A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Prep Sports Notebook: Cooper football player finishes career with 5,301 total yards on offense

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Jeremiah Lee was an integral part of the offensive schemes the Cooper football team used over the last four seasons. Last Friday, he finished his high school career with a combined total of 5,301 yards in rushing, passing and receiving.

“He’s a special ball player,” Cooper coach Randy Borchers said during the 2019 season. “We’ve got to find a way to get him the ball. If it’s at quarterback or receiver, we’ve got to get him the ball and let him make plays for us.”

Cooper senior Jeremiah Lee accounted for more than 5,000 all-purpose yards in four years.

Lee was named this year’s Player of the Year in the local Class 5A district by members of the Kentucky Football Coaches Association.  He provided more than 1,600 rushing and passing yards in his final season at Cooper.

When the versatile 5-foot-10, 170-pound senior announced his commitment to the University of Indianapolis, it made you wonder what position the Division II team’s coaching staff had in mind for him.

Borchers said the Greyhounds recruited Lee to play slot receiver in their high-powered offense that averaged more than 500 yards per game during the 2019 season.

Indianapolis is a member of the Great Lakes Valley Conference that canceled its 2020 fall season due to the coronavirus pandemic. Each conference team has scheduled a four-game spring season in April.

Lee played mostly quarterback for Cooper during his freshman and sophomore seasons. Two years ago, he passed for 1,011 yards and 11 touchdowns while rushing for 724 yards and 11 TDs in 10 games.

He shifted to slot receiver as a junior and caught 34 passes for 416 yards and three touchdowns. In one game that year, he caught a 14-yard pass for a touchdown and later switched to quarterback, carrying the ball on five of six plays during a 74-yard scoring drive.

Returning to the quarterback position for his senior season, Lee rushed for 1,093 yards, scored nine touchdowns and passed for 576 yards with five TDs in nine games.

In his final high school game last Friday, Lee rushed for 182 yards, passed for 69 yards and scored eight points during a 36-8 loss to Covington Catholic in the first round of the Class 5A playoffs. He finished the season with 62 points to give him a career total of 250. This is the third straight year that he led the Jaguars in points scored.

Boys basketball coaches poll selects area’s top teams, players

Northern Kentucky boys basketball coaches released their preseason polls expecting the 2020-21 season to get under way this week.

The starting date has been pushed back to Jan. 4 due to the recent surge in coronavirus cases through out the state, but here’s how the coaches voted on the top teams and players in the area.

Sam Vinson

Covington Catholic, winner of the last three 9th Region championships, heads the list of Top 10 teams. The Colonels were voted No. 1 on 18 of the 23 coaches’ ballots, even though three starters on last year’s team graduated.

Highlands was voted No. 2 in the coaches poll, followed by St. Henry, Beechwood, Holy Cross, Simon Kenton, Campbell County, Conner, Cooper and Dixie Heights.

Highlands senior Sam Vinson was voted the area’s top player. He was among the state’s leading scorers last season with a 24.7 average. He also snagged 8.7 rebounds per game for the Bluebirds, who made it to the 9th Region final.

The next four players ranked behind Vinson are St. Henry senior Wyatt Vieth, Beechwood senior Scotty Draud, Simon Kenton senior Kelly Niece and Holy Cross sophomore Jacob Meyer.

The final five vote-getters include CovCath sophomore Chandler Starks, CovCath senior Donovan Stocks, Highlands senior Luke Muller, St. Henry senior Jude Bessler and Newport Central Catholic junior Ross Pangallo.

Northern Kentucky girls basketball coaches have not released their preseason rankings.

Work begins on synthetic turf fields at high schools in Boone County

Construction crews are already at work to replace the natural grass field at Boone County High School with synthetic turf, and bulldozers will soon be doing the same thing at Conner and Cooper.

Last February, the Boone County Board of Education approved the estimated $4.78 million multi-school project that also includes upgrading the current synthetic turf field at Ryle High School. The tracks surrounding the fields at Conner and Boone County will also be upgraded with new rubber coating.

Construction at each of the schools was scheduled to start after their football teams completed the 2020 season. Conner and Cooper lost playoff games last Friday and Boone County’s season ended three weeks ago. Ryle will host a Class 6A playoff game against Dixie Heights on Friday.

At the present time, 14 of the 26 public and private high schools in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties have synthetic turf fields. Cooper, Conner and Boone County will join that list during the 2021-22 school year, if the school board project goes according to plan.

Cooper athletic director Randy Borchers said work on his school’s field is expected to start on Jan. 4.

“Our district is telling us the latest it should be complete is when we get back from the dead period (in July),” Borchers said. “However, we are hoping it is completed well before that, especially if we have a mild winter.

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