O’Fallon stomps Belleville for second time this year

Panthers Hockey logoO’FALLON –  The Panthers of the varsity hockey team have kept their mid-season momentum with a win last last week over Belleville.

Last Wednesday the Panthers squared off against Belleville for the second time this season, in their last game before the holiday break. Panther junior Hayden Ourada got OTHS on the board in the first period on a pass from junior Zach Winkler.  Senior Matthew McLeod padded the Panthers early lead with two goals. Senior Trevor Rieck and sophomore Logan Drolet assisted on McLeod’s first goal, his second was unassisted.

Sophomore Graham Sudduth extended the Panther’s lead in the second period with his 13th goal of the season. Hayden Ourada picked up his second point of the night on Sudduth’s lone second period goal.

Senior Jimmy Lyles got the scoring action going again for the Panther’s in the third period with a goal assisted by senior Matt Terveer. Joey Kurrasch gave O’Fallon its sixth goal of the night and Hayden Ourada put in his second tally to give the Panthers a 7-2 win.

Hayden Ourada had a big night for the Panthers with two goals and a helper for three points.

“I would have liked to stay out of the box in the third period, but he was sticking up for his teammate. Overall we played well and we had good, balanced scoring,” said head coach Patrick Roy.

O’Fallon goalie Kristin Smith, a sophomore, stopped 13 of 15 shots against Belleville. O’Fallon had 23 shots of their own.  The Panther’s win over the combined Belleville squad improved their record to 8-3-2 and remain in third place behind Edwardsville and Columbia.

Akoro again leading the Panthers defense


O’FALLON – Junior Celeste Akoro has been paving the way for the lady Panthers in their 2015-2016 season.

So far Akoro has put up big numbers for the Panthers, and has helped them got off to a 6-4 start to the season.  The 6’3 forward and center was a huge part of the Panthers squad last season, and it hasn’t come as a surprise for her to repeat her success so far this year.

Akoro leads the Panthers at the post with 40 rebounds in eight games, averaging five rebounds a game.  Her defensive effort has also included 34 blocks and 11 steals.  On offense, the junior has averaged close to 7 points a game, and has a total of 54 points through the first eight games of the season.

Most recently, Akoro gave the Panthers a shot at a conference win over Belleville East. Akoro lead the team with 13 points in the 42-39 loss, and was three for four from the free-throw line.

Last season, as a sophomore, Akoro finished with 306 points, the second highest on the Panther roster in 27 games. Akoro’s 103 rebounds in the 2014-2015 season was the second most in the conference.

“She is one of the best shot blockers in the area,” said head coach Ryan Massey. “She broke the school record last year on blocks and she continues to be a big part of the nucleus of our team.”

Akoro will have to continue her stellar play as the season continues to grow more difficult for the Panthers. In the opening stretch of the season Akoro helped the Panthers find wins with 10 points against Riverview Gardens and 11 points against Collinsville.

Be sure to catch Akoro in action this week during the Mascoutah Invitational tournament.

Panthers face off in annual alumni game


O’FALLON – The members of the O’Fallon High hockey team squared off against former Panthers last week in the annual Alumni game.

Alumni from years stretching as far back as 1999 joined forces to take on the current varsity team in a friendly bragging rights match. Nine of the players in the game were current or former Panther captains.

The oldest and first ever captain for the Panthers was Jason Power in 1997 when the team was first started by his father. Former Panther captains who played in the game included, Jason Power (97’, 98’), Ben Leonard (01’,02’), Tristan Tikkanen (03’,04’), Brandon Poignee (05’), Billy Shacklady (06’), Nic Rolla (07’), Aaron York (13’), Nicholas Krivakuca (15’) and the team’s current captain Cameron Forgette (16’).

Over 23 alums took to the ice at Granite City, a great turnout for the event which has taken on several different formats throughout its history.  Although for many of them it was their first time on the ice in quite some time, the alumni got on the board quickly. Just less than 15 seconds after the opening puck dropped the alumni Panthers scored on a rebounded shot to gain the lead.

