Prep Sports Notebook: SJO volleyball cruises past T-Town, Uni knocks off Sages

Romole scores twice in first half
Nolan Romle scored two of Unity's four goals in their home soccer match against Meridian on Thursday. The freshman's two scores, bookending a strike from Gabe Pound, gave the Rockets a 3-all tie leading heading into halftime.

Later, Meridian striker Spencer Uphoff broke the tie with an unassisted goal in the second half, but the Rockets refused to lie down thanks to junior Andrew Mowrer notching a penalty kick to retie the score, this time at four goals apiece.

With his first goal already under his belt in the first half, Hawks Micah McCoy scored the game-winning goal handing Unity a 5-4 loss.

Mason Davis made 13 saves on the day for the Rockets.

Still looking for their first win of the season, Unity (0-4) will play their next game, the team's first road match, on Monday, September 6 at Warrensburg-Latham. Romole and Rockets then travel to Champaign to face the Tribe of Judah Christian on Thursday.

Box Score -

First half: Meridian Egbert(Boehm), McCoy(UA), Unity Remole(Pound), Pound(UA), Meridian Boehn(UA), Unity Remole(UA)

Second half:Meridian Uphoff(UA), Unity Mowrer(PK), Meridian McCoy(UA)

Thomey buries two goals
When the bout was said and done, both the St. Joseph-Ogden soccer team and Hoopeston area would part ways with the identical season records of 4-1-1. Staring at recording their second loss of the season at the end of the first half, St. Joseph-Ogden bounced back to win their second road match of the season handing the Cornjerkers their first loss by way of a 3-1 advantage.

Hoopeston's Harrison Wood gave his team the early lead and their only goal of the contest despite 19 other attempts from his teammates. Teammate and goaltender Owen Root (6 saves) kept the ball out of his net during the first half play, but would later let three second-half Spartan shots slip by him in the final half.

SJO senior Jared Emmert earned his first of two assists feeding the ball to junior Aiden Cromwell to tie the game at one goal each. Emmert then set up the go-ahead score with a pass to Colin Thomey. Thomey, a freshman, sealed the victory with a follow-up goal with the help of Owen Baltzell.

Hunter Ketchum made 18 saves guarding the Spartan goal.

The St. Joseph-Ogden soccer team returns to the pitch on Monday, September 6 at Bismarck-Henning. Hoopeston Area visits St. Anne today and plays another road match, this one close to home, at Schlarman on Tuesday, September 7.

Box Score -

First half: Hoopeston Woods

Second Half: SJO Cromwell (Emmert), SJO Thomey (Emmert), SJO Thomey (Baltzell)

Urbana's Jacie Owens lines up a shot over the net during the Tiger's home match against St. Joseph-Ogden last month. In Thursday's home match against visiting Centennial, Owens came up short in her battle against Anna Park. (Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Tigers fall at home
After avenging an earlier loss to St. Joseph-Ogden on Tuesday, the Urbana girls tennis team dropped their next home match to Centennial on Thursday, 8-1.

The Tigers' solo win came at #4 singles from Alisa Tangmunarunkit, who defeated the Chargers' Nicole Vozovoy, 8-4.

Next up, Tangmunarunkit and her teammates will host the St. Thomas More tennis team on Tuesday at 4pm.

Box Score -

No. 1 - Sandhya Subbiah, CENTENNIAL def. Myra Stevens, URBANA, 8-3
No. 2 - Anna Park, CENTENNIAL def. Jacie Owens, URBANA, 8-4
No. 3 - Grace Kahler, CENTENNIAL def. Eisla Madigan, URBANA, 8-2
No. 4 - Alisa Tangmunarunkit, URBANA def. Nicole Vozovoy, CENTENNIAL, 8-4
No. 5 - Yehyun Nam, CENTENNIAL def. Matika Pounginjai, URBANA, 8-1
No. 6 - Aastha Patel, CENTENNIAL def. Grace Coady, URBANA, 8-2 Doubles:
No. 1 - Sandhya Subbiah/Anna Park, CENTENNIAL def. Jacie Owens/Myra Stevens, URBANA, 8-2
No. 2 - Grace Kahler/Yehyun Nam, CENTENNIAL def. Alisa Tangmunarunkit, /Matika Pounginjai, URBANA, 8-2
No. 3 - Nicole Vozovoy/Aastha Patel, CENTENNIAL def. Zoe Johnson/Grace Coady, URBANA, 8-0

SJO golf finishes second at triangle
Jacob Kern, McGwire Atwood, Maddux Carter and Logan Smith combined for a four-man total of 181 strokes leading the St. Joseph-Ogden (7-1) golf team to a second-place finish in a three-school competition between Monticello and Rantoul-Paxton-Buckley-Loda varsity golf contingents.

