Hirsch Athletic Report #11
The calendar has turned to February, that time of year when winter and spring sports collide. As we hit tournament time for basketball, wrestling, swimming, and gymnastics, spring sports practices begin. Check out the Varsity Sports Updates below to see when sectional tournaments start. I'll send updates as our teams move through the tournaments. Also, check my Twitter or Instagram posts. The girls basketball team plays Thursday in the first round of sectionals after winning the MVC Championship for the first time since 2012.
The spring season is an active time for CCDS student-athletes with Country Day fielding teams in baseball, softball, tennis (boys), rowing (girls and boys), lacrosse (girls and boys), track and field (girls and boys). Almost 65% of the upper school student body participates in a spring sport. While it's the shortest season of the year, it is an exciting time on campus with games almost daily.
Off the fields, our varsity programs continue to look for ways to give back to the community. The boys basketball program supported Batavia basketball player Nate Watson, who is battling Hodgkin's Lymphoma, by sending him personal notes and purchasing shirts to help raise funds for Nate's medical expenses. In a yearly tradition, the wrestling program helped the students at Saturday Hoops in OTR. The girls basketball program partnered with CHCA to fight against ovarian cancer with shirt sales and donations. These are real life examples of our coaches and student-athletes living the school's motto: virtue in action.
Athletic Director Search--Update
After receiving more than 125 applications, the search committee has narrowed the AD applicant pool to 16.Next steps involve Skype interviews to determine the five to six candidates who will be invited for campus visits in late February. The committee is working diligently toward its goal of naming Country Day's next AD around spring break.
Varsity Sports Updates:
Wrestling: Varsity wrestling competed in the MVC championships on Feb. 8. This small, but mighty team of four athletes earned runner-up status in the team standing. Individually, freshman Bailey Edmonson won the 106 lbs. division, junior Keane Warner won the 170 lbs. division, and junior captain Noah Wise won the 195 lbs. division. First-year wrestler, junior Cader Rowe, had the fans on the edge of their seats as he took the lead in his finals match before falling behind to claim the silver in the 145 lbs. weight class. Rowe said, "The biggest thing I learned in wrestling this year is the mindset. I am going to take this mindset about working hard and apply it to other things in my life!" Up next, wrestlers will start the three-stage state tournament with sectionals at Blanchester on Feb. 22-23. Anyone who places in the top four of a weight class will qualify for districts.
CCDS wrestling is reaching out to alumni to share how this sport influenced their lives. Any Country Day graduate is invited to complete a Wrestler for Life survey to help build the history of CCDS wrestling and inspire current athletes. We share alumni anecdotes with current team members during "breakfast bites," a new initiative that brings middle school and upper school wrestlers together to talk about wrestling.
Boys Basketball: The CCDS boys basketball team won its last two games and had an impressive 73-71 overtime win against Lockland on senior night. The team hopes to continue its momentum as they head into tournament play. The boys will play Clermont Northeastern in the first round of the Division 3 tournament on Saturday, Feb. 23, at 3 p.m. at Western Brown High School.
Girls Basketball: The Lady Indians participated in an Ovarian Awareness fundraiser held by CHCA, which helped raise more than $3,000. Womens basketball continues to improve its eight-game winning streak, with an overall record of 15-4. This past weekend, the Lady Indians defeated NCH to clinch the top place in the MVC—a first for CCDS since 2012. With one more conference game to go, the Lady Indians received the #1 seed in the Division IV district heading into the state tournament, which starts Feb. 14. Senior night was celebrated Monday, Feb. 11. We honored seniors Tori Keller, Katelynn Setters, and Lily Farrell, and thanked them for their hard work and dedication over the past four years.
Swimming: The small by mighty swim team had an incredible sectional championship last weekend at Mason High School.Swimmers dropped times and improved in every event.The following swimmers have qualified for the District championship at Miami University on Friday, Feb. 15:Grace Ramirez '21 (100 free and 200 free), girls 200 medley relay, girls 400 free relay, Sam Pettengill '21 (50 free and 100 breaststroke), 200 free relay and the 400 free relay.On Friday, follow Coach Nat Tracey Miller on Twitter (@ccdslibraries) for updates.
