It would be almost impossible to talk about Highland High School football history and not have Billy Greenwald’s name begin the conversation. The 1990 Highland High School set the bar for football players, particularly running backs, for all future Bulldogs to measure themselves.
As a junior, Greenwald led the Bulldogs to their first-ever playoff game, and as a senior, he led the team to within one game of the Class 3A football championship. Highland won 12 games in 1989, setting a school record. Along the way, Greenwald put together a season that when finished dominated the IHSA record book. His name appeared in 17 different offensive categories.
The Bulldogs were very dominant in 1989, leading many games by three or four touchdowns by halftime. That fact led the Illinois Hall of Fame coach Mike Hooker to rest Greenwald and many of his starters in the second half. Despite playing about half of half of the games in 1989, Greenwald set records that will stand at HHS for decades and ranks among the best ever in Illinois High School football. His 45 touchdowns in the 1989 season was the best in IHSA history and still ranks third all time. He rushed the football 100 yards in a game 12 times in 1989, also a state record that season. Also in 1989, his 272 points scored was second most in Illinois, as were his 60 career rushing touchdowns. Greenwald rushed for 2,256 yards in 1989, which was fourth-best ever in Illinois, as was four 200-yard rushing games. He finished his career with 4,010 rushing yards and 20 100-yard rushing games, ranking him fourth in the IHSA history books at the time.
Other records Greenwald owned include 414 career points (ranked sixth best); six rushing touchdowns in one game (sixth); most rushing attempts, 308, in a season (sixth); average rushing yards per game, 173.5 (seventh); total offensive yards in a season, 4,246 (11th); and seven touchdowns in a game (11th). He is the Highland High School leader in all these categories.
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Greenwald was a first-team All-Mississippi Valley Conference player in both 1988 and 1989. He was named to the Chicago Tribune All-State team in 1989, and was the Bigger, Faster, Stronger Magazine All-American in 1989. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch named Billy to the All-Metro first team in 1989, and the Belleville News Democrat named him to the All-Area first team in both 1988 and 1989.
Greenwald took his talents to Northwestern University on a football scholarship; he graduated in 1994. Greenwald also attended the University of Missouri-St. Louis, receiving a degree from UMSL in 1997.
Other Sports category nominees are former St. Paul High School basketball standout Dennis Luber and Highland High School baseball coach Joel Hawkins.
HIASAA Hall of Fame Voting Procedures
When is voting? Voting will take place from May 1-31. All ballots must by in the hands of Highland Illinois Area Schools Alumni Association (HIASAA) by May 31.
Who can vote? Any alumni of any school within the boundaries of the Highland School District or any employees of these schools. Need not have graduated from school, just attended. To be able to vote, alumni or employees must be a paid member of HIASAA.
How do I become a member? Go to the association website highlandilalumni.com. There is a place to register online and an option to use PayPal to pay your dues. Or, you can send the application and a check to HIASAA, 400 Broadway, Highland, IL 62249. Membership dues are $10 per year, $40 for a five-year membership, or $100 for a lifetime membership. All memberships are for the calendar year, starting Jan. 1.
How do I vote? From May 1-31, you can obtain a downloadable ballot on the website. Ballots must be completed and mailed to HIASAA, 400 Broadway, Highland, IL 62249. All ballots must be received by May 31. he Board of Directors will count the ballots in early June and letters will be sent informing all nominees of the results. If anyone needs a ballot or wants to join the association but does not have computer access, they should contact Sherry Fletcher, HIASAA board secretary, at 618-654-6266 for a ballot or membership application. If you have any questions, contact Fletcher at the above phone number.