Nashville’s back at state after fourth quarter thriller, topping St. Teresa 37-35

It was loud after the first onside kick was recovered — even louder after the second. But when the Eduardo Garibay kick sailed through the goal posts as the last seconds ticked and the possibility of another week was no longer in doubt, it was downright explosive.

The Nashville Hornets secured their spot at the Class 2A championship game this week in a way that couldn’t have been better scripted. Down by more than a touchdown throughout the entire second half, the Hornets brought the heat on both sides of the ball to pull ahead and beat the St. Teresa Decatur Bulldogs in a heart-stopper, 37-35.

“It was a beautiful moment and the most important kick of my life,” Garibay said. 

Nashville scored first with a 19-yard pass from Kolten Gajewski to Connor Gladson with 3:40 in the first quarter. That would prove to be the only Hornet lead up until the final moments as St. Teresa scored twice within a minute of each other, including a 16-yard pick 6 touchdown. 

Gladson would even the score at 14-14 on a 5-yard touchdown run with 3:37 left in the half. But the Bulldogs answered back with a 5-yard run in on their own from senior Denim Cook.

The Hornets continued to trail 35-21 with 8:26 left in the fourth quarter. But the next drive would change the entire dynamic of the game, starting first with Gladson running in a 29-yard touchdown and put Nashville back within a possession.

After his PAT, Garibay then pulled off the first onside kick with Gladson recovering the ball at the Hornet 48.

On a third-and-ten, Gajewski found Isaac Turner for a doozy of a 52-yard touchdown. But after Garibay’s kick was blocked, Nashville still found itself behind, 35-34, with 5:22 remaining.

The second miracle kick from the sophomore transfer student from Mexico came at 5:21 when Turner took the ball from a Bulldog player and Hornet Field erupted in jubilation.

While that drive did not produce anything on the scoreboard, Nashville was not ready to call it quits yet. A stifling Hornet defense remained consistent in the crucial final minutes. Quintin Loquasto tackled Cook when he was one yard short of a first down, which turned the ball back to the Hornets at their own 35 with 1:32 left in the game. 

Nashville would take five plays on the Hornets’ next possession to set up at the Bulldogs 38 before Gajewski spiked the ball to keep the clock and the season from dwindling down. The quarterback teamed up with Turner again for a 21-yard pass up the middle.

It is no doubt that the  fantastic fourth quarter will go down as one of the most thrilling moments in school history. With just 5.7 seconds left, Garibay had his “beautiful moment” with the 24-yard field goal, and the Hornets broke up a deep pass to Tre Spence to make the storybook ending complete.

The kick heard ’round Nashville: Eduardo Garibay’s 24-yard field goal wins the game.

Gajewski finished 23 of 33 passes for 205 yards and two touchdown passes. 

“We like being the underdog,” Gajewski said. “We were two years ago and we were almost the entire time here. No one really expects us.”

Gajewski, who was on the sidelines and “praying to God,” said he knew how special the season was from the very beginning.

“People have been asking me even before the season what kind we are going to have this year,” he said. “I said we are going to go to state and we are going to win it. With the kind of caliber of team that we have, it is amazing to come out here for the fans. The fans are incredible.”

Head Coach Steve Kozuszek said knowing that his team would be in for a battle, he is grateful that the Hornets are getting a chance to once again play in the title game.

“It is hard to put into words,” Kozuszek said. “Just so proud of the kids. Relief also comes to mind. Coming into the game, nobody wanted to let anybody down. Our coaching staff wanted to do it for the kids and for the town. Luckily, you couldn’t have scripted it any better.”

Nashville is back in the Class 2A championship in hopes of winning the first state championship in school history.

Gladson led with 127 yards rushing on 34 carries and three touchdowns. Turner caught a total of 11 passes for 128 yards and also had a couple of touchdowns.

Now on an 11-game winning streak, the Hornets will suit up once more for the state championship game on Friday at Huskie Stadium at 1 p.m. 

First Quarter Gallery

Second Quarter Gallery

Third Quarter Gallery

Fourth Quarter Gallery

Postgame Gallery

Crowd Photos


NCHS sends off Class of 2021

We want to to acknowledge everything you have accomplished so far and remind you ,,,

this is only the beginning.

