Elgin Academy celebrates last boys basketball home victory; school to close after 185 years

Cate Cauguiran Image
Wednesday, February 7, 2024
185-year-old school to close; boys basketball wins last home game
Elgin Academy's varsity boys basketball team celebrated their last home game in school's history. The high school is closing its doors in the summer, after 185 years.

ELGIN, Ill. (WLS) -- Elgin Academy's basketball team celebrated their last home game win ever on Tuesday. After 185 years, Elgin Academy will close its doors at the end of this school year.

The Elgin Academy's varsity boys' basketball celebrated the 59-43 win over North Shore Country Day.

An emotional ending to the team's athletic era at the nearly two century-old school.

"We're trying to build a legacy and this is the capstone for this," said Ryan Zonts, varsity basketball senior captain. "This is the end of it. We're trying to make sure people know who we are before we disappear."

Elgin Academy's athletic director said the team found out the school would be closing its doors during the second day of practice.

"They didn't let it become a cloud over their season," Craig Pinson, athletic director at Elgin Academy, said. "They took it as motivation and as a chance to make one last final statement."

Elgin Academy alumni returned to their alma mater for the special occasion. Students set up decorations that covered nearly every wall of the gym.

"We want to celebrate and enjoy, and not dwell on the sadness," parent Rachel Zonts said. "So that's what we're going to do tonight."

Since the school's closure announcement last fall, the community has made it their mission to make every last moment, memorable.

"This community, these kids, and teachers have really come together knowing how bittersweet it is after 185 years but they've really rallied to put their best feet forward," Paul Druzinsky interim head of school said.

Elgin Academy's junior varsity boys' basketball team also played Tuesday night. The girls' team played their final home game last week.

"I love this school," Pinson said. "I love the kids here. I love what we represent."