Hebron High School Athletic History

The first known athletic contest that Hebron high school participated in was a baseball game against Valparaiso. The game was played on May 29, 1903 at the College Ball Park in Valparaiso. Hebron lost the game 11-20. Valpo traveled to Hebron on June 10, 1903 and again defeated Hebron, 6-10. Hebron’s first graduating class was in 1890, so it is quite possible that there was a baseball game prior to 1903 that wasn’t recorded. There is no record of any athletic contests during the 1903-04 school year.

In 1904-05, the team played another baseball game. This time Boone Grove was the opponent, beating Hebron 7-12. The spring of 1905 would also bring a second sport to Hebron High School. Hebron joined Valparaiso, Hobart, and Wanatah to form the Valparaiso Athletic Conference. The only contest sponsored by the conference was the 1st annual Porter County Track Meet, held at the Porter County fairgrounds. Hebron finished third in their first attempt at a track meet.

The first win and first championship for Hebron would come in the spring of 1906. After losing to Valpo again in baseball, the team beat Crown Point in a track meet and later won the 2nd annual Porter County Track Meet. The track team also made history by becoming the first to participate in an IHSAA sponsored event. The 3rd annual IHSAA state track meet was held in Crawfordsville in 1906 and Levi Smith, Joe Brown, and Harry Brown represented Hebron in the meet. Levi Smith finished 2nd in the 100 yard dash and also placed 2nd in the 220 yard dash. The two 2nd place finishes were good for 6 points and a 10th place team finish in the state meet. Jason Wille, the IHSAA sports information director, explained that back in those days a school didn’t have to be an IHSAA member to compete in an IHSAA event (that rule would be changed in 1938), and that anyone who showed up on the day of the meet was permitted to participate.

Hebron became an IHSAA member in 1906-07. The membership was sporadic for several years. IHSAA membership included the years, 1906-07 through 1909-10, 1911-12, 1915-16 through 1917-18, and finally 1919-20 through present.

Hebron’s first win in baseball would come in the fall of 1906, in a 13 inning, 4-3 game against Lowell. The 1907-08 school year would be the last for athletics at Hebron for nearly 7 years. Hebron lost to Lowell in baseball and competed in the 4th annual Porter County Track Meet during the year. The Porter County Track Meet was discontinued, due to lack of participation by local schools, until the 1940’s. As far as baseball goes, there were no reported high school games being played during the years between 1907 and 1915. There were some reports of local boys playing on "merchant teams", mainly during the summer months. The "merchant teams" were basically the equivalent to American Legion teams that are present today.

The new Hebron school was built prior to the 1914-15 school year. A significant feature of the new school was the gymnasium, which was located in the basement. Hebron played its first basketball game on January 29, 1915. The game was played at Crown Point, with Hebron losing the game. No score was available. A game at Lowell was to be played the following night as well as Hebron’s first home game on February 19, against LaCrosse. No record of these games is available at this time. Lowell came to Hebron on March 1, and beat Hebron 40-12 to close out the first basketball season.

Hebron would get its first basketball win the following year in the season opener against LaCrosse, 46-25. Wheeler would also fall to Hebron, by the score of 62-6. The team finished the season with a record of 2-3. Hebron High School also played its first baseball game in several years. The result was a 37-1 beating by Valparaiso. There would be no record of anymore baseball games until the late 1920s. For the remainder of the 1910s and through most of the 1920s, basketball would be the only sport at Hebron High School.

In September of 1917, The Hebron Herald reported that the boys and girls were preparing for the basketball season. No further reporting of girls basketball could be found for the season. In November of 1920, the Lake County Star reported that the LaCrosse girls basketball team motored to Hebron to play a basketball game. It went on to say that this was the Hebron girls first public basketball game. The girls lost that game but got the first win for the program on December 4 at Fair Oaks. The girls won 10-3. The team also played the following year of 1921-22. No other information about girls basketball could be found for the next several years.

