Photos Today: Spartans pick up 20th win

SJO head coach Kevin Taylor was able to put every player on his varsity squad on the floor Monday night in his team's home conference game against Rantoul.

"It helps when someone get hot early like Peyton Crowe," he said. "Then we can spread the floor out."

The St. Joseph-Ogden girls basketball team picked up their 20th win of the season behind Crowe's 20-point game-high performance. Seven other SJO player also contributed offensively and everyone had a hand in smothering the Eagles shots in the 63-24 victory.

Here's seven photos from Monday's milestone win for the Spartans. Follow this link to see more photos from the game in the SJO vs Rantoul gallery.

Ella Armstrong goes up for a shot against Rantoul
St. Joseph-Ogden's Ella Armstrong goes up for a shot in front of Rantoul's Myejoi Williams during in the second half. The Spartans defeated the visiting Eagles to pick up their 20th win of the season with a 63-24 win on Monday. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO's Maclayne Taylor dribbles the ball away from Rantoul's Emma Mihaly
Maclayne Taylor dribbles the ball away from Rantoul's Emma Mihaly during first half action of their home game on Monday. Taylor finished the game with 7 points. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Ashlyn Lannert dribbles the ball down the court
Spartan Ashlyn Lannert dribbles the ball down the court in their home game against Rantoul. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Angela Palmer looks for an open teammate
Keeping the ball away from Rantoul's Litzy Hernandez, St. Joseph-Ogden's Angela Palmer looks for an open teammate to pass the ball during second half action. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Maclayne Taylor guards Rantoul's Jada Mosley
Maclayne Taylor guards Rantoul's Jada Mosley during their Illini Prairie Conference game. Taylor finished with 7 points on the night. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Payton Jacob wrestles the ball away from a Rantoul player
Spartan Payton Jacob wrestles the ball away from Rantoul's Myejoi Williams. Jacob came off the bench to finish the night with 8 points for SJO. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

St. Joseph-Ogden's Hannah Dukeman makes a pass in their home game against Rantoul. The junior contributed 9 points in the SJO victory. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Click here to search for more photos 24/7 that are in the PhotoNews Media online archives. Follow this link to discover more photos from this game or order any photo from this page: SJO Girls vs Rantoul.

Walden named to WIU Dean's List

Nick Walden, wearing #57, and members of the St. Joseph-Ogden football team run out to the field before the start of their state championship football game against Stillman Valley on November 29, 2013. Running along with Walden are Spartans Jacob Bowman, Logan DeWeese and Wesley Kibler. SJO battled to an heartbreaking 43-41 overtime finish at Huskie Stadium to finish runner-up in Class 3A. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

St. Joseph-Ogden alumni Nick Walden was one of 1,361 undergraduate students named to Western Illinois University's 2018 Fall Dean's List last week.

His junior year at SJO, Walden was a member of the state final football team in 2013 that narrowly lost to the Stillman Valley Cardinals. His team finished the season with 11 wins and 3 losses.

Undergraduate students at WIU must earn at least a 3.6 grade point average while taking a minimum of 12 hours of classes. Classes taken on a pass-fail basis, for student teaching hours and internships are not counted towards the GPA calculation.

Walden, a senior, is one of 1,153 student from Illinois and seven from Champaign County to earn the Dean's academic recognition.

Dance has a date at state

This week, the SJO Dance Team will undoubtedly be working harder than they have all season - happily, without a doubt - in preparation for their 10:33 performance at the IHSA Competitive Dance State Finals on Friday. The squad will compete against 29 other teams that advanced to the state semifinals from their respective sectionals on Saturday.

However, the squad was just a snowball's throw away from not having the opportunity to even compete against the other top small school dance teams from around the state.

SJO Dance Team performs during a home game
Members of the SJO Dance Team perform during a home game earlier this month. The Spartans head to state after finishing 5th at last weekend's IHSA sectional in Mascoutah. See more SJO dancers in action. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

With a major winter event predicted to roll through central Illinois that would make highway travel precarious and possibly dangerous, the Dance Team was notified on Friday that they would not be traveling to the Illinois High School Association's Mascoutah sectional on the following day. SJO, like many other area schools using the same weather forecast as a guide, canceled all of their planned activities anticipating nasty conditions.

"The predicted weather forecast was not looking favorable for our area, on top of the fact that we had a 3 hour drive to our sectional," head coach Emily Williams explained. A SJO dance alumna herself, she has been the team's head coach for the past nine years. "Our administration made a decision that it would not be a safe trip for our dancers and their families. They also called off all other SJO activities for the weekend."

Williams said she and school administrators met with the disappointed athletes and parents on Friday afternoon explaining the decision. She pointed out that administrators from five other area schools also canceled their travel plans to the sectional competition.

However, on Saturday morning the expected 6-to-8 inch of snowfall failed to materialize. Williams and several parents contacted St. Joseph-Ogden superintendent Brian Brooks to see if they could make the trip.

"(Mr. Brooks) checked every radar possible and went out and drove several roads around Saint Joe," Williams said. "The decision was made by our administration that we could go as long as we could get a hold of IHSA and make sure it was okay with them."

