Jeff Ruby Culinary Entertainment

Opticare Vision/Express Mobile Transport

Thursday, November 29, 2012

NewCath, Caldwell County to meet for 2A title Saturday

Photo by Steve Cornelius. Newport Central Catholic quarterback Josh Cain (2) looks for yardage while teammate Dan Ruwe (21) blocks Somerset's Tanner Gadberry (6) in the Class 2A state semifinals on Friday. The District 6 champion Thoroughbreds (10-4) take on District 1 champion Caldwell County (11-3) for the state championship Saturday at Noon at Western Kentucky University.

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds football team finds itself back where it likes to be on a yearly basis.

That is playing for a state championship. NewCath is playing on the final weekend of the season for the second time in three years since Eddie Eviston took over as head coach in 2010 and eighth time since 2000.

Highlands seeks history in 4A title game

Photo by G. Michael Graham/Fort Thomas Matters. The 2012 Highlands Bluebirds football team will be looking to add to the legacy on Friday against the Collins Titans. Game time is 8 p.m. EST at Western Kentucky University's Houchens/L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green.

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

It was not until recently that the Highlands Bluebirds football team heard about the Collins Titans.

That’s because the Titans (11-3) broke off from Shelby County in 2010. Collins is the last team standing in the way of history for Highlands. Class 4A’s top-ranked Bluebirds (13-1) will take the field in search of a Kentucky record sixth consecutive state championship Friday at 8 p.m. Eastern Standard Time at Western Kentucky University’s Houchens/L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green.

Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Facebook’s New Role in your Relationship

A new feature has been unveiled by Facebook.  It is a feature that you may not even be aware of.  The is a separate Facebook page dedicated to your relationship.  The page only exists if you are in a relationship or married, and it displays common likes, friends, check-ins, and pictures that you and your significant other share.  Neither person in the relationship has to sign off on the page; it is created and updated automatically.

Highlands Football Community Pep Rally Tonight!

What: Community-wide pep rally to send the Highlands Bluebirds off to Bowling Green in search for their 6th consecutive state championship on Friday.

Who: Keynote speakers: Jared Lorenzen (HHS '99), Derek Smith (HHS '99) and Will Chambers (HHS '97). 

Chambers will be doing the radio call on Friday. 

ALL ARE INVITED! Teachers, students, players, coaches and especially the Ft. Thomas community. 

When: Tonight. 6:00 Pep rally and buffet style dinner. $5 students, $9 adults. $4 kids. 
7:00 we will be doing a lip dub video to commemorate the journey for #RaceforSeis or #BlitzforSix, whichever you prefer. 

If you don't know what a lip-dub video is, look no further.

Where: Mio's. Fort Thomas. Wear blue and white. Bring balloons. Make signs. Start learning the words to Taio Cruz's, Dynamite. 

Why: Let's show our appreciation for our team.

Tuesday, November 27, 2012

Mama on a Budget: Fort Thomas Holiday Walk/Hop

Ah, holiday happenings in Fort Thomas.  You know, the perfect time of year for hot chocolate, snuggling up by a crackling fire place, and taking a mile long walk outdoors with children in tow (one of these things is not like the other… one of these things just doesn’t belong).  That’s right, it is time for the annual Holiday walk and tree lighting.  This year, for the second time, they have split the walk into two events, making it much more manageable than starting at Inverness and ending at Midway districts.  The events are described below for anyone who may not have attended this previously.  In all seriousness, it is a great event (one for family, and one for real fun).

Monday, November 26, 2012

#RaceForSeis Community Pep Rally This Wednesday

This Wednesday, 6:15 PM, at Mio's Fort Thomas, Fort Thomas Matters and Mio's will be hosting a community pep rally for the Highlands Bluebirds football team bid for six consecutive state championships.

Included in the nights events, we will be starting the pep rally with a lip dub video to commemorate the teams blitz for six.

We need the community to come out to show support for our team before they head to Bowling Green on Friday. We will shoot, direct, and produce the video which will take about an hour to complete. Afterwords you'll be able to show your support for the team.

The football team will be finishing up practice at 6:00, so come before then to get the All You Can Eat buffet before we shoot the lip dub taping after the team gets to Mio's. $5 for students, $4 for kids 10 and under and $9 for adults. 

This is our chance to get the community, teachers, athletes and Highlands students together for one event before the game.

Let's go birds!

Link from FTIS website. 

Sunday, November 25, 2012

Second Annual Griswold Award

The holiday season is officially in full swing, which means it's time to dust off those Christmas lights from storage. I'm pleased to announce that your holiday decorating skills will not go unnoticed this year. 

