Category Archives: Soccer

FC wraps up successful sports year

By J.D. McKay

It is my last column of this school year, so it is time for an end of the year wrap up. All in all, we have had a great year. Unfortunately, we have come up short in a few sectionals, but we have also had success against New Albany.

Girls’ cross country was very good. They won their regional and got second at semi-state by two points. Junior Sydney Liddle followed in her dad’s footsteps and became FC’s first second generation all-state athlete. Next year, the girls have a very real chance of winning team state and Liddle could win individual state. The boys’ cross country also won regionals. They were led by junior Luke Heinemann, who finished sixth there and could win regionals next year if he stays healthy. They only graduated two guys, so they could win semi-state next year.

Football had a pretty good year, too. They beat New Albany, Jeff, and Providence. It was their first year with new head coach James Bragg. The conference was very tough this year and their 5-5 record was pretty good for the level of competition. Next year, the sectional is winnable for all the teams in it, the first time FC has been in a winnable sectional in three years.

Girls’ volleyball had a good year. They beat New Albany and Jeff. They have a tough sectional and came up short against Providence in the sectional championship. The boys’ had a terrific fifth season. They were ranked in the top four for most of the season. They also beat Trinity. They lost in the state semifinals to eventual champion Roncalli.

Girls’ soccer had another good season. They won sectionals against Seymour 2-1. Junior Katie Yankey was all-state. They could be very good next year. They lost a few seniors, but they have a lot of talented returning juniors. Boys’ soccer also won sectionals 1-0 over Jeff. They had a big senior class, so they might have a tough year next year. However, junior Xander Ochsner is very good and could lead them to a successful year and sectional championship.

If you asked one of the players on our boys’ basketball team, they would probably call the season a disappointment. However, they had a very good year. They beat New Albany in the regular season and tied Jeff for first in the conference. Unfortunately, they lost to New Albany, who overcame some adversity and injuries to play a great game. Their head coach, Jim Shannon, also ran a tough triangle and two defense that made senior Cobie Barnes and sophomore Jake Heidbreder less of a threat. Barnes was all-state.

The girls’ season was pretty good. They went in with mixed expectations. They were hit with the injury bug again but still managed to beat New Albany and Providence. They have a lot of underclassmen so if they stay healthy they could be good next year.

Boys’ and girls’ swimming both had a pretty typical year by their standards. Both went undefeated during the regular season. Both won conference and sectionals. Both teams have pretty good senior classes, but they also have lots of underclassmen talent, so they should continue their success.

Wrestling had a decent season. They beat New Albany in sectionals. Unfortunately, they did not win sectionals. However, they had two all-state wrestlers, junior Jonathan Kervin and sophomore Gavinn Alstott. Freshman J Conway also went to state. Those three alone make the future of FC wrestling bright.

Boys’ golf dominated like it always does. They will easily win sectionals next week. They may even have two finishers in the top three. The girls’ also dominated like they usually do. Freshman Sophie Cook won, sophomore Zoe Hoehn got second, and junior Francesca Hartlage got third.

Baseball had a better year than many were expecting. They beat New Albany as well as Castle who was ranked very highly at the time. Ultimately, they lost in their sectional which is very tough, boasting New Albany and Jeff.

Softball had kind of a weird season. They started the year playing below their talent level. But as the season progressed, they improved. That led to beating Seymour in sectionals after losing to them in the regular season. Unfortunately, they lost to Jennings County 2-4 after being up 2-0 going into the last inning. Next year, they will be led by junior Taryn Weddle, who will be going to Louisville after she graduates.

Girls’ track had a successful season. They won sectionals and conference. They have two freshmen, Annalise Zeinemann and Reece Davis, who are going to state as pole vaulters. The 4 by 800 meter relay advanced to state as well as the 4 by 400 meter relay. Junior Sydney Liddle and Chloe Loftus is going to state for the 2 mile. The boys’ season was disappointing. They lost sectionals for the first time in 17 years after going into the season with a chance at winning regionals. However, senior Cam Sturgeon is going to state for discus, senior Devon Montgomery for pole vault, and senior Jon Gunn for the 100-yard dash. The 4 by 800 meter relay also is going to state.

