Auffenberg Auto Mall hosts Trunk or Treat event

Ghouls and goblins were all over the place Friday night at the Auffenberg Auto Mall for a Trunk or Treat event. All five of the dealers, as well as the used car facilities and Allstate office, opened their doors and gave away candy to attendees. Additionally, the dealers had games for kids to play, a costume contest, and a photo booth.

(O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Nick Miller)

Maher and Ashkar named 2018 Homecoming Queen and King

During the 2018 Homecoming Dance Saturday evening, Riley Maher and Mohammed Ashkar were named the Homecoming Queen and King.

Riley is the daughter of Jeff and Kelly Maher. In school, Riley player for the Girls Varsity Lacrosse Team, is the NHS Vice President, and is a member of the National Spanish Honor Society. Outside of school, Riley is a St. Nicholas Youth Group Leader, a Children’s Hospital Teen Life Council, and coaches a Youth Lacrosse team. Riley’s favorite memory so far was the 2018 minus 36 Boys vs Girls lacrosse game because the community donated over $6,000 to St. Louis Children’s Hospital for cancer research in her name. 

Mohammed is the son of Maha and Waleed Ashkar. He is the Vice President of the Senior Class on Student Council and of Key Club. He also participates in FOR Club, Culture Mix Club, Chemistry Club, Spanish Club, National Honor Society, and Spanish Honor Society. Outside of school, he volunteers for St. Elizabeth’s Hospital and is a member of the St. Clair County Teen Court. His advice for OTHS students is to stay strong because what doesn’t challenge you won’t change you.

(O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Nick Miller)

 

Panther Cross Country teams dominant at Granite City Invitational

Varsity Girls second place team members, from left: Sofia Parker, Kaitlyn Walker, Julia Monson, Emma Jordan, Kylie McElroy, and Abi Jackson.  (Photo by Darlene Tady)

By Darlene Tady

The O’Fallon Boys and Girls Cross Country teams were dominant in all six races at the Granite City Invitational this past Saturday.  

Competing in the 38 team field, the JV Girls, Boys Open, and Girls Open were all crowned team champions. The Varsity Girls placed second, while the Varsity Boys placed third only seven points behind first place team SLUH and two points behind Edwardsville. The JV Boys pulled together for a fifth place team finish.

 

JV Girls first Place team members, from left: Brianne Berres, Petyon Mutters, Kimberly Davenport, Maddy Vorce, Peyton Schieppe, and Olivia Anderson. (Photo by Darlene Tady)

Leading the JV Girls was freshman standout Peyton Schieppe, who was crowned individual champion with a time of 19:47 over three miles.  Sophomore Maddie Vorce, crossed the finish line in third place.  Also placing in the top ten for the JV Lady Panthers was Brianne Berres (8th), Peyton Mutters (9th), and Olivia Anderson (10th).  

In the Varsity Girls race freshman Julia Monson led all O’Fallon runners clocking 18:53 for her outstanding fifth place finish. Junior Emma Jordan placed eighth in 19:01, sophomore Sofia Parker was ninth in 19:12, and junior Kaitlyn Walker placed 12th with a 19:18 time.

On the boys side, in the varsity race, senior captain Will VanAlstine led the Panthers with a strong sixth place finish running 15:40 and on his heels was sophomore Nick Edwards who placed seventh in a time of 15:42. Senior Jacob Ramirez (23rd), junior Will Ray (24th) and senior Brendan Krell (25th) rounded out the top five.

In the JV boys race, sophomore Matt Ray paced his teammates with a 15th place finish with a time of 17:50 with sophomores Nico Parker and Nick Novy placing 23rd and 25th respectively.

Varsity Boys third place team members, from left: Will Ray, Jacob Ramirez, Nick Edwards, Brendan Krell, Will VanAlstine, and Tristen Fornes. (Photo by Darlene Tady)

O’Fallon Boys scored a dominating victory in the Open race by placing five runners in the top 17. Junior Chris Wichlac was crowned the individual champion running a time of 16:48 with junior David Tady crossing the line in second clocking 16:50. Junior Braden Gaab placed fifth, senior Kolson Mendelsohn placed sixth and senior Noah Decker rounded out the top five in 17th place. 

In the Girls Open race senior Taylor Peck placed second, with teammates Sam Suchanek (4th), Sofia LoBue (5th), Krissy Sharpe (6th), and Faye Swanson (9th) scoring for O’Fallon Lady Panthers.

The Panthers will travel to SIU-E to run in the Edwardsville Fall Classic on Wednesday, September 5, and to St. Louis to compete in the Forest Park Cross Country Festival on Saturday, September 8.

