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Op-Ed: SCOTUS decision a victory for student free speech

Op-Ed by Jennifer Lauren Hamad


The F-bombs that a frustrated cheerleader dropped in a Snapchat post after failing to land a spot on the varsity cheerleading team at her school recently detonated in the U.S. Supreme Court into a victory for student free speech and student activist organizations, like the one I led, that collaborated in submitting an amicus curiae brief to the Supreme Court.

In the historic B.L. v. Mahanoy Area School District case, the Court ruled that the school’s actions in punishing Levy for her undisruptive off-campus speech were unconstitutional. Although student organizations are overwhelmingly relieved by this ruling, we remain unnerved by the dystopian reality of what could have been had the Courts ruled in favor of Mahanoy.

Social media has become the indispensable virtual voice of youth that has galvanized youth activism by making national and global exchange of views possible. However, if public schools succeeded in punishing off-campus speech, social media would have become synonymous with a virtual school classroom where schools have authority to regulate speech just as they would in a physical classroom. This would blur the metaphorical dividing line that separates speech "in the school context and beyond it" (established by Tinker v. Des Moines), leaving students without clarity on when they are afforded their full constitutional right to free speech. This ambiguity would become oppressive and subject students to the feeling that their speech is regulated 24/7, effectively stifling youth activism and threatening the existence of the student organizations that depend upon it.

Although Tinker’s precedent established that a school could punish students for speech if it disrupts the educational process, Levy’s case quickly revealed that Tinker could be applied to stifle what the late Congressman John Lewis deemed to be "good trouble"- "fearless agitation designed to provoke, challenge, and move the nation forward". Instead of restricting Tinker’s application to off-campus speech that disrupts the educational environment (e.g. threats of violence, harassment, bullying, etc.), schools could turn any off-campus political/social activism or speech they disapprove of into a case of “disruption.” Student speech that criticizes an educational institution, its policies, or the behavior of its personnel would become particularly vulnerable to retaliatory disciplinary action from schools.

Perhaps one of the most concerning assertions made by the Mahanoy Area School District was that a student "targets" or "directs speech at a school" anytime he or she "refers to school affairs or sends speech directed to classmates". This suggests students "target" their school by merely offering their opinion about a school program or policy or discussing school affairs with their peers.

Under this notion, my organization would not have been able to speak at board meetings, lobby for educational legislation, speak out about issues like student mental health, write op-eds, speak to reporters, or merely share stories amongst members without the imminent threat of punishment. This excessive and unwarranted control of speech would inevitably disenfranchise and disempower students.

A school could overextend its disciplinary power to punish any and all speech that concerns the educational process. Such far-reaching censorship would mean the beginning of the end of American democracy, as our public schools would quickly transform from the cradles of democracy into totalitarian enclaves where students become accustomed to an imbalance of power that strips them of their basic freedoms.

As the looming threat of punishment causes students to decline to share their opinions and partake in activism, vital student representation would be lost. This strong push to punish off-campus student expression related to education is alarming and would suppress eyewitness accounts of issues in our American public schools that would otherwise be revealed through the sharing of student experiences through social and political youth activism. Criticism of everything from educational inequities to school safety issues could be hidden from public knowledge if off-campus student speech were regulated and punishable by schools, resulting in the erasure of the student narrative.

Conveying the student narrative is a powerful tool used by students to inform decision-making on policies that directly affect their education. In the absence of student voice, students would be subjected to policies implemented without their input. Before schools know it, students would be crying "NO EDUCATION WITHOUT STUDENT REPRESENTATION!," echoing the sentiments of our American Revolutionary forefathers.



Jennifer Lauren Hamad served as Speaker of the Houston Independent School District Student Congress that represents HISD’s 215,000+ students and collaborated with other student voice organizations to submit an amicus curiae brief to the U.S. Supreme Court for the B.L. v. Mahanoy Area School District case. She is also an incoming freshman at Stanford University.

