South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

South St. Louis County News

St. Louis Call Newspapers

OHS football star Ethan Venable commits to Wash U

Former OHS football player will miss classmates, games
Ethan Venable, center.

Ethan Venable was not only a force for the Oakville Tigers football team but a leader on and off the field.

The 6’2, 215-pound All-State defensive and two-time All-District running back will take his game to the next level, as Venable signed to play with Washington University in St. Louis in the fall.

While the standout football player and wrestler has garnered a lot of attention because of his athletic ability, Venable also shines in the classroom, scoring a 29 on his ACT and carrying a 4.17 grade point average. 

Venable said he had some options when it came to choosing a school, but ultimately chose Wash U over several Division 1 and Division 2 schools for a couple of reasons.

“The program is in St. Louis and it was a big plus for me to be able to play at the next level at home,” Venable said. “The academic gains that I’ll receive from being able to graduate from Wash U will help me further down the line outside of football.”

Oakville head coach Mike Genge said he looks forward to seeing all of Venable’s successes at the next level.

“Wash U is blessed to get a kid with goals,” Genge said. “Academics has always been a huge priority to Ethan, doing what is right both on and off the field. I am excited to see what he becomes with focus on only one sport and the ability to have great coaches around him. I feel the college level will allow Ethan to be surrounded by those at his level or above, which will continue to push him to become the best he can.” 

One of the schools Venable was strongly considering was Wyoming, but after chatting with his parents, he knew what his decision would be.

“For a while, I was very tempted to go all or nothing into Wyoming,” he said. “But, I decided against it when I could see how excited my parents got about the prospect of me being able to attend Wash U.”

One of the goals that Venable has set for himself is to show that he’s one of the top players in the nation. He also has his mind set on a championship.

“I honestly believe that I’ll be able to push them closer to playoff contention and chase a title,” Venable said. 

Just because football isn’t in season right now doesn’t mean Venable is taking a break.

Currently, he’s busy with wrestling and, in the spring, will be running track. He also partakes in a pair of weightlifting classes during the school day and hits Club Fitness in the evenings. Venable will also be attending the Elite Football Academy in the spring to keep his skills sharp for the upcoming season.

Along with playing football at Wash U, Venable plans on a potential double major in business management and mechanical engineering. Wise beyond his years, when asked why he decided on a double major, his answer was to the point.

“To really have myself wide open in the job market,” Venable said. 

It was a strong season for Venable on the on the gridiron. Defensively, he finished with a team-high 97 tackles and 13 sacks. Offensively, he finished with over 900 total yards and 13 touchdowns, averaging 10 yards per carry.

The soon-to-be former Tiger said he will miss interacting with his classmates, talking about games and seeing the community at games.

“I loved being able to talk with most of the school about attending the games and seeing the people in our area show out,” he said.

Venable’s leadership will be a huge loss for the Tigers, according to Genge.

“Obviously, we will miss his ability on the football field, but more importantly, his leadership that really took off this past season,” he said. “His motor was unmatched and the ability to change a game, those qualities really brought those around him up to the next level.”

As a freshman, Venable started as an offensive lineman, but quickly transformed himself into the athlete he is today by losing 40 pounds, among other things.

“Firstly, I lost around 40 pounds from when I was a starting offensive lineman,” he said. “Then, built up speed and explosiveness for defense and running to be able to make big plays on both sides of the ball. Then, by the end of school, just being stronger than anyone in front of me.”

Genge said that Venable was not really on his radar until his sophomore year.

“Ethan was actually fairly quiet as a ninth grader,” he said. “He was brand new to our school and community. It was really his 10th grade year that we started to see what his overall potential was.”

The Wash U commit said he had to thank his coaches, as well as parents for helping him succeed on and off the field.

“Every coach on the team that’s helped me every step of the way and my parents who got their fair share of trouble to help me grow,” he said.