No. 1 seed Moeller, Elder and La Salle all posted victories Monday night on the statewide opening night of the Ohio High School Athletic Association Southwest Sectional Tournaments held at the sites of the highest seeded teams. As a result, the three schools advance to second-round matches on Thursday night, while No. 2 seed St. Xavier will open postseason play that night by hosting Hamilton, a 4-2 winner in its opener against Middletown, at 7 p.m. at St. Xavier Stadium. The Bombers had a first-round bye by virtue of the tournament draw.
Three of the four Greater Catholic League South Division soccer teams begin their postseason journeys today, including top-ranked Moeller, while St. Xavier gets started in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I Southwest Sectional/District Tournaments later this week. Moeller (12-1-3), ranked No. 2 in last week’s Ohio Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association (OSSCA) DI poll, hosts Winton Woods at 5 p.m. at the Gerry Faust Athletic Complex on Moeller High School’s Montgomery Road campus.
Senior Nathan Mountain from St. Xavier covered the 5K course at Christ’s Church in Mason Saturday morning in a winning time of 16:31.7 to finish atop the varsity field in the Greater Catholic League Cross Country Championships, helping the Bombers successfully defend their league title for the eighth consecutive year.
It was not exactly a pleasant Saturday afternoon in Northeast Ohio for the Moeller football team, which voyaged to Greater Cleveland to take on St. Ignatius in its annual meeting. The Crusaders, winners of five straight and fresh off three consecutive victories over league opponents to win the Greater Catholic League South Division championship outright, were victimized by four lost fumbles and five total turnovers that St. Ignatius turned into 16 points on the way to a 32-7 victory over Moeller in a matchup of two ranked Ohio Division I teams at Byers Field in Parma.
It was an up and down Friday night on the football field for teams in the Greater Catholic League South Division. St. Xavier got three touchdowns from senior back Chris Payne and two scoring throws from junior quarterback Wyatt Hudepohl to post its second straight win, defeating Clarkson North Football from Ontario, Canada, 38-19, at St. Xavier Stadium.
For the second straight week, Elder held a three-point halftime lead only to see its opposition rally in the final two quarters – this time Winton Woods scoring 21 unanswered points and coming up with some big defensive plays in the fourth quarter to knock off the Panthers, 28-10, at The Pit in Price Hill. The loss was the second straight for Elder, which led Moeller, 14-11, at halftime last Friday only to fall 24-21 on a late field goal.
Speaking of Moeller (6-1), which clinched the GCL South championship with the win against Elder, the Crusaders look for their fifth consecutive victory this afternoon when they travel to Northeast Ohio to face Cleveland St. Ignatius at 2 p.m. at Byers Field. Moeller is looking for its second straight win over St. Ignatius, after posting a 41-20 victory last season at Otterbein University in Westerville.
La Salle (4-3) did not play last night, the result of Category 4 Hurricane Michael that prevented International School of Broward, Fla. from traveling to Cincinnati and forced the game to be cancelled. La Salle returns to action next Friday when the Lancers host Trinity Catholic (6-2) from St. Louis. Kickoff is set for 7:30 p.m. at Lancer Stadium.
Cross country teams from both the Greater Catholic League South Division and the Girls’ Greater Catholic League are set to run this morning in the annual GCL / GGCL Cross Country Championships to be held at Christ’s Church in Mason, located on the corner of Western Row and Mason-Montgomery Road. Ursuline Academy will attempt to successfully defend its varsity title in the GGCL, while St. Xavier looks to continue its run as champions in the GCL South.
The first full night of games in the Greater Catholic League South Division certainly did not disappoint fans in terms of excitement. In dramatic fashion, Moeller’s Chrystopher Watkins scored on a 1-yard run on fourth down on the first possession of overtime, and then teammate BJ Hendrix intercepted a pass in the end zone to preserve the Crusaders’ 21-14 victory over La Salle Friday at La Salle’s Lancer Stadium – Moeller first win against La Salle in five years.
Former La Salle High School head football coach Jim Hilvert was heartbroken when he heard the news about Jeremy Larkin’s retirement from football Monday afternoon.
“He is such a great person,” said Hilvert, who is now the Baldwin-Wallace University head coach. “Every game he made an impact no matter what. He was a guy who was a great leader.”