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The 2013-2014 school year featured numerous highlights around the Eastern Cincinnati Conference. First and foremost, congratulations to Loveland High School for capturing the All-Sports Trophy for the second consecutive year. The Tigers outdistanced runner-up Turpin by nearly nine points, winning five Conference titles in football, boys' golf, girls' soccer, wrestling, and boys' track. Despite finishing third in the All-Sports Trophy standings, Walnut Hills collected seven team titles (girls' cross country, girls' tennis, academic competition, boys' basketball, girls' basketball, boys' swimming, and girls' track). Turpin captured four ECC titles (boys' soccer, boys' basketball, girls' swimming, and boys' tennis); Milford three (girls' golf, baseball, and softball); Kings two (boys' cross country and boys' basketball); Glen Este two (boys' and girls' bowling), and Anderson one (baseball).
One team State championship and a pair of individual State titles were captured by the ECC. Loveland won the Division II State title in football, defeating Glenville 41-23 on December 6, to win the school's first-ever State championship. The Tigers rushed for over 300 yards in the championship game and finished the season with a perfect 15-0 record under head coach Fred Cranford. Anderson's Hassler Carroll won a State title in swimming, winning the 500 Freestyle in a time of 4:30.23 on February 22. The senior also finished tenth in the State in the 200 Individual Medley and was a member of the Redskins' 200 Freestyle Relay. Andrew Alten won a State title in wrestling, bringing home gold in the 285-pound weight class on March 1. The senior was named Wrestler of the Year by the Enquirer and a finalists for the LaRosa's MVP of the Year award. He was also an All-State performer on the Tigers' State championship football squad. Walnut Hills represented the ECC well by advancing to the Ohio Academic Competition State tournament in May.
Other significant individual accomplishments from the fall sports season included Loveland's Luke Waddell being named to the MaxPreps Freshman All-American football squad. Luke rushed for nearly 1600 yards and accounted for 20 total touchdowns for the Tigers. Nate Slagel, who was injured in week eight, was named AP Division II State Offensive Player of the Year after rushing for over 1000 yards and 18 rushing touchdowns in those eight games. The Tigers' Charlie Lawler and Brian Popp, along with Walnut Hills' Nilijah Ballew and Anderson's Josh Correll also earned All-State honors in football. Brian was a finalist for the "That's My Boy Award," recognizing not only football achievements, but also academic excellence and community service. Glen Este's Tyler Flanigan hauled in eight receptions for 168 yards and three touchdowns in the annual East-West All-Star football game held June 12 at Kings. Kings' Amina Ismail earned All-State honors in tennis. She earned Conference and District championships, as well as a Sectional runner-up, before moving on to the State Championships for the Lady Knights. She was the third member of her family to make it to State! Five ECC players earned All-State honors in soccer. Milford's Thomas Moore and Turpin's Trevor Thompson each earned All-State honors in boys' soccer. Loveland's Sydney Dudley, Turpin's Payton Atkins, and Walnut Hills' Alexis Kiehl earned All-State recognition in girls' soccer. Even though water polo is not an OHSAA-recognized sport, Milford's Josh Fritz (boys) and Carolyn Storch and Lindsey Bugajski earned All-State honors.
In winter sports action, Walnut Hills' MaCio Teague and Turpin's Zach McCormick each earned All-Ohio recognition in boys' basketball. Glen Este's girls' bowling squad and head coach Kathy Demarko had a great season on its way to the State Tournament, led by All-State recipient and Enquirer Bowler of the Year Leslie Campbell. Leslie placed fifth overall at State and was named to the All-State First Team. Amazingly, nearly thirty ECC swimmers advanced to the State Swim Meet (not to mention Anderson's Evan Leupen in diving). In addition to Hassler Carroll’s State Title, the girls also fared well, led by Kings’Megan Sichterman who finished fourth in the 100 Fly and Turpin's Shaylynn Spelman who placed sixth in the 500 Free.
