Panthers lacrosse fights back to earn win against John Burroghs

Goalie Tommy Fulford (#34) tracks the incoming shot as James Randolph (#25) and Ryan Ritchie (#28) defend.
(Photo by Scott Gaab)

The O’Fallon Varsity Boy’s Lacrosse team played an exciting home game Friday night, coming from behind to beat a tough John Burroughs team 10-9.  

John Burroughs got off to a quick 3-0 lead in the first half before Braden Gaab put two scores on the board for the Panthers to start chipping away at their lead.  The first half ended with John Burroughs leading 5-2.  The second half saw an offensive explosion from the Panthers with Captain Nolan Bradley scoring three goals, David Tady scoring three, Josh McIntyre scoring one, and Beau Carney coming up with his first goal of the season.  

On the defensive side of the ball, Goalie Tommy Fulford played some gritty defense saving about 50 percent of the shots on goal.  The defense bent but didn’t break and came up strong in the fourth quarter.  Friday night’s win put the Panthers at 8-4 for the season with four games left until playoffs.

Lady Panthers basketball celebrates winning 2019 Regional Championship

This past season was a big one for the OTHS Lady Panthers who won the 2019 Regional Championship. The championship is the program’s first Regional Championship since 2007 and the second straight year with a record 25 wins.  

Five players made All Conference Team Selection for 2018-19 season: 

Kayla Gordon and Ashley Schloer – First Team  

Amelia Bell – Second Team

Izzy Akoro and Reyna Bullock – Third Team

Additionally, Coach Nick Knolhoff was honored as the IBCA-District 19 Coach of the Year for the second year in a row.

New adult flag football league coming to O’Fallon

By Kate Crutcher

O’FALLON – A new flag football league is coming to O’Fallon. 

Tyler Henson is bringing TUFF to O’Fallon. TUFF is short for The Ultimate Flag Football League. Henson is the O’Fallon Conference Manager, along with being responsible for all the sponsorship sales for the league. As a Conference Manager, Henson will be at the fields every week, hiring referees, videographers and other essential personal, to help the conference run smoothly. 

“As someone who has been involved with the league now for a year, worked with the owner, and also out at the Creve Coeur Conference, TUFF brings two words to mind, opportunity and visionary,” Henson said. 

If anyone in the community would like to participate, whether as a team (8 to 12 players) or as a free agent and get placed on a team, Henson looks forward to helping you sign up. TUFF is for players over the age of 18, however, if you are under the age of 18, but are still interested in participating, a written permission slip from parents is required. Registration can be completed by signing up online, www.tuffleague.com. 

“We are providing a platform to give adults an opportunity to showcase their skills to not just St. Louis, but LA, San Diego, Phoenix, Las Vegas, New York, and anywhere else we end up starting up in. It also gives people, like me, the opportunity to live out a dream of running a league of my own and developing this conference from the ground up,” Henson said. 

St. Louis was the first non-California expansion city TUFF brought its product to. O’Fallon was the perfect fit due to distance from Creve Coeur and also accessibility to premium field space for the season at the O’Fallon Sports Park. 

“As long as everything goes correctly, in the winter of 2021, we will be flying one team from each city out to LA to compete for The TUFF Cup all expenses paid. Imagine being flown out to LA and treated like a celebrity with camera crews following you and your journey to becoming the Champions of TUFF. That is the vision and what is intriguing to me,” Henson said.

Lady Panthers continue to roll over opponents

OTHS’s Brooke Thomas, left, and Olivia Branz, right, at Tuesday’s game against Kirkwood. (Photo by Tim Grout)

The Girls Lacrosse team continues to dominate their opponents, although they faced a strong opponent this past week forcing them to overtime.

On Wednesday, April 3, the Lady Panthers took on Nerinx Hall on the road. OTHS came away with the 15-11 victory. Olivia Branz was named the player of the game with her five goals, two ground balls, and her invaluable contribution in the transition.

On Friday, April 5, the Lady Panthers took to the field at the O’Fallon Sports Park to take on John Burroughs. This matchup proved to be quite competitive heading into a three minute sudden death overtime. Kaylie Grout scored the winning goal 37 seconds into the OT, giving O’Fallon the 11-10 victory. 

Amber Germuga was named the player of the game against John Burroughs thanks in large part to her her great defensive leadership.

This week the Lady Panthers traveled to Kirkwood to play on Tuesday, April 9. In a game that ended as the Weekly was being finalized, the Lady Panthers defeated Kirkwood 13-9. 

