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Prep Sports Notebook: Three Beechwood baseball players named first-team all-state by coaches

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Three juniors on the Beechwood baseball team that won the 9th Region championship for the third consecutive season were named first-team all-state by the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association.

Brice Estep, Cameron Boyd and Mitchell Berger were the Beechwood players among the 22 first-team selections. The other local player on the list was Campbell County junior Aydan Hamilton.

Beechwood junior Cameron Boyd led the state in home runs with 15.

Those players were on teams that made it to the state tournament quarterfinals.

Estep was Beechwood’s starting catcher and leading hitter with a .472 average. Berger had a 7-0 pitching record and batted .400. Boyd led the state with 15 home runs and scored a team-high 56 runs.

Hamilton finished the season with a .490 batting average, but he did not play in Campbell County’s last 15 games, including the team’s playoff run.

Conner senior Gage Testerman was named second-team all-state. He ranked among the state’s top 10 in batting average (.542), hits (58), doubles (23) and slugging percentage (0.953). The third-team selections included Conner junior Brody Mangold and Campbell County senior Greg Vineyard.

Northern Kentucky baseball coaches named Testerman the Division AA Player of the Year and Estep the Division A Player of the Year this season. Boyd and Estep were selected to represent the 9th Region in the Junior Showcase at the state all-star game.

The Coach of the Year awards went to Brad Arlinghaus of Conner in Division AA and Kevin Gray of Beechwood in Division A. In the final statewide coaches poll, Beechwood was No. 6 and Conner was No. 8.

Football players will close out high school careers in all-star game

The annual St. Elizabeth HealthCare East-West Football All-Star Game is set for 7:30 p.m. Thursday at Dixie Heights High School with proceeds from ticket sales going to the Northern Kentucky Football Coaches Association scholarship fund.

Admission will be $8 cash to watch many senior players from last season close out their high school careers. Last year’s game went into triple overtime with the West team coming away with a 40-34 victory.

The West team’s coaches for Thursday’s game are Mike Engler of Ryle and Kyle Niederman of Lloyd. The coaches in charge of the East team are Bob Sphire of Highlands and Roy Lucas Jr. of Simon Kenton.

At halftime of the all-star game, winners of the National Football Federation scholarships and the NKFCA scholarships will be announced. The coaches association will also present the Chris Vier Courage Award.

9th Region softball teams having tough time in state tournament

Tough times continued for 9th Region fast-pitch softball teams in the state tournament on Saturday night when Highlands lost to South Warren, 8-0, in one of eight first-round games at the University of Kentucky.

The Bluebirds were limited to three hits in the shutout and ended the season with a 26-15 record after reaching the state tournament for the first time since 2016.

In the last three single-elimination state tournaments, the 9th Region champion has been knocked off in the first round and Ryle went 0-2 in the 2018 double-elimination tournament.

Under the double-elimination format, local teams compiled an 11-20 record during a 10-year span from 2009 to 2018. Ryle won six of those games by going 2-2 in the 2010, 2011 and 2012 season finales.

Ryle won the area’s first and only fast-pitch softball state championship in 2006 and was state runner-up in 2007.

Ryle senior named Student-Athlete of the Year in girls sports

Ryle senior Renae Kopser was named Student-Athlete of the Year in Kentucky girls high school sports by an awards program sponsored by Midway University.

During the school year, the program selects an outstanding student-athlete in each sport based on athletic performance, academic achievement, leadership and community service.

Kopser was the award-winner for girls track and field. She was a member of the Ryle 4×800 relay team that won a Region 5 championship and placed third in the Class 3A state meet. She was also on the 4×400 relay team that placed second at the region meet.

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