Monday, August 28, 2006


Never have I claimed to be a journalist, nor do I have any journalistic training or schooling. What I have is more background in grammar than the average person would ever need and a passion for high school sports – that is how this column as well as the sports section of this fine weekly got started.

It all worked out very well in that I had some spare time, the paper had received a letter or two about expanding their coverage to include sports, and probably most importantly I really do agree with most of the philosophical as well as editorial positions of the paper.

That being said, much, if not most of the correspondence I receive (yes, I do get some mail) offers support of how most everything in life is relative. Almost equally the mail, and comments, are divided between “You write too damn much about your family,” and “Never in my life have I read a sports section of a newspaper until I started reading your column. I muddle through the sports stuff just to see how Maggie, Joe and Dee are doing.” For me it has been quite a learning experience. Two people can read the exact same words yet get completely different messages.

I make mention of this because at the Rams preseason game with the Colts I took a giant ribbing from Don Oelklaus and Terry Phillips. Don is a life long resident of St. Charles, something he takes very proudly. Anyway, in between drinks of Miller-Lite, Don and Terry’s drink of preference, all I heard was “I’m sick about hearing about your kids, we want more sports.” The ironic part of the story is, during the fourth quarter, Don asked me how Joe’s football career was doing. I was thrown for a second, in that I had not seen or spoken to Don in some months – probably since Christmas. “How did you know Joe was playing football?” I quizzed him. “I read about it in the paper,” he informed me as he finished yet another Miller-Lite. Even though Don (and others) want more sports, they seem to be loyal, regular readers. Just thought I would share that with you.

Due to logistical problems this week’s sports section is pretty much limited to Louis’ interview with the new athletic administrator of St. Charles High, Julie Williams. Kudos to Louis on a great piece of journalistic work. Louis you see does in fact have a journalistic background – graduating from Lindenwood with some sort of Journalism degree. I make mention of this because Louis will pretty much be covering the high school beat for us this coming fall. With my coaching responsibilities at Trinity and the Junior Renegades I just wouldn’t be able to devout the time needed to do the job properly. Louis will be covering the “Game of the Week,” be it football, softball, volleyball, or even that God forsaken sport, football. At the same time, I will be able to continue my weekly column, whether it be about the local sports scene, a regional topic, or just my family – anything for Mr. Oelklaus.

Finally, returning in our next edition will be the First Capitol News High School Athlete of the Week. If you wish to nominate someone, contact me at 314.280.9189 or .

One more thing please. There resides in St. Charles City a gentleman by the name of Kevin Tollefson. You may recall a previous article written about Kevin and his son and the red carpet they received from the RiverCity Rage. Well, Kevin is quite the athlete for a man his age – his swimming and biking routine rival that of men 20 years younger than he. On the weekend of September 9th, Kevin will take part in the National MS Society’s annual MS Bike Tour. Kevin’s goal originally was to raise $500 to help find a cure for MS; he has already doubled that, a testimony to Kevin and his character (you have no idea how hard it is for me to say that!). Anyone who has an extra buck or so laying around can donate to Kevin’s ride by logging on to the following web address:

I know that is one heck of an address, but I think the cause is worth the support. So, if you check in here weekly to read about Family McMurran, or if you check in here to see if by some strange chance I am writing about some sports’ related topic – I ask that you support Kevin in his effort to find a cure for MS.

JULIE WILLIAMS New Activities Director Very Familiar With SCHS

By Louis J. Launer

It is like the next generation has taken over at St. Charles High School. Twenty-four years ago, a head football coach named Jim Williams took his 1982-83 football team to Kansas City to participate in the Show-Me Bowl at Arrowhead Stadium. They returned to St. Charles with a state trophy. This year, Jim Williams’ daughter takes over as activities director at St. Charles High School. Julie Williams is the first female activities director in the school district’s history.

“I am in charge of all of the athletics at St. Charles High,” she said. “I also work with the other after school clubs and with the band director, drama department and school choir. So there is more responsibilities that an activities director has to do than just athletics.”

Julie has a double degree in communications and education from the University of Iowa and has recently received her masters degree in educational administration from Lindenwood University.

“The role [as activities director] today is more all encompassing compared to what it was back when my father was at High,” Julie said.

She takes over a St. Charles High School that is in better shape today compared to when her father was head football coach.

“We have a new field surface for football this year, including a better irrigation system,” she said. Also, the track has been completely replaced and is a better one than what we had before. We want to make our facilities better for not just our students, but those who attended St. Charles High School years ago.”

Not only does Jim Rash Stadium have more improvements, the gymnasiums are now better.

“The girls volleyball team is very popular here,” she said. “Many students attend those games. We also have a following for cross-country. Those sports are just as important to the school as varsity football.”

With coordination of the school band, Julie will be involved in most of the game activities that take place at St. Charles High School, right down to the half-time festivities.

“We need to coordinate dates as to when the band will be available,” she said. “They have a lot of concerts, parades and contests they are preparing. Everyone wants to see the band perform at the home football games. But the band also has their own schedule and I have to make sure that there are no conflicts.”

The students of St. Charles High, which started classes this past Monday, will be encouraged to participate in at least one school activity this school year.

“We have a great set of kids at SCHS,” she said. “We just started practices for this year’s fall sports and all have gone very well. There is a lot of tradition here and we hope that the students will keep that tradition going. We also hope that a lot of alumni attend many of the school functions to see what we have done. The students work very hard here.”

Most of the fall sports activities will be held on the SCHS campus. Some will be off-campus. Girls’ softball will be held at Jaycee Park. Cross-country events that are considered “home” are to be held at McNair Park. Girls golf will be held at Bogey Hills Country Club. Girls tennis is scheduled for Blanchette Park.

Julie is at a St. Charles High School where today, the school’s complete rebuilding in 1995 is much different than the SCHS of the early 1980s. The interior gives the look of a more modern school, well kept, with no peeling paint or leaky ceilings. There are two gymnasiums instead of one. There are more sports in every season during the school year compared to just the traditional sports alumni has been familiar with in the past. Jim Rash Stadium has seen a second complete renovation, although the original stadium (known to older St. Charles residents as Municipal Stadium) still retains the character of the WPA project of 1936.

A St. Charles High School graduate herself, Julie Williams will continue the traditions that SCHS has done in the past. Today, more than ever, high school students are involved in more high school activities and projects compared to what was done 20 years ago. Students, alumni and St. Charles residents are welcome to attend events at the school, whether it is a football game, volleyball match, tennis match, band contest/concert or musical/play. Julie will be busy keeping all of the events in line and help promote the events for not just the student body, but for the public as well. If St. Charles High brings home another state championship in any activity this year, Julie does know from her family experience what it takes to achieve an accomplishment.