YORKVILLE - Yorkville High School closed its doors in 1972. The Ductillites at that point become one of the eight high schools forming the Buckeye Local School District.
Purple-and-gold-pride however, still resonates. In fact, Yorkville High's rich tradition has been enhanced like never before.
A year-long project has now become reality.
Thanks to the passionate and ongoing efforts of the Yorkville High Alumni Association, and with cooperation from village government, many of the countless athletic achievements are being showcased.
A Yorkville High athletic museum is now open for public viewing.
It is a work in progress, however, as Ductillites' memorabilia will continue to be accepted and displayed.
The exhibit is housed on the second floor of the municipal building, located at 139 Market St.
The space was given to the Yorkville alumni group with the blessing of the mayor and village council. Their support was key to moving the project along.
With government backing in tow, a dozen or so passionate alumni association members embarked on retrieving as much of their glorious athletic past.
Amongst the many sparkling Ductillite achievements was the ultimate - the 1943 state basketball championship.
After consolidating with Warren Consolidated to become Buckeye South four decades ago, many of the trophies, awards and photos were either tucked away in the bows of the former high school or in the possession of individuals.
Either way, justice was not being served to Ductillite success.
That has all changed.
Making that happen were a host of alumni association members, including Tom Magnone (president), Albert Gaudio (vice president), Joseph Talarico (treasurer), Clara McKnight (treasurer), Pat Ryan, Bob Ryan, Sandy Talarico, Vince Talarico, Jackie Liberatore and Marge Talarico.
"We have some of the best athletes to compete in the Ohio Valley. Henry Josefczyk and Ken Alessi are legends," Magnone said. "There are a lot of other great athletes and teams from Yorkville that we felt should get their just due."
The new sports museum does just that. It is painted purple and gold and adorned with a wide range of Ductillites' artifacts. Frames photos of the 1943 state title team and Alessi are two of the mainstays. A photo of Josefczyk will likely be added soon.
Many man hours of work made the exhibit possible. A group of association members donated countless hours, some traveling from as far as Wintersville.
It was time well spent.
The museum is bright, colorful, clean and well organized, taking Ductillites on a fulfilling trip back in time.
"A lot of time and effort went into the museum. We also had volunteers paint and put up shelves," Magnone said. "But it was a labor of love. We didn't want the school's history to be hidden."
The first Yorkville High graduating class was in 1932, featuring nine boys, while the alumni association was formed in 1981.
During the school's four decades of existence, some 1,300 students picked up Ductillite diplomas. The first school reunion was staged in 1983, with the next coming on Saturday.
The museum will obviously be a center of attention for alumni, and will be open for their pleasure the night prior of the reunion.
"We are excited that the museum will be open for the reunion," Magnone said. "Yorkville graduates have a lot of pride in their old school. The museum will bring back a lot of great memories at the reunion."