Special thanks to Seneca High School for portions used in this story...

(1-6-22) 1,500 wins by a boys high school basketball team hasn’t happened very often in Illinois.  This year, Seneca High School has become one of about thirty of those schools in that exclusive club. 

It is known that a few basketball games were played in the spring of 1920, but the first known game with a score was on December 6, 1920, a loss against Grand Ridge High School.   A month later, on January 14, 1921, SHS got revenge against Grand Ridge and won their first ever game.

The highlight of those 1,500 wins includes Coach Doug Evans leading the Irish to an undefeated 35-0 season and a IHSA Class A State title in 2006.

Seneca boys basketball coach Russ Witte told Shaw Media

“Although our records may be off a win here or there, we are certainly confident that we broke the 1,500 plateau at the end of last season or the beginning of this season. I am proud to be part of the winning tradition here at Seneca High School, and we look forward to bringing more wins to this program.”

Former Fighting Irish varsity basketball players will be a part of the celebration on Friday, January 7th, at Seneca High School.  Past players will be invited to the floor between the JV and varsity games versus Low-Point Washburn where they will be the backdrop for a presentation by the Illinois Basketball Coaches Association.  

“1500 Wins” commemorative shirts will be available for purchase at the game.

Seneca Irish – All-Time Records
SeasonClassTitlesPlaceWonLostTiedCoach
1920-2137
1922-23
Coach Total371 yr   .300
1923-2428C.H. Carrett
Coach Total281 yr   .200
1924-25811Fritz
1925-261111Fritz
1926-271111Fritz
1927-281311Fritz
Coach Total43444 yr   .494
1928-29177Gerald Hoben
1929-30D228Gerald Hoben
1930-31149Gerald Hoben
1931-322213Gerald Hoben
1932-33914Gerald Hoben
1933-34186Gerald Hoben
1934-35D1410Gerald Hoben
1935-36179Gerald Hoben
1936-37D1010Gerald Hoben
1937-381711Gerald Hoben
1938-39185Gerald Hoben
1939-40D114Gerald Hoben
1940-411410Gerald Hoben
1941-42D1310Gerald Hoben
Coach Total21612614 yr   .632
1942-43811Jacob Volk
1943-44518Jacob Volk
Coach Total13292 yr   .310
1944-45513A.W. Stephek
Coach Total5131 yr   .278
1945-46205Gerald Hoben
1946-47199Gerald Hoben
1947-481511Gerald Hoben
Coach Total54253 yr   .684
1948-49291Gilbertson
1949-501213Gilbertson
1950-51182Gilbertson
Coach Total59163 yr   .787
1951-521010John Roberts
1952-531016John Roberts
Coach Total20262 yr   .435
1953-54619Norbert Isert
1954-55620Norbert Isert
Coach Total12392 yr   .235
1955-561413Ellis Austin
1956-5785Ellis Austin
1957-58253Ellis Austin
1958-59262Ellis Austin
1959-601214Ellis Austin
1960-61D1910Ellis Austin
1961-62D1611Ellis Austin
1962-63178Ellis Austin
1963-64216Ellis Austin
1964-651411Ellis Austin
1965-661213Ellis Austin
1966-67718Ellis Austin
Coach Total19111412 yr   .626
1967-681114Gerald Brucker
1968-691610Gerald Brucker
1969-70144Gerald Brucker
1970-71158Gerald Brucker
1971-72159Gerald Brucker
Coach Total71455 yr   .612
1972-73517Russ Battersby
1973-741213Russ Battersby
1974-75179Russ Battersby
1975-76AR1315Russ Battersby
1976-77321Russ Battersby
1977-781410Russ Battersby
Coach Total64856 yr   .430
1978-791610Roger Eckert
1979-80518Roger Eckert
1980-81519Roger Eckert
1981-821511Roger Eckert
1982-83197Roger Eckert
Coach Total60655 yr   .480
1983-841313Doug Evans
1984-85117Doug Evans
1985-86196Doug Evans
1986-87815Doug Evans
1987-88022Doug Evans
1988-891310Doug Evans
1989-90206Doug Evans
1990-91ARSUQ2275Doug Evans
1991-921313Doug Evans
1992-93AR1017Doug Evans
1993-94AR254Doug Evans
1994-95AR235Doug Evans
1995-961510Doug Evans
1996-97AR207Doug Evans
1997-98187Doug Evans
1998-99208Doug Evans
1999-00198Doug Evans
2000-011610Doug Evans
2001-021117Doug Evans
2002-03234Doug Evans
2003-04207Doug Evans
2004-05ARSUQ3331Doug Evans
2005-06ARSUQ1350Doug Evans
2006-07AR283Doug Evans
2007-08255Doug Evans
2008-09273Doug Evans
Coach Total49221326 yr   .698
2009-101020Russell Witte
2010-111515Russell Witte
2011-121812Russell Witte
2012-132AR255Russell Witte
2013-142AR246Russell Witte
2014-151219Russell Witte
2015-161416Russell Witte
2016-17721Russell Witte
2017-182AR1813Russell Witte
2018-191813Russell Witte
2019-201912Russell Witte
2020-2175Russell Witte
2021-2284Russell Witte
Coach Total19516112 yr   .544
School Total15001016
*Based on MaxPreps Records for 2021-22

Did you know…

Coach Evans

Coach Doug Evans is the all-time winningest coach at Seneca with 492 wins

Current coach Russell Witte is five games away from 200 wins

In 2005, the year before their state title the Irish finished (33-1) 3rd at the Class A Finals….the only loss came in the semifinal game

During the 2004-05 and 2005-06 seasons the Irish were 68-1

In 1991 the Irish were State Runner-ups losing to Pittsfield 45-35

From www.illinoisglorydays.com on the first opponent the Irish played in 1920 – Grand Ridge HS was a three-year high school for the duration of its lifetime, with students either going to Ottawa or Streator High School for their senior year. The school finally closed in 1947, due to the wave of consolidations that were taking place in the state of Illinois at that time. At the time of its closing, only 20 students were attending GRHS.