The Ice Skating Institute [ISI] Synchronized Skating Championships came to the St. Peters Rec-Plex this year, and its most prestigious trophy stayed right here.
The Synchro St. Louis Diamond Edges of the St. Peters Figure Skating Association won the ISI’s 2016 Teen Premier national championship. It was the fourth consecutive year, the fifth time in the last six years and the ninth time overall that the Diamond Edges have claimed the ISI’s coveted Boyd Wietecter Trophy, considered to be the highest accomplishment for a synchronized team.
The victory was made even sweeter as it came in front of the hometown crowd.
Five other Rec-Plex teams earned medals during the event. The Ice Gems placed fourth in the Senior Youth Skating category, the Jade Blades took gold in the Senior Youth Skating Select event, the Onyx Ice took first in Teen Advanced Formation event, the Ruby Edges took sixth in the Senior Youth Advanced Formation Select event and the Emerald Blades earned a bronze in the Junior Youth Formation event.
The St. Peters Figure Skating Association’s Synchro St. Louis teams are coached by Shannon Adams, Heather Dirksen, Kelly Fiala, Heather Hyatt and Brittney Pfister. Hyatt and Pfister coach the Diamond Edges.
Zangriles adds to strong season for Fort Zumwalt North
Connor Zangriles is one player that opposing pitchers dread.
Zangriles, a senior infielder, has been one of the best hitters in the area this spring and his Fort Zumwalt North teammates are glad that he swings the stick for them. Entering the last week of April, Zangriles was hitting a robust .500 at the plate with a .545 slugging percentage.
“My teammates push me hard, we push each other and it’s just really worked out great this year,” Zangriles said.
Having Zangriles in the lineup makes life considerably easier for coach Steve Siebert. He’s one of the most versatile players on the Panthers roster. Zangriles can hit and hit well – whether leading off, batting cleanup, or down in the bottom half of the batting order.
“He’s the kind of batter that I can kind of move around at different spots,” Siebert said. “He’s a good two hitter, he can move runners over, and drive runs in. He’s very versatile.”
Getting on base is rarely a problem for Zangriles as proven by his .607 on base percentage. However, he is not known as a power hitter. He’s just very adept at putting the ball in play nearly every time at bat.
“Connor is the kind of hitter that knows what his job is,” Siebert said, “whether it’s to move runners over, take a little off a line drive to right, so [he] is a good situational kind of hitter. One of the main things [for him] is he is not afraid to go deep in the count and he’s had a lot of success because of that.”
Zangriles credits his father, Tom, and brother, Alex, for giving him the love of baseball and helping push him to succeed on the field.
“My dad and my brother push me every day,” Zangriles said. “They just want me to have fun with it, so ever since I was in T-ball and walking, baseball has been a part of my life.”
Hitting isn’t the only thing Zangriles does well. He also is a smooth fielder that makes plays consistently at second base.
“He’s one of our better fielders,” Siebert said. “When he first came up as a sophomore I was worried about his arm and arm strength, but he fixed all that. I think his feet have improved a lot along with him always being pretty knowledgeable, and now he’s put the two together so he’s looking good out there.”
Powered by Zangriles’ bat and glove, Fort Zumwalt North is a club that definitely should be heard from in the postseason.
Hollander tapped as O’Fallon Christian basketball coach
There will be a new leader prowling the sidelines at O’Fallon Christian this November.
Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Famer Terry Hollander was named on April 25 as the school’s new varsity basketball coach.
Hollander, who spent the past six seasons as an assistant coach at Lindenwood University and retired from there in March, said he is extremely excited to be getting back into coaching at the prep level after spending 30 years at St. Charles West High.
“I think O’Fallon Christian is a good school and has done some really amazing things in the short time they have been in existence,” Hollander said. “I like the kids and just the whole opportunity to look to improve the program.”
Over his 30-year career at St. Charles West, Hollander amassed 549 victories, four Final Four trips, and a state championship. In 2008, he was enshrined in the Missouri Basketball Coaches Hall of Fame and in 2015 was named to the Gateway Athletic Conference Hall of Fame.
Hollander, 64, enjoyed his retirement for a few weeks until Meers and Lehman reached out to him about the vacancy at O’Fallon Christian. He interviewed with the school in early April.
“A lot of life is timing and sometimes things just fall right and it just so happened that things sort of coordinated here at the same time,” Hollander said. “The job was open and I was anxious to get back into the high school coaching ranks. I think it’s going to be a great fit.”
O’Fallon Christian Athletic Director Andy Hare said, “We’re excited about the opportunity for him to lead our program and we’re expecting great things but it’s like anything else, you take it one day at a time and get better at every practice.”
Hollander said Lehmann will remain an assistant He is looking to find a replacement for Meers and hopes to fill out the rest of his coaching staff in the next few weeks.