The Second Annual Griswold Award will honor the city's best outdoor decoration display. The Ft. Thomas Matters crew will be scouting out the best Christmas displays in town. On December 23rd, the winner will be announced. 

Do you think you have the best Christmas decorations in Ft. Thomas? You can nominate yourself or someone you think deserves this illustrious title by contacting Ft. Thomas Matters. Feel free to leave a message in the comments below, on our Facebook page, Twitter page, or via email. You can also send us photos of your holiday display. 

Good luck and happy decorating! 

Saturday, November 24, 2012

Highlands-LexCath Notes: Bluebirds contain Bouvier

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Highlands Bluebirds defense wanted to contain Lexington Catholic wide receiver David Bouvier in Friday’s state semifinal contest.

The Bluebirds accomplished the feat in the 61-28 victory. Bouvier had just three catches for 41 yards. His longest catch went for 18 yards.

“They (Highlands defenders) just hung in there all game long and kept playing (hard),” said Dale Mueller, Highlands Co-Head Coach. “I felt like we played great. We had a lot of diversity.”

Bouvier came into the game with 83 catches for 1,240 yards and six touchdowns. Bouvier had eight catches for 130 yards in LexCath’s 27-16 semifinal win over Boyle County.

Knights Out: Highlands heading back to state championship with convincing win

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

When you think the Highlands Bluebirds football team will not do something, Class 4A’s top-ranked squad proves you wrong.

The Bluebirds (13-1) came into Friday’s state semifinal matchup against the fourth-ranked Lexington Catholic Knights as favorites. But few expected them to beat the Knights worse than last year’s record-setting squad and eclipse their season averages of points, touchdowns and offensive output.

But the Bluebirds did just that in a convincing 61-28 win over LexCath (11-3) on Friday at David Cecil Memorial Stadium for their 29th consecutive playoff win. Highlands moved to 13-1 overall, including an 86-3 mark since the start of 2007.

NewCath bests Somerset in state semifinals again

Photo by Steve Cornelius. Newport Central Catholic senior Brady Thacker (54) celebrates his fourth-quarter 3-yard touchdown with teammates Elliot Rust (73) and Colin Hoover (60) at Somerset on Friday. The Thoroughbreds beat the Briar Jumpers, 27-18 to advance to their eighth state championship game since 2000.

For Fort Thomas Matters

SOMERSET – Thanks to the arm of quarterback Josh Cain and the legs of running back Dylan Hayes, the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds (10-4) punched their tickets to Bowling Green for the Class 2A State Championship game.
With a 27-18 victory over the Somerset Briar Jumpers (11-3) on Friday at Clark Field, the Thoroughbreds are headed to their second state championship game in three seasons, where they will square off against the Caldwell County Tigers (11-3) next Saturday at Noon at Western Kentucky University’s Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium. Caldwell County advanced to the championship with a 43-31 win over Louisville DeSales on Friday.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

NewCath heads south for 2A semifinals

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

This looks to be their biggest challenge of the Class 2A football playoffs.

But the fourth-ranked Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds (9-4) do not mind. They travel near Lake Cumberland with history on their side.

NewCath began its current run of 13 consecutive trips to the regional title game in 2000 and when the Thoroughbreds advanced past that round, they’ve ended up playing two extra games. NewCath (9-4) sports a perfect 7-0 record in state semifinal contests during that time.

That includes wins in 2005 and 2006 against Friday’s opponent in the host and second-ranked Somerset Briar Jumpers (11-2) back when there were four classes. Game time is 7:30 p.m. at Clark Field.

Highlands faces LexCath in 2011 semifinal rematch

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Highlands Bluebirds do not need to be told every football team in Class 4A is aiming for them.

They’ve been in that position for years, especially with a state-record 21 state championships, including the previous five. Highlands (12-1) again puts its 28-game playoff winning streak on the line Friday against a team that could consistently challenge on a yearly basis.

The fourth-ranked Lexington Catholic Knights (11-2) come to Fort Thomas in a rematch of last year’s state semifinal contest at 7 p.m. Highlands downed LexCath, 42-21 in Lexington before beating Franklin-Simpson, 42-14 in the Class 4A title game a week later.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Night Before Thanksgiving

We celebrate one holiday at a time here at Fort Thomas Matters.  There is no tinsel or mistletoe strung up at the corporate office yet.  The Christmas tree is still collecting dust in the box, and our radio is still tuned to B-105 (which oddly still plays country).  What I am getting at is that tomorrow is Thanksgiving, which only means that tonight is Thanksgiving eve.  The night before thanksgiving is basically “black Wednesday” if you’re a bar proprietor, because the patrons are going to pour in like a smooth bourbon.