Mark begando
Nashville Community High School Principal

Nashville Community High School celebrated its 134th graduation ceremony on Sunday, May 23, at Assembly Hall with a commencement event for the class of 2021.

The celebration included a performance from the NCHS Choir, which sang “From Now On.” There was also a special video presentation with words of wisdom and advice from NCHS faculty and staff.


Relive some of the moments of the 2021 football season

The Standard had the privilege of standing on the sidelines during the Hornets’ spring football season. We were glad to capture these moments for the team, family, friends and community. Here is a link to a Google drive photo album.


We hope you enjoy them and we look forward to bringing more local coverage.

-The Standard Staff

Leah Williams, Charles Guffey.


What to do this weekend: March 25-28

Thursday, March 25: NCHS Hornette Softball fundraiser at Dairy Queen 5-9 p.m.

Culinary Arts Warrior Showcase, Rend Lake College, 6 p.m. (reservations required)

Friday, March 26: Addieville Community Club Fish Fry, 5-7 p.m.

Okawville American Legion Fish Fry, 5-8 p.m.

Saturday, March 27: Easter Bunny visit at Nashville Chamber of Commerce office, 9 a.m. to noon.

Easter in the Park, Okawville, 3 p.m.

St. Ann YCC Mostaccioli Dinner, 7 p.m.

Sunday, March 28: Hoyleton Firefighters Association Drive Thru Chicken Dinner, Hoyleton Community Club. 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Heritage House Museum WurstMarkt, 3 p.m.


New online publication strives to bring factual, multimedia coverage to Southern Illinois

A new blog aims to bring factual and visual coverage to Southern Illinois.

The Standard (www.thestandard.press) launched in January 2021. It was started by like-minded journalists who want to bring back a stripped down version of today’s events while still representing the heart of the community. Our staff has more than 20 years of experience. We believe in just-the-facts, digital first kind of reporting. We want to be the place where you come to find out what is locally going on around you.

Some of he regular features that we are wanting to bring to the conversation include breaking news, weekly COVID-19 updates, This Week In History column, thorough features and think-pieces. Other special projects and entrepreneurial reports will be announced.

We hope that you enjoy the work we have poured into this blog. Follow us on our social media channels. Have a news tip? Email us directly at thestandard618@gmail.com.

– The Standard

Addieville woman killed in one-vehicle accident near Nashville

An Addieville woman has died from injuries sustained during a single-vehicle accident late Friday night.

Washington County Coroner Mark Styninger said in a post that his office was dispatched to Illinois State Route 15 just east of Geisel Lane at 11:25 p.m. Darlene Eggemann, 67, was pronounced dead at the scene at 11:34 p.m.

According to reports, Eggemann was driving west on Route 15 and did not negotiate a curve in the road, causing the vehicle to flip several times. Authorities say Eggemann appeared “to have been the unrestrained driver” of the GMC Canyon pickup truck and was ejected from the vehicle.

Styninger said the cause of death was blunt force trauma, and the manner will be “ruled as accidental.” Toxicology samples were obtained for further routine testing.

Other assisting agencies in the accident included Washington County Ambulance Service, the Nashville Fire and Police departments, Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the Illinois State Police. It remains under investigation by the ISP and the coroner’s office.

Eggemann’s obituary can be found here.

National FFA Awards Grant to Okawville FFA Alumni

The National FFA Organization awarded an FFA Alumni and Supporters Give Back to Your Roots Grant to the Okawville FFA Alumni. The Okawville FFA Alumni plan to use the funds to purchase additional lab equipment to implement the Curriculum for Agricultural Science Education (CASE) Principles of Agricultural Science – Plant (ASP) into agriculture classes at Okawville Junior-Senior High School. Okawville agriculture teacher, Mr. Joshua Berg, will be completing the CASE ASP virtual institute from July 25 to August 3.

