Announcements and Important Events
The FZN wrestling team comes off a year that saw the squad win a share of the GAC Central title, the program's first since 2010, and complete an 14 - 2 dual meet record. The 2018 - 2019 version of the Panther wrestling team hopes to have similar success, if not build on last season's momentum. The Panthers will be led by returning state qualifiers: Teddy Hickey (12), Logan Prinster (11), and Derrick Buda-Smith (11). Other returning letterman include: Devin Kulp (10), Brady O'Neal (11), Evan Clausner (12), Josh Spence (12), Colton Pethtel (11).
Head Coach Josh Cooper, who also serves as the Panther football team's defensive coordinator, stated, "There are a couple big matches every year for our program. Early in the year the Panthers will battle our (FZ) district rivals at the Zumwalt Quad. This meet has big implications each year in the conference race. The big meet in the middle of the season is the GAC Tournament. Each year this tournament is packed with top competition and GAC Tournament Champions are crowned at each weight class. We feel we have a top-notch schedule that we hope has us well prepared for the district and state tournaments."
New for the Panthers and the state of Missouri is the addition of Girls Wrestling as a full-fledged MSHSAA sponsored sport. Currently the Panthers have 11 females out for the team.
First meet: November 30th - Girls vs. Rockwood Summit - 5:00 pm @ FZN. Boys vs Rockwood Summit and Heyworth (IL) - 5:00 pm @ FZN
The Lady Panthers are in the unique position of returning their entire line-up from the previous season as the program did not have a single senior on the squad during the 2017 - 2018 season. Returning from last season's starting line-up is four-year starter and 2nd team "All-Conference" selection Dajah Robinson, who was the Panthers leading scorer a season ago and is on pace to eclipse 1000 points for her career. Other returners include: Katie Grimes (12), Claudia Hoff (11), Makayla Meiser (12), Bella Rezex (11), Grace Bauer (11), Jordyn Grimes (11), Jerrica Moody (10) and Jessica Clausner (11). In addition to returning 9 varsity players from a season ago, the Panthers picked up two transfers, Jayden Stahl (11) and Alyssa Buckley (12), that should contribute.
Head Coach Jeremy Rapp noted, "We are more experienced and have added some great transfer talent. We expect to compete and have a chance to win every game on the schedule. FZN is ready to make some noise in the St. Louis area basketball scene."
First Game: November 27th vs. Francis Howell North @ FZN 6:30 pm
The Panthers hope to improve on their 6 - 20 mark from a season ago. Despite winning just 6 contests, it was clear that the Panthers were playing their best basketball at the end of last season as 4 of their wins came in their final 5 games. The team loses 1000 point scorer, Marco Powell, but they return the next 5 leading scorers from last season. The following players who return with significant varisty playing experience include: Grant Rapplean (11), Jeff Lewis (12), Mujtaba Alkahldi (11), Ronald Cross (12), Kyle Bampton (11) and Grant Fitzpatrick (11). The Panthers have also added transfer students: KJ Lee (10) and Kamden Bynum (12) who are expected to contribute.
Head Coach Mike Uffmann, who is in just his second season as the head coach of the boys program at FZN, stated, "Our end record was ugly last year as we finished just 6 - 20, but we ended the season winning 4 of our final 5. We defeated U-City, Holt, and Washington who had defeated us previously that season. It took some time for the players to get used to my coaching style, but we gained momentum at the end of the season. We took that momentum into the summer and off-season. We return our 5 leading scorers from last season and added two transfers that will help. We also gained a great athlete in Cairo Payne that started as a freshmen. Our schedule is a competitive Class 5 schedule and we expect to compete and be in every game. We are very athletic and have a lot of depth. We can play up to 12 guys which has made practice very competitive. The goal is to to have a winning season."
First Game: November 21st vs. Union @ Borgia Tournament 7:30 pm
Girls Swimming and Diving
The Lady "Swimcats" hope for a similar success that the team experience last season. Last year, the Panthers ended the season on a 7 meet winning streak while finishing 2nd in the conference standings. The team returns a good nucleus of swimmers to build around. Leading that group is state qualifier Gwen Raziq (10), who qualified for state in 2 individual events and two relays last season. Other key returners include: Celeste O'Brein (12), Jordan Brown (12), Mya Walls (12), Jillian Walls (11) Avery Meade (10). Diver, Nadia Wuest, also a state qualifier in 2018, will lead the Panther dive team.
Head Coach Jay Young stated, "Improvement with overall times in as many events as possible and challenging for the conference title are our goals this season."
First Meet: November 28th vs. Washington and Hannibal 3:00 pm @ St. Peters Rec-Plex