May 3rd, 2017

Spring roundup: Softball, Baseball, Recruiting and more

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Paul Najjar

Senior Writer


Spring roundup: Softball, Baseball, Recruiting and more
St. X sophomore Cam Scheler / cover: Trinity's Rondale Moore

Much good going on in the LCSN spring sports world. Here’s a quick look around the area of the teams and student-athletes making a mark in their respective sports.

Cougars clawing up the charts

Let’s hear it for the Cougars. Seems like most of the Holy Cross spring sports are thriving. Softball, baseball, boys track are all trending upwards.

The Holy Cross softball program won its third straight All-“A” state title for small schools and dominated the competition along the way. The Cougars, also defending Sixth Region champs, relied on a deep, experienced pitching staff and lineup to carry them to the title.

Seniors Kameron Bowling, who was named MVP of the All-“A” tournament, and Ally Klein are just two of the leaders on a fairly well stocked roster for head coach Tony Young.

Klein, freshman pitcher Bella Velez, junior Dakota Young and sophomore Maddie Gailor were named to the all-tournament team. The Cougars host a Sixth Region showdown game against rival Mercy tonight.

On the boy’s side, head coach Pat Wiegandt is enjoying a fine 50th season as the Cougars are 12-9-1 and headed to the All-“A” baseball tournament this weekend in Lexington at Whitaker Bank Ballpark. The Cougars are one of eight teams to advance.

Beyond that the Cougars just put to rest a 22-game losing streak to 6th Region powerhouse Pleasure Ridge Park with a thrilling 7-6 comeback win over the visiting Panthers yesterday. Seniors Christian Schulten, Hunter Adams and Ray Steilberg have been a big part of the team’s success.

Track and the Dream Mile

In Track and Field, the Holy Cross boy’s distance runners continue to impress. Sophomore Keaton Thornsberry leads the team and may well be a favorite to complete “the triple” at the Class A state meet later this month. Thornsberry may well end up as the top seed in the 800, 1600 and 3200 meter runs. Overall, the boys will be in a battle with Lexington Christian to bring home the title. The Cougars finished runners-up to LC last year.

Locally, St. Xavier high school will host the “Dream Mile” this Friday night as they gather the top 16 mile runners from across the state. The girl’s field includes Assumption’s Sarah Michels, seeded 13th in the competition.

The boy’s field is loaded with local LCSN runners. Here are the seeds for each one:

  • No. 2 – Trevor Warren – Trinity
  • No. 3 – Grady Shiflet – St. Xavier
  • No. 5 – Keaton Thornsberry – Holy Cross
  • No. 10 – Cooper Marchal – St. Xavier
  • No. 13 – Jacob Burnham – Trinity
  • No. 14 – Ryan Guenthner – St. Xavier

Softball

Mercy and Holy Cross are among the best teams in the state and they should battle for Sixth Region supremacy. Presentation, Assumption and Sacred Heart have all shown flashes of really good play. If a pitcher from any one of these three teams can get hot, then they’ll have a legitimate shot to make a deep run in the postseason tournament.

Baseball

Elsewhere in baseball, St. X and Trinity are once again among the best in the state. The defending champion Tigers, who have won two of the last three state titles, are now 20-8 against a difficult schedule. As always, head coach Andy Porta and his coaching staff has a deep, talented stable of arms to pitch.

Trinity head coach Rick Arnold has his team playing at a 20-4-2 clip. Their season includes an 11-game win streak to start the campaign whereby the Shamrocks outscored opponents 112-21. The Rocks are currently riding a six-game win streak. This team can hit with anyone and they average 8.9 runs per game.

Just FYI: the Tigers and Rocks have split two games this season. Trinity won 13-8 on March 18 and St. X shut out Trinity 4-0 on April 17 in a well-played game at Slugger Field.

As mentioned above, Holy Cross is playing well and leading the standings in the 21st District thanks to that upset win over PRP. The DeSales Colts defeated Butler and is the No. 1 team in the 22nd District. Both teams figure to be in the hunt for the always-tough Sixth Region tournament title.

Tennis 

In tennis, St. Xavier is the clear favorite to win its ninth straight tennis state title and 26th overall. On the girl’s side, Sacred Heart is one of the top three teams in the state and should battle for the overall team title.

Lacrosse 

The Sacred Heart girl’s lacrosse team looks to un-seat two-time defending champion Kentucky Country Day. The Valkyries have a win over KCD this season, but the lacrosse playoffs can often bring about major surprises.

St. X and Trinity have dominated the Kentucky State Lacrosse League for all 16 years of competition with the Tigers owning 11 titles and Trinity the other 5. This season will be no different.

The two teams had a showdown on March 29 at Marshall Stadium with St. X coming away with the 7-5 victory. Both squads are loaded with talent and several players from each team are committed to play the sport in college. Whenever these two teams play, they rarely disappoint. The state final will be held Friday, May 19 at Christian Academy.

Football recruiting - Trinity's Rondale Moore

Ran into Trinity wide receiver Rondale Moore at the Pink and White Game last Friday. Actually, he came up to me and re-introduced himself.

We’d met twice before, in the state football playoffs last November and following Trinity’s state title in early December, so it was a surprise to me that he’d remember who I was.

Moore may well end up as the most highly-coveted non-quarterback football recruit in Louisville high school history. The young man is 5-foot-7 (depending on who’s doing the measuring) and reported to me that he’s now a solid 175 pounds. He’s turned heads his way after running a 4.33 forty-yard dash at a camp earlier this spring.

Every major Division I football program is recruiting him with the highest interest as of today coming from Louisville, Kentucky, Indiana and Purdue. Expect Alabama, Ohio State, Michigan and several others to ramp up their interest in the summer.

To my eyes Moore is the most explosive player I’ve seen take to a local high school field. He accelerates to top speed in one step and once he has even a slight edge on a defender he’s gone. His combination of speed, quickness and strength make him more elusive than James Quick.

The most impressive thing about the chance meeting we had was Moore reporting that he’s working hard to finish with a 4.0 G.P.A. this semester. Do yourself a favor and make it a point to see this fine young man play next fall. 

 

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