Four O’Fallon players selected to take part in JV All Star hockey game

By Kate Crutcher

O’FALLON – The Mississippi Valley Club Hockey Association [MVCHA] has created a new “rising star” JV All Star team and four Panther players were asked to participate in it. 

Junior forward #48, Grant Miner, junior defenseman #2, Jackson Winkler, sophomore forward #50, Christopher Johnson, and sophomore goalie #29, Connor Klemann were the players, who were asked to be apart of the game on Tuesday, January 29. 

“All the boys that were selected from OTHS, they were all on the varsity team, they are swing players, playing for both varsity and JV,” Assistant Coach Ben Leonard said. 

The JV All Star team is a collective group of talented athletes, from different teams around the area, who come together for one ultimate game. The players were chosen by their different abilities and skill sets on the ice. 

Leonard has been with the MVCHA since 1998, when he started playing for one of their teams. Since graduating in 2002, he has been on and off as an assistant coach. However, this year will be his first year being a head coach for one of the MVCHA teams. Though Leonard was not the head coach of Tuesday’s game, he was one of the assistant coaches. 

“Miner is our top scorer, along with Johnson being one of our up and coming stars. Winkler is our shut down defenseman and Klemann is one of the elite goalies in our league,” Leonard said.

The MVCHA JV All Stars Red Team, which included the four Panthers players, won Tuesday night’s game, 5-1.

Lady Panther bowlers celebrate Senior Night with win over Edwardsville

The OTHS girls bowling team took on Edwardsville on Wednesday, January 23. The match also served as Senior Night, honoring the team’s three seniors, Madison Thornton, Lauren Tomaszewski, and Hayleigh Williams. 

In the first game, the girls bowled a combined score of 1034, with Thornton rolling 184, Tomaszewski bowling 247, and and Williams scoring 210.

In the second game, the team combined for 908, with the seniors rolling 154, 200, and 194, respectively.

The third game against the Tigers saw the Panthers clinch the win, rolling a team score of 918. Thornton scored 181, Tomaszewski threw for 226, and Williams bowled a 142.

OTHS swimmers take second at Urbana Tiger Invitational

O’FALLON – The Panther’s swimming team had a breakthrough performance this weekend and the Urbana High School Tiger Invitational. OTHS placed second overall out of seven teams, just 13 points out of first place. 

“It was a complete team effort. Every member of the team that swam contributed points to the overall score. The team dropped time and placed well. We had outstanding swims from both our veteran swimmers and our younger members of the team,” said Coach Kimberly Eddy.

The Panthers started the day off by placing first and third in the 200 Medley relay. The relay of Michael Meyer, Jack Peterson, Ethan Stein and Jonathan Stein finished 4.5 seconds ahead of the rest of the field scoring 40 points toward the team’s total. The relay team of Nick Oulvey, Brady Gotter, Kevin Liu, and Brandon Monson out touched the 4th place team to medal in the event and add 32 points to the team total. 

Meyer and Peterson were able to up the medal count for the Panthers in the 200IM. Meyer finished in second with Peterson right behind him in third. 

“Michael and Jack led the way for us on Saturday,” Coach Eddy said. “Both of them had first place overall finishes in individual events and swam fast legs in both first place relays.”

In the 500 freestyle, Peterson placed first with a season best time of 5:38.66. Peterson out swam the competition, coming in 11 seconds before the second place finisher. Meyer received his gold medal in the 100 backstroke. 

The Panther relays were a big reason for their success on Saturday. In the 200 free relay, the team of Liu, Gotter, Oulvey and E. Stein placed fourth overall.  The relay team of Meyer, Peterson, E. Stein and J. Stein came together again in the 400 freestyle relay to take home another gold medal. 

Freshman Brady Gotter earned a first place finish for the Panthers as well. In the 100 breaststroke, He finished in a time of 1:12.90. Gotter finished almost two seconds ahead of the competition. 

“The boys swam great on Saturday. Their hard work is starting to translate to the pool. After this weekend, we have a lot of momentum working behind us. It is perfect timing as we move into post season in February,” said Cach Eddy.