Thanksgiving eve is one of the most popular nights at the bar.  People belly up to the bar requesting their favorite draft or cocktail catching up on all the latest gossip.  The confident bar-goers may indulge in an ill fated karaoke attempt.  No matter if you are a social butterfly or a wallflower the bar is an entertaining venue for your pre-thanksgiving plans.

Breaking: Car Crashes Into Best Furniture Showroom

Tuesday, November 20, 2012

Mama on a Budget: Thanksgiving Day Weekend

Thanksgiving is all about spending time with family.  However, after one full day of family, you’ll likely be going stir-crazy!  We used to be able to avoid the issue by shopping all weekend but now that we do that in our pajamas at the computer, we may need some other outlet for our “family fun”.  So, I’ve compiled a list below of family-friendly activities for this long weekend.

Monday, November 19, 2012

Save the Date: November 24th is Small Business Saturday

You might think that the Saturday after Thanksgiving is finally a time to recover from Black Friday's retail marathon, and a time to relax after indulging in too much pumpkin pie (don't worry, we won't judge you). Well, I'm here to tell you that you'll have to hold off on relaxing until Sunday. Instead of lounging around watching holiday movies on Lifetime (once again, we here at Ft. Thomas Matters won't judge you…too much), get off the couch and shop local.

Small Business Saturday first burst onto the shopping scene in 2010. This shopping holiday was initially promoted by American Express, and has grown in popularity over the past two years. The shop local trend has been embraced nationwide, and has also hit our town.

Calorie-Capped Student Lunches: Helping or Hurting Part II

Part II of the healthy-lunch series will showcase FTM's interview with Gina Sawma. Sawma is the Food and Nutrition Director at Fort Thomas Independent Schools. Her degree is in clinical nutrition and food service management. She worked in the health care industry for 23 years before switching to schools. She's been in the school/food business for 6 years, 4 of which have been at FTIS. 

You can read Part I here.

MC: What changes have been made in the HHS cafeteria, since I graduated in 2001?

Sunday, November 18, 2012

Fort Thomas Weekend News & Notes

1. St Elizabeth joined the Mayo Clinic Health Network this week.  This means that the Fort Thomas hospital will reap the benefits.  According to the Business Courier:
The affiliation with Mayo Clinic will give St. Elizabeth patients access to the prestigious clinic and its team of specialists. Its physicians will gain access to evidence-based disease management protocols, clinical care guidelines, treatment recommendations and reference materials for complex medical conditions.

2. Dan Walsh benefit - Dan is an area father who has a pretty serious illness that is keeping him from work and providing for his family.  You can read more by visiting the event page on Facebook but stop by and support him at a Benefit at Mokka on December 1st.

3. SANTA IN THE CITY would like to invite you to schedule a remote broadcast at our Bellevue location to promote our support of The Henry Hosea House Soup Kitchen.  10% of all sales will be donated to help those in need this holiday season.  The Hosea House serves over 8000 meals (180-300 people each night) from now through Christmas.  This special event at 241 Grandview Ave is open to the public – Tuesday thru Saturday - 10:30am to 6:30pm, and Wednesday - 12:00 noon to 5:00pm.  It all ends December 23, 2012.

4. Fort Thomas Coffee is hosting another art show called 'A Lil' Poster Show featuring Keith Neltner. You can get more details at their event page on Facebook.

Calorie-Capped School Lunches: Helping or Hurting Students? (Part I)

Been on vacation for the last week. You'll have to excuse me if this article sounds like it's written by Charlie Sheen. Thanks to the FTM braintrust for stepping up.

Tiger blood. 

Fort Thomas Independent Schools are unique. They are constantly progressing, pushing the bar higher and higher academically, athletically and providing students with the knowledge and know-how to become successful cogs in society more frequently than most schools not just regionally, but nation-wide.

I think that's probably one of the reasons why they are afforded the privilege of going off campus for lunch. It's a tradition that goes back to when my dad graduated from HHS in the 70s and earlier. Of course, they were allowed to get in their cars, going 60 MPH down Memorial Pkwy into Newport to try to get back before their 30 minutes passed. But a tradition passed down, nonetheless.

Saturday, November 17, 2012

Highlands overcomes deep CovCath again

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

Everyone knows the Highlands Bluebirds football team wears opponents down with its depth.

The Bluebirds do not have any players going on both offense and defense. Only Covington Catholic and Cincinnati Elder matched the Bluebirds in that aspect so they’ve been able to challenge Highlands. Elder handed Highlands its lone loss, 38-24 on Oct. 19.

The Colonels gave the Bluebirds two good games. But Highlands held off its biggest rival, 28-13 in the Class 4A, Region 4 Friday.

Highlands head coach Dale Mueller said CovCath senior Sam Williamson is the lone player to go both ways on either team. Williamson is listed as a defensive lineman, but he plays a few plays on the offensive line.