After four road contests, SJO plays first home match

Taylor Wells and Becca Becca Steinbach go up for a block
Taylor Wells (left) and Becca Becca Steinbach go up for a block during an intrasquad scrimmage at the Spartan Kickoff on Friday, August 20. The undefeated St. Joseph-Ogden varsity volleyball team, who knocked off St. Teresa in a three-setter 2-1, hosts Cissna Park tonight in their first home game of the season at 7pm. Both freshman and junior varsity contests will proceed the main event. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Spartans hoping for repeat tennis success

St. Joseph-Ogden's Claire Huffman lines up an aggressive shot against Urbana's Hannah Null during their singles match on the #1 court back on August 24. Huffman went on to win the match 8-3 helping the fledgling SJO tennis program earn their first team victory in program history with a 6-3 finish over the Tigers. The two teams are hours away from a rematch this afternoon when the Spartans hope for a repeat performance. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Photo gallery: Friday night football is back

Coby Miller (left) and Isaiah Moore lead the St. Joseph-Ogden football team to the field
Coby Miller (left) and Isaiah Moore lead the St. Joseph-Ogden football team to the field before the start of the first home football game of the season. The Spartans opened the season at home against the Monticello Sages. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO coaches
SJO coaches (left to right) Dalton Walsh, Marshall Schacht and Ben Gorman along with head coach Shawn Skinner and longtime assistant Bob Glazier observe a moment of silence in honor of former head coach Dick Duval. Duval, who compiled a record of 251 wins and 75 losses during his 28-year tenure, passed away on August 26. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Griffin Roesch and Evan Ingram
Seniors Griffin Roesch and Evan Ingram run through the team banner during team introduction. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Keaton Nolan slaps hands of students
Keaton Nolan slaps hands of students as he runs through the team tunnel. Nolan, a senior, went on to carry the ball 18 times for 80 yards against the Sages. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO linebacker Bryson Helfrich
SJO linebacker Bryson Helfrich (left) fights his way past Monticello's Ashton Wassom into the Sages backfield during first half action. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Senior Ethan Vanliew flows with the ball
Senior Ethan Vanliew flows with the ball while playing on defense for the Spartans. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Maroon Platoon student fans cheer for the Spartans during first quarter action against Monticello. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Keaton Nolan takes a hit and stopped in his tracks
Driving forward, Spartan Keaton Nolan takes a hit and stopped in his tracks by outside linebacker Blake Mcduffie. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO head coach Shawn Skinner yells instructions
With assistant coach Ben Gorman looking on, SJO head coach Shawn Skinner yells instructions to players on the field between plays. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Taylor Hug tallies stats for the Spartans
Taylor Hug tallies stats for the Spartans during the first half of the game. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Spartan Peyton Sarver goes nose-to-nose in the trench
Mask to mask, Spartan Peyton Sarver goes nose-to-nose in the trench with Sages' Kaleb Reid. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO student fans cheer for their team during the first half. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Running back Isaiah Moore is wrapped up as he crosses the goal line for the first SJO touchdown of the season. Moore also finished his first game of the season with six yards on seven carries. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Jett Morris celebrates SJO's two-point conversion in the first quarter. Unfortunately, it would be the last opportunity the Spartan would get the ball in the end zone. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Finding a lot of open grass, St. Joseph-Ogden quarterback Evan Ingram sprints down the field for a 64-yard run against the Sages. Ingram finished the game with 71 yards rushing and completed six of 14 passes for 35 yards. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Playing on the offensive line, Bryson Helfrich picks up an incoming block during first half action. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Sophomore Braxton Waller comes up to block after snapping the ball. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Members of the 2020 St. Joseph-Ogden Hall of Fame pose for a photo during their recognition ceremony at halftime. The 8th class to be recognized by the school include (left to right) Gary Garrison, Amy Scharlau-Lewis, Greg Knott and Ron White. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Members of the SJO Marching Band perform during halftime. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Austin Cotter (left) and Robbie Huson, a junior, goes over their position assignments before the next play during the second half. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Spartan linebacker Luke Allen slips into the Monticello backfield looking to make a tackle. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Trying to stay hydrated, SJO's Robbie Huson drinks water while on the sidelines. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Five Monticello lineman stuff a hole to prevent Spartan running back Justice Wertz from getting past the line of scrimmage. Wertz finished the night with 33 yards on 11 carries. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

SJO's Peyton Sarver fights to get into the Monticello backfield. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

2020 SJO Hall of Fame class honored tonight

St. Joseph - Due to COVID guidelines and the suspension of the fall 2020 football season, the 2020 SJO Hall of Fame class will be honored tonight during St. Joseph-Ogden's home football opener against Monticello at Dick Duval Field.