2 September 1917 – The First Flight at Scott Field

Maj. George E.A. Reinburg (front seat) and Mr. William H. Couch (civilian instructor pilot) prepare to take off on the first flight from Scott Field on Sept. 2, 1917

By Mark Wilderman, 375th Air Mobility Wing History Office

SCOTT AIR FORCE BASE, Ill. — During WWI, Scott Field’s primary mission was to train pilots and ground crews for the American Expeditionary Force (AEF) being deployed to France to fight Imperial Germany.  On 2 September 1917, the very first training flight occurred at Scott Field.

Background.  On 12 August 1917, Airmen of the 11th and 21st Aero Squadrons of the U.S. Army Air Service (consisting of 300 men) arrived at the newly-built Scott Field from Kelly Field near San Antonio, Texas.  At Kelly Field, the Airmen had been accustomed to living in canvas tents with dust and cacti.  The sight of the new white wooden buildings at Scott Field made the Airmen cheer as they marched up the streets on Sunday morning.  Construction of Scott Field was completed on 1 September 1917, slightly over two months after work had begun.  .  However, Scott Field had no airplanes, as the first shipment had been delayed in transit.  It is believed that one or two Standard J-1 trainer aircraft were borrowed from Rantoul Field, Illinois to make Scott Fields’s first training flight.

The First Training Flight.  The first flight at Scott Field was made by Major George E.A. Reinburg (Scott Field Commander) and Mr. William H. Crouch (civilian flight instructor).

The Inaugural 1917 Flying Season.  Soon after the first flight, there were at least seven Standard J-1s at Scott Field, before the superior Curtiss JN-4D “Jenny” trainers arrived in early September.  More suitable to pilot training, the Jenny soon replaced the Standard J-1 as the primary training machine. A distinctive feature of the Jenny was its dual control.  The eight cylinder, 90-horsepower Jenny could be operated from either the front or rear seat position. With each of the hangars capable of housing six airplanes, Scott’s full assignment was expected to be 72 airplanes.  Formal flying instruction began on 11 September 1917 when civilian instructor pilot T.C. Jones took Cadet James H. Maupin fir the first airplane training flight, over nearly 100 envious cadets watching from the ground.  On 28 September 1917, pilot trainee, Cadet Merrit O. White, made the first solo flight.  Scott Field’s first aircraft mishap occurred on 17 September 1917, when instructor Curtis Jones’ Jenny #13 plunged to the ground with its nose, turning completely over.  Fortunately, Mr. Jones was not seriously injured.  A greater mishap occurred the next day, when Sgt A.L. Alexander, a 30-year-old aircraft mechanic, was killed instantly when a spinning propeller struck him on the back of the head, a sobering reminder of how dangerous early flight could be.

The flying cadets received only the rudiments of flying and airplane maintenance at Scott Field.  By the end of September, flying instruction had progressed to the point where it was not uncommon for visitors to see as many as 15 airplanes in the air at once.  Because there were no paved runways, chaos was avoided by requiring student pilots to take off and land from a large circle located in the center of the flying field. By the end of September, the Airmen of the 11th and 21st Aero Squadrons were joined by the 85th and 86th Aero Squadrons from Kelly Field and 20 aviation students from the Ground School at Champaign, Illinois, bringing Scott Field’s population close to its capacity of 1000 men.

In addition to pilot training, an Airplane Mechanics School was organized to give instruction on such subjects as remodeling and rebuilding, crew chief duties, motor repair, woodworking, propeller making, rigging, and aligning. An Enlisted Man’s School and a Transportation School were also established.

When the 1917 flying season ended on 16 December.  24 cadet had completed the Reserve military aviator course and received commissions as second lieutenants with another 56 cadets completing their flying training requirements at airfields in France or at other fields in the U.S., possibly due to a shortage of airplanes and instructors at Scott Field.   Lieutenant Paul Prevost, temporarily on loan from the French Army, and civilian instructors Couch, Hill, Jones, and Lewis guided these first students through the trials and thrills of flying. By mid-December, the civilian instructors had left for Gerstner Field at Lake Charles, Louisiana.  Little else is known of the 1917 pilot training program. The Allies’ urgent need for aerial firepower and reconnaissance on the Western Front meant that the 1917 pilot training program at Scott Field had to be developed with all haste.. Lacking the benefit of an extensive, formalized training program, each student was forced to pick up the basics of flying as best he could.

Sources:  375th Airlift Wing History Office Archive; The Illustrated History of Scott AFB, 1917-1987 by Betty R. Kennedy, Military Airlift Command History Office, September 1987

OTHS Lady Panthers Cross Country team begin their season at Belleville West

 

Freshman Harry Clinton, in the boy’s race, runs past an enthusiastic cheering section led by his sister, Jr. Grace Clinton (with the clipboard) and Coach Candace Caveny (far right) (Photo by Jackie Clinton)

By Darlene Tady

The O’Fallon Lady Panthers Cross Country team had a strong showing at their season opener on Saturday August 25 against area teams Edwardsville, Belleville East and host Belleville West.  No team scores were kept but individuals were able to test their endurance against local foes on the 3 mile course.