Diving:Country Day's one-member diving team almost achieved a state berth. The graceful dives of freshman Camille Huxol, who placed sixth out of 17 competitors, gave her a personal best of 328.8 for her 11 dives, missing state by just two points.
Gymnastics: The gymnastics team is having a great season, improving with every meet. On Tuesday, Feb. 5, the girls became the fifth team in school history to score more than 120 points. Many routines were season bests as part of a formidable team effort. On Saturday, the athletes moved into fourth all time with a 124.05. That is just .80 away from achieving third best honors. Again, there were several personal bests, with everyone contributing to the strong finish. Jasmine Gonzales had the highlight of the meet as she broke the 22-year old beam record by scoring 8.95. She also became the second highest scoring all-arounder with a score of 33.8, just 0.4 off the school record.
Alumni Spotlight: Jonathan Smith '00
Sports: Football, Basketball, Baseball, Track
Colleges attended and degrees: William And Mary, B.A. Economics
Memory: Too many to pick one, but if I must choose, I would say beating Seven Hills on their homecourt in 1999 stands out. They were definitely the better team, but we outplayed them that night. Our fans stormed the court, and we celebrated at center court like we had just won a championship.
Advice: Play as many sports as you can. Don't think that you have to specialize. The memories and friends that you make playing high school sports last a lifetime. Do everything you can to make as many as possible.
Interview with Girls' Basketball Coach John Snell
Associate Athletic Director Greg Ross sat down with Coach Snell and discussed the season as the team enters the tournament.
Greg Ross: Tell me about the 2018-19 team.
Coach Snell: This year's team has a combination of experience and youth. I believe we have continued to improve throughout the year and have really gelled, which helped us capture our first MVC Championship since 2012. The girls are unselfish and have bought into team ball.
Greg Ross: Why do you think this year you were able to break through and capture the league title?
Coach Snell: Sabrina (DelBello) has gotten stronger as the season has progressed and has been scoring at a high rate. Kam (Jordan) has been consistent every game and brings much energy and hustle to the floor. The leadership of Katelynn (Setters), Lily (Farrell) and Tori (Keller) has been phenomenal for our younger players. We are balanced this year on offense and have multiple scoring weapons.
Greg Ross: What are the team goals this year?
Coach Snell: To win the MVC, we can mark that one off, and to win a District Championship.
Greg Ross: Your squad made it to the D3 district runner-up game last year and lost a nail biter to Madeira. The team is back to D4 this year. What will it take to win districts?
Coach Snell: After getting a taste last year of what districts is all about, the girls are excited for another opportunity, but we know we need to take it one game at a time. With our balance of having five to six girls who can score double figures on any given night and the way we play defense (holding teams to around 30 points a game), we give ourselves a fighting chance.
Middle School Sports Updates
MS swim team earns first MVC title in more than 20 years
The MS swim team completed its regular season swimming fast and leaving many opponents in their wake. The team earned decisive wins at every meet except for a close second-place finish at the New Richmond invitational. The small but fast team continually dropped their times with every dive in the pool, and team spirit could be felt as they cheered each other on. Coaches Rumboll and Ferguson were impressed with the team's effort and dedication this season. The team completed its season at the MVC championships with swimmers posting some of their best times and blowing their opponents out of the water with a 200+ point victory and the first league victory in two decades. Congrats to the swimmers and coaches on a record season!
The MS basketball teams, both girls and boys, have demonstrated resilience and a strong work ethic over the season. The boys and girls took every moment of practice to improve their skills and came together as teams during competition. The combination of their efforts and commitment made them difficult to defeat.
Boys Basketball earn spot in MVC A-team Finals on Thursday (2/14)
The boys A team evolved in its play throughout the season and entered the MVC tournament playing its best basketball. Coaches Brittany Woods and Robin Woods took the boys up against a strong A-team schedule this year. The team developed multiple offensive and defensive schemes over the course of the season. The team completed the regular season with victories against New Miami, St. Bernard, MVCA, Lockland, and Clark. During the season's second half, their hard work paid off as they earned many of their victories playing to the last whistle.
