Jones Hangs ‘em Up

BY SAM SCINTA
WEEKLY REPORTER

(Submitted Photo)

Just months before what would have been his second season in professional basketball, O’Fallon hoops legend Roosevelt Jones announced last Sunday that he is retiring from the sport.

“It’s been difficult for me to make this decision, but with the lingering pain that I have been feeling with my back for years, it has finally come to the point where it is unbearable,” Jones said in a statement. “I play the game 110% all the time and if I’m not able to give that night in and night out, then I am just cheating myself and my teammates.”

Jones announced his decision over social media ahead of another year playing for the Canton Charge, the NBA G-League affiliate for the Cleveland Cavaliers. The guard had most recently played for the Cavalier’s Summer League team earlier in the summer.

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Two More Wins for Lady Panther Golf

BY SAM SCINTA
WEEKLY REPORTER

One week after kicking off their season with a win at the Highland Scramble, the OTHS Lady Panthers Golf Team kept up the strong play with a pair of impressive early season wins.

On Thursday, the team teed off at St. Clair Country Club for the Bob Goalby Invitational, winning the event to move to 2-0 on the year in event play.

Natalie Meinkoth continued her strong start to the season by pacing all golfers with a 37 to take home 1st place while teammates Emily Marrs and Briana McMinn tied for second at just two strokes back with a 39.

Alyssa McMinn shot a 40, good for 4th place on the afternoon.

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On With the Show (Choir)

Great Expectations rehearses one of their numbers called “Backyard Party.” (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Rebecca Bugger)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

By Rebecca Bugger

the end of the 2016-2017 school year, it seemed that there was a chance that it would be the final season for Innovations and Great Expectations, the two show choirs at O’Fallon Township High School. It turned out to be the case for one of the choirs, at least for this year.

Over the past several years, Great Expectations (the co-ed performance group) and Innovations (the all-girls group) have developed a reputation with the schools surrounding the O’Fallon/Shiloh area. The group has a reputation of excellence, showmanship, and they inspire a little bit of fear in the competition. OTHS is definitely the local school to beat when it comes to show choir competitions. In fact, Great Expectations made finals in every show choir competition that they entered.

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O’Fallon Honors Late Tennis Coach with Tournament

BY SAM SCINTA
WEEKLY REPORTER

For over twenty years, the tennis courts at O’Fallon Township High School were under the guidance of the great Ray Cordon.

From 1984 until 2003, and then again from 2009 until his untimely death in 2012, O’Fallon Panther Tennis was coached by the sport’s lifer, a service the program still pays homage to to this day.

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Athlete Spotlight – Porter Looking to Make Mark at Eastern Michigan

BY SAM SCINTA
 WEEKLY REPORTER

When three-year OTHS starting quarterback Todd Porter graduated in 2013, he was making his way to Bowling Green Kentucky to play for Head Coach Bobby Petrino at Western Kentucky University.

After playing as a backup his freshman year and redshirting as a sophomore, Porter transferred to Garden City Community College in Garden City, Kansas, starting the final three games of the season.

The experience gave Porter enough exposure to earn another NCAA FBS Division 1 offer, this time to the Mid-Atlantic Conference and Eastern Michigan University in January of 2016.

To read the full article, pick up a copy of this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.

Bossart Promoted to AA Reading

BY SAM SCINTA
 WEEKLY REPORTER

2011 O’Fallon Township High School graduate and former Panther Baseball star Austin Bossart has taken the next step in his young professional baseball career.

Bossart, a promising catching prospect in the Philadelphia Phillies system drafted in the 14th round of the 2015 MLB Draft, received a call-up to Double A Reading from the Clearwater Threshers. He is expected to remain in Reading for the remainder of the season.

The Phillies possess one of the top farm systems in all of Major League Baseball, boosted by the presence of high level catching talent like Bossart and Jorge Alfaro.

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Marching Panthers prepare to roar for another year

BY SAM SCINTA
 WEEKLY REPORTER

At the end of every July in O’Fallon, after the parades have long ended and the back to school sales start at local stores, members of the O’Fallon Township High School Marching Panthers return in droves to the Panther Athletic Complex in the early hours of the morning to start a day’s worth of grueling work in the late summer’s heat and humidity.

The Marching Panthers’ annual band camp was held recently, marking the effective end of Summer Break for the band’s members and the start of the Fall field show season.

For over 12 hours, the band, under the direction of Dr. Melissa Gustafson-Hinds, memorizes coordinates on the football field in correspondence with a challenging combination of instrumental music and visual choreography in preparation for the upcoming competition season.

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Athlete Spotlight – Natalie Edwards ready for next step

BY SAM SCINTA
WEEKLY REPORTER

Natalie Edwards spent her time in O’Fallon as one of the state’s premier youth swimming talents, and after a dominant Midwest Swim Conference Championship Meet, the star is ready to hit the pools in the Big 10.

Edwards, a University of Illinois signee, wrapped up her O’Fallon Breakers career in record-setting fashion at the Metro East Rec Plex.

In the 100 Individual Medley, Edwards set a new conference record at 1:00.92, marking the best O’Fallon individual result for the meet.

Following up a meet record effort is always a difficult act, but it proved almost no challenge for the D1 bound star.

