Southwest Ohio Huddle: Colerain-Elder football series starts this fall

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Southwest Ohio Huddle

While the postseason draws near for spring sports, several football
fans are already looking ahead to later this summer when football
starts preparing for the season. Although the first official practice isn’t until Aug. 3, there is already plenty of anticipation in the Cincinnati area. That was evident last week as Cincinnati Colerain and Cincinnati Elder
officially agreed to a home and home series the next two years.


While the postseason draws near for spring sports, several football fans are already looking ahead to later this summer when football starts preparing for the season.

Although the first official practice isn’t until Aug. 3, there is already plenty of anticipation in the Cincinnati area.

That was evident last week as Cincinnati Colerain and Cincinnati Elder officially agreed to a home and home series the next two years.

This season, Colerain will play at Elder Sunday Sept. 6 at noon. The game will reportedly be shown live on ESPN.

The schools said tickets are expected to be on sale in late July or early August. Colerain will receive 2,500 tickets for the game at Elder. It is the first time the two schools have met on their respective fields during the regular season.

Elder, which was the Division I state runner-up last season, returns several key offensive players including senior QB Mark Miller and senior TE Alex Welch.

“This is something I have wanted to do for a while,” Elder coach Doug Ramsey said.

“Our kids and community will definitely be excited for this home and home series.”

Colerain coach Tom Bolden had a similar sentiment. His Cardinals will open the season against Cincinnati St. Xavier – making for back-to-back Greater Catholic League opponents during the 2009 season.

Colerain returns several key offensive players like junior QB Greg Tabar and running backs Trayion Durham and Tyler Williams.

“Games like ours are what high school football should be all about,” Bolden said. “I think all the fans of high school football in Cincinnati should enjoy.”

Fans will also pay attention to this Thursday when the OHSAA announces fall divisional breakdown, including that for football teams for the 2009-10 and 2010-11 school years.

The OHSAA Board of Directors plan to meet at 9 a.m. to discuss the divisional breakdowns with a formal announcement expected mid-afternoon.

There is plenty of interest in this and cause for speculation among the Division I and II schools. Cincinnati Anderson, which has been to the Division II state final the past two years, is among the teams to watch closely.

Their enrollment figures will be close in determining whether the program is Division I or II.

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Nathan Smith, West Chester Lakota West: The senior became the first pitcher in Lakota District history to record 20 career wins as a pitcher. He defeated Princeton on Friday for the record. “The wins record shows how consistent he has been over the last three years,” West coach Bill Dreisbach said. “He has been a tremendous asset to our program and the coaching staff is very proud of him.”  The previous record was held by Austin Rhoads, who had 19 wins in 2001 for Lakota West. Smith, who has signed with Furman University, is 3-1 this season with 49 strikeouts. West, which has won nine consecutive games to start the week, plays at Sycamore at 4:30 p.m. today.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

Cincinnati Withrow girls’ track and field team: The Cincinnati Withrow girls’ track team recently broke a state record in the 4×100 relay at the 115th Penn Relays Carnival in Philadelphia. Seniors Jade Clingman, Brittany Smith and Jonnique Lawrence along with junior Genesis Calhoun ran 46.86 at the meet – breaking the state record of 47.12 set by Elyria in 2003. Withrow broke the state record after visiting another relay competition in Los Angeles in mid-April. Coach Darren Braddix, who is also the school’s athletic director, said all the trips were fully paid by fundraising efforts through working concession stands at the Bengals, Xavier and University of Cincinnati sporting events.

NEWS, NOTES & NUGGETS

Hicks narrows college list: West Chester Lakota West junior LB Jordan Hicks – ranked the state’s No. 1 player in the 2010 class – has reportedly narrowed his list to 16 schools, according to the Pulse Journal. North Carolina, Florida State, Miami (Fla.), Georgia, Florida, Alabama, Tennessee, LSU, Ohio State, Penn State, Michigan, Texas, Southern California, Oregon, UCLA and Notre Dame are on the list (in no particular order).

Zawadzki hired at Troy Christian:
Ray Zawadzki has been named the new boys’ basketball coach at Troy Christian, according to the Dayton Daily News. He was formerly a longtime assistant coach at Vandalia Butler.

Fernandez steps down:
Paul Fernandez has stepped down as the Hamilton Ross girls’ basketball coach. Fernandez is still coaching the softball team this spring. He coached the girls’ basketball team the past three years.

Ursuline hires swim coach:
Cincinnati Ursuline Academy has named Brad Isham the new swimming coach. Isham had coached Kings Mills Kings since 2003. He is the Director of Competitive Swimming at Countryside YMCA. He’s been coaching at the YMCA, USA and high school levels for the past 14 years.

Fox commits: Cincinnati Oak Hills senior guard Sarah Fox has committed to play basketball at William Woods University in Missouri. Fox was a key member of the regional team in 2008. She started five games this past season.

Bolden commits:
Colerain senior center Kelly Bolden has committed to play women’s basketball at Cincinnati Christian University.

Andrews receives offer:
Cincinnati Sycamore junior DE Tim Andrews (6-3, 220) has received an offer from Air Force last week. It is his first offer.

Tops in Ohio:
The Cincinnati St. Xavier boys’ tennis team is ranked No. 1 in the season’s first weekly state coaches’ poll. The Bombers are the reigning state team tournament champions. St. X won the GCL South tournament last weekend.

More offers for Welch:
Cincinnati Elder junior TE Alex Welch (6-4, 220) has been offered by Michigan, Louisville and Vanderbilt within the past week. He also has 15 other offers.

New AD:
Cincinnati Christian has named Steve Gillens as the school’s new athletic director. He will officially begin June 7.

Toledo offers Schneider:
Archbishop Moeller junior TE David Schneider (6-3, 245) has been offered by Toledo.

ON TAP

Western Hills at Harrison baseball, Tuesday, 4:30 p.m.: These two Cincinnati West Side teams face each other at Harrison High School off of Interstate 74. Harrison has won eight consecutive games to start the season. The Wildcats are in the running for a FAVC Buckeye title.

Mason at Oak Hills baseball, baseball, Thursday, 4:30 p.m.:
Two of the top teams in the Greater Miami Conference. Look for some solid pitching and timely hitting in this game. Oak Hills senior Jake Proctor leads the Highlanders with 27 RBI. Mason’s Destul Huff is among the GMC leaders with a .457 batting average. Mason’s Jordan Besecker and Oak Hills’ Mike Hager each have four wins on the mound.

Madeira at Wyoming boys’ tennis, 4 p.m. Friday:
Two of the best teams in the Cincinnati Hills League. Wyoming’s Mason Bourbon is a strong singles player. Madeira’s Doug Tuke and Matt Luther have been a strong doubles team.

Wyoming is tied with Indian Hill for first-place in the league with just a few regular-season matches remaining this spring.

Dawn DeHart Memorial track and field meet, Saturday, 10 a.m. at Loveland:
The annual meet is Saturday and includes Loveland, Anderson, Glen Este, Eastern Brown, CHCA and Amelia. The late DeHart, an honor student and accomplished athlete, was a 1983 graduate of Loveland High School.  DeHart won state titles in the shot put and discus competitions in 1982 and 1983.

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