The spring sports season featured US Lacrosse All-American honors for Loveland's Tanner Griffin and Brian McElveen, as well as Brine National All-American honors for Walnut Hills' lacrosse standout C. J. Hughes. All-State recognition went to baseball standouts Zack Shannon (Anderson) and Andrew Minton and Kyle Ruehlman (Milford). Milford's Kayla Gregory earned All-Ohio honors in softball for the second consecutive year. In girls' track, Walnut Hills' Chelsea Carpenter finish fourth in the discus and fifth in the shot at the State Track Meet. Teammates Taylor Darks (fifth in the 400 meters) and Arissa Freeman (seventh in the 100 meters) also scored in the State Meet for the Lady Eagles. In lacrosse, Loveland's Hannah Bellamah earned All-Ohio honors for the Lady Tigers; while on the boys' side, the Tigers' Brian McElveen, Corey Costonas, Tanner Griffin, and Mac Mather also earned All-Ohio recognition.
Congratulations to Loveland's Molly Kessler and Walnut Hills' Emily Roemhild and Ishmael Carter who were outstanding on and off the field. They were Marvin Lewis Community Fund Scholarship winners. Worth mentioning that there were six winners and the ECC had three of them!
The individual accomplishments weren't limited to our athletes either. Kings' Phil Poggi and Walnut Hills' Tom Donnelly were named as Athletic Directors of the Year by the Southwest Ohio Athletic Directors Association! And how about Loveland softball coach Michael Rapp earning his 400th career victory in May.
Each ECC school had memorable stories throughout the year, so it's difficult to mention all of them. One that deserves mentioning is that of Anderson's Grant Wethington, who returned to swim for the Redskins after an eight-hour spinal fusion surgery. Another is Milford's Michael Swenson. Michael suffers from Stargardt disease and plays volleyball despite being legally blind. How about Madison Temple's determined vow to return next year to the Lady Redskins' basketball squad despite having to rehab her second ACL surgery she suffered in late January. Milford's Bridget Rheude knows all too well about that type of rehab. She returned to the court after a year of rehab for the same ACL-type surgery to lead the Conference in assists this winter. Or Turpin's Rebecca Swertfeger, who overcame Tommy John surgery in August to compete as a member of the Lady Spartans' gymnastics team during the winter. And there's Zach Bryant from Milford. All he did was sign to kick for Thomas More University despite having a pacemaker installed in his heart his junior year. Or Milford's boys' and girls' soccer teams hosting a pair of collection drives of food and used soccer equipment to give back to the community locally, as well as globally. Or Anderson's and Turpin's volleyball squads coming together to host a huge Volley for the Cure event, as did so many of our Conference schools. Or Loveland's boys' lacrosse squad helping an area school by sponsoring a Book Drive in May, complete with four freshmen team members making a presentation to executives with Scripps Foundation resulting in the initial $2000 toward the Drive.
Maybe we should mention one of those, "Are you kidding me?" moments, when Loveland girls' golfer Terra Brulport and boys' golfer Austin Osborne each recorded a hole-in-one on September 4 while playing at the Jack Nicklaus Golf Center in Mason. Or one of those, "Why are they so good?" moments, when Coach Andy Wolf's Anderson cross country runners hit the pavement at 5:45 in the morning for practice. Or one of those, "Let us not forget" moments, when both Glen Este (Jason Ellis) and Turpin (Patrick Fox) remembered two of their own by holding special ceremonies this year.
Hats off to all of our athletes, cheerleaders, coaches, athletic directors, administrators, teachers, parents, custodians, and spectators who made the year so successful. As we look forward to next year, let's wish the best of luck to our 120 or so (and growing) athletes who have committed to continue their athletic careers in college next year. In addition, the Conference is excited to welcome Withrow High School into the Eastern Cincinnati Conference this fall. With the school's rich athletic history, the Tigers are sure to bring a great deal of excitement and competitiveness to the Conference.
For a more detailed look at the year in sports, see the Fall, Winter, and Spring Updates below.
BOYS' GOLF: POSTSEASON HONORS: All-City awards went to Loveland's Colin Joseph, Isaac Vock, Reid Waddell, Brian Bullock, and Anderson's Ben Correll. ECC UPDATES: Colin and Joseph were named Golfers of the Year and Loveland's Andy Fredette Coach of the Year in the Conference. Loveland won its second straight Conference title.