Edwards, along with Medley Relay teammates Shelby Bushong, Sierra Workman, Kylie Clark, took on the tough competition in the Girls 13-18 division. The team swam a time of 1:55.83, almost a full two and a half seconds faster than the previous meet record for the race.

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OTHS Marching Panthers give back to community

The Kuhlman family (Robbie, Paige, Deacon, and Dallas, left) and the Lewis family (Brad, Jamie, and Landon, right) stand with a Star Wars Storm Trooper.

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Marching Panthers recently hosted a unique fundraiser that benefited the whole community. Partnering with O’Fallon Parks and Recreation, Chik-Fil-A and several other local businesses, they helped turn one of the Summer Movie Series events into a full blown carnival.

With a heat index of 115, the IHSA safety rules prevented the band from performing, but the heat didn’t stop the fun. The eleven carnival games included Ring Toss, Plinko, Pig Races, basketball, and there was also a photo booth, face painting, and a bounce house for little ones to enjoy.

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Athlete Spotlight – Donovan Franklin moving on from Indiana State

BY SAM SCINTA
WEEKLY REPORTER

Former O’Fallon Township High School Boys Basketball star Donovan Franklin announced his decision to leave Indiana State University and transfer to another school, which would be the guard’s third in three years.

Franklin had offers to play at Division 1 programs like Tennessee State and Jacksonville State out of high school but instead played junior college ball his freshman year at Gulf Coast State College in Panama City, Florida before transferring to NCAA Division 1 Indiana State to play for the Sycamores in Terre Haute.

Franklin averaged almost 15 points per game during his one season at Gulf Coast State College, but struggled to find the same scoring impact while at ISU, averaging just over four points per contest while appearing in 26 games.

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O’Fallon well represented at Junior Gold

 BY SAM SCINTA
WEEKLY REPORTER

Just a few weeks after representing O’Fallon Township High School in Smyrna, Tennessee, some of OTHS’ finest bowlers made the drive east to Ohio to compete in the Junior Gold Championships.

Junior Gold is one of the most prestigious singles tournaments in all of youth bowling. The annual tournament routinely features the best high school bowlers in America, who often turn into PBA Tour stars.

This year’s tournament was held at Freeway Lanes of Parma in Cleveland, Ohio.

Mary Orf finished 46th overall in the Girls 15U division, rolling a series of 2,799 to make the cut to the advancement round. Orf would struggle in the next round, but was able to manage a high game of 204 in the round.

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Panthers participate in 100 Inning Game

BY SAM SCINTA
WEEKLY REPORTER

The idea sounds like total and complete lunacy.

One hundred innings in a baseball game has never been done in any official baseball game of record, and for good reason, but on Monday, July 17, the O’Fallon Township High School Panther Baseball program participated in a 100 inning game with a good cause in mind.

The 100 Inning Game was started by the Boston Men’s Baseball League in the summer of 2004 to raise awareness and funds for former Red Sox and Diamondbacks pitcher Curt Schilling’s organization Curt’s Pitch for ALS.

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OTHS Class of 1997 to host 20th Reunion

O’FALLON – The O’Fallon Township High School class of 1997 will have a weekend of celebration for their 20th reunion. Events will be held in coordination with the OTHS Homecoming weekend, Friday, September 22nd and Saturday, September 23rd.

All members of the OTHS class of 1997 are invited, any class member who attended OTHS during the 1993-1997 years may join us. There are several events scheduled, come to one or all. Make sure to like the class page on Facebook for continued updates at “OTHS Class of 1997.” Tickets available for purchase at https://othsclassof97.eventbrite.com/

For more information, pick up a copy of this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.

OTHS Extended Summer School Program has successful first year

BY TERRY CHAPMAN
WEEKLY REPORTER

Left: Student Clark McKee explaining and demonstrating his model airplane (Submitted Photo); Middle: Student Taj Diltz holding a Madagascar hissing cockroach (Submitted Photo); Right: Mekai Wiggins demonstrating his ninja skills (O’Fallon Weekly Photo by Terry Chapman)

O’FALLON – For years, an extended summer school program has not been been a reality at OTHS. This summer, the district decided that would change, and instituted the program, which helps special needs youth at OTHS develop different life skills when school is not normally in session.

The extended summer school program runs for four weeks, starting in mid-June and ending in the middle of July. Consisting of four-hour school days, many involved in the program were eager to speak about the program and it’s success.

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Summer lacrosse reaches Route 66 Final Four

BY SAM SCINTA
WEEKLY REPORTER

(Photo by Scott Gaab – O’Fallon Weekly)

The Chesterfield Valley Athletic Complex was teeming with activity over the weekend, playing host to hundreds of young athletes and their families across multiple sports despite the sweltering heat.

For members of the O’Fallon High School Summer Lacrosse team, the CVAC provided an opportunity to step out from the more casual summer league play and compete against some of the Midwest’s premiere summer girls lacrosse teams.

The Route 66 Lacrosse Tournament featured some of the best high school girls lacrosse talent from as far away as Oklahoma, serving as the biggest test for the young O’Fallon team in its first year under the tutelage of Tim Grout, Brynn Laverdure, and Laura Gentry.

To read the full article, pick up a copy of this week’s paper on newsstands now. Or, click here for the digital edition.