Athletic director Justin Franzen was then able to square things away with the IHSA to make sure the squad could still compete. Soon after the dance team and loyal fans were on the road headed toward southern Illinois.

The team competed against 12 schools for one of the top six spots to punch their ticket to state finals at Grossinger Motors Arena in Bloomington. The Spartans' performance was fifth best of the day.

With a final score of 85.13, SJO finished by behind the sectional champions Villa Grove (88.67), Civic Memorial (87.60), Unity (86.57) and St. Anthony (85.67). Clinton filled the last state-finalist slot with a score of 85.10.

This will be the third to trip to state for the program since the IHSA began hosting them in 2013. The Spartans made it to state in both 2014 and 2016.

Williams hopes to see plenty of St. Joseph-Ogden family and friends filling seats in the arena and cheering for her girls. A fan bus is being organized by the school. She expects details to be available on the school website by Wednesday.

SJO dance team member performs during the Spartans' home game.
A SJO dance team member performs during the Spartans' home game against Villa Grove-Heritage earlier this month. The group hopes to see lots of fans at Grossinger Motors Arena cheering them on. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

"Our dancers would love to see as many people in maroon, white, and Columbia Blue on Friday as possible," Williams said. "We have a great group of girls who are much more like a family than a team. They have worked very hard and are elated to have earned the chance to compete in the IHSA State prelims on Friday."

For now until Friday, the SJO Dance Team will be working to perfect their routine and fixed deficiencies noted by last weekend's panel of judges.

We will be practicing everyday and will break down our hip hop routine, piece by piece," Williams said. "We will go over our scoresheets from Saturday’s sectional and see what the judges said we can improve on."

Members expected to compete at Friday's state semifinal include Erin Beyers, Kalli Ingram, Haley Griebat, Rachel Gherna, Kaitlyn Hess, Ava Mills, Sara Milioli, Samantha Naylor, Isabelle Brooks, Kylie Duckett, Tessa Smith, Bella Getty, Ella Besson and Alessa Anzelmo.

Game day gyros nachos

Clark's Gyros Nachos

Using Greek gyros meat offers a unique, spicy tasting version of this popular bar appetizer and gameday snack. According to Wikipedia, Ignacio "Nacho" Anaya is credited with creating the dish in about 1943.

Gyros, originally made from lamb in Greece, is a delicious mixture of ground beef and lamb or lamb and chicken. The meat is high in calories and fat, and may not be idea if you're dieting. But, probably the three beers you have with this dish won't either.

A pan of takes about 15 minutes to make. Here's what you need to put together this awesome platter.


1 bag of Tortilla Chips
8 oz. of Cheese
1/2 to 1-lb Gyros Meat
2 Jalapenos Peppers
1 Large Tomato
1/2 Onion
1 Green Pepper
1/2 cup of Shredded Spinach
1 teaspoon of Olive Oil
Pinch of Black Pepper
Pinch of Salt


1. Pre-heat oven to 300º.

2. Spread tortilla chips on a cookie sheet or in a baking pan. Line sheet or pan with aluminum foil for easy clean up later.

3. Chop/shred spinach in a small bowl, stir in olive oil and a pinch of salt and black pepper. Set aside for later.

4. Chop tomato, jalapenos, green pepper and onion. Mix all three vegetables into a single bowl.

5. Shred gyros meat and place a layer on top of the tortilla chips.

6. Next, add a generous layer of shredded cheese over the meat and chips.

7. Spread vegetables from the bowl on top of the pile.

8. Then, sprinkle a light layer of cheese over the vegetables.

9. Finally, sprinkle clumps of spinach evenly spaced around the pan or in the center of the pile of chips and veggies.

10. Put the pan in the oven and bake at 300º for 10 to 12 minutes or until cheese has melted.

11. Remove from oven and serve with sour cream or salsa.

Expert tip

1. You can get Kronos Authentic Gyros slices in a 2-pound box at Sam's Club. There are two bags in each box. One bag makes two to three trays. Use a sharp knife to shred meat.

2. Add black or green olives; black beans or re-fried; or Pico de Gallo for a tasty alternative.

Do you have a favorite recipe you would like to share with our readers? Contact our editor at

#TBT: 14 years ago SJO baseball pounds Sages

The Sentinel, courtesy of PhotoNews Media, has more than 250,000 images from more than a decade and half of sport coverage at St. Joseph-Ogden High School at our fingertips. Each week, as space and time allows, we will publish great action photos, memorable moments and treasured images from the massive collection of images of Spartan athletes online and in your weekly paper.

SJO has had some pretty awesome baseball teams as of late. This week's Throwback Thursday, or #TBT, feature is from the Spartans' home baseball game against Monticello back on April 26, 2005. A few of these faces are still on the sidelines today as coaches, teachers and mentors.