The Panthers of old were unable to maintain their pace and eventually conceded to the current team in a close 5-4 finish. Last Sunday’s win for the active Panthers marked the first time the alumni team lost since the tradition started years ago.

The game is a coveted tradition by both players and fans alike. It gives former players an entertaining way of reconnecting and lacing up together on the ice again. This year’s game was also a chance for spectators, friends, family, and members of the team to donate canned goods for the O’Fallon Food Pantry.

“It was enjoyable for me,” said head coach Patrick Roy. “I didn’t really know what to expect but it was a really fun experience for the kids and it’s something that we can build on in the future. I knew going into it if the varsity team wanted to win they were going to have to try their hardest.”

Jason Power, a former player and coach of the O’Fallon Panthers, has recently started the O’Fallon Hockey Alumni Association. The group consists of former Panther players who have teamed up to try and rejuvenate youth hockey in the area to coincide with the new Metro Rec Plex ice rink. The rink is scheduled to be available to community sometime next fall. Power and the OHAA has started by creating a floor hockey program in several of the O’Fallon grade schools.

Lady Panthers still dominating the court

No 1 singles, Mackenzie Shelton

No 1 singles, Mackenzie Shelton

Nothing can seem to slow down the girls of the O’Fallon Panther tennis team after yet another strong week.
On Tuesday, the Panthers took to the courts of Belleville East in a Southwestern Conference match. It was as close as the Panthers have come to losing a conference match so far this season, as they narrowly defeated the Lancers in a 5-4 finish.
Both O’Fallon and East split the singles, each side winning three of the six singles matches. The Panthers edged out the Lancers on the doubles court, winning two of the three matches. The No. 1 doubles pairing for O’Fallon, Kate Dumstorff and Bailey Bohnenstiehl continued their red hot performance this season with a 6-1, 6-4 defeat over the top East pairing of Burwitz and McIssac. Also winning in doubles was the No. 3 pairing of Mackenzie Shelton and Mady Schreiber. Shelton and Schreiber also defeated East with a score of 6-1, and 6-4.
On Wednesday, the Lady Panther tennis team traveled to Alton. In a shutout performance, the Panthers only dropped five games in singles, and seven games in doubles. In singles, Shelton (No.1), Dumstorff (No.2), and Grace Lindsay (No. 6) all defeated their opponents without losing a single game.
This past weekend, the team competed in the Southern Illinois Duals against Quincy, Hinsdale South, Rockbride, and Rock Island. The team went 3-1 on the weekend, losing to Rockbride 9-2.
After the week of play, O’Fallon bolsters an impressive 17-2 overall record. This week the team has an always important conference match against the Edwardsville Tigers.

