O'Fallon Progress

Ahle anchors Panther gridiron defensive

Brian Ahle
Brian Ahle

Fueled by a revitalized offense, the O’Fallon Panther varsity football has reeled off four consecutive victories heading into Friday night’s regular season finale against the East St. Louis Flyers.

Their most recent conquest was a 70-28 drubbing of Belleville East.

Putting up big numbers on the scoreboard has focused attention of O’Fallon’s high-powered offense; however, according to OTHS head coach Brandon Joggerst, a lot of the credit for the team’s mid-season success can be attributed to solid defensive play which has created turnovers and given the Panther offense many scoring chances.

Our defensive play has been excellent in the recent series of games,” Joggerst explained. “Most people just look at the headlines to see the final score and the point spread, but the defensive unit has done the work for us to give the offense numerous chances to put points on the scoreboard.

Leading the stellar defensive effort during the season — and especially in the last four games — senior Brian Ahle has earned this week’s distinction as Athlete of the Week.

“Brian has anchored our defense and has been instrumental in our success throughout the season,” Joggerst said. “He has continued to work hard in practice and has been a model of consistency on our defensive line. He put a lot of time into perfecting his craft in the off-season in order to prepare to be a force in our games.”

A 4-year member of the OTHS football program, the senior Panther lineman, the son of David Ahle, has evolved into a defensive leader who understands the intricacies of the O’Fallon defense.

“Our entire coaching staff has been excited with the way that Brian has evolved as a defensive threat and team leader,” Joggerst added.

“I chose to play football for the competitiveness and for the opportunity to spend time with my teammates,” Ahle said. “I started playing football my freshman year when people started pushing me in that direction during my eighth grade year. I believe my hard approach to the game and constantly striving to be better has contributed to my success on the football field.”

“Participating in sports has influenced me to always give 100 percent in everything I do, and I think I have learned to become a better leader on and off the field.”