The Porter County Principals Association Basketball Tournament began in 1924. Before the 1925 tournament, the Daily Vidette would report that, "Valpo and Hebron were being excluded from the tournament again this year." Later in the article it explained that, "Hebron, despite being a small school, had a very good team last year (1924) and the remaining schools decided to prohibit their participation." Hebron would participate for the first time in 1926. During this time the boys’ basketball uniforms were brown and white.

During the mid 1920s, A Hebron High School Song was published:

It is the dear old Hebron High

We sing our song of praise

It is the dear old HHS

That we our voices raise

And may we always respect the

And may our faith ner die

May we all uphold the name

Of dear old Hebron High.

The girls basketball team started again during the 1926-27 school year. The girls would play seven games, losing all of them. The highlight of the season was the girls’ first appearance in the Porter County Tourney. It took Kouts two overtimes to defeat Hebron in the tournament game. Girls’ basketball in the 1920s and 1930s was played with six players on the floor. Three offensive players and three defensive players, with the players not allowed to cross the half court line. Another rule was that there was no overtime for regular season games. It was also reported that the Hebron girls’ uniforms were black and orange during this time.

In the 1930s, the baseball team began playing in both the fall and spring. The basketball teams got new wine and white colored uniforms in 1930-31. In the fall of 1932, the Vidette-Messenger sponsored a new baseball league. Hebron won the first Porter County Baseball League championship.

The October 19, 1933 Porter County Herald published this article:

"Band teacher, Mr. August Bucci has honored our school by writing a song for us that is original both in words and music."

The Red and White Victory March

March on triumphant

Old Hebron High

With colors swaying

High to the sky

Fight on to victory

Dear red and white

We’re here to back you

Now fight! Team, fight!

Hebron finally got a nickname in 1933. An article appearing in the December 14, 1933 Porter County Herald had this to say: "Hebron Team Selects Name-"Hawks",

From several suggestions, "Hawks" has been chosen as a fitting name for Coach Phillips’ high school cagers. This name was first selected by the team and later confirmed by the athletic board." Other known names of the time included, "Boone Grove Wolves" and "Kouts Bulldogs".

At the conclusion of the 1934-35 Porter County Tourney, it was decided that the girls’ portion of the tournament would be abandoned. A portion of an article in the February 28, 1935 Porter County Herald stated, "Porter County is the only county in Indiana which had a girls’ basketball tourney in 1935. One reason for this abandonment was that several of the girls in the tourney were rather worn out after the tourney. A girl from Washington Twp is confined to bed because of such hard playing and all of the excitement." Despite having no tourney, the girls’ team would stay together through the 1937-38 season, playing other local teams that decided to keep playing as well. As an alternative to the tournament, county officials set up monthly "play days" for all Girls Athletic Association (GAA) members. These "play days" were less competitive and of a more relaxed nature.

New red and white uniforms were purchased for the 1934-35 basketball season. From this point on the uniform colors at Hebron remained red and white.

The Porter County Baseball League was split into north and south divisions in 1935. The winners of the two divisions would meet for a one game playoff for the championship.

The first South County Tournament was held at Kouts High School on January 1, 1938. Hebron won the inaugural event. Boone Grove, Hebron, Kouts, and Morgan Twp have met around the Christmas and New Year holiday season, every year, to compete in this tournament. The South County Tournament is believed to be the oldest annual basketball tournament in the United States involving the same, original teams.

In September of 1937, Boone Twp bought "Seneca Park" from Dr. R.P. Blood for the price of $2500. The land purchased was 11 acres in southeast Hebron. This would be the sight of the new Hebron High School, located on Main Street. The school would be ready for the 1939-40 school year. In January of 1939, the junior class purchased a new electric scoreboard that was to be installed in the gymnasium of the new school.

During the mid 1920s, there was a brief mention of a young girl leading the cheers for Hebron. This was part of the description of a basketball game against LaCrosse. It wasn’t until the 1937-38 school year that Hebron had official cheerleaders. Betty Scott, Adah Hiatt, and Pearl Kaldahl were the first recorded cheerleaders at Hebron. One cheerleader from each class was chosen, starting in the 1941-42 school year.

A new school song was created in the late 1930s. Wave the Flag is still the school song today.