The Panthers swim again on February 2. They travel to Springfield for the last regular season meet to take on Chatham Glenwood, Springfield High School, and Springfield Southeast High School.

OTHS Wrestlers close out regular season with strong performances

O’Fallon High School had some impressive wrestling over the weekend.  

O’Fallon High School’s Varsity Wrestling placed 24th out of 40 teams in the Kyle Thrasher Tournament at Francis Howell High School in Saint Charles, MO.

Varsity wrestlers competing were (name/weight):

• Kostedt, Austin 113

• Schantz, Ashton 120

• Thomas, Gabe 126

• Neuwirth, Kaleb 132

• Ford, Abe 138

• Fulton, Alex 145

• Ross, Damian 170

• Vasquez, Nathan 182

• Thompson, Terry 220

Seniors Alex Fulton and Nathan Vasquez earned medals for the Panthers. Fulton finished in fifth place in the 145 pound division out of 29 wrestlers. Vasquez, at 182 pounds, was seventh out of 23. 

O’Fallon High School’s  Junior Varsity Wrestling placed third at the Junior Varsity Southwestern Conference Tournament. O’Fallon won against Bellevile East 42 to 33, Belleville West B team 72 to 18, and Belleville West 42 to 29, while losing to Edwardsville 13 to 57.

Junior Varsity wrestlers competing were (Name/ record):

• Steven Mylo 4-0

• Eli Roberts 4-0

• Aiden Schultz 1-3

• Luke Schultz 3-1

• Donnie Schexneyder 2-1 

• Wyatt Robinson 2-2

• Jaden Randbuager 4-0

• Garret Spellman 1-3

• Sean Fricke 2-2

• Isiah Willman 3-1

• Moises Navaro 2-2

• Matt Fritz 1-3

• Jack Eberhart 1-3

• Matt Robinson 1-0 in exhibition

• Jonathan Hileman 1-0 in exhibition

O’Fallon has concluded its regular season and enters Regional action next Saturday at Granite City.

Braswell to play volleyball at Missouri Baptist

(Submitted Photo)

OTHS Volleyball star Abby Braswell signed a letter of intent earlier this month to continue her education and volleyball career at Missouri Baptist. 

“I am so excited for Abby to be continuing her volleyball and academic career at Missouri Baptist. I think she will do great things for their program. She is such a hard worker and tremendous leader and will make a very positive impact on their team,” said OTHS Head Coach Melissa Massey. “Any coach would love to have her. She did such a good job with the team and I very much appreciate everything she did for me.”(

OTHS Wrestling team recognizes players at Senior Night

Pictured from left with their parents: Austin Kostedt, Terry Thompson, Sam McCoy, Damian Ross, Nathan Vasquez, and Alex Fulton (Submitted Photo)

The OTHS Wrestling Team celebrated Senior Night on Thursday, January 24. Six seniors were recognized and honored prior to the evenings matches.

Nathan Vasquez, son of Jose and Sandra Vasquez, has wrestled for two years in the Panther Wrestling program. He has learned discipline and determination through learning about nutrition and weight management. Because he never gave up, he was able to make the Varsity team. 

The tournament in Geneseo, taught Nathan about the lasting friendships and memories that can be created in wrestling.

Nathan plans to attend Arizona State University to study Kinesiology.

Alex Fulton, son of Michele and Owen Seibel and Kent Fulton, wrestled for nine years in the Panther Wrestling Program. He has learned that there are many people who enter the program that make a difference and have the opportunity to create change within the program. The People of the OTHS wrestling program are some of the hardest working and most dedicated people he has encountered in his high school. 

The tournament in Geneseo has left a lasting memory of a great time hanging out with teammates all night.

Alex plans to go to college and major in Marine Biology and Psychology. 

Austin Kostedt, son of Jennifer and Rick Preston, has wrestled for the Panther Wrestling Program for three years. Austin has learned that hard work pays off through dedicated practice, teamwork and time on the mat. 

