Southwest Ohio Huddle: James death still shocking; Ohio-Kentucky all-star basketball game on tap


Southwest Ohio Huddle

All in all, the first week of the 2010 spring sports season was a
success. With several sunny, warm 70-degree days, the weather felt more
like May than the end of March/beginning of April. Maybe, just maybe that is a good omen for this spring. Everyone knows we
could use the break.

The spring sports season officially started Monday, March 29. But with significant rain in the Cincinnati area that day, there was a sense of déjà vu from the 2009 season.

Most everyone can recalls the rainy weather that was so prevalent in Southwest Ohio last spring. Several coaches said it was one of the worst seasons of weather they could recall is quite some time. Several baseball and softball games were postponed and scheduling of postseason tournaments was threatened.

But, all in all, the first week of the 2010 spring sports season was a success. With several sunny, warm 70-degree days, the weather felt more like May than the end of March/beginning of April.

Maybe, just maybe that is a good omen for this spring. Everyone knows we could use the break.

While baseball and softball teams are trying to organize a solid lineup and track and field teams understand the talent they have this spring, it is of great importance to get all events in as scheduled.

Of course, this week is not all about spring sports. The all-star basketball games continue this week with the East-West boys’ game at Oak Hills on Friday and the Ohio-Kentucky game on Saturday in northern Kentucky.

The East-West boys’ game features several Cincinnati players, including Winton Woods senior forward Allen Payne (Auburn) and Aiken senior forward Kenny Knight (Kent State). Let’s take a look at other news this week:


Christin Miller, Mason softball: The senior pitcher threw a no-hitter and struck out 11 as the Comets defeated Middletown 6-0 on March 31. The Comets opened the season 4-0 with wins over Hamilton, Aurora West, Middletown and Sycamore. Miller is one of the area’s top players this season. She was first-team all-Greater Miami Conference during the 2009 season. Mason plays host to Liberty Township Lakota East on Wednesday before it plays host to Greenville on Thursday.


Dayton Carroll baseball team: Carroll opened the season 2-0 after its win over Bishop Fenwick on March 31. Carroll’s Josh Weissman had an RBI double and later scored another run to help lift the Patriots, according to the Dayton Daily News. “Josh’s double was one of the first solid in-the-gap hits we’ve had this season, so that was good to see,” Carroll coach Mike Sheets told the Dayton Daily News. Carroll opened the season with a 4-1 win over Chaminade-Julienne. Carroll next plays at reigning Division I state champion Moeller at 5 p.m. April 12.


James dies in spring break accident: Cincinnati St. Xavier senior offensive lineman Matt James died in a spring break accident in Panama City, Fla., on April 2. James, who had committed to play at Notre Dame in February, was among the nation’s top recruited players in the 2010 class. Several students, faculty and friends joined at St. Xavier Stadium over the weekend to remember James. As of Monday morning, funeral arrangements had not been announced. James had scholarship offers from the likes of Florida, Cincinnati, Ohio State and several other major schools before he decided to choose the Irish over Ohio State on National Signing Day. Ohio State coach Jim Tressel expressed his deep sympathy with the St. X school community over the weekend. “Matt was an outstanding young man with a wonderful family,” Tressel said in a statement. “The Buckeye family will be praying fervently for the Jameses and the entire St. X community.”

Lebanon defeats Fairmont:
Lebanon defeated Kettering Fairmont 6-5 in a Greater Western Ohio Conference baseball game on March 31. Lebanon senior catcher Kyle Hill drove in the tying run and later scored to lift the Warriors, according to the Dayton Daily News.

Jarrett signs with Saint Louis:
Bellbrook soccer standout Jessie Jarrett has signed to play women’s soccer at Saint Louis, according to the Dayton Daily News. Jarrett had 26 goals and 11 assists as a senior, according to the publication.

Joining the Buckeyes:
Cincinnati Colerain senior long snapper Nick Piening (5-10, 227) has accepted a preferred walk-on offer to Ohio State.

Shroder players commit:
Shroder senior LB Jared Ward (6-1, 200) and senior DE Brook Williams (6-0, 240) have committed to play at Kentucky Wesleyan.

Lubanski wins 200th game:
Turpin baseball coach Rob Lubanski won his 200th career game in the Spartans 3-0 win over Walnut Hills on March 31. Lubanski is in his 11th season of coaching Turpin.

Coyne commits to Cincinnati:
Hamilton Badin junior quarterback Patrick Coyne made an oral commitment to the Bearcats on March 29. Coyne also had scholarship offers from Boston College, West Virginia, Wisconsin and several others.

Elder volleyball update:
The Cincinnati Elder boys’ volleyball team defeated St. Xavier 25-22, 25-16 and 25-18 in a Greater Catholic League showdown last week. Elder improved to 3-1. Senior middle hitter Matt Harpenau had six kills, four blocks and three digs in the match.


Vandalia Butler at Miamisburg baseball, 5 p.m. today: These two Greater Western Ohio Conference teams play in an interesting early-season matchup. Both teams won their respective season openers. Butler plays host to Greenville on Wednesday. Miamisburg plays at Northmont on Saturday.

Colerain Invitational track and field meet, 4:15 p.m. today:
The 41st annual Vince Mercure Colerain Invitational will feature some of the area’s top track and field teams. At least 27 total teams (boys and girls) have confirmed their participation.

Mason at Princeton baseball, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday:
These two Greater Miami Conference teams play in an interesting early-season matchup. Mason features senior infielder Scott Klever (Xavier signee) while Princeton features senior Spencer Ware (LSU football signee).

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