Leo High School Makes the Cover of the Journal of Illinois History

Although Leo Alumni  of all ages have long considered the storied school to be a wellspring of History of a variety of types, it is always nice when an authority recognizes some particular event the school has been involved in in its historic context. In this case the Authority is the Journal of Illinois History which is an official quarterly publication of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency.  The event is the Historic 1937 Prep Bowl Game between Leo High School and Austin High School which had the largest fan attendance of any high school football game (and possibly any football game of any type) in history, in excess of 120,000 people in attendance.


Among the people we know we can thank (other than those who were involved in 1937) for our current honor are William B. Tubbs an Editor of the Journal, who contacted our Association for whatever data we may have to contribute, along with a local historian and Teacher at Libertyville High School – Kevin O’Neil – who saw fit to devote his time and efforts to write the current article, a well documented historic treatise and lament on the demise of the Prep Bowl to its current attendance state entitled “When The Game Was King”.  It appears that Mr. O’Neil was motivated in part by the stories he was told by his Father, a graduate of Mt. Carmel High School, another storied Chicago Catholic High School, about the great feats that that school achieved when his father was in attendance.


This Alumni Association did respond promptly to the request for documentation and we have been rewarded well with a picture taken directly from the Leo High School 1937 yearbook making it to the cover of the Journal, a mere 76 years after some sharp, but unknown photographer, snapped it in the middle of the historic game.


For those of our Alumni (or others) who have an interest in history, or reminiscence, or in simply writing, if you provide us with a submission which is likely to be on interest to our alumni we will get it on our website unless it is completely contrary to our purposes. Your submission does not have to be professionally done, we will take the time to assist you in whatever way we can to “take kinks out”.  We will recognize you for you submission and we will appreciate your assistance in keeping this website interesting to our Alumni and others.


We have reprinted a lot of information on the Journal of Illinois History in the pages which follow, along with the first 5 pages of the article.  Individual copies of the Journal are available for only $7 and an annual subscription is only $25 for a year.  For those of you interested in history,  and most of us are, it sounds like its worth trying out.  We hope you enjoy the pages which follow.



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