The team’s next game is Thursday, April 11, versus Parkway West High School.

Photos by Tim Grout

Panthers split week with Belleville West, shut out Civic Memorial

Ben Koenig delivering a pitch in the Panthers 12-3 win over Belleville West
(Submitted Photo)

The OTHS baseball team continues to roll through the season, taking down opponents.

On Tuesday, April 2, the Panthers took to the road to take on Belleville West. OTHS would win by a huge margin in their first conference game, taking down the Maroons 12-3.

However, in a rematch held at Blazier Field on Thursday, April 4, Belleville West brought out their A-game and defeated the Panthers 9-4.

Josh Gibson hits a 3 run home run in the Panthers 12-3 win over Belleville West (Submitted Photo)

Not letting the loss a day earlier impact them, the O’Fallon boys rallied quickly and shut out Civic Memorial at Blazier Field, 1-0, on Friday, April 5.

Tennis Panthers win Triad Tournament

The Boys Tennis team dominated the Triad Tournament last weekend, capturing first place overall. 

The team first took on Quincy and made short work of them, winning 4-1. They would do the same to Peoria Richwoods, winning by the same score.

Later the Panthers took on the team from Jacobs and won 3-2.

Niko Papachrisanthou (2-1) was named number one in singles, while Kaden Vollmer (2-1) was named number two in singles. 

Evan Potter and Gavin Sohn (2-1) took the top spot in doubles, while Noah Kellermann and Nic Strobel (2-1) were named second in doubles, and Josh Collins and Luke Russo (3-0) were named third in doubles. 

The boys tennis team currently has a 9-2-1 record for the season. 

OTHS lacrosse teams take part in annual boys vs girls charity game

(Photo by Scott Gaab)

On Saturday, both the JV and Varsity Boys Lacrosse teams played in the annual Boys vs. Girls Charity event.  This year the kids played in honor of Coach Terry Williamson who was lost to cancer last year.  The Boys and Girls programs teamed up with the local community and raised over $2,000 for the American Cancer Society.  The annual event started in 2011 and has raised over $20,000 in the fight against cancer.

Earlier in the week, the O’Fallon Varsity Boy’s Lacrosse team split two home games. The boys lost 1-7 to a strong Rockwood Summit team, but rebounded nicely later in the week with a dominating 14-4 victory against St. Mary’s High School.  

New family registration for Breakers Swim Team set for April 6

The O’Fallon Breakers summer swim team will have open registration on Saturday, April 6 at the O’Fallon Township offices, located at 801 East State Street in O’Fallon. Registration hours are from 9:00 to 11:00 a.m.

The Breakers, which compete in the 10-team Midwest Swim Conference, have offered a competitive summer swim team for the youth of O’Fallon for over 30 years. And according to Breakers Board President Rick Edwards, while the kids do work hard they have lots of fun along the way.

“The Breakers are a longstanding summer tradition in O’Fallon. Practices are early in the morning, Monday through Friday. We generally have meets Tuesday and Thursday nights in early June, with at least half of those meets at O’Fallon Pool in the park. The season culminates with the Conference Meet in late July at the new Rec Plex. And yes, the Breakers have been highly successful over the years and the kids do work hard, but they have a blast as well. It’s just a great experience.”

“It’s also worth noting that while some swimmers are highly competitive and eventually branch out to year-round club swimming and/or swim in high school, many others are just out here to have fun. And there’s nothing wrong with that. But understand the Breakers are a competitive team, meaning our purpose is not to teach kids how to swim. Kids have to be able to do the stokes appropriate for their age group, which is generally Backstroke and Freestyle for the youngest age groups and then all four strokes (Back-Free-Breast-Fly) generally age 9 and above. So the focus is on getting better at those strokes and increasing endurance. And fortunately, we have an awesome coaching staff to lead the way, led by Head Coach Katie Kuhl – who swam competitively for Miami University in Ohio and is now the Aquatic Manager at the McKendree Metro Rec Plex here in O’Fallon. It’s a great group of kids and solid coaching staff.”

Swimmer ages generally range from 7 – 18, with 18 being the maximum age for eligibility (as of June 1, 2018). Other teams in the conference are located in Belleville, Highland, Trenton, and Dupo.

