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Odegard leading changes for athletics at Rosemary Clarke Middle School

Lori Odegard has been making changes in the athletic department for Rosemary Clarke Middle School over the years.

After being able to add a cross-country team to the school’s athletic program, Odegard has her eyes set on making changes for the betterment of the football program in her fifth year as athletic director.

Starting this season, RCMS will be participating in the Sagebrush League.

In the past, RCMS participated in the Nevada Youth Sports (NYS) league, which is a Las Vegas-based U14 unweighted division. Odegard decided to move the program into a different league so that the school could remain competitive while also being able to maintain their safety.

This change in leagues will not only see a difference in opponents, but it will also see a difference in rules. The Sagebrush League is an 8-player tackle football league instead of the standard 11-player league.

RCMS is looking to make a great first impression to the rest of the league when they open their season on Friday, Sept. 3. They’ll be playing host to Beatty Middle School.

“We’re super excited they allowed us in this year,” Odegard said about joining the Sagebrush league. “The coaches are excited, the kids are excited. So it’s going to be a good first game on Friday.”

Now that RCMS is no longer in the NYS league, they will no longer be playing schools from the Las Vegas area. The focus of opponents will instead shift to include more schools in Nye County, as well as schools from the Ely/White Pine area.

This is the second big change that Odegard has made to the school’s athletic department.

Odegard’s first big change came three years ago when she added the cross-country team to the middle school.

This program works hand-in-hand with Pahrump Valley High School. Both schools travel together and compete at all of the same events.

“It’s been extremely successful,” Odegard said. “We’ve had over 30 athletes in the program the last three years. It’s a really good experience and something really amazing to see, those high school kids cheering on the middle school kids. Really building that school culture across the middle school and high school. It’s something that I’m very proud of.”

The connection between the two programs helps not only with the students coming together, but it also helps with the coaches coming together and being able to get on the same page for the student-athletes.

On top of football and cross country, RCMS is also offering girls volleyball and co-ed cheerleading during the fall.

Odegard has her eyes set on more changes in the future and wants to continue building on what has already been put in place.

She is hoping to eventually add a soccer and a baseball program, but adds that the Pahrump community already has leagues put in place for those sports and knows that it will take some working together with the community to get those sports up and running at the school.

“For me, having athletics here is very important.” Odegard said. “As long as I am here, kids are going to be my main priority and making sure they have the athletics available to them at all times.”

Contact Sports Editor Danny Smyth at dsmyth@pvtimes.com

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