O’Fallon Trumps undefeated West


A huge win over the previously undefeated Belleville West has the ladies of the O’Fallon Panther volleyball team on the top of the Southwestern Conference.
Last Tuesday the Panthers took to the courts at West to face off against the Maroons.
In game one, the teams battled to an even 22-22 draw before the Panthers broke an opening in West’s defense. Three straight points by O’Fallon gave them a win and a chance to close out the match in game two.
The Panthers got off to a quick and aggressive early 7-3 lead in the second game of the set. A series of timeouts called from both Panthers and Maroon coaches breached way for Belleville West to take a lead that nearly closed out the game. Down by four, the Panthers rifled off four straight point wins to tie the game at 23 apiece. With disputed calls and a vocal crowd, the two teams fought back and forth over the next four rallies, continuing game in a deadlock at 25-25. On the Panther’s second consecutive match point, a Maroon miscue gave OTHS their third conference victory.
Head coach Melissa Massey was very pleased with the team’s resilience and control against West.
“We struggled with their outside hitters a bit,” said Massey. “Our hitters adjusted well over the course of the match and the girls found a way to win.”
Helping lead the way offensively for the Panthers was sophomore Elise Smith who had nine kills against West. Junior Imani Williamson had seven kills of her own, and junior Mackenzie Koester had six.
On defense, the Panthers got great support from senior Renae Moeller with ten digs. Behind Moeller was senior Becca Althoff with six digs.
Consistent control over their play has sparked huge success for the Panthers so far this season. Until losing to O’Fallon, Belleville West had not dropped a set all season and was 10-0.
“Something we have continued to tell the girls all season is that we may not be able to control the other team, but we can control how we play and keep our unforced errors to a minimum,” said Massey.
Last Wednesday the Panthers hosted the Granite City Warriors in a conference match. O’Fallon defeated the Warriors in 2 quick games, 25-12 and 25-14.
With two more conference wins in the books, O’Fallon holds an impressive record of 17-1 and is 3-0 in the Southwestern Conference.
This week the Panthers will travel to Collinsville on Tuesday and Quincy on Thursday. Next week the Edwardsville Tigers will be in O’Fallon for a much anticipated rematch.
“Staying focused, not getting distracted, and working hard are our focuses right now,” said Massey. “We want to do well in post season. In order to do that the girls will need to barrel down the rest of the season and stick to our game plan.”

Kentrail Moran, Athlete of the Week

Moran AOTW

It may have been a slow start to the season for the O’Fallon Panther football team, but senior running back Kentrail Moran has been anything but slow.
Last Friday the 5”11, 200lb running back put on an offensive clinic against the Alton Redbirds. Moran ran just six yards shy of 300 in Alton and had four touchdowns. In the first quarter of the game, Moran made an incredible 61 yard dash into the end zone. The touchdown is Moran’s longest run so far this season.
After five weeks of play in his senior year, the University of Illinois commit has 101 carries for a total of 629 yards. He has averaged 6.2 yards a carry and 125.8 yards per game.
“Kentrail is a very hard worker, who knows and studies the game extensively,” said head Panther football coach Brandon Joggerst. “He is the kind of guy that we can utilize and rely on week in and week out. He’s the ultimate kind of player.”
Moran has been the Panther starting running back all four years of his time at O’Fallon Township High School.
“He’s a four year starter who was able to be productive right away,” said Joggerst.
As a junior, Moran carried the ball 94 times in 5 games, totaling for 342 yards in a season shortened by injury.
The senior is the second all-time leading rusher in Panther football history. He currently trails the leading rusher by just 336 yards with four games left to play in the 2015 regular season.
Not only does Moran carry the ball for O’Fallon, but he also carries a great deal of leadership responsibilities for the team.
“He is more of a quiet leader,” said Joggerst. “He tries to lead by example more than anything. Everything on the field he does it to his fullest and does it for the team. When he steps his game up he expects others to follow. Not only with his effort on the field but in general, he’s a very hard worker.”
So far in 2015 Moran has crossed into the end-zone six times for the Panthers and is over 20 points ahead of closest teammate in scoring. Moran has also completed his only passing attempt so far this season on a 42 yard pass against Edwardsville at home earlier this season.
Moran has received numerous offers from college teams, but has verbally committed to play for the University of Illinois next fall as a freshman.
Be sure to catch Moran in action this Friday in O’Fallon’s homecoming showdown with Granite City at 7:00 pm.

