Story Matters

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Saturday, October 27, 2018

Saturday Sports Notes

Highlands Cross Country Runs Well in Region Race; JV Football Season Concludes

Submitted Photo. The Highlands girls cross country team won its seventh straight Class 2A, Region 4 Meet on Saturday at Sherman Elementary in Dry Ridge.
Submitted Photo. The Highlands boys cross country team finished second in the Class 2A, Region 4 Meet on Saturday.
 Add another banner Class 2A, Region 4 Meet to the the long list of achievements in the history of the Highlands Bluebirds Cross Country teams.

The Highlands girls won a seventh straight region championship and the boys finished runner-up qualifying for the state meet at Kentucky Horse Park next weekend. The meet took place at Sherman Elementary in Dry Ridge.

Highlands-Boone County Sidebar

Bluebirds Celebrate Senior Night

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior running back Tyler Brune (20) looks for running room in the fourth quarter against Boone County on Friday while junior offensive lineman Jackson Bibb (60) looks to block.
On Friday, the Highlands Bluebirds dominated the Boone County Rebels, 55-14 as expected to move to finish the regular season 8-2 overall.

It marked the first 8-2 regular season for Highlands since the 2014 Class 4A state championship team did it. The Bluebirds spent the last three years against the Rebels trying to gain respectability or finish 5-5 during the regular season. They finished 5-5 in both 2015 and 2017 and 3-7 in 2016.

Saturday, October 20, 2018

Highlands-Greenwood Sidebar

Playoff Opponent Set for Bluebirds

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior kicker Nick Bowman boots one of his six extra-point tries.
The Highlands Bluebirds (7-2 overall) will take on the Madison Southern Eagles (2-7) to open the Class 5A playoffs. The winner travels to Anderson County (9-0) the following week.

Anderson County earned the bye as the result of Class 5A, District 5 having just three teams after the Kentucky High School Athletic Association let Grant County drop out of district play before the 2017 season. Madison Southern finished state runner-up last year losing 49-13 to Covington Catholic in the state championship.

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Bluebirds Move On in 9th Region Tournament

Highlands has won 11 Straight

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior Lauren Deckert boots the ball ahead in the 9th Region semifinal game against St. Henry on Wednesday. The Bluebirds won 2-0 to advance to the region championship Thursday against Notre Dame.
One thing the Highlands Bluebirds girls soccer team players and coaches said in the preseason that they did not want to see happen in the postseason is games going to penalty kicks.

In last year's 9th Region semifinals at Dixie Heights, the St. Henry Lady Crusaders eliminated the Bluebirds, 1-0 in that fashion. The feeling of another one of those presented itself in the semifinals at Ryle on Wednesday. But Highlands (18-4 overall) found the back of the net long before overtime recording a 2-0 win over the Lady Crusaders (13-4-1) to move into the championship game against the Notre Dame Pandas (13-6-3) Thursday at 7 p.m. back at Ryle.

"It's always good to win before you have to go into overtime," said Hanna Buecker, Highlands senior midfielder. "It's a lot less stressful. It was nice to play a good game and get the goals in (before the end of regulation). I think (with) this game especially, we did a pretty decent job with communication with knowing who's going where and cover for each other when we went up to get the ball and win it out of the air."

Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Convincing 9th Region Tourney Win for Bluebirds

Bluebirds Dominate Crusaders

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior Carter Holmes (left) heads one toward the goal while senior Luke Schweitzer (14) gets in position. Schweitzer had two goals and an assist and Holmes had a goal and assist in the 9-0 Highlands 9th Region Quarterfinal win over St. Henry on Tuesday.
Early in the season at Tower Park on Aug. 9, the Highlands Bluebirds knocked off the St. Henry Crusaders, 3-1 in a 9th Region contest.

But Head Coach Chad Niedert said the Bluebirds (18-1-3 overall) left Tower Park feeling like they did not play up to their potential. The rematch showed way more of that as the Bluebirds blanked the Crusaders (4-14-2), 9-0 in the 9th Region Quarterfinals at Tower Park on Tuesday.

Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Highlands Girls Soccer Advances, Volleyball Season Ends

Meyer Takes Control of Highlands School Triple Crown Scoring Records in Win
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior Margot Seidel (19) bumps the ball while senior libero Olivia Gessner (15) gets in position. Highlands finished the season 25-11 with a 9th Region quarterfinal loss Monday.
A quick start like this will always help matters in the postseason.

