Seniors Brendon Gooch and Scott Semko have known one another for six years now. They first became acquainted as opponents on the basketball court at West Junior High (Gooch) and Wolf Branch (Semko). While in junior high, they also got to know one another as participants in Althoff Catholic’s summer basketball camps.
Today, they are proud members of the Althoff Catholic student body, and of the 24th best high school basketball team in the nation. Gooch and Semko have many things in common in addition to their love of basketball.
Both boys are committed to their Christian faith; Scott is a member of Corpus Christi in O’Fallon and Brendon attends Faith Family Church in Shiloh. “My freshman theology class with Mrs. Amanda Miller was a real turning point in my life,” said Scott. “It is when my Catholic faith truly became my own, and not just something my parents forced upon me.” One of Scott’s greatest honors thus far was being asked by Althoff Catholic campus minister, Mr. Bouc, to serve as one of the school’s three sacristans.
Brendon Gooch appreciates the opportunity to participate in prayer throughout his school day and has also learned a lot in his theology classes. “The faith-based environment at Althoff is very important. My freshman year we had some very significant losses as a school. Being a small community focused on our Christian faith allowed us to support each other through some very difficult times,” said Gooch.
Next fall, Brendon plans to attend Southern Illinois University Carbondale to play basketball and to study accounting. Scott will move on to the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign to study business. Both boys have mastered the art of balance in their years at Althoff Catholic. “I struggled my freshman year,” said Gooch. “It didn’t take me long to figure out what I needed to do in order to be successful in the classroom. It takes discipline but I stay focused on my academics.” Brendon credits science teacher, Mrs. Lauren Robinson for being a positive influence in his life. “Mrs. Robinson is a very positive person and I know she cares about my successes, she always smiles and encourages me to do my best.” Gooch and Semko are both enrolled in honors courses and hold unweighted GPA’s above 3.0.
In addition to basketball, Scott Semko is a member of the golf team, student council and St. Vincent DePaul. Brendon Gooch has served as an A.C.E. (Althoff Catholic Enrichment) leader, welcoming freshmen into the Althoff Catholic community.