Nick Bialeschki makes a throw to first.
St. Joseph-Ogden's Nick Bialeschki makes a throw to first in their home game against Monticello. The Spartans hammered their way to 10-1 victory after seven innings over the Sages. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO's Ben Gorman lays down a bunt.
Ben Gorman lays down a bunt in their home game against Monticello. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Mark Gones leads off second.
Spartan Mark Gones takes a big jump off second base. See more photos from the game here: SJO host Monticello. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Nick Sibbing takes big swing a Monticello pitch
Nick Sibbing takes big swing a Monticello pitch while batting for the Spartans. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Zac Isaksen rounds the bases after a home run.
Zac Isaksen slaps head coach Brad hand after rounding third base after crushing the ball for a SJO home run. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Mason Blacker runs to first base after putting the ball in play. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO's Ben Gorman throws at pitch against Monticello.
Ben Gorman brings the heat unloading a pitch on at a waiting Monticello batter. See more photos from the game here: SJO host Monticello. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Can't wait until next week for more photos from the archives? Search for your favorite athlete by name, sport or date of the event in the PhotoNews Media online photo archives.

173 students earn High Honor Roll honors at SJO

St. Joseph-Ogden's Justyn Frisby earns second quarter High Honors.
St. Joseph-Ogden's Justyn Frisby moves the ball down the field during his team's home game against St. Thomas More on September 13, 2018. Frisby was one of 173 SJO students to be recognized for their scholastic achievement during the second quarter of this academic year. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

One hundred and seventy-three students received recognition for their exceptional scholastic achievement at St. Joseph-Ogden High School this week. Forty freshmen, 39 sophomores, 48 juniors and 46 seniors made the High Honors list after the second quarter this academic year.

Students recognized for high honors earned GPAs of 3.75 or higher on a 4.0 scale.

Another 98 students from the combined four classes secured GPAs of 3.25 to 3.74 to be listed on this quarter's honor roll.

St. Joseph-Ogden High School was one of 22 Illinois school districts was named to the 9th Annual AP District Honor Roll. The District Honor Roll is awarded to school districts that increase the number of students and advanced placement classes in combination with student performance on AP Exams. More than 370 schools in the United States and Canada were named to this year's list.


High Honor Roll

Freshmen: Addison Allen, Kailyn Anderson, Madison Atwood, Abigail Behrens, Ella Besson, Brandie Bowlin, Mara Burkhalter, Kennedi Burnett, Angela Chahine, Braden Clampitt, Anastasia Conerty, Deanna Cummins, Benjamin Cunningham, Sidney Davis, Zander Dressen, Ashley Eldridge, Jared Emmert, Hannah Fox, Brennan Haake, Liam Hamer, Lauren Harper, Anthony Hoang, Claire Huffman, Payton Jacob, Alison Kearney, Ava Knap, Kelsey Martlage, Sophia McDade, Coby Miller, Conrad Miller, Elijah Mock, Nathaniel Nosler, Jessica Palmer, Emma Parkinson, Hope Rajlich, Taryn Sexton, Alyssa Shoviak, Luke Stegall, Rebecca Steinbach and Mackenzie Trame.

Sophomores: Isabelle Brooks, Crayton Burnett, Josh Buttjer, David Bytnar, Taylor Campbell, Kylie Duckett, Hanna Eastin, Emily Fisher, Dakota Franzen, Alex Frerichs, Emily Froman, Atleigh Hamilton, Emmy Houston, Lukas Hutcherson, Logan Ingram, Shelby Kofoot, Ethan Lane, Aiden Livesay, Alyssa Maddock, Tyson Madsen, Sophia Martlage, Flannery McCorkle, Garren Meeker, Abigail Moberg, Samantha Naylor, Alec Painter, Erin Patton, Aidan Roberts, Indira Robinson, Kayleigh Roedl, Mazie Ronk, Evan Schmitz, Max Shonkwiler, Tessa Smith, Payton Vallee, Nora Walden, Brayden Wendt, Rachel Wilson and Logan Wolfersberger.

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, Eliza Lewis, Nathan Maier, Sara Milioli, Ava Mills, Carson Mills, Allison Monk, Alivia Norem, Taddy Pettit, Eric Poe, Hannah Rajlich, Lexi Ribbe, Jenna Schaefer, Joshua Sexton, Rylee Stahl, Kenly Taylor, Stephanie Trame, Anna Tranel, Isabelle Vliet, Madie Warfel, Brayden Weaver and Samuel Wesley.

Seniors: Sullivan Alwes, Gage Atwood, Cassidy Bagby, Erin Beyers, Nicholas Boggs, Joel Branson, Brooke Butorac, Rebecca Campbell, Kayla Cañas, Daniel Carlson, Sarah Chahine, David Cummins, Emmy Daniels, Liam Davis, Abigail Dunham, Avery Edwards, Nathan Emmert, Emory Ericksen, Jasmine Febus, Michael Foreman, Emilie Fox, Adam Frerichs, Justyn Frisby, Rachel Gherna, Mikayla Harshbarger, Zachary Hill, Kalli Ingram, Kenny Lahners, Hannah Lewis, Nathan Logan, Caroline Moore, Eve Owens, Benjamin Reitmeier, Adam Rose, Madison Rubin, Abigail Schlueter, Elizabeth Schluter, Samantha Schmidt, Benjamin Setterdahl, Jacob Shaw, Kaitlin Shoviak, Grant Siegmund, Rylee Sjuts, Brianna Suits, Maclayne Taylor and Nathan Walden.

