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Winnebago Indians
Winnebago, Illinois
Club President None
Coaches Kristin Strey
State Championships 1993 IHSA, 1995 IHSA, 1994 Masonic
National Championships 1994 Scholastic Showdown
National Appearances Unknown
Program Status Unknown
School Size Unknown

Winnebago High School in Winnebago, IL, is home to one of the oldest Scholastic Bowl teams in Illinois history. The team was started in 1981 by Karen Niemeier, who served as head coach until 2010.


Year Wins Loses
1980-81 4 1
1981-82 4 3
1982-83 10 4
1983-84 14 6
1984-85 20 5
1985-86 25 6
1986-87 26 8

Source: ISHA: Winnebago Scholastic Bowl — 2009-10,


Year Wins Loses
1987-88 32 9
1988-89 44 10 IHSA Class A Sectional Champions
1989-90 34 10
1990-91 44 11

Source: ISHA: Winnebago Scholastic Bowl — 2009-10,


Winnebago's biggest run of success came in the mid-90's, as the team won the 1993 and 1995 IHSA Class A State Championships, the 1994 Masonic State Championship, and the 1994 Scholastic Showdown.

Year Wins Loses
1991-92 51 15 IHSA Class A Sectional Champions
1992-93 61 8 IHSA Class A State Champions
1993-94 80 4 3rd Place IHSA Class A State Championship
Masonic State Champions
Scholastic Showdown National Champions
1994-95 50 3 IHSA Class A State Champions
1995-96 45 5 IHSA Class A Sectional Champions

Source: ISHA: Winnebago Scholastic Bowl — 2009-10,


Year Wins Loses
1996-97 40 8
1997-98 42 6
1998-99 32 10
1999-00 30 8

Source: IHSA: Winnebago Scholastic Bowl — 2009-10,


The team entered a resurgent period in 2001, with a series of good teams led by some old and new names. The team made its first return to state since the mid-90's in 2001, but ended up not placing. The 2001 roster included Chris Meyers (captain), Ben Carollo, Josh Crandall, juniors Benjamin Vassmer, Kati Fay, and sophomore Adam Crandall.

The 2002 team's roster included seniors Benjamin Vassmer (co-captain), Kati Fay (co-captain), juniors Jarrod Cook, Adam Crandall, and Sara Boeke, and sophomore BJ Houlding.

The 2003 team featured seniors Adam Crandall and the last member of the Boeke family, Sara, as well as junior BJ Houlding, but was overshadowed in conference by eventual state champions Stillman Valley and upset in Regionals by Pecatonica.

In 2004, a senior class led by Houlding, Ryan Bland, Mindy Milosch, Jimmy Smith, and Josh Ryan won the Big Northern Conference title and a Regional title but narrowly lost in Sectionals to Galena.

The 2005 team was led by the last member of the Visel family, Edward, and junior Brad Fischer - both players would make All-State. The team won the Winnebago Invitational, Big Northern Conference, and a second straight Regional championship, but would lose Sectionals to Woodstock Marian by less than 20 points.

The 2006 season would see Winnebago attend their most tournaments in a year, including the first attendance at Earlybird, Loyola Ultima, and New Trier Varsity. Captain Brad Fischer placed in the top 4 at Scobol Solo and led the team to their third straight Conference and Regional titles. Bago finally got over its two year streak of underperforming at Sectionals with a commanding win over rival Byron to advance to State. At State, the team defeated Alton Marquette and Fairfield but lost by one question to Latin School in pool play, then defeated Decatur Lutheran to take third place. The 2006 roster included seniors Brad Fischer (captain), Megan Hazzard, juniors Kellen Hill, Kristin Strey, and sophomores David Smith, Madeline Dillner, and Emelyn Baker.

In 2007, captain Kristin Strey and junior Madeline Dillner led the team to their fourth straight Regional championship before being upset by Morrison at Sectionals.

