Yorkwood High School "Golden Bears"

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Yorkwood High School Complex 1969 - 2007

Kirkwood HS Building
Served as Yorkwood School Grades 7 - 9 from 1960 - 1969

The History of Monmouth Yorkwood High School
Kirkwood (population 794) is located in upper-western Illinois in the east-central portion of Warren County. Towns of note near Kirkwood include Monmouth (seven miles to the northeast) and Galesburg (twenty miles to the northeast). The town is located on U.S. Route 34 at County Roads 160th Avenue and 20th Street. The A,T & SF Railroad runs through Kirkwood, & a branch of the South Henderson Creek flows through Kirkwood's east side.

Little York HS Building
Served as Yorkwood HS Grades 10 - 12 from 1960 - 1969

Little York (population 269) is located on Il. Route 135 approximately 10 miles north of U.S. Route 34.  The nearest town of note is Monmouth which is about 8 miles to the southeast of Little York. The Cedar Creek runs to the north of town and Davids Creek to the south.  Little York is located in northwestern Warren County.
Each of these towns at one time supported their own high school.  They each have their own pages on this site.  You can view these pages by "right clicking" on the town's name listed in bold letters above.
The following history of Yorkwood High School (so named by combing parts of both town's names: Little YORK and KirkWOOD) was provided to us by a former student of all three schools, Mike Edwards:
"These seperate elementary and high school districts continued to operate until 1960 when the Yorkwood School district was formed. This was the combination of the Little York and Kirkwood schools. During  the first years of the new district which encompassed grades K-12, the kindergarten through sixth grade grade went to the respective elementary buildings. Grades seven and grade eight went to the Kirkwood High School, while grades nine through twelve attended classes in the Little York High School building.
The combined enrollment of the whole school unit was over 650 students. The faculty consisted of 38 people whose salaries ranged from $4,000 to $7,900. The Unit Superintendent was Edward Johnson and the principal of the high school was Paul Luckenbill with Leo Clements as principal of the junior high; Mary Johnson ws  the principal of the Kirkwood grades and Elizabeth Waugh was th principal of the Little York grades. Park Byers was the assistant superintendent and hot lunch manager.
The school also employed a full-time nurse, five janitors, four cooks and three secretaries.
In  the fall of 1969 the Yorkwood Junior-Senior High School for grades 7-12 opened. Its cost was $970,000. The elementary grades continued to use Little York Elementary School, the Kirkwood Elementary School and the Yorkwood Middle School (formerly the Little York High School) until  the end of the 1978-1979 school year.
In the fall of 1979 the new Yorkwood Elementary School for grades K-6, recently constructed to thw west of the Yorkwood High School, was occupied by the elementary school students of the Little York and Kirkwood areas. Its cost was $1,550,000.
The Yorkwood school district will not exist after this year. They are being merged with another school district due to declining student size and increased costs.
I hope this helps fill out some of the history of the school building and school district. It starts out with Little York High School and Kirkwood High School. They were merged into Yorkwood (York from Little York, wood from Kirkwood). The new district then built a new high school in the middle of the country half way between Little York and Kirkwood on IL Route 94. The older buildings were then reassigned grades. I went to school in Little York at the original building until 7th grade and then got bussed to Kirkwood for grade 8. The Kirkwood High School had a very large crack on the East side of the building between the library on the second floor and the classroom on the 3rd floor. It was big enough that you could drop a pencil from the 3rd floor and someone might be able to catch it in the library. The State then said the building was uninhabitable and then we got moved to old Little York high school building until the new Yorkwood High School on State Route 94 was ready. We were the first graduating class in the new school. We actually got to skip class to help work on the new gymnasium floor. I helped set up the cushioned wood floor in the new gym."
You can check out the Yorkwood High School website while it is still up at http://www.yorkwood225.net/jr_sr_high.html .
Monmouth Yorkwood High School Quick Facts
Year opened:                            1960
Year closed:                             2007
Consolidated to:                        (Alexis) United School District
Yorkwood HS team nicknname:  the "Golden Bears"
Yorkwood HS team colors:         Purple & Gold
Yorkwood HS fight song:            "We're From Yorkwood High School"
                                               (TUNE OF WASHINGTON & LEE SWING)
                                               Oh, we're from Yorkwood High School, proud to say,
                                               We're gonna win this game, we're on our way!
                                               For we are all behind you, lead the way,
                                               So come on boys let's go and win that game today,
                                               We'll sweep the Warren team right off their feet!
                                               You know our Golden Bears just can't be beat!
                                               As gold and purple banners proudly fly (proudly fly)
                                               Go, fight Bears!
                                                      Followed by the chant:
                                               B-E-A-R-S Yorkwood Golden Bears are best!