Annual Boys vs Girls Lacrosse game to raise money in honor of coach who passed from cancer

By Kate Crutcher

O’FALLON – To many the word “family” is just a word, but to the OTHS lacrosse program, it is a word that defines who they are and what it means to be in their program. After every practice and before every game, the team members say the word “family” to one another. No matter if you played for one year or all four years, if you are a sophomore or a senior, once a part of the OTHS lacrosse team, that player is always a part of the family. 

“Last year we lost one our own lacrosse family members to cancer, Coach Terry Williamson. He was an excellent lacrosse, football, and baseball coach and loved spending time with his friends and family,” Jen Gabb, friend of Coach Terry Williamson, said. 

Coach Terry Williamson served in the United States Air Force for 30 years. His service as a medical service corps officer shaped him into the leader that he was for the students that looked up to him. He greatly enjoyed being involved in his community, along with coaching the students of OTHS. 

In memory of Coach Terry Williamson, the OTHS lacrosse programs are gathering to play the annual Boys vs Girls charity game, sponsoring The American Cancer Society for their friend, community member and coach. The eighth annual game will be held on Saturday, April 6 at 5 p.m. on the OTHS Stadium Turf Field. There is a $5 suggested donation that will be donated to The American Cancer Society. 

Boys Track team takes the top spot at O’Fallon Relays

O’Fallon High School hosted the 53rd annual O’Fallon Relays on Friday, March 29. 

OTHS was the team champion for the Gold Division of the O’Fallon Relays. This was the team’s second team championship of the season. 

“Overall, we had another outstanding day. Our young athletes continue to impress and improve. We performed well again in the sprint relays, running season best times in the 4×100 and 4×200. We had a couple of hiccups in the SMR and the 4×400, but both relays still ran good times. The distance events also performed well, placing high in both 4x800s, taking two places in the 3200m run, and placing second in the DMR,” said Head Coach Joe Speaks. 

“Depth has been the key to both of our team wins this season. We have placed in most every event, often placing two in individual events.”

Rod Williams took first place in a variety of events including long jump, varsity 4×800, shuttle hurdle relay, and varsity 4×200. 

Taylor Lehman won first in the 300IH.

Zach Claxton took second in pole vault. Nick Farmer placed second in discus.

Will Ray placed second in the 3200m, F/S 4×800, and DMR. 

Boys Lacrosse team sees mixed results on the road

Goalie Tommy Fulford (#34) and Will Dunlap (#22) await the shot on goal as Braden Gaab (#2) attempts the block. (Photo by Scott Gaab)

The O’Fallon Boys Varsity Lacrosse Team recently hit the road for a few games.

The Panthers started on Friday and played a strong Jordan High School team from North Carolina.  The Panthers played hard, but lost their first game of the season.  

The boys bounced back nicely Saturday morning defeating Christian Presbyterian Academy (CPA), a high school team from Tennessee, in a close game that ended 15-12.  

Braden Gaab (#2) takes the faceoff with Ryan Ritchie (#28) watching from the defense. (Photo by Scott Gaab)

Finally, the Panther’s played Franklin High School, another local team, in the afternoon and came up short with a close 10-14 loss.  The Panthers are 6 and 2 on the season and have a home stand this week with games against Rockwood Summit and St. Mary’s.

On Saturday, April 6, at 5  p.m. at the O’Fallon High School Turf Field, the Boys and Girls Lacrosse programs will be teaming up to play the annual Boys vs. Girls charity game to honor a beloved coach, husband, father and friend. The kids will be playing in memory of the O’Fallon Boys Lacrosse Coach Terry Williamson who passed away last year from cancer.  Terry enjoyed coaching and mentoring the youth of O’Fallon. His selfless involvement has left a lasting impact on the local community. 

Beau Carney (#23) defends against CPA with Evan Carney (#19) and Braden Gaab (#2) backing him up. (Photo by Scott Gaab)

There is a $5 gate entry fee and proceeds this year will go to the American Cancer Society. Please come out to show your support and honor Coach Williamson.

Girls Lacrosse team undefeated after three big wins last week

OTHS Lax vs Ladue- #14 Maddie Dalonzo (Photo by Tim Grout)

The OTHS Girls Lacrosse team continued its winning ways this past week. Currently the team is undefeated, 6-0, heading into this week.

Last week, the team took the field first on Tuesday, March 26, to take on Ladue. The Lady Panthers made short work of Ladue, defeating them 11-1. 

Zoe Hicks was named the Player of the Game for three ground balls and two caused turnovers.

