James Whitcomb Riley High School

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James Whitcomb Riley High School
South Bend, Indiana
United States
Coordinates 41°39′16″N 86°14′36″W / 41.65444°N 86.24333°W / 41.65444; -86.24333Coordinates: 41°39′16″N 86°14′36″W / 41.65444°N 86.24333°W / 41.65444; -86.24333
Type High school
Established 1924 – old Riley
2000 – new Riley
Principal Francois Bayingana
Nickname Riley
Faculty over 100
Grades 9–12
Number of students 1552
Campus Urban
School color(s) Blue and gold (original colors are violet and gold)
Slogan Pride of the South Side (created by Ed Bradford)
Mascot Wildcats

James Whitcomb Riley High School is the high school for the south side residents of South Bend, Indiana. The school is named in honor of the "Hoosier Poet", James Whitcomb Riley and its address is 1902 Fellows Street, South Bend, Indiana 46613. The school is operated by the S.B.C.S.C. (South Bend Community School Corporation) and governed by the South Bend Community School Corporation's Board of School Trusties. Regular school hours are from 7:45am to 2:45pm Monday to Friday. Riley High School was first on the web in 1994.

School History[edit]

The original Riley High School was built in 1924 and located at 405 East Ewing Avenue, currently this is the location of the Riley High School tennis courts. In the early 1990s, due to the age of the original high school and dwindling student enrollment, it was decided and approved by former Superintendent Dr. Virginia Calvin, that a new Riley High School be built to rejuvenate the area surrounding the school and increase student enrollment. Although student enrollment numbers have increased, due to restructuring within the school corporation, the area surrounding Riley is still blighted with abandoned homes and major pollution of the Bowman Creek.

In the summer of 1999 construction of the new Riley High School was competed and ready for the start of the 1999-00 school year while the original school was demolished. The new school, located on top of the Bowman Creek, is 375,000 square feet (34,800 m2) and sits on a 29.5-acre (119,000 m2) campus. With five floors (including a basement) the school can hold a maximum capacity of 1,800 students per day.


Of all the teachers that have taught at Riley only one of them has taught at both the old Riley High School and the new Riley High School. Currently the longest tenured teacher is Mr. Stebbins who is still teaching Latin classes. Mr. Stebbins has approximately taught over 10,000 students during his teaching career.

Professional Dress Code[edit]

In the 2009-10 school year Riley High School implemented a Professional Dress Code for its students.[1] The Professional Dress Code requires students to wear school color collared shirts with no insignia and kaki, brown, or black skirts or pants. Pants must be equipped with a black, brown, or white belt and appropriate footwear consists of shoes, sneakers and boots (boots are allowed during the winter months only). Students can also wear clothing that has the Riley insignia on it, this includes athletic uniforms, school shirts, school pants, and school clubs or school organizations outfits.

School Song[edit]

Wave the flag for dear ole Riley,

Hold her colors high.

Let the blue and golden banners,

Flaunt against the sky.

Cheer the team in every battle,

Til brave men win the game.

Wave the flag for dear ole Riley,

Add a victory to her name.[2]


When the South Bend Community School Corporation implemented a magnet school setting in its high schools, Riley was chosen as the Engineering and Technology magnet program. Classes for the Engineering program use the Project Lead the Way curriculum, including Introduction to Engineering Design, Principles of Engineering, Digital Electronics, Civil Engineering and Architecture, and Engineering Design and Development. Students who want to attend Riley but live outside the of school boundaries can still go the school as long as they join the magnet program.


School clubs and organizations at Riley include Science Olympiad, Dance Team, Drama Club, S.A.D.D., T.R.E.E.S., Quiz Bowl, Spell Bowl, Step Team, Bowling Club, Bible Club, Student Council, the Riley chapter of the National Honor Society, Chest Club, Riley GSA, and others. The yearbook, normally labeled "Hoosier Poet" was instead, in the year 2012, mislabeled "Hoosier Poer".


The enrollment for the 2010–2011 year was 1525.


