Woodstock St. Mary Catholic H.S. "Irish"

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The History of Woodstock St. Mary Catholic High School
 
Woodstock (population 21,985) is located in far northeastern Illinois. The city of Woodstock is the county seat of McHenry County. It is also a far northwestern suburb of Chicago, located 51 miles from the downtown Chicago area. U.S. Route 14 travels through Woodstock as do the Illinois Routes of 47 and 120. The Chicago & Northwestern Railroad line passes through Woodstock as well.
 
According to the web address of http://www.awaketowoodstock.com/history_of_woodstock_il.htm, Woodstock was originally named Centerville. It was platted in 1844. The name of the town was changed to Woodstock in 1845 as the town was named the county seat of McHenry County. Woodstock was incorporated as an official Illinois village in 1852. Its status was changed to that of a "city" in 1873. The addition of the Chicago and North Western Railraod in 1855 contributed greatly to the town's rapid and early growth. 
 
St. Mary Parish in Woodstock was established in 1853. According to the web address of http://www.stmary-woodstock.org/parish_history4.asp, St. Mary's parish built a parochial school for its children in 1916. High School classes were added to the school in 1923. A gymnasium was added to the growing school complex in 1929. 
 
According to http://www.stmary-woodstock.org/parish_history5.asp, a new school building was built and added to the gym in 1951. Marian Central Catholic High School was erected in 1959, taking the lead in the education of high school-aged catholic students of the area. This effort led to the closing of St. Mary Catholic High School. The former St. Mary High School building was converted to a grade school serving grades 1-8. St. Mary Parish continues to support a K-8 grade school today.
 
St. Mary Catholic High School Quick Facts
 
Year opened:                        1923
Year closed:                         1959
Students now attend:             Marian Central Catholic High School
St. Mary HS team nickname:  the "Irish"
St. Mary HS team colors:       Green & White
St. Mary HS fight song:          unavailable
Athletics
 
With the gymnasium built in 1929, we are certain that basketball was a part of the St. Mary athletic program. We know that the Irish competed in football. We believe that other sports may have been offered as well, possibly baseball and track. We are searching for St. Mary High School's fight song, team records, coach's names, and individual accomplishments.
 
Football
 
The Irish were always competitive on the grid iron. Coach Mel Steussey was head coach of the football program for a remarkable 30 years from 1924 to 1953!! Coach Dick Rabbitt took over the coaching reins in 1954 and held the role until the school closed in the spring of 1959. 
 
Coach Steussey's boys won three Northeast Catholic Conference Championships. Research by our good man Tom Sikorski revealed the following excellent seasons that were turned in by the St. Mary High School Irish of Woodstock.
 
1945  3-3     Northeast Catholic Conf. Champions   Coach Mel Steussey
1949  6-1     Northeast Catholic Conf. Champions   Coach Mel Steussey
1950  5-1-1  Northeast Catholic Conf. Champions    Coach Mel Steussey
1955  4-2-1                                                               Coach Dick Rabbitt        
1957  4-3                                                                  Coach Dick Rabbitt
1958  4-3                                                                  Coach Dick Rabbitt
  
 
Extra-Curricular Activities
 
Dances, plays, clubs, and many other activities were likely a part of the St. Mary HS experience as well. If you have any of this information you would like to share please contact us via the means listed below.
 
Do You Have Information About St. Mary High School of Woodstock? 
 
We are expecially interested in a photo of the high school building. You can reach us via e-mail at ihsgdwebsite@comcast.net. You can also write to us via USPS at:
 
IHSGD Website
6439 N. Neva St.
Chicago, Il.  60631