Wave the Flag

Wave the flag of Hebron High School

Cheer her colors grand

Loyal sons of Hebron High School

Are known throughout the land

Rah! Rah! Rah!

Our team is ever victorious

So fight fellows for this game

So we’ll back our own dear high school

For the red and white with fame

G. Warren Phillips, Hebron principal and basketball coach, served as president of the Board of Control for the IHSAA and was also reappointed as the Chairman of National Basketball Rules Committee of U.S. and Canada, from 1939-1941.

Track made a comeback in 1943. With a number of county schools showing interest in the sport, the county officials held the 1st annual Porter County Track Meet at Boucher Field in Valparaiso. As earlier stated, a county track meet was previously run from 1905-1908, actually making this the 5th running of the event. The meet was held annually except for a couple years during the late 1940s and early 1950s. During this time Hebron ran dual meets as well as invitationals.

Hebron won the 1953 and 1954 Valparaiso basketball sectional championships. These were the first IHSAA championships won by Hebron. Starting in 1954-55, the cheerleaders could be selected from any class.

Before the 1953-54 basketball season, the smaller schools in the county tried to form a basketball conference. The meeting resulted in Chesterton, Portage, and Hebron, the three largest schools in the county behind Valpo, all voting no. The "smaller schools" decided to go ahead and form a conference on their own. The "original" Porter County Conference was formed. This conference was a basketball only conference. In 1957-58 the idea for the "keg" was born. The "keg" was to be competed for among the smaller schools in Porter County during basketball games. Despite not being in the conference, Hebron was invited to compete for the "keg".

The following year, 1958-59, another meeting was held among the "smaller schools" in Porter County. The result was the formation of the Porter County Conference that is known today. This time Hebron voted to be a part of the conference.

Another sport was added by Hebron in the fall of 1956. The first boys cross country team participated in 3 meets, that year.

There was very little change in the athletic program during the 1960s at Hebron. One significant thing was the hiring of an Athletic Director. Don Broughton served as the first A.D. during the 1964-65 school year. Prior to this, the principal or head coach made all arrangements for the athletic contests. Paul Schroeder took over in 1966-67, and would hold the position until 1979-80. The IHSAA also hosted a baseball state tourney for the first time in the spring of 1967.

The 1970s saw many changes in athletics at Hebron. The most significant was the addition of girls’ varsity athletics. Title IX was enacted on June 23, 1972. Title IX states: "No person in the United States shall, on the basis of sex, be excluded from participation in, be denied benefits of, or be subjected to discrimination under any education program or activity receiving federal financial assistance." While there is no specific mention of athletics, this is where the biggest advances in equality have been made.

Hebron added girls’ basketball and volleyball in 1973-74. Track was added a year later. These dates corresponded to the additions made by the PCC to incorporate girls’ athletics. The Hebron girls’ volleyball team won their first game, by beating Kankakee Valley. The team finished the season 7-4. After losing the first seven games in 1973-74, the girls’ basketball team beat North Judson 29-26 for the first girls basketball win in nearly 35 years. The girls track team also won their first meet. Hebron edged LaCrosse 56-47 to open the 1975 season.

Four additional sports were added in the 1970s. Girls gymnastics and boys golf were added in 1974-75. Gymnastics would last just three short years while the golf team would be around until 1983-84. Boys’ volleyball made its debut in the fall of the 1976-77 school year. Boys’ wrestling also was introduced during the 1970s. The wrestling team was started in 1979-80 and like gymnastics only lasted three seasons. Another significant change during the 1970s was the change of the baseball season from fall to spring to coincide with the IHSAA tourney. Baseball had been played in the fall since the 1930s, with the main part of the season in the fall and a handful of games in the spring.

Very little change occurred at Hebron during the 1980s. Bob Fry took over as the athletic director in 1980-81, and served in the position until 1987-88. Dennis Foster took over in 1988-89 and served until 1994-95.