“Here before the game, I bet there were 220 guys dressed on the field,” Mueller said. “It was absolutely amazing. It looked like it was Ohio State vs. Notre Dame.”

Highlands takes care of CovCath for sixth consecutive regional crown

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

Some argue that the Northern Kentucky football rivalry between the Highlands Bluebirds and Covington Catholic Colonels is not really a rivalry anymore because it’s been one-sided since 2006.

Despite that, the Colonels consistently threaten the supremacy of the top-ranked Bluebirds so Highlands prepares for them intensely. That preparation added up to a second consecutive Class 4A, Region 4 championship over the fifth-ranked Colonels, 28-13 at David Cecil Memorial Stadium on Friday.

The Bluebirds will battle the Lexington Catholic Knights (11-2) in the state semifinals on Friday. Highlands beat LexCath, 42-21 in the same round last year.

NewCath bulldozes way to state semifinals

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds football team left a huge exclamation point on why it is the top Class 2A squad in Northern Kentucky.

For the third consecutive playoff game, the Thoroughbreds (9-4) jumped out to a huge lead and cruised to victory. They scored 28 points in the first quarter against the Walton-Verona Bearcats (10-3) and never looked back in a 49-13 Region 3 win Friday.

The fourth-ranked Throughbreds won their seventh consecutive game and snapped the Bearcats’ eight-game winning streak. They’ve outscored opponents, 345-50 during the winning streak, including 150-26 in the three playoff victories.

“Our guys were ready to play right off the bat,” said Eddie Eviston, NewCath head coach. “They understood this was a region championship. We work on ourselves week-in and week-out trying to improve. We just stay focused on what we have to do no matter who the opponent is. I think that was proven.”

The win marked NewCath’s 13th consecutive appearance in a regional championship to the first ever for Walton-Verona, which started its program in 2008. It’s been in this round where the Thoroughbreds have had problems in the past, including last year’s 24-21 loss to eventual 2A champion Covington Holy Cross. That’s one of two losses in the third round since 2005. The other came 23-10 to Louisville DeSales in 2009.

“We were dreading this game knowing that we came up short last year in the third round,” said Elliot Rust, NewCath senior offensive and defensive lineman. “I know I was personally nervous. We just played lights out. That was great.”

But NewCath erased more of those memories with the win over Walton-Verona. The Thoroughbreds improved to 8-5 in the third round since 2000.

NewCath moves on to the state semifinals Friday at the second-ranked Region 4 champion Somerset Briar Jumpers (11-2). The Thoroughbreds defeated the Briar Jumpers in the state semifinals on their way to consecutive 2A championships in 2005 and 2006. The 2006 meeting also took place at Somerset’s Clark Field.

The Thoroughbreds have history on their side in state semifinal contests since 2000. They own a spotless 7-0 record in that prestigious round of the playoffs.

NewCath dominated the game on special teams, defense and with the passing attack. Walton-Verona punted six times for an average of about 28.7 a boot to NewCath’s one punt for 51 yards.

Senior Nathan Grosser handled the extra-point and kickoff duties for the Thoroughbreds. He made all seven extra-point attempts and kicked off eight times including three into the end zone for touchbacks. The Bearcats returned five kicks for 63 yards for an average of 12.6 a return.

On the other side, the Thoroughbreds averaged 40 yards a return. Freshman Jacob Smith returned two kickoffs for 103 yards including the opening kickoff back 92 yards for a touchdown. Teammate Mac Franzen returned another for 17 yards.

NewCath also had 101 yards on three punt returns to none for Walton-Verona. Dylan Hayes had two returns for 67 yards including a 43-yard punt return in the first quarter that put the Thoroughbreds up 28-0. Smith had the other for 34 yards.

“Special teams really gave us a spark,” Eviston said. “They made some big plays. The defense shut (Walton-Verona) down in the first quarter and gave us short field (position) so that really helped.”

NewCath outgained Walton-Verona, 246-235 in total offense. That included 182-79 through the air. Quarterback Josh Cain completed 16-of-23 passes for that total with one touchdown and one interception for just his sixth of the season. Franzen again led NewCath with six catches for 60 yards and Pete Collopy had two catches for 34 yards.

Walton-Verona lined up in a spread formation and attacked with several running backs at different angles. The Bearcats rushed for 156 yards on 46 carries for an average of about 3.4 a carry. Will Latimore led Walton-Verona with 63 yards on 14 carries for an average of 4.5 a touch and his brother Chris Latimore had 45 yards on five carries for an average of nine a touch.

“We took it to them in the first half,” said Quinn Anost, NewCath senior defensive end. “We definitely bent a little. We let them get a few yards, but we didn’t break. We’re definitely not taking anything for granted right now.”