GIRLS' GOLF: POSTSEASON HONORS: Milford's Megan Creager and Aly Severns both qualified for the District Girls' Golf tournament based on their fine play at the September 30 Sectional tourney. Megan shot an 80 to finish sixth, while Aly fired an 84 to place twelfth. ECC UPDATES: Megan was named Golfer of the Year and Milford's Sandy Garrison Coach of the Year in the Conference! Milford was the Conference champion for the second consecutive year.
GIRLS' TENNIS: POSTSEASON HONORS: All-State selections included Kings' Amina Ismail, who was named to the All-Ohio Second Team. She was Conference Champion, Sectional Runner-Up, and District Champion before competing at State. ECC UPDATES: Amina was also named Player of the Year and Steve Levine (Walnut Hills) Coach of the Year in the Conference! Walnut Hills was the Conference champion.
BOYS' SOCCER: POSTSEASON HONORS: All-City recipients included Turpin's Trevor Thompson, Tim Dulle, and Adam Kupferberg; Milford's Thomas Moore; Walnut Hills' Logan Weidmann; and Loveland's Brad Faust. In addition, Turpin's Jamie Harloff was named the Public School Coach of the Year. Thomas and Trevor also earned AP All-State honors. ECC UPDATES: Trevor was named Conference Player of the Year and Conference Coach of the Year honors went to Coach Harloff. Turpin came away with the Conference title.
GIRLS' SOCCER: POSTSEASON HONORS: All-City recipients included Loveland's Sydney Dudley and Corynne Swift; Walnut Hills' Alexis Kiehl, Morgan Shafer, and Kaitlynn Kiehl; Turpin's Payton Atkins and Maryellen Tully; Milford's Erin Beurket and Mackenzie Kern; Kings' Patrice DiPasquale; and Glen Este's Makenna Lavatori. Sydney, Payton, and Alexis earned AP All-State honors as well. ECC UPDATES: Sydney was ECC Player of the Year and Loveland's Todd Kelly earned Conference Coach of the Year honors. Loveland won the Conference title.
VOLLEYBALL: POSTSEASON HONORS: Congratulations to Kings' Riley Brashear, Anderson's Mackenzie Honn, and Glen Este's Jenny Howell who were named to the All-City Second Team squad! ECC UPDATES: Riley was named Player of the Year and Kings' Amanda Schuler Coach of the Year in the Conference, while Kings reigned as Conference champions.
BOYS' CROSS COUNTRY: DISTRICT UPDATES: Kings placed second in its Division; team members included Andrew Lakes, Ben Matheus, Luke Widdig, L.J. Brant, Noah Diebel, Ben Cooper, and Eli Elkins. Individual qualifiers also included Milford's A.J. Erdaty and Anderson's Nick Stone. REGIONAL AND STATE UPDATES: Kings' Andrew Lake finished fourteenth and advanced to the State Meet, where he finished 67th in the Division I boys' race! POSTSEASON HONORS: Andrew was named Runner of the Year and Kings' Jim Brant Coach of the Year in the Conference! Kings was your ECC team champions.
GIRLS' CROSS COUNTRY: DISTRICT UPDATES: Walnut Hills and Turpin finished second and third respectively in their Division and advanced to Regionals in the team competition. Walnut Hills team members included Olivia Connaughton, Kelley Coleman, Grace O'Donnell, Collier Summay, Hannah Schroeder, Lily Roudebush, and Heather Luken. Turpin team members included Isabella King, Elena Polivka, Mallin Blaxall, Rachel Scardina, Jenny Morton, Riley Fanning, and Emma Hauserman. Individual Regional qualifiers included Anderson's Cara Schildmeyer, Kings' Kristen Sevier, and Loveland's Mackenzie Johnson. REGIONAL UPATES: Cara and Olivia advanced to the State Meet based on their tenth and thirteenth place finishes respectively in the Regional Meet on October 26. STATE UPDATES: Olivia finished 36th and Cara 39th at the State championships! ECC UPDATES: Cara was named Conference Runner of the Year and Anderson's Andy Wolf and Turpin's Missy Siemers Coaches of the Year in the Conference! Walnut Hills was your ECC team champions.