Austin has lasting memories from the Geneseo tournament even though he did not place. He had a great time growing friendships with his teammates that he considers part of his family.

Austin has been accepted to SIUE and plans to major in Chemistry/Pre-Medicine and later would like to become an Anesthesiologist. 

Terry Thompson has enjoyed his time on the Panthers Wrestling team. He has learned that in order to be tough; you never quit, and fight hard to get through tough times. Terry recognizes his coaches and Byron for getting him through the painful days and has learned about the power of a handshake. 

Terry has lasting memories of taking first in the Mascoutah tournament and is thankful and has a lot of love for all of the people and support he received in his experience. 

Terry has been accepted to Triton / Harper College and has been offered positions on the wrestling team. He plans to major in Nursing.

Samuel McCoy, son of Kate and John, wrestled all four years on the Panther Wrestling team.

Sam has enjoyed his favorite past time of hit-it’s and has learned valuable lessons through hard work, discipline and being attentive. He has lasting memories with his teammates and is particularly fond of a memory at the Stake and Shake before the freshman tournament last year. 

Sam is a recipient of a Congressional Nomination for the United Military Academy at West Point. He plans to major in Construction Management while pursuing a career in the US Army. 

Damien Ross Jr, son of Damien Ross Sr., wrestled for the Panther Wrestling Team for two years. Damien has learned that no matter the difference in ages of your teammates-your team can make it a long way as long as you train together. You can’t train alone-your only as strong as your weakest link.

Regionals last year left a lasting memory when Damien dislocated his shoulder before his tournament had ended. He also had lasting memories of the Geneseo tournament that provided an extended opportunity to form strong relationships with his teammates and how to be thrifty. 

Damien plans to attend college and continue to play sports. He is going to obtain a degree in the medical field and become a Pediatrician.

OTHS Boys Bowling advances two individual bowlers to Sectionals

Donny Richards and Ryan Komm

The OTHS boys bowling team suffered a loss on Tuesday, January 15, by not qualifying for sectionals. 

The Panthers finished in fifth place, only 23 pins away from advancing.  

“The team was very disappointed in not returning to the state series. Donny and Ryan bowled well but it wasn’t enough to carry the team through a competitive regional. We’ll take a short break and be ready for the 2019-2020 season. The Panthers wish the Southwestern Conference teams that advanced ‘Good Luck’,” Coach Mike Imes said.

Two seniors on the team qualified to advance to sectionals as individual bowlers. 

Donny Richards finished fifth overall with a six games series of 1,354 for an average of 225 for the day. Ryan Komm finished eleventh overall with a series of 1,320 for an average of 220.  

Both Panthers bowled in sectionals on Monday, January 21, but both came short of advancing to state. 

Although it was a tough blow for the seniors, spirits were high. They may not have finished as they hoped, but they had a great season trying! 

Third Grade Jr. Panthers take second in Wesclin MLK tourney

Pictured from left, front row: Logan Chalmers, Carter Hansley, Jake Weinhoeft, Blake Henderson, Liam Mueth. Back row: Ryder Burgmeier, Everett Creek, Cash Steen, Foster Niemeyer, Alexander Greene. (Picture by Nikki Steen)

By Nikki Steen

The Third Grade Jr. Panthers competed in the Wesclin Hoops MLK Tournament this past weekend.

In the team’s first game on Friday evening, the boys took on and defeated Highland, 28-11.

The boys continued their win streak on Saturday in both games. In their first game against Breese, they won 22-11. Then later in the evening, the team defeated Metro East Heat 13-11.

The boys were ready for the championship game Sunday evening. Taking on Bartelso, they gave it their all but came up a bit short in a close match-up, falling 23-18.

The Third Grade Jr. Panthers placed second in the tournament overall.

Two OTHS lacrosse players take part in California tournament

Nolan Bradley (far left) and David Tady (#6) with the Japanese National Team
(Submitted Photo)

Two OTHS Lacrosse young men traveled to San Diego in early January as a part of the St. Louis Shogun team to compete in the Adrenaline Challenge College Showcase and Tournament.  