In the first two minutes, the ball found its way to Highlands senior standout forward Lindsey Meyer in the box. The Northern Kentucky University commit put it home for the only goal the Highlands Bluebirds girls soccer team needed to beat the visiting Boone County Lady Rebels in the 9th Region Quarterfinals at Tower Park on Monday.

But the record-setting Meyer and company did not stop there. Meyer recorded a hat track of three goals and an assist as the Bluebirds (18-4) recorded a sound 4-0 win over the Lady Rebels (15-5-2). The teams were supposed to meet in Florence during the regular season. But the Boone County administration cancelled the game.

Saturday, October 13, 2018

Highlands-CovCath Sidebar

Highlands, CovCath Could Meet Again in Playoffs

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior wide receiver Ryan Garvey (11) comes out with the team against Covington Catholic on Friday.
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, The Highlands OZone wore pink in honor of Breast Cancer Awareness Month in the game against Covington Catholic on Friday.
While the 21-14 home loss to the arch-rival Covington Catholic Colonels (8-0 overall) may have been devastating to the Highlands Bluebirds football team (6-2), this series has often seen a chance at redemption weeks later in the playoffs.
Highlands hopes for that chance after losing to the Colonels for the third straight year. The Bluebirds still lead the all-time series, 49-20.

Weekend Sports Notes

Highlands Soccer Teams Enter 9th Region Tournaments as Favorites

PHOTO: Bob Jackson. Highlands sophomore Maggie Schroeder won the Norther Kentucky Athletic Conference Division II race on Saturday at Idlewood Park in Burlington in 19 minutes, .03 seconds.
PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior Mallory Zimmerman plays the ball in a recent game. Highlands plays host to Boone County in the 9th Region quarterfinals on Monday at 7 p.m. at Tower Park.
Both the Highlands boys and girls soccer teams enter the 9th Region Tournaments as favorites this week based on having the best records in the region and undefeated marks in region play.

Friday, October 12, 2018

Bluebirds Girls Soccer Leaves Morscher with Tough Win

Bluebirds Own 11 District Titles in 13 Seasons

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, The Highlands girls soccer team won its 11th district championship in 13 seasons with a 1-0 win over Newport Central Catholic on Thursday.
Unlike the region tournament where the field must have lights to be able to play host to the tournament, the district tournament can be played anywhere as long as it is regulation size grass or turf.

Thus, the 36th District girls soccer tournament took place at Morscher Field in Silver Grove at the home of the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds (11-8-1). It might have been moved to Tower Park with excessive rain, but that did not happen.

The Highlands Bluebirds (17-4 overall) were not able to use their speed advantage as well at Morscher Field. But Highlands still found a way to win by the 1-0 minimum in regulation to claim its third straight district championship and 11th in the last 13 years.

"I'm very proud of our effort," said Alex Dean, Highlands Head Coach. "It's been like that all year, but (Thursday) I felt like we wanted it more. NC has had a great season and (the Thoroughbreds) are still going to continue to play. I think our conditioning paid off. We had a lot of girls play all 80 minutes. It's something we were skeptical about. But they proved to us they can handle it, which is great."

Thursday, October 11, 2018

Highlands Freshmen Football Wins

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands offensive lineman Nate Weidner makes a block in a recent game. The Bluebirds freshman team is 6-2 on the season.
The Highlands Bluebirds freshman football team knocked off Boone County, 52-6 in Florence to snap a two-game losing streak and move to 6-2 on the season.

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

Tuesday Post-Season Results

Bluebirds Soccer Wins Third Straight 36th Crown; Girls Soccer, Volleyball Advance in Semis

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, The Highlands Bluebirds celebrated their third straight 36th District championship with a 6-0 convincing win over the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds at Tower Park.
Head Coach Chad Niedert said this group has been looking forward to this post-season for a while.

Things started well for the Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team (17-1-3 overall) with a convincing 6-0 win over the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds (7-9-3) in the 36th District championship. Highlands has won three consecutive district championships.

"It's kind of motivating for our guys they have something to earn, something to prove," Niedert said. "They have this target on their back. It's been growing all season. We just have to make sure we don't get lost in all the other stuff. Our guys came in and were fully aware of what was at stake. We're glad we came away with the win."

That marked the 13th shut-out for the Bluebirds this year. They scored three in each half.

