The Okawville Junior Lady Rockets beat the Immanuel Lutheran/Trinity St. John Lady Titans in an all Washington County battle for the Southern Illinois Class “S” State title.
The teams entered the championship game at Rend Lake College Saturday with a lot at stake.
The game was the first ever meeting between the undefeated Lady Rockets (29-0) and the Titans, (28-2).
Both teams were state tournament defending champions. The Titans won Class “S” last year. The Junior Rockets won class “M” last year.
Because of a change in enrollment divisions, the Lady Rockets were put in the Class “S” category.
The Junior Lady Rockets have gone undefeated for two straight years, reeling off 57 straight wins during that span. They are coached by Aaron Tebbe and assistant Travis Kuhn.
The Titans are coached by Immanuel teacher Joe Kirby, and assistants Dylan Fullerton and Shaun Renth.
The championship game was noted for the connections as much as the rivalry.
Many of the players are friends, neighbors, cousins, and former teammates.
Lady Titan player Mallory Bening and Junior Lady Rockets Madison Wienstroer and Maggie Sawicki live in the same neighborhood.
Wienstroer, Adysen Harre, and Lady Titan Raelyn Obermeier are cousins.
Wienstroer and Dylan Benson formerly played with the Titans when attending Immanuel.
Many fans, including grandparents of players, had allegiance to both teams.
Titan eighth graders from Immanuel Lutheran will be teammates with the Junior Lady Rockets players in high school next year.
Trinity St. John’s students are in the Nashville High School District.