♯rileywildcats is Riley High School's official Twitter hashtag

southbendrileysports.com is the official riley high school athletic website. Here visitors can find up to date team rosters, game schedules and final scores.

One of the most decorated athletic players at Riley High School was Lawrence Bolls who attended Riley from 2006 to 2010.

There are many sports available for students to enjoy at Riley. For students who want to win a State Championship the best sport to play is swimming. Riley is well known in the area for having some of the fastest swim teams. During its history Riley has also seen sectional, regional and state titles in boy's golf, as well as sectional, and regional wins for boy's basketball and wrestling.

Boys Swimming[edit]

Boys Swimming is the most decorated and most popular sport at Riley. Led by coach John VanDriessche the boys swim team has won the Northern Indiana Conference championship as well as the City Title and the Sectional Title multiple times. Students on the swim team are known to shave their heads before NIC conference play starts. In 2010 Riley continued on their tradition of excellence in swimming by winning their 21st consecutive city meet.

Girls Swimming[edit]


Due to the blighted and unsafe area surrounding Riley High School a proper football field was never built adjacent to the school campus. Currently the old Jackson High School field is used for football games. In 2010 Coach Jim Berger's team was led by Quarterback Matt Konkey who got the Wildcats to their first sectional win since the 2002 season.

Boys Soccer[edit]

Boys Tennis[edit]

Cross Country[edit]

The cross country teams are also highly decorated. In the 2008 season, both the boys' and girls' teams were undefeated, winning NIC championship titles, city championships, and Sectional championships. they advanced that season as far as semi-state with a near miss at state due to injuries.

Girls Golf[edit]

Girls Soccer[edit]

Sideline Cheer[edit]


Boys Basketball[edit]

The current Wildcat's boys basketball team is led by head coach Mark Jackson. Coach Jackson is known to regularly get Riley's basketball team to at least 20 wins each season. Former players are Lawrence Bolls, DeAngelo Jackson, Dominique Brazier, Raphael Smith, Delvon Brown and Brock Cosey

Girls Basketball[edit]

In the early 2000s Riley experienced some great success in girls basketball being the 4-A state runner-up in 2002 and semi state runner-up in 2003. Recently they have accumulated a win loss record of 30-143 from the 2006-2014 seasons [1]. The current Wildcat team is being led by Coach Foreman who had replaced former coach Sharon McBride. Over a 4 year period from 2006 to 2010 Sharon McBride never had a winning season in her coaching carrier, won less NIC conference games then the number of years coached (3-29 in NIC) and, currently holds the worst winning percentage (17%) in school history with an 13-77 overall record.


The Riley High School hockey team has had a great amount of success since the programs resurgence in 2003-2004, when Freshman Kyle Yarkie scored the game-winning goal in overtime to take down the defending champion Marian Knights. The team positioned itself to win the section again the next year, but fell sharply with the season-ending knee injury of their star goaltender, Justin Lincoln, in the Sectional Semi-Finals. The with Lincoln back the next year along with Seniors Brandon Hecht, Bryan Messersmith, and Yarkie (Junior), the team swept the Sectional Title and posted the an impressive record in 5-A State, losing only one game to Hamilton Southeastern, preventing them from going to the State Championship. It was the best performance in the top class of state high school hockey that Northern Indiana had seen in that decade and the years following. Lincoln earned the Sectional MVP award, Messersmith took home the state's Henry G. Shallert Schollastic Achievement award, and Yarkie led the state tournament both goals and points (4,3,7).




Boys Golf[edit]

Boys Track & Field[edit]

Girls Tennis[edit]

Girls Track & Field[edit]

Rivals include South Bend John Adams, South Bend Clay, Washington High School (South Bend, Indiana), South Bend St. Joseph's, and Mishawaka Marian.

Car Crash[edit]

In 2009 a drunk driver crashed a car into the right side of the front entrance of Riley High School. No one was in the school during the time of the crash. The entrance was boarded up, repaired with new glass, and eventually reopened later in the school year.


External links[edit]