Saturday, October 6, 2018

Saturday Round-Up

Highlands Soccer Shuts Out South Oldham on Senior Night

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior midfielder Max Johncox sets up to make a move with the ball in the 3-0 win over South Oldham on Saturday.
The Highlands Bluebirds made the most of their Senior Night at Tower Park with nothing other than a shut-out 3-0 victory over the South Oldham Dragons. Highlands defeated the three teams in Oldham County.

"South Oldham may not have a great record, but they're coming out a number one seed out of their District (29) a number one seed," said Chad Niedert, Highlands Head Coach. "They're playing real stiff competition and they were on the road a lot. They came prepared hopefully to ruin a Senior Night. They're willing to travel because they want to come and get real good competition - the same reason we invited them out here. Playing some new faces is important for us."

The Bluebirds (16-1-3 overall) out-shot the Dragons (5-9-3), 25-8 including 11-3 on goal. That marked the 12th shut-out of the season for the Bluebirds. Highlands senior goalkeeper Will Burnham had three saves.

"That's what we pride ourselves on," said Will Hochleutner, Highlands senior defender. "We make sure we shut the other team out and score as many goals as possible. Our defense has really stepped up this year. We have to be conditioned because constant runs will come against us and we have to make sure we check those. We've done a lot of running in practice to get ready for that."

Bluebirds Cross Off Final Goal

Highlands Boys Golf to Play on Final Day of State Tournament

Twitter Photo. The Highlands boys golf team wanted to shoot 320 or better to make it to the second day of the state tournament. The Bluebirds hit that score exactly at Bowling Green County Club on Friday.
The Highlands Bluebirds golf team finished the 18 holes and waited patiently for some time wondering if the final goal would be crossed off.

After the final balls found their ways into their respective holes, it happened. The Bluebirds made the cut for the final day of the state tournament Friday at Bowling Green Country Club finishing ninth shooting a 320 on the par-72 course.

Friday, October 5, 2018

Thursday Sports Round-Up

Highlands Boys Soccer Goes on Road and Wins

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands junior wide receiver Ethan Houze makes a move against Dixie Heights on Thursday.
PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. The Highlands students came to the football game against Dixie Heights dressed up in 80s Theme Night.
Cross off another win over a team that defeated the Blue and White last year.

The Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team (15-1-3 overall) wrote down the names of eight opponents that beat the Bluebirds last year and wanted to avenge those losses. They took care of a sixth one Thursday venturing to Cincinnati (Ohio) Madeira and winning 3-1. Madeira edged the Bluebirds, 2-1 at Tower Park last year.

Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Tuesday Highlands Round-Up

Highlands Boys Soccer, Volleyball Cruise to Victories

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands seniors Margot Seidel (left) and Olivia Gessner (right) pose with their families on Senior Day against Bellevue on Tuesday.
The Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team (14-1-3 overall) ended the game just several minutes into the second half in a convincing 10-0 9th Region win over the visiting Beechwood Tigers (4-11-2). Highlands is 7-0 in region play.

Highlands out-shot Beechwood, 21-2 including 12-1 on goal. Bluebirds senior goalkeeper Will Burnham stopped the only Tigers shot on net.

"We looked at it as opportunity to work on some things with the post-season on the horizon," said Chad Niedert, Highlands Head Coach. "The last few games, we haven't been terribly dynamic up top. It's kind of been very straight line runs almost like we're playing offensively in some sort of zone at times. Before the game got going, I encouraged the guys to get creative up top with their runs. I wanted to make sure the outside back guys got forward and contributed offensively as well as defensively. I thought we looked pretty strong. I think we allowed ourselves some room to try some things. It ended up working out really well. No matter who the opponent is. We have to respect them. Beechwood has some (nice) players. We just came out with the right start."

Monday, October 1, 2018

Monday Round-Up

Highlands Earns Huge Win over Lexington Catholic

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands freshman forward Chloe Bramble boots the ball in a recent game. The Bluebirds beat Lexington Catholic, 1-0 to end the regular season.
To advance far in the post-season, high school soccer teams often have to win close ones.

The Highlands Bluebirds (15-4 overall) saw a preview of such a game to finish the regular season against the Lexington Catholic (11-5-2). Sophomore Greta Noble put one in for the Bluebirds with 28:22 left in the first quarter and Highlands made it stand in a 1-0 non-region victory.