The majority of the McNicholas fall sports teams are off to a winning start. The Women’s Golf Team and Women’s Soccer Team recently took the Queen of the Hill titles, and the Men’s Golf Team clinched the King of the Hill title. The Varsity Football Team won their most recent game against Wyoming in the final 30 seconds on a touchdown by Sean Byrne. With the season only half over, The Milestone looks ahead with all eight teams.
Football: The Varsity Football Team begins another season with an annual problem that all high school coaches are faced with: the departure of key players who have graduated. With the departure of the Class of 2013, Coach Mike Orlando said that though his team lost great talent, they have to be even more focused.
“Players like Austin Ernst and Thomas Vogele, they were special. Even without their great play, they were fantastic leaders,” Orlando said.
Still, he said that this team’s leadership is growing all the time.
“At some point our (the coaches) voices need to lessen and the players have to be heard more,” Orlando said.
Their current record is 2-1 after a 21-20 victory over Wyoming on Thursday, Sept. 12.
Cross Country: The Men’s Cross Country Team side is led by seniors Mark Flatt and Connor Nelson. After a small group of upperclassmen, the men’s team is made up of mostly freshmen and sophomores.
“We’re a very young team, eight of our top eleven runners are either sophomores or freshmen, so we’re going to get better on the boys side,” Head Coach Kyle Jepson said. “But I still think we’re a good enough team to qualify for regionals if continue to improve.”
The women’s team is led by returning regional qualifier senior Catherine Adams. Other leaders include Megan Schaefer and Rachel Ecker. The team missed regionals by one runner last season, but Jepson said that this season’s team is much improved and he sees no reason why the women won’t qualify for regionals. They are also focused on reaching the state tournament.
“With so many seniors on the team, it’s about whoever shows a good example to the other runners on any given day,” said Jepson of his senior leadership. The women’s team won the small schools competition at the Mason Invitational on Sept. 7, with Adams winning, Katie Cornell taking 10th, Claire Griffiths 19th, and Megan Schaefer 24th. The team will compete at the Bethel-Tate Meet on Saturday, Sept. 14.
Women’s Golf: Women’s golf opened the season with a 2nd place finish in the opening tournament. Their record is 9-7. Leaders include seniors Riley Whitehouse, Ellie Tierney, and Sarah Hickman. Head Coach Willy Corbett said that Hickman is a role model for the team.
“She has overcome so much adversity, and since the beginning of the seasons she has lowered her scores from around 47 to the low 40s for 9 holes,” Corbett said. Corbett said this is a team that he could see competing to reach districts and possibly even state. He would like to see his team take 1-2 shots off their scores by improving their short game.
Men’s Soccer: Under new Head Coach Jason Peters, the men’s team has suffered just one loss after nine games, with a record of 5-1-3. Peters said that his team is just taking it one game at a time.
“We take every game seriously. It would be disrespectful to do otherwise,” Peters said. The team currently is ranked 4th in the Division II Coaches Poll for Cincinnati. Their perfect record was broken up Thursday, Sept. 12, after a loss to Turpin. They now look to GCL rival Roger Bacon on Tuesday, Sept. 17.
Women’s Soccer: Under the new leadership of Head Coach Ben Kirkpatrick, the Women’s Varsity Soccer Team currently stands at 2-3-1. Kirkpatrick said that even though the team lost a strong group of seniors this past season, a few players, including junior Lauren Rice and senior Meghan Sweeney have stepped up as leaders of this team. Kirkpatrick said there are improvements to be made.
“Our communication on and off the field has to improve. We have seen steady improvement since the beginning of the season,” Kirkpatrick said
Men’s Golf: Men’s golf is currently ranked 3rd in the city in the Coach’s poll. Seniors Mitch Bloemer, Eric Boychan, and Tommy Wegener lead a young team hoping to make a run at the GCL. They are currently in 2nd place, trailing Fenwick by three strokes. Bloemer says that the team is successful because they don’t just have one star golfer.
“Everybody is feeding off of everybody. If someone has a good round, it motivates the whole team to play well, and that’s why we’re able to be successful,” Bloemer said. Their record currently stands at 10-2 after a season low score of 152 in a win over Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy.
Women’s Volleyball: After starting the season with three straight losses, the women’s volleyball team turned around their record, winning six matches in a row before falling in their last two, giving them a record of 6-5. Senior Hannah Staubach said that the continuing maturation of the team is key. The team has five seniors, including team captains Emmy Sarra, Sarah Wuerfel, and Staubach, and Maddie Mitchell and Hannah Taylor. They play next against area rival Turpin on Saturday, Sept. 14.
Women’s Tennis: Led by team captain Madison Hartwell, the only senior on the team, the Varsity Women’s Tennis team is off to a 6-6 start, and Head Coach Kathy Tyler said that four of their losses are against great tennis teams.
“Teams like Alter, CJ, Badin, and Seven Hills; they’re all historically great teams,” Tyler said. She added that if the team continues to improve on overheads, practice tie-breakers, and their serves, they could make great strides.