The Golden Bears of Monmouth Yorkwood High School had many seasons of greatness in several different sports.  The Yorkwood athletes won a STATE CHAMPIONSHIP as well as several other trophys during IHSA competition (www.ihsa.org).  The boys competed in football, basketball, and track for sure.  The girls competed in volleyball, basketball, and track.  Baseball and softball may have been offered as well.  Several team season records, coach's names, and the school fight song are all items we are interested in sharing on this page.
Let's "cut to the chase".  The Golden Bears had a great reputation in the sport of boys football.  The grid iron greats of 1983 proved that this reputation was well-deserved.  It was this year that Yorkwood High School enjoyed an undefeated season and an IHSA Class 1A State Championship.  The program enjoyed a total of three undefeated regular seasons in all.  Overall the school sported a won-loss record of 241 - 184 - 6  for a .561 winning percentage in its 47 seasons of existence.  The school seasonal records and coach's names, as listed on the IHSA website, are in turn, list below.
1960-61    7 - 0       Undefeated Season                           Coach Ray Pearson
1961-62    4 - 2 - 1                                                            Coach Ray Pearson
1962-63    3 - 5                                                                 Coach Ray Pearson
1963-64    1 - 6 - 1                                                            Coach Delbert Pruit
1964-65    7 - 1                                                                 Coach Delbert Pruit
1965-66    6 - 1 - 1                                                            Coach Carl Goff
1966-67    8 - 0       Undefeated Season                           Coach Carl Goff
1967-68    3 - 3 - 2                                                            Coach Steve Johnson
1968-69    6 - 2                                                                 Coach Steve Johnson
1969-70    3 - 5                                                                 Coach Steve Johnson
1970-71    2 - 5                                                                 Coach John McIntyre
1971-72    4 - 4                                                                 Coach John McIntyre
1972-73    6 - 3                                                                 Coach John McIntyre
1973-74    2 - 7 - 1                                                            Coach John McIntyre
1974-75    0 - 9                                                                 Coach Ron Goodwin
1975-76    4 - 5                                                                 Coach Ron Goodwin
1976-77    8 - 1                                                                 Coach Ron Goodwin
1977-78  10 - 1     IHSA Class 1A Playoff Qualifier            Coach Ron Goodwin
                           Elite 8 Finalist
                           Beat Buda Western 6 - 0 (2 O/T)
                           Lost to Genoa Kingson 13 - 9
                           Genoa Kingston eventual State Champ

1978-79    4 - 5                                                                 Coach Steve Graves
1979-80    1 - 8                                                                 Coach Steve Graves
1980-81    6 - 3                                                                 Coach Steve Graves
1981-82    7 - 2                                                                 Coach Steve Graves
1982-83  10 - 1     IHSA Class 1A Qualifier                       Coach Steve Graves
                           Lost to Gridley 12 - 10
1983-84  13 - 0     IHSA CLASS 1A STATE CHAMPIONS!! Coach Steve Graves
                           Beat Avon 37 - 0
                           Beat Concord Triopia 10 - 0
                           Beat Oakland 44 - 0
                           Beat Maroa-Forsyth 12 - 6 (O/T)