Tonight, four individuals will be welcomed into the 8th Hall of Fame class. Amy Scharlau-Lewis, Gary Garrison, Greg Knott and Ron White will receive well-deserved recognition for their outstanding athletic career as an SJO athlete

Amy Scharlau Lewis, who graduated in 1991 was a member of the National Honor Society and the Scholastic Bowl team. She was a two-year letter winner and captain of the volleyball team in 1990. A four-year softball letter winner, she earned All-Conference first team recognition three times. In 1990 and 1991, her name made the Champaign-Urbana News-Gazette's All-Area Softball list. Her senior year she was a team captain and later became the News-Gazette Softball Player of the Year. She was also a member of the 1989 IHSA State Softball All-Tournament Team.

For over 30 years, Gary Garrison served as a guidance counselor, teacher, and coach at St. Joseph-Ogden High School. As the boys' head track coach he brought home two IHSA state championship titles under the two-class system in both 1993 and 2000. He was also an assistant coach for the SJO girls’ track team that won a 2000 state title.

Also being recognized is 1984 SJO graduate Greg Knott. A knowledgeable source on the history of St. Joseph, he played football from 1980-1983. During the winter season, he was a varsity manager for Coach Randy Wolken during basketball season from 1982-1984 and during the softball manager from 1983-1984. Knott was also elected to President of the SJO Letterman’s Club his senior year and was on the yearbook staff.

The fourth honoree is Ron White, who played football for the University of Illinois earning his varsity college letters in 1975 and 1976. Before attending the U of I, White was a three-sport athlete at SJO. In addition to earning recognition as an All-Area Offensive and Defensive lineman, the 1972 graduate was president of the Student Council his senior year. He lettered twice in basketball and earned three varsity letters in both football and baseball.

Past Hall of Fame recepients include:

Class of 2019

STEPHANIE FISCUS
JIM ACKLIN
JOHN BUSS
Class of 2018

ASHLEY WRIGHT (Paddock)
LES HOVELN
STEVE MADDOCK
ROBBIE RING
Class of 2017

KELLY FRANZEN (MARSH)
PAT GEGG
LES MEIER
Class of 2016

NICKI BRYANT
SEAN FREEMAN
JIM RISLEY
Class of 2015

PATTY PLYMIRE  
KENNETH MCGEE  
BOB KARY  
ALLISON PRESLEY  
Class of 2014

RICH CONNELL  
DALE DOEHRING  
NITA BROOKS  
SARA ULBRICH GREENSTEIN  
Class of 2013

RON WRATHER  
MARK SJUTS  
JUDY CHIZEK GRAFFIS  
DEON FLESSNER  
RUDY SCHMIDT  
MARIANNE DICKERSON  
LES BUSBOOM  
JENNIFER BROWN  
GLENN FISHER  
RICK SCHMIDT  

Dick Duval, Illinois prep football coaching legend, dies after bout with cancer

With his wife Lynda at his side, former St. Joseph-Ogden football head coach Dick Duval holds a plaque above his head during the official ceremony naming the school's football field in his honor last Friday. Duval, 64, died on Thursday. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Six days after attending a ceremony unveiling christening the St. Joseph-Ogden football field with his name, legendary Illinois high school football coach Dick Duval, 64, passed away after a long battle with pancreatic cancer.

Duval, who was hired back in 1988 to coach football at the high school, would go on to build a respected Class 3A powerhouse football program. Before he arrived in St. Joseph, the 1974 graduate from Herscher was a teacher and assistant coach at Kankakee High School. When he retired 28 years later, the SJO Hall of Fame and Illinois High School Football Coaches Association Hall of Fame honoree massed a career record of 251 wins and 75 losses.