Honor Roll

Freshmen: Tyler Altenbaumer, Ella Armstrong, Alanna Bensyl, Andrew Beyers, Allison Burnett, Zella Fuqua, Hailey Gaines, Avian Gerdes, Alyssa Hamilton, Kailyn Ingram, KayLeigh Kamphaus, Olivia Klotz, Ashlyn Lannert, Jacey Lewis, Madelyn Mabry, Braden MeElroy, Ava Meyer, Jett Morris, Keaton Nolan, Jackson Place, Jonathan Poulter, JoLeena Reynolds, Kendra Riddle, Griffin Roesch, Grace Schmitz, Ethan Vanliew, Karsten Wayland and Taylor Wells.

Sophomores: Haven Atwood, Brady Buss, Raegan Crippen, Sarah Dow, Makayla Duckwitz, Jacob Dwyer, Nadirah Edwards, Bella Getty, Carter Huffman, Cailer Kellenberger, Spencer Lahners, Alyssa Lynch, Brandon Mattsey, Brianna Reifsteck, Jackson Rydell, Lauren Trankina and Mitchell Whitlock

Juniors: Kendall Ayers, Kolton Batty, Hailey Birt, Ross Booker, Erin Bridgewater, Brendan Cooperider, Bailey Dowling, Clayton Frederick, Tristan Fuqua, Ethan Hinrichs, Conner Hodge, Julia Kaiser, Keegan McCarty, Mason McLain, Nolan Peacock, Dyllan Price and Brodie Sullivan.

Seniors: Kaylee Blanchard, Makayla Buskirk, Ripley Campbell, Aiden Coon, Amanda Craddock, Ashtyn Cromwell, Peyton Crowe, Chloe Duckett, Cole Franzen, Katilyn Hess, Michelle Jervis, Jake Juday, Sally Manalo, Kyler Master, Keely McCorkle, Isiah McCune, Erinn Miller, Ryan Miller, Megan Mitchell, Joel Orcutt, Angela Palmer, Reid Patton, Raymond Plotner, Adam Porter, Kathryn Poulter, Joseph Rajlich, Annelise Rhoads, Libby Rowland, Clare Smith, Savannah Smith, Isabella Spisok, Dillon Uken, Jack Ward, Seth Wedig, Alyssa Whitlock and Cole Zaccarelli.

Spartans pick up win #19

The St. Joseph-Ogden girls basketball team hasn't been beaten this year. This calendar year that is. SJO cruised to their sixth consecutive win after they notch their 19 win of the season with a 70-48 victory over visiting Pontiac.

Senior Bree Trimble, who is averaging 16.4 points per game since the start of the new year, put 26 points on the scoreboard for the Spartans. After missing her first two free throws in the opening quarter, Trimble put her next seven shots from the line through the hoop.

St. Joseph-Ogden's Bree Trimble lines up a shot in her team's non-conference home game against Oakwood on December 1. Trimble drained a game-high 16 points as the Spartans kept their unbeaten streak alive one more week with a 52-45 win over the visiting Comets. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Peyton Crowe, who scored her 1,000th career point on January 10, was 2-for-2 from the free throw line and finished the game with 14 points.

Freshman Ella Armstrong came off the bench to score 10 points and senior Maclayne Taylor chipped in 9 for her team.

Held to just 19 second half points by the Spartans, Pontiac's offense was led by sophomore Addison Masching with 9 points. Lindsey Hunt, Josie Noonan, Amanda Fox, and Camryn Feddern contributed 6 points a piece in the loss.

Spartan defense stifles Sages

Seniors Peyton Crowe and Bree Trimble could have defeated Monticello all by themselves. It would have made an interesting two-on-five challenge for the dynamite duo who combined for 34 first half points in St. Joseph-Ogden's 67-21 conference win over the Sages on Monday.

Trimble quickly accumulated a game-high 19 points and Crowe, who finished with 17 points, contributed 15 of her own in the first half.

There is no 'I' in team, but for the rest of season, St. Joseph-Ogden might want to look at a way to insert the word "We". Monday night's Illini Prairie Conference contest was a team effort.

It was the 12th game this season the SJO girls defensive play has held an opponent under 35 points. With the starters out, the Spartans did not allow a single score from Sages in the final quarter of the game.

Maclayne Taylor dribbles the ball down the court during SJO's home game against Oakwood earlier in the season. Taylor scored 7 points in her team's Illini Prairie Conference win over Monticello. Eleven of the Spartans 12 players contributed offensively in the rout. Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks

As my former boss might say with his thick, rich, barely north of the boarder Texas accent: "Looky here. Funny thing is, you know, them two (Crowe and Trimble) could have taken the night off."

Yeah. Maybe.

Even with the pair sitting in their warm-ups, enjoying a generous marshmallow-laden hot chocolate and discussing plans for prom still months away, SJO would have still earned the W. Nine of the remaining ten players on the roster combined for 31 points.

In addition to the effort by SJO's leading two scorers, Payton Jacob came off the bench to score 8 points. Maclayne Taylor tallied 7 points in the first three quarters and Ella Armstrong chipped in 5 in the last quarter. Taylor Barnes and Hannah Dukeman made a pair of field goals a piece in the first half.

Angela Palmer, Katie Cramer, Alysa Lannert and Payton Vallee each scored a bucket in the rout for another 8 points.

