Kentucky Could Be Gaining Two More High School Programs In 2020

 

scoreboard view sm
Photo Courtesy of DeSales High School                                                                                              

While there have been rumblings that Louisville Collegiate (Ky.) and Bryan Station (Ky.) in Lexington may not have teams next season due to numbers or being too young, there has also been positive news around the state as well. Just over the past two weeks news broke that St. Henry (Ky.) and DeSales (Ky.) were both looking to add lacrosse programs at their respective schools. 

St. Henry, a co-ed catholic school in northern Kentucky, formally announced the formation of a boy’s and girl’s lacrosse program via social media last week, and is currently looking for players to join both teams for next season. St. Henry would be only the third high school that offers lacrosse in the northern part of the state. 

Currently Covington Catholic and Dixie Heights are the only two schools that have lacrosse programs in northern Kentucky. The Northern KY Warriors and the Bluegrass Bulldogs are both club programs that have players from multiple schools in the region. St. Henry adding, or looking to add, lacrosse is a huge step forward in the northern part of the state where lacrosse seems to have started to boom. 

Northern Kentucky even has two local products that will be competing for an NCAA DII championship with Limestone on Sunday in Noah Reed and Jeremy Burns.

DeSales, an all boy’s catholic school in Louisville, is looking to add lacrosse and will announce the new next week, per their social media. DeSales would add more fuel to the fire in the bustling Louisville lacrosse scene, being the second school to add a boy’s program in the past two seasons. 

While there have been rumors for the better part of the past three years, it looks like lacrosse at DeSales has finally come to fruition. Lacrosse at a school like DeSales could really help boost the sport in the south end of Louisville where lacrosse hasn’t gotten too much exposure yet. DeSales would also be able to better compete with Trinity and St. Xavier for kids to come to their school. 

Trinity and St. Xavier have been the most dominate programs in the state since the sport’s inception in Kentucky. Even though they are a smaller school, DeSales might eventually be able to contend for another slice of the pie.

If both programs do work out and they start next season, Kentucky will have 39 boy’s programs and 34 girl’s programs in 2020.

 

 

Lexington Catholic And South Oldham Among Initial Head Coaching Openings

IMG_0069-L
Former Lexington Catholic Coach Matt Campbell (Photo Credit Michael Mesmer)                               

The high school lacrosse season in Kentucky just ended over the weekend with St. Xavier and Henry Clay winning their respective championships. Now, just three days after the high school season got wrapped up the coaching carousel has already got going. 

So far there are five head coach openings: South Oldham, Atherton. Dunbar, Madison County LC, and Lexington Catholic. The two biggest openings out of this initial crop are Lexington Catholic and South Oldham as they are both consistently powers in the state. 

Joe Richie has taken the job as the athletic director at South Oldham, thus leaving the position of head coach open. Richie led the Dragons to an 11-8 season in 2019 that ended with a fourth-straight trip to the KSLL semifinals. Richie has been at the helm of the Dragons program since 2015. 

Lexington Catholic head coach Matt Campbell has stepped down after six seasons at the helm of the Knights. Campbell led the Knights to two championships (2014, 2018) during his tenure. This past season they went 12-11 and made it to the CLL championship game where they lost to Henry Clay. 

Atherton is looking for their second head coach in program history after Tyler Whitchurch resigned from his duties last week. Whitchurch has been at the helm of the Rebels since the programs inception in 2018. This past season was their first full season as they joined the KSLL. Atherton went 1-13 this past season with their only win coming against North Hardin. 

Dwight Hammons has stepped down as the head coach at Dunbar after being at the helm for eight seasons. Hammons ends his tenure as the head coach at Dunbar with an 81-48 overall record. In 2019 the Bulldogs went 6-11 and made it to the CLL quarterfinals where they lost to South Warren. 

Madison County LC head coach Wesley Browne has said that he will be stepping down once a replacement has been found. Browne led the Mavericks to an 11-4 record in 2019, finishing third in their district. The Mavericks lost in the first round of the CLL playoffs to Scott County. 