NewCath gained just 64 yards rushing on 24 carries for an average of about 2.7 a touch. Cain led the way with 31 yards on two carries. Standout tailback Dylan Hayes had just four carries for eight yards.

Defensively, The Thoroughbreds picked off two passes. Smith had one and John Harris made the other.

Aside from the two special teams returns, NewCath scored two touchdowns on runs. Brady Thacker scored from a yard out and Cain scrambled for a 27-yard touchdown.

The Bearcats dented the scoreboard in the second quarter. Will Latimore returned an interception 26 yards for a touchdown. But NewCath responded when Cain hit Collopy for a 24-yard touchdown.

NewCath extended the lead to 49-7 after the third quarter. Smith scored from two yards out and Tyler Lyon recovered a fumble in the end zone.

The Thoroughbreds stayed a perfect 10-0 against opponents from District 5. They have not faced Trimble County. But NewCath is 3-0 against Carroll County, 2-0 against Gallatin County and 4-0 against Owen County.

Thursday, November 15, 2012

Bluebirds, Colonels meet again for Region 4 crown

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Highlands Bluebirds football team would not mind a repeat of last year in the 60th meeting against its arch-rivals.

The Bluebirds took down the arch-rival Covington Catholic Colonels, 42-37 in the regular-season matchup before downing the Colonels again, 49-14 in the Region 4 title game on their way to a fifth consecutive state championship. They meet again for the Region 4 championship at 7 p.m. Friday back at David Cecil Memorial Stadium in Fort Thomas.

Class 4A’s top-ranked Highlands (11-1) faces that task against CovCath (9-3) after both teams dominated their first two playoff opponents from District 8. Highlands won the District 7 opener for both teams, 35-21 on Sept. 21.

The Bluebirds took care of Boyd County, 56-14 and Ashland Blazer, 52-13 in the first two rounds of the playoffs for combined scores of 108-27. The Colonels downed Rowan County, 67-3 and host Johnson Central, 45-15 for combined scores of 112-18.

NewCath faces Walton-Verona for Region 3 title

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

It is fitting for the district champions to meet for the Class 2A, Region 3 football championship Friday at 7 p.m. at Newport Stadium.

The host and fourth-ranked Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds (8-4) and Walton-Verona Bearcats (10-2) bring respectable records to the table thanks to nice winning streaks. The District 6 champion Thoroughbreds have won six straight since starting the year 1-3. The District 5 champion Bearcats have won eight in a row since starting the season 2-2.

Both teams also run similar offenses and defenses. They like to run spread offenses that look like Wing-T formations as times and 4-4 defenses.

But after that, the similarities taper off making NewCath a huge favorite. The Bearcats started their program in 2008 while the Thoroughbreds’ first season came in 1935 and continued in 1945 after a nine-year absence. NewCath’s record is 444-334-10 all-time.

The Bearcats are 32-23 in their short existence and their third consecutive playoff appearance. The record-setting year includes their first district championship in school history and first appearance in a regional championship.

But the Thoroughbreds do not need to be reminded what happened when they came into the regional championship as a favorite last year. They fell 24-21 to eventual state champion Covington Holy Cross.

NewCath erased some of that string with a 52-0 shellacking of the Indians on Saturday in the second round of the playoffs. That followed a 49-13 win over Gallatin County in the first round of the playoffs for combined scores of 101-13.

“I think (the fire) has shown in their play,” said Eddie Eviston, NewCath head coach. “They’ve been making sure they go out there and play every snap like it’s their last. That’s what any team that wants to win a championship has to do.”

Walton-Verona struggled to 4-6 and 2-8 in 2008 and 2009 before winning eight games in each of the past two years. The only other playoff win for the Bearcats came in 2010 with a 46-0 win over Bracken County in the first round followed by a 49-7 loss to Frankfort. The Bearcats lost 13-0 to Lloyd Memorial in the first round of the playoffs last year.

On the other hand, NewCath is making its 13th straight trip to the regional title game and owns 20 district championships in school history. The Thoughbreds own four state championships including 2010 and six state runner-up finishes. They’ve gone 32-8 since Eviston took over as head coach in 2010.

“We have high expectations here,” Eviston said. “We have a tradition of being in this position. I hope these guys understand that. I don’t know if it will be an advantage or not. We still have to play the game. But we hope our guys are hungry enough to go after what we want. If we can play like we have been, we’ll be in good shape.”

Both teams did go undefeated in district action. But while NewCath dominated its district competition in the regular season by a combined 219-32 and no team coming closer than 39 points, Walton-Verona did receive a scare from Owen County winning just 21-14 on Sept. 28 in what turned out to be the district championship. The Bearcats outscored district opponents, 152-34.

