Sunday, June 23, 2019

20 earn varsity track letters this season

It was a good season to be a Spartan for Hayden Knott. Earlier in the month he was named as the SJO's boys track team's Most-Valuable Player. He was also honored as field event MVP in addition to earning his second varsity track letter.

Knott, whose best marks in the shot put at 49 feet-3.25 inches and 145 feet-11 inches in the discus, set new personal records in both events this season. The sophomore won three meet event titles at two different events this season. He brought home two gold medals from the Rantoul Invite and one from a multi-school meet with Urbana, Monticello, Danville and Rantoul.

Lane Gaskin runs anchor leg
St. Joseph-Ogden's Lane Gaskin runs anchor leg in their preliminary race in the 4x200-meter relay at the Illinois High School Association's State track & field meet on Thursday. Despite their best effort the Spartans ran a 1:31.7 failing to qualify for Saturday's state finals. Gaskin was one of nine seniors who earned varsity track letters this season. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

Ethan Vanliew was named the fresh/soph MVP. Vanliew competed in the 60-Meter, 100-Meter and 400-Meter dashes. In addition to competing in the high jump his first season in the Spartan uniform, he was also a member of 100, 200 and 400 relay squads

Earlier this week, senior Aiden Meyers signed his National Letter of Intent to run track at Eastern Illinois University. Meyer, who was named Most-Improved Player, will join SJO alumni Riley Baker and Austin Earp on the Panther roster next fall.

Meyer was a top three finisher in seven of the five outdoor meets he competed in this season. In his first meet of the year, he PR his 100-Meter Dash time at 11.11.

Twenty members of the track team, which includes four freshman athletes, earned varsity letters.

Senior letter winners include Joel Branson, Dwight Colvin, Nathan Emmert, Lane Gaskin, Kaleb Harshbarger, Isiah McCune, Aiden Meyer, Hanson Rieches and Keanen Swanson. Juniors earning a varsity letter was Max Chatterton, Brayden Grimsey, Nolan Peacock and Eric Poe. Three sophomores, Brady Buss, Hayden Knott and Brandon Mattsey along with frosh runners Elijah Mock, Jonny Poulter, Luke Stegall and Ethan Vanliew.

Friday, June 21, 2019

Burnett named Spartan baseball MVP

Last month the St. Joseph-Ogden baseball team awarded varsity letters to 19 players. Sophomore Crayton Burnett earned the team's Most-Valuable Player award.

The Spartans finished their 2019 campaign just wins away from another state final four appearance with a 27-9-2 record after falling 1-0 to Tuscola in the Class 2A sectional championship game.

Fellow junior Keegan McCarty was named Pitcher of the Year and was also selected for the team's Gold Glove Award.
St Joseph-Ogden baseball MVP Crayton Burnett
Junior Crayton Burnett makes a throw in SJO's home game against Westville. In addition to earning his varsity letter, Burnett was named the team's 2019 Most-Valuable Player and earned the programs True Maroon Award. The Spartans won the non-conference contest with the Tigers, 9-4. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

This year's seniors earning varsity baseball letters were Nick Boggs, Adam Frerichs, Kaden Jacobs, Caleb Johnson and Adam Rose.

Junior letter winners included Joey Acton, Brendan Cooperider, Drew Coursey, Blake Dable, Bode Gebbink, Keegan McCarty, Mason McLain, Jaden Miller, Blake Primmer, Brayden Weaver and Sam Wesley.

Burnett and fellow sophomore Zach Martinie along with freshman Coby Miller earned letters as underclassmen.

2019 Team Award Winners

MVP – Crayton Burnett
Pitcher of the Year – Keegan McCarty
Gold Glove Award – Keegan McCarty
Rookie of the Year – Sam Wesley
Silver Slugger Award – Adam Rose
True Maroon Award – Crayton Burnett
Hit By Pitch Award – Adam Frerichs

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

Village brush pick-up ends this week

After a suspension of service, the Village of St. Joseph announced public works employees will pick brush left on village curbs until June 21 today.

As long as weather conditions allow it, the village will remove brush currently placed curbside that conforms to guidelines until this Friday.