The Spartans, under his watch, never suffered sub-.500 season. After a 5-4 finish in his maiden season, Duval led the St. Joseph-Ogden to their first state football championship game in school history in 1989. As head coach, with the help of his dedicated staff of assistant coaches, he engineered a run of 25 consecutive Illinois High School Association playoff appearances and guided the Spartans to four other state title games in 1997, 1999, 2006, and 2013.

Dick Duval and Principal Mike MacKinzie celebrate SJO win
St. Joseph-Ogden principal Mike McKinzie and head football coach Dick Duval celebrate the Spartans' 22-21 Class 3A semifinal win over visiting Anna-Jonesboro. The victory punched SJO's ticket into the 2006 record-breaking championship game against Plano. (Photo: PhotoNews Media Archives)


Wearing his signature bucket hat, Duval announces the names of his players during the annual SJO Kickoff in 2007.
During the spring season for some 16 years, Duval, a well-liked math teacher by students, also served as head baseball coach where he accumulated 234 wins games, 165 losses along with three ties. He also did a stint as the athletic director and after his retirement from teaching could always be found at SJO athletic events running the scoreboard, stepping in as a game announcer, keeping stats, or supervising events when needed.

In his final season as head coach, Duval's Spartans finish with a 12-1 record, the Okaw Valley Conference title and advanced one step short of a sixth championship game appearance in Class 3A thanks in part to an early season blizzard during the state semifinals at Unity.

A remembrance and tribute ceremony for Duval is planned before tonight's football game between the Spartans and the visiting Monticello Sages at the field now bearing his name.

Duval receives a postgame congratulations from a grandchild after the Spartans' 2015 game against Monticello. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Prep Sports Notebook: SJO soccer wins with buzzer beater


Spartan tennis earns first dual win
Head coach Kevin Martlage and the St. Joseph-Ogden girls tennis team pose for a photo after their dual match of the season on the road against Urbana on Tuesday. The two teams will square off again on August 31. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Urbana, IL - It was a hot time at Blair Park for the St. Joseph-Ogden and Urbana girls' tennis match on Tuesday. Despite a reported heat index of 106ยบ, the two teams battled in the blazing heat with the upstart area program from SJO winning the dual match, 6-3.

Claire Huffman at #1, Abby Dow on the #2 singles court and Ashlyn Lannert on court 6 secured victories in their singles matches. Hope Rajlich and Kelsey Martlage paired up to win at #1 doubles. Meanwhile, Allison Kearney and Angie Chahine held off Urbana duo Eisla Madigan and Myra Stevens at #2 doubles. The Spartans also came out on top on the #3 doubles court with a victory by Katie McDermott and her partner Jacey Lewis.

The Tigers' won three single points with dominating performances from veteran Myra Stevens, Eisla Madigan and Alisa Tangmunarunkit.

Match results:
No. 1 - Claire Huffman, SJO def. Hannah Null, URBANA, 8-3
No. 2 - Abbey Dow, SJO def. Jacie Owens, URBANA, 8-6
No. 3 - Myra Stevens, URBANA def. Grace Schmitz, SJO, 8-1
No. 4 - Eisla Madigan, URBANA def. Ella Armstrong, SJO, 8-0
No. 4 - Alisa Tangmunarunkit, URBANA def. Abby Behrens, SJO, 8-3
No. 6 - Ashlyn Lannert, SJO def. Matika Pounginjai, URBANA, 8-1

No. 1 Doubles:
Hope Rajlich/Kelsey Martlage, SJO def. Hannah Null/Jacie Owens, URBANA, 8-6

No. 2 Doubles:
Allison Kearney/Angie Chahine, SJO def. Myra Stevens/Eisla Madigan, URBANA, 8-4

No. 3 Doubles:
Katie McDermott/Jacey Lewis- SJO def. Matika Pounginjai/Alisa Tangmunarunkit, URBANA, 8-6



Wilson lifts Spartans with buzzer beater
St. Joseph, IL - With the score locked at two-all in the second half, sophomore Spencer Wilson scored his second goal of the contest with .2 seconds left on the clock to give the St. Joseph-Ogden soccer team a 3-2 advantage for win #2 of the season.

While goalkeeper Hunter Ketchum kept the visiting Argenta-Oreana shots out of the goal during the first half, SJO teammate Jackson Greer scored the first goal of the game on an assist from Will Page.

