Roberts-Thawville High School "Leprechauns"

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Roberts-Thawville High School
Roberts, Illinois

Superintendent Fred Crouch 1949 - 1974
R-THS' ONLY Superindendent

The History of Roberts - Thawville High School 
The history of the towns of Roberts and Thawville can be viewed on their individual pages contained on this site. The High Schools of the two towns consolidated after the 1949 school year ended to form the Roberts-Thawville School District. The high school for the District was located in Roberts with the grade school located in Thawville.
Richard Long, a former teacher at the Roberts-Thawville and Ford Central high schools, tells us that in the early 1970's, consolidation talks arose between Piper City and Roberts-Thawville schools.  In 1974, this effort became a reality, resulting in the creation of the Ford Central School District.  The high school for the Ford Central District was located in Piper City.
In 1992 the Ford Central School District was disolved by the state and the students from Piper City were annexed into the Tri-Point School District (Cullom), the Thawville students into the Iroquois West District (Gilman) and the Roberts students into the Paxton-Buckley-Loda District (Paxton).
An interesting fact of Roberts-Thawville HS was sent to us by Richard T. Long regarding R-THS Superintendent Fred Crouch:
"J. Fred Crouch served as the Superintendent and High School Principal of Roberts-Thawville District all 25 years of its existance. I don't know if this a record or not, but think it is well worth including. He came from the southern Illinois town of Sessor to teach in Thawville. He also served as Superintendent of the Ford Central District for its first three years."
Roberts - Thawville High School Quick Facts
Year opened:            1949
Year closed:             1974
School nickname:      the "Leprechauns"
School colors:           Green & White
School Fight Song:    "Hail to Thee Old R-T High School"
                                           Sung to the tune "Wave the Flag"
                                           Words provided by Sandra Kay, Class of 1960
                                Hail to thee old R-T High School
                                We hail thy colors true
                                To these colors we'll be always
                                Loyal and true blue
                                 (you! rah! rah!)

                                Ne'er oh ne'er shall we forget, 
                                The best school in the land
                                Dear old Roberts Thawville High School 
                                For you we'll take our stand. 

Roberts-Thawville Gymnasium - Westside View

Roberts-Thawville HS Sweaters


It is known that Roberts-Thawville High School competed in basketball during its hey day. In fact, the boys' team brought home 4 District titles in the 1950's and 2 more District titles in the early 1960's. There was no other accomplishments listed for any other sport at the school on the IHSA web site ( It is thought the school offered track, baseball, and possibly football. If you have any information you can share regarding this topic, please follow the directions below.
Boys' Basketball
The boys' basketball team at R-THS had some incredibly great seasons. In one three-year run, the team AVERAGED 27 wins and 4 losses each year! This was during a four-year reign as District Champs from 1954-57. The team was coached from 1954-61 by Ernie Warren, who ended his time at Roberts-Thawville with a record of 161-59.

Roberts-Thawville High School Monogram

Another fact regarding the history of Roberts-Thawville High School is that Coach Jim Matta began his teaching and coaching career at R-THS in 1960. Coach Matta began raising his family while at R-THS until he eventually moved on to Hoopeston-East Lynn High School to continue his career. One of his children, Thad, is currently the Head Basketball Coach at Ohio State University. 
The better teams and IHSA successes of R-THS are listed below.
1953-54       9-17       District Champions       Coach Ernie Warren
1954-55     28-  4       District Champions       Coach Ernie Warren
1955-56     26-  4       District Champions       Coach Ernie Warren
1956-57     27-  4       District Champions       Coach Ernie Warren
1957-58     17-  7       (good record)                  Coach Ernie Warren
1958-59     19-  7       (good record)                  Coach Ernie Warren
1959-60     16-  9       District Champions       Coach Ernie Warren
1960-61     19-  7       DIstrict Champions       Coach Ernie Warren
1966-67     22-  4       (good record)                  Coach James Matta
1970-71     20-  6       (good record)                  Coach Leonard McKean 
1971-72     19-  6       (good record)                  Coach Leonard McKean
Great Coach
Ernie Warren  -  Boys' Basketball   1953-54 through 1960-61
                          Record 161 - 59   (eight seasons)
                          Six District Championships
                          Three consecutive 25+ games-won seasons (1956-58)

Team of 1964-65 - Record 16 - 9
Head Coach James Matta

District Champions - 1960-61
Head Coach Ernie Warren

Leprechauns of 1969-70 - Record 18 - 8
Head Coach Leonard McKean

More Roberts High School Academic and Athletic Records
An excellent document was sent to us by Richard & Carol Long. This is an thorough and well-documented account of some of the R-THS High School records in sports and academics.


9  -   National Merit scholars

75 -  State scholars

3   -  Vermiliion Valley Basketball Tourney championships

5   -  Conference track championships

2   -  R-T Baseball championship trophies

12 -  State music sweepstakes awards

1   -  Class D state music championship

1   -  State Agriculture Mechanics Championships (FFA)