Two new teams were added during the 1990s. The girls’ cross country team was formed in the fall of 1990-91, while the first girls’ softball season was played in the spring of 1993-94. Gary Scroggins held the A.D. position from 1995-96 through 1996-97. Bob Fry served a second term as A.D. for one year, 1997-98. Heidi Morrow also served a year as A.D. in 1998-99. Rhonda Walker was the Hebron Athletic Director from the 1999-2000 school year through 2013-14.

Hebron athletes made an impact at the state level during the 1990s. In 1991, Jeff Brooks was named to the Indiana All-star team in baseball. Bill Centifanto, Rafe Terpstra, Carl Patz, and Mark Thurner all made All-State in track. Patz was a two time All-State performer. Clay Malayter was a two time All-State performer in cross country as well as making the Indiana All-Star team. Laura Helhowski also made All-State in cross country.

Prior to the 1997-98 school year, the IHSAA voted to split the state into a class system for all sports except cross country, track, and soccer.

During the 2000s Hebron advanced to its first team state championship game. The 2001-02 girls’ basketball team lost to North Vermillion 42-45 in the state championship game. Lauren Bechtold received the Patricia L. Roy IHSAA Mental Attitude award for girls’ basketball. P.J. Fox was an All-State performer in track. Boys and girls soccer teams were added to the Hebron lineup in the fall of the 2003-04 season. Hebron moved into its brand new state of the art school in 2006. In 2007, Elizabeth Bennett was an All-State track performer.

Wrestling returned to Hebron in the 2010-11 school year.  The team got its first win since the 1979-80 season with a win over Indianapolis Pike.  Mollie Lindeman was selected as an Indiana All-Star for softball in 2012.  Kyle Joyce was selected as an Indiana All-Star for baseball in 2013.  John Steinhilber became the 9th Athletic Director in school history in 2014-15.  Hunter Ryan was a 2-time All-State selection in 2016 and 2017 in baseball and an Indiana All-Star in 2017.  Chad Patrick and Luke Woodward joined Hunter as All-State selections in 2017. 

The PCC started golf in the spring of 2003 with a conference meet, All-Conference and mental attitude award.  Hebron didn't have a participant until senior Bryce Hanaway participated in the PCC meet in 2015.  Prior to this, Hebron's last golf team was in 1984.  In 2019, sophomore Nick Bell competed in a full golf season.  In 2021, Nick and Drew Grennes made up the team, both qualifying for the regional.  Nick made All-Conference and won the PCC mental attitude award, being Hebron's first golfer to achieve these goals.

In early 2020 the world was hit with the Coronavirus Covid-19 pandemic.  The IHSAA, following federal and state recomendations,  shut down all spring athletic contests in the state.  The PCC gave out Mental Attitude awards for the spring sports, but everything else was cancelled.  Hebron's athletic director, John Steinhilber, along with all of the spring coaches gave varsity letters to those athletes who undoubtedly would have earned them had sports been allowed to continue.  The pandemic continued into the fall of 2020, but sports were allowed to continue.  There were strict quarantine guidelines put in place.  Several contests had to be postponed or cancelled in all sports and multiple individual athletes sat out contests either with the virus or due to close contact quarantining.  While the pandemic was still lingering into the 2021-22 school year the amount of contests being cancelled was very low.

Hebron high school has participated in athletics for over 100 years. From the humble beginning of a few sports and traveling by train, to over 10 sports in state of the art facilities, Hebron has tried to maintain a positive, sportsmanlike approach to athletics. This approach has been achieved through the influences of many coaches, administrators and teachers that have served the Hebron community. One name that personifies sportsmanship and mental attitude, is M.E. Dinsmoore. Mr. Dinsmoore got his start at Hebron High School. He served as Superintendent of Boone twp schools from 1906-1914. From 1914-1920 he was the principal at Hebron High School, as well as our first basketball coach. Mr. Dinsmoore retired in 1962 after serving as the Superintendent of Porter County Schools for 29 years. The M.E. Dinsmoore Award for mental attitude, is awarded to a boy's basketball player at the PCC basketball tournament each year. This is the most prestigious award a player can receive in the PCC. There is little doubt that Mr. Dinsmoore's example of positive influence has paved the way to where Hebron is today.


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