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Thursday, June 13, 2019

Highlands Athletics Year in Review

Schroeder Highlights Season with Individual Cross Country Title

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. The Highlands girls cross country team finished state runner-up in Class 2A in the fall.
The Highlands athletics teams had just one state championship this year.

But it was still a fun and exciting season. The Highlands Dance Team went to state and captured the Large Pom state championship out of eight schools. The team also also won Large Pom in KDCO State and second in Hip Hop. In nationals, they finished fifth in Hip Hop and 10th in Pom. They also won a Choreography award and a couple Grand Champion Awards.

Individually, sophomore Maggie Schroeder won the first-ever individual girls state cross country championship winning the Class AA race in 19 minutes, 7.68 seconds.

"It hurt honestly, but it was pretty awesome," Schroeder said "I guess I had a thought like I could win this, but I never put it very deep into my head that I could win because I didn't want to be disappointed if I didn't. I guess it was my amazing teammates, my coaches (who helped). I did a lot more running outside of practice than I usually do."

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Schroeder had finished runner-up as a freshman. The Highlands girls cross country team finished Class AA state runner-up with 115 points behind Scott's 106. Highlands had won state five of the previous six years.

The Highlands boys cross country team finished sixth in the state meet with 214 points. The Highlands girls captured the Class 2A, Region 4 crown while the boys finished region runner-up.

The Highlands boys and girls soccer teams gave the town a lot to cheer about in their drives all the way to the state championship games. The Highlands boys finished 23-2-3 with 16 seniors. They captured their first 9th Region crown since 2013 with a thrilling 2-1 win at Covington Catholic before Luke Schweitzer's double-overtime goal gave the Bluebirds a 2-1 win over Montgomery County in the Semi-State 5 game.

After cruising to a 3-0 win over Daviess County in the state quarterfinals, Highlands took down Hopkinsville, 2-1 to reach the state championship game. But the Bluebirds gave up an early goal and could not tie it in a 1-0 loss to state power Louisville St. Xavier.

The Highlands girls finished 23-5 led by senior Lindsey Meyer. The Northern Kentucky University signee finished her outstanding season with 28 goals and 16 assists for 72 points. She set all the Highlands scoring records with 75 goals, 45 assists and 195 points.

Highlands finished a perfect 14-0 against 9th Region competition. The Bluebirds made freshman Chloe Bramble's first-half goal stand in a 1-0 win over arch-rival Notre Dame in the region championship ending Notre Dame's run of seven straight region titles.

Highlands dispatched George Rogers Clark (4-0) in the sub-state game before taking out Greenwood (3-1) and Bardstown Bethlehem (3-0) in the state quarterfinals and semifinals respectively. The Bluebirds came inches from taking the lead with 25:45 left in the game, but Meyer's shot deflected off the right post. Louisville Sacred Heart won the championship 2-1 scoring the game-winning goal minutes later.

The Highlands boys golf team won the Region 8 crown with a 293 score. Sophomore Justin Gabbard tied for medalist honors shooting a 70. Highlands then finished eighth in the state with a 644 score.

The Highlands girls golf team finished fourth in the Region 6 Tournament at Twin Oaks Golf Course in California (Kentucky) shooting 377 as a team. That marked a one-spot and 16-stroke improvement from 2017.

The Highlands football team finished 10-3 recording its first double-digit win season since 2014 and driving to the Class 5A, Region 3 championship game for the first time since 2015. The Bluebirds beat previously unbeaten Anderson County, 14-10 in the second round of the playoffs before losing 36-0 at eventual state runner-up Covington Catholic.

The Highlands volleyball team posted a second straight 25-11 season. The Bluebirds swept Newport Central Catholic, 3-0 (25-5, 25-12, 25-10) to win a second straight 36th District championship before losing to Dixie Heights in the 9th Region quarterfinals.

In the winter, the Highlands boys swimming and diving team captured a second straight Region 7 title with 546 points before finishing third in state for the second straight year. The Highlands combined teams also won the region. The Highlands girls swimming and diving team finished third in the region and 17th in the state meet with 35 points.

The Highlands girls basketball team put together another solid season led by senior Zoie Barth. Barth finished her career second in school history with 2,416 career points.

Highlands finished 29-5 overall. The Bluebirds won the 36th District championship for the fifth straight year and sixth time in seven years.

Highlands entered the 9th Region Tournament and handled Covington Holy Cross, 72-49 in the region quarterfinals for the first region tournament win since 2016. The Bluebirds, however, lost to Dixie Heights, 42-39 in the region semifinals.

The Highlands boys basketball team finished 20-12 for its first 20-win season since the 2008-09 season. The Bluebirds broke losing streaks against several 9th Region opponents including a 16-game losing streak against Newport Central Catholic.

Highlands beat the Thoroughbreds to make the 9th Region Tournament for the first time since 2014. But the Bluebirds fell short in the 36th District championship, 64-61 against Newport before losing to Cooper, 47-37 in the 9th Region quarterfinals.

In bowling, the Highlands girls finished Region 5 runner-up to Campbell County. The girls beat Harrison County in the first round for their first-ever team tournament win before losing to Campbell County in the state quarterfinals. The boys lost in the region semifinals.

The Highlands Varsity Coed Cheerleading squad went to Nationals again in Florida and placed 13th. Highlands also finished second in Section 5 and eighth at state.

In the spring, the Highlands track and field teams captured Class 2A, Region 4 championships. In the state meet, the Highlands girls finished 12th with 24 points and the boys finished tied for 31st with five. Schroeder finished second in the two-mile run in 11:34.95.

The Highlands baseball team put together another solid season finishing 29-10 and capturing an eighth straight 36th District championship. The Bluebirds drove back to the 9th Region championship for the sixth straight year but lost 12-9 to Beechwood.

The Highlands softball team finished 16-11 winning a second straight district championship. The Bluebirds beat Ryle (3-1) in the region quarterfinals before losing a tough 4-3 decision to Dixie Heights in the region semifinals.

The Highlands boys tennis team finished an outstanding 17-1 and the girls finished 6-9. The Highlands boys saw Peter Laskey qualify for the state singles tournament.

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