In the final half of SJO's home game, Greer fed Wilson the ball for the first of four second-half goals. The Bombers' Rylan Lawson and Landon Lawson added one goal apiece to later tie the score before Wilson spared both teams from a shootout.

Ketchum tallied eight saves for the Spartans.

Next up for Ketchum and Co., SJO will host Urbana University High on Thursday at 4:30p.



Missed opportunities sink Rockets
Tolono, IL - Fielding an inexperienced contingent this fall, the Unity soccer team opened their season with a 4-2 loss to visiting St. Teresa on Tuesday.

Nolan Remole, with the assistance of senior Grace Brock, nailed the Rockets' first goal of the season in the second half. Freshman Teaguen Williams added the team's second score after the Bulldogs clawed their way to a 3-1 lead.

"We gave up a PK and also did not score on a PK. Those slight differences can make a huge difference in the box score," said head coach Unity Michel Stringer. "As far as in the moment I thought that they played well."

Sophomore Mason Davis had eight saves while guarding the net for Unity.

"Our offensive is young, and for those who scored this was their first high school game so it is understandable that it took them a half to shake off the nerves and find the net," added Stringer.

The Rockets' next three matches are all at home on their new turf field. Unity starts the three-game homestand with Argenta-Oreana at 10a on Saturday. Two days later on Monday, the program hosts Arthur-Lovington-Atwood-Hammond at 4:30p. Unity fans' last chance to catch the team at home until September 11 will be on Thursday, September 2 in a match against Meridian, also starting at 4:30p.



Prep Sports Notebook: Immke racks up points for Spartans


Spartan volleyball team improves to 2-0
Georgetown, IL - The St. Joseph-Ogden volleyball team posted their second victory of the season after a 2-0 win over host Georgetown-Ridge Farm on Wednesday. Coincidentally, the Spartans' dominant play also earned the varsity squad a 2-0 record.

Shayne Immke, a junior hitter, blasted the opposition tallying eight kills. Senior Kennedi Burnett added another six in SJO's 25-14, 25-3 finish.

Taylor Wells was credit with three blocks and chipped in another pair of kills for the Spartans. Junior setter Taylor Hug had 11 assists.

Next up, Immke and the Spartans travel to Bismarck-Henning High School on Thursday for the third of four road matches starting their 2021-22 campaign. After a few days to recoup, the volleyball team is back on the highway heading west for a showdown with St. Teresa in Decatur.



SJO tennis team steamrolls St. Teresa
Decatur, IL - Twenty-four hours after SJO's Angie Chahine and Allison Kearney won their doubles match against Urbana, the pair notched a second prep doubles win against the Bulldogs, this time each with a new partner. Chahine, along with partner Katie McDermott, bageled St. Teresa's Alexis Rayhill and Zia Boulier on the #2 court, 8-0. Meanwhile on court #3, Kearney, playing alongside Emma Rydell, also earned an 8-0 shutout besting Bulldogs' Alyssa Wicks and Emma Norton.

Thanks to the two victories in doubles along with the four from singles competition, St. Joseph-Ogden celebrated their second win of the season via a 6-3 decision over St. Teresa.

Abbey Dow, Hope Rajlich, Kelsey Martlage and Ashlyn Lannert delivered command performances on their individual courts on Wednesday. Together, the quad won 48 of the 51 games played.

Match results:
Singles:

No. 1 - Colleen Larry, St Teresa def. Claire Huffman, SJO, 6-0 , 6-0
No. 2 - Abbey Dow, SJO def. Katherine Combs, St Teresa, 6-0 , 6-0
No. 3 - Hope Rajlich, SJO def. Alexis Rayhill, St Teresa, 6-0 , 6-1
No. 4 - Kelsey Martlage, SJO def. Zia Boulier, St Teresa, 6-0 , 6-1
No. 5 - Joella Livingston, St Teresa def. Grace Schmitz, SJO, 2-6 , 6-3 , 11-9
No. 6 - Ashlyn Lannert, SJO def. Emma Norton, St Teresa, 6-1 , 6-0

Doubles:

No. 1 - Colleen Larry - Katherine Combs, St Teresa def. Jacey Lewis - Abby Behrens, SJO, 8-6
No. 2 - Angie Chahine - Katie McDermott, SJO def. Alexis Rayhill - Zia Boulier, St Teresa, 8-0
No. 3 - Emma Rydell - Allison Kearney, SJO def. Alyssa Wicks - Emma Norton, St Teresa, 8-0

Final score: SJO 6 - St. Teresa 3



Friday Night Lights are back!

