1956       State Track Champions (Coach Ralph Steben)
               State Champs  Mile Relay (Charles Collins, Nick Thomas, Robert Green, Fred  

                            Macklin) 3:22.1
                State Champion 100 yard dash Leroy Jackson 9.9
                State Champion long jump Fred Macklin 21’ 5 5/8”  , 5th in 440 yard dash
                     3rd in State Frank Carra 120 high hurdles
                     5th in State Tony Bartalini shot put

1957        State Track Champions (Coach Ralph Steben)

                State Champion 440 yd dash  Fred Macklin 48.9 AND  Long jump  22’ 6 3/8”
                State Champions 880 yd relay (Larry Clark, Leroy Jackson, Starling Jenkins, Jim

                               McDonald) 1:30.8

                State Champions Mile relay (John Llorca, Fred Macklin, Bob Thompson, Edward

                        West) 3:22.8
                        3rd in State 120 high hurdles Bob Thompson

                        3rd in State high jump Homer Thurman

1958       State Track Champions (Coach Ralph Steben)
               State Champion 100 yd dash Leroy Jackson 10.3                                                                
              State Champion 880 yd dash Lynn Griffin 1:57.6

               State Champions 880 Relay (Roger Elliott, Bruce Forbes, Elzie Higginbottom,

                        Leroy Jackson)1:30

               State Champions Mile relay (Lynn Griffin, Elzie Higginbottom, Homer Thurman,                            Ed West,) 3:24.4
               State Champion High jump Homer Thurman 6’3”
                          3rd in State Pole vault Issac Jefferson
                          3rd in State Long jump Homer Thurman
                          3rd in State Shot put Ron Barbizzi

1959       Issac Jefferson set the National Interscholastic Indoor Pole Vault record at 13’4                                 3’8”

                State Track Champions (Coach Ralph Steben)
                State Champion 440 yd. dash Elzie Higginbottom 49.5
                State Champions 880 Relay State Champs (Zeke Corbin , Robert Cosenza, Roger                                Elliott,  Homer Thurman) 1:31.9
                State Champion Shot put Ron Barbizzi 58’2”
                          2nd  in State Mile relay
                          3rd  in State High jump Jim Pouncey (tied)
                          5th in State Long jump Homer Thurman
                          5th in State Discus Chuck Boling
                          2nd in State 100 yd. dash Roger Elliott
                          3rd  in State 880 yd. run Lynn Griffin
                          State qualifiers – Bob Boling, Tony Zona,  and John Persiani

Grady McCullum  '59

Athletic Director

"greatest disappoint in my basketball life was losing a Bloom basketball final"


Homer Thurman is still considered as one of the greatest all around athletes in the history of Bloom HS. Homer set nearly all of Bloom’s basketball records while he was in school. He was on the varsity for four years and led his team into the state tournament twice. Homer was also the Illinois State High Jump Champion as well as a member of the state champion mile relay team. In football, he was an all state defensive safety.




Leroy Jackson (born December 8, 1939 in Chicago Heights, Illinois) is a former American football running back in the National Football League for the Washington Redskins. He played college football at Western Illinois University and is a member of the school's athletic Hall of Fame.

On Dec. 8, 1962, his 23rd birthday, Jackson caught an 85-yard touchdown pass for the Redskins from quarterback Norm Snead in a 34-21 loss to the Baltimore Colts. He had been a first-round NFL draft pick of the Cleveland Browns, the 11th player selected in the 1962 draft.

Jackson was the Illinois state champion in the 100 yard dash three years in a row for Bloom High School from 1956-58.

Bloom Greatest Track & Field  History

Football 1957-58 season

1957 was the best team in Bloom’s history.  It was the first team to post a perfect score.  The team also surpassed the school and league scoring marks, totaling 265 points for the whole season and 226 for conference competition.  The individual scoring record of 73 was smashed by halfback Leroy Jackson who scored 90.  In offensive gains, Bloom advanced the ball over 3000 yards and the defense held opponents to 1000 yards. 

Six members were all conference, and 6 more honorable mention.  Leroy Jackson was named left half-back on the all-state team , special mention to Chuck Green, Homer Thurman, Roger Elliott and honorable mention to Chuck Boling. 

Head coach was C.M. Sarff with assistants Jacobeit and Piazza. 

Bloom's Greatest Football Team in Illinois History



​​Controversy all season was on Bill's height stated from 6'6" to 6'10".  Bloom's measuring stick only went to 6'6".  The Broadcaster went out and measured him at 6'9" short!

1959 Homer Thurman's  senior year, first year coach Phil Hey led the team to 20-5.  Thurman, Howard Perkins, Jerry Vickery, dunker Bill Woislaw, and junior Dan Maga made up a starting 5 that averaged well over 6 feet.  

The '56 team were known as the tallest Trojans and won Conference, Regional and Sectional.  Captain Grady McCollum was known as the "human pogo stick".  The team lost in the Sweet Sixteen which was the farthest Bloom had gone since 1940. 

The '57 season brought championships in the South Suburban, District and Sectional. Trojans were 27-2 and set a new record of 1839 points. Colangelo and Bell 

Homer Thurman '59

Bobby Bell '57

Jerry's teammates

Elzie Higginbottom @ Wisconsin

What is tradition? Webster defines it as "an inherited pattern of thought or action." It is something that is built brick by brick over a period of time, not one year by one team. The Yankees are tradition. The Cubs aren't. Notre Dame is tradition. Northwestern isn't. Mount Carmel is tradition. Bloom should be.

Taylor Bell