Funds will be used to purchase Vernier lab sensors, models, lab kits, and supplies related to plant science. Principles of Agricultural Science—Plant is a foundation-level course teaching students the form and function of plant systems. Student experiences include the study of plant anatomy and physiology, classification, and the fundamentals of production and harvesting. Students learn to apply scientific knowledge and skills to use plants effectively for agricultural and horticultural production. Students discover the value of plant production and its impact on the individual, the local, and the global economy. Teachers are provided with detailed professional development to facilitate instruction. The Principles of Agricultural Science—Plant areas of study include Soils, Anatomy and Physiology, Taxonomy, Growing Environment, Reproduction, Pest and Disease Management, and Crop Production and Marketing.

Nutrien Ag Solutions has provided $90,000 in grants through the National FFA Organization’s FFA Alumni and Supporters Give Back to Your Roots Grant program this year. The purpose of the grants is to cover the cost of the FFA student chapter affiliation fees, assist with plant science-based educational opportunities/equipment and supervised agricultural experience programs, or help purchase necessary supplies and materials for the local agricultural education program.   

The National FFA Organization provides leadership, personal growth, and career success training through agricultural education to more than 735,000 student members as part of 8,817 local FFA chapters in all 50 states, Puerto Rico, and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The organization is also supported by 683,983 alumni members in 2,535 alumni and supporters chapters. 

Washington County Hospital to host Blood Drive on Tuesday

Washington County Hospital is hosting a Blood Drive on Tuesday, July 5th from 12 noon to 5 p.m. Changes to our process will now include requirement to schedule an appointment.

You may call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit RedCrossBlood.org and enter: WaCoHospital to schedule your appointment. It is recommended to complete the Rapid Pass to help streamline your donation experience. You can complete this on the Red Cross Blood Donor App or online at RedCrossBlood.org/RapidPass.

When you arrive, you will need to wear a face mask, and if you do not have one, one will be provided. The Blood Drive will be in the lower level conference rooms of the hospital. The best entrance would be the Education Entrance on the South East corner of the hospital. Please come and join us. Each pint donated can save up to 3 lives! Like WCH on Facebook or visit our website at www.washingtoncountyhospital.org for the latest updates and happenings at WCH.

Okawville man arrested, charged with aggravated fleeing with a stolen motorcycle

An Okawville man has been arrested more than two weeks after allegedly leading authorities in a high-speed pursuit with a stolen motorcycle and stealing fuel from a local business.

Brandon Therion, 25, appeared in Washington County Court via Zoom on Thursday, pleading not guilty to possession of a stolen vehicle, a Class 2 felony, and aggravated fleeing from police, a Class 4 felony.

Nashville Police said on June 9, officers were advised of a theft of fuel from a private business in rural Okawville. When an Okawville officer arrived on the scene, the suspect, who was described as a male wearing a green backpack and a black helmet with an orange visor, had already departed the area.

The NPD later said that an officer observed a motorcycle and suspect matching the description, which was traveling south on State Route 127 just south of Nashville. Authorities tried to initiate a traffic stop but the motorcycle fled from police, reaching speeds in excess of more than 100 miles per hour.


Police would continue to stop and obtain registration information but were “unable to do so,” police say. The officers lost sight of the suspect in the area of Black Diamond Road, north of Locust Creek Road, in rural Nashville. The NPD then asked for the public’s help on Facebook in locating the suspect.

The Washington County Sheriff’s Office received a report locating the motorcycle involved in the chase. The motorcycle was received in a field off of Black Diamond Road. A NPD officer reportedly was able to find that the license plate on the motorcycle was fictitious with a sticker that also did not match. Authorities stated that the bike “appeared to be stolen.” 

Therion was taken into custody in Clinton County on Wednesday on other charges as well as the warrant from Washington County.

Bond was set at $50,000. A hearing is set for Tuesday, June 28, and a preliminary hearing is scheduled for July 12.

The investigation is ongoing. Police also say that Therion is being investigated by agencies in Washington, Clinton and St. Clair counties for other “related offenses stemming from NPD’s investigation of this incident.”