Lady Panthers roll on and win first at the Lincoln Volleyball Tournament

Volleyball TeamRolling off of their third place finish in the Edwardsville Classic, the O’Fallon Panther volleyball squad has had a huge week.
Since the beginning of the season, the Panthers have been looking forward for their chance to face off against Mater Dei. Early in the season OTHS struggled with slow starts, but they were fully prepared for their big match last Tuesday.
“There was a lot of excitement leading up to playing Mater Dei,” said coach Melissa Massey. “There wasn’t any nervous energy, the girls were tough and came ready to play.”
The match was by no means easy for the Panther team.
In game one, OTHS narrowly defeated Mater Dei by two points (25-23). The Panthers had 3 aces and 12 kills in the tightly played game.
O’Fallon found their groove in game two, topping the Knights by a final score of 25-19 and closing the match out in two games.
“Beating Mater Dei on their home court is a huge win for our program,” said Massey. “We were tough to defend against and moved the ball around well.
After their big victory at Mater Dei, the team took to the courts at Lincoln Community High School in the Lincoln Volleyball Tournament. At Lincoln, the Panthers faced off against Bartonville Limestone, Lincoln, Peoria Notre Dame, Normal West, and Quincy Notre Dame in the championship.
In the championship match, O’Fallon clashed against Quincy Notre Dame in a dramatic three game finale. Both game one and two of the match were decided by two points.
Game one went in favor of the Panthers, with a 25-23 win. In game two, the teams battled to a 28-29 score when O’Fallon challenged a rule preventing the game from proceeding past 29 points. After allowing the game to continue past 29, the Panthers fell 28-30.
The dramatic game two loss was all the motivation OTHS needed to win game three. In the largest point differential of the set, the O’Fallon Panthers closed out the match and the tournament with a 15-9 win.
Hoisting the title at in the Lincoln Tournament is a big win for O’Fallon. Not only does it move their record on the season to an impressive 13-1, but it also gives the team a taste of what they could face in the post season.
Coach Massey credits the teams bond to their fantastic start.
“The team plays very connected, with incredible group chemistry. They have done a great job of moving forward and taking their game to something bigger,” said Massey.

Lady Panthers Tennis Team dominate at the O’Fallon Quad

Kate Dumstorff volleying

Kate Dumstorff volleying

Winning on their home courts is something the Lady Panther tennis team is quickly getting used to.

This past weekend was no exception as the Panthers hosted the O’Fallon Quad. Competing in the Quad along with O’Fallon were Althoff, Alton Marquette, and Mt. Vernon. The quad was played in a three round, round-robin format.
In the first round, O’Fallon handily defeated Alton Marquette without dropping a single match. The second round was a tougher matchup for O’Fallon. The Lady Panthers were able to narrowly defeat the Althoff Crusaders, winning by one match (3-2). Round three against Mt. Vernon resulted in OTHS only dropping one match, winning 4-1.
Great team chemistry and attitude have paved the way for the teams winning record. Head coach Erin Thoman is proud of the team’s strong start to the season.

“We have worked a lot on staying positive throughout matches,” said coach Thoman. “They have done a great job playing patiently at the right times.”

No 1 singles, Mackenzie Shelton

No 1 singles, Mackenzie Shelton

The Panther’s doubles team work has paid off in the team’s early season wins. No. 1 doubles pairing Bailey Bohnenstiel and Kate Dumstorff went undefeated at the quad.

Earlier in the week O’Fallon shut out Centralia on the OTHS home courts, 9-0. The Panthers defeated Centralia, only dropping six games in the nine matches.

Despite their early success, O’Fallon’s season is sure to get tested in the coming weeks with several tough conference matches. In the coming weeks, the Panthers are set to face off against both Belleville East, and West, as well as Edwardsville. The conference heavy upcoming schedule will prove to be the Panthers toughest stretch of the season.
Coach Thoman doesn’t plan on changing her team’s game plan for the coming challenge.

“We’ll keep working at the same stuff we have been, making sure we are ready to be in the zone and put in the work for the off-season,” said Thoman.

Memorial Game of the Week

Memorial Game of the Week


O’Fallon Quad results:

1st O’Fallon
2nd Althoff
3rd Alton Marquette
4th Mt. Vernon’
Round 1
O’Fallon 5 Alton Marquette 0
Althoff 5 Mt. Vernon 0

Round 2
O’Fallon 3 Althoff 2
Alton Marquette 3 Mt. Vernon 2

Round 3
O’Fallon 4 Mt. Vernon 1
Althoff 3 Alton Marquett

Mackenzie Koester an integral part of volleyball success

Koester AOTW

Mackenzie Koester is blocking her way to an enormous junior season.