Yorkwood HS State Football Champions (Seniors) '83
Submitted by Dave Armstrong

1984-85    8 - 2     IHSA Class 1A Qualifier                       Coach Steve Graves
                           Lost to Carthage Han. Cent. 19 - 0
                           Carthage Finished Second
1985-86  10 - 2     IHSA Class 1A Qualifier                        Coach Steve Graves
                           Final Four Finalist
                           Beat Table Grove VIT 20 - 7
                           Beat Roseville 34 - 0
                           Beat Atkinson 28 - 8
                           Lost to Durand 6 - 0
                           Durand Finished Second
1986-87    0 - 9                                                                  Coach Mike High
1987-88    4 - 4                                                                  Coach Mike High
1988-89    3 - 6                                                                  Coach Larry Keener
1989-90    2 - 7                                                                  Coach Lyle Pierce
1990-91    4 - 5                                                                  Coach Lyle Pierce
1991-92    2 - 7                                                                  Coach Lyle Pierce
1992-93    4 - 5                                                                  Coach Lyle Pierce
1993-94    5 - 4                                                                  Coach Lyle Pierce
1994-95    5 - 4                                                                  Coach Lyle Pierce
1995-96    3 - 6                                                                  Coach Lyle Pierce
1996-97    6 - 3                                                                  Coach Lyle Pierce
1997-98    7 - 4     IHSA Class 1A Qualifier                        Coach Lyle Pierce
                           Sweet 16 Finalist
                           Beat Polo 15 - 14
                           Lost to Arcola 47 - 25
1998-99    4 - 5                                                                  Coach Lyle Pierce
The fall of 1998 was the last season in which Yorkwood fielded its own football team.  The fall of 1999 saw the creation of the Yorkwood-Roseville football co-op. 
As the Yorkwood - Roseville Co-op: 
1999-00    6 - 4     IHSA Class 1A Qualifier                        Coach Lyle Pierce
                           Lost to Galena 40 - 14
                           Galena Finished Second
2000-01    6 - 4     IHSA Class 1A Qualifier                        Coach Lyle Pierce
                           Lost to Sciota NW  39 - 8
                           Sciota NW Finished Second 

2001-02  10 - 2      IHSA Class 1A Qualifier                        Coach Lyle Pierce
                            Elite 8 Finalist
                            Beat Virden 36 - 0
                            Beat Rowva 31 - 21
                            Lost to Monmouth Warren 35 - 8
                            Warren lost in Final Four Round 
2002-03  10 - 1      IHSA Class 2A Qualifier                       Coach Lyle Pierce
                            Sweet 16 Finalist
                            Beat Dakota 42 - 24
                            Lost to North Boone 34 - 20
2003-04    8 - 2      IHSA Class 1A Qualifier                       Coach Lyle Pierce
                            Lost to Flanagan 25 - 21
2004-05    5 - 5      IHSA Class 1A Qualifier                       Coach Fred Lucas
                            Lost to Princeville 41 - 24
At the end of the 2005 school year, Roseville consolidated with Monmouth.  Yorkwood co-oped with Joy Westmer for its final two seasons.
As Yorkwood - Westmer Co-op:
2005-06    1 - 8                                                                 Coach Fred Lucas
2006-07    3 - 6                                                                 Coach Fred Lucas
The fall of 2006 saw the last football team with kids of Yorkwood High take the field.
*We are told the Golden Bears did not lose a home game at any level in football during the fall in the years of 1982-1985.

