O’Fallon goalie Joe Guitthes is making his job look easy. The Panther senior net minder is off to a strong start, after posting two strong wins in the Metro Cup.
Guitthes, who is this week’s Progress Athlete of the Week, allowed only two goals in the Panthers first two games. He allowed only a single tally in O’Fallon’s 3-1 win over Mater Dei on Aug. 23. He followed up that strong performance, when he allowed only one goal in the Panthers 2-1 win over Marion on Aug. 25. “It was good to see some of our younger guys really step into their roles and see a lot of older guys continue to get better and perform well,” he said.
It’s also good to see Guitthes off to a hot start. The consummate team player, Guitthes thought his teammates good job coming together in the Metro Cup. He hopes his teammates will carry this momentum during the reason of this season.
Guitthes appears ready to thrive in his role as a leader, and to keep his teammates united as possible. He also hopes to provide the Panthers with good play and help his team win games. “One of my main jobs is to make sure everybody does their job and keep the younger players relaxed,” he said.
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Guitthes likes to lead by example. At a recent practice, he was leading his Panther teammates drills.
He is very pleased with his start and his teammates early season performance against Mater Dei and Marion.
“I have no complaints,” he said.
But Guitthes knows his teammates will be put to the test this week, when they play four games this week including Edwardsville on Thursday. This weekend, O’Fallon will also play a pair of games in the St. Louis U. High Shootout.
Guitthes believes it’s very important that he started this season on a high note. He hopes his strong play shows his younger teammates you can’t take any games easy.
“It doesn’t matter if it’s a conference game or non-conference game,” he said. “Every game you have to play the best of your ability. You can take no games off.”
But he hopes his teammates, whether they win or lose, will only be able to grow from these early tests. He cited tonight’s conference game against Edwardsville as an example.
“Edwardsville is going to be a tough test,” he said. “But everybody we play this year we are going to have to play to our best of our ability. We can’t afford to take any games off.”
Guitthes is now trying to instill with his teammates they need to play each game like it’s against your conference rival.
In the meantime, Joe, the son of Robert and Elaine Guitthes, is trying to keep all of his college options open. He said he hopes to attend a college close to home, and major in business administration. He might later go back to law school. While he grew up idolizing his older brother, Robert, he now looks forward to making a name for himself.
But he also plans to follow his brother’s footsteps, too.
“I really learned my work ethic from my parents and brother,” he said. “I attribute them to a lot of my success.”