Granite City North High School “Steelers”

The History of Granite City North High School

Granite City (population 31,303) is located in the southwestern Illinois in the southwestern portion of Madison County.  The Mississippi River flows about two miles to the west of town.  St. Louis is about 6 miles to the southwest of Granite City.  Illinois Routes 3, 203, and 111 will all lead you into town.  Interstate Highways 55, 64, 70, 255, and 270 all surround Granite City.

According to a website about the metropolis of Granite City  ( the town was incorporated in 1896.  The town was started in 1892 by brothers William and Frederick Niedringhaus, two successful German-born businessmen from St. Louis.  The brothers had begun an eating untensil factory in St. Louis and had learned of a way of coating the utensils with granite.  The area of where Granite City now sits was bought by the brothers for the purpose of establishing a factory and a town based on this business.  Hence the name of Granite City was given to the town.  Its close proximity to the St. Louis metropolitan area and some excellent, hard work has allowed Granite City to become a thriving city over the years.

Granite City had a long and rich history of providing educational opportunities as well.  A high school was likely established very early on in the town’s growth.  It was in the early 1970s that a population boom saw for the need of two high schools within the city limits.  In 1973 this effort came true.  Granite City High School was renamed Granite City South High School while a new building was constructed on the north side of town.  This school was named Granite City North High School.

The two high schools in Granite City were supported well for 10 years.  Decreasing enrollment and funding led to the belief that the ciity could manage with just one high school.  In 1983 this effort also was realized.  Granite City North High School was closed.  Granite City South was simply renamed  Granite City High School.

The fate of the Granite City North High School building was sent to us by Matt Lalor:

“Immediately after Granite North closed at the end of the 1982-83 term, the building was sold to Illinois Community College District 522, better known at the time as Belleville Area College (BAC), and became the Granite City Campus of Belleville Area College (GCC-BAC).  BAC has been Southwestern Illinois College (SWIC) since 2000.  GCC has become the Sam Wolfe Educational Center of SWIC.  As GCC-BAC, its sports teams were called the Stars, competing with the Belleville campus.  Athletics were consolidated in 1990 at the Belleville campus and teams were called the Dutchmen and Dutchwomen, as the case was.  As SWIC, all teams are called the Blue Storm.”

Granite City North High School Quick Facts

Year opened:                     1973

Year closed:                      1983

Consolidated to:                 Granite City High School

GC North team nickname:   the “Steelers”

GC North team colors:        Black & Gray

School Fight Song:             “Now On To Victory”

Lyrics provided by Elizabeth S. Horn

“When these years have ended
Granite North will be

Always something special
in our memory. 

Now on to victory you Steelers
On to victory all the way
On to victory all you Steelers
Do it for the Black and Gray.

Fight, Fight, Fight!!

You’ve got what it takes you Steelers,

You will always fight to win.

You’ve got what it takes you Steelers,

Granite North will not give in.

That’s why we love you.

Granite North forever more.”


The boys and girls of Granite City North High School worked hard during the short 10 years the school was open.  Several Regional and Sectional titles were won at the school in both boys and girls athletics.  In addition several individuals were able earn medals in State Finals competition.  Several team records and coach’s names are missing.  Please contact us to help us “fill in the blanks”.


The boys baseball team of 1978-79 made it all the way to the Elite 8 of the State Baseball tournament.

1978-79   20 – 7   Team Qualified for State Finals       Coach Bob Stegemeier
Regional Champions

                          Sectional Champions

                          Elite 8 Finalist

                          Lost to Oak Forest   5 – 4

1979-80   24 – 8   (Lost 5 games of its games to eventual

Class AA Champ Collinsville and

eventual 4th Place finisher Edwardsville,

Beat Collinsville once!)

1980-81   16 – 12  Regional Champions

Lost in Sectional to Collinsville 8-4


The only season listed on the IHSA website regarding Granite City North HS boys basketball is their Regional Championship season of 1974-75.  Team record and coach’s name of this and other great GCNHS teams are needed.

1974-75                   Regional Champions                    Coach Bill Ohlendorf

1979-80                   Breese Mater Dei Christmas            Coach Bill Ohlendorf

Tourney Champs

Regarding the 1979-80 team and its Breese Mater Dei HS Christmas Tournament Championship as submitted by Mark Jurenga — Source: 2005 Breese (Mater Dei) Christmas Classic program, pg. 1,

“One of the strangest tournaments took place in 1979 as Granite City North came into the Tournament with no wins (0-5). Granite then swept the Championship with four straight victories, upsetting Springfield-Griffin, East St. Louis (Assumption), Breese (Mater Dei) and Chatham-Glenwood. The North team did not win another game in the regular season but did upset a strong Highland team in Regional play.”