Monticello finished first with 160 and Rantoul in third with 190 strokes.

Kern led the Spartans with 46 strokes on the Par 36 back nine at Willowbrook Golf Course. Atwood finished one stroke behind him with 47. Carter and Smith rounded out the top four scores with 43 and 45 respectively. Jack Robertson finished the course with 51 strokes and Talan Miller with 57.

SJO's Connor Hale shot a 59 and Tyler Buss 56 as varsity extras on Thursday.

St. Joseph-Ogden's Kelsey Martlage puts the ball back over the net during the Spartans' road match at Urbana on August 31. After winning that match, Martlage with partner Hope Rajlich defeated Watseka's Ashton Peters/Baler Rigsby 8-2 on Thursday.(Photo: PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

Dow notches four straight wins
After a win-less first season in 2020, the St. Joseph-Ogden tennis program picked up its third team victory after rolling over Watseka on the road, 7-2.

SJO dusted up the doubles courts taking all three matches and picked up four wins in singles to improve their team record to 3-2 on the season.

Abbey Dow picked up another win at #1 singles besting the Warriors' Ashton Peters, 8-4. The Spartan now boasts four straight wins in singles competition.

Box Score -

No. 1 - Abbey Dow, SJO def. Ashton Peters, WATSEKA, 8-4
No. 2 - Emma Simons, WATSEKA def. Allison Kearney, SJO, 8-6
No. 3 - Ava Swartz, WATSEKA, def. Ashlyn Lannert, SJO, 8-4
No. 4 - Claire Huffman, SJO def. Moriah Pueschell, WATSEKA, 8-1
No. 5 - Grace Schmitz, SJO def. Sarah Parsons, WATSEKA, 8-4
No. 6 - Olivia Getty, SJO def. Tiffany Zhao, WATSEKA, 8-6

No. 1 - Hope Rajlich/Kelsey Martlage, SJO def. Ashton Peters/Baler Rigsby, WATSEKA, 8-2
No. 2 - Abby Behrens/Jacey Lewis, SJO def. Emma Simons/Ava Swartz, WATSEKA, 8-6
No. 3 - Katie McDermott/Emma Rydell, SJO def. Moriah Pueschell/Sarah Parsons, WATSEKA, 8-4

Uni outlasts Monticello
Arjun Kala had six saves in Uni-High's 3-2 win over Monticello at home on Thursday.

Noah La Nave had a hand ... er, leg in all three Illinek scores with his first coming via a pass from junior Teo Chemla 13 minutes after Monticello scored their first goal of the game.

Early in the second half, La Nave delivered a righteous pass for Arya Thirodira to sink the go-ahead score. The lead was short-lived as Monticello scored on a penalty kick near the halfway mark in the final half to tie the affair at two-all.

La Nave and Chemla teamed up again for the game-winner 70 minutes into the match for the final goal of the non-conference dual.

Box Score -

First half: Monticello, Noah La Nave (Teo Chemla)

Second Half: Arya Thirodira (Noah La Nave), Monticello, Noah La Nave (Teo Chemla)

SJO volleyball remains unbeaten
The SJO volleyball squad improved to 6-0 on the season after powering past visiting Teutopolis 25-20, 25-10 at home, originally scheduled to be played in T-town, on Thursday.

Becca Steinbach tallied 12 assists and senior Hannah Fox stood out defensively with seven digs on the Spartans home court.

Kennedi Burnett delivered five aces and pounded six kills in the rout. The veteran senior also had six digs.

Next week, the St. Joseph-Ogden volleyball team hosts Champaign Central on Tuesday, September 7, and Oakwood a day later on September 8.

Spartans travel to Rocket country

St. Joseph-Ogden running back Isaiah Moore drags a Monticello defender during their season opener. The Spartans, who lost 43-8, look to bounce back tonight on the road at Hicks' Field against the Unity Rockets (1-0). SJO last victory against the Rockets was after a home game back in 2018. Moore's Spartans have not had a home game against the rival Rockets since that September 14 game. (PhotoNews Media/Clark Brooks)

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)

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