Despite recent issues, the board would like to have some sort of regular brush removal program for the community.

"The village sees the value in providing this service to our residents," says a media release from the village received earlier today. "Due to some of the issues that have evolved over the last several years, we will need to make some revisions to our policies."

After Friday homeowners will be responsible the removal of their own yard waste and brush disposal until further notice.

"I know residents have made recommendations on Facebook with different companies," said Debbie Routh, Treasurer for the village. "We are not advertising any companies at this point."

In addition to policy changes, scheduling issues will be addressed by village trustees.

"The board will review the current policy and man hours spent to provide this service," states the release. "It is our goal to continue to provide this courtesy to our village residents."

Items that are not allowed during this week pick up includes whole trees, bags of clippings weighing over 30 pounds, mulch, stump grindings, dirt and topsoil, plastic trash bags, and trash. Brush should be no longer than 6 feet in length and 10 inches in diameter. Employees will not take yard waste left in trash cans or landscape timber.

Residents are asked to leave 18 inches between each pile left on the curb.

For more information contact the Village of St. Joseph during regular office hours Monday thru Friday from 7:00am to 3:30pm. The office is closed for lunch between 12:30-1:00pm. Inquiries can also be made by phone at (217) 469-7371.

Friday, June 14, 2019

Ameren announces lower utility rate for St. Joseph

St. Joseph residents can knock a few dollars off their power bill for the next 12 months.

Recently Ameren Illinois announced lower residential electric rates to the tune of 4.6 cents per kilowatt hour (kwh) starting with this month's meter readings. With the transmission fees, the rate is estimated to be about 4.7 cent per kwh.

According to a press release from the village's electric aggregation consultant Simec, the low bidder for supplying electrical services to residents, the new rate is approximately three-tenths of one cent less than their rate of 5.031 cents.

The average consumer in St. Joseph would save roughly $36 a year switching to Ameren.

Customers that choose to opt out of the aggregation program offered by the village are subject to a lockout period of 12-months with Constellation, the default provider for village. Regulations require consumers who opt out to remain a total of 12 months with Ameren or a supplier of their choice if they do not switch to a new provider within the first two months of the initial change in service.

Once a customer opts out they will be returned automatically to Ameren or to the specified retail electric supplier.

One thing to keep in mind, Ameren, who cites decreased costs in delivering electrical service at this time, may raise their rates at any time if they file with the ICC and demonstrate that their operational expenses have changed. The sole benefit of municipal aggregation is it does offer some measure of price stability since the rates are locked in for a specific period of time.

While Constellation negotiated rate with St. Joseph is among the lowest in the state, Ameren's new rate is appreciably lower in many communities. Quincy's provider bills 5.09/kwh. Effingham residents pay 6.285 with their aggregator. Godfrey’s current municipal electrical aggregation contract with Homefield Energy is at 5.496 until December 2020.

According to the release issued by Simec, residents currently with Constellation can opt out at any time and at no cost. To opt out, they will need to contact Constellation’s customer care center toll free number at (844) 312-9122 and will need only their account number. Customer account numbers can be found at the top of their bill.

Thursday, June 6, 2019

Graduation Day: The photo gallery

Last month on May 19, 118 seniors became SJO alums. While we wanted to publish this page and memorable photos sooner, we haven't quite acquired all the resource we need yet. Without further adieu, here are l2 photos from that milestone day.

Jack Ward and Jack Cook
John Ward and Jack Cook enter the main runway during the processional at the St. Joseph-Ogden 2019 Commencement Exercise on Sunday. Photo by Clark Brooks

Principal Gary Page III
Principal Gary Page III makes his opening remarks at the beginning of St. Joseph-Ogden's 2019 Commencement Exercise. Photo by Clark Brooks

Friends and Family
Parents, siblings, family and friends packed the St. Joseph-Ogden gymnasium to watch the Class of 2019 commencement exercise. The audience listens as Principal Gary Page III extols on the academic achievement displayed by this year's senior class. Photo by Clark Brooks

