Young America (Metcalf) High School* "Golden Eagles"

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Young America High School
Metcalf, Illinois

Metcalf School Memorial
Click Photo to View Enlarged Version

The History of Young America High School
Metcalf (population 213) is located in eastern Illinois in north-central Edgar County.  Metcalf is about 25 miles southwest of Danville and 35 miles southeast of Champaign. Further information on the town of Metcalf can be read on the Metcalf High School page also on this site. 
Hume is a town of 382 residents located in East Central Illinois, in far northern Edgar County.  It is approximately 29 miles southwest of Danville, approximately 29 miles east of Tuscola.  U.S. Route 36 is the main roadway leading to and from Hume  
The towns of Metcalf and Hume supported their own high schools from the late 1800s through the late 1940s.  A state-wide push was made to consolidate the country schools with the larger schools in established towns.  This effort also included the towns of Hume and Metcalf, as well as the township they are located in, Young America.  In 1949 this effort became a reality when Young America High School was established.  The high school was located in the Metcalf High School building. The Junior High was located in Hume.  Basketball games were played in the Hume School gymnasium. 
Young America High School served the towns of Hume, Metcalf, and the surrounding farm kids for 19 more years.  It was in the late 1960s that another round of consolidation talks began in the area.  In 1968 a new school district was formed between the towns of Brocton, Hume, Metcalf, and Redmon.  This effort joined the schools of Young America and Brocton-Redmon which resulted in the formation of the Shiloh School District.  
The Young America High School building (built in 1921) was fazed out of usage and, after serving for a period of time as a nursing home, unfortunately burned down. The memorial stones pictured above are the only reminder of this once proud school building.
Young America High School Quick Facts
Year Young America HS established:        1949
Year Young America closed:                    1968
Consolidated to:                                      Shiloh School District (Hume)
Young America HS Team nickname:         the "Golden Eagles"
School team colors:                                 Green & Gold
School Fight Song:                                   "YA Fight Song"
                                                                     Written by former music teacher Ernest Jones
                                                                     Submitted by alum Harold Stone
                                                                      G-O YA Lets GO YA
                                                                      You Know YA we can win today
                                                                      O-N YA Lets keep on marching
                                                                      March on to Victory RAH RAH
                                                                      For the glory of the Gold
                                                                      The glory of the Green
                                                                      March on you "Golden Eagle Team"
                                                                      We're proud of you Young America
                                                                      come on lets GO YA
                                                                      On YA
                                                                      Fight on to victory 
                                                                       RAH RAH
Young America High School offered basketball, track & field, and baseball (fall and spring). Football was also offered for a short period of time.  Young America competed in the Ambraw Valley Conference along with Brocton-RedmonChrisman, Kansas, Scottland, and WestfieldIt is not known for how long this conference existed, but it was in effect for sure from 1948 through 1968.
Young America HS played football for two years, 1957-58 and 1958-59. In 1957, because the Ambraw Valley conference members did not play football, YAHS also joined the East Central Conference and was a dual conference school from that point until it closed.

YAHS Basketball 1949-50

Boys Basketball
As with most of the smaller schools, basketball was the most anticipated and supported sport at Young America HS.  This was with good reason.  The Young America High School Golden Eagles won a total of three District titles in what was a real hotbed of small school basketball. 
One of the more interesting facts of YAHS basketball is that one of Illinois High School's most successful coaches began his career there.  You can read more about Coach Roger Beals below.  As you can see, the Young America kids went out fighting with winning records in each of their last four seasons as a high school.
*Interesting trivia - Harold Stone and Latham "Butch" Heath remember this bit of local basketball history:
"The winner of the Ambraw Valley Conference Tournament always advanced to the Wabash Valley Tourney which was western Indiana schools, we are just 20 miles or so from the Indiana line. One year the Ambraw winner, Kansas (led by center Dave Redmon and former Paris great - Coach Warren Collier), was beaten by 2 points in the Wabash Valley Championship game by Terre Haute Gerstmeyer AND that year Gerstmeyer went on to place second in the Indiana State Tournament...."
1949-50                     District Champs                         Coach John Brown      
1950-51                                                                       Coach John Brown
1951-52                                                                       Coach Carroll Dunn
1952-53                                                                       Coach Carroll Dunn
1953-54                                                                       Coach Eugene Berry
1954-55                                                                       Coach Eugene Berry
1955-56                                                                       Coach Max Swinford
1956-57                                                                       Coach Max Swinford
1957-58                                                                       Coach George Merrimac
1958-59                                                                       Coach Roy Hatfield
1959-60                                                                       Coach Lynn Viseur
1960-61                                                                       Coach Lynn Viseur
1961-62                    District Champs                           Coach Pete Cvengros     
1962-63                                                                        Coach Roger Beals
1963-64                                                                        Coach Roger Beals
1964-65  12 - 10                                                            Coach Roger Beals
1965-66  14 - 10                                                            Coach Roger Beals
1966-67  20 - 8        District Champs                              Coach Roger Beals
1967-68  16 - 7                                                              Coach Roger Beals
Coach Roger Beals began his legendary coaching career during the 1962-63 school year.  After his two initial campaigns began with sub-.500 records, Coach Beals led Young America to four consecutive winning seasons to close out the school's basketball history. In fact Coach Beals never had a losing record in any single season again. 
Coach Beals went on to coach at Mid-County Varna for a year before landing at Chrisman High School in 1969. Check out some of Coach Beals more incredible accomplishments in IHSA history.
  #1 all-time in consecutive winning seasons with 28 (the first four of the streak were at Young America!)
  #1 all-time consecutive 20+ game-winning seasons with 15 (1978-92 at Chrisman)
#12 all-time winning percentage .785 
#22 all-time in total number of wins in IHSA history with 638
#27 all-time in total wins at one school with 541 at Chrisman
And it all started for Coach Beals at Young America High School!