Girls’ tennis has had a successful year. They won sectionals over Eastern Pekin in straight sets. Boys’ tennis had probably the best season of any team. They advanced all the way to state before losing to eventual state champion Carmel. They are only losing one senior, all-state Lucas Sakamaki. They should be very good next year.

The last sports are the unified sports, track and football. This was the first year for unified football. It was not a great season competitively, but that is not the main goal of unified sports like it is for some other sports. It is a fun chance for impaired students to compete with their classmates. Some schools should probably put more focus into this aspect than the competitive aspect. Unified track also did not have an outstanding competitive season, but once again, that is not the main goal. The main goal is to try new things and give all types of kids a chance to be on an FC team.

This has been a pretty good year for FC, but the future looks even brighter. This talented senior class will be hard to replace but there is a lot of talent below it. Be sure to stay connected with FC sports by reading my column next school year. My first column will be on July 31.

Consider visiting a Louisville City FC game

By J.D. McKay

I have never really been that interested in soccer. I played it when I was little like just most other kids and have watched a little bit of the World Cup but only when the USA is playing. I still cannot say that I really enjoy watching a soccer game. However, Louisville City FC (LouCity) games are very cool and if you have not been to a game, you should.

I cannot say that if you already do not enjoy soccer you will suddenly become a fan, but it would make for an enjoyable group outing. If the game is close, it is fun to watch the fans as Louisville City gets close to scoring. Even I got into watching the game and was just as disappointed as the fans when the game winning goals carried just right of the goal, resulting in a draw.
It is also reasonably priced to watch a game. An evening movie costs about $13, which is about the average price of a LouCity game. Plus, at a Louisville City game, fans can enjoys the beautiful Ohio Valley weather if they pick the right time of year. On June, 8, they are playing a home game, and tickets only cost $10.

This is also the last year that they will be playing at Louisville Slugger Field. Their home stadium makes watching the games an interesting experience. The pitcher’s mound is lower and covered in turf, and turf is laid on the infield. The players sometimes seemed to avoid these patches, but did not seem to have too much of an effect on the game, in my opinion. Since it is their last year at Louisville Slugger, it is neat to see the how the fans make the stadium as seem more like Louisville City’s stadium than the Louisville Bats’ stadium. Soon, they will have a new stadium in  Butchertown, designed by the beloved and since deceased partial owner, Wayne Estopinal.

That brings me to my last point, the fans. LouCity fans are crazy. Most typical fans are pretty into the game for people who are not super fans. However, the super fans are wild. They are out tailgating beside the stadium at 1 p.m., six hours before game time. Fast forward about five and a half hours, and they are preparing for their march into the stadium. Led by a procession of drummers, they march in screaming their chants that are basically impossible to understand unless you have been to way more games than me. During the game, they are just as rowdy.

I have suggested before to go to a LouCity game in my “FIVE THINGS TO WATCH” columns. However, I have not really taken that advice and wish I would have sooner. These games are a very cool part of the exploding life in downtown Louisville and will be for years to come.

School board uses three million dollars on New Albany’s ‘the project’ while ignoring FC athletic facility flooding

By J.D. McKay

On Oct. 22, the New Albany-Floyd County school board approved using three million dollars left over from the referendum to build a new soccer facility for New Albany High School. The facility will be located at the old Green Valley Elementary School, and will include new locker rooms, stadium seats, and concession stands.

While new soccer fields is something NAHS needs (they have 12 soccer teams on one field), spending three million dollars on one field is unreasonable, especially because they seem to be ignoring problems we have with fields at Floyd Central.

Our soccer, baseball, softball, and shotput and discus fields sit in a valley and flood every year, usually in the spring, which makes playing on the softball field almost impossible. Some years, the outfield fences are destroyed, the screen behind home plate torn, and brick dust in the infield moves around so it is unusable. Plus, debris is strewn all over the shot and disc fields, and the soccer field is too wet and soft to use for several weeks.

The clean up is usually assigned to the softball, baseball, and soccer teams. Then, after most of the immediate tasks have been completed, a maintenance crew comes in and finishes the tasks that take some expertise. Clean up is also very costly. According to athletic director Jeff Cerqueira it cost at least 25,000 dollars to clean, but on the more destructive years it has cost 75,000 dollars.