Berg Elected Vice President of Illinois Ag Teachers

Okawville Junior-Senior High School agriculture teacher Joshua Berg was elected Vice President of the Illinois Association of Vocational Agriculture Teachers (IAVAT) at the association’s 100th annual conference last week. Berg joined more than 200 agricultural educators attending the conference held in Bloomington, Illinois.

Berg will serve as Vice President of the organization for the next year. Traditionally, the vice president goes on to serve as IAVAT President and Past President in subsequent years. His duties will include directing the work of the IAVAT committees composed of teachers throughout the state. He will also hold a seat on the Board of Directors and Administrative Council for agricultural education in Illinois.

The IAVAT, founded in 1922, celebrated its 100th Anniversary with a reception and awards banquet on Tuesday night. The conference was designed to meet the needs of secondary and post-secondary agriculture educators. The total program included general sessions, section/district meetings, business meetings, in-service sessions, and special award recognition sessions. Berg attended several workshops to improve his knowledge on a variety of topics. These workshops included Foundational Supervised Agricultural Experiences (SAE), Flying into the Future: Drones in Agriculture High School Unit, and How to Grow Better Plants Using Cheap or Free Technology.

Berg served as District 5 IAVAT Director for the last three years. In this position, he represented agriculture programs in southern Illinois, held a position on the IAVAT Board of Directors, and helped plan and implement programs for teachers and students throughout the state. The new District 5 Director is Cherie Rogier, Mt. Vernon. Berg has previously served as Section 22 IAVAT Chairman, Section 22 Treasurer, Curriculum Committee representative, and Recognition Committee representative. He will continue to serve on the Diversity & Inclusion Taskforce. The IAVAT is a professional organization for instructors in agriculture and is affiliated with the National Association of Agriculture Educators (NAAE), the Illinois Association of Community College Agriculture Instructors (IACCAI), and the Association for Career and Technical Education (ACTE).

— Submitted article

Photo caption: 2022-2023 IAVAT Board of Directors (Front): Past President Lisa Oellerich, Scales Mound; Secretary-Treasurer Dr. Jay Solomonson, Illinois State University; President Donna Page, Rochelle; Vice President Joshua Berg, Okawville, IACCAI Representative Doug Robb, Wabash Valley College. (Back): District 5 Director Cherie Rogier, Mt. Vernon; District 1 Director Kindra Callahan, Kewanee; District 2 Director Liz Harris, Normal; District 3 Director Maggie McCalla, Staunton; and District 4 Director Kirsten Wyatt, Paxton-Buckley-Loda.

Accelerate Illinois Team Launches Broadband Internet Survey

As part of a regional effort to bring universal access to reliable, high-speed internet to Clinton, Fayette, Marion, and Washington Counties, local leaders have joined together to launch a broadband internet survey to understand the internet needs of residents better.

Participation in the survey will help inform the best plan to achieve the team’s vision:
 “To provide accessible and affordable high-speed internet and cellular infrastructure that serves and supports the evolving educational, agricultural, healthcare, emergency services, and economic needs of the residents in the Kaskaskia College region, while also incorporating and respecting the proud rural commitment to agricultural preservation in the district.”

The Broadband Internet Survey will be open from June 20, 2022 – July 22, 2022. All Clinton, Fayette, Marion, and Washington Counties residents are eligible, but submissions should be limited to one per household and/or business. The survey includes a speed test which should be taken on the household’s local Wi-Fi connection and not using cellular data or a hotspot. Paper surveys are available at County Government Offices and Local Libraries if a resident does not have access to a local Wi-Fi connection. 

Residents may also complete online surveys at any Kaskaskia College Education Center and area public libraries. Links to the survey can be found on county websites, farm bureau web pages, and area school district web pages. Submissions will be automatically entered into a drawing for a special prize from local businesses.



Kaskaskia College and local leaders are a part of the Illinois Accelerate Program through the Illinois Office of Broadband. This program is a 14-week boot camp designed to help local leaders create a plan to best utilize the groundbreaking influx of federal funds coming to close the digital divide.  

Your participation in this survey will help inform how our team proceeds in the planning and eventual grant process. We on the Kaskaskia Region Accelerate Team thank you for your time and effort in helping to expand broadband in our region.  Spread the word! Tell your friends, families, and neighbors to take the survey!

