Athlete Spotlight – Dixon balances band and soccer

BY SAM SCINTA
WEEKLY REPORTER

Liam with his parents Bobby and Annette on Senior Night

To be a member of the O’Fallon Township High School Soccer team requires exceptional dedication and hard work.

To be a member of the OTHS Soccer team while also being a member of the OTHS Marching Panthers requires a work ethic that few possess.

For OTHS senior Liam Dixon, giving his all to both programs required little second thought, and that can-do attitude has made an impression on his teachers at the school.

“Anything that we ask of Liam, he does without any complaining,” Director of Bands Dr. Melissa Gustafson-Hinds said. “He’s a great leader, and he leads by example with his incredible work ethic.”

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Panthers struggle against Alton, see postseason chances end

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

Junior Quarterback Christian Curtis makes a run for it against the Alton Redbirds defense.
(O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

The O’Fallon Varsity Football team watched their postseason hopes come to an end on Friday night against the Alton Redbirds.

For O’Fallon, it was a start that no coach or player wants to experience. O’Fallon found themselves trailing 21-0 at the end of the first quarter.

After some miscues on special teams, and a snap that went over the head of Punter Brooks Hackney, the Redbirds set themselves up on the goal line of O’Fallon for their first two scores of the game.

“We really struggled with some execution from our special teams and that hurt us with field position throughout the first half. We have to do a better job on special teams and in the field position part of the game,” said Head Coach Brandon Joggerst.

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Boys golf place third at regionals, advance to sectionals

(Submitted by Marci Lowery)

The O’Fallon Panthers boys golf team faced harsh conditions, including an hour rain delay, in the Class 3A Regional hosted by Belleville East at Clinton Hills on Tuesday, October 3. The Panthers placed third and advanced to the Homewood-Flossmor Sectional in Chicago on Monday, October 9. Results were not available prior to the Weekly’s deadline.

 

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Community leaders, District 203 begin discussion on closing student achievement gap

District 203 Superintendent Dr. Darcy Benway and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Martha Weld greet and speak with parents following last Wednesday’s meeting at New Life In Christ Church. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Angela Simmons)

Community members and leaders came together last Wednesday evening at a town hall meeting at New Life In Christ Interdenominational Church. Representatives from O’Fallon Township High School District 203 were there to discuss issues separating races at the high school, especially among achievement, expulsion and suspension, and diversity in staffing.

Bishop Geoffrey V. Dudley, Sr. welcomed everyone to the meeting, then introduced Superintendent Dr. Darcy Benway and Assistant Superintendent Dr. Martha Weld.

“We want to be collaborative partners to be part of the journey that we want our community to be on. One of the ways that we do that, that we accomplish that, is have a multi-disciplinary approach to education. That means working together,” Dudley said.

He further explained the goal of the evening, saying “We want to talk about diversity in staffing, professional development. We want to talk about the achievement gap, suspension and expulsion rates for African Americans, in particular, African American males. We want to talk about how the community can get involved and make a difference. Finally, we want to talk about the bigotry of low expectations. Those are the things that we would like to begin this conversation, and indeed, it is a conversation.”

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Lady Panthers tear through competition at Metro-East Classic

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

The O’Fallon Girls Volleyball team is coming off another great week on the court, as they showed their dominance in the conference at home and that they can compete with some of the top teams in the area at the Metro-East Classic this weekend.

Last Tuesday, the ladies won in very convincing fashion, 25-10, and 25-15 over Collinsville. With that win, the girls moved to 4-0 in the Southwestern Conference.

Head Coach Melissa Massey said, “It feels good to be undefeated, but we still have our work cut out for us. We will not be satisfied until we beat everyone in our conference. The girls want that so badly!”

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Athlete Spotlight – Patterson’s hard work produces results for Panthers

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

Taylor Patterson

The O’Fallon Boys Golf team has been successful all season and part of their success is because of the play from Junior Taylor Patterson.

As one of the top golfers in the conference, Patterson said, “I have put a ton of time into golf, and I have been playing since the age of three.”

Currently, Patterson hasn’t had any offers to golf in college, but says he looks forwarding to being able to play in college.

“I’ve played four sports, but this past year I decided to dedicate my time to golf and improve in this sport because it is my favorite of them all,” said Patterson.

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Boys golf prepares for regionals

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

The O’Fallon boys golf team finished second in the Southwestern Conference tournament as well as second in overall conference standings for the season.  The Panthers finished strong at the conference tournament held Tuesday, September 26th at Belk Park golf course in Wood River.  Led by 4-over par scores of 76 from both Logan Lowery and Taylor Patterson, the Panthers finished with a team score of 326.  The other top scores for O’Fallon included Drew Taylor (85) and Jake Baldus (89). Pictured from left: Logan Lowery, Ethan Ourada, Kyle Dismukes, Josh Krneta, Taylor Patterson, Jake Baldus, Ben Paskert, Drew Taylor (Photo submitted by Marci Lowery)

The O’Fallon Boys Golf team is preparing for their biggest stage this season, the Regional tournament. The entire season is work and preparation leading up to the regional tournament and postseason.

Last week, the Panthers competed at Belk Park in the Southwestern Conference tournament and finished second behind conference rival, Edwardsville.

Head Coach Kevin Kellerman said, “Our boys played very well, it was just hard to compete with the depth of Edwardsville.”

The Tigers medaled in six out of the top eight places overall.

Junior Taylor Patterson and Sophomore Logan Lowery finished fourth and fifth overall respectively.

Senior Drew Taylor finished with an 85, after starting off with a triple and double bogey on the first two holes.