YAHS DIstrict Champs

Young America Eagles
1966-67 District Champs

The football program at Young America High was a short one.  For two seasons (one of which existed of one game) the Eagles battled with foes on the Autumn gridiron.  The boys of 1957-58 and 1958-59 had the numbers, but were not supported by school administrators.  After a short life, the football program at Young America High School was dropped for financial reasons.

Young America's Final Football Team 1958-59

Young America's First Football Squad 1957-58

Young America HS Band - 1954

According to alumnus (Class of 1954) Harold Stone Young America High School was also quite successful in music competition.  Mr. Stone's comments regarding this program are as follows:
"Young America was probably better known for a remarkable music department and won many band sweepstakes trophies in state music competition mostly under the direction of Music Instructor Ernest Jones."

Young America HS Band State Champs 1959

1959 Band Champions Newspaper Article

A newspaper article submitted to us by Carolyn Stone Pennington reports that Young America High won top honors in the 1959 Trenton State Music Finals! 
The championship did not come without a little behind the scenes excitement.  Bill Stone, the father of Carolyn Stone, was serving as driver / chaperone for the team and was the proud father of three daughters (Carolyn, Charlotte, and Sharon) who were members of the band. Upon arriving at the site of the competition in Trenton Carolyn informed her father she had forgotten her clarinet sheet music at home.  Without it the clarinet trio set to perform would be unable to compete.  Band director Mr. Ernest Jones  who was able to get the clarinet trio's assigned time moved back while Mr. Stone was sent on a mission to buy the correct music "across the bridge" into St. Louis, Missourri, the closest music store in the area.  Bill Stone was given the directions by Mr. Jones and had to decipher between the three bridge crossings that could take him into St. Louis that day.  Bill was resourceful and was able to find the music store and return to the competition with time to spare.  The Clarinet trio of Carolym Stone, Kathy Galway, and Larry Fogerson received a superior rating for their performance and the band won the championship by one point, 70 - 69 over Lovington.  Bill Stone and his 1956 tan and coppertone Chevy saved the day for Young America High! 
Thank you to Carolyn Stone Pennington for sharing this wonderful story!!   
The following is a list of the Young America High School music teachers:
1949-50 - Ernest Jones
1950-51 - Ernest Jones
1951-52 - Ernest Jones
1952-53 - Ernest Jones
1953-54 - Ernest Jones
1954-55 - Ernest Jones
1955-56 - Ernest Jones
1956-57 - Ernest Jones
1957-58 - Ernest Jones
1958-59 - Ernest Jones
1959-60 - Ernest Jones
1960-61 - Darrell Trimble
1961-62 - Darrell Trimble
1962-63 - Darrell Trimble
1963-64 - Darrell Trimble
1964-65 - Peggy Neal Klein
1965-66 - Jerome C. Hood
1966-67 - Jerome C. Hood
1967-68 - Gary Williamson - Band
1967-68 - Mary Morris - Chorus
Famous Alumni
Dr. Ted Cohen (Class of 1956) - PHD Philosophy from Harvard Uiversity, Professor at the University of Chicago
Dr. Dave Lange (Class of 1956) - Internationally known lecturer and Professor of Law, Duke University
School Administrators
Below is a list of all YAHS Principals and ECCU#2 Supts which included YAHS.
                                      YA Principal                 Superintendent
1949-50                      Carl Forrester                 Charles C. Newman
1950-51                      Charles C. Newman        Charles C. Newman
1951-52                      Charles C. Newman        Charles C. Newman
1952-53                      Carroll L. Dunn               Charles C. Newman
1953-54                      Peyton Holaday              Charles Watson
1954-55                      Peyton Holaday              Charles Watson
1955-56                      Peyton Holaday              Charles Watson
1956-57                      Peyton Holaday              Charles Watson
1957-58                      Paul Preston                   Peyton Holaday
1958-59                      Paul Preston                   Peyton Holaday
1959-60                      Henry Grice                    Peyton Holaday
1960-61                      Henry Grice                    Peyton Holaday
1961-62                      Edmond Bowling            Henry Grice
1962-63                      Edmond Bowling            Henry Grice
1963-64                      Edmond Bowling            Henry Grice
1964-65                      Charles  Voorhees          Henry Grice
1965-66                      Darrell Brown                 Henry Grice
1966-67                      Max Jewell                     Henry Grice
1967-68                      Max Jewell                     Henry Grice
From Class of 1963 alum Jim Palmer:
"The graduating class of 1963 was unusual in that there were 15 graduates of which there was only one girl - 14 boys and 1 girl !
Also, since Brocton-Redmon High School and Young American High School were in the same school district, they had a joint annual each year and prom. The prom location alternated each year between the gym in Hume and the gym at Brocton-Redmon High School."

Young America HS Class of 1956
Submitted by Missy Litteral

If You Have ANY Information You Would Like To Share
We are looking for a photo of the original Young America High School building and any other facts about the school.  Please write to us at if you wish to share any further information about Young America HS. You can also write to us at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.  60631

Metcalf School Memorial
Click Photo to View Enlarged Version