— Submitted article

Letter to the Editor: Washington Co. Animal Control

All readers are welcome to submit a potential guest column for The Standard. For more information email thestandard618@gmail.com

To whom it may concern,

I am writing this letter in reference to the Washington County Animal Control Shelter.
Recently, there has been much discussion about the shelter and how it is run and its oversight by the Washington County Board. Since I volunteered and worked there over the past three plus years I feel I can share facts with the community that will spell out clearly the ongoing needs that must be met in order to care for the county’s animals properly.

First, it should be known that there is currently an opening for the Warden position in Clinton County, It pays over 40k a year, includes health, vacation and retirement benefits and a vehicle and phone allowance thus totaling over 60k in pay and benefits combined. The same position in our own county which has been wonderfully led by Deb Hagopian for many years nets nearly half those same numbers. So, in order to attract and keep the very best caring for your animals, you need to pay them
a living wage. This includes the shelter workers who are also paid a pittance versus other similar agencies within the state.

Secondly, I challenge the board members to spend one day volunteering and working
alongside the shelter employees. In doing so they will certainly see the heartache and anguish our workers go through daily as pets and strays are often abandoned, neglected, discarded and abused. I can say there have been several supportive members of the board who feel our pain, but there are others who dismiss our needs and tie our hands when we try to affect change.

Next, I ask that Washington County residents come and walk one of our dogs, sit in a cage with them, hold a kitten or see what we do and go through on a daily basis. There is so much I am proud of and have wonderful memories about, but there is also the extreme anguish that I feel when I see our residents not take responsibility for their pets.

In closing, I guarantee that if you allow the shelter to fulfill its mission it will only flourish and become a beacon of hope to not only animals, but the residents of Washington County. We are only on this earth a short time. So I ask you, “Do you want to be a part of the problem or a part of the solution?”

— Dana Antoine
Bartlett, Tennessee

Hoyleton woman dies in single-vehicle accident

A 38-year-old Hoyleton was killed in an accident near Irvington on Friday morning.

According to Washington County Coroner Mark Styninger, his office was dispatched at 9:41 a.m. to the scene of a motor vehicle accident on Tower Road, a half mile north of Holly Road near Irvington.

Reports indicate that Carrie M. Shopinski was traveling south on Tower Road when the Chevrolet Malibu she was driving started to leave the roadway on its east side. Shopinksi reportedly over corrected and struck a bridge on the west side of the road.

According to Styninger, weather is “believed to have been a factor in the accident.” Shopinski was the only person in the vehicle at the time of the accident and was restrained by a seat belt. Shopinksi was pronounced dead at 10:07 a.m.

Toxicology samples were obtained and will be submitted for routine testing. Other assisting agencies include Washington County Ambulance and Irvington Fire Department. Investigation is ongoing by the Washington County Sheriff’s Office and the county coroner’s office.

Here is the original post:

Storm causes significant grain elevator damage in Irvington

A severe thunderstorm blew through the area Friday morning and caused considerable damage to the Irvington grain elevator.

According to the Washington County EMA, the storm occurred at approximately 6:30 a.m., damaging the grain leg to fall across the CN Railroad. The railroad was shut down, and many power lines were not in use in order for emergency personnel to remove the debris.

Other storm damage in Irvington included a large shed located west of the village on State Route 177. The highway and the area around Sweetgum Road were closed for cleanup.

The National Weather Service has been contacted to see if the storm produced either straight-line winds or a weak tornado.

The Standard will update this post as more information becomes available.

LEGO Robotics 101 KICK Class

Recently, the KC Nashville Education Center held a “LEGO® Robotics 101” KICK class. Students built LEGO® creations, turned them into a robot, and programed them! Participants included: Luke Beckmann (Breese), Maxwell Wiegman (Breese), Logan Korzenewski (Sandoval), George Macz (Sandoval), Evie Kasten (Hoyelton), Ellie Kasten (Hoyelton), Jackson Stout (Dix), Brooks Breeze (Mt. Vernon). The class was instructed by Diana Fefferman.

-Submitted photo