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Prep Sports Notebook: St. Henry boys’ golf team putting up impressive numbers this season

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

The St. Henry boys’ golf team has won the championship trophy in six of the nine tournaments it entered so far this season and all five members currently have an 18-hole average in the 70s.

St. Henry senior golfer Ethan Berling has placed among the top five individual scorers in nine tournaments.

Those impressive numbers have established the Crusaders as one of the top teams in Northern Kentucky with three weeks remaining in the regular season.

“Hopefully we can just continue the streak,” said St. Henry coach Jerod Cahill. “It’s been a nice ride so far and we’d like to finish it with a successful season.”

Ethan Berling has been the most consistent golfer for the Crusaders. He has placed among the top five individual scorers in each of the team’s first nine tournaments. The senior is the top local golfer in the point standings for all-state honors.

But his twin brother, Elliott Berling, stole the spotlight last Saturday when he took medalist honors at the Laurel Oaks Invitational with a best-ever 5-under 67.

“He’s played solid, but he hadn’t really put it all together yet, and on Saturday he was able to do that,” the coach said of Elliott. “He played very well and I think that’s going to be a springboard for what we as a team can do and what he can do for our team.”

The other golfers in St. Henry’s lineup are senior Michael Sikra, junior Sam Connett and sophomore Evan Scharz. They all played well last Saturday and the Crusaders won the Laurel Oaks Invitational championship trophy with a low score of 293, which set a new team record.

“The biggest thing I’m expecting out of our guys is consistency,” coach Cahill said. “I don’t really care if we set records or whatever. We’re just looking to stay consistent and keep working hard and get ready for the end of the year.”

The Region 7 tournament will be played the last week of September. The two teams with the lowest scores will advance to the state tournament. The last time St. Henry was a state qualifier was 2001 and this year’s team is striving to get there.

The Crusaders will play in the All “A” Classic small-school state tournament next week. If they win that title, it will raise their confidence even more.

“We feel like anytime we play we’ve got a chance to win,” Cahill said. “As long as we stick to our game plan, I think we can always come out and be successful.”

NewCath girls’ soccer team extends title streak under new coach

The Newport Central Catholic girls’ soccer team won the 9th Region All “A” Classic for the fifth consecutive season, but it was a new experience for first-year head coach Hillary Johnson.

NewCath defeated St. Henry, 1-0, in the tournament final on Saturday to retain the regional title and advance to the sectional round of the small-school playoffs once again.

“I am thrilled that we were able to continue the streak,” Johnson said. “There was a lot of energy in the championship game and it was great to be able to come out on top in such a hard-fought battle. I was extremely proud of my team for showing resilience through out St. Henry’s constant pressure and offensive attack.”

Johnson took charge of the NewCath girls’ soccer program last spring. She replaced Kevin Turnick, who resigned after 19 seasons as head coach of the Thoroughbreds.

Even though the top two scorers and starting goalkeeper on last year’s team graduated, NewCath is off to a 5-0 start with its new head coach. In four of those wins, junior goalkeeper Kacy Zimmerman did not allow a goal.

Zimmerman received the most valuable player trophy after the 9th Region All “A” Classic final. Senior midfielder Erin Bunzel and junior midfielder Jalyn Vogt were the other NewCath players named to the all-tournament team.

Award-winning girls’ basketball player makes college commitment

Cooper girls’ basketball player Lexi Held has made a commitment with DePaul University in Chicago, according to a post and photo on her Twitter account.

The 5-foot-9 senior guard was named Division I Player of the Year by local coaches last season. She averaged 17.7 points and 5.4 rebounds for the Jaguars, who made it to the 9th Region championship game for the first time.

Held was a double-figure scorer in all five of her team’s district and regional playoff games. She finished the season as one of the state’s best free throw shooters, making 117 of 134 for 87.3 percent.

Over the last four seasons, Held has scored more than 1,500 points as a varsity starter for Cooper. She also made recruiting visits to Cincinnati, Miami of Ohio and Texas Christian, according to her Twitter account.

Held will be joining a DePaul team that made its 15th consecutive appearance in the NCAA Division I Tournament last season after winning the Big East Conference regular season title for the fourth year in a row. The Blue Demons lost in the second round of the national playoffs and finished with 27-8 record.

Bellevue quarterback puts name in record book with six TD passes

Bellevue senior quarterback Eric Atkins set a school record with six touchdown passes in last Friday’s 47-27 win over Dayton, but there are three local players ahead of him in that category in the Kentucky high school football record books.

J.J. Hersch of Newport is one of five quarterbacks tied for the state record of nine touchdowns passes in a game, according to the khsaa.org website. He did that in Newport’s 70-36 win over Spencer County during the 2005 season.

Two former Highlands quarterbacks are also ahead of Atkins. Gino Guidugli threw eight TD passes in a 2000 game against Holmes and Patrick Towles threw seven TD passes in the first half of a 2011 game against Pendleton County.

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