Ava High School "Redwings"

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Ava High School Building
avahsbuildingdav.jpg
Submitted by Jamie Driskill

The History of Ava High School
 
Ava (population 662) is located in far southwestern Illinois about 15 miles southwest of DuQuoin.  The Illinois Routes 4 and 151 intersect in this northwestern Jackson County town.  The Spring Creek flows through Ava and the illinois Central Gulf Railroad has a branch line that reaches the western edge of town.
 
The history of Ava and its school system are in need of research.  We are certain that Ava had at least a grade school in effect by the late 1800s.   We are also certain that high school curriculum was introduced by the late 1800s or at least early 1900s.  Ava High School served the students and townspeople of Ava for about 5 decades.  It was in the late 1940s, we believe, that consolidation talks began between several schools in the Ava area began.  The talks resulted in the creation of the Trico School District.  We estimate this consolidation effort took place in the summer of 1948.  The high school for the new district is located in Campbell Hill. 

Vicki Delinger provided the following historical information regarding the Ava school:

"After high school consolidation, the school was K-8. In the 70’s, a junior high was built, attached to the high school, and grades 7-8 from all 5 towns in the district went there. My dad taught at the grade school and then at the jr high. He was also the basketball coach there and at the jr high. If it’s of interest, I must have photos somewhere or dad does.

Ava’s colors were red and white. They were the Ava Redwings. (When the new high school and then jr high opened, colors are blue and gold and they are the Pioneers.) I’m pretty sure Ava’s school fight song was an adaptation of the Notre Dame fight song.

At some point in the mid-70’s or so, Percy, Cutler, and Willisville grade schools were closed. Elementary students in the district were divided between the other two towns. I think K-3 at Campbell Hill and then 4-6 at Ava. My mom taught grade 4 at Campbell Hill before being moved to grade 4 at Ava.

Not sure of year, but a new elementary school was built near the high school and junior high. Maybe about 1979? All district elementary students are now bussed there.

The Ava Grade School was torn down after the new elementary school was built."
 
If you have information on the history of Ava High School, especially a photo of the high school building, please contact us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net . 
 
Ava High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                                 late 1800s / early 1900s
Year closed:                                  1948
Consolidated to:                            Trico School District  (Campbell Hill)
Ava HS team nickname:                "Redwings"
Ava HS team colors:                      Red & White
School Fight Song:                        Cheers, Cheers for Old Ava High!
Athletics
 
Ava High School definitely competed in boys basketball.  As with most small schools on this site, we believe that baseball and track were also offered.  School team nickname, team colors, fight song, team records, and coach's names are all items we are searching for. 
 
Boys Basketball
 
The Ava High School boys basketball team certainly gave the hometown folks a reason to cheer in the late 1930s.  The team of 1937-38 won a District Championship (www.ihsa.org) allowing them to advance to the Regional against the "big boys".  Unfortunately this is currently the extent of the information we have on Ava High School sports.  team records and coach's names of this and other great AVA teams are being sought.
 
1931-32              Pinckneyville District Tournament        Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd Beat Cutler 21-19
                           2nd Rd lost to Percy 37-19
                           Marissa beat DuQuoin in title game.
 
1932-33              DuQuoin District Tournament               Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd lost to DuQuoin 30-13
                           Hurst-Bush beat Murphysboro in title game
 
1933-34              DuQuoin District Tournament               Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd Beat Tamoroa 31-25
                           2nd Rd lost to Pinckneyville 56-19
                           DuQuoin beat Ziegler in title game.
 
1934-35  District scores, coach's name, and record needed.
 
1935-36              Steeleville District Tournament             Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd lost to Grand Tower 30-14
                           Wolf Lake beat Gorham in title game
 
1936-37              Pinckneyville District Tournament        Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd Beat Percy 28-19
                           remaining scores needed
 
1937-38              Campbell Hill District Tournament        Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd Beat Steeleville 27-21
                           remaining scores needed
                          
1938-39              District Champions                             Coach's name & record needed.
                           District Scores Needed
                           DuQuoin Regional Qualifier
                           1st Rd lost to DuQuoin 50-12
                           DuQuoin beat Ashley in title game
 
1939-40  District scores, coach's name, and record needed.
1940-41  District scores, coach's name, and record needed.
1941-42  District scores, coach's name, and record needed.
 
1942-43              Hurst District Tournament                     Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd Beat Cambria 43-29
                           Semi-final lost to Valier 62-32
                           Valier beat Hurst-Bush in title game
 
1943-44  District scores, coach's name, and record needed.
 
1944-45              Gorham  District Tournament                Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd lost to Alto Pass 41-35
                           Alto Pass beat Gorham in title game
 
1945-46              Hurst  District Tournament                     Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd lost to Vergennes 51-35
                           Royalton beat Alto Pass in title game
 
1946-47              Vergennes District Tournament             Coach's name & record needed
                           1st Rd Beat Grand Tower 52-48
                           Semi-final lost to Hurst-Bush 47-39
                           Hurst-Bush beat Royalton in title game
 
1947-48              Hurst  District Tournament                     Coach's name & record needed
                           *1st Rd lost to Grand Tower 67-42
                           Hurst-Bush beat Royalton in title game
 
*Last boys basketball game for Ava High School. Became part of the Trico High School District in the summer of 1948.
 
Need More Information
 
Ava High School has to have a good alumni base to provide some excellent information regarding their alma mater. How about the school colors, fight song, many conference championships, and even the non-sports related accomplishments of the school's history?  You can e-mail information (as well as a photo of the school building) to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.   You can also write to us at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.   60631