton, Daryl Deets, Larry Weber, and Bob Manning. The coaches were Wally Isham and Ed Nelson.

 
In 1984, the Lanark Varsity Football Team won the Northwestern Illinois Conference title with a record of 9-0. A highlight of the season was defeating Stockton for the first time in 15 years, 7-6. The same two teams met in the play-offs where the Beavers won again, 6-0. The team made it to the semifinals where they were defeated by Carthage.

 

Players on the team were: Michael Misiewicz, John Huggins, Tim Nicodemus, Darrin Lott, Scott Sturtevant, Steve Blair, Rob Shipley, Kim Moyer, Mike Scott, Mike Morgan, Don Ferry, Stephen Nelson, Bret Rogers, Rob Shetter, Dave Janssen, Scott Brinkmeier, Phil Hasz, Dean Buckwalter, Eric Person, Kurt Bremmer, and Ryan Byington. The coaches were Tim Mc Gowan, C. Eickelschulte, Louie Lamoreux, and Greg Olson.
 
1967      8-0  Northwestern Conf. Champs      Coach Wally Isham
1975      7-1                                                    Coach Bill Sosnowski
   
1984    11-1  Class 1A Final 4                          Coach Greg Olson
                             Lanark 19   Millegdeville 0
                      Lanark   6   Stockton 0
                      Lost to Carthage 13-0 in semi-finals
                      Carthage would finish 2nd   
           
Boys Basketball
 
The 1970-71 Varsity Basketball Team was a surprise to everyone. The first half of the season was slow with a 3-9 start. At mid-season they were seeded 8th in the Stephenson Conference Tournament. They won the tournament title by defeating Lena-Winslow (“Le-Win”) by 13 points, playing in front of a full house in the Freeport High School Gym. Several team and individual records were set.

 

Team members included Don Fisher, Mike Carroll, Gregg Derrer, Burnell Wehmeyer, Jim Ludwig, Jim Zuck, Gary Dambman, Duane Diehl, Mike Martz, Jeff Snyder, David Woessner, Duane Ludwig, Doug Jenkins, Rod Hartman, Terry Blair, and David Hill. The coaches were Terry Stroffregen and Jerry Jenkins.

 

Going into the Class A Sectional tournament, the 1972-73 Varsity Basketball Team had the best winning record in the state of Illinois with 24 wins and no losses. They won the first game of the sectional against Stockton, but then were told by the Illinois High School Association that they could no longer continue in tournament play because of the illegal play of a sophomore on the team. The obscure rule that had been broken had never been published in the official IHSA Handbook. The Lanark School Board decided to seek an injunction staying the IHSA ruling. On the day of the game, the team spent the afternoon in court, waiting for a ruling from the judge. The ruling was in favor of the Lanark team. The team and fans rushed to Port Byron to meet up with the Fulton Steamers for the sectional final. Unfortunately the team was defeated, ending a very exciting and successful season.

 

Members of the team were: Cory Hoffman, Richard Delp, Rod Hartman, R. Ortiz, Russell Newendyke, Mike Feltmeyer, P. Brantner, Mike Martz, R. McInnis, Mark Carroll, David Woessner, Doug Jenkins, and Duane Ludwig. The coach was Jerry Jenkins.

 
1928-29    N.R.A. District Champions                  Coaches names unavailable
1940-41    N.R.A. District Champions
1970-71    N.R.A. Stevenson Conf. Tny. Champs     Coach Terry Stroffregen
1971-72    25-1     Regional Champions               Coach Jerry Jenkins
1972-73    25-1     Regional Champions               Coach Jerry Jenkins 
1973-74    N.R.A. Regional Champions               Coach Jerry Jenkins 
1979-80    23-4     (Good Record)                           Coach Tom Welch
 
Coach Tom Welch would go on to have a successful coaching career with a stint in Flora as well. He had a career record of 407-141.
 
Boys Track & Field
 
1944-45    Howard Cassens         1 Mile Run         5th Place
 
Boys Wrestling
 
We have limited information on wrestling at Lanark High School.  We do know the first coach of this program was Kenneth Scott.  If you ahve any further information to share please drop us a line.
             
Girls Athletics   
 
In 1974, Title IX was passed, giving women the same opportunities to compete as the boys. In the fall of 1974, the first interscholastic teams for girls at Lanark High School began to compete. In the initial year, girls competed in volleyball and track & field. In 1976, basketball was added for girls' participation interscholastically.  Members of the first Lanark High School varsity team for girls were Leann Shaner, Renee Strohecker, Peggy Hartman, Deann Pollard, Laurie Young, Betty Grindey, Roxanne Smith, Lori Martz, Mary Heeren, Lynn Jones, Cindy Ludwig, Marcia Heeren, Kari Ewing, and Coach Linda Ludwig.
 
The Lanark HS Lady Beavers also faired quite well bringing home IHSA hardware in volleyball. One LHS athlete excelled in the State Track Meet. The lady athletic successes for Lanark High School are listed below.
 
Girls Volleyball
 
1974-75      N.R.A.      District Champions          Coach Linda Ludwig           
1981-82      N.R.A.      District Champions          Coach Linda Ludwig 
1982-83      N.R.A.      Regional Champions      Coach Linda Ludwig
1983-84      N.R.A.      Regional Champions      Coach Linda Ludwig
1984-85      N.R.A.      Regional Champions      Coach Linda Ludwig
 
Girls Track & Field
 
1985-86     Justina Appel         400 Meter Dash       4th Place
 
 
Distinguished Alumni
 

The Northwestern Illinois Sports Hall of  Fame was established in 1987 to honor individuals who have made a contribution to athletics in their communities. The following individuals have been selected for Lanark.