The Thoroughbreds have clearly played the tougher schedule. The 1-3 start came against three Class 6A opponents and another from Ohio’s third-largest Division III. The Bearcats have played just two teams in the larger 3A class against winless Estill County (a 42-7 win on Oct. 26) and 3-8 Henry County (a 27-24 loss on Aug. 24).

The Bearcats and Thoroughbreds have three common opponents. They happen to be NewCath’s district opponents and one matchup stands out. Walton-Verona fell 38-33 to Lloyd Memorial on Sept. 7 before beating the Juggernauts, 33-26 in the second round of the playoffs last week. NewCath dominated Lloyd Memorial, 63-22 on Oct. 6.

The other two common opponents are Bishop Brossart and Newport. Walton-Verona downed Bishop Brossart, 45-0 on Oct. 19 and Newport, 42-7 to open the playoffs. NewCath shut out Bishop Brossart, 58-0 on Sept. 21 and Newport, 49-0 on Oct. 12.

Walton-Verona has a huge right tackle in senior 6-foot-6-inch, 320-pound Cole Mosier. He’s paved the way for a Wildcat offense that has rushed for 2,825 yards and passed for 556.

Senior Logan Foley quarterbacks the Bearcats. He’s rushed for 603 yards on 96 carries and eight touchdowns for an average of about 6.3 a carry and completed 19-of-35 passes for 398 yards, four touchdowns and two interceptions.

The Bearcats have seen five backs rush for at least 395 yards. They run a lot of dives, jet sweeps and quarterback keepers. Sophomore Will Latimore leads the way with 894 yards on 71 carries and nine touchdowns for an average of 12.6 a carry. He had 132 yards on 12 carries and a touchdown for an average of 11 a touch last week against Lloyd Memorial.

Walton-Verona has seen eight players catch passes. But only one has more than three in Latimore with 16 receptions for 337 yards and three touchdowns.

Defensively, senior linebacker Cory Bennett leads Walton-Verona with 72 tackles. Foley has four interceptions and senior defensive end Keith Graue has two fumble recoveries.

“We have to do a good job winning the trenches and getting on the perimeter,” Eviston said. “If we do that, we should be fine.”

The Thoroughbreds will counter with a balanced offense that has gained 4,019 yards and allowed 3,246. Dylan Hayes leads the rushing attack with 1,468 yards on 173 carries and 24 touchdowns for an average of about 8.5 a touch. Quarterback Josh Cain has completed 122-of-206 passes for 1,823 yards, 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. His leading target has been Mac Franzen with 41 catches for 875 yards and six touchdowns.

“We base our offense a lot around our run game,” Franzen said. “But it’s important to get the pass in there too, especially when (defenders) start creeping up (to the line of scrimmage against) the run. We can go over top, keep everything balanced and keep teams guessing.”

Defensively, Ross Meek leads NewCath with 80 tackles and Franzen has three interceptions. Mason Myers and Pete Collopy lead the Thoroughbreds with two fumble recoveries.

The winner of this game will travel to either District 7 champion and second-ranked Somerset (10-2) or fifth-ranked Danville (9-3) in the state semifinals. NewCath met both teams in its state championship runs in 2005 and 2006. The Thoroughbreds beat Somerset in the state semifinals both years and beat Danville in the Class A title game in 2006, 37-34.

Wednesday, November 14, 2012

5 Things to Know - Fort Thomas Fire Department

I am always looking for a Fort-Thomas-centric topic to feature in the “5 Things to Know” article.  A topic that all residents are aware of, and all residents could benefit from learning more about.  The Fort Thomas Fire Department is the perfect topic to focus on.  These fearless protectors of our city are rarely acknowledged for their hard work and dedication.  I wanted to feature them in an article to educate our readers on our fire department, and also show our appreciation for the selfless work they do all year.

 I contacted Captain Steve Lumpp to research, interesting, and lesser known facts about the Fort Thomas Fire Department.  Captain Lumpp responded, “Here are our five things, there are so many things to share it is difficult to pick out just five!”

Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Mama on a Budget: Santa House

                  My husband put the Christmas lights up on the house on Sunday.  It went against every bit of his moral fiber to do it prior to Thanksgiving but, as he said, he had to take advantage of the amazing weather.  Lights on the house means I can officially begin to love all things Christmas!  All of my next posts will be fun, family-friendly, and mostly free Holiday-related activities.  I have a lot of family traditions and despite having a Grinch-Scrooge (Grooge?) of a husband, I for some reason await the season with the anticipation of a three year-old during his Happy Birthday song (“Knox, wait for the song to finish—from the top, take seven!).