 

 

 

2019 KY High School Postseason Power Rankings

29064620_2030845007169330_7132629204185327956_o
Photo Credit Chad Waggoner/Trinity Athletic Photos                                                                                   

The high school season in Kentucky has come to an end with St. Xavier winning the KSLL championship on Friday and Henry Clay taking down Lexington Catholic on Saturday to win the CLL championship. 

Over the course of the season the rankings have seen teams move up and down each week, and more. Through the season the top four teams in the state have remained and showed their dominance down the stretch. 

The top five in the post season power rankings are St. Xavier, Trinity, Henry Clay, Lexington Catholic, and Collegiate. South Oldham and Fredrick Douglass come in at six and seven, just outside the top five. 

1. St. Xavier (KSLL State Champions)

2. Trinity

3. Henry Clay (CLL State Champions)

4. Lexington Catholic

5. Collegiate

6. South Oldham

7. Fredrick Douglass

8. North Oldham

9. South Warren

10. Manual

11. Christian Academy (Lou.)

12. Eastern 

13. Scott County

14. Bowling Green

15. Male

16. Ballard

17. KCD

18. Dunbar

19. Tates Creek

20. Covington Catholic

21. Sayre

22. Madison County LC

23. Bryan Station

24. Central Hardin

25. Oldham County

26. Elizabethtown

27. Dixie Heights

28. Woodford County

29. Lexington Christian

30. Northern KY LC

31. M.L. Collins

32. North Hardin

33. Owensboro 

34. Lafayette

35. Bluegrass Bulldogs

36. Anderson County

37. Atherton

 

Henry Clay Dethrones Lexington Catholic, Secures CLL Title

40694906172-457c8d929b-o_orig
Photo Courtesy of Henry Clay Lacrosse                                                                                                           

The Henry Clay Blue Devils took down the Lexington Catholic Knights to secure the 2019 CLL championship. The Blue Devils dominated in ever facet of the game from start to finish, en route to their first championship under second year head coach Josh Stewart, fourth in program history. 

Henry Clay got things going early with Colten Reynolds putting the Blue Devils up 1-0 with 10:53 in the first. 

Coming out of a Henry Clay timeout with 10:20 in the first Lexington Catholic goalie Brayden Adams made two huge saves to help give the Knights their first possession of the game. The Knights couldn’t hang on to it as Henry Clay defenseman Clay Graves scooped up the loos ball and went coast to coast, electrifying the crowd with a long pole goal to put the Blue Devils up 2-0. 

Two failed Lexington Catholic clears led to two more Henry Clay goals, giving them a 4-0 lead with 4:25 in the first quarter. The Knights finally got the board late in the first with Michael Duzyk ripping it from the outside. 

Coming into the second quarter with a 4-1 lead the Blue Devils would keep firing, using a two-goal run early in the second to expand their lead to 6-1. The half ended with much more back-and-forth play as Lexington Catholic finally found some rhythm, even with the Blue Devils holding a 7-3 lead heading into halftime. 

After some back-and-forth transition play early in the third Henry Clay started clicking on all cylinders again, capitalizing on every one of Lexington Catholic’s mistakes. The Blue Devils used a three-goal run that included two straight goals from Logan Lewis to take a 10-4 lead late in the third quarter. 

In the final minutes of the third Tristian Schaffer intercepted a pass on a Henry Clay clear and returned the favor, getting the Knights going once again. Henry Clay answered right back, turning a failed Lexington Catholic clear into a Nolan Doss goal with just seconds left on the clock.

The Blue Devils held an 11-5 lead heading into the fourth and continued their domination. While the ball was on the ground a lot in the fourth, the Blue Devils still found away to score two straight to start the fourth before trying to kill some clock late. 

After making a great save Brayden Adams walked the ball up to half field and just chucked it into the wide open net, giving Lexington Catholic their final goal or the game. Presley Richmond’s behind the back goal with 3:08 in the game proved to be the dagger as Henry Clay secured the 14-6 win. 

