zzzRoland O'Dellzzz


{short description of image} 1997///
Roland O'Dell was born and raised in Bennington, Vermont. He met and married his wife, Beverly, in 1958. They had two sons, Roland Jr, and Mark, who both accompanied him to many tournaments until Roland JR's death from Muscular Dystrophy in 1977.

Roland started pitching horseshoe in 1965 with his brother Leon O'Dell (himself a Hall of Famer).

In 1971, Roland, his brother Leon, and a few horseshoe friends began what seemed many nights and weekends, laying out the horseshoe courts that started the "Bennington Horseshoe Club" at Willow Park in Bennington. He was the "Bennington Horseshoe Club" President for one year and Vice-President for several years. Roland was instrumental on signing up new members for the club, and during tournaments at his club, was a referee and kept score for his fellow players.

Roland's first tournament was in Brattleboro, Vermont in Class C, where he took 1st place. The trophy was made of a solid block of wood with the metal figure on top. After wining that tournament, he was put in Class B where he won several trophies. In one tournament, another player was needed for Class A and Roland, with a 45% average, was chosen to fill the bill. This started his career in many Class A tournaments. In 1976, Roland played in the Keene Open in Class C where he placed 3rd. In that tournament, he was the first person to throw a 90% game in Keene.

In 1971, Roland played in the Vermont State Tournament at Springfield, Vermont where he and Bob Chapman tied for first place in the Championship Round, Roland lost the play-off, under car headlights (there were no lights at Springfield at this time) by four points. He finished at 6 wins 1 loss and a 56.1%; high game of 60.4%. In 1974, placed 3rd at Springfield with a record of 4 and 3' averaging 50.6% - high game of 66.7%. In 1975, 3rd place in Springfield, with a 5 and 2, averaging 53.6%.

Roland participated in many Southern Vermont Tournaments and in 1975 at Bennington, Roland won the tournament in a play-off against Kevin Hollister.

Roland gave up pitching horseshoes in tournaments in 1978 because of calcium deposits in his shoulder, but has over the years remained interested in horseshoes although he had not been an active player.

The VT HPA is fortunate and honored to have Roland O'Dell inducted into the Vermont Hall of Fame as an Organizer/Pitcher.