Odell High School "Rams" & "RamGals"

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Odell High School 1909 - 1987
odellhs190987mons.jpg
Odell, Illinois

                                              The History of Odell High School
 
Odell (population 1,014) is located in upper eastern Illinois in north central Livingston County. One of Odell's "claims to fame" is its one-time busiest street, the historic Route 66. Today, it is Interstate Highway 55 which runs by the west side of town. Odell sits almost directly between Pontiac and Dwight (about eight miles from each). The Illinois Central Gulf Railroad also runs alongside Historic Highway 66.
 
Odell was formed in 1867, though it was unofficially occupied since 1854. It was then that its namesake, William Odell, and another man, Henry Gardner, owned the land that the village was sitting on. Mr. Gardner and S.S. Morgan platted the town around what was then known as the Chicago & Alton Railroad. 
 
Schooling in Odell traces its roots back as early as 1857 in Pleasant Ridge Township, then the first public school was built in 1858. High School classes were not offered until 1866 when two years of post-eighth grade classes were offered. The first class of four-year graduates did not begin until after a "new" building was erected in 1882. This building stood tall until 1904 when it was torn down to make way for a "more modern" structure. This school building lasted a mere four years until it burned down in 1908.
 
A new building was finished in 1909. An agricultural shop was added to the facilities in 1952 and a gym was added to the school in 1957. The buildings served the educational needs of the Odell students for nearly 80 years. Declining enrollment and financial issues took their toll. In 1987, the town's residents decided to close the doors of Odell High.
 
The high school-aged students now attend either Pontiac or Dwight High Schools. Odell Grade School still educates the Pre-K thru 8th grade students in town. The high school building was demolished soon after the school's deactivation. All that remains of Odell High is the gymnasium and ag shop building, which are either connected or are a short walk from the grade school building (see building at bottom of page).
 
Odell High School Quick Facts
 
Year 2-year high school offered: 1866
Year 4-year high school offered: 1882
Year 1st HS building built:         1882
Year 2nd HS building built:        1904
Year final HS building built:        1909
Year ag building built:                1952
Year gymnasium added:            1957
Year High School closed:           1987 (school building demolished)
School nickname:                      the "Rams" & "RamGals"
School colors:                           Green & White (Gold trim added in 1972 to honor closing of St. Paul HS)
School Fight Song:                    "Odell Fight Song"
                                                         (Special thank you to Rita Clark
                                                          for providing the words to this song
                                                          From a 1958 Odell HS yearbook.)
 
            To Odell Hi the school we love, we sing our song of praise,
            To all her many victories won, and high her banners raise.
            We'll glorify our Alma Mater work for her with zest and show
            To all the world around, that Odell Hi is best.
 
            So let's join in a cheer, while we're all gathered here 
            Cheer for OCHS.  
            We are ready to fight, for the green and white
            Of dear OCHS.
            For her honor and fame, and her glorious name
            She will stand every test
            So let's cheer, cheer, the gang's all here
            We're all out for OCHS.
 
From Joe Foley, Odell HS class of 1977:
 
"I attended Odell High School from 1973-1977.  At that time our fight song was a variation of " On Wisconsin" that we sang as "On Odell"."
 
             ON ODELL, ON ODELL
             FIGHT RIGHT PAST THAT LINE
             PASS THE BALL STRAIGHT DOWN THE LINE BOYS
             BASKET SURE THIS TIME
             RAH! RAH! RAH!

             ON ODELL, ON ODELL
             FIGHT RIGHT FOR HER FAME
             FIGHT FELLOWS FIGHT
             AND WE WILL WIN THIS GAME
             RAH! RAH! RAH!
             RAH! RAH! RAH!
             YEA ODELL!

Odell High School 1882 - 1904
odellhs18821904mons.jpg
Odell's First Public HS Building

Athletics
 
The Odell High School Rams had many great seasons of success. The boys competed in basketball, baseball, track, and golf. The girls competed in volleyball, basketball, softball, and track. The best seasons of the sports we were able to research on the IHSA web site (www.ihsa.org) are listed below.
 
Boys' Basketball
 
The Odell High School hardwood court men had some real nice seasons. The teams of 1952 and 1967 won District titles. Coach Dick Laity led the teams of the 1970's to some very successful seasons as well. Records and coach's names of the District Championship teams and other great Odell HS teams are not available.
 
1925-26             Livingston Co. Tourney Champs  Coach J.E. Lukens
1951-52             District Champions
1966-67             District Champions
1971-72   15- 9                                                  Coach Dick Laity
1973-74   16- 9                                                  Coach Dick Laity
1974-75   23- 4   (great record)                           Coach Dick Laity
1977-78   14-11                                                 Coach Dick Laity
1978-79   21- 5                                                  Coach Dick Laity
1985-86             Reached Regional Final             Coach Jerry Farber
     
Girls' Basketball
 
The RamGals won consecutive Regional Championships in the early 1980's. Coaches' names and team records of these teams are needed.
 
1980-81             Regional Champions              Coach David Woodward

The Odell HS RamGals - Regional Champs 1980-81
odellhsramgals.jpg
Submitted by Connie Abry

Front row L to R: Rhonda Bustle, Veronica O'Donnell, Deb Stadel, Donna Johnson, Connie Abry
Back row L to R: Susie Branz, Robin LaBorence, Suz Rygh, Coach Dave Woodward, Robin Tucker, Mary Ribordy, Donna Rygh, Joyce Branz.
 
1981-82             Regional Champions                     Coach David Woodward
1982-83             Regional Runner-up                          Coach David Woodward
1983-84             Regional Runner-up                          Coach Bruce Weldy
 
Girls' Volleyball
 
The 1979-80 RamGals won a Regional Title for the school. Class of 1980 graduate Pat Ehler helped us with the information on this great team.
 
1979-80    11 - 6     Regional Champions             Coach Kathy McPeek
                             Dight Tourney Runner-up
 
Softball, Boys' Golf, Baseball, Track
 
All of these sports were offered at one time by the athletic department of Odell High School. If you have any information on any of these sports, please write to us via e-mail at eganann@sbcglobal.net.
 
Great Coach
 
*Coach Dick Laity              Eight Seasons Recorded 
                                          1971-72 through 1978-79
                                          Overall Record 121-83
                                          Two seasons with 20 wins or more 
 
Remember the RAMS & RAMGALS!
 
If you have any information regarding the Odell High School Rams & RamGals and their many accomplishments, please share it with us so we can share it with others. You can e-mail items to us at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net.. You can wrte to us via real mail at:
 
Illinois HS Glory Days
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.  60631

Odell High School (2005)
odellhsgymandagshopdav.jpg
Gymnasium and Ag Shop