The beginnings of success: Libertyville H.S. boys athletics history, 1950-1974

  • Libertyville High School was the 1958 Football Conference Champion, the school's first football conference championship in 15 years.

    Libertyville High School was the 1958 Football Conference Champion, the school's first football conference championship in 15 years. Courtesy of Libertyville High School

  • The 1969 basketball team won LHS's first basketball conference championship in 33 years

    The 1969 basketball team won LHS's first basketball conference championship in 33 years Courtesy of Libertyville High School

  • Grey King, 1969 and 1970 State Singles Tennis Champion

    Grey King, 1969 and 1970 State Singles Tennis Champion Courtesy of Libertyville High School

  • Dan Holm, right, 1971 State Wrestling Champion, shakes hands with Coach Bob Buzzard, who competed on the U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman team in the Munich Olympics in 1972.

    Dan Holm, right, 1971 State Wrestling Champion, shakes hands with Coach Bob Buzzard, who competed on the U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman team in the Munich Olympics in 1972.

  • LHS Principal Walter Hornberger and Athletic Director Bob Tunnicliff display the 1974 All-Sports Award Banner.

    LHS Principal Walter Hornberger and Athletic Director Bob Tunnicliff display the 1974 All-Sports Award Banner. Courtesy of Libertyville High School

  • LHS won its first Wrestling Conference Championship in 1973.

    LHS won its first Wrestling Conference Championship in 1973. Courtesy of Libertyville High School

 
Submitted by Libertyville High School
Posted10/18/2017 1:22 PM

There weren't many team championships won in the 1950s.

Track won the conference in 1950; baseball won in 1956. Football would have an undefeated conference championship season in 1958 under the direction of Bob Tunnicliff, 14-year head football coach and 31-year athletic director. It was football's first conference title in 15 years.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

The 1958 quarterback was Max Sanders, who came back to LHS to become a 20-year LHS head basketball coach. Max was also the starting shortstop as a freshman on the 1956 baseball championship team.

Bill Johns had great success in track, finishing second in the state high jump in 1959, third in 1959. Golf, tennis and wrestling were started in the mid-1950s.

Libertyville and Mundelein split into two schools following the 1961 school year. The football team had four nonwinning football seasons following the split.

But they came back to win the 1965 football championship as well as the 1967 title in Coach Tunnicliff's final championship season.

Mid-1960s cross-country success was earned by Doug Williamson who placed second in the state in 1965. The 1966 team qualified for the State Tournament under the direction of coach Ernie Ritta, later the successful baseball coach.

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The basketball team won the 1969 conference championship, their first conference title since 1936.

When the team won the 1974 regionals it was their first State Series title since 1946. The 1969 and 1974 titles were won under the direction of 17-year coach Larry Leon.

In 1969 and 1970, tennis player Grey King won LHS's first individual state championship since 1932. Grey's title, along with his brother Bruce's third place, led LHS to a second place state team finish in 1970.

Dan Holm won a 1971 state wrestling title under the direction of Bob Buzzard. Buzzard was only at LHS from 1970-72. He earned a spot on the U.S. Olympic Greco-Roman team and competed in the 1972 Munich Olympics before taking a teaching and coaching job in Oregon.

In 1970 the North Suburban Conference began an NSC All-Sports Award. Barrington was in the NSC through the 1977 season; they won the All-Sports Award the first four years.

Behind four conference team championships (football, wrestling, baseball and track) Libertyville earned it first All-Sports title in 1974. LHS battled with Barrington the next couple of years before the award was dropped in the early 1980s.

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