Sunday, November 11, 2012

NewCath earns 13th straight trip to Regional title game

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

They went into the second-round Class 2A football playoff game at Newport Stadium confident.

But the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds were not overconfident unlike last year’s playoff meeting with the arch-rival Covington Holy Cross Indians. The fourth-ranked Thoroughbreds had beaten the defending state champions, 49-10 on Oct. 18 at Scott in the regular season and did not want a repeat of last year.

That did not prove to be an issue. NewCath (8-4) recorded an even bigger 52-0 victory Saturday over its rivals across the Licking River to advance to its 13th consecutive regional championship. NewCath has won six in a row and seven of its last eight contests since starting 1-3.

They avoided the fate of last year’s team as a result. The Thoroughbreds beat the eventual state champion Indians, 31-14 in the regular season before falling 24-21 in the Region 3 title game. Holy Cross finished 12-3 on its way to the state championship last year, but stumbled to 4-8 this year.

Salute to Veterans

In honor of Veterans Day, the Ft. Thomas Renaissance Board hosted the 5th Annual Salute to Veterans  on Saturday, November 10th and Sunday, November 11th. Tower Park's Mess Hall was bursting with military displays, vendors, and live entertainment. The schedule of events consisted of special demonstrations or musical acts each hour. While I attended the event Sunday, a dulcimer player was entertaining the crowd.

Saturday, November 10, 2012

Fort Thomas Weekend News and Notes

We will start with the new DEP (Discount Everyday Prices).  How great is that new store?  It seems like everything is at least 2 times the size of the old store.  Just look at the taps in the picture above for the growlers.  Can you say amazing?  A bigger beer cave, wider isles, a private room in the back for events, and more.

2. A reader on our facebook page brought a fun little item to our attention.  Apparently Fort Thomas' own Tricia Macke made some national headlines this week after she apologized for a comment from last month on her Facebook page calling Rachel Maddow an 'angry young man'.  It sparked outrage among the gay community and I have linked to the story from for more info.

3. A couple more events around town that you may want to check out.  We talk often about Highlands' drama program and some of the great productions they have but what about St Catherine?  They have a drama group as well and if you act quick you can see their production of Bye Bye Birdie.  While a couple performances have past you can check out the 3pm production on Sunday or wait until the 16th or 17th at 7pm.  Tickets are $7 for adults and $5 for children. Veterans can attend for $5 on Nov. 11 in honor of Veteran's Day. For tickets, call 442-8684.

The other event that you may want to check out is NEWPORT: GANGSTERS, GAMBLERS, AND GIRLS  at the AMC theaters at Newport on the Levee -  Tuesday, November 13. Seating is at 7:00 p.m.  The film is one hour and begins at 7:30 pm.  For tickets visit their website and click on “Buy Tickets”.  If you can't make the screening, you can also buy a DVD on the website.  Makes a great Christmas gift!

Highlands captures seventh state crown

Photo by G. Michael Graham/Fort Thomas Matters. The Highlands Ladybirds Cross Country team captured its seventh state championship winning the Class AA crown Saturday at Horse Park with 65 points.

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

LEXINGTON –The young and talented Highlands Cross Country teams hoped to begin their own run of greatness at the Class AA state cross country meet Saturday at Horse Park.

The Ladybirds accomplished that by dethroning the four-time defending state champion South Oldham Lady Dragons and the Bluebirds finished sixth. Both won the Region 4 meet last weekend. The Ladybirds won their seventh overall title, but first since winning three in a row from 2002 to 2004.

The Ladybirds placed their top three runners among the top 10 out of 231 runners to score 65 points to 97 for the Lady Dragons. South Oldham’s fifth runner came in ahead of Highlands’ fifth runner. But South Oldham’s third runner placed 23rd to sixth for the Ladybirds.

Highlands puts clamps down on Ashland rushing attack

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Highlands Bluebirds defense knew the Ashland Blazer Tomcats would try to pound them between the tackles.

The Tomcats finished with 260 yards on 52 carries and two touchdowns for an average of five a carry. But after going for 196 on 28 carries for an average of seven in the first half, Ashland managed just 64 yards on 24 carries for an average of about 2.7 a carry in the second half. Highlands pulled away from Ashland, 52-13 in the second round of the playoffs Friday.

“Defensively, we just played great,” said Dale Mueller, Highlands co-head coach. “They’ve got some excellent offensive linemen. Their coach (Leon Hart) does a great job. They have a great scheme, but we played them so well defensively when we were struggling offensively. That was big for us.”

Ashland came into the game with three running backs out with injuries including freshman Quentin Baker. The Tomcats ran out of the tight I-formation packages and some spread looks. Quarterback Aaron Elam and running backs Evan Yongue and Malik Massey had most of the carries.