St. Joseph-Ogden senior Coby Miller waves to parents and fans at the SJO Kickoff last Friday. Miller and the Spartans will host Monticello to start their campaign for a 2021 football playoff berth. Prior to the opening kick, a service remembering head coach Dick Duval, who passed away Thursday evening after a long battle with cancer, will be held. Also, during halftime, this year's SJO Hall of Fame Class will also be recognized at Dick Duval Field. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Guest Commentary: Give women a fighting chance

by Glenn Mollette, Guest Commentator


Afghanistan has guns but they are in the hands of the wrong people.

Television news reports have confirmed the Taliban has our helicopters, our tanks, our trucks, along with billions of dollars of our American tax payer bought military weapons and more.

Afghanistan already had a strict gun policy. The Taliban’s is stricter. You aren’t allowed to own automatic weapons or handguns. Thus, while the Afghan citizens have struggled for defense weapons, the Taliban and other terrorists have had access to any and all they have wanted. The bad people have guns. The good people do not have guns. The bad people have taken over the country, murdering and raping as they do what they want to do without anyone interfering or fighting back.

We can only imagine the pain and heartache of the Afghan women. The previous Taliban rule enforced a strict fundamentalist style of Islam religion that confined women to their homes, banned television and music and held public executions. Women were relegated to a dress code that required a burka or similar clothing that covers the woman’s face. Women were treated as slaves and sex objects. Their every move was controlled by the Taliban’s interpretation of an oppressive Islam religion. The Taliban has not changed their ways. Why would you think they have? They continue to kill, plunder weapons and take over government buildings or whatever they want for their own use.

In a nation where guns are restricted the Afghan women have no way to protect themselves. They have no one to protect them.

The Taliban has the finest American tax payer bought weapons in the world. The everyday citizens of the country and the helpless women of the country aren’t allowed to own guns. This means they aren’t allowed to protect themselves. Attackers, rapists, evil men can come and go as they please assaulting the average citizen, the women and children and no one has access to guns to utilize for protection.

What if all the women in Afghanistan had access to automatic rifles? Our military should assign our guns to the citizens including all the women of Afghanistan. Their army won’t protect them, they have no one to protect them. Give the women of Afghanistan a fighting chance.

Can you imagine if America begins to restrict our guns? What happens if we aren’t allowed to have guns or it becomes so restrictive that people give up trying to own guns? We become as vulnerable as the Afghan people. We have zero ability to take care of ourselves.

It’s very troubling and America hasn’t made it any better. Equipping Terrorists with guns only breathes more years of life into their evil mission.

Give our guns to the desperate citizens of Afghanistan and make sure every woman and teenager has a gun. The young girls of Afghanistan do not want to be raped and married off to men to become part of a slave harem. They have a right to fight.


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Dr. Glenn Mollette is a syndicated American columnist and author of American Issues, Every American Has An Opinion and ten other books. He is read in all 50 states. The views expressed are those of the author and are not necessarily representative of any other group or organization.

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This article is the sole opinions of the author and does not necessarily reflect the views of The Sentinel. We welcome comments and views from our readers. Submit your letters to the editor or commentary on a current event 24/7 to editor@oursentinel.com.


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Prep Sports Notebook: Spartan teams open season with victories


SJO volleyball tops Trojans
There is nothing better than starting a new season with a victory. The St. Joseph-Ogden volleyball team return to action this month with Kennedi Burnett leading the Spartans' offensive effort with 13 kills. Becca Steinbach tallied 32 assists, nine digs and a couple of blocks in the non-conference match on Monday. After dropping the first set 23-25, the Spartans roared back to take the next two, 25-20, 25-18 for the road win.