FOOTBALL: POSTSEASON HONORS: AP All-District selections included Loveland's Nate Slagel and Charlie Lawler who were named Offensive and Defensive Players of the Year respectively. In addition, the Tigers' Fred Cranford was named Coach of the Year.
AP All-State selections included Coach Cranford and Nate who were named Division II Coach of the Year and Offensive Player of the Year respectively. Other First Team selections included Tiger teammates Charlie and Andrew Alten. Second Team picks included Loveland's Brian Popp and Walnut Hills Nilijah Ballew, while Anderson's Josh Correll was named to the Third Team. To see the complete list of Division II selections, click HERE.
Congratulations also go out to the following players who earned JJ Huddle All-Ohio honors: Charlie (Second Team Offense), Andrew and Tiger teammates Luke Waddell (Honorable Mention Offense), and Brian (Honorable Mention Defense). In addition, and fittingly, the Tigers' Coach Cranford was named Honorable Mention Coach of the Year.
ECC UPDATES: Loveland won the Conference title, with Charlie and Nate earning Player of the Year honors and Coach Cranford earning Coach of the Year accolades.
GIRLS' BASKETBALL: ECC UPDATES: Congratulations to the Lady Eagles from Walnut Hills for winning the Conference title with an 11-1 mark in ECC play. Conference Player of the Year honors went to Walnut Hills' Taylor Darks, while the Eagles' Keith Gwynn earned Coach of the Year recognition. DISTRICT HONORS: AP All-District Special Mention honors went to Taylor, Turpin's Mackenzie Campbell; Arielle Varner, and Amber Wilks; and Anderson's Maggie Harris and Madison Temple.
BOYS' BASKETBALL: ECC UPDATES: Congratulations to Turpin, Walnut Hills, and Kings for claiming the ECC title with identical 9-3 records in league play. Conference Player of the Year honors went to Zach McCormick of Turpin, while Coach of the Year recognition went to the Spartans' Pat Stricker. DISTRICT HONORS: AP All-District First Team honors went to Walnut Hills' MaCio Teague, while Zach earned Second Team honors. Special Mention recognition went to Glen Este's Tyler Flanigan and Kings' Matt James. STATE HONORS: MaCio was named to the Third Team All-Ohio squad, while Zach earned Honorable Mention recognition!
WRESTLING: STATE UPDATES: Loveland's Andrew Alten is the 2014 STATE CHAMPION at 285 lbs. Congratulations on your great season! A wrestling title to go along with your football championship! Other State qualifiers included Loveland's Brandon Tucker (120 lbs. as alternate), James Caniglia (170 lbs.), Jordan Paul (152 lbs.), Michael Weber (182 lbs.), Seth Brennock (220 lbs.), and Glen Este's Gage Branson (113 lbs.). Congratulations to all of our ECC State qualifiers! ECC UPDATES: Congratulations to the Loveland Tigers, your 2014 ECC Champions! Wrestler of the Year was Loveland's Seth Brennock and Chris Switzer of Loveland was voted Coach of the Year. ENQUIRER PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Congratulations to Andrew for being named Division I Wrestler of the Year by the Enquirer!
