Story Matters

Story Matters

THE Official HHS Football Site

Friday, November 30, 2018

Highlands Basketball Teams Open with Victories

Bluebirds Handle Rebels on Road

G. Michael Graham Photo. The Highlands Bluebirds boys basketball stands for the National An.them at Boone County on Thursday. Highlands recorded a convincing 77-28 win to open the season
The Highlands Bluebirds boys basketball team gave the supporters who ventured to Florence for the season opener against the Boone County Rebels (0-2 overall) a lot to to look forward to this year if this level of play keeps up.

From the opening tip, the Bluebirds controlled all aspects of the game offensively and defensively. Highlands recorded the most lopsided victory since Kevin Listerman became head coach in 2013 with a 77-28 9th Region victory.

"Our kids have put in a great deal of effort and they have a lot of confidence in each other," Listerman said. "They want to win as a group and that's what is really special about them in terms of their unselfishness. Even though it's been short with the (football) guys, it's been a great start to practice and it carried over. We talked about playing with effort and focus and we did that, especially through the first three quarters."

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Season Opener Cancelled

The Highlands Bluebirds girls basketball team had Scott on its schedule to open the season. But bad weather forced the postponement of the game.

Saturday, November 17, 2018

Highlands Fought Back to 10 Victories This Year

Bluebirds Last Had 10-plus Wins in 2014

PHOTO: Bob Jackson. Highlands senior Cooper Schwalbach (5) runs onto the field before the game with senior wide receiver Logan Guy (4) holding the United States flag. Schwalbach finished the season rushing for more than 900 yards.
The ending was painful no doubt.

This program ranked second in the country in all-time wins at 895-252-26 hates losing, period. A 36-0 shut-out loss to the arch-rival and defending Class 5A state champion Covington Catholic Colonels on the road in the region championship added to that frustration.

While they were not able to take down the Colonels in either meeting, this Highlands Bluebirds football team righted the ship and put the program back on the map. The Bluebirds were consistently ranked in the top five in the Associated Press poll and finished fourth in the final one.

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

2018-19 Highlands Bowling Preview

Highlands Returns Nice Mixture of Experience, Youth

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands junior Gunner Gabbard sets up to bowl at a recent practice. Gabbard is a key returning bowler for the Bluebirds.
PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. Highlands junior Erin Parrott returns after helping the Bluebirds to the Region 5 championship last year.
A year ago, the Highlands bowling teams saw a new individual bar raised.

Andy Campbell, who graduated in the spring, brought home the first individual boys state championship. Campbell bowled 1,107 in five qualifying games pulling away from second-seed Jacob Rowan of Louisville DuPont Manual by 84 pins to earn a bye into the championship match. Campbell then defeated Rowan, 229-119 in the title match.

Campbell practiced every scenario before going down to the state tournament at Executive Strike and Spare in Louisville and won it despite what Highlands Head Coach Glenn Schmidt described as Taj Mahal challenge conditions. Campbell served as an exception to the rule that state scores were down compared to prior years when Lexington's Collins Eastland.

"You know what you're up against when you get up against the conditions that the state is putting out," Schmidt said. "Therefore, you have to understand that everybody is shooting in the same type of conditions. It becomes a level playing field at that point. You just have to make the right adjustments and do the right thing and that's part of what my coaching is."

Both sides saw two key bowlers graduate. Hunter Kolb also graduated for the Highlands boys, who lost to Simon Kenton in the Region 5 Tournament. The Highlands girls graduated Kate Schneider and Tessa Woody from the Region 5 Tournament championship team.

Saturday, November 3, 2018

Highlands-Madison Southern Sidebar

Highlands Reserves Take Advantage of Playoff Atmosphere

PHOTO: Allen Ramsey, Highlands senior Carter Crawford (7) makes a move in the fourth quarter.
A number of starters and reserves had not played in a playoff game for the Highlands Bluebirds before. But that changed Friday at David Cecil Memorial Stadium when the Bluebirds beat Madison Southern, 36-7 to open the Class 5A playoffs.

Sophomores Jason Noe at defensive back and running back Joe Buten were two regular contributors to see their first varsity playoff game. Buten had a touchdown run and Noe had some key tackles. Highlands Offensive Coordinator Zach Deaton said the nerves are generally gone a matter of minutes into the game. Highlands Head Coach Brian Weinrich and staff generally save the regulars once games become lopsided.

"We just have to listen to Coach Weinrich," Noe said. "It's pretty crazy to be where we are right now. It's a good feeling. I definitely get comfortable everygame after a couple plays."

Sophomore linebacker Andrew Arentsen saw action in the second half. He's received some varsity experience in the last couple weeks.

"I'm hoping to play a lot of varsity next year so I'm getting a feel for the flow, making plays and having fun," Arentsen said. "The coaches say it a lot. Trust your guys next to you, read your keys and fly around."

Junior offensive lineman Preston McAlpin blocked for the likes of junior quarterback Collin Hollingsworth and junior running back Tyler Brune in the second half. The Bluebirds put up 377 yards of total offense.

"It's amazing because everyone in the audience is watching," McAlpin said. "It just puts you in that moment. When you do get on the field, you have that feeling of not letting people in the stands down because they are counting on you."

Highlands had some injured players helping out on the sidelines. One was senior wide receiver Tyler Bracken. He tore his right Anterior Cruciated Ligament in the off-season and has not been able to play this year.

"I love coming out to support the guys," Bracken said. "Even though I can't be on the field, it's really fun just being out here with them. I always try to help out someone in need. If I see something that one of them might be doing wrong or could be doing better, I'll make my best effort to help them out."

Class 5A Playoff Notes:

There were no major upsets in Region 3 on Friday where two of the three undefeated teams remain. Highlands plays District 6 champion Anderson County (10-0) on Friday in Lawrenceburg after the Bearcats received a bye into the second round. District 5 has had just two teams this season and last season after the KHSAA allowed Grant County to drop out of district play.

Covington Catholic (11-0) extended the state's longest winning streak to 26 in a row with a 49-0 convincing win over the Woodford County Yellow Jackets (2-9). CovCath will play host to the Montgomery County Indians (9-2) Friday, who held off Dixie Heights (1-10) by a 35-28 score in Mount Sterling.

The other undefeated team in Class 5A is South Warren (11-0). The Spartans beat Owensboro Apollo, 48-0 to open the playoffs.