 

 

St. Xavier Downs Trinity to Secure Second Straight KSLL Championship

56470474_2287035371550291_4135000783793946624_o.jpg
Photo Credit Chad Waggoner/Trinity Athletic Photos                                                                                   

The St. Xavier Tigers downed the Trinity Shamrocks in route to their second straight KSLL championship. The Tigers were simply better in every aspect of the game. They dominated possession and won practically every ground ball battle all game long. 

While Trinity did have some flashes and good looks they kept on shooting themselves in foot with unforced turnovers. When the shamrocks did get good looks or goalie Jack McClellan made a huge save the energy would quickly dissipate. 

Hillis Burns, Noah Malubay, and Will Hubbs led the way for St. Xavier with three goal each. Towson signee Patrick Anderson also had two goals to add to the total as well.

Trinity was led by Dalton Hubbs with two goals while Blake Zupetz, Andre Higdon, Will Warner, and Jacob Rogers each had a goal as well.

In cage Joe Storner played stellar for St. Xavier while Jack McClellan did much of the same for Trinity. 

St. Xavier got the scoring starting with a Noah Malaubay goal after some back-and-forth physical play on both. The Tigers then put up three more goals before the end of the quarter. Will Hubbs had two in final minutes of the first to make it 4-0 Tigers late in period. 

Dalton Hubbs got Trinity their first goal of the game, scoring right off of the faceoff with 16.3 seconds left in the first, cutting the St. Xavier lead to 4-1 at the end of the first. 

Trinity’s second goal of the game came the same way, but with Blake Zupetz coming right down the middle in the opening seconds of the second quarter. That cut the Tigers lead to 4-2. 

St. Xavier went on a three-goal run that included multiple transition goals before Trinity scored again late in the second. Hillis Burns scored with just seconds left in the second to make it an 8-3 halftime lead for the Tigers. 

The Tigers struck first early in the third with a Harrison Pate goal. Trinity finally got on the board again with a man-up goal coming from Dalton Hubbs with 5:54 in the period. 

Near the end of the third Noah Malubay and Will Hubbs each scored to put the Tigers up 11-4. Within the final minute of the third Andrew Higdon scored for Trinity and Hillis Burns found the back of the net for St. Xavier. 

After an early goal from Noah Malubay the Tigers tried to drain the clock, but Trinity was able to finally force a turnover and convert with a Jacob Rogers goal. That would be Trinity’s final goal of the game. 

Baylor Wedge and Ben Hubbs both scored late in the game to put this one to rest as St. Xavier secured the 15-6 win. 

 

 

 

KSLL Semifinal Recap: Trinity and St. Xavier Advance to Championship

60358668_2321477614772733_8542061185711734784_o.jpg
Photo Credit Chad Waggoner/Trinity Athletic Photos                                                                                   

As expected Trinity and St. Xavier dominated the semifinals and will be advancing to the KSLL championship game on Friday night at 6PM at Trinity. 

This will be the second time these two have met this season. In the regular season meeting between these hated rivals, St. Xavier won 10-9 in a tight battle where Will Hubbs scored the game-winner for the Tigers late in the game.

Friday’s championship game is expected to be another tight and hard fought battle to add to the list of “classics” that this rivalry has produced over the years. 

Trinity 18, North Oldham 1

The Shamrocks dominated the Mustangs in every aspect of the game. Dalton Hubbs and Gavin Noland led the way with 5 goals each for the Shamrocks. North Oldham’s single goal came with 1:55 in the second as Chase Hill ripped one from the wing. Trinity never let North Oldham get any good looks from there on out, dominating through the final whistle.

St. Xavier 18, South Oldham 2

Will Hubbs and Hillis Burns led the way for the Tigers with 4 goals each. St. Xavier zipped past South Oldham, dominating in every aspect of the game. South Oldham was able to find the back of the net twice in the second half with Cole Cercone scoring late in the third and Noah Stallard putting in a rebound on the crease in the fourth. Besides those two goals the Tigers allowed South Oldham vey few opportunities at all. 

