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Wednesday, October 9, 2019

Highlands Beats NCC, Brings Home Another District Championship

Bluebirds Win Eighth Straight against Thoroughbreds

PHOTO: G. Michael Graham, Fort Thomas Matters. The Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team celebrated its fourth straight district championship Tuesday.
The two teams could still meet one more time.

But since this current senior class entered high school, the Highlands Bluebirds boys soccer team has not lost to the Newport Central Catholic Thoroughbreds. Highlands (13-5-4 overall) beat NewCath (10-8-4), 4-1 for the eighth straight time in the series and a fourth consecutive 36th District championship Tuesday at Tower Park on Sept. 17.

"It shows how well (Highlands Head) Coach (Chad) Niedert has been able to develop us as players and it shows our ability to come through when we need to," said Alexander Foubert, Highlands senior. "I've been playing varsity since my sophomore year so it's now three years. It's just awesome to never lose to them."

The regular season was a close 4-3 win at Morscher Field. But Highlands made sure this one did not come down to the wire.

"We were content with how we played in the first half," Niedert said. "We worked on some things trying to play certain spaces. Once we settled down, we played the majority of the game in our offensive half. At one point, it should have been 3-0 and the game would have opened up a little bit different, too had we converted a (penalty kick) or some of our other chances earlier."

Foubert scored just three minutes into the game to put Highlands up 1-0. He has four goals on the season.

Senior Caymon Stevie led the Bluebirds with four points on two goals. The first came with 12:14 to go in the first half to give Highlands a 2-0 lead and the second came with 22:45 left in the game to put Highlands up 3-1. Stevie has 10 goals this season.

"It felt good to give our team great energy," Stevie said. "We were playing pretty low when (the Thoroughbreds) scored. After (the second goal), we kept getting after it and we made it happen."

Foubert and Stevie made the all-tournament team with the senior Most Valuable Player in goalkeeper Nick Fischer. Fischer had eight saves as NewCath put up 12 shots with nine on goal. Highlands had 27 shots with 13 on goal.

"Going up 2-0 against a rival, sometimes the third goal is the most important goal regardless of which side it falls on," Niedert said. "(NewCath's) program is improving. They seem to be on the upswing."

Highlands added a goal in the final minutes when junior Ben Fischer tapped around the goalkeeper and scored. That marked his second goal of the season. Junior Hank Cook placed a nice through ball for his second assist on the season.

Senior Porter Hedenberg also had an assist in the game. Hedenberg has four on the season for the Bluebirds.

The 9th Region quarterfinals take place Tuesday. Highlands could face 33rd District runner-up Ryle, St. Henry or Dixie Heights from the 34th District or Covington Holy Cross or Covington Catholic from the 35th District. The 34th and 35th District championship games take place Wednesday.

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