Dwight Colvin
Dwight Colvin, a three-sport athlete who while continue both his education and athletic career at McKendree College, receives his diploma and warm handshake from St. Joseph-Ogden Board of Education president James Rein. Photo by Clark Brooks

Keely McCorkle walks at graduation
All smiles with diploma in hand as walks across the stage, Keely McCorkle prepares to shake hands with superintendent Brian Brooks. Photo by Clark Brooks

Mortar board message
One of many messages displayed on mortar boards at the 2019 St. Joseph-Ogden Commencement Exercise. Photo by Clark Brooks

Joel Orcutt smiles with his diploma in hand
Freshly minted SJO grad and two-sport athlete Joel Orcutt grins for a photo after receiving his diploma at graduation. Photo by Clark Brooks

Parents taking pictures
A couple of parents eagerly photographs as students walk down the steps to the stage at graduation. Photo by Clark Brooks

Sully Alwes, Gage Atwood and Cassidy Bagby
Seniors Sully Alwes, Gage Atwood and Cassidy Bagby mug for the camera during their commencement ceremony at St. Joseph-Ogden High School. In the final quarter of their high careeer, Atwood and Bagby earned a 3.75 GPA to be named to the High Honor Roll list. Alwes also earned honor roll recognition with a GPA greater than 3.25. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO alumni celebrate
In a storm of confetti, St. Joseph-Ogden students celebrate the end of their high school career. Photo by Clark Brooks

Kassandra Kelso poses for a quick smartphoto photo
Flanked by her cousins Lindsey and Sydney Kelso, Kassandra Kelso poses for a quick smartphoto photo after returning her robe. Photo by Clark Brooks

Sally Manalo and parents
Sally Manalo poses for a photo with her parents, Nelson and Jamie, in the auxiliary gym after Sunday's graduation ceremony. Photo by Clark Brooks

Photos displayed on this page are available for order here.

SJO plyometric training camp is a must do for future prep athletes

The summer camp that every junior high student should take part in is Carle Sports Medicine Plyometric Training Camp. The camp is led by St. Joseph-Ogden athletic trainer Casey Hug.

The camp which is already under way runs from June 11 to July 30 twice a week every Tuesday and Thursday from 3:30 – 4:30pm. There will not be a session on July 4 due to the holiday. Each session is an hour long under expert supervision.

The camp is designed to introduce and teach proper exercise techniques to young athletes and focus on building a foundation to develop explosive movement, agility, and better neuromuscular control.
Mclayne Taylor takes a shot
St. Joseph-Ogden's Maclayne Taylor fires a shot during their Class 2A third place game against Hillsboro at the IHSA Girls Basketball State Finals on Saturday. Taylor led the Lady Spartans to the program's first Final Four appearance. She is a prime example of how pylometrics can elevate a players athleticism. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

"Proper form and control are very important," Hug points out. "Most athletes, regardless of age, lack proper hip and core strength, which makes it nearly impossible to do these exercises properly."

He added,"Most people associate core strength with doing sit ups and having a six pack. At this camp we try to work on hip, glutes, and low back strength as well."

When it comes to explosive athletes, the St. Joseph-Ogden athletic program has enjoyed more than their fair share.
Pylometrics are exercises that train an athlete's muscles to exert maximum force in short intervals of time. The goal is to increase speed, agility and strength, especially from a resting position. Explosive movement starts from having a strong, well coordinate group of core muscles working together.

Sometimes referred to as "pylos", Pylometric training focuses on learning to move from a muscle extension to a contraction in a rapid or "explosive" manner, such as in specialized repeated jumping on to platforms or over barriers.

When it comes to explosive athletes, the St. Joseph-Ogden athletic program has enjoyed more than their fair share.

"As far as explosive athletes the one that sticks out to me is Maclayne Taylor," said Hug. He pointed out there are drills performed at the camp named after her. "She did this camp for four to five years and then has helped me as an instructor the last few years.

In addition to Taylor there are three other athletes from this spring season that epitomizes the benefits of pylometric training. Bailey Dowling, Hannah Dukeman and Atleigh Hamilton are at the top of his list.