Brooke Thomas was named the player of the game on Wednesday, March 27, when the Lady Panthers lacrosse team took on Oakville. OTHS would win 16-5. 
(Photo by Tim Grout)

Then on Wednesday, March 27, the team took on Oakville and continued their winning streak, winning 16-5. 

Brooke Thomas was honored as the Player of the Game against Oakville for her two goals, 100 percent shooting percentage, one draw control, and three ground balls.

Finally, on Friday, March 29, the Lady Panthers won a hard fought victory against St. Joseph’s Academy, 12-8.

OTHS Lax vs Ladue- #9 Adler Maher
(Photo by Tim Grout)

Maddie Dalonzo was named the Player of the Game on Friday for her hard work and hustle, scoring six goals on nine shots, getting two assists, six draw controls, three ground balls, one interception, and one caused turnover.

The girls will take the field again this week and attempt to keep their undefeated streak alive, first on Wednesday, April 3, against Nerinx Hall and then versus John Borough’s School on Friday, April 5.

OTHS Lax vs Oakville- #28 Mia Colebrooke
(Photo by Tim Grout)

OTHS Baseball takes two wins over Chicago area schools

The team congratulates the players from Adlai Stevenson on a good game. 
(Photo by Marci Lowery)

The OTHS Varsity baseball team continued their season with two more wins over Chicago area teams, Adlai Stevenson and Wheaton Warrenville South.  

The Panthers scored three runs in the bottom on the fifth inning to come from behind and defeat Adlai Stevenson 4-3.  Luke Gasser started on the mound and earned the win allowing three runs over five innings.  Logan Lowery pitched 1 2/3 scoreless innings to record the save. Lowery and Josh Gibson each collected two hits and Gibson also had 2 RBIs to lead O’Fallon.  The Panthers also defeated Wheaton Warrenville South 4-0 as two pitchers combined for the shutout.  Ben Koenig threw six innings, allowing five hits and no runs.  Drew Tebbe threw one inning in relief out of the bullpen.  The Panthers tallied nine hits against WWS, including a double by Kyle Becker and two hits each for Logan Lowery and Luke Biehn. 

O’Fallon Varsity ended the week with a 4-1 loss to Christian Brothers College (CBC), one of the top ranked teams in the St. Louis area.  Vonner Panek started on the mound for the Panthers and allowed seven hits and four runs over six innings.  Lowery threw one scoreless inning in relief.  Kyle Becker lead the Panthers, going 2-3 at the plate.  

The Panthers will begin conference play April 2 at Belleville West.  O’Fallon will then play West at Blazier Field on Thursday, April 4 and Civic Memorial at Blazier Field on Friday, April 5. 

Fulton volleyball takes second at State

(Submitted Photo)

The Fulton Varsity Volleyball team took second place at the State championship on Saturday, March 23. The team beat both Carmi and Centralia in two sets to get to the championship game against Mascoutah. Both teams played some exciting volleyball and Fulton lost in the third set by two points.  

The team finished the season as regional winners with an overall record of 21-5 and 8-2 in conference. Coaches Nicole Flaar and Melissa Burger wish to congratulate Becca Koenig, Sierra Sanchez, Reagan Bridgeman, Kayla Graney, Alyssa Frederking, Ellie Johnston, Hannah Kim, Annalie McWhorter, Aubree Noles, Ansley Ori, Maddie Sprouse, Abby Tamblyn Tessa Posey, and Kendell Kingdon on the successful season.  The team’s manager was Val Meinkoth.

Lady Panthers Lacrosse continues winning ways

The O’Fallon Lady Panthers Lacrosse team continues to rack up the wins as the season continues. 

On Thursday, March 21, the team defeated the Westminster Christian Wildcats 15-1. Senior Jess Camp was named the player of the game due to her seven saves on eight shots, three ground balls, one interception, and two caused turnovers.

The team hit the field again on Saturday, March 23, to take on the Washington Panthers. OTHS defeated Washington 18-6.

Maddie Dalonzo was named the player of the game for Saturday’s outing. Dalonzo had four goals on six shots, six draw controls, five ground balls, two interceptions, and three caused turnovers.

On Monday, the team started the week with another win, this time downing the Ladue Horton Watkins Rams 11-1. 

The team next plays Oakville on Wednesday, March 27, and St. Joseph’s on Friday, March 29. Both games will be held at the O’Fallon Sports Park. O’Fallon’s Riley Maher dodges a defender in the Lady Panther’s recent game against Westminster 

Photos by Tim Grout