In 2008, Dillner, senior Graham Johnson, and junior Kyler Carlson led the team to another Regional title before falling to Byron, eventual State Runner-Up, at Sectionals.

For Karen Niemeier's final year coaching in 2010, the roster included seniors Ian Connelly, Emily Dillner, Alex Kelley, Chelsea Shullanberger, and captain Aaron Mitchell, and sophomore Ron Hansen.

Year Wins Loses
2000-01 24 15 IHSA Class A Sectional Champions
2001-02 31 18 IHSA Class A Regional Champion
2002-03 32 21
2003-04 30 9 IHSA Class A Regional Champion
2004-05 37 9 IHSA Class A Regional Champion
2005-06 70 20 3rd Place IHSA Class A State Championship
2006-07 53 23 IHSA Class A Regional Champion
2007-08 44 27 IHSA Class A Regional Champion
2008-09 59 33
2009-10 33 29

Source: ISHA: Winnebago Scholastic Bowl — 2009-10,


Noted Team Accomplishments

  • Big Northern Conference Varsity Titles (?): ?, 2004-06
  • Big Northern Confernce Fresh-Soph Titles (?): ?, 2004
  • IHSA Regional Titles (7): 2001-02, 04-08
  • IHSA Sectional Titles (8): 1989, 92-96, 2001, 06
  • IHSA Championship Tournament Champions: 1993, 95
  • IHSA Championship Tournament Third Place: 1994, 2006
  • Masonic State Championships: 1994

Team Captains

  • 1981-2000: incomplete
  • 2001: Chris Meyers
  • 2002: Benjamin Vassmer, Kati Fay
  • 2003: Sara Boeke
  • 2004: Ryan Bland, BJ Houlding
  • 2005: Edward Visel, Alec Hill
  • 2006: Brad Fischer
  • 2007: Kristin Strey
  • 2008: Madeline Dillner
  • 2009: Jen Sojka, Kyler Carlson
  • 2010: Aaron Mitchell

IHSSBCA Individual Awards

The following were honored by the Illinois High School Scholastic Bowl Coaches Association (IHSSBCA) for outstanding play through their All-Sectional/All-State Program. Each sectional comprises roughly 24 geographically concentrated teams, and thus roughly 125 starting players. Through the 2006-07 season, the top ten players were recognized in each sectional,(starting with 2007-08, the number was raised to 15) with teams restricted to no more than two nominations (three nominations starting in 2007-08). There are twenty All-State awards given each year (10 First Team, 10 Second Team) in each of Illinois' two classes.

All-Sectional Honorees

  • 2001-02: Adam Crandall
  • 2002-03: Adam Crandall, Brent Houlding
  • 2003-04: Brent Houlding, Ryan Bland
  • 2004-05: Brad Fischer, Edward Visel
  • 2005-06: Brad Fischer
  • 2006-07: Madeline Dillner, Kristin Strey
  • 2007-08: Madeline Dillner, Graham Johnson
  • 2008-09: Diedra Hong
  • 2009-10: Aaron Mitchell
  • 2010-11: Rob Hansen

All-State Honorees

  • 2001-02: Adam Crandall (1st team)1
  • 2003-04: Brent Houlding (1st team)
  • 2004-05: Brad Fischer (1st team), Edward Visel (2nd team)
  • 2005-06: Brad Fischer (1st team)
  • 2007-08: Madeline Dillner (1st team)
  • 2008-09: Diedra Hong (1st team)

Notable Alumni


  1. Adam Crandall is (as of 2008) one of three players to be named All-State before their senior year, and then not be named All-State subsequently. Crandall lost time from competition in the 2002-03 season due to a ski accident, and participation in other activities. His numbers were far below his junior year, and several other players eligible for All-State honors that year.
  2. Phil Huckelberry won a state championship on the Winnebago Scholastic Bowl Team and went on to head the Illinois Green Party.

See Also

Scholastic Showdown Champion
Preceded by
Succeeded by