William Horlick High School

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William Horlick High School
WHHS Old Building.jpg
The northern face of the school building during winter.
2119 Rapids Drive


Coordinates42°44′50.12″N 87°48′29.02″W / 42.7472556°N 87.8080611°W / 42.7472556; -87.8080611Coordinates: 42°44′50.12″N 87°48′29.02″W / 42.7472556°N 87.8080611°W / 42.7472556; -87.8080611
School typePublic High School
Established1928 (1928)
School districtRacine Unified School District
PrincipalAngela Ress Apmann[1]
Faculty125 (2010–11 school year)[2]
Grades9 through 12
Enrollment1,758 (2016-17)[3]
Campus size17 acres (69,000 m2)
Color(s)Scarlet      and Gray     
MascotRebel Yeller Mascot of William Horlick High.png
NewspaperThe Herald
Information(262) 619-4300

William Horlick High School (also known as Horlick or Racine Horlick High School) is a comprehensive public four-year high school in Racine, Wisconsin with an enrollment of approximately 2,000 students. The school opened to students in 1928, after William Horlick, the original patent holder for malted milk, donated the land the school was built on.[4][5] It was designed by Racine architect J. Mandor Matson.

The school was expanded during the early 1960s.[5] The school is a member of the WIAA Southeast Conference and has a long-standing cross-town rivalry with Washington Park High School, which also opened in 1928. The school colors are scarlet and gray.[6][7]


William Horlick.

Horlick High School first opened its doors to students on September 17, 1928. The school was named after William Horlick, the original patent holder of malted milk, who had donated the land for the school ten years earlier.[4][5] The school was first introduced to the public during an open house in mid-December 1928, but was not officially dedicated until January 1929. At that time the school had 33 rooms, 16 full-time and 7 part-time teachers, and an enrollment of 407 students. The school was constructed at a total cost of US$721,176.[5]

The early students at the school were referred to as 'Northsiders' because of the school's location in Racine County. This resulted in an association with the North Star, as shown in its incorporation in the school's emblem. The school's annual, Polaris, is also named after the star.

In 1931, Horlick donated 5 acres (20,000 m2) additional of land, increasing his total donation to 17 acres (69,000 m2). The additional land was used for an athletic field.


The year 1961 signaled the start of a two-phase expansion plan, slated to cost US$3.1 million.[5] In that year 47,500 square feet (4,410 m2) of floor space was added, providing room for 22 additional classrooms and a library at a cost of US$757,954. In 1962, when the first phase of the expansion had been completed, the school had 80 teachers and a student population of 1785.

The second and final phase of the expansion began in 1964, with the addition of a gymnasium, pool, a theater with seating for 600, art and music rooms, 17 teaching stations, and a cafeteria with seating for 700. These new additions added 110,228 square feet (10,240.5 m2) of floor space and cost US$1.8 million. By the time of the second expansion's completion in 1965, the student body had grown to 2,277, and the teaching staff had expanded to 110 teachers.

In addition to the two-phase expansion, a field house was added in 1964. The field house contains an L-shaped pool with six Olympic-sized lanes, an indoor track, three tennis courts, nine volleyball courts, a basketball court, and six badminton courts.[5] After the addition of the field house, the original gymnasium was converted into additional classrooms and offices. This conversion was completed in 1987, after 10 classrooms and a weight room had been added. A new women's locker room was needed, which was added to the field house during the 1990s. The interior of the field house is being completely re-done in 2018. [8]

During the school years 1965-1966 and 1966-1967, some 1400 students of the future JI Case High School attended Horlick. Concurrently, Horlick housed adult ed and continuing ed. Morning classes started about 6:00am, like Henny Henderson's drafting class, and continued until about 10:00pm, such as Tuesday-Thursday Senior English. Horlick competed in the league with the nick name 'Big Ten High School.' Evanston was very large, Rufus King in Milwaukee was about 6500 students. Madison LaFollette was one of the smaller schools at 2400 to 3400 students. [9]


A USGS satellite photograph showing Wadewitz Elementary to the left and Horlick High School to the right.

The school is located on the south side of Rapids Drive in northern Racine. The grounds are bordered to the east by Mount Pleasant Street and to the west by Wadewitz Elementary and residential housing. To the south, the grounds are dominated by the outdoor track and a football field and bordered by Yout Street. The primary parking lot for the school is also south of the school, with additional parking on the west side of the building. In addition to the elementary school in the west, there are several playing fields for football and soccer practice, along with eight concrete tennis courts.[10]

The building is divided into two sections: the original building and the expansions, which were completed in 1965. The original building consists of 4 floors, although the fourth floor is just one office-sized room and is usually not accessible to students. The original building is shaped like the letter 'E', with an elongated branch on the east side where the gym is located. This branch also serves as home for the Social sciences and Technical education departments. The eastern branch is primarily one story, except for the Social science wing, which is two. The main hallway houses Math, Foreign language, and Health classes, as well as some English classes and spans three floors. The central branch of the 'E' contains the counseling offices (on the first floor) and the choir room (second floor). The westernmost branch of the original building spans three stories contains additional Math and Foreign languages rooms, as well as the Home education classroom and some computer labs.[10]

The main hallway extends into the expanded portion of the building. The transition between the two parts of the building is marked by ramps on both the north and south halves of the building. The expansion has two floors that run adjacent to the westernmost branch of the original building and contains several more English classrooms, the Science classrooms and the library. Further west down the main hallway are the cafeteria and the field house, art rooms, the band room, the theater, and the athletic offices. The main student entrance is located at the far west end of the main hallway.[10]


