David Reeder

KANSAS-Having been sworn to secrecy by Kansas people in the know, I had to resist reporting an extremely newsworthy side story that occurred quietly on Saturday, December 5, in Locust Grove. 

On that semi-quiet Saturday evening, the Kansas Lady Comets handily defeated the Locust Grove Lady Pirates for their second victory of the young season.  But what went glaringly unnoted was the fact that Kansas girls’ head coach Steve Odle had just notched his 500th victory.  That ’oversight’ was corrected between the two contests against Colcord, Tuesday night when the affable coach was honored by the Comet crowd and administration.

    After spending 14 years at Grove, Odle has spent the past 12 years guiding the Lady Comets into one of the state’s preeminent athletic programs.  Over the past 12, going on 13 years, Coach Odle has put together a phenomenal 278-59 won/loss record, which translates to a .813 winning percentage, while at the Lady Comet helm. In addition to his enviable record, Odle has guided his teams to 8 state tournament berths, 1 runner up and two state championships.

He will also be reaching the 500 win mark in fast pitch softball in the fall of 2010. 

In his previous 15 years of experience, at Jay and Grove, Odle was involved in a state championship, in addition to several deep forays into the softball postseason.

    But an equal part of the equation is the fact that Coach Steve has been joined by his brother Phil Odle throughout his Comet tenure.  In truth, it is seldom that on the Comet campus, that when you spot one Odle, the other isn’t too far away.  After giving up coaching for the classroom, Phil was convinced to join his brother back in the game, saying, “When they hired Steve here, it was a no brainer, I was there.” And the two of them have been a gigantic presence in the Lady Comet program as well as the Oklahoma high school sports establishment, in general.  Phil also serves as the first base coach for the Lady Comet fast pitch softball team and is co-director of the phenomenally successful Lady Comet Summer Basketball Camp.

    The #1 rated 2009-10, Kansas girls are off to an 8-0 start going into the Christmas break, notching Odle’s career win total to 506 along the way.  After winning the prestigious Oklahoma’s Best Tournament in Tulsa, the Lady Comets defeated county rivals Colcord and Jay before celebrating the holidays. 

Kansas’s Courtney Cowan was name MVP of the Oklahoma’s Best and was joined by Brooke Panther and Kelsey Barnwell to the All-Tournament Team. 

And while the Kansas girl’s varsity was playing in Tulsa’s OBT, the Lady Comet JV squad beat a pair of varsity teams to gain a berth in the finals of Afton’s 22nd Annual Coca Cola Classic.  Lady Comet Brittany Nipps and Comet Corey Cowan were named to that tourney’s all-star team.