3   - National FFA 10th  place finishes  - AG MECH TEAM



1950      Eugenie Jones             Donna Havener

1951      Roma Underwood        Wanda Hoover

1952      Wanda Hicks              Ruth Holy

1953      Donna Jennings          Robert Shambrook

1954      Audrey Eshleman        Joyce Hildenbrand

1955      Jeanette Dodd             Carol Reed

1956      Leola Hoppler              Lee McNeil

1957      Carol Bertram              Tomola Dodd

1958       Ruth Giese                 Gynell Zick

1959       Judy Dodd                  Shirley Yana

1960       George Veatch            Donna Lee & Dawn Veatch

1961       Alan Evans                  Martha Black & Mary Kietzman

1962       Ella Jo Crouch             Gloria Sturm

1963       Roger David                 Gail Cook

1964       William Veatch            Sharon Bennett

1965       LaVonne Lee               David Turner

1966       Carolyn Crouch            Alan Sans & Terry Zivney

1967       Michael Weber             Allen Harvey

1968       Robert Veatch              Thomas Schwarz

1969       Marsha Niles                John Rulison

1970       Stephen Flessner          Sara Crouch

1971       Mary Rock                    Becky Sans

1972       Stephen Rock               Naomi Crouch

1973       Colleen Rock                 Lucinda Rulison

1974       Lynn Saxma                  Joyce Stamm



Allan Evans

William Little

William Veatch

Terry Zivney

Robert Veatch


Allen Evans

William Veatch

James Veatch

LaVonne Lee

Robert Garrelts

David Turner

John Rulison

Michael Weber

Stephen Flessner

Lynn Allen


Carolyn Crouch

Alan Sans

Betty Roetzel

Marsha Niles

Karen Flessner

Cheryl Fuoss

Naomi Crouch


Allan Evans            Robert Currie

George Veatch       LaVonne Lee

James Veatch        Gregory Steigman

William Veatch       Harry Danforth

Jerry Natterstad


Robert Currie
LaVonne Lee
Gregory Steigman




Vermillion Valley Conference Champions

1955, 1957, 1967 (Tied with Forrest-Strawn-Wing)

Vermillion Valley Conference Tourney Champions

1961, 1970, 1971

District Champions

1954, 1955, 1956, 1957, 1960, 1961

Individual scoring record

Ray Johnson

Game high – 44 points (1972)

Season average – 32 (1972)

Team scoring record

1972 – 105 points

Team with best record

1955 – 28 won – 4 lost


YEAR          Record              COACH

1949-50       11-  9                  Buckner (25-17)

1950-51       14-  9                            "

1951-52       13-  7                  Blakeley (22-19)

1952-53         9-12                             "

1953-54         9-17                  Warren (161-59)

1954-55       28-  4                             "

1955-56       26-  4                             "

1956-57       27-  5                             "

1957-58       17-  7                             "

1958-59       19-  7                             "

1959-60       16-10                             "

1960-61       19-  8                             "

1961-62         6-15                  Matta (80-65)

1962-63         6-15                             "

1963-64       15-10                             "

1964-65       16-  9                             "

1965-66       15-12                             "

1966-67        22- 4                             "

1967-68          6-17                 McKean (77-93)

1968-69          6-18                             "

1969-70        18-  8                             "

1970-71         20- 6                             "

1971-72         19- 6                             "

1972-73           6-17                            "

1973-74           2-21                              "

Overall Record     365- 253


R-T 29 21 Chatsworth

R-T 33 30 Melvin-Sibley

R-T 14 16 F-S-W

R-T 41 12 Piper City




Vermillion Valley Conference championship   -   1972

Vermillion Valley Conference tourney champs -  1970

Team scoring record

20 runs – 1972

Pitching record

Randy Higgins – 8 won – 0 lost – 1972


Individual record – boys

Mark Gordon – 2.5 M – 14:14 (1973)

Individual record – girls

Beth A Kietzman – 1.7M – 11:10 (1973)


(Prior to 1974 Season)

Vermillion Valley Conference meet champions

1959, 1960, 1961, 1963, 1964, 1967, 1971

Individual Records

100 – yd dash – D. Perkinson – 10.1 (1967)

220 – yd dash – D. Perkinson – 22.6 (1967)

440 – yd dash – R. Manahan – 53.6 (1963)

880 – yd dash – W. Manahan – 2:06.1 (1960)

1 Mile run – L. Flessner – 4:47.1 (1963)

2– mile run – W. Kaeding – 11:26.5 (1971)

70 – yd high hurdles – R. Little – 9.4 (1964)

120 - yd high hurdles-15.5

W. Manahan (1960) & E. Stiegman (1970-71)

120 – yd low hurdles – E. Stiegman -14.4 (1971)

180 – yd low hurdles – E Stiegman – 21.6 (1971)

V. 440 – yd relay – 48.8 (1972)

K. Warlow, Jon Harris, R. Sans, D. Smith

F.S. 440- yd relay – 49.2 (1971)

Jeff Bristle, Tom Rock, R. Sans, D. Smith

F. 440- yd relay – 50.5 (1970)

Jeff Bristle, Tom Rock, R. Sans, D. Smith

V. 880 – yd relay – 1:39.3 (1965)

Jerry Sturm, D. Perkinson, E. Houtzel, D. Zick

F.S. 880 – yd relay – 1:42.3

Jerry Sturm, L. Hall, R. Hanna, D. Zick (1963)

Jeff Bristle, Tom Rock, K. Warlow, D. Smith (1971)

V. 1 mile relay – 3:46.0 – (1971)

M. Jordan, Tom Rock, R. Sans, M. Tammen

F.S. 1 mile relay – 4:04.5 – (1970)

Tom Rock, T. Fritchley, W. Kaeding, R. Sans

Shot put – Gene Weber – 47’ 8"- (1960)

Discus throw – Gene Weber - 144’ 6" – (1960)

High Jump – A. Sans – 6’ 2" – (1966)

Pole vault – L. Trees – 12’ – (1969)

Long jump – Morris Tammen – 21’ (1971)


Thank you to Richard & Carol Long for their excellent contributions to the R-THS page!!

Roberts-Thawville Elementary School
Thawville, Illinois

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If you have any further information regarding Roberts - Thawville High School, especially a photo of the school, teams, or coaches, please complete a School Submission Form or Guest Commentary Form.  You can write us at or via postal mail at:
Illinois HS Glory Days
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