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Edwardsville Tigers run over Panthers

BY SAM SCINTA
WEEKLY REPORTER

Just when it seemed the O’Fallon Township High School Football team had righted the ship on its season, along came Edwardsville and the dangerous Tiger rushing attack.

Junior back Antonio Thigpen Jr. rushed for 151 yards and 2 touchdowns, pacing what was a lethal Tiger offense en route to a 62-14 blowout win Friday night in Edwardsville.

“I have to credit my O-line,” Thigpen said after the game. “All of their hard work and preparation gives me the space I need to make an impact.”

The Panthers struggled across all phases on the evening, failing to stop the Tigers from scoring on all but one drive.

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Girls Golf takes top spot at Southwestern Conference Tournament

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

The O’Fallon Girls Golf season is coming to a close as they competed in the Southwestern Conference Tournament this past week at Orchards.

O’Fallon outshot their second place opponent, Edwardsville, by 27 strokes to show how much they deserve to be respected this season.

Head Coach Chris Eddy said, “Winning the conference tournament is another great accomplishment for the girls. Several of our girls played very well and we shot another sold team score.”

As a team, the ladies shot a 309 to put themselves in first place in the conference. Edwardsville finished with a 336, Alton 370, Belleville East 378, Belleville West 385, Collinsville 399, and Granite City with a 442.

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Panther Hockey Ready for Bigger and Better

BY SAM SCINTA
 WEEKLY REPORTER

Last season’s finish on the ice couldn’t have been much better for the O’Fallon Panther Ice Hockey Club, but a change in the coaching staff has the program eyeing more in the coming years.

Jason Power was named the new Head Coach of the team during the past summer offseason, and he brought with him years of high-level national and international coaching experience.

Coming with him is a new line of thinking for the team, including a process that begins off the ice.

“We are trying to revamp how we prepare ourselves for each game, both on the ice and off it,” Power said. “Everything from the frequency of our workouts to the team’s nutrition needed to be upgraded, and we feel it will give us an edge on the ice.”

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Milburn Auditorium hosts District 90 Choral Feeder Concert

BY REBECCA BUGGER
WEEKLY REPORTER

Concert choir with Marinda VanHoose as the solo performer. (Photo submitted by Teresa VanHoose)

On Thursday, September 28th, District 90 feeder schools came together for a choral concert at O’Fallon High School’s Milburn auditorium.  Students from Fulton, Carriel, and OTHS each took the stage for separate performances.  The O’Fallon High School Show Choir, Freshman Choir, Concert Choir and Women’s choir also performed and the Madrigals provided audiences with a snippet of the holiday show that they are working on.  These performances were followed by a group song in which all of the students sang together.  The O’Fallon Choral Risers Association provided pizza to the students and sold concessions to the families and friends that came to be a part of the audience.

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A Note from the Superintendent’s Desk – Controversial Conversations

Recent events have again created unrest in the St. Louis region and across the nation.  OTHS is a diverse high school with intelligent, curious, and engaged students.  As the adults in our communities and media outlets debate the social issues in our country, it would be naïve of us to think our students are not also engaged, or wanting to engage, in conversations on these issues as well.

Some school districts have avoided controversial topics of discussion in their classrooms.  OTHS has taken a different approach.  We rely on the professional judgment of our faculty to guide learning in the classrooms and student discussions on sensitive topics.  There is no recipe for the perfect discussion on controversial or sensitive topics, however, it is our role as educators to always create a safe and courteous classroom environment that respects the voice of everyone in the classroom.

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District 203 Board of Ed approves FY18 budget

The District 203 Board of Education unanimously approved a budget for Fiscal Year 2018 at their September meeting.

According to Chief School Business Officer Tammy Steckel, the projected revenue for FY18 will be $32,727,750, while the expenditures will total $32,394,750. The revenue includes a fund transfer from district reserves totaling $1,200,000 in order to cover projected expenditures.

The budget is made up of nine funds, of which the largest is the Education Fund, where 86 percent, or $16,805,900, goes towards salary and benefits for district staff.

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Panthers defeat Lancers in Homecoming thriller

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

Senior Jacob Flores dives into the end zone, with two Lancers attempting to hold him back, as he scores the first of the Panthers’ touchdowns during Friday’s Homecoming game. (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Nick Miller)

There is nothing better than winning the Homecoming football game on Friday night to start Homecoming festivities for the weekend. That’s what the Panthers did as they defeated conference opponent Belleville East, 43-40.

“I was extremely excited for the players to get this homecoming win. The fact that we battled back from deficits and handled adversity well is a testament our student athletes,” Head Coach Brandon Joggerst said.

From the opening kickoff, this couldn’t have been a better game for homecoming night.

The Panthers started off the game making some costly mistakes, but also played very well defensively and holding the Lancers to just seven points in quarter one, as the Lancers would go into the second quarter leading by seven.

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Athlete Spotlight – Lowery brings dedication and passion to golf team

BY COLTEN STEELE
WEEKLY REPORTER

Logan Lowery has shown this season that he is one of the top golfers in the State, and in the

Southwestern Conference. During this season, he has been able to place in the top ten of every tournament he has competed in.

“I feel great about the way I have played so far to begin the season. Our team has also began the season very well, but we still have our main goal in mind of qualifying for the sectional as a team,” Lowery said.

Every golfer has a favorite club that they like to use, or even a couple, but Lowery says he enjoys using his 56 degree wedge the most.

“Whenever I am hitting a shot inside 100 yards, I always turn to this club to give me a chance at a birdie. I can change my swing, stance, and the amount of power with this club to hit the right distanced shot.”

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