This week the Lady Panthers host the O’Fallon Futures Invitational on Wednesday August 29 with a 3:45 p.m. start and then travel to the Granite City Invitational on Saturday, September 1.

Freshman Mary Kate Trelow jump starts her high school running career with an impressive 8th place finish (photo by by Scott Gaab)

Senior Abby George provides leadership and a steady pace for the Lady Panthers team (photo by Scott Gaab)

Sophmore Maddy Vorce paces herself during the first mile of the 3 mile course (photo by Scott Gaab)

Sophomore Olivia Orr runs with focus midway through the race (photo by Scott Gaab)

Sr. J’Annah Adkins working hard as she moves into the final mile of the course (photo by Scott Gaab)

 

OTHS Boys Cross Country kick off their season

By Darlene Tady

The OTHS Boys Cross Country team opened their season on Saturday August 25, competing against area teams Belleville East, Edwardsville and host Belleville West.  No team scores were kept, but individuals were able to test their endurance against local rivals on the three mile course. 

The top seven O’Fallon runners pacing for the Panthers were: Matthew Ray, Brendan Krell, Tristen Fornes, David Tady, Chris Wichlac, Braden Gaab, and Nico Parker, all placing in the top 15 for a strong showing.

Jrs. Chris Wichlac and Braden Gaab make one more push toward the finish of the 3 mile course (Photo credits: Scott Gaab)

Junior Matthew Ray led the Panthers with a 6th place finish (Photo credits: Scott Gaab)

 

Senior Brendan Krell focuses intently on the finish line finishing in 7th place (Photo credits: Scott Gaab)

 

Sophomore Nico Parker challenges an Edwardsville runner (Photo credits: Scott Gaab)

 

Teammates David Tady and Tristen Fornes, both Juniors, pace each other through the hilly backwoods of the BW course (Photo credits: Scott Gaab)

 

O’Fallon FUMC hosts third annual Running 4 God 5K

By Kimberly Bennett

O’FALLON – Last Saturday, O’Fallon First United Methodist Church hosted its third annual Running 4 God 5K, co-organized for a second year in a row by church members Rob Stoelzle and Linda Gruchala. Before the race, participants and volunteers gathered in the parking lot for final registration, prayer, fellowship and stretches provided by Chiropractic Plus. 

Though it was predicted to rain throughout Saturday morning, the forecast didn’t keep the sun from shining and, thankfully, no rain fell during the race. It was slightly muggy from the higher humidity, but nothing kept the 5K from starting on time. 

About thirty minutes after the 5K walkers began their trek, running participants lined up along Southview Drive, prepping to run for God. Before each heat, the participants began the 5K in prayer to bless the race, and then it was “On your mark! Get set! Go!” And the participants took off, each running or walking at their own pace. Some ran for the competition, and others chose to use the 5K as a great way to walk with friends, family and pets. 

Winning gold Running 4 God medals and placing first place for Men’s Best All Around was Aidan Cutter with a time of 21:23s and for Women’s Best All Around, MacKinzie James (22:11s). The race’s full results, which were timed and recorded by Toolen’s Running Start, will be available on their website within the next few weeks. 

All proceeds raised from the 5K will be donated to East St. Louis’s Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House and Beacon Ministries in Belleville. 

“Our 5K turned out to be a wonderful event. It was a great group effort for a fantastic cause that will help families in our community. Proceeds will go to the Lessie Bates Davis Neighborhood House and Beacon Ministries, and I thank all of the volunteers, participants, and sponsors for their contributions,” said Rob Stoelzle, co-coordinator of OFFUMC’s Running 4 God 5K Race.

The church would like to recognize the event’s Platinum and Gold Sponsors and thank them for their support. Platinum sponsors were: O’Fallon Weekly, Bel-O Cooling & Heating, and Salvatore Cincotta. Gold sponsors were: John Grissom-Berkshire Hathaway HomeServices, Counseling Associates of Southern Illinois – Rob Stoelzle, MSW, LCSW, C&C Sports, and Carrollton Bank.

O’Fallon community celebrates Illinois statehood at bicentennial event

O’FALLON – A celebration of Illinois statehood took place on Saturday, Aug. 25 at the O’Fallon Community Park. 

The Fair St. Clair 200 was a sanctioned event by the Illinois Bicentennial Commission. The O’Fallon Historical Society was one of the partner organizations for the event along with 25 local community organizations and the REALTOR Association of Southwestern Illinois.

