Southwest Ohio Huddle: Milford, Edgewood, NCH track teams off to fast start


Southwest Ohio Huddle

While rain and snow showers were in the forecast for the Cincinnati
Reds’ Opening Day on Monday, the first full weekend of high school
sports in Southwest Ohio got off to a better start considering that
it’s still early April.

While rain and snow showers were in the forecast for the Cincinnati Reds’ Opening Day on Monday, the first full weekend of high school sports in Southwest Ohio got off to a better start considering that it’s still early April.

Among the highlights was Mason opening its new softball stadium on Friday in an 11-5 win over Cincinnati Sycamore. The Comets, who were Division I state semifinalists last season, opened the season 2-0 as of last weekend.

Sophomore Caitlin Rausch threw a complete game and had 13 strikeouts. Senior first baseman McCall Sheppard went 2-for-4.

Mason was scheduled to play Fairfield Monday and plays at Middletown today (Tuesday.)

Several track and field teams got off to good starts last week.

The North College Hill boys’ team won the Cincinnati Country Day Invitational. CCD won the girls’ event.

The Fort Ancient Valley Conference held its annual relays. Loveland and Mount Healthy won the girls’ Buckeye and Scarlet divisions, respectively.

Milford and Edgewood boys’ teams won the Buckeye and Scarlet divisions.

In the Cardinal divisions, Turpin boys and Kings girls won their respective events.

The annual Coaches Classic, which features several Cincinnati area teams, began Monday at Fairfield, with the finals Wednesday afternoon. It is the eighth time the event will be held at Fairfield.

Several area teams are on spring break this week so spring sports will often take a break. Recruiting seems to never take a break and that’s the case this spring.

Wednesday (April 8) is the initial signing date for baseball, softball and tennis. April 15 is the regular signing period for basketball.

One basketball player to watch the next few weeks is Middletown senior forward Bill Edwards. The Division I all-state selection has interest from several schools, including Oklahoma State, Wright State, Evansville, Penn State and others.


Fairfield junior pitcher Jaisa Fox: The standout softball player struck out a school-record 18 against McAuley en route to her fifth career no-hitter. Fox went 2-for-2 with a double and two RBI in the 4-0 win over McAuley.

Through Fairfield’s first two games this season, Fox had 25 strikeouts and 0.58 ERA.

Fox has two of Fairfield’s three perfect games. Former Fairfield standout Mindy Breitholle threw the other on April 20, 2006 in a 4-0 win over Fairfield.

Through the first two games of this spring, Fox had a 36-10 overall record with 20 shutouts, 0.85 ERA, 44 starts, 43 games and two saves.


Archbishop Moeller baseball team: The Crusaders won two consecutive games after they lost the season opener to Anderson. Moeller defeated host Cincinnati St. Xavier 17-6 on Wednesday. Junior third baseman Kevin Thamann hit a two-run home run in the third inning and Josh Hooper hit a three-run blast later in the same inning to help propel the Crusaders. Senior second baseman Eric Smith added a three-run home run in the seventh for Moeller.

“To win any GCL-South game early in the year is definitely huge as far as getting off on the right football in the league race,” Moeller coach Tim Held told the Cincinnati Enquirer. Moeller plays host to Roger Bacon at 4:30 p.m. Wednesday.


MacFarland to Norwalk: Cincinnati Western Hills football coach Christopher MacFarland stepped down after two seasons of coaching the Mustangs to become the new coach at Norwalk. MacFarland, who was hired at Western Hills in 2007, is a native of Tiffin, Ohio. He was the Cincinnati Aiken defensive coordinator in 2006.

James to U.S. Army All-American Bowl:
Cincinnati St. Xavier junior OL Matt James (6-8, 285) committed to the U.S. Army All-American Bowl game, which will be played Jan. 9, 2010 in San Antonio. James is the third Cincinnati-area player to commit from the 2010 class.

Fetzer resigns:
West Chester Lakota West wrestling coach Scott Fetzer has resigned, according to the Lakota West athletic department.

Pillow retires:
North Bend Taylor girls’ basketball coach Dan Pillow retired last week after coaching 14 seasons. Pillow had a 169-130 record, including 5-15 last season.

More offers for Hendrix:
Cincinnati Archbishop Moeller junior QB Andrew Hendrix (6-3, 220) picked up offers from Louisville, Nebraska and Miami University last week. He also has offers from UC, Boston College, Northwestern, Illinois, Virginia, Kansas, Vanderbilt and Indiana.

Miami offers Tanner:
Moeller junior offensive tackle Jeff Tanner (6-4, 275) was offered by Miami University last weekend. He also has offers from Vanderbilt, Ohio University, Kent State and Akron.

More offers for Black:
Cincinnati Wyoming junior DL Jibreel Black (6-2, 260) was recently offered by Purdue and South Carolina, according to Wyoming coach Bernie Barre. Black also has offers from North Carolina State, Miami University, Minnesota, Wisconsin, Ball State, Michigan, Indiana, UK, UC, West Virginia, Ohio University, Michigan State and Bowling Green.

Soaring Eagle:
Walnut Hills senior Willie Jones signed a track and cross country scholarship with Brevard College, a Division II program in Bravard, N.C.

Sweet 16:
Glen Este sophomore Kelly Benhaze threw a complete game and struck out 16 in a one-hit shutout over Blanchester. Glen Este won 5-0.

Xenia names boys’ hoops coach:
Kent Anderson was named the Xenia boys’ basketball head coach last Thursday, according to the Xenia Gazette. Anderson had been the school’s girls’ basketball coach the past six years. The Xenia girls’ team was 20-2 with a Greater Western Ohio Conference South division title last season.

Cassell commits to Zips:
Vandalia Butler junior point guard Kacie Cassell has orally committed to play at Akron, according to The Dabbelt Report. Cassell averaged 13.0 points and 4.4 assists last season.

Streak snapped:
The Walnut Hills baseball team defeated Turpin 5-2 last Wednesday. It was the Eagles’ first win over Turpin since joining the FAVC almost five years ago. Walnut Hills had a 1-46 record during that five-year span.

Lancer commits:
La Salle senior OLB Andrew Neiheisel (5-11, 205) committed to play football at Ohio Northern.


Little Miami at Princeton baseball, Tuesday, 4:30 p.m.: Princeton is expected to contend for a Greater Miami Conference title. Juniors Spencer Ware and Marcus Davis are the Vikings’ standouts. Ware is a top college football prospect, while Davis could be selected in the 2010 MLB Draft.

St. Xavier at Elder tennis, 4 p.m.:
The Bombers, which have won the GCL-South every season since 1968, are early favorites to contend for another state team tournament title. The Bombers are led by Ryan Bandy and Sean Bandy. Elder has a young squad and is led by Drew Schroeder and Danny James among others.

Coaches’ Classic track and field finals at Fairfield, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday:
Cincinnati La Salle and Middletown are among the favorites in the boys’ competition. Look for Walnut Hills, Withrow and St. Ursula to be strong in the girls’ events.

Oak Hills at West Chester Lakota West baseball, 4:30 p.m. Thursday:
These two teams will contend for a GMC title. Oak Hills won its first two games of the season, while Lakota West split its two. Lakota West senior shortstop/pitcher Bryan Beaver, an all-city player in 2008, has narrowed his college choices to Cincinnati, Miami University and Purdue.

Cincinnati Withrow at Cincinnati Taft softball, 4:15 p.m.:
The two Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference rivals meet at Queensgate field next to Porter Hays Middle School.

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