Dowling currently holds the IHSA state record for the most career home runs and will play on the United States Junior National softball team. Earlier this week she was recognized as Gatorade's Illinois Softball Player of the Year. Dowling, who is the first SJO player to earn such national recognition, earn the same honor in 2018.

Hamilton is also headed for the IHSA record books. She is back-to-back Class 1A Long Jump champion. She went 18 feet-7.75 inches, three more than her nearest competitor, at last month's state track meet in Charleston.

A two-sport athlete and leader on the basketball court, Dukeman's balance and footwork is exceptional. On the diamond she is tied for 13th in IHSA records for runs batted in an inning. She also tied for second for most doubles in a softball game with four.

"We have a lot more kids that are explosive, but these are the ones that stick out against all the competition across the state," said Hug about the Spartan program.

Another is Adam Rose, who holds the baseball school record for the most stolen bases.

Although the first week of camp is in the books. It is not too late for kids who are starting 4th grade through the 9th to start their plyo training. To register now or for more information, email Casey Hug at

"I believe that plyometrics are important but making sure they are doing them with proper form/control is more important," Hug emphasized. "It doesn’t matter how high you can jump if you don’t know how to land."

Wednesday, June 5, 2019

77 SJO seniors named on final honor roll of the year

The exceptional quality of education and unending commitment by the student body to excel was once again demonstrated by the final Honor Roll of the 2018-19 academic year.

Seniors Sully Alwes, Gage Atwood and Cassidy Bagby mug for the camera during their commencement ceremony at St. Joseph-Ogden High School. In the final quarter of their high careeer, Atwood and Bagby earned a 3.75 GPA to be named to the High Honor Roll list. Alwes also earned honor roll recognition with a GPA greater than 3.25. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Seventy-seven St. Joseph-Ogden High School seniors earned scholastic accolades on the final Honor Roll list for this academic year. The junior class was paced by 64 members who achieved High Honor Roll or honor roll status. In all, more than 260 SJO students were named to the fourth quarter honor roll.

Students named to the High Honors earned GPAs of 3.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale. Those attaining GPAs of 3.25 to 3.74 are recognized as Honor Roll students.


High Honor Roll

Seniors: Gage Atwood, Cassidy Bagby, Erin Beyers, Rebecca Campbell, Sarah Chahine, David Cummins, Emmy Daniels, Liam Davis, Abigail Dunham, Avery Edwards, Nathan Emmert, Jasmine Febus, Michael Foreman, Emilie Fox, Adam Frerichs, Rachel Gherna, Zachary Hill, Kalli Ingram, Ken Lahners, Hannah Lewis, Nathan Logan, Caroline Moore, Eve Owens, Angela Palmer, Benjamin Reitmeier, Adam Rose, Madison Rubin, Abigail Schlueter, Elizabeth Schluter, Samantha Schmidt, Benjamin Setterdahl, acob Shaw, Kaitlin Shoviak, Grant Siegmund, Rylee Sjuts, Brianna Suits, Maclayne Taylor, Nathan Walden and Seth Wedig.

Juniors: Lindsey Aden, Jenna Albrecht, Mallory Ames, Taylor Barnes, Katelyn Berry, Emily Bigger, Kaylee Blackburn, Ginny Bytnar, Payton Cain, Trevon Carr, Kristen Costa, Drew Coursey, Kathryn Cramer, Andrea Cunningham, Faith Dahman, Hannah Dukeman, Asjah Fonner, Jaiden Freeman, Bode Gebbink, Payton Grimsley, Lucas Grindley, Erica Guelfi, Emily Hardimon, Chance Izard, Cody Johnston, Lacey Kaiser, Danielle Kelso, Sara Milioli, Ava Mills, Carson Mills, Allison Monk, Alivia Norem, Eric Poe, Hannah Rajlich, Lexi Ribbe, Jenna Schaefer, Joshua Sexton, Rylee Stahl, Kenly Taylor, Stephanie Trame, Anna Tranel, Isabelle Vliet, Brayden Weaver, Samuel Wesley, Zoey Witruk and Jackson Wooten.