At the bicentennial event, there were reenactments in period dress, a Civil War rifle demonstration, a performance from the Belleville Philharmonic Society and a vintage baseball game between the Belleville Stags and the Springfield Long Nine. 

OTHS soccer season begins at Blue & Gold scrimmage

O’FALLON – The season began Saturday for the O’Fallon High School boys soccer team with their annual Blue & Gold scrimmage. The event began with the freshman team practicing prior to a game between the JV and Varsity squads. Following the conclusion of that game, the OTHS soccer alumni played in a friendly game.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Nick Miller)

Scenes from Saturday at City Fest

O’FALLON – The inaugural City Fest continued on Saturday, August 18, with a car show and a biathlon both starting at 8 a.m. Rides, games, and food opened by noon, and a variety of musical acts played through the day. The parade took place at 5 p.m.  

Crowds were larger on the second day, especially following the conclusion of the parade. 
(O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Nick Miller)

To view photos from the first day of City Fest, click HERE

To view photos from Saturday’s parade, click HERE.

Residents line the street for the City Fest Parade

O’FALLON – Crowds of people lined up along South Lincoln Avenue Saturday evening for the inaugural City Fest’s parade. 

The stream of cars and parade entries began at Old City Hall, located just north of the intersection of North Lincoln and Washington Street, and headed south until it ended at the intersection of South Lincoln and 7th Street.

There were a wide variety of entries, including first responders, marching bands, local politicians, businesses, civic organizations, school groups, and more.

Check out photos from the first day of City Fest by clicking HERE

Check out photos from the second day of City Fest by clicking HERE

Students rally to support teams at Blue & Gold Scrimmage

The student section at the north end of the OTHS football field was teeming with excitement for the starting season at Friday evening’s Blue & Gold Scrimmage. 

The scrimmage, held on Friday, August 17, featured all of the various levels of area football, from Little Panthers all the way to Varsity. Additionally, the cheerleaders, Golden Girls, and Marching Panthers performed for the crowd.

(O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Nick Miller)

To view photos of the Little Panthers, click HERE.

To view photos of the Golden Girls, click HERE.

To view photos of the Golden Girl campers performance, click HERE.

To view photos of the Cheerleaders, click HERE.

To view photos of JV football, click HERE.

To view photos of Varsity football, click HERE.

To view photos of the Marching Panthers, click HERE.

Varsity football ready to begin season at Blue & Gold Scrimmage

Head Coach Brandon Joggerst’s varsity football team seems prepared to begin their regular season after taking part in the annual Blue & Gold Scrimmage exercises. 

The event, held on Friday, August 17, featured all of the various levels of area football, from Little Panthers all the way to Varsity. Additionally, the cheerleaders, Golden Girls, and Marching Panthers performed for the crowd.

(O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Nick Miller)

To view photos of the Little Panthers, click HERE.

To view photos of the Golden Girls, click HERE.

To view photos of the Golden Girl campers performance, click HERE.

To view photos of the Cheerleaders, click HERE.

To view photos of JV football, click HERE.

To view photos of the Marching Panthers, click HERE.

To view photos of the student section, click HERE.

Marching Panthers give brief glimpse of show at Blue & Gold Scrimmage

The O’Fallon Marching Panthers took to the field and gave the crowd at the annual Blue & Gold Scrimmage a brief glimpse of the show they plan to perform at competitions this year. The Marching Panthers play at home football games throughout the season.

The Blue & Gold event, held on Friday, August 17, featured all of the various levels of area football, from Little Panthers all the way to Varsity. Additionally, the cheerleaders, Golden Girls, and Marching Panthers performed for the crowd.

(O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Nick Miller)

To view photos of the Little Panthers, click HERE.

To view photos of the Golden Girls, click HERE.

To view photos of the Golden Girl campers performance, click HERE.

To view photos of the Cheerleaders, click HERE.

To view photos of JV football, click HERE.

To view photos of Varsity football, click HERE.

To view photos of the student section, click HERE.

JV Football team prepares for season at Blue & Gold Scrimmage

The O’Fallon High School JV Football team took part in scrimmage games at the annual Blue & Gold Scrimmage. 

The Blue & Gold event, held on Friday, August 17, featured all of the various levels of area football, from Little Panthers all the way to Varsity. Additionally, the cheerleaders, Golden Girls, and Marching Panthers performed for the crowd.

(O’Fallon Weekly Photos by Nick Miller)

To view photos of Little Panthers, click HERE.

To view photos of the Cheerleaders, click HERE.

To view photos of the Golden Girls, click HERE.

To view photos of the Golden Girl campers performance, click HERE.

To view photos of Varsity football, click HERE.

To view photos of the Marching Panthers, click HERE.

To view photos of the student section, click HERE.