Koester, a junior, has played varsity volleyball in all three of her years at O’Fallon and has made a huge impact for the team. In the last two weeks, Koester helped the Panthers finish third in the Edwardsville Tiger Classic, and win the Lincoln Volleyball Tournament this past weekend. Koester’s strong play earned her a spot on the All-Tournament team in both tournaments.

Mackenzie, the daughter of Deana and Wade Koester, wasn’t originally a setter until needing to fill the spot this season. Head Coach Melissa Massey says the spot wasn’t an easy one to fill, but Koester took the challenge head on.

“When I told Mackenzie she was going to be the setter for the team this year, she never looked back or questioned it,” said Massey. “She had the greatest attitude going into it and took the challenge head on.”
Aside from her new found skills as a setter, Koester has also been an impressive blocker for the Pant

First National Bank Athlete of the Week

First National Bank Athlete of the Week

“I can honestly say Mackenzie is one of the best blockers I’ve coached in my entire career,” said head coach Massey. “You always know what you’re going to get from her when she is on the court. “

So far in the 2015-16 season, Koester has 30 total blocks, 20 block assists and 10 solo blocks. She also averages 2.3 blocks per match.

Koester has helped lead the defense of O’Fallon to multiple wins the season.

“She gets us far with our defense. She is always doing something, involved in the play, and coming out on top. She is a dominant player,” said Massey.

Panthers fall in close game against Belleville West

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A blocked field goal was the difference maker in the first Southwestern Conference showdown for the varsity Panther football team.

Conference play for the Panthers kicked off last Friday in Belleville against the Belleville West Maroons. Both the Panthers and the Maroons fought hard to try and earn their first victory of the season.

On its first possession of the game, West opened up the scoring with a 47-yard pass landing them with a six point lead. The Panther defense kept the game within six points after blocking the extra point attempt.

O’Fallon got on the board in the second quarter after senior kicker Tucker McCann connected on two field goal attempts to tie the game. McCann successfully completed a 35 yard, and a season high 53 yard field goal. The Mizzou committed kicker leads Panther scoring this season with 11 points.

Panther and Maroon defenses halted scoring attempts in the 3rd quarter, leaving the score tied as the teams headed into the final quarter of play.

With less than 8 minutes to play in the fourth, the Maroons connected on a long pass and an extra point to give them a 13-6 lead.

Junior Mason Hewitt helped the Panther offense quickly answer back, scoring on a 75 yard sprint downfield to bring OTHS within 1 point. West special teams made the game winning play by successfully breaking the Panther protection and blocking the extra point attempt to maintain the lead.

On the next drive of the game, the Panther defense forced a Maroon fumble, gaining possession of the ball on the opposition’s 25 yard line. The West defense stepped up again to stop the Panthers with an interception on the first pass of the drive.

A final Panther attempt to take the win was stopped when McCann’s second 53 yard attempt was stopped by Maroons special teams, resulting in the Panthers third loss of the season.

Although the defeat to West was tough, the team had their strongest outing of the season.

“We had some good improvements after a week of really good practices,” said head coach Brandon Joggerst. “It was a tough loss but we were able to generate some running game and move the ball.”

The team will play their first home game of season this Friday against the Edwardsville Tigers (3-0).