The team entered the MVC tournament as the seventh seed and faced New Miami in a rematch during the first round. The team dominated and moved on to the elite eight. In the second round, they faced off with Cincinnati Christian who defeated them twice during the regular season. The boys played together as one force.It was a back and forth game with multiple lead changes, but they held on and took home a victory over the tournament's number two seeded team.
Tuesday night the boys played Seven Hills in the semi-finals. The boys fought hard in an extremely tight game. The game's largest lead was four points, which CCDS held to start the game. The pace was fast as the offenses and defenses traded off the lead until the game's waning seconds. With time running out, Seven Hills hit a three-pointer to send the game into overtime. The overtime excitement filled the packed gym as the CCDS boys fought through any challenge Seven Hills threw their way. With multiple lead changes, the boys found themselves on the brink of defeat. With seven seconds left CCDS made two foul shots to take the lead 37-36 and defensively took away any chance for Seven Hills to counter. Due to an amazing team effort, the boys team earned its spot in the MVC finals 37-36, a first for the CCDS A-team boys since 2010.
MVC Boys Basketball Finals: The A-Team Boys will face off with CHCA in the finals Thursday night at 7:45 p.m. The game will be played at Cincinnati Christian High School (7474 Morris, Hamilton, OH 45011). All MS students who come to cheer on the team may attend for free.
The girls team played both an A and B schedule with a small roster, taking the effort and dedication of every player to pull off. This allowed the teams to grow and develop more quickly over the season. The girls had wins or close games over some tough opponents and finished the year with a tightly-fought game against Norwood in the MVC tournament. They chalked up wins against Lockland, St. Bernard, Norwood, and New Miami during the regular season and couldn't be counted out due to their never give-up attitude. The girls made tremendous progress and were exciting to watch play this season. Coaches Brandt and Brannock couldn't have been prouder of the girls this season and their dedication to the team.
The boys had strong numbers and formed three different teams this season. Coach A.J. Froelich's team focused on developmental basketball skills and had a shorter season of games, but the boys had hearts big enough for any team. The boys made significant strides.Their progress was very much evident at each practice and in every game where offensive ball movement, shooting, and team defense demonstrated their growth. They played with the attitude of giants.
Coaches Cote and DiTullio worked with the B-team this season, which was a small roster of boys with great potential and skills. The team focused on its offensive and defensive team play. Comparing the boys' play early in the season to the second half, it was easy to see their development as a team. The boys' hard work paid off with strong wins over New Miami and MVCA during the regular season. During the first round of the MVC tournament, they defeated New Miami again and advanced to the final eight.
Youth Sports Updates
Fifth grade boys basketball has demonstrated great effort and resilience this season. Coach Higgason, Coach Sitterlet, and the boys have worked in practices to improve not only individual skills but to also develop teamwork toward becoming a cohesive unit on the floor. With each practice and game, the team has become more formidable. Their offense has improved in ball movement, which has led to big wins over Madeira, Sycamore, and Seven Hills teams this season. With two games left this season, the boys are determined to finish the year strong to enter the league tournament with confidence.
mCORE (Mobile Cardiac Overview and Risk Evaluation)—we have 10 spots remaining!
On March 1, CCDS athletics will partner with mCORE (Mobile Cardiac Overview and Risk Evaluation) to screen students for cardiac conditions and abnormalities that may put them at risk for sudden cardiac arrest (SCA). Students must be 12 years old at the time of registration. Check out the attachment for all the details, or simply click here and choose Cincinnati Country Day School.
Thought of the Week:
"There may be people that have more talent than you, but there's no excuse for anyone to work harder than you do." – Derek Jeter
Talent isn't everything. The most important aspect of any competition is working hard. Having the right effort and work ethic is worth a lot more than talent, and it will take you places that talent can't get you.
Go Country Day!