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Archives for October 2012

Panthers Win Regional Volley Title Over St. Anthony Thursday

THE VOLLEYBALL TEAM of Pana High School celebrate as they are handed their regional plaque on Thursday, Oct. 25, in the Shelbyville High School gym. The Panthers were 25-19, 25-20 winners over Effingham St. Anthony in the Class 2A Regional Tournament.

Pana, 29-7, moves on to the Sectional competition on Tuesday, Oct. 30, in Toledo to take on the Vandalia Vandals at 7:00 p.m.

(Mary Cothern/Tom Latonis Photos)

SENIOR ALLIE SCHOONOVER, left, rises for a kill during the Pana-St. Anthony volleyball match Thursday night. Schoonover had a tremendous night at the net for the Panthers with 8 kills against the Bulldogs.

The Pana Panthers volleyball team won their second straight IHSA Class 2A Regional title Thursday night, Oct. 25, with a 25-19, 25-20 win over Effingham St. Anthony in the Shelbyville High School gym. Pana, 29-7, will face the Vandalia Vandals for the third time this season in the Class 2A Toledo Sectional at 7:00 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 30.

“I thought we did a really good job; we didn’t let up,” said Pana Head Coach Greg Cothern, after the first-year head coach picked up his first career regional title. “There were some balls which could easily have dropped on our side, but one of our players would dive underneath and pop it up and we’d make something happen out of it. The girls just played really well tonight with a lot of emotion. It was good to see that happen.”

One of those players was senior Allie Schoonover who made 8 kills and had 7 digs.

“Allie Schoonover had a tremendous game all around the court, from the front row to the back row,” Cothern said.

“We were ready to play and we gave it all we got,” Schoonover said. “We got it (regional championship) last year and we wanted to get it this year and go farther than we did last year.”

Two other seniors, Raven Horsthemke and Nadine Vaughn, help set up Schoonover for those kills. Horsthemke set up 12 and Vaughn dished out 11.

“I had some good sets tonight,” Schoonover said. “I think our passing was really good and our sets were good. We had some good hits, too.”


The sectional match-up between Pana and Vandalia is the third of this season. Each have won a match on their own home floors.

“We have to get mentally ready for it,” Schoonover said of the impending match. “We’re probably going to watch film and try to pick up everything we messed up on last time and fix it and find any other errors.”

Her coach echoed those thoughts.

“We’ll have to go back and talk with the coaching staff to see what we have to do,” Cothern said. “I think the big key to the last time we played them was we were flat. In volleyball, that goes a long way. It’s not like other sports where you can run someone in and out real quick and get a game-changer in there. I hope this continues and they are mentally tough as we keep going.”

Nadine Vaughn was also active at the net with 7 kills and 10 blocks. Kristina Pollman also had 10 blocks. Autumn Finley had 4 and Hannah Funneman got 3. She also had 7 blocks and Morgan Franklin had 5 blocks.

Marissa Presnell got 8 service points with Raven Horsthemke collecting 6. Funneman had 4 service points with an ace and Pollman had 3 service points with an ace.

In the back court, Sydney Lett got 8 digs with Schoonover, Pollman and Vaughn each getting 7.

The Panthers enter their contest with the Vandals with a 29-7 record.

In the other semi-final of the Toledo Sectional, Casey-Westfield, winner of the Lawrenceville Sectional, will play the third of three South Central Conference teams in the sectional –Carlinville. The Cavaliers won their own regional over Greenfield, 25-17, 25-16, on Thursday. That match precedes the Pana-Vandalia match at 6:00 p.m. Tuesday.

The winners of Tuesday’s semi-finals will play each other at 7:00 p.m. on Thursday, Nov. 1, for the Sectional title and advance to the Super-Sectional at Effingham St. Anthony. They will face the Nashville Sectional winner at 4:00 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 3, with the winner going to the final four and the state tournament.


‘Pennies for Paws’ Nets School Donation for United Way

STUDENTS AT WASHINGTON Elementary School in Pana collected “pennies for paws” in September. Students from each class brought in change for their class can.

All change was donated to the United Way of Christian County.

Shown are Washington Elementary Students presenting the donation to Carol Schramm of Pana, United Way of Christian County Board Member.

Entertaining Halloween Display in Pana

A VERY IMAGINATIVE Halloween display adorns the west side of Pana at the corner of Third and Grant Sts., on the west side of Washington Elementary School.

The home, at 201 S. Grant, has a variety of lighted displays and the lights dance to the music which observers can dial in on their car FM radio at 91.1 on the radio dial.

(Tom Latonis Photo)

Pana Drops Play-Off Game, 46-8

PANA’S IAN KIRK tries the left side looking for running room against the Unity Rockets on Saturday, Oct. 27, IHSA Class 3A Play-Off game between the Panthers and Tolono. Kirk had just 24 yards rushing as the Rockets shutdown Pana’s running game and posted a 46-8 victory.

Pana ends the season with a 5-5 record.

(Tom Latonis Photos)

The 2012 Pana High School football season came to an abrupt halt on the wind-swept plains of east-central Illinois Saturday afternoon, Oct. 27, as perennial powerhouse Tolono Unity steamrollered the Panthers, 46-8, in the first round of the Class 3A IHSA Football Play-Offs.

Unity got the ball first and marched 65 yards in 9 plays and 2 minutes and 35 seconds to put a score on the board. It was the first of 3 first quarter scores and 6 for the first half which gave them an insurmountable 40-0 lead. The second half was played with a “running clock,” meaning the clock only stopped for time-outs, touchdowns and injuries.