 

1988 – Conrad Aschenbrenner–taught Industrial Arts at Lanark High School from 1954-1986.  He coached fresh-soph football for two years and then was assigned to coach all junior high teams. He continued with these duties until 1981 when he took over the duties of head girls' basketball coach, which he did until his time of retirement. Conrad probably coached and influenced more young individuals than any other coach at Lanark. Asch is unable to report any records for his teams, as he would tell you wins and losses weren’t important–it was the everyday one-on-one!

 

1989Linda Ludwig–A 1970 graduate of Lanark High School, she was very active in the Girls Athletic Association. After graduating from college, Linda was the first coach for girls athletics at Lanark High School. She started the Volleyball, Basketball, and Track & Field programs. She continued with the volleyball program until the consolidation with Shannon High School in 1986. She had the privilege of coaching many talented young athletes. Her record for coaching volleyball was 181 wins and 82 losses. Her volleyball teams won 5 Regional Titles in 12 years.

 

1990 Keith Wall–is a 1958 graduate of Lanark High School. He earned 12 varsity letters in sports including basketball, football, baseball, and track. As a senior, he was selected as honorable mention all-state in basketball. While in college, he coached the Lanark town team during the summers. Keith coached for 33 years, 29 as a head coach and took 5 teams from Green Bay Preble High (Wisconsin) to the state tournament. He was selected to the Wisconsin High School Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame in 1997. One of his players made it to the NBA with the Charlotte Hornets and is now the associate head coach at Washington State University in the Pac-10 Conference, Tony Bennett. He was voted Mr. Basketball in the state of Wisconsin in 1988. The same year, Wall's team was rated #1 in the state for virtually the entire year as they took a 24-0 record to state.

 

1991 – Mel Hawbecker–was a 1959 graduate of Lanark High School. During his high school career, he participated in four years of football, basketball, and baseball. He attended Nebraska Wesleyan University, where he played three years of varsity basketball and baseball. The 1960-61 basketball team placed 4th in the nation in the NCAA Division III Tournament. Mel was selected to the Nebraska Wesleyan Hall of Fame as a member of the 1961-62 team that went 24-3. During his teaching career of 32 years, he was head basketball coach for 25 years, assistant football for 8, and head golf coach for 5 years. The honor of “Coach of the Year” at both conference and statewide districts in baseball were awarded to him in 1971, 1976, 1980, and 1986.

 

1992 – Ed Nelson-began his teaching career at Lanark in 1962. He was the assistant football coach under Wally Isham from 1967 to 1974. He recalls that prior to 1965, football games were played in the afternoon until lights were installed on the field. He became athletic director in 1968, which he continued until his retirement in 1995. Ed has a great recollection of sporting events and details that happened during his career.

 

1995 – Marilyn Berge–was a 1958 graduate of Lanark High School. Marilyn’s teaching career was in the Flanagan School District. She was the advisor for a very active Girls’ Athletic Association. In 1974, she started that girls’ interscholastic sports program at Flanagan and had many successful teams.  Upon retirement from teaching, Marilyn moved back to the Lanark community where she has taken an active interest in local sports.

 

1996 – Mike Mowen–was a 1968 graduate of Lanark High School, playing varsity football for 3 years. He continued to play football for 2 years at Rock Valley College and 2 years at the University of Wisconsin-Superior. In 1972, he was an Academic All-American. He has been a football coach at Winnebago High School for 25 years. Mike has been a paid or volunteer wrestling coach for 20 years and track for 10 years. He has been a volunteer softball coach for girls softball at Winnebago High School, summer leagues and traveling teams for 12 years.

 

1997 – Cindy Ludwig Tigges–a 1976 graduate of Lanark High School, she participated on the first volleyball, basketball, and track & field teams at Lanark.  Cindy holds the record at Lanark High School for the most points scored in one basketball game (41) and the highest point average per game (26). After graduating from college, she returned to Lanark to coach the frosh-soph volleyball and basketball teams. Cindy had a remarkable athletic career at Northwestern College where she is also a member of the Hall of Fame.

 

1998 – Kraig Kniss–was a 1976 graduate of Lanark High School. He had a very successful high school athletic career. As an adult, he has volunteered to coach youth football and assisted with the high school football programs.

 

1999 – Bill Miller–was a 1951 graduate of Lanark High School.

 

2000 -  Doug Johnson–was a 1973 graduate of Lanark High School, where he participated in high school athletics. After completing college, Doug returned to Lanark to teach and coach at Eastland High School (consolidated). He coached varsity football and girls softball. Doug coached several successful softball teams. In 2000 his Eastland team placed 2nd in the state.

 
Seeking More Information
 
We would like to thank Linda Ludwig and Chris Dertz for bringing to us most of this useful information that you see here. We hope you find the information as wonderful as us writers have. Thanks again!!!
 
We are always seeking more information regarding the city of Lanark and its high school. If you wish to share any information with us, please complete a School Submission Form or a Guest Commentary Form. As always, we are particularly interested in photos of the old high school building or of the successful sports teams or individuals at Lanark. You can e-mail us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.  You may also write us at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.     60631