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Vote: CSM Fall athletes of the week, Aug. 21-26 2023

Updated: Aug 30, 2023

The Central Illinois area saw plenty of strong performances on the course, field, and court last week, as the season began for football, boys soccer, and more. These athletes stood out the most and have been nominated for the first-ever CSM Fall Athletes of the Week, sponsored by Jake Weston State Farm.

UPDATE: Rachel Ogunleye of Normal U-High volleyball won Girls Athlete of the Week, presented by Jake Weston State Farm, earning 63% of the 996 votes cast.

Luke Martin of Eureka boys golf won Boys Athlete of the Week, presented by Jake Weston State Farm, earning 42% of the 705 votes cast.

Polls closed at 3:15 PM Wednesday.

Congratulations to both winners!


Rachel Ogunleye, Normal U-High volleyball

Ogunleye has been the face of the attack for the Pioneers, who are 7-1 to start the season and went 4-1 over the weekend at the Plainfield North Invite. Ogunleye earned all-tournament honors there, posting 26 kills in five matches. She led U-High in kills in a win over Chatham (Glenwood) on Thursday with 13, and added nine in the Pioneers’ season-opening victory of Bloomington last Tuesday.

Esma Frieden, Metamora volleyball

The senior outside hitter for the Redbirds earned all-tournament honors up at the Plainfield North invite and has been a driving force behind Metamora’s 4-2 start to the season. Frieden had nine kills and six digs in the championship game of the silver bracket in Plainfield on Saturday. She added a team-high 12 kills in a win against LaGrange Park (Nazareth Academy) and also led Metamora with six digs apiece in both of the Redbirds’ matches on Friday.

Ella Coulter, Peoria Notre Dame girls golf

The Irish had a few matches earlier in the week canceled due to heat, or was it Coulter’s play that was heating up? The 2022 state finalist shot a 75 to win medalist honors by one stroke over Pekin’s Sydney Hubner at Prairie Vista Golf Course in Bloomington for the Saints Shootout, which featured 14 teams.

Marley Schrof, Normal West girls tennis

Schrof helped the Wildcats win big over Pekin on Saturday, winning 6-3, 6-3 at No. 1 singles and teamed up with Meredith Bertsche in an 8-0 win at No. 1 doubles.

Sophia Ramirez, Washington girls cross country

The sophomore helped the Panthers make a statement at the Normal West Invitational on Saturday. Ramirez ran the 3-mile course in 19:21.30 to take second place overall and got help from teammates Olivia Nordheilm and Madeleine James, who both finished in the top 10 as well. Washington won the event with a team score of 41, 29 points clear of second-place Minooka.


Bernie Winne, Washington boys soccer

Winne was the star of the match in Washington’s 4-0 win against Beecher on Friday at the Bradley-Bourbonnais Invite, scoring a hat trick. The junior midfielder has played a part in half of Washington’s eight goals so far, adding an assist in the Panthers’ 3-0 shoutout win over Richwoods last Monday.

Luke Martin, Eureka boys golf

Martin shot his first-ever round of even par to help Eureka dominate a dual match against Farmington last Monday at the par-34 Kaufman Park Golf Course. The Hornet has won each of the three matches he’s played in this season and currently boasts a 9-hole scoring average of 36.3, which ranks second across all golfers in the Peoria and Bloomington/Normal areas.

Brett Michel, Morton football

The Potters put together a true team effort in a thrilling 20-14 win over state-ranked Mahomet-Seymour on Friday night, but Michel was arguably the biggest reason why. The senior running back and linebacker ran 16 times for 146 yards and two touchdowns on offense and made a clutch interception in the fourth quarter to help seal Morton’s win.

Louis Fournier, Canton boys soccer

Fournier scored a hat trick in Canton's dominating 8-0 win over Olympia to start the season. He also added an assist for the Little Giants in their win on Saturday against the Spartans.

Mason Boles, Eureka football

Boles was buzzing all over the place for the Hornets in their 49-6 win at home against Canton on Friday. The senior toted the rock a team-high 11 times for 46 yards and two touchdowns, caught two passes for 22 yards and a score. At linebacker, Boles made four solo tackles, including three for loss and a sack, and assisted on six more.

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