Monticello was paced by Renni Fultz with 13 points. Olivia Swanson and Lizzy Stiverson were held to just 3 points each. Jayna Burger rounded out the Sages' effort with a single field goal in the first quarter.

The Lady Spartans are in action again this Saturday at home against Mattoon. They will follow the non-conference game with a home court showdown against Rantoul on Monday, January 21.

Ogden Village Board to transition to new accounting firm

In a split decision during their regular session on January 3, the Ogden Village Board voted to retain the services of Royal Accounting in St. Joseph to handle their accounting and bookkeeping functions effective in February.

The change comes after an independent audit questioned how some Village assets were classified in recent financial statements by the current vendor.

"I think the Village should seek other options," said Trustee James Haan, who said he was former Certified Public Account while reading a prepared statement to the board before the call to vote.

During his presentation he highlighted his concerns and his personal commitment to ensuring Ogden received the best services it can from its vendors. He then introduced Mary Schmitz, President of Royal Accounting, LLC, who gave a brief presentation and fielded questions from the trustees.

In the discussion following Schmitz presentation, Trustee Sue Esposito lobbied for the board to continue its relationship with Puzey & Wright since it was a business local. Trustee Kelly Cooper echoed Esposito's position and was not a proponent of using a vendor outside the local business community.

"I don't think our bookkeeping has been getting the quality that we should be getting," Trustee Haan responded. He told fellow board members that his purpose was "... to protect the people I was elected by to protect."

After considerable dialog about the possible annual savings in accounting fees, Schmitz's experience in public accounting and the advantages of moving to a direct deposit payroll process, the Board voted 4-2 to discontinue their relationship with Puzey & Wright and retain the services of Royal Accounting.

On a related agenda item, the board ratified a motion 5-1 to diversify the Village's investment of liquid assets. Instead of investing in a single certificate of deposit for $300,000, the trustees agreed to equally split $225,000 into three 12 month certificate of deposits earling 2.5%. The move would mitigate penalties and fees should the Village needed to access funds due to an unforeseen emergency.

The trustees also unanimously agreed to purchase a new handheld device for the public works department to read meters.

38 area students honored by Parkland College dean

Thirty-eight area students have been named to the Parkland College Dean’s List for their scholastic achievement in the fall of 2018.

Recipients named to the Dean's List must earn a minimum grade point average of 3.5 on a 4.0 grade scale for the semester to receive this honor. Student enrolled in fewer than 12 hours can make the Dean’s List by achieving a 3.5 cumulative GPA for 12 or more hours during the current academic year.

Kohlten Johnson makes Parkland College Deans List
Kohlten Johnson waits for a pitch from Beardstown during St. Joseph-Ogden's Class 2A supersectional title game in May 2016. Johnson, who helped the Spartans rolled to an 11-0 victory to make the baseball program's first-ever appearance in the state finals, was one of 38 area students from Parkland College named to the Fall 2018 Dean's List. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Honorees from Ogden, Royal and St. Joseph are:

Ogden: John M. Acklin, Cody A. Ayers, Bonnie G. Collins, Tanner E. Morris and Katelyn M. Smith.

Royal: Karlie B. Baker, Mickaela J. Fleming and Samantha J. Fleming.

St. Joseph: Benjamin D. Albrecht, Justin A. Beck, Lacey N. Berlatsky, Abigail C. Burnett, Austin R. Chilton, Paige B. Dalton, Dezarae R. Dowers, Mason A. Edwards, Carson D. Florey, Tenneal R. Frerichs, Justyn R. Fruhling, Chloe A. Graver, Kohlten D. Johnson, Riley S. Knott, Danielle C. Long, Rebecca L. Long, Alexis G. Manning, Brendan Z. Olauson, Adalyn J. Parke, Autumn M. Pecchenino, Austin M. Reitmeier, Sarah C. Sanders, Raegan J. Smith, Amanda M. Stevens, Macy R. Vallee, Jason M. Waldeck, Taura Ward, Hannah O. Watson, Sarah E. Wiseman and Tori R. Witruk

Crowe leads SJO over Unity

St. Joseph-Ogden scored 12 unanswered points in the first six minutes of the third quarter last week to notch another conference win last Monday. The Spartan girls team rolled 59-27 win over Unity after allowing just 10 points total in the second half of the game.

Peyton Crowe delivered a spectacular game-high 20-point performance in the win. The senior made all six of her free throw attempts and drilled a pair of shots from three-point range to overpower the Rockets.

Peyton Crowe fires a shot after driving down the baseline past a Unity player.
St. Joseph-Ogden's Peyton Crowe fires a shot after driving down the baseline past a Unity player. Crowe, who is closing in on scoring her 1000th point, finished the game with 20 points. See more photos from the game here.(PhotoNews Media Archive Photo/Photo by Clark Brooks)

"She played well tonight and not just on scoring. She was hustling," said SJO head coach Kevin Taylor. "She took a charge and played good defense for us."

Once again the Spartans got off to a sluggish start.

Closing the first quarter with a one point lead, Taylor made a few adjustments and watched his team take command of the game in the second one.

"Our defense improved," he said. "Then we started scoring and getting better looks. We definitely picked it up on the second quarter."