Sophomores: Hunter Brooks, Isabelle Brooks, Crayton Burnett, David Bytnar, Taylor Campbell, Kylie Duckett, Hanna Eastin, Nadirah Edwards, Emily Fisher, Dakota Franzen, Alexandra Frerichs, Atleigh Hamilton, Emmy Houston, Lukas Hutcherson, Logan Ingram, Cailer Kellenberger, Shelby Kofoot, Spencer Lahners, Ethan Lane, Aiden Livesay, Tyson Madsen, Sophie Martlage, Flannery McCorkle, Garren Meeker, Abigail Moberg, Samantha Naylor, Alec Painter, Erin Patton, Aidan Roberts, Indira Robinson, Mazie Ronk, Evan Schmitz, Max Shonkwiler, Tessa Smith, Payton Vallee, Nora Walden, Brayden Wendt and Logan Wolfersberger.

Freshmen: Addison Allen, Tyler Altenbaumer, Kailyn Anderson, Ella Armstrong, Madison Atwood, Abigail Behrens, Andrew Beyers, Brandie Bowln, Mara Burkhalter, Angela Chahine, Braden Clampitt, Anastasia Conerty, Deanna Cummins, Benjamin Cunningham, Sidney Davis, Zander Dressen, Ashley Eldridge, Jared Emmert, Hannah Fox, Zella Fuqua, Avian Gerdes, Brennan Haake, Liam Hamer, Lauren Harper, Anthony Hoang, Claire Huffman, Payton Jacob, Alison Kearney, Ava Knap, Sophia McDade, Coby Miller, Conrad Miller, Elijah Mock, Keaton Nolan, Jessica Palmer, Emma Parkinson, Hope Rajlich, Kendra Riddle, Taryn Sexton, Alyssa Shoviak, Luke Stegall, Rebecca Steinbach, Mackenzie Trame and Taylor Wells.

Adam Frerichs     Honor Roll student Payton Vallee     Drew Coursey

Honor Roll

Seniors: Sullivan Alwes, Alex Blanchard, Nicholas Boggs, Joel Branson, Makayla Buskirk, Ripley Campbell, Kayla CaƱas, Daniel Carlson, Dwight Colvin, Aiden Coon, Amanda Craddock, Peyton Crowe, Chloe Duckett, Emory Ericksen, Cole Franzen, Bryce Froeschl, Grant Goff, Haley Griebat, Kaleb Harshbarger, Mikayla Harshbarger, Kaitlyn Hess, Michelle Jervis, Dylan Johnson, Jake Juday, Kyler Master, Shelby McElroy, Erinn Miller, Ryan Miller, Heidi Novak, Karsyn Peters, Kathryn Poulter, Hanson Rieches, Niko Russell, Nicholas Skelton, Clare Smith, Dillon Uken, Rylee Walsh and Cole Zaccarelli

Juniors: Kendall Ayers, Kolton Batty, Erin Bridgewater, Brendan Cooperider, Bailey Dowling, Brayden Grimsey, Ethan Hinrichs, Julia Kaiser, Eliza Lewis, Nathan Maier, Keegan McCarty, Mason McLain, Nolan Peacock, Taddy Pettit, Dyllan Price, Madie Warfel, Anna Wentzloff and Karsyn Wetzel.

Sophomores: Haven Atwood, Mason Behrens, Josh Buttjer, Raegan Crippen, Sarah Dow, Makayla Duckwitz, Jacob Dywer, Britney Evans, Emily Froman, Isabella Getty, Alyssa Lynch, Alyssa Maddock, Brandon Mattsey, Brianna Reifsteck, Lizzie Reitmeier, Jackson Rydell, Lauren Trankina, Mitchell Whitlock and Rachel Wilson.

Freshmen: Jaden Barton, Alanna Bensyl, Ella Besson, Kennedi Burnett, Mackenzie Fulk, Alyssa Hamilton, Kailyn Ingram, Olivia Klotz, Ashlyn Lannert, Jacey Lewis, Madelyn Mabry, Kelsey Martlage, Braden McElroy, Ava Miller, Jett Morris, Nathaniel Nosler, Jackson Place, Jonathan Poulter, Griffin Roesch and Ethan Vanliew.

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