Venice High School had a basketball team as early as the 1922-23 season, according to the research that has been done to this point, but The Illinois High School Association (IHSA) records begin with the 1935-36 season and continues through the last team, which played the 2002-03 final season.
The IHSA documentation include the win-loss records and coaches (except for several of the early teams) and tournament play from Districts through the Finals.
Click HERE to see the 68 years of VHS basketball stats. At the bottom of the chart is a link to the IHSA website.
The Venice Red Devils won two First Place Championships in 1975 and 1987 and had one Third Place finish in 1973 in the documented seasons.
In all, VHS won seven regionals, five sectionals, three supersectionals and three quarterfinals. Also, Venice High won 10 District Tournament Championships, which includes a six-year run under Coach Bill Ohlendorf, which ended in the 1970-71 season. That was the last year before the small and large schools were divided into Class A and Class AA, respectively, which ended the necessity of district tournaments.
Here are the links to the two games:
If you care to download the games, links are provided here: (The files are rather large. Slower internet connections could take a while.)
If you would like to download just the team introductions and trophy presentations of the 1975 Championship game, use this link:
(For these three links, after you click the link, click on the "3 dots" icon at top right of screen then select "Download")
There are many photos, stories, newspaper clippings and other material available on the Committee's set of DVDs which are still available. Click HERE to learn how you can purchase the comprehensive history of the City of Venice, which includes information on all of the Venice High School sports programs over the years.
And there are photos and info on VHS sports and other sporting events on this Sports Page.
State Championship Team
THE STATE CHAMPIONS. The Venice High School basketball team returned to Venice for a parade and ceremony after winning the 1975 Illinois High School Association boys basketball state tourney held in Champaign. Above, Mayor Mike Ebersolt, left, reads a plaque prior to presenting it to Head Coach Rich Essington. Below, some of the team members ride in a convertible in the victory parade along Illinois Route 203 south of Madison.