Senior Nolan Bradley and junior David Tady both represented O’Fallon and the greater St. Louis area in the tournament that fielded over 150 teams from across the country and world. Both of these young men were all conference in the 2018 Spring season for OTHS.  

A highlight of the tournament was the game against the U20 Japanese National team. The competition was fierce, but friendships were forged with these young men from Japan.  Bradley and Tady both played integral roles in the attack positions, with goals, assists and running the offense throughout the tournament.

OTHS Sr. Nolan Bradley runs past a defender from Oregon and scored one of his
goals in the tournament. (Submitted Photo)

OTHS Jr. David Tady pushes past a Seattle defender in the Adrenaline Challenge Tournament in San Diego. (Submitted Photo)

Adult soccer league forms in Metro East

A newly-formed and adult only outdoor soccer league began serving the communities of O’Fallon, Belleville, Collinsville, and Edwardsville at the start of the year. 

Metro East Football Association (FA) launched an inaugural soccer league for adults of all ages and was created by players, referees and coaches. 

The first adult outdoor soccer league is a seven versus seven league that began play earlier this month at the O’Fallon Sports Park. 

Laurin Thienes, who is helping with the soccer league startup, said that since the closing of Vetta Sports, there is no longer options for adult soccer leagues in O’Fallon and Belleville. 

“This leaves adults with very few options,” Thienes said. 

Thienes said that indoor options in the Metro East are limited to The Sports Academy in Glen Carbon or Powerhaus in Columbia. 

“For outdoor soccer, the options are even more limited on this side of the river with nothing offered outside of super competitive leagues composed primarily of college players.” 

“I, myself have been driving to Maryland Heights once a week to play in an outdoor coed league,” he said. 

He said that due to the recent installation of field turf fields at the O’Fallon Sports Park, they decided it was time to fill the absence of adult soccer and thus start Metro East FA.  

“We might be a little crazy starting in January playing outdoor but that is what hats, gloves and warmups are for,” Thienes said. “With all- weather fields, there is very little that will force us to cancel games.” 

The adult soccer league is open to both men and women, and while it is not technically a coed league due to no specific female player requirements, Thienes said that the intent is to eventually have both a coed league and a mens league. 

Thienes said that because adults often don’t have a network with enough willing players to form a complete team, Metro East FA allows people to signup individually to be added to a “house” team. 

“Our main goal is to promote soccer culture in the community,” he said. “We believe that the addition of adult programming will help further O’Fallon as a destination community, drawing individuals from communities in the 25 to 30 mile radius to spend time and money with businesses in this area.”

To find out more information about the adult soccer league, visit www.metroeastfa.com

Lady Panthers add two to wins

Pictured is senior Izzy Akoro squaring off with a Flyers defender in last Thursday’s victory.
 (Photo by
Claudia McNary)

The O’Fallon Panthers girls basketball team put up two wins this past week.

On Thursday, January 10, the Lady Panthers downed the visiting East St. Louis Flyers at the Panther Dome, 52-48.

Later, on Monday, January 14, the Lady Panthers defeated the Taylorville Tornadoes, 61-50, as part of the Highland Tournament. 

With the pair of wins the Panthers sit at 16-4 for the season.

OTHS Boys Bowling clinches Conference Title

Pictured from left: Josh Herran, Donny Richards, Ryan Komm, Aiden Toohey, Larry Carter, Cameron Rachell (Submitted Photo)

The O’Fallon Township High School Boys Bowling Team regular season has come to an end.  The team clinched the Conference Title in their division with a record of 9-1. Regionals was supposed to be held this past Saturday but was rescheduled due to the snow. The new date is set for Tuesday, January 15th. As of publication the results of that tournament are unknown.