Breese (Mater Dei) Tourney Facts:

All-Time Record: 8 wins 7 losses

Championships- 1979

4th Place- 1981

All Tournament Team Selections:

1979- Mike Robertson
Dennis Paige

**Also from our good friend Mark Jurenga:

All-Time series vs. Collinsville: 1-12

*Collinsville is #2 in IHSA history in wins with 1,939 after the 2006-2007 season.

North victory:

3/7/1975– Collinsville Class AA Regional Semifinal.

Granite City (North) 49 Collinsville 48

*Collinsville had defeated North 65-42 in Branite City earlier that season. Collinsville finished 1974-75 with a 20-6 record.

From GCNHS alum Richard Takmajian (Class of 1981):

“Bill Ohlendorf was the coach at North for all 10 years of its existence I believe. He won his 300th game during the 80-81′ season and ended up with well over 300 career IHSA wins as a coach.”


The ladies were able to double the boy’s Regional Title success by taking home two crowns.  Team records and coach’s names are needed.

1976-77                   Regional Champions
1982-83                   Regional Champions


The lady boulders of Granite City North High had some very successful seasons on the State Tourney level.  Five District titles meant five trips to the State Finals.  In 1978-79 the girls even placed in the top-ten with a SEVENTH place finish!!

1974-75                   Team Qualified for State Finals

                               Team Won District Championship 

1975-76                   Team Qualified for State Finals

                               Team Won District Championship

1976-77                   Team Qualified for State Finals

                               Team Won District Championship

 Team Finished SEVENTH at State Finals!

                               Team Won District Championship                    

1979-80                   Team Qualified for State Finals

                               Team Won District Championship


Granite City North harrier teams qualified for the State Finals on two occasions.  One individual, Mike Baker, even placed in the top-15 for Class AA in 1976-77!

1975-76             Team Qualified for State Finals Meet

                         Sectional Champions

1976-77             Team Qualified for State Finals Meet

                         Individual Medalist

                         Mike Baker                14TH Place


Coach Tom Wyrostek led the grid iron warriors to two trips to the IHSA State Playoffs. Team records and coach’s names are being sought for the other great GCNHS teams as well.

1974-75             Team Qualified for State Playoffs       Coach Tom Wyrostek

                         Class 4A Sweet 16 Finalist

                         Lost to Peoria Central 54 – 21

1981-82             Team Qualified for State Playoffs       Coach Tom Wyrostek

                         Class 4A Sweet 16 Finalist

Lost to Springfield Griffith 14 – 7                       


The boys soccer team of 1974-75 reached the Elite 8 round of the IHSA tourney before bowing to eventual state champ New Trier West.

1974-75   20 – 4   Team Qualified for State Tourney Finals  Coach Bob Kehoe

                          Sectional Champions

                          Elite 8 Finalist

                          Lost to New Trier West 2 – 0

New Trier West Won State Championship


The lady netters added to the Granite City North trophy case by winning a Regional Championship in 1982-83.  Team record and coach’s name ofthis and other GCNHS teams are being sought.

1982-83               Regional Championship


Coach Walt Whitaker appears to have been Granite City North’s ONLY head coach in varsity boys wrestling.  By the looks of his overall record, this was a very good thing!  The boys sported a 170 – 23 – 4 record in dual meets under Coach Whitaker during the ten years the school was open! Included were some IHSA tourney hardware and some excellent individual performances.

In 1976-77 Khris Whelan won the STATE CHAMPIONSHIP in the individual 98 lbs weight class!

1973-74   11 – 3                                                                   Coach Walt Whitaker

1974-75   16 – 3                                                                   Coach Walt Whitaker

                             Individual Medalists

                             Khris Whelan     98 lbs Wgt Class   4TH Place

                             Keith Whelan     98 lbs Wgt Class   6TH Place

1975-76   17 – 4                                                                   Coach Walt Whitaker

                             Individual Medalist

                             Keith Whelan   105 lbs Wgt Class   5TH Place

1976-77   18 – 1      Team Finished NINTH at State Finals!  Coach Walt Whitaker


                              Individual Medalist

                              Khris Whelan   98 lbs Wgt Class   STATE CHAMPION!!

1977-78   14 – 5 – 1                                                               Coach Walt Whitaker

                              Individual Medalist 

                              Khris Whelan  112 lbs Wgt Class   2ND Place

1978-79   14 – 4                                                                    Coach Walt Whitaker

1979-80   16 – 2 – 1                                                               Coach Walt Whitaker

1980-81   17 – 1 – 2                                                               Coach Walt Whitaker

1981-82   23 – 0       Team Won District Championship        Coach Walt Whitaker


                              Individual Medalist

                              Steve Smith    119 lbs Wgt Class    3RD Place

1982-83   24 – 0       Team Won Regional Championship     Coach Walt Whitaker

                              Team Won Sectional Championship


Please contact us via e-mail at . A photo of the former HS building would be a great addtion to this page.  You can also e-mail items to us at:

Illinois HS Glory Days

6439 N. Neva St.

Chicago, Il.  60631 

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