Horlick High School emblem


The school's official mascot is Polaris, the North Star. However, Horlick is better known by its unofficial mascot, the Rebel Yeller. The change occurred in the 1940s when Russ Rebholz, known as "Reb", was the head coach of both the football and boys' basketball teams. The nickname "Rebels" developed from his name, is still in use today.[5][11][12]

Songs and cheers[edit]

The school has had many songs and cheers that have been passed down through the years, the most notable of these being the Horlick Fight Song. The song mentions the school's sense of pride as well as its emblem, the North Star. The song ends with a spelling out of "Horlick" and a pronouncement of the school's colors, scarlet and gray. One notable omission from the song is the current 'Rebels' mascot, as the song was written before the mascot was officially adopted.[10]

Another notable song was created by students to commemorate spirit of the long-standing rivalry between Horlick and Washington Park. The song is a parody of the Washington Park fight song, and although the origin of the song is unknown, it is believed to have originated no later than the mid-1950s. The song makes a spin of Washington Park's school colors, orange and blue, saying, "Hail thy black and blue. Those be your colors when Horlick's through with you." The song goes on to mention Horlick's extreme distaste of Park and closes by making a joke about "Park spelled backwards," saying that it is "what we think of thee." The song is still taught to new students at freshman orientation along with the Horlick Fight Song.[10]

The Spirit Horn is a cheering competition among the classes and is usually conducted at school assemblies. Cheerleaders go from class to class leading a call and response cheer, after which students yell their class year. The loudest class, as determined by school administrators, is declared the winner.

Extracurricular activities[edit]


Promotional poster for a Park vs. Horlick football game

List is current as of January 1, 2009.[13][14]

Sport State championships Sport State championships
Baseball Swimming, women's
Basketball, men's Soccer, men's
Basketball, women's Soccer, women's
Cheerleading 2007, 2008, Softball
Cross country, men's 1966 Tennis, men's
Cross country, women's Tennis, women's
Football Track and field, men's 1968
Golf, men's 1950, 1959 Track and field, women's 1984, 1987, 1988
Golf, women's 1994 Volleyball, men's 1990, 1994, 2003
Gymnastics, women's* 1997, 1998, 2004 Volleyball, women's 1990
Poms Wrestling
Swimming, men's

*The gymnastics team consists of members from Horlick, Racine Park, and Racine Case.

Rivalry with Washington Park[edit]

Horlick has a long-standing rivalry with Washington Park athletic teams, known locally as The Great Rivalry or more informally as Park/Horlick. The rivalry originated in 1928, when the two schools opened. The rivalry is most notable between the schools' football teams who have played at least once every year since 1928.[15]

Clubs and organizations[edit]

List is current as of September 3, 2018.[16]

Notable alumni[edit]


  • D.W. Miller (1928–1947)
  • Wemer S. Smith (1948–1959)
  • Harold Mills (1960–1971)
  • Walter Stenavich (1971–1986)
  • Larry Yarck (1986–1993)
  • Nola Starling-Ratliff (1993–2008)
  • Angela Ress Apmann (2008–present)[7][19]

See also[edit]

  • The World's Best Prom - An award-winning documentary and forthcoming feature-length documentary about high school prom in Racine, Wisconsin.


  1. ^ a b "William Horlick High School - Contact Us". Racine Unified School District. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  2. ^ "Teacher Qualifications - What are the qualifications of teachers?". Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  3. ^ "Horlick High". National Center for Education Statistics. Retrieved February 16, 2019.
  4. ^ a b Drummond, Margo (1994). "The Horlick Mausoleum". A Walking Tour Guide: Mound Cemetery, Racine, Wisconsin. Racine: Preservation-Racine, Inc. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g Thompson, Donald; Brandt, Willard J. (July 1965). "History of the Racine Public Schools". Racine, Wisconsin: Racine Unified School District: 46–48. |access-date= requires |url= (help)
  6. ^ "William Horlick High School - About Us". Racine Unified School District. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  7. ^ a b "William Horlick High School - Horlick History". Racine Unified School District. Retrieved September 6, 2012.
  8. ^ Frayer, Bill (2003). "Construction Timeline of Horlick". Seventy-Five Years of Excellence. Racine, Wisconsin: William Horlick High School. p. 5.
  9. ^ Template:Personal Experience. R.M.Ramage '67
  10. ^ a b c d e "H.O.P.E Freshman Orientation Reference Materials". Racine: William Horlick High School.
  11. ^ "As team name, Rebels still rule at Horlick High". The Journal Times. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  12. ^ "correction". The Journal Times. Retrieved December 26, 2008.
  13. ^ "Sports". Horlick High School. Archived from the original on May 26, 2009. Retrieved December 17, 2008.
  14. ^ Thompson, Dennis (2008). "Southeast Conference - Wisconsin - Racine Horlick". Retrieved April 25, 2009.
  15. ^ Sweeney, Nicole (May 8, 2004). "Park High School turns 75". Milwaukee Journal Sentinel. Retrieved January 28, 2009.
  16. ^ "Clubs". Racine Unified School District. Retrieved December 11, 2010.
  17. ^ "Astronaut Bio: Laurel Blair Salton Clark 5/04". National Aeronautics and Space Administration. May 2004. Retrieved January 18, 2009.
  18. ^ 'Wisconsin Blue Book 1966,' Biographical Sketch of Henry Dorman, pg. 27
  19. ^ Frayer, Bill (2003). "Former Directing Principals". Seventy-Five Years of Excellence. Racine, Wisconsin: William Horlick High School. p. 6.

External links[edit]