 

 

CLL Quarterfinal Recap: Fredrick Douglass and South Warren Advance in Second Season

47527210582_d9baf8825c_o.jpg
Photo Courtesy of Fredrick Douglass Lacrosse                                                                                              

The CLL semifinals have been set after the quarterfinals were played on Tuesday night, and unless you like blowouts it wasn’t pretty. Ever single game was won by double digits and in blowout fashion for the most part. 

After tonight’s quarterfinals Henry Clay, Fredrick Douglass, South Warren, and Lexington Catholic all advance to the semifinals on Thursday night. It will be a first for Fredrick Douglass and South Warren as they advance to the semifinals in both programs second seasons. 

Henry Clay 18, Scott County 8

After a slow start that put Scott County up 3-2 at the end of the first, Henry Clay woke up in the second. The Blue Devils got going and absolutely annihilated the Cardinals in every aspect of the game. While Scott County did show flashes they just couldn’t compete with the Blue Devils depth of talent on both ends of the field.

Henry Clay will face Fredrick Douglass in the semifinals on Thursday. 

Fredrick Douglass 10, Tates Creek 3

The Broncos are heading to their first semifinals appearance in just their second year as a program. Fredrick Douglass came out strong and remained strong as they took down the Commodores in blowout fashion. 

Fredrick Douglass will face Henry Clay in the semifinals on Thursday. 

South Warren 13, Dunbar 5

The Spartans are also making their first trip to the semifinals in just their second year as a program as well. The Spartans came out strong, used a big second quarter to gain an even bigger lead, and rode that wave to victory. 

South Warren will face Lexington Catholic in the semifinals on Thursday.

Lexington Catholic 14, Bowling Green 6

It was another blowout as the Knights flexed their muscle, taking down the Purples by a big margin. The Knights head back to the semifinals looking to defend their title from last season. 

Lexington Catholic will play South Warren in the semifinals on Thursday. 


Bracket

Screen Shot 2019-05-14 at 11.37.10 PM

KSLL Quarterfinal Recap: It’s Getting A Little Chalky

IMG_1113.JPG
Photo Courtesy of Oldham Era

The KSLL state tournament got underway on Monday night with the quarterfinals. It was pretty chalky as three our of the four host teams won and advanced to the semifinals. The four winners from tonight move onto the semifinals on Wednesday at Trinity. 

Trinity 15, Collegiate 2

It was a very physical game from the beginning as the ground ball battles were ferocious all game long. After a defensive heavy first quarter where Trinity led just 2-1, the Shamrocks started picking up the pace near the end of the half. With Trinity holding a 6-2 lead at the half, the Shamrock pulled away like usual in the second half as they secured the win in blowout fashion. 

St. Xavier 28, Christian Academy 3

This was never a game and never was going to be. The Tigers got out to a 22-1 halftime lead and then proceeded to pile on in the second half as well. St. Xavier was the much better team from the start and earned the blowout win as expected. 

South Oldham 8, Manual 4

After getting out to a 4-2 halftime lead the Dragons were able to continue on the right track, taking down the Crimson to move on and secure a spot in the semifinals for the fourth year in a row. 

North Oldham 11, Eastern 9

It was a tight one as the Mustangs were able to secure the win against the Eagles and move on to the semifinals for the first time in program history. 


The Bracket

fullsizeoutput_b31.jpeg

 

KSLL State Tournament Preview

56203735_2287035374883624_6613376155456110592_o
Photo Credit Chad Waggoner/Trinity Athletic Photos                                                                                   

Districts tournaments have been played and the draw has been had. That means it’s time for the state tournament in the Kentucky Scholastic Lacrosse League (KSLL). This year the  semifinals and championship will all be held at Trinity while the quarterfinals will be hosted by the higher seeded team. 

This first round is going to be very chalky in the games that feature the top two teams in the state, obviously. Outside of those two games there are a two matchups that are very intriguing and should make for very good games. 

