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Read complete details of these stories and other news
in the latest edition of Focus on Oak Grove

 
A year in the making
 
KORY HALES
JAKE MOORE and Eli Wycoff team up to take Odessa's Mason Smith off of his feet. Moore had 12 tackles against the Bulldogs while Wycoff finished with two.
 
If you think Oak Grove's football team has forgotten about what happened both times they played Odessa in 2015, you are mistaken. That wound is still fresh. And that is what makes Friday night's 29-20 victory over the Bulldogs that much more satisfying.
"We really didn't make many adjustments at halftime," admitted head coach Pat Richard after the game. "We changed a little bit on defense but nothing major. Offensively, we felt like we were a step away all night. We had some opportunities for really big plays in the first half, and we were just six inches short of breaking them open on some of them. Honestly, I felt good about the way we played. Last year they jumped out on us (in the district final), and we kind of folded the tent. This year they jumped on top early, but we fought and battled. Our kids played hard. I'm proud of them. They deserved to win, and they got the win. And this is something we can build on."
Both teams fumbled the ball away on their opening possessions of the contest. When Odessa fell on the loose pigskin inside Panther territory at the 46-yard line, they ran the ball 10 straight times on offense and found the goal line. Austin Weygandt's five-yard run through would-be tacklers put the Bulldogs on top 6-0. The two-point conversion failed. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
 
 
Panthers win Knob Noster Tournament
 
Oak Grove competed in the one-day, eight-team Knob Noster Volleyball Tournament September 17 and returned home with the championship.
Panthers beat La Monte 25-13, 25-17, Crest Ridge 26-24, 25-19, and Knob Noster 25-18, 25-21 in pool play. Oak Grove's 3-0 record in the Orange Division moved them directly to the semifinals where they faced Clinton. Panthers won that match 25-16, 25-17, then beat Crest Ridge again in the title match 25-17, 25-18. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
 
 
Three late runs cost Oak Grove
 
A scoreless tie between Oak Grove and Lathrop softball teams through five and a half innings September 13 was erased in the bottom of the sixth when Cheyenne Minnick scored. The 1-0 lead did not hold up, however. The Mules scored three times in the seventh then held off the Panthers in the bottom of the inning to take home a 3-1 win over Oak Grove. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
 
 
Panthers score five goals on nine shots
 
Oak Grove soccer team scored three goals early in the first half September 13, watched Center respond with two goals to close to within 3-2 by halftime, then put two huge goals away in the second half to take a 5-2 victory in a weather-shortened match.
Nate Wood's pass to Mason Miller and the subsequent goal in the fifth minute gave the Panthers a quick 1-0 advantage. Three minutes later, Austin Holtorf made it 2-0 when he scored his third goal of the season with an assist from Owen Ross. Erik Hopper's third goal of the year was made possible by Holtorf's assist in the 15th minute. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
 

 
 

 
 
OG wins conference opener
 
Oak Grove soccer picked up a 1-0 win over Pleasant Hill September 15 to begin its conference schedule. Austin Holtorf's goal on a corner came with an assist from Dalton Smith in the first minute of the contest.
"We played a strong match and were very stout defensively," commented head coach Michael Brown. "We caused them to play outside their strategy, and they only had one good attempt on target." Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
 
 
Panthers tie for 14th at Platte County Invitational
 
The Platte County Invitational took place September 15 with nine girls teams and 17 boys teams competing.
Oak Grove only fielded two runners in the girls' race. Mikayla Mapes ran to a 63rd-place finish with a time of 29:51.5. In 71st with a time of 32:27.3 was Maddy Pulliam.
Clare Lester of Staley was the race winner. She beat the other 72 competitors to the line, stopping the clock at 21:17.4. St. Teresa's Academy scored 53 team points to earn the win. Kearney's 61 points placed them second. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
 
 
Panthers defeat Excelsior in three in volleyball
 
Oak Grove volleyball team evened its conference record at 1-1 September 15 with a win over Excelsior Springs in three games. Panthers won the first set 25-21, dropped the second 13-25 then won a close one in the third set 26-24.
"I am proud of the girls and happy we were able to get the win tonight," said head coach Lori Klaus. "We couldn't get much going in the second game, but the girls really fought hard in the third game to pull out the win. Hopefully we can build off of this win at the Knob Noster tournament on Saturday." Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
 
 
Soccer team wins big
 
Panthers got hat tricks from Dalton Smith and Mason Miller September 12 in Oak Grove's 10-0 win over Warrensburg in 63 minutes.
Smith put two in the net in the first eight minutes of the contest. Austin Holtorf scored his second goal of the season in the 15th minute with an assist from Joel Spencer. Miller then scored his hat trick in a 16-minute span with goals in the 17th, 19th and 33rd minutes. Smith recorded his hat trick with a goal in the 35th minute to give the Panthers a 7-0 lead. He tacked on his fourth goal of the match five minutes later.
Jacob Leamon scored both second-half goals for Oak Grove. His first of the game, and second of the year, came in the 59th minute. He ended the game with another score four minutes later. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
 
 
Softball team gives up late runs in loss
 
For the second-straight game, Oak Grove softball team went into the sixth inning scoreless. On September 13 it was Lathrop that used a late rally to get by the Panthers 3-1. On September 15, it was Sherwood striking first with a pair of runs in the top of the sixth.
Kaitlyn Marsh's RBI double in the bottom half of the sixth cut the deficit in half, but it turned out to be Oak Grove's only run of the game in a 2-1 loss. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
 
 
Panthers sweep Knob Noster
 
Sophie Heldenbrand's 11-kill, 15-dig night helped Oak Grove volleyball team sweep Knob Noster 25-15, 25-15 September 12.
Heldenbrand's 11 kills accounted for nearly half of Oak Grove's 23 kills on the night. Chloee Tripp finished with four kills, five digs and five aces. Read more in Focus on Oak Grove.
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