My choice for Collinsville's top story of 2015 is the remarkable finish to the 2015 High School football season which concluded in the State Finals for the first time in Collinsville history. The Football Cardinals came about as close as you can get to a championship but ended up as 5A Runner-Ups on the last play of the game. The CHS Softball Girls made it all the way and won the 5A State Title for the first time in 10 years. The CHS Wrestlers continued their 5A dominance with their 5th stratight pair of State Titles. All of those accomplishments required outstanding team efforts but two individual plays stick in my mind from 2015: Ashton Friend's 12th inning home run against Pryor in the finals and Justin Kothe's must-have win against Altus in the Dual State semi-finals. Individual State Titles were won by: Nate Keim (wrestling 126), Elijah Tanner (wrestling 145), Wyatt Jordan (wrestling 152), Ellen Thomas (track 1600 meters), and Hayden West (track pole vault).
Canon Vogel's academic acomplishments were rewarded with a rare National Merit Scholar honor. The CHS Academic Team competed at Nationals. Academic State titles were awarded to the CHS Girls Basketball, CHS Girls Golf, and CHS Cheerleading Teams in 2015.
Collinsvile School upgrades completed in 2015 included a new 4th-5th grade elementary building bringing all Pre-K through 5th grade students to the same campus (ECC, Herald and Upper Elementary). The new elementary included a new gym in addition to a new practice gym at the high school and major revisions to the existing high school gym (including long awaited air conditioning).
Cleanup-containment of toxic waste at the second zinc smelter site (closed nearly a century before) began in 2015. The city converted water and electric meters to automated reporting meters that send customer usage numbers directly to city hall.
-- Ted Wright -- Dec. 29, 2015
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