Spring was a very good season for the O’Fallon Panthers as evidenced by the recently released All-Southwestern Conference rosters, identifying the athletes who excelled during league play over the past three months. A total of 24 O’Fallon Township Panthers earned 26 roster spots in voting by SWC coaches in baseball, softball, boys volleyball, boys tennis and girls soccer.
The OTHS baseball team took top honors among the spring sports, with six players claiming eight roster spots on the elite diamond squad. Heading the list of Panthers were juniors Hayden Juenger and Braydon Arnold. The duo were double honorees, with Juenger earning first-team honors at third base and as one of the top pitchers in league play. Arnold joined Juenger of the SWC first team patrolling the outfield and picked up a third-team All-SWC spot for his effort on the mound for the Panthers during the 2017 campaign.
Two additional O’Fallon diamond men were selected to the SWC first-team roster, sophomore shortstop Josh Gibson and senior designated hitter Joe Guithes. The remaining Panthers on the elite roster were third-team selectees. The OTHS players chosen on the third team were senior catcher Chase Hackstadt and sophomore first baseman Matt Albritton.
The successes produced by O’Fallon boys volleyball squad was recognized with five players named to the All-SWC team. Topping the list of honorees were the dangerous one-two punch of seniors Luke Meidel and Gabe Norsigian. The tandem led the OTHS offensive attack throughout the season, propelling the Panthers to a regional title, and for their efforts collected All-SWC first-team awards. Solid server and playmaker Justin Hovick collected second-team honors. Bryce Backhus and Ryan Nelson scored third-team honors as outside hitter and defensive specialist, respectively.
The Lady Panther softball squad equaled the volleyball team in total number of All-SWC award-winners with five roster spots. Top vote-getters for O’Fallon were senior Nicole Patterson and freshman Hayleigh Juenger. Both OTHS players were selected to the all-conference second team. Other OTHS players earning roster slots were sophomore Ashleigh Schlorr (third team), freshman Miley Brunner (third team) and junior Courtney Keller (honorable mention).
The OTHS boys tennis team garnered six roster spots on the All-SWC squad. The Panthers’ first-team selectee was sophomore standout Niko Papachrisanthou, who was able to crack the first-team barrier in a loaded field of talented netters, evidence of not only his success during the spring season but also his potential as a high school netter.
The Panthers secured two second-team roster spots — both in singles. Drake Shreiber, a sophomore and O’Fallon’s lone state qualifier in 2017, and senior Adam Spihlman collected the two awards. The OTHS doubles tandem of Quincy Dollison and Matt Spradling also were named to the SWC second team. Senior Chase Holland completed the list of O’Fallon netters with a third-place award in singles.
Despite a rough season in league play, the OTHS girls soccer squad did include two All-SWC booters. With a host of outstanding players in the conference, junior Tamia Cash’s superior performance during the spring campaign notched her first-team honors. Junior Sami Stutsman was the other O’Fallon player to win All-SWC distinction by being named to the all-conference second team.