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Harrison "Gus" Harvell

Athlete, Baseball and Basketball 1971-1973

headshot of Harrison "Gus" Harvell
Harrison "Gus" Harvell

Although Harrison "Gus" Harvell was recruited by Raymond Lumpp to come to Waubonsee to play basketball, he found success on the court and on the baseball field as well. Playing two years in basketball and baseball from 1971 to 1973, he was a vital part of both teams.

Harvell already had an established reputation as an athlete prior to coming to Waubonsee. After growing up in Batavia, he transferred to Kaneland High School his junior year. He was All-Chicago his senior year in basketball and all-conference both junior and senior years.

Playing center for the Chiefs basketball team, he still often brought the ball up the floor, which is usually the guard's responsibility. He made the Northern Illinois All-Stars his second season. At one point, the team was known as the "Magnificent Seven" because there were only seven players on the team, and they managed a run of seven straight wins.

It was on the baseball field, though, where Harvell truly made an impact. Playing first base and pitcher, he was All-Conference, All-State and an All-American honorable mention. His second season the team finished fifth in the state, and he earned the triple crown - leading the conference in average, runs batted in and home runs. His fondest memory in baseball was beating College of DuPage when they were ranked near the top of national polls and getting the win over the University of Illinois Junior Varsity team.

"Waubonsee influenced me a great deal," he said. "It taught me a lot, and I really learned a lot. Coming out of high school, you don't know what you can do, and Waubonsee helped me to see that I could compete with anyone."

A solid student-athlete, Harvell was on the Dean's List his sophomore year at Waubonsee and earned his associate degree. He went on to play baseball on scholarship at Eastern Illinois University and earn his bachelor's degree in education.

Learning how to get athletic programs off the ground from his time at Waubonsee, Harvell put that knowledge to use starting the baseball program at Monticello High School in Wisconsin and leading it to be second in the state. He credits the example he learned from William Prince and Raymond Lumpp at Waubonsee. Harvell coached football, softball, baseball and basketball for more than 25 years at the junior high and high school level in the communities around his Wisconsin home. He also substitute taught periodically throughout his career.

Harvell lives in Albany, Wis., with his wife, Nancy. He has a grown son, Adam. A semi-retired beef cattle and hog farmer, he continued playing sports after college - playing semi-pro baseball in Aurora where he was the Most Valuable Player for three years. He also played fast-pitch softball in Wisconsin, and his team won the state championship in 1993 and 1994. At the first Badger State games, he hit the home run to give his softball team the championship there as well.

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