BOYS' SWIMMING AND DIVING: STATE DIVING UPDATES: Congratulations to Anderson's Evan Leupen for advancing to the State Diving Championships as a result of his fourth place finish at Districts! Read more HERE. Evan finished twenty-fourth at State! STATE SWIMMING UPDATES: The big news out of Canton for the boys was Anderson's Hassler Carroll's STATE CHAMPIONSHIP in the 500 Free with a time of 4:30.23! He also finished tenth in the 200 IM and was a part of the Redskins' 200 Free Relay (with Grant Wethington, Patrick Johnson, and Korey Aukerman) which finished twentieth. Grant also finished twentieth in the 100 Fly and twenty-second in the 500 Free. Korey finished twentieth in the 200 IM. Turpin's Drew Hamilton also had a big meet, finishing fifth in the 500 Free, twelfth in the 200 IM, and twenty-fourth in the 400 Free Relay (with Jonathan Ericksen, Liam Grebert, and Michael Norton). Jonathan finished eleventh in the 500 Free and Michael finished eighteenth in the 100 Fly. Kings' Ben Matheus finished fourteenth in the 100 Free, while teammate Jimmy Koloseike finished fourteenth in the 100 Back. Cooper Keener of Walnut Hills earned a fifteenth place finish in the 100 Back, while teammate Juan Mougan finished twentieth in the same race. Complete results can be found HERE. Congratulations to all of our ECC swimmers on a great season! ECC UPDATES: Congratulations to Walnut Hills for capturing this winter's ECC Championship! Evan and Drew earned Athlete of the Year honors in the Conference, while Walnut Hills' Greg Lynch earned Coach of the Year recognition.
GIRLS' SWIMMING AND DIVING: STATE SWIMMING UPDATES: Megan Sichterman of Kings finished fourth in the 100 Fly and tenth in the 500 Free. She also joined Kate Etter, Alex Allee, and Tara Fears and finished twenty-second in the 200 Free Relay. Tara also placed thirteenth in the 100 Fly. Turpin's Shaylynn Spelman placed sixth in the 500 Free and twentieth in the 200 IM. She also joined Audrey Mooney, Taylor Contino, and Izzy King in the 200 Free Relay which finished nineteenth. Shaylynn, Audrey, Taylor, and Stephanie Williams finished twentieth in the 400 Free Relay as well. Stephanie finished twenty-third in the 500 Free, while Lexie Hardewig finished twenty-first in the same event. Anderson's Marissa Martin finished twelfth in the 500 Free and twenty-second in the 200 Free. She also teamed with Cara Wethington, Andrea Lupariello, and Megan Forsthoefel to finish twenty-fourth in the 400 Free Relay. Keira Hassel of Walnut Hills placed twelfth in the 100 Fly and teammate Brookley Garry finished twentieth in the 100 Breast. Complete results can be found HERE. Congratulations to all of our ECC swimmers on a great season! ECC UPDATES: Congratulations to the Lady Spartans of Turpin for winning their second consecutive ECC title! Conference Athletes of the Year were Kate and Walnut Hills' Jessica Doughman. ECC Coach of the Year accolades went to Turpin's Rene Contino.
ACADEMIC: ECC AND REGIONAL UPDATES: Walnut Hills received an automatic berth to Regional competition when they were crowned ECC Season Champions. They will advance with Kings who won the ECC Tournament held February 26. Kings placed third at Regionals, narrowly missing advancing to State competition! Congratulations to head coach Alex Garvin and the Knights' squad! ECC Athlete of the Year honors went to Milford's Conner Marshall, while Coach Garvin was named Coach of the Year.
BOYS' BOWLING: ECC UPDATES: Congratulations to Glen Este who won the ECC championship! The Trojans' Blake Huber earned Bowler of the Year honors, while Kathy Demarko, also from Glen Este, was voted Coach of the Year.
GIRLS' BOWLING: STATE UPDATES: The Glen Este Lady Trojans finished fourth at Districts and advanced to the STATE CHAMPIONSHIPS March 8 at Wayne Webb's Columbus Bowl. Leslie Campbell finished fifth overall and was named to the First Team All-Ohio squad! Other team members included Haley Vogelgesang, Gabby Ruehlman, April Belanger, Emily Doppes, Madison Wells, Drew Coulter, Courtney Chaffin. Read more HERE. Congratulations to head coach Kathy Demarko on a tremendous season! ECC UPDATES: Congratulations to Glen Este for earning the Conference championship this winter! Leslie and Coach Demarko were named ECC Player and Coach of the Year respectively. ENQUIRER PLAYER OF THE YEAR: Congratulations to Leslie for being named the Bowler of the Year by the Enquirer!