Led by Bree Trimble, St. Joseph-Ogden put together a second quarter rally outscoring Unity, 18-8. She was the catalyst behind nine unanswered scores that allowed her team to pull away.

"I got on her early about not going up strong with the ball," Taylor said about Trimble's effort in the first quarter. "As always, she came through for us."

The senior finished with 13 points and missed just one of her eight free throws.

"We started out very slow. It was not a good quarter for us," Trimble said. "Every team that plays us, plays their best against us. We knew we had get out of rut and step up our game."

The Spartans also enjoyed a solid showing from Hannah Dukeman, who finished with 12 points. Maclayne Taylor added another 8 to the score. Both drained a three-point shot in both the 2nd and 3rd quarter to stretch the lead over their conference rivals.

Maclayne's improvement this season hasn't gone unnoticed by her teammates.

"She has grown throughout her four years here," Trimble pointed out without hesitation. "This season she can really handle the ball well Whenever we need a shot, she's there and makes it for us."

Ella Armstrong, Katie Cramer and Taylor Barnes rounded out SJO's scoring effort with a field goal apiece.

The Rockets were paced by Elyse Knudsen with 16 points and Rysa Stacy with 8.

The victory made it the fourth consecutive win for the 17-4 Lady Spartans since their loss to Bishop McNamara (Class 3A) at the State Farm Classic last month. Prior to that loss, the team's longest unbeaten streak was the 9-0 start to the season.

SJO's four losses this season have been at the hands of three Associated Press ranked 3A schools and 2A ranked Teutopolis.

Orcutt scores 21 in win over Villa Grove-Heritage

Midway into the third quarter of their home game against Villa Grove-Heritage on Tuesday, St. Joseph-Ogden's Keanen Swanson made a shot from the paint to help St. Joseph-Ogden build their largest lead of the non-conference contest.

When the dust settled after a mad flourish of turnovers and desperate scoring attempts by both teams in the final quarter of the game, the Spartans escaped with a 58-52 win over the Hawks.

Keanen Swanson dribbles the ball in the second half during in their home game on Tuesday
While Villa Grove-Heritage's Blake Smith plays defense, St. Joseph-Ogden's Keanen Swanson dribbles the ball in the second half during in their home game on Tuesday. Swanson finished the game with 5 points, 4 assists and 3 rebounds. See more photos from the game here: Spartans vs Hawks varsity basketball gallery. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

The 10-point surplus mentioned above was subsequently erased when Hawks' Jake Eversole hit a field goal tying the score at 37-all with 45 seconds left on the clock in the third quarter.

One second, maybe two, before the buzzer sounded ending it, Joel Orcutt launched a ten-footer to give SJO a two-point lead.

And, Orcutt wasn't done.

He would go on to score four more times in the final quarter on his way to a game-high 21 points. Without fellow senior Jack Cook,the team's leading scorer, on the floor it was up to Orcutt to make buckets.

Cook was unable to play due to an unexpected illness that kept him out of school.

"I found more opportunities to score the ball. We had to get the points. We had to get balls in the hoop," said Orcutt, who also led both teams with 8 rebounds and took up the slack for the missing Cook. "I've got height. It was just easier to get the ball inside to me and score it from five feet instead of (shooting) three-pointers."

Villa Grove-Heritage would tie it up two more times in the last quarter. However, St. Joseph-Ogden never allowed the opportunity to relinquish the lead thanks to a strong defensive effort.

"We struggled tonight. Things got a little frantic out there," said Chance Izard, the Spartans' second leading scorer for the night. "We struggled to keep our composure, but we got the job done."

Izard was 4-for-5 from three point range and finished the night with 16 points. He did not miss either of the two free throws attempts he earned.

"I thought this game was important to bounce back from Saturday's loss to Pleasant Plains on our home court," Izard said. "Our biggest emphasis on this game was to bounce back and play with positive energy."

The Hawks were led with 15-point performances by Will Wilson and Jared Stevens. Evan Wilson, who was 6-for-6 from the free throw line, scored 10 points.

SJO (10-7) was to play Teutopolis at home on Friday evening and follow with a road game at Paxton-Buckley-Loda on Saturday. Both games were canceled due to the weather.

Both the JV and varsity squads are scheduled to play their next Illini Prairie Conference contest this week starting with St. Thomas More on Tuesday, January 15. After a few days of rest and practice, SJO will host the Olympia Spartans on Friday at the high school.

Photos Today: Boys basketball team gets back on track.