Pana’s offense sputtered with just 103 total yards. Just 40 yards on the ground and 63 through the air, most of those yards coming on a 55-yard pass completion from Pana quarterback Kyle Gibson to Kyle Miller which set up the Panthers’ only score in the fourth quarter 2 plays later. The Panthers had a 4-play, 70-yard drive in just over 2 minutes. Senior Ian Kirk got the final 5 yards to pay dirt with 4:07 left in the game. Dexter Holley ran in the 2-point conversion which made it 46-8.

Gibson completed just 2 passes in the game out of 11 attempts. He was intercepted once in the third quarter – the first interception he’s thrown all year. Pana had 3 turnovers in the game.

Ian Kirk rushed for 24 yards on 6 carries. Kyle Miller ran for 19 yards on 6 tries and with 4 carries, Dexter Holley got 11 yards. Gibson had 5 rushing attempts for -20 yards and he was sacked twice.

The season closes on Pana with a 5-5 record. They finished fourth in the South Central Conference behind champion Carlinville, 8-1, and Greenville, second, 8-1. Carlinville beat Greenville in head-to-head competition this season. Vandalia was third with a 7-2 mark. Those 4 teams made the IHSA play-offs.

Out in Left Field: October 29, 2012

“Tolono today; Toledo Tuesday!”

That was the cry Saturday as we headed for the football play-off game between Pana and Tolono Unity.

So, we look forward to Tuesday’s encounter with Vandalia Tuesday evening on the volleyball floor. Each team has a win over the other this season, so this will be the “rubber game” of the season.

We wish the girls good luck and hope to see them in the finals on Thursday night.


I wish someone could explain how three teams in the South Central Conference end up playing in a sectional volleyball tournament in the southeastern part of the state. Not too bad for Pana and Vandalia, but Carlinville has to drive 117 miles one way to get to the tournament.


Hated for the football season to end the way it did Saturday in Tolono, but we want to give our best wishes to the football Panthers as they completed their 2012 campaign.

The outcome didn’t go our way, but I hope the younger members of the Pana team took notice of Tolono. This was a very good football team.

Coach Stupek has built a wonderful program and established a winning tradition, but to get to Tolono’s level, it is going to require a lot of hard work on the part of the players to get to that level.

I don’t think I’m talking out of turn when I say the Tolono team we played on Saturday – at least in my opinion – could very well be the best team we’ve faced in the play-offs these past few years – and that includes Greenville. Anyway. . . .

I think we can all be proud of the effort the Panthers put forth this season. We’ll look for a better outcome the next time we have to face Tolono.


I told someone on the sidelines Saturday I thought Tolono is a team accustomed to playing deep into the football play-offs in October and November – their restroom facilities are heated!


A personal note for the trick-or-treaters who stop by the Latonis house on Halloween – because of the games, we will be “dark” on Tuesday night, but we’ll have our treats on Wednesday night.


See you next week!

Elks Donate $1,000 To Food Pantry

CHARLIE WEERS of Loaves & Fishes Food Pantry, accepts a $1,000 donation from Tom Funk, Pana Elks Club. $5.50 per member was donated to the Elks National Foundation.

The donation is from the Illinois Elks Association.


Pana Lake Homeowners Forming Assoc.

A group of Pana Lake homeowners met Saturday, Oct. 20, in order to form an association. A unanimous vote was made and interim officers were elected to serve until January. The group is working with an attorney to form a non-profit organization.

The next meeting is scheduled for 7:00 p.m., Saturday, Nov. 17, at the Pana Sportman’s Club. All lake lot homeowners are encouraged to attend.

Trunk Or Treat At Christian Church

Pana Christian Church will host a Trunk or Treat in the front parking lot of the church from 6:00 to 8:00p.m., Wednesday, Oct. 31.

There will be decorated trunks, chili, hot dogs and dessert served.

In case of rain the event will be held inside the church. There is no charge to attend.

Kuhn Family Fundraiser

A fundraiser is being held for the Kevin Kuhn family of Oconee. He was diagnosed with leukemia type ALL in May.

Anyone wanting to make a monetary donation will be entered into a drawing to win a Christmas-themed basket.

The basket will be displayed at the Oconee Trap Shoot Sunday, Nov. 4, and at Peoples Bank & Trust.

To donate contact Kirby Casner, 823-2276 or Twila Bumgardner, 827-6949. The drawing will be held Monday, Nov. 26.

Anniversaries: October 29, 2012

50th Wedding Anniversary

David L. and Shirley J. Martin Gates of Virden, will celebrate their 50th wedding anniversary on Friday, Aug. 17. The couple were married in Beaufort, SC, in 1962.

David retired from the United States Marine Corps as a Master Sergeant in 1976.

The couple have three children: Karen (John) Gudgel of Nilwood, Kathy (Tony Wise) Henry of Nilwood and Kenny Gates of Virden; three grandchildren, Andrea (Scott) Grundy of Farmersville, Alicia (William) Plaza of Farmersville and Eric Gudgel of Nilwood; one great-grandson, Bryce Grundy, Farmersville.

Family and Friends are invited to join the couple for a dinner, hosted by their family, from 4:00 to 7:00 p.m., Friday, Aug. 17, at It’s Your Party banquet hall, north side of the square in Girard. A renewal of their wedding vows will begin at 6:00 p.m. They request cards in lieu of gifts.