Girls Volleyball: Lady Panthers take third at Edwardsville Tiger Classic


The Lady Panther volleyball squad took to the court in Edwardsville for their first taste of tournament play this weekend. OTHS competed against Morton, Carlinville, Mascoutah, Eureka, and Edwardsville to capture the third place title in the Edwardsville Tiger Classic.
O’Fallon started the tournament out strong with group wins over Morton, Carlinville, and Mascoutah.
In the first set of the tournament, the Panthers battled a tough Morton team in a close two game match. Eventually defeating Morton 25-19, and 25-18.
The second match wasn’t quite as close for the 6-1 OTHS team. Two quick games against Carlinville ended in a 25-17, and 25-9 victory for the Panthers.
Preparing for their early group matches was difficult for the Panther team.
“Every team we played was so different,” said head coach Melissa Massey. “No two teams were really comparable at all. They all play different volleyball and we had little idea what to expect from each match.”
The first big test of the tournament for OTHS came during the early morning match on Saturday against Mascoutah.
Game one of the set was close battle resulting in a two point victory for O’Fallon, 25-23. O’Fallon locked in for the second game and managed to clinch a 25-17 win.
“We blocked very well and came together as a team against Mascoutah,” said Massey.
O’Fallon suffered their first defeat of the season against the Eureka Wildcats in the semi-final round. Despite solid defense, the Panthers were unable to keep up with the Wildcats offense and strong hitters.
“I’d like to say it was because we were fatigued, but we need to come ready to play no matter what,” said Massey. “We started to adjust as the game went on but we couldn’t catch up. It was a great experience for us to face the team who went on to win.”
In the third place match, O’Fallon faced off against host team Edwardsville Tigers. In an exhausted battle, the Panthers were able to squeeze out a big victory against an always tough rival Tiger team.
“Neither team played their best,” said Massey. “But I was very impressed with the girl’s ability to keep playing and get the win.”
Senior Anna Strake and junior Mackenzie Koester had stand out weekends, earning spots on the All-Tournament Team.
Getting the opportunity to play in the Edwardsville Tiger Classic was a big deal for Massey’s Panther squad.
“We are really trying to step it up this year. Getting to play in a tournament where you never know what to expect really helps us raise the level of our competition and prepare for the rest of the season. The girls did a great job of adjusting and they did everything I asked for. It was a really fun tournament,” said Massey.

Boys Soccer: Champions to Start the Season

Soccer Team 2015Big offense led the Panthers to a first place trophy in the Metro Cup this past week.
Action on the field got underway for OTHS last Wednesday in a non-conference match against the Freeburg Midgets. Senior Jake Koenig paved the way for a dominating 6-1 victory recording the season’s first hat trick.
Last Friday the Panthers moved on to face Marion in the semifinal round of the Metro Cup. In similar fashion, O’Fallon netted five goals and limited Marion to a single tally. Goals for the Panthers came from sophomore Mason Macias, seniors Jacob York, Matt Benway, and a pair from Jake Koenig.
Head coach Jason Turkington was impressed with the Panther’s performance against Marion.
“That’s the best game we have played so far this season. The team looked very sharp and connected on a lot of good passes,” said coach Turkington.
Awaiting O’Fallon in the final round of the tournament was the Springfield High Senators, a 2A team ranked 8th in the state in 2014-15. The Senators struck early in the first half of the game but the Panthers kept up the pressure. Good possession and chances finally led to a neutralizer from senior Mitchell Palmer with 18:28 left to play in the half. Less than thirty seconds later, senior Jake Koenig put in the go-ahead goal for a 2-1 Panther lead. Seniors Nathan Lanter and Gus Phelps assisted on the goals.
Panthers dominated the second half of play. Rarely seeing action in their own side of the field, O’Fallon kept control of the pace and fought hard to keep up their attack. The game came to a close with O’Fallon hoisting the Metro Cup.
“Starting the season out with three games in four days was tough and you could tell,” said coach Turkington. “I think it affected both teams but I was pleased to see we were able to create good chances and maintain possession throughout.”
Although the Panthers have gotten off to a fantastic start, Turkington doesn’t plan on slowing down any time soon.
“You have to be happy with a three and zero start. Moving forward we don’t plan on changing much and I don’t see any glaring issues in our attack or defense. We’re just going to keep working on the little things and get more precise and clean play,” Turkington said.
The team will spend the week preparing for a tough away match against Edwardsville on Wednesday and competition in the St. Louis University High Shootout at SLUH this weekend.