Addie Roesch served up three aces while senior Hannah Fox led the team's defensive effort with 16 digs. Junior Shayne Immke contributed another nine kills and six digs.

The Spartans, who will host their first home match of the season on August 31, will play their next three contests on the road starting with Georgetown-Ridge Farm on Wednesday followed by another Vermilion Valley foe, Bismarck-Henning, 24 hours later on Thursday. SJO's road campaign ends on Monday after a trip to Decatur for a showdown with St. Teresa.



Soccer avenges last season loss

Will Page settles the ball

Will Page settles the ball while playing in last Friday's Spartan Kickoff against teammates. Page scored one of two goals against the Comets on Monday.
Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks
Back in March, the Oakwood-Catlin soccer coop crushed the SJO soccer team on their home turf, 6-2. On Monday, the Spartans invaded the Comets' home field, scoring a goal in each half for a 2-1 season-opening win.

Aiden Cromwell notched the program's first goal of the season in the first half to put St. Joseph-Ogden up 1-0. Senior Brennan Haake was credited with the assist on the play. Later, in the second half, junior Will Page nailed a penalty kick to give SJO a 2-0 lead before an Oakwood-Catlin kick from Saul Carillo found net.

Starting keeper Hunter Ketchum fended off 15 attacks on his goal.



Coaches, please send us your game scores

The 2021 fall athletic season is here and we want to make sure all Sentinel high school coaches know where to send box scores and other sports information this year. The Sentinel needs your game scores and stat leaders after each game. Our goal is to keep fans, college recruiters and area readers well-informed.

The Sentinel is looking forward to the days, hopefully soon, when we will have enough business advertising with us to help expand our coverage to more teams at each school as well as outstanding individual athletes and their accomplishments. Until then, we'll do what we can with the limited resources at our disposal. We really rely on coaches, managers, ADs, parents and even players emailing or calling us to let us know the stories, final scores and interesting features we are missing. If you don't see it on The Sentinel, it is probably because no one took the time to tell us about it.

If the team you would like us to cover has a team website, Facebook page or Twitter feed, do us a favor and email the link to us. If your team is posting scores, stats, and achievements it will give us a place to check. Send us a link so we can bookmark it. Let us know who is getting what honors from All-League and All-Conference, who is going to sign their NLI, and so on. The best way to send box scores and other info is via email to sports@oursentinel.com or editor@oursentinel.com. Do you have a player on the verge of breaking a school record, got a story idea or hot news tip? Don't hesitate to send an email to either address.

The Sentinel looks forward to covering your 2021-2022 season.



Coaches and fans, send us your team scores and stats

The 2021 fall athletic season is here and we want to make sure all Sentinel area high school coaches know where to send box scores and other sports information this year. The Sentinel needs your game scores and stat leaders after each game to keep fans, college recruiters and area readers well-informed on the four area prep athletic programs we are covering this season.

The Sentinel is looking forward to the days, hopefully soon, when we will have enough business advertising with us to help expand our coverage to more teams at each school as well as outstanding individual athletes and their accomplishments. Until then, we'll do what we can with the limited resources at our disposal.

New this season, by request, The Sentinel will begin covering high school sports at both Urbana University and Urbana High School in addition to St. Joseph-Ogden and Unity athletics. If you don't see it on The Sentinel, it is probably because no one took the time to tell us about it. We are relying on coaches, managers, ADs, parents and even players emailing or calling us to let us know the stories, final scores and interesting cool stuff we are missing. We would also like to let our readers know about schedule changes and cancellations, too.

If the team you would like us to cover has a team website, Facebook page or Twitter feed, do us a favor and email the link to us. If your team is posting scores, stats, and achievements it will give us a place to check. Send us a link so we can bookmark it.

Tag us on Twitter with @Sentinel_News or hashtag us with #SentinelSports or tag us on Facebook with @OurSentinelNews.

Let us know who is getting what honors from All-League and All-Conference, who is going to sign their NLI, and so on. The best way to send box scores and other info is via email to sports@oursentinel.com or editor@oursentinel.com. Do you have a player on the verge of breaking a school record, got a story idea or hot news tip? Don't hesitate to send an email to either address.

The Sentinel looks forward to covering your 2021-2022 season.


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