South Oldham vs Manual is one of the best matchups of this tournament. In the regular season South Oldham won a tight battle 9-6. Both of these teams are pretty evenly matched on both sides of the ball, but South Oldham is a little more deeper.

Eastern vs North Oldham is another game that should be very good. North Oldham beat Eastern 7-5 in the regular season, but with Eastern coming off an upset win over Christian Academy in their district championship and North Oldham trying to rebound from a beating against South Oldham the mindset in this game is shifted a bit. Neither team has been very consistent this year and are very evenly matched because of that. 

The other two quarterfinal games include Trinity vs Collegiate and St. Xavier vs Christian Academy. While Collegiate’s offense could give Trinity a run for their money early on the Rocks should be able to beat them just due to sheer talent and depth of talent at every position. The same could be said for Christian Academy against St. Xavier.


Bracket

Screen Shot 2019-05-13 at 2.31.47 AM

CLL First Round Recap: First Timers and Upsets Headline The Weekend

5cb0cccc788d5.image.jpg
Photo Credit

The first round of the Commonwealth Lacrosse League (CLL) playoffs are in the books and that means eight teams are moving on to the quarterfinal round. The quarterfinals will be played on Tuesday, May 14th. 

Of all the storylines coming out of the first round the biggest was the amount of first time playoff wins we saw. Bowling Green and South Warren both earned their first playoff win, putting Warren County lacrosse on the map. Scott County also secured their first every playoff win as well.

South Warren 20, Lexington Christian 5

This one was a complete blowout and never close at all. The Spartans got out early and pushed the gas en route to their first ever playoff win in just their second season as a program. The Eagles were greatly overmatched as they couldn’t get anything going to counter the Spartans attack. South Warren moves on and will play Dunbar in the quarterfinals. 

Tates Creek 14, Covington Catholic 13

In upset fashion the 4 seed Tates Creek Commodores upset the 1 seed Covington Catholic Colonels. This was an overtime finish as these two were taking shots back-and-forth at each other all game. Tates Creek came up victorious in overtime to keep their season alive. Tates Creek will play Fredrick Douglass in the quarterfinals. 

Dunbar 7, Elizabethtown 5

The Bulldogs edged out a close over the Panthers on Friday night. With things tied at 5 all heading into the fourth quarter Dunbar was able to prevail and secure the win to move on to the quarterfinals. Dunbar will face South Warren in the quarterfinals. 

Lexington Catholic 18, Central Hardin 2

As expected, the Knights took down the Bruins in a blowout win. Lexington Catholic was the much better team and they showed all game as they annihilated the Bruins in every aspect of the game. Lexington Catholic will face Bowling Green in the quarterfinals. 

Bowling Green 7, Woodford County 2

The Bowling Green Purples won their first ever playoff game in program history as they took down Woodford County by a pretty wide margin. While the Purples held the Yellow Jackets scoreless until the fourth, it was a big second half that really put things out of reach. Bowling Green will face Lexington Catholic in the quarterfinals. 

Scott County 12, Madison County 6

In a rematch of a very good regular season contest the Cardinals came up victorious over the Mustangs, securing their first ever playoff win in program history. While Scott County led just 8-5 at the end of the third, they exploded in the fourth to blow past Madison County and grab the win. Scott County will play Henry Clay in the quarterfinals. 

Fredrick Douglass 14, Dixie Heights 6

The Broncos took down the Colonels to secure the win and move on to the quarterfinals. It was a big start that helped Fredrick Douglass get out to a 9-0 halftime lead and pull out the win as Dixie Heights just couldn’t comeback, even with a good second half showing. Fredrick Douglass will face Tates Creek in the quarterfinals. 

Henry Clay 14, Bryan Station 6

The lone Saturday game was a blowout as Henry Clay dominated Bryan Station from the opening whistle. The Defenders just could not hang with the Blue Devils as they got pounced. Henry Clay will face Scott County in the quarterfinals.