This past week the Panthers bowled their last two regular season matches. First, on Monday, January 7th the boys took on Alton at St. Clair Bowl. It proved to be an easy win for the Panthers. For the three games series O’Fallon won by 258 pins. Notable high scores for the match were Cameron Rachell with a 237, Ryan Komm with a 214, Donny Richards with a 213 and Josh Herran with scores of 247, 223 and 212 for an impressive 682 series.

The boys last match of the season was on Wednesday, January 9th against Collinsville at Camelot Bowl. Collinsville out-bowled them that day but spirits were still high. They knew they clinched their division heading into regionals.  Notable high scores for the match were Donny Richards with a 257, Ryan Komm with a 227, Jordan Peacock with a 212 and Josh Herran with a 210.

With Regionals right around the corner the team is practicing hard and keeping their heads up high. Coach Mike Imes stated at the end of the week “The boys are looking forward to another state series. After winning the Conference Title and doing well in tournaments, I know the boys feel that they can make another run at a state title.”

Upcoming events for boys bowling are Sectionals at Bowl Haven Lanes in Alton on January 19th and State Finals on January 26th and 27th here at St. Clair Bowl. Please come out to support you O’Fallon High School Boys Bowling team!

Panther swimmers continue to show strong effort as season continues

Senior Michael Meyer accomplished two third place finishes at a triangular meet against Edwardsville and Chatham Glenwood, one in the 200 individual medly and one in the 100 freestyle. (Submitted Photo)

The O’Fallon Boys Swim Team competed in a triangular meet against sectional rivals Edwardsville and Chatham Glenwood last Thursday. The Panthers weren’t able to overcome the competition, but Coach Kimberly Eddy was not discouraged by the team’s performances.

“I am very happy with the way the boys are working and performing right now. The team is giving 110 percent at every practice and meet. We are not going easy at practices because of an upcoming meet, and the team is still showing improvement and swimming best times. The guys are leaving it all in the pool every time they dive in, whether at practice or at a meet,” said Coach Eddy. 

The Panthers had a handful of third place finishes on the day. Two of those coming from senior Michael Meyer. Meyer placed third in the 200 IM and the 100 freestyle. 

The other third place finishes for O’Fallon came from sophomores Jack Peterson and Ethan Stein. Peterson placed third in the 500 freestyle and Stein finished third in the 50 freestyle. 

“Ethan has shown a lot of growth over the last year. He has only been swimming for a year now and has already established himself as one of the point scorers on the team. Ethan does not shy away from hard work. He is willing to put in the hours of training to get results,” Coach Eddy commented. 

Stein was also a member of two OTHS relays.

“I felt pretty good about my performance. I was pretty sore after a hard week of training, but I was still able to get a best time. I definitely feel that I have a more important role on the team this year,” Stein said. 

Peterson is a returning Varsity letter winner. Last year at the Sectional meet, he swam two individual events and scored points in both of the events. 

“I felt like I could have done better at the meet, but there were absolutely positives to be taken away from it. I think this year, I have had to step up in the relays and as a point scorer for the team,” Peterson said.

The Panther relays also took third place in all three relay events. In the medley relay, Nick Oulvey, Peterson, E. Stein, and Jonathan Stein were able to put together four strong legs. The relay team of Jonathan Stein, Meyer, Stephen Monson, and Brady Gotter were able to put up a season best time for OTHS in the 200 freestyle relay.  Peterson and E.Stein joined J. Stein and Meyer in the 400 freestyle relay to finish the night on a strong performance. 

The Panthers have their only home meet this Saturday, January 19, at the YMCA in O’Fallon. The meet starts at 2 p.m. and is free to the public.

Fifth grade Jr. Panthers Navy win tourney championship

Front row from left: Luke Smith, Carson Nix, Reagan Woomer, Jase Foster. Back row: Coach Kevin Smith, Eli Whyte, Ethan Kessler, Maddox Ritzel, Owen Stoffel, Sam McCollum, Coach Patrick Stoffel (Submitted Photo)

The 5th grade Jr Panthers Navy team are the champions for the third year in a row of the Kim Jackson Memorial Tournament, held January 5-6 in Effingham, Illinois.