• The following is part of an ongoing series of articles in celebration of Libertyville High School's 100th anniversary.
Vange Burnett attended Libertyville Township High School during one of its most successful athletic eras, and he was the outstanding athlete of his time.
LTHS sponsored three boys sports in the early 1930s: football, basketball and track. Vange was a 12-season varsity letter winner. Vange's teams won 10 Conference Championships, placing second in the other two. Highly successful coaches at the time were Jack Martin (football and basketball) and Larry Crawford (track).
It would appear that track and field was Vange's top sport. He placed in the conference as a freshman discus thrower. He placed sixth in the state discus as a sophomore. He took third in state in both the shot put and discus his junior year in 1931. His senior year he won the state discus and placed second in the shot. This earned LTHS 10 team points which was good enough for our team's fourth place in state.
Vange's shot put throw of 58 feet 8 inches would be an All-State throw every year since 1932. His discus throw was 139 feet 3 inches, which doesn't appear as impressive. However a heavier college weight discus was thrown in high school then. Although not placing in the state in the long jump, his top jump of 20 feet 10 inches is amazing for an All-State weight thrower. Vange's track teams won the conference title during all four years of his high school.
Vange was a top football player, starting both ways on teams that won conference titles his freshmen, sophomore and senior year. He would go on to play football for Northwestern University.
Despite his football and track success, Vange told the Drops of Ink (the student newspaper) that basketball was his favorite high school sport. His team won the conference title his sophomore, junior and senior years. He was the top rebounder and defensive player according to the yearbook.
He was the president of the sophomore class and a member of the glee club. His 1932 senior classmates voted him most popular, most athletic and the best dancer in the class.
Vange was a career naval officer, serving in World War II. He was a captain of a nuclear sub.