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Thursday, July 11, 2013

Tricia Macke Makes Kentucky Royals AAU Royalty

The Royals' hardware from more than 40 tournament victories in two years (including back to back Kentucky state championships in 2012 and 2013). Laylay Chames, Lauren Klare, Makira Cook, Maddie Scherr, Piper Macke, Beka Sergent, Jillian Hayes, Maggie Jones, Kennedy Harris; Back row, Coach Tricia Macke, Coach Kristi Hayes

Tricia Macke is a busy lady. Whether she's anchoring multiple news broadcasts on Fox 19, juggling her 5 kids' schedules,  or scarfing stuffed pizza for The Brighton Center, she's got her hands full.

"I've got a lot going on, but you've got to find something to fill a void," said Macke. "Coaching does that for me. It keeps me charged up."

Macke and assistant coach Kristi Hayes, who was an All-American basketball player at Drake University and married to Bengals Tight-End Coach Jonathan Hayes,  recently took their 5th grade Division I Girls team to the National AAU Tournament after winning their second straight Kentucky state tournament in March. Macke was a standout athlete at Newport Central Catholic where she graduated in 1987.

The Royals didn't just qualify for the national tournament, they made it further than any other girls or boys team from Kentucky has ever made it, from 3rd-12th grade. Ever. They were the runner up of the tournament, falling to eventual champion West Virginia.  

"It is very rare for a Kentucky team to even make it into bracket play," said Macke. "You have to qualify for this tournament, so it was a big deal. We were very proud of what we did. We left it all on the floor."

Over the past 3 years, they have won 312 games and lost 21. Only 7 of those losses have come against girls in their age bracket. They have won every boys league they have ever played in, including competitive AAU leagues in northern Kentucky and Cincinnati.

There are nine players on the team; six from Kentucky and three from Cincinnati. AAU allows teams to have up to three players from a neighboring state. It's still uncertain where these girls will go to high school, but according to Tricia's husband, Chris, it's possible these girls could play at the next level.

"I feel confident that the All-State teams from Ohio and Kentucky in 2019 and 2020, and possibly some All American teams, will include some of these Kentucky Royals," he said. "They are an exceptional group of girls.  I am very proud of them, and of Tricia. They work very, very hard, and when they began talk of a national championship last year it seemed as possible as a trip to the moon. We have big hopes that next year Kentucky will have its first national champion."

So what kind of coach is Macke? 

"I've gotten a few (technical fouls), but for the most part I'm a pretty calm coach. I teach the game and (Kristi) teaches the skill. I try to teach the girls to be collected on the court. All but one of the girls is a straight A student," said Tricia. "It's a great group of girls."

The players and their hometowns:
Piper Macke, Fort Thomas
Lauren Klare, Anderson, OH
Makira Cook, Finneytown, OH
Maggie Jones, Independence
Maddie Scherr, Union
Beka Sergent, Independence
Laylay Chames, Covington
Jillian Hayes, Loveland, OH
Kennedy Harris, Somerset


  1. I have always love Tricia Macke. This makes me like her even more. Thanks for sharing, Mark.

  2. WOW! She is busy. Congrats Tricia and Piper!

  3. I wonder if Tricia still lives in Fort Thomas. Or she she read FTM?