Story Matters

Story Matters

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Friday, September 14, 2018

Highlands-Lexington Catholic Sidebar

Bluebirds Enjoy Life on Road; Volleyball Wins Three in Cake Classic

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior linebacker Mason Schwalbach (3) goes after Lexington Catholic junior running back Philippe Ilumva (42) in the 44-27 Highlands win on Friday.

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham. Highlands senior Brady Walz retrieves a ball during warm-ups Friday at Lexington Catholic.
Halfway through the season, only one road game remains. The Bluebirds completed their longest trip of the season with an 89-mile venture to Lexington Catholic and won 44-27.
"I personally enjoy road games more than home games,"
said Brian Weinrich, Highlands Head Coach. "It's fun. It just seems like the day is more structured. We get in. We eat. We get on the bus. We're together. We drive. We get off at the rest stop. We get here. We don't have much time. We have to get dressed and go. We really are focused on what we have to do so away games are good to us because these guys know how to make business trips. On the ride down, every guys was tuned in to what they were supposed to do and showed up ready to go."

The Bluebirds knew they had six home games this year after scheduling a home-and-home series with Greenwood after the Kentucky High School Athletic Association let Grant County drop out of Class 5A, District 5 play before last season. That left three teams in District 5.

Of the final five games, the one road game takes place on Thursday, Oct. 4 at Dixie Heights. That game starts at 7 p.m. and is only about 14 miles away.

The other two road games were at Campbell County and Ryle. Highlands won both. Campbell County is down the road in Alexandria about 15 miles away and Ryle is about 22 miles away from Highlands High.

Supporting Role:

Senior wide receiver Brady Walz is not able to play. But he is still serving in a manager role.

"I just try to keep the energy up on the bench and just help them out with anything they need," Walz said. "Energy is a big part of the game. The more energy you have, the better you're going to play."

Walz said his last cancer treatment came more than a year ago. He is still able to golf and has helped the Bluebirds to some tournament wins this year.

All-Time Series Against LexCath:

The Bluebirds are 8-2 all-time against Lexington Catholic. They have never lost to the Knights in Lexington. Both losses came in Fort Thomas including a 21-18 defeat in the final minutes last year.

Highlands defeated LexCath four straight times in the Class 4A state semifinals between 2011 and 2014. The only other loss for the Bluebirds against the Knights came on Nov. 18, 2005 in the Class AAA, Region 3 title game.

Male, Wolfe continue to roll:

The Male Bulldogs earned a top ranking in Class 6A following a 17-3 win at Louisville Trinity. Male promptly took care of Louisville Western, 43-0 on Friday to move to 5-0 this year.

Around District 5:

In a battle of defending state champions, defending Class 5A champion Covington Catholic (5-0) stayed undefeated and extended the state's longest winning streak to 20 in a row with a sound 49-14 win over defending Class A state champion Beechwood (2-2).

But things will get tougher for the Colonels before district play begins. CovCath hits the road to face Columbus (Ohio) St. Francis de Sales next week before traveling to Indianapolis Bishop Chatard on Oct. 5. for two tough out-of-state games.

Dixie Heights (0-5) continued to struggle losing 21-13 at Conner. The red Colonels travel to Boone County this Friday.

Trinity Loses Again:

The two-time defending Class 6A state champions fell to 0-5 following a 38-20 loss to Naperville Central (Illinois) on Friday in Louisville. Trinity last started 0-4 in 2003. But the Shamrocks won 11 in a row after that on their way to the AAAA state championship that year.

Highlands Scheduled Opponents Update:

The 34-7 win at Campbell County also looks like a big win for the Camels. They moved to 4-1 under first-year Head Coach Mike Woolf with a 14-0 win against Ryle (1-4).

The next opponents in the Simon Kenton Pioneers (5-0) rolled past Cooper (1-4), 46-3 in Union. Simon Kenton has beaten Highlands the past three seasons.

The only team that Highlands lost to in the Scott County Cardinals (4-1), ranked second in Class 6A, lost to Cincinnati La Salle, 37-7 in Georgetown on Thursday. Scott County had beaten Greater Catholic League foe, Cincinnati Moeller, 10-7 on the road the previous week.

Greenwood (2-3) earned its second win this season with a 28-7 win at Barren County. Barren County did not drop Greenwood from the schedule unlike Bowling Green and South Warren despite dropping out of district play this year.

Boone County lost 56-21 at South Oldham on Friday. That was the same field where the Bluebirds saw their season end in the second round of the Class 5A playoffs last year.

Around Class 5A:

Highlands found itself ranked fifth in Class 5A entering the week in the Associated Press poll. The four ahead of them including Covington Catholic stayed unbeaten at 5-0.

Bowling Green and South Warren will battle it out for the District 2 title. South Warren beat Grayson County, 41-7 on Friday and Bowling Green beat Warren Central, 50-6.

Pulaski Southwestern is the other team ranked ahead of Highlands. The Warriors defeated the defending state runner-up Madison Southern Eagles, 48-15 at the Reservation on Friday.

Highlands wins three in Cake Classic:

The Bluebirds moved to 16-3 with three wins in their own Cake Classic. Highlands beat Conner, 2-0 (25-23, 25-9) to start the day.

Highlands then beat Dixie Heights avenging a loss earlier in the season, 2-1 (25-23, 23-25, 15-12). The final game of the day saw Highlands beat Scott for the third time this year, 2-0 (25-12, 25-10).

Highlands had 11 aces, 76 kills and assists, 12 blocks and 66 digs in the three games. Junior Audrey Graves recorded 73 assists, eight digs and four kills in the win. Freshman CC Shick recorded 27 kills and six blocks. Senior Margot Seidel had 20 kills and 15 digs with junior Ava Hockney recording 18 kills and four blocks. Junior Brooke Biltz had 16 digs and senior Olivia Gessner had 13 with junior Rylee Kirschenbaum digging up 11.

Highlands takes on Cooper at 11 a.m. Saturday in the tournament semifinals.

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