Another problem with this new stadium for NAHS soccer is keeping the high schools equal. Currently, FC has two locker rooms attached the football stadium. One of them is used for football, and one is used for girls’ soccer. That means the boys’ soccer team is without a locker room to change in, and the girls’ locker room is not always open for their use. Plus, the concession stand and bathrooms are attached to the football stadium.

According to the minutes from the school board meeting on Oct. 22, NAHS’ new facility will have three exclusively soccer locker rooms, coaches’ offices, bathrooms, and a concession stand attached to the stadium. Their new stadium will also have permanent bleachers. Currently, we have bleachers that only stay by the soccer fields for the season; then, they are wheeled away to sit in the parking lot to wait until the start of next soccer season. The only equal part of their facility and our fields would be the press box.

NAHS clearly needs a new soccer facility, but that expense is ridiculous. Seymour High School installed a new soccer facility three years ago with a turf field, practice field, and had 200 thousand dollars of unexpected drainage that needed to be installed. That cost them only 1.4 million dollars and included new stands, press box, lights, and field turf, and could have been several hundred thousand less if not for the drainage surprise and practice field.

What SHS did is much more logical and could make facilities even between the two schools. NAHS could have the 1.5 million to build their new soccer facility, and we could have the other 1.5 million to make the fix the problems we have with our soccer, softball, shotput and discus, and baseball fields.

Football team to face challenging sectional

Before I get into the football sectionals, FC had a terrific weekend in sports. Our football team beat New Albany 17-7 and kept the Anchor up on the hill for 365 more days. Girls’ soccer finished second in their regional, and boys’ and girls’ cross country both won regionals. Junior Sydeny Liddle was the girls’ individual winner. The volleyball team also beat New Albany three sets to one before finishing as the runners up in their sectional. The boys’ tennis team had one of FC’s all tine best finishes this weekend. They lost to eventual state champion Carmel in the state semifinals.

The football team has a bye week this week, but has a tough road after that. Every team in the football sectional is ranked in the top 15 in class 5A, and one of them is Columbus East, who won state last year.

The first game for the Highlanders is against Bedford North Lawrence. Earlier in the season, FC lost to BNL 26-20 in an outragious, penalty-filled contest which saw two coaches ejected. FC’s defense came out flat early and gave up 21 of BNL’s 26 points in the first half, limiting the Stars to a field goal in the fourth quarter. FC’s offense also took a safety to give BNL their last two points. For the Highlanders to win, they will need to come out and play well in the first quarter.

If FC beats BNL then they will face either New Albany, Columbus East, or Seymour. Columbus East swept the other two teams this season, but New Albany only lost earlier to East. However, any team that comes out of that group will be a challenge. FC lost to East in what was not even a game, and lost to Seymour after the Owls drove down the field and scored a touchdown with less than 30 seconds remaining.

Five things to watch over Fall Break

Photo by Nicholas Gordon

Story by J.D. McKay

1- Dawns After Dark Sept. 29, gates open at 5 p.m.

Going to Churchill Downs is always an interesting exprience. Watching the horses creates a sense of awe because of their power and speed as they go around the track. Plus, you never know when you will see an outragous outfit or crazy hat.

2- Kentucky football vs. South Carolina Sept. 29

As much as this pains me to say, UK football is legit this year. I was able to say beating Florida was a fluke and Florida was not actually good. But after beating Mississippi State, who was ranked in the top 20, by 21 points, it is hard to argue that their wins have been flukes. UK running back Benny Snell is talented. He already has 540 rushing yards over four games and seven touchdowns.

3- Louisville City FC vs. North Carolina FC Oct. 9

Louisville City has had a good season. They are 15-6-9 and have clinched a playoff spot. If you have never been to a game, you should go, and the weather and lack of football on a Tuesday night makes this a good option.

4- Girls’ soccer sectional

Girls’ soccer is having a very good season and are expected to win their sectionals. With that being said, last year they won the sectional championship over New Albany because of a penalty kick. Adding to potential seeing drama like we did last year, the team plays Jeffersonville in their first game and could potential play New Albany again in the sectional championship.

5- Football vs. New Albany Oct. 12

FC vs. New Albany. Senior Night. The Battle for the Anchor. Need I say more?