GYMNASTICS: DISTRICT UPDATES: Congratulations to both Turpin and Anderson who competed in Districts February 22 with the Lady Spartans finishing sixth overall and the Lady Redskins ninth. Anderson's Emily Caggiano finished eleventh in the All-Around.
BASEBALL: ECC UPDATES: Congratulations to this spring's Conference co-Champions, the Anderson Redskins and Milford Eagles! Conference Player of the Year honors went to Anderson's Zack Shannon and Coach of the Year honors went to the Redskins' Chris Newton. POSTSEASON HONORS: Congratulations to Anderson's Zack Shannon (First Team) and Milford's Andrew Minton (Second Team) and Kyle Ruehlman (Honorable Mention) for being named to the OHSBCA Division I All-Ohio squad!
SOFTBALL: ECC UPDATES: Congratulations to Milford for capturing the Conference title this spring, the Lady Eagles' first league softball championship in school history! Milford's Kayla Gregory and Christy Gregory were named Player and Coach of the Year respectively. POSTSEASON HONORS: Milford's Kayla Gregory was named to the OHSFSCA All-Ohio Second Team!
BOYS' TRACK: ECC UPDATES: Congratulations to the Loveland Tigers for capturing the boys' team championship! Runner of the Year honors went to Turpin's Alaeldin Tirba and Field Athlete of the Year recognition went to Loveland's Cameron Baucke. STATE UPDATES: Congratulations to the following athletes who qualified for the June 6-7 State Meet: Alaeldin (800 meters; finished tenth at State); Camden (discus, finished sixteenth at State); and Walnut Hills' Allery Lassiter (discus; finished twelfth at State) and Marquis Austin (high jump; finished tenth at State).
GIRLS' TRACK: ECC UPDATES: Congratulations to the Walnut Hills Lady Eagles, who came away with the girls' team title! Runner of the Year accolades went to Walnut Hills' Arissa Freeman and the Lady Eagles' Chelsea Carpenter earned Field Athlete of the Year honors. STATE UPDATES: Hats off to the following athletes who advanced to the June 6-7 State Meet: Walnut Hills' Arissa Freeman (100 meters; finished seventh at State), Taylor Darks (400 meters Regional champion; finished fifth at State), Chelsea Carpenter (shot put Regional champion; finished fifth at State and discus Regional champion; finished fourth at State), and Kings' Lily Bunse (pole vault; finished thirteenth at State). Complete State results can be found by clicking "COMPLETE RESULTS" HERE.
BOYS' TENNIS: ECC UPDATES: Congratulations to Turpin for capturing the ECC title! Player of the Year honors went to Loveland's Andrew Gordon and Coach of the Year recognition went to Turpin's Kate Rodgers.
GIRLS' LACROSSE: POSTSEASON HONORS: The following players earned postseason honors from the OSLA: Anderson's Bailey Thatcher (Second Team All-District) and Makenzie Pedgett (Honorable Mention All-District); Loveland's Hannah Bellamah (First Team All-State and First Team All-District), Savannah Lee (Second Team All-District), and Rachel Heath (Honorable Mention All-District); Milford's Megan Young (Second Team All-District) and Molly Shea (Honorable Mention All-District); Walnut Hills' Melan White (Second Team All-District) and Monica Kruse (Honorable Mention All-District); Kings' Sofia Corrao (First Team All-District), Taylor England (Second Team All-District), and Emily Lima (Honorable Mention All-District); and Turpin's Claudia Reynolds (Second Team All-District) and Maggie Argus (Honorable Mention All-District).
BOYS' LACROSSE: POSTSEASON HONORS: The following players earned All-State recognition from the OHSLA: Loveland's Brian McElveen (Second Team), Corey Costonas (First Team), Tanner Griffin (First Team), and Mac Mather (Third Team). Brian, Corey, Tanner, and Mac all earned All-Region First Team honors, along with fellow Tiger Cory Cotsonas. All-Region Second Team honors went to Milford's Jacob Hammond and Kemper Ackermann, along with Turpin's Otto Snelling and Michael Eades.