Rockford West High School
| Quick Facts|
|Name: ||West High School|
|School District: ||Rockford Public Schools #205|
|Year Opened: ||1940|
|Year Closed: ||1989|Rockford West High School
Over 7,800 Rockford West High School Alumni are registered at Classmates.com.Join them for free!
As the nation was coming out of the Great Depression, Rockford's student population outgrew its lone high school, Rockford High School. With the help of the PWA (Public Works Administration), Rockford was able to build two new high schools.
Rockford High School was renamed as Central High School and the two new schools were opened as East High School and West High School. (It's interesting that Rockford High School was originally the result of the 1884 consolidation of East Side High School and West Side High School.)
It was only natural that, from the start, an intense rivalry arose between East and West. The annual East-West football and basketball games were the highlight of the year for many Rockford citizens. Despite the rivalry, the two marching bands would join forces each year to put on a memorable half-time show at the East-West football game.
In athletics, Rockford West was among the best in the state. They won numerous District, Regional and Sectional Championships. They won their first State Championship within a year of their creation, winning in Boys Golf in 1941. The Boys Basketball team won its first State Championship in 1955, then, to prove it wasn't a fluke, they repeated the feat in 1956. The Girls Field Hockey team won West's fourth State Championship on the field in 1975. Off the field, the Debate Team added two more State Championship trophies to the collection with wins in 1947 and 1960.
West High School was closed in 1989 as part of the Rockford School District #205's plan “Together Toward a Brighter Tomorrow”, which resulted in a long and nationally publicized lawsuit.
Memorial Garden at West See more Friends of West photos here.
See more Rockford photos here.
|Today, the old West High School building is the home of West Middle School, but the legacy of Rockford West High School is being kept alive by a group of dedicated citizens, spearheaded by Alice Saudargas, wife of the late Coach Alex Saudargas. As part of their project to maintain the former glory of West, they have created a memorial garden around the flagpole in the front of the building, with shrubbery, trees, plantings and a paving brick area with the name of West Alumni who gave their lives in World War II, Korea and Vietnam, imprinted upon the bricks. They have also established a West High School memorabilia room inside the school. To learn more about the Friends of West, visit their website.
---------- Web Links ----------
Rockford West High School Team Store
Friends of West
West Class Sites:
Class of 1964
Class of 1973
Class of 1975
Rockford West Alumni & Friends Network
West Athletics History
History of all Rockford high school Marching Bands (Did you know that Rockford High School
formed the nation's first public high school band in 1907?)
---- Notable Former Students -----
General James Cartwright, USMC, Vice Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff
Ernie Kent, Head men's basketball coach at University of Oregon
Aidan Quinn, actor, nominated for Emmy twice
Ginger Lynn Allen, film actress
Chris K. Johnson, former President of the International Shrine Clown Association
----------Google Street View----------
1900 N. Rockton Ave, Rockford, IL 61103
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Our Rockford West High School Warriors apparel would make a great gift. Or be the coolest person at the next reunion by wearing a Rockford West Alumni shirt or jacket.
Please, send us your Rockford West High School memories. We will post them on this page for your classmates to enjoy.
If your Rockford West High School class has a reunion committee, please send them a link to this page and ask them to "get the word out".
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