OTHS Senior signs to go to Rockhurst University

Front row left to right: Pete Papachrisanthou (Niko’s dad), Niko Papachrisanthou, Sherry Papachrisanthou (Niko’s mom) Back row left to right: Asst. Coach Johnny Connors, Head Coach Erin Thoman, Asst. Coach Mimi Shelton, Asst. Coach Doug Mennerick (Submitted Photo)

By Kate Crutcher

O’Fallon – Following the school day on Wednesday, April 10th, Niko Papachrisanthou, met with teammates, coaches and his parents in front of the Panther Dome, to sign his dedication to attend Rockhurst University, in Kansas City, Missouri. Papachrisanthou has been playing varsity tennis for the past four years and is OTHS’s number 1 singles player. He has also attended state qualifiers three times. Though Niko played sports such as hockey in the past years, tennis was the only sport Niko asked his parents to play, according to his mother. 

“I actually enjoyed playing Wii tennis as a kid. I know it is sort of funny, but that is what really made me get started with the sport. After all the practices that I have with school, I usually practice at least 5 to 7 extra times, on my own, like when I am at home. My dad also played in high school, so he had his old rackets in the garage, so when I saw them, it also inspired me to start playing,” Papachrisanthou said. 

Tennis Coach, Erin Thoman, said, “We are so proud of Niko signing with Rockhurst. Niko has elevated his game through a tremendous amount of hard work and focus. Niko is our captain and is an awesome role model to our young team. Niko is a true scholar athlete. It has been a pleasure to coach Niko and watch him grow into the person and athlete he is today.”