State Stories


IHSA Store Now Carrying Two Classic Taylor Bell Books on IHSA Basketball & Football History

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Taylor Bell wrote the book on IHSA history, literally and figuratively. The legendary Chicago Sun Times writer has published two of the preeminent accounts on the storied tradition of IHSA boys’ basketball and football. The two books, Sweet Charlie, Dike, Cazzie and Bobby Joe; and  Dusty, Deek, and Mr. Do-Right are now available to fans on the IHSA Store located at

“It is a wonderful history,” said Bell. “I hope high school basketball and football fans in Illinois will get as much enjoyment out of reading about the great teams, coaches and players as I did while traveling throughout the state to interview hundreds who carved a notable history in the two sports.”

Sweet Charlie, Dike, Cazzie and Bobby Joe  chronicles high school basketball in Illinois and was published by University of Illinois Press in 2004, while the gridiron history Dusty, Deek, and Mr. Do-Right  followed via University of Illinois Press in 2010.

Bell lived the games and knew the players that he chronicles in these timeless books, as he spent over 40 years on the prep sports beat in Illinois, spending the majority of his time at the Chicago Daily News and Chicago Sun-Times.

“I hope this generation of athletes realize they are standing on the shoulders of others who paved the way for them,” said Bell. “Unfortunately, too many of them are gone like Vergil Fletcher, Larry Hawkins, Johnny Orr, Duncan Reid, Jim Brown, Pat Cronin, Jerry Leggett, Sherrill Hanks, Tom Millikin, Bobby Joe Mason, Gene Cross, Norm Goodman, Johnny Lattner, Gordie Gillespie and Harry Fitzhugh.”

Bell and the IHSA will donate all proceeds from the sales of the two books via the IHSA Store to the Illinois High School Activities Foundation, which provides college scholarships and leadership training for high school students in Illinois.