Southwest Ohio Huddle: St. Xavier and others remember, celebrate James

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Southwest Ohio Huddle

Media reports described a very emotional week at Cincinnati St. Xavier
High School this past week as the school took time to remember senior
offensive lineman Matt James. James – a Notre Dame recruit – died in a spring break accident on
April 2 in Panama City, Fla. “Matt made a difference,” St. X coach Steve Specht told the Cincinnati
Enquirer.


Media reports described a very emotional week at Cincinnati St. Xavier High School this past week as the school took time to remember senior offensive lineman Matt James.

James – a Notre Dame recruit – was remembered by coaches, teammates and school officials last week. James died in a spring break accident on April 2 in Panama City, Fla.

Not only was it a difficult week for St. Xavier, but several Cincinnati-area high schools remembered James and the Bombers’ football team. Although several schools were on spring break, the news of James’ death gave pause to everyone in a time of sorrow.

“We are united in our grief over Matt,” St. Xavier president Fr. Tim Howe said in a statement early last week. “Our community is strong and I know that the strength we receive from our faith in Jesus’ resurrection will help get us through this difficult time. Our love and prayers are for Matt and his family as we accompany them in the coming days of shared mourning.”

The James family had a visitation on Friday afternoon at the high school and the funeral Mass was at St. Francis Xavier in downtown Cincinnati on Saturday morning.

Earlier last week, several players and school officials shared their unique stories about James and his good-natured personality and leadership among his friends and his team.

“Matt made a difference,” St. X coach Steve Specht told the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Everybody in this school was impacted in a positive way by him.”

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Sarah Young, Cincinnati Mount Notre Dame: The senior threw a perfect game on Tuesday as the Cougars defeated host Glen Este 1-0, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Young had six strikeouts and improved her record to 3-1 after the game, according to the publication. Young was 3-2 with 49 strikeouts and a 0.64 ERA heading into last weekend. Mount Notre Dame is scheduled to play at McAuley on Tuesday afternoon.

TEAM OF THE WEEK

Troy boys tennis team: Troy stood atop the Greater Western Conference North division standings last week with a 4-0 record. Troy earned wins over Lebanon (March 30), Springfield (April 1), Fairmont (April 6) and Miamisburg (April 8). Troy next plays at Beavercreek at 4:30 p.m. today, followed by home matches against Fairborn on Wednesday and Huber Heights Wayne on Friday afternoon. The leaders for Troy include Raja Gupta, who is 4-0 at No. 1 singles. Ashlin Stoltz is 2-2 at No. 2 singles and Zac Stutz is 2-2 at No. 3 singles. Ben Thompson and Reid Wynkoop are 4-0 at No. 1 doubles and Charles Hirtzinger and Chris Schmitt are 4-0 at No. 2 doubles.

NEWS, NOTES & NUGGETS

Fox earns career milestone: Fairfield senior pitcher Jaisa Fox became Fairfield ’s all-time wins leader in softball with her 53rd victory on Tuesday as the Indians defeated Loveland 5-4 in eight innings, according to the Cincinnati Enquirer. Fox struck out 14 hitters in the game, according to the publication.

Grace adds offers:
Cincinnati Colerain junior linebacker Jarrett Grace (6-4, 230) recently added scholarship offers from Duke and Arizona. Grace has several other offers, including Cincinnati, Notre Dame and several others.

Williamson adds offers:
Dayton Dunbar junior wide receiver Roger Williamson (6-2, 180) added a scholarship offer from Kansas, according to ScoutingOhio.com. Williamson also reportedly has offers from North Carolina State, Stanford, Boston College, Syracuse and several others.

Air Force offers Longo:
Bellbrook junior tight end Matthew Longo was recently offered by Air Force, according to ScoutingOhio.com.

Elder defeats West Side rival:
The Elder boys volleyball team defeated Oak Hills 25-28, 25-20, 25-11 in a West Side matchup on Thursday night. Matt Harpenau had eight kills, a block and a dig for the Panthers, who improved to 4-1 after the match.

ON TAP

West Chester Lakota West at Oak Hills baseball, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday: These two Greater Miami Conference teams play for a second consecutive day – this time on the West Side of Cincinnati. The Oak Hills offense is led by Jason Handley, who was hitting .714 going into last weekend. Lakota West’s Brian Flannery had 15 RBI going into last weekend.

Reading at Indian Hill baseball, 4:30 p.m. Wednesday:
Reading, a state semifinalist in 2009, started this spring on a nine-game win streak. The Blue Devils scored 101 runs while allowing a league-best 31 runs through nine games. Reading’s Mason Antoun and Clay Hughes shared the top spot with three home runs in the Cincinnati Hills League. Reading pitchers Andrew Lacinak and Jake Overbeck each have two wins. Indian Hill’s offense is led by Blake Calvin (.583 batting average) and Stephen Bascom (two home runs).

McAuley at Hamilton Badin, softball, 4:30 p.m. Thursday:
This should be a very good Girls’ Greater Cincinnati League matchup. McAuley started the season 5-0 in the Scarlet division. Badin won two consecutive games to lead the Grey Central division at the end of last week. Badin’s Alicia Dudley hit .348 as of the end of last week. McAuley’s Rachael Oakley hit .412 in 17 at-bats.

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