Joel Orcutt led the Spartans with 21 points to seal a 58-52 win over Villa Grove-Heritage at home on Tuesday. Here are seven photos from the game action while we work on the game story this week:

Payton Cain goes after a loose ball
St. Joseph-Ogden's Payton Cain goes after a loose ball with Villa Grove-Heritage's Jake Eversole during first half action on Tuesday, January 8. The Spartans fought off a tenacious opponent to win 58-52 over the visiting Hawks. (PhotoNews Media Photo by Clark Brooks)

Joel Orcutt tries to keep control of the ball while dribbling into the paint.
St. Joseph-Ogden's Joel Orcutt tries to keep control of the ball while dribbling into the paint. Orcutt went on to finish with 21 points and 8 rebounds for the Spartans. (PhotoNews Media Photo by Clark Brooks)

Chance Izard makes a pass.
Chance Izard makes a pass during first half action. With starter Jack Cook sidelined due to illness, Izard's 16 points and 2 steals were crucial in SJO's win on Tuesday. (PhotoNews Media Photo by Clark Brooks)

Erin Meyers performs during the SJO halftime.
SJO Dance Team member Erin Beyers performs during their halftime show at their basketball team's home game against Villa Grove-Heritage. (PhotoNews Media Photo by Clark Brooks)

Payton Grimsley and Brayden Weaver share a quick conversation.
Payton Grimsley and Brayden Weaver share a quick conversation during a second half of SJO's home game against Villa Grove-Heritage. (PhotoNews Media Photo by Clark Brooks)

A couple of fans react after a errant pass just misses them during first half action of SJO's varsity contest. (PhotoNews Media Photo by Clark Brooks)

Jaden Miller makes a pass during second half action.
Keeping the ball away from Villa Grove-Heritage's Blake Smith, St. Joseph-Ogden's Jaden Miller makes a pass during second half action.

Click here to search for more photos 24/7 that are in the PhotoNews Media online archives. Follow this link to discover more photos from this game or order any photo on this page: SJO boys basketball vs Villa Grove-Heritage.

Photos Today: SJO notches conference win over Unity

The St. Joseph-Ogden girls basketball team held Unity to just 10 second half points in their 59-27 win over visiting Unity on Monday.

Once again the Spartan ladies displayed their prowess from charity stripe.

Spartan Peyton Crowe was perfect from the free throw line making all six of her shots. The senior led all scorers from both benches with 20 points.

Bree Trimble made 7 of her 8 free throws and was the second leading scorer for SJO with 13 points. Hannah Dukeman came through with 12 points and was 2-for-3 from the line.

Here are six moments captured from Monday's game.
St. Joseph-Ogden's Peyton Crowe fires a shot after driving down the baseline past a Unity player in their home game on Monday. Crowe was perfect from the free throw line making all 6 attempts and closed out the game scoring 20 points on the visiting Rockets. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Payton Jacob battles for an offensive rebound under the basket for the Spartans with Unity's Hannah Fridgen and Taylor Henry. (PhotoNews Media Archive Photo/Photo by Clark Brooks)

SJO's Payton Vallee keeps her hands up to block a shot by Unity's Rysa Stacy in the first half.(PhotoNews Media Archive Photo/Photo by Clark Brooks)

Freshman Ella Armstrong plays defense during second half action for the Spartans. She contributed to 2 points in SJO's 32-point Illini Prairie Conference victory. (PhotoNews Media Archive Photo/Photo by Clark Brooks)

Erin Miller looks for an open SJO teammate to pass the ball while guarded by Unity's Martina Miebach in the fourth quarter. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

St. Joseph-Ogden's Hannah Dukeman concentrates on making a second half free throw. Dukeman finished the night with 12 points. (PhotoNews Media Archive Photo/Photo by Clark Brooks)

Click here to search for more photos 24/7 that are in the PhotoNews Media online archives. Follow this link to order any photo on this page: 01-07-19 SJO vs Unity.

She's got it

St. Joseph-Ogden basketball alumna Alyssa Beals is all smiles as she catches a souvenir basketball while taking in Monday night's home game between the Spartans and visiting Unity. SJO blasted the Rockets 59-27 in their regular season Illini Prairie Conference contest. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Spartans slip in shootout stumble

Starting the year with a three-game win streak under their belt after their first-round loss at the State Farm Classic on December 16, it looked like the St. Joseph-Ogden varsity boys squad was now ready to play Sweet Sixteen or better level basketball.

Instead, the team was the recipients a painful wake up call in the form of a gut-wrenching 63-38 loss to Pleasant Plains at the Christie Clinic Shoot on Saturday.
St. Joseph-Ogden's Jack Cook goes up for a shot in the Christie Clinic Shootout game against Pleasant Plains. The senior finished with just 8 points and made all four of his free throw attempts. The Spartans, who shot just 30% from the field, fell 63-38 to the Cardinals on Saturday. See more photos from the game here: SJO vs Pleasant Plains photo gallery. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

It was the second 20-plus-point loss the team has suffered this season. Both losses, including the title game defeat dealt by Class 1A state-ranked Cissna Park at the SJO-Toyota of Danville Classic, were on the Spartans' home court.

Pleasant Plains was the first to draw blood, putting the ball in the basket for the first field goal just a minute after the opening tip. SJO (10-7) then tied the game up at 2-all a minute and half into the first quarter. That would be the closest the Spartans would come to tasting a lead for the remaining duration of the contest.

The Cardinals drained their next bucket 20 seconds later to go up 4-2 and never needed to look over their shoulder from that point on.

The Spartans could not get the ball through the rim. Slashing to the paint didn't work. Perimeter shooting wasn't much better. Nothing seemed to click.

It wasn't from a lack of effort. It was one of those night were shots just don't fall.

In the 43 shots SJO put up in the direction of the basket during their 32 minutes on the floor, they converted just 13 of them to points. Seniors Joel Orcutt, Keanen Swanson and Jack Cook, the team's leading inside guys, struggled shooting. Together, they combined for a mere 6-for-16 effort.