Highlands pulls away from Ashland in second half

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

The Highlands Bluebirds football team knew it had history on its side entering Friday’s second-round Class 4A playoff game.

The Ashland Blazer Tomcats had not beaten the Bluebirds since 1954. Despite that, Ashland made a game of it trailing just 16-13 at halftime. But the top-ranked Bluebirds (11-1) gave the visiting Tomcats (9-3) no more hope of an upset in the second half outscoring them, 32-0 to pull away for a 52-13 victory at David Cecil Memorial Stadium. Highlands moved to 84-3 since the start of 2007.

“(Ashland has) some good football players,” said Dale Mueller, Highlands co-head coach. “They played well. Their problem is they didn’t have as many good football players as we do. Halftime was about getting ready to run the plays we were going to run in the second half.”

With their 27th consecutive playoff win, the Bluebirds earned another trip to the Region 4 championship. They will face the arch-rival Covington Catholic Colonels (9-3) back in Fort Thomas on Friday. CovCath downed host Johnson Central, 45-15 Friday in Paintsville. The Bluebirds beat the Colonels, 35-21 on Sept. 21, also in Fort Thomas.

Thursday, November 8, 2012

NewCath prepares for another battle with defending 2A champs

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

When the Class 2A football brackets came out, the fourth-ranked Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds knew this was a possibility.

The last two 2A champions will meet in the second round of the playoffs Saturday at 7 p.m. at Newport Stadium. In the first round Friday, the Thoroughbreds (7-4) took care of the Gallatin County Wildcats, 49-13. At the same time, Covington Holy Cross Indians (4-7) took care of host Owen County, 42-32 to set up another meeting between the rivals on opposite sides of the Licking River.

“It’s about pride in our program,” said Eddie Eviston, NewCath head coach. “We want to be the best 2A program up here (in Northern Kentucky). We need to make sure we go out and play that way. We’ll let the guys know what they might see and go from there.”

Late Mid-week Fort Thomas News Update

1. Here is a little story that likely slipped under the radar screen with all the election day fun this week.  The Supreme Court of Ohio suspended the law license of Fort Thomas attorney Michael W. Davis.  The bar association said that he failed to tell clients that he did not carry malpractice insurance, that he failed to deposit client funds in an interest-bearing client trust account, and that he provided in his fee contract for automatic withdrawal from representation when local rules required the filing of a motion to withdraw.

2. Another new business has opened in Fort Thomas.  Jennifer Lynn (pictured above) has opened Fit Philosophie at 911 N. Fort Thomas Avenue (former home of Cake Towne).  According to Jennifer's bio she is also the Director of Operations for the Indoor Cycling Association, an online educational website, and manages the brand ambassadors for Zweet Sport Clothes, an athletic apparel line. I can't find a website address or facebook for her business so just stop by to find out more.

3. St Philip is hosting the 1st Annual Tina Verst Euchre tournament on November 17, 2012 at St. Philip Parish Center.  Doors open at 6pm and the euchre starts at 7pm.  It is a $25 buy in until November 7th and an extra $10 skins participation.  If you like euchre, winning money, and supporting scholarships then go check it out.

A reminder to put a few important holiday related dates on the calendar.  The Fort Thomas Holiday Walk is scheduled for Sunday Dec 2nd from 5:30 - 8:00 pm and the The Holiday Hop will be Friday, December 7 from 7:00 pm until midnight for the Historic Midway District. The YMCA will be hosting a Parents' Night Out from 6:00-10:00 pm for children 2-12 years of age.

Bluebirds battle Tomcats in second round of 4A playoffs

Photo by G. Michael Graham/Fort Thomas Matters. The top-ranked Highlands Bluebirds battle the eighth-ranked Ashland Blazer Tomcats on Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the second round of the Class 4A playoffs.

Fort Thomas Matters Sports Reporter

Many have tried it this season.

But only one football team successfully carried out the plan to victory against Class 4A’s top-ranked Highlands Bluebirds (10-1). Teams try to gain five yards at a time rushing the football between the tackles, milk the clock and keep the quick-strike Bluebird offense off the field.

Cincinnati Elder did it in Highlands’ lone loss of the season, 38-24 on Oct. 19. But the Panthers are the lone team that has had a big enough offensive line and a bruising running back to pull off the feat.

The Bluebirds expect their second-round playoff opponent in the Ashland Blazer Tomcats to try it Friday at 7:30 p.m. at David Cecil Memorial Stadium in Fort Thomas. The eighth-ranked Tomcats (9-2) line up in the I-formation pound it at people. Highlands last faced Blazer in the same round in Class 5A in 2008 at Fort Thomas and won 53-6.