|Bluebird Boys Soccer Owns A Dozen Wins|
|PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, DWCPhoto.com. Highlands senior Demetrius Sarakatsannis plays the ball in a recent game. Highlands beat North Oldham, 3-0 for its eighth shutout this season Saturday.|
But playing at noon in the scorching heat can be a challenge. In the end, though, the Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team overpowered the North Oldham Mustangs, 3-0 to move to 12-0-1 on the season.
Highlands out-shot the Mustangs (8-5), 22-13 including 12-4 on goal. Senior goalkeeper Will Burnham stopped all four North Oldham shots on goal for the Bluebirds. The Bluebirds have eight shutouts this season.
"We started kind of slow. The bus ride and everything lured us to sleep," said Chad Niedert, Highlands Head Coach. "We were the stronger team overall. We hadn't been off on a Thursday in a while so we'd just rolled one game to the next. Once we got up to full speed, we were full steam ahead. All of our guys were ready to work. We capitalized on some mistakes."
Junior Porter Hedenberg scored the lone goal of the first half for either team with his sixth goal of the year. Hedenberg put home a loose ball following a free kick.
Senior forward Mike Penrod then booted the ball in the upper 90 just three minutes into the second half. That marked his second goal of the season.
The final Bluebird goal came with 2:30 left in the game. Sophomore Max Farris scored his eighth of the season. His eight goals ties for the team lead with senior forward Luke Schweitzer and junior forward Caymon Stevie. Highlands wanted to take advantage of the height up top. Highlands tries to use the height up top to its advantage.
"That's working out pretty well," said Jackson Lehrter, Highlands senior of the Highlands height advantage. "We work on set plays in practice. It's pretty tough (to kick the ball to where only teammates can head or kick it)."
Highlands travels to East Central (Indiana) on Tuesday. Game time is 7 p.m.
Bluebirds Finish Fourth in Cake Classic:
Highlands finished fourth in the annual Cake Classic dropping both games to fall to 16-5 overall.
The day started with a 2-0 (25-19, 25-17) loss to Cooper in the tournament semifinals. Highlands has lost 10 straight to the Lady Jaguars, who recently celebrated the 200th win in program history. The school opened in 2008. Highlands last beat Cooper, 2-1 (25-17, 17-25, 15-13) on Sept. 19, 2009.
"Cooper is always really tough," said Katelyn Sallee, Highlands Head Coach. "I think they play at a little bit faster speed and they just have more tools offensively than a lot of the teams we play. We knew that they were going to get some big swings, some big blocks. We have to play through that. That's something as a team we're just really growing through. 'Okay, that didn't work. What's next?' as opposed to 'That didn't work. Oh, no. What do we do?' so just building that maturity of learning a team knowing they are going to get their moments and we have to be patient to find our own rhythm and keep going."
Highlands then lost 2-0 (26-24, 25-20) to Dixie Heights in the third meeting between the two this year to take fourth place. Dixie has won two of the three games.
"We know Dixie pretty well," Sallee said. "We may see them again. I think match-up wise, we know what we have to do. We just have to execute on our end in terms of offensively, serve receive and things like that."
For both games, the Bluebirds had seven aces, 37 kills and assists, 46 digs and three blocks. Senior Olivia Gessner recorded four assists and five digs. Senior Margot Seidel had 12 kills and 10 digs with junior Brooke Biltz digging up 11 balls. Junior setter Audrey Graves had 35 assists and freshman middle blocker CC Shick recorded 15 kills. Freshman Sophia Sarakatsannis blocked two balls for the Bluebirds.
The Bluebirds take on Newport on Tuesday. Game time is 6 p.m.
Louisville Sacred Heart 2, Highlands 0:
The Bluebirds (8-3 overall) could not take down the Valkyries in the second meeting this season.
Sacred Heart out-shot Highlands, 8-6 with both teams recording three shots on goal. Highlands junior goalkeeper Rylee Thomas made the lone save for the Bluebirds.
In the physical game, Sacred Heart had four fouls to three for Highlands. The Bluebirds had one yellow card and the Valkyries had one corner kick.
Highlands faces Cincinnati St. Ursula on Tuesday at Tower Park. Game time is 8 p.m.
Bluebirds Play in Grant County Invitational:
The Bluebirds finished fourth with a 312 score at Eagle Creek Country Club in Dry Ridge.
Highlands sophomore Justin Gabbard tied for fourth shooting a 72. Sophomore Luke Muller shot a 78. Senior Ryan Leigh and eighth grader Joel Craft finished off the Bluebird scoring shooting an 80 and 82 on the 18-hole course. Senior Steven Grimme also participated for Highlands shooting 90.
Highlands plays in the Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference Tournament on Monday in the Courses of Kentucky.
The Highlands cross country teams ran at Tom Sawyer Park in Louisville. The Highlands girls finished ninth with 256 points facing the Louisville powers and teams from Ohio. Sophomore Maggie Schroeder finished third in 19 minutes, 24.6 seconds to lead Highlands and eighth grader Alyssa Harris finished ninth in 20:21.3.
The Highlands boys placed 14th out of 31 teams with 389 points. Sophomore Will Griffith again led the Bluebirds finishing 40th in 17:51.
Highlands runs in the Campbell County championships Tuesday.
Football, Junior Varsity:
Highlands 40, Conner 6:
The Bluebirds may have allowed their first points of the season. But they still rolled to stay undefeated at 5-0 on the season at David Cecil Memorial Stadium.
Junior quarterback Collin Hollingsworth threw four touchdowns to lead the Bluebirds. Junior Tyler Brune had two touchdowns and junior linebacker Nelson Bibb recorded an interception.
Highlands travels to Simon Kenton on Saturday. Game time is 10 a.m. in Independence.