The lady netters brought home two Regional Championships for the Yorkwood Golden Bears.  Team records and coach's names of these and other great volleyball teams of YHS are needed.
1994-95            Regional Champions 
1995-96            Regional Champions 
The Golden Bears of the basketball court had several excellent seasons listed on the IHSA website.  Among those seasons were two District titles and a Regional Championship.  The program also achieved two 20+ win seasons under the leadership of Steve Kemp in the early 2000s.
1962-63                District Champions
1963-64                District Champions
1977-78   12 - 12                                                  Coach Neil Alexander
1978-79     4 - 19                                                  Coach Neil Alexander
1981-82     7 - 13                                                  Coach Ray Leng
1982-83   14 - 10                                                  Coach Tim Breshanhan
1983-84   10 - 10                                                  Coach Roger Hayne
1985-86     5 - 13                                                  Coach  Tim Lafferty
1986-87     4 - 16                                                  Coach  Jim Simpson
1996-97   24 - 1    Undefeated Regular Season   Coach Jeff Houston 
1997-98               Won over 20 games                   Coach Jeff Houston
1998-99   18 - 8                                                    Coach Jeff Houston
2001-02   14 - 15                                                  Coach Steve Kemp
2002-03   20 - 12   Regional Champions              Coach Steve Kemp
2003-04   14 - 13                                                  Coach Steve Kemp
2004-05   22 - 5                                                    Coach Steve Kemp
The girls basketball program won a Regional title under the original one class system for the IHSA playoffs in 1977.  Coach Fred Lucas led the program to a nice record in 2001-02 as well.
1976-77                 Regional Champions
2001-02   17 - 11                                           Coach Fred Lucas
Three individuals earned medals for the Golden Bears at the IHSA State Class 'A' track meet. Cort Mills in fact, as a member of the Monmouth - Yorkwood co-op won a state championship in the High Jump!! Their excellent accomplishments are listed below.
1975-76     Marty Kind         Triple Jump            4TH Place
1983-84     Jim Rowley        400 Meter Dash      3RD Place
1995-96     Cort Mills            High Jump             7TH Place
1996-97     Cort Mills            High Jump             STATE CHAMPION!!
Jane Brooks carried the torch for the girls track program.  She medaled in two different events in two different years.  One medal was earned in the one-class system, the other under the banner of Class 'A'. 
1976-77        Jane Brooks           High Jump        8TH Place
1978-79A      Jane Brooks           Long Jump       7TH Place
The Yorkwood kids won a District title in the Speech Individual Events competition in 1967-68.  This is the only information we have on this category at this time.
1967-68        District Champions
From Barb Harris (Yorkwood HS Class of 1967):
"When the school districts of Little York and Kirkwood combined to form the Yorkwood School District, grades 7, 8 and 9 went to Kirkwood and 10, 11, 12 went to Little York.  I remember this because I was in 9th grade when President Kennedy was shot and I recall sitting in the Home Ec room when the principal came around to tell us. I graduated high school in 1967. The Kirkwood High School building was converted into the junior high for grades 7, 8 and 9 after it was no longer being used as Kirkwood High School."
Please write to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net if you have ANY further information on Monmouth Yorkwood High School. Photos of the high school building are always a great addition. You can write to us via "real" mail at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.  60631
Yorkwood High School Football Banquet Program of 1969
(Submitted by Mike Edwards)
Nov. 8, 1969

Welcome - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Roy Asplund, Principal
Toastmaster - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Louis Wallace, Superintendent

Cheerleader Awards - - - - - - - - - - Mrs. Donna Spears
Freshman-Sophomore Awards - - - - -Paul Mulcahey
Varsity Awards - - - - - - - - - - - - - -Steve Johnson

Athletic Director,Coach - - - - - - - - - Steve Johnson
Asst Coach - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - Paul Mulcahey
Cheerleader Sponsor - - - - - - - - - - -Mrs. Donna Spears

Kevin Becker               John McCann
Tom Bertleson             Rex Mills
Tim Byrnes                 Jim Missavage
Bruce Carver               Ron Mohr
Mike Edwards             Doug Nelson
Blaine Faudree            David Simmons
Mark Free                   Jim Simpson
Jim Flynn                    Joe Simpson
Dave Gillen                 Eric Swenson
Ray Gillen                  Randy Swenson
Garry Gipson              Rodney Tapscott
Jim Gunter                 Bill Tucker
John Hennenfent         Dean Watkins
Gary Hickerson          Ed Williams
Jim Lauver                 Ron Williams
Dave Lefler

Karl Payne Bruce Miller
Kenneth Presswood

Jane Missavage Katy Ross LaDonna Haar
Peggy Lauver Pat Avery

Mary Missavage Karen Smith Karen Edwards
Sally Bertelsen Pat Tinkham

1969 Scoreboard
Yorkwood 0 Rockridge 28
Yorkwood 6 LaHarpe 19
Yorkwood 26 R.M.A. 7
Yorkwood 12 Union 6
Yorkwood 6 Stronghurst 28
Yorkwood 36 Media 14
Yorkwood 6 Roseville 20
Yorkwood 0 Warren 6