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Bulldog sports round-up — Oct. 1, 2015

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Inside the mind of a player
In the latest installment of “Inside the Mind of an Athlete,” YSHS soccer players Augie Knemeyer (junior, #17) and Aaron Sherwood (senior, #2) talk about the things that keep them psyched and focused. The overarching theme is one of motivation, which they said comes in many forms. Veteran players pass their wisdom on to newcomers and the team inspires itself by functioning seamlessly as a unit. Knemeyer mentioned that the team’s new warm-up outfits are undeniably nice — “if you look good, you play good,” he said — but the new threads are more about getting the team passionate about playing than about fashion.

Both agreed that the experience feels more cohesive when the team is made up of people you’ve shared the field with for years. “It’s cool to be able to play competitively on the same field with guys I’ve been playing with since first or second grade, in rec leagues and in backyards,” Knemeyer said. “It’s fun to be able to win some games with my friends.”

Once the game is underway, the years of experience playing together allows for a greater focus on the mechanics of the game. Knemeyer considers himself a facilitator since he can see everything pretty well from his position in the center of the field. “If someone’s not having a good day, you get them back in the game. If someone’s got hot hands, getting past defenders, it’s about getting them the ball,” he said.
And when Knemeyer plays the ball forward, Sherwood takes it and pragmatically approaches his stated goal of getting it to the back of the net. He said he’s reacting to what’s happening in front of him: “I know what I can help out with in the moment, versus planning something and getting distracted.”

Knemeyer said that because he’s been playing on the YSHS field for a few years, it’s less about nervousness than it is the energy that comes from going out to the field and getting ready to play. There really is something to home field advantage — having a solid group of supporters to play for is invigorating. It’s nice to know that there is a fan base that backs the team, Knemeyer said, as well as to have the support of a coach who “screams his butt off to get the players into the game.”

“Everybody is really tight, the players and the coaches,” said Sherwood. “We’re pretty much a family.”

Last week’s soccer scores
The YSHS boys soccer team beat Catholic Central 3–0 on Saturday, Sept. 26. The Bulldogs fell to Cincinnati Country Day High School on Monday, Sept. 21, losing at home 2–1.

Catholic Central beat the YSHS girls team on Saturday, Sept. 26, 11–0.

“Calmness on the court”
The Bethel Bees hosted the YSHS varsity volleyball team on Monday, Sept. 21, for a non-conference match. The Bulldogs were slow to warm up in the first game after an unexpected delay to the start of the game. The Bees controlled the lead for the game until the score was 21–24. After a missed serve, the Bulldogs’ Meredith Rowe went back to serve an ace which brought the score to 23–24. Kasey Linkhart blocked an attempted kill to tie the score at 24–24. Rowe served another ace to pull ahead 25–24. The last point was an out-of-bounds hit by the Bees to give the Bulldogs the win, 26–24. After that come-from-behind win by YSHS, Bethel seemed to lose their confidence as the Bulldogs found theirs. They went on to win the next two games, 25–16 and 25–17. Junior Elizabeth Smith led the scoring with 13 points and 3 aces, while Rowe put up 9 points with 4 aces and 6 kills. Alex Ronnebaum had 7 kills and 6 blocks, joining with Madeline Neilsen’s 5 blocks, while Julian Roberts helped with 7 points (1 ace, 3 assists) and Kasey Linkhart put up 9 assists.

Coach Christine Linkhart was brimming with praise and excitement: “This team works together so well! This is the third time they have been down with the other team being one point away from winning! They play with calmness on the court that you don’t see very often in high school teams!”

YSHS went to Troy Christian on Thursday, Sept. 24, to take on the Eagles in a conference match. Just like their first meeting, both teams fought hard. Both teams were able to pump up their stats with the long volleys that ensued that evening. The Bulldogs had to deal with some confusion as senior middle hitter, Madeline Neilsen, was out for the match, and unfortunately the Eagles were able to come out on top this time 25–17, 19–25, 28–26, 19–25, 8–15. Meredith Rowe served 13 points (3 aces), 11 kills and 8 digs, with Elle Peifer having 12 points (3 aces), 7 kills and 9 digs. Kasey Linkhart put up 17 assists with 3 kills, and Julian Roberts had 12 assists with 7 kills. Alex Ronnemaum was able to block 19 of the Eagles’ hits, followed by Elizabeth Smith with 5 blocks, 8 kills and 6 points. Payden Kegley prevented kills by the Eagles by digging up 10 of their hits.

JV pulls together to win
The YSHS JV volleyball team took on Bethel High School on the Bees’ home court. It only took two games for the Bulldogs to pull out the win, but they made it an exciting two games. After going at each other point for point until point 14, the Bulldogs won the first match 25–17. The Bees’ serving game improved quite a lot in the second game as they took an early lead, but the Bulldogs battled back with great digs and kills to win the tight match 27–25. Coach Linkhart said they didn’t seem rattled by the score but just kept playing their game. Kelsie Lemons helped the Bulldogs with 8 points, 2 aces, 5 digs, 1 kill and 1 block, while Danny Horton had 6 points, 3 aces, 3 digs, 3 kills and 1 block. Kayla Brown served 5 points with every serve being an ace. Nia Stewart had 3 kills, 3 assists and 1 block.

“I’m really proud of how these girls pulled together in the second game to come from behind to win!” said Linkhart. “They are so fun to coach!”

On Thursday, Sept. 24, the JV team traveled to Troy Christian to defeat the Eagles in just two games 25–21, 25–20. Nia Stewart served up 8 points with 4 aces and put up 2 assists. Amani Wagner scored 7 points and 5 aces.

On Saturday, Sept. 26, the Bulldogs took on the Golden Angels and lost in two games, 17–25, 19–25. Kelsie Lemons served 6 points (1 ace) with 4 kills, and Raven James had 4 points (1 ace).

“A good run”
The Bulldogs ran hard at the George Rogers Invitational on Saturday, Sept. 26. “We had a good run,” said Coach Jeff Collins. The high school boys were “significantly faster this year” than last, he added, while the girls were “a little down” because of sickness and injury.
Individual scores were as follows: Kaden Boutis 20:43; Zach Brintlinger-Conn 20:15; Olivia Brintlinger-Conn 24:49; Levi Brown 18:51; Eli Capasso 26:05; Grant Crawford 22:19; Donnie Isenbarger 23:16; Zach Lugo 22:04; Emma Ronnebaum 15:22; Shaylee Smith 18:36; Hunter Sparks 16:39; and Charlotte Walkey 23:12.


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