Girls Golf: A Week of Winning

girlsgolfA tough week of competition has proven one thing for sure for the O’Fallon Lady Panther golf team, they know how to win.
Coming off of their Goalby Invitational victory, the team kept things rolling into last week by defeating Belleville East last Tuesday on the front side at Tamarack (par 36). O’Fallon (176) topped East (193) by 17 strokes.
Sophomore Emily Marrs tied former teammate and current Truman State University golfer Sophie Laing’s school record with a 1-under par, 35. Fellow sophomore teammates Brooke Boatman (43) and Alyssa McMinn (47), as well as senior Natalie Fix (51) contributed to O’Fallons top 4 scores.
On Saturday, the team competed in the Alton-Marquette Blastoff against 13 other teams. Conference competition included Edwardsville, Alton, Collinsville, and Granite City. The stacked competition wasn’t enough to stop the Lady Panthers from coming out on top. With a score of 349, O’Fallon beat out second place Edwardsville (351) by 2 strokes.
Once again, Emily Marrs recorded the Panther’s top score. Her 73 was also enough to earn her a first place individual finish, and was 12 shots ahead of the second place finisher. Brooke Boatman finished 3rd place with a score of 86. Natalie Fix (94) and Alyssa McMinn (96) rounded out the Panther’s top four scorers.
Winning the Alton-Marquette Blastoff was a big personal victory for the Lady Panthers.
“The win at the Alton-Marquette Blastoff was extra special for a couple of reasons, it allowed our young group to see they can play with and beat any team on any given day,” said Coach Chris Eddy. “Edwardsville, Collinsville, and Granite City have very good teams this year and to be able to come out on top of those schools, along with many other schools, was an excellent accomplishment for our girls.”
The Panthers took back to the course again on Monday against Highland high school at the par 36 Highland Country Club. O’Fallon crushed the Highland team winning by 33 shots, 173-206. Leading the team on Monday were Boatman (40), Marrs (42), McMinn (45) and sophomore Savanah Schuhardt (46). For Schuhardt it was the first time she scored in the top four for OTHS.
“Our group, is only going to continue to gain confidence and experience as we continue our journey to another very successful season. With continued hard work, the sky is the limit for this group of girls and they are a true pleasure for our coaching staff to work with,” said Eddy.

Jake Koenig: Athlete of the Week

Koenig AOTWFor Jake Koenig it all started when a friend’s dad convinced him to start playing soccer.
“It was all up-hill from there,” Koenig joked.
To be fair, there is a good amount of truth to Koenig’s remark. Ten years of experience and hard work has more than proven itself in the start of the 2015-16 season. In just their first three games, the senior scoring machine has been responsible for six of the Panther’s thirteen goals. This includes a season opening hat-trick against Freeburg, two goals against Marion, and the game winning goal in the championship match of the Metro Cup against Springfield High.
“Jake is a great player,” said Coach Turkington. “He played great all tournament and this type of standout performance isn’t unusual for him.”
The stand out midfielder, son of Kim and Mike Koenig, was also recently announced to be potentially earning a roster spot in the High School All-American Game in North Carolina. Koenig will find out if he makes the roster in October.
Not only does the attacker score goals for his team, but he also does his best to take on a leadership role. As a varsity player since his freshman year, he reflects on the senior leadership that helped him grow into a better player.
“When I was a freshman there was an upperclassman, Collin Holton, who did a lot to make sure the younger players felt included and welcomed. He helped us out and was a good role model for the team,” Koenig said. “I try to mimic his leadership style on the field now.”
Koenig is prepped to have an outstanding final year in a Panther jersey. Only having played in three games so far, he is confident the team will progress forward.
“We are getting more familiar with each other as a team. We have started to find a good rhythm and everything is clicking,” said Koenig. “Our play is going to increase from here.”
Off the field Jake puts in equal effort in the classroom. A National Honor Society Member and a Scholar Athlete, there is no slowing Koenig down.
Koenig will be attending Truman State University next Fall where he will continue to play soccer, and study business.