Meanwhile, Pleasant Plains made just two more attempts than SJO on shots from the field. Led by Justin Guernsey's game-high 20 points, their accuracy was a tad bit better. Joel Niermann (12 pts) and Nick Savage (10 pts). Savage and teammate Chase Schmitt hauled down 7 boards a piece.

The Cardinals scored on 58% of their 45 shots.

The Cardinals' size and confidence led to the Spartans being out-rebounded 27-11.

Junior Chance Izard led SJO with a team-high 11 points.

Cook finished 8 points and Orcutt scratched out 6 in the non-conference loss. Swanson, who led the team with 3 rebounds, was held to just 2 points. Orcutt and and Payton Cain rounded out the top three rebounders with 2 each.

Izard and the Spartans hope to right the ship this week when they face Heritage-Villa Grove Tuesday night and the Wooden Shoes of Teutopolis on Friday. Both games are at the high school. The team closes out the week with a road game at Paxton-Buckley-Loda. Varsity tipoff is slated for 4:30p.

Another huge win for Spartan girls

The St. Joseph-Ogden girls basketball team held visiting Olympia to just 5 points in the second half of their Illini Prairie Conference game for their 14th victory of the season. Eight Spartan shooters contributed in the lopsided 53-20 win.

The Thursday night game was the sixth game of the season, SJO held an opponent to 30 or fewer points.

Bree Trimble led all scorers with 18 points. Shooting 4-5 from the free throw line, Trimble tallied her total in just three quarters.

Senior Peyton Crowe was the only Spartan to score in all four quarters. She finished the game with 13 points.

The Spartans missed just 3 free throws all night. Maclayne Taylor (6pts), Hannah Dukeman (6pts), Ella Armstrong (2pts) and Crowe were all a perfect 2-2 accounting for 15 of SJO's point total.

Olympia was led in scoring by Abbi Bode with 12 points. Taylor Nowaskie finished with 5, Kennedy Smith chipped in a field goal in the first quarter and Colby Burt rounded out their team's scoring with a free throw also in the first quarter of play.

Next up, St. Joseph-Ogden will play Unity at home on Monday and then travel to Prairie Central to take on Hawks. The team will finish out the week with a non-conference home contest againt Matton.

Youth baseball program registration starts Monday

Online registration for the 2019 St. Joseph Youth Baseball program opens on Monday, January 7. Kids, boys and girls, ages 4-14 are eligible to play in one of 11 age groups.

Athletes must sign-up before February 1 and $5 early bird discount is applied to everyone who registers via the online registration system. After the online system closes that Friday, parents have one last opportunity to register. On February 2, from 9 am until noon, there will be a in-person registration session held in the Middle School cafeteria on that Saturday morning.

There will be a evaluation session on Saturday, March 2, in the auxiliary gym at St. Joseph-Ogden High School to determine the skill level of each athlete. After that session, coaches will select their team and notify parents and players with practice and game schedules.

Board president Jim Cotter expects team practices to start around the middle of March.

All players will need a glove, cleats and bag to carry their gear. The board has several bats, helmets and other equipment that players can use. Players who have their own equipment are encouraged to use it.

The season starts mid-April for players 9-14 and in early May for youth 8 years-old and under. The season runs until the end of June. The number of games for each level varies.

Girls, who don't want to play softball can play in the league.

"Girls tend to play softball at age eight and above," Cotter said. "There is no restriction if they want to play past the age of seven. We welcome them!"

The link to the age chart and registration page can be found at

In addition to Cotter, this year board members are Cindy Johnston (Treasurer), Barb Babb (Secretary), Kevin Buskirk (Board Member), Bethni Gill (Board Member), Katie May (Concessions) and Jennifer Wells (Fundraising Chair).

For more registration or league information contact Jim Cotter at 217-840-7844.

#TBT: A stroll around the memory lane in 2007

The Sentinel, courtesy of PhotoNews Media, has more than 250,000 images from more than a decade and half of sport coverage at St. Joseph-Ogden High School at our fingertips. Each week, as space and time allows, we will publish great action photos, memorable moments and treasured images from the massive collection of images of Spartan athletes online and in your weekly paper.

This week's feature is from the 2007 Girls Spartan Classic featuring five of SJO's memorable athletes. The five runners never failed to impress with their competitive spirit and their dedication to their team's success in every sport they donned the Spartan uniform.

Two-sport St. Joseph-Ogden athlete Catherine Foreman heads to the finish line ahead of the field in the 4x100 Relay. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Senior Amy Schleef clears the bar while competing in the in the pole vault division. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Sprinter Rachael Graham explodes out of the blocks at start of a relay race. The three-sport athlete ran in several events for the Spartans at the Classic. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Three-sport athlete Bria Olson sails through the air on a long jump attempt. The junior also competed as a high jumper. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Molly Cinker starts her run next to a runner from Villa Grove and the East Central Coop in one of the two distance events held at the 2007 Spartan Classic. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Can't wait until next week for more photos from the archives? Search for your favorite athlete by name, sport or date of the event in the PhotoNews Media online photo archives.

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