Monday was the first official day of summer practice for high school football teams across the state of Ohio. Lakota West opened with a late afternoon practice followed by another session Monday evening.
This Friday, WestChesterBuzz.com will post a season preview of the Firebirds.
Here is a look at Lakota West’s 2012 schedule (2011 record):
Aug. 25 – vs. La Salle (7-3 overall, 1-2 in Greater Catholic League) Aug. 31 – at Glen Este (4-6 overall, 1-4 in Fort Ancient Valley Conf.) Sept. 7 – vs. Anderson (4-6 overall, 2-3 in Fort Ancient Valley Conf.) Sept. 14 – vs. Mason (7-4 overall, 5-2 in GMC) Sept. 21 – at Fairfield (1-9 overall, 0-7 in GMC) Sept. 28 – vs. Princeton (7-3 overall, 4-3 in GMC) Oct. 5 – at Oak Hills (4-6 overall, 2-5 in GMC) Oct. 12 – vs. Middletown (10-2 overall, 6-1 in GMC) Oct. 19 – at Colerain (10-2 overall, 7-0 in GMC) Oct. 26 – at Lakota East (4-6 overall, 2-5 in GMC)
This past fall, the Firebirds complied a 3-7 overall record and 2-5 mark within the GMC.
(All 2012 Lakota West football games are scheduled to begin at 7:30 p.m. with exception to the La Salle game which will be played at 8 p.m. at Nippert Stadium)
Lakota West continues to have Lakota East’s number in softball, winning its fourth straight against its school district rival. The latest coming by way of a 6-2 victory Friday over the Thunderhawks.
Last season, Lakota East was ranked No. 1 in the state for most of the spring and lost only three of its 31 games. All three losses came at the hand of the Firebirds, including one that eliminated Lakota East in the state quarterfinals.
“I don’t think they have our number,” Lakota East head coach Steve Castner said. “This is a new year. We have a new group of girls … it is high school softball and the team that scores the most or doesn’t make the most mistakes – wins. That is all it is.”
Entering this season, both schools, which are coached by brothers, Steve and Keith Castner, were tied atop The Cincinnati Enquirer’s Division I Preseason Poll. Entering Friday’s matchup, both high schools were also unbeaten in the Greater Miami Conference in the early going this spring.
“It is always a rivalry. We can always down play it. I never make it about us, the brothers, because it about the girls,” Lakota West head coach Keith Castner said. “They love this game, practically when it is against East because they all know each other. I am really happy for them.”
Sophomore centerfielder Alyssa Hedric, who doubled twice, scored twice and drove in another run, led the Firebirds’ offense.
Sophomore centerfielder Alyssa Hedric scores on a wild pitch in the first inning. Hedric doubled twice, scored twice and drove in another run during a 6-2 win Friday against rival Lakota East. Photo by Joseph Fuqua II.
She scored the game’s first run on a wild pitch in the bottom of the first inning after doubling and advancing to third on a sacrifice bunt.
In the third inning, Hedric drove in sophomore Marisa Walterbusch with her second double. Afterwards, she celebrated by flexing her muscles while standing on top of the second base bag.
“It is a team thing, everyone does it if you get a double or any hit,” Hedric said about flexing after her second double.
Later in the third, Hedric would score on a triple by senior first baseman Amanda Lahti. Lahti, who has signed on to play at Ohio Northern, scored on the play when the relay throw went over the head of Lakota East third baseman Gracie Sprockett.
“We just started off strong, everybody hit, came out on fire and that gave us a lot of confidence throughout the game,” Hedric said.
That confidence led to two more runs in the bottom of the sixth inning.
“This win means a lot,” Keith Castner said. “We have a lot of hard working girls, who are bound and determined each game.”
In the loss, Lakota East finished with seven hits, missed multiple opportunities to score and committed two errors. To beat Lakota West, the Thunderhawks head coach said that his team will need to minimize their mistakes.
“We are in game 5, we have 27 games in the regular season plus tournament and you are going to make mistakes in game 5,” Steve Castner said. “It is game 28, 29 and 30 where mistakes cannot happen.”
Both teams will have more time to improve when they face off again April 19 at Lakota East.
BOX: Sharp (5-1, 3 K’s). Buckenmyer (3-1, 6 K’s). LE Rollins 2B, Dendler 2B, Callihan 2B Astrop 2-3, 2B. LW Hedric 2-3 2Bs, Lahti 3B, Walterbusch 3-3, Johnson 2B. LE (4-1), LW (5-1).
Oak Hills erased a 19-point second half deficit, but came up short at the buzzer losing 56-47 to Lakota West Tuesday.
After leading Lakota West in scoring down the stretch last season, junior guard Ali Barnes waited until the final minutes of the season opener to get in the scoring column.
With the score tied 42-42 with three minutes to play, Barnes drilled a three pointer. He would later score on a lay up and make two free throws, as the Firebirds ended the game on a 14-5 run.
“When I took the three in the corner it was a little nerve racking. It was my first jumper of the season and it was when the game was tied, they were coming back and the crowd was out of it,” Barnes said.
“It felt good. It was a big shot to make and I just knocked it down.”
It appeared that Firebirds wouldn’t need any late-game heroics after jumping out to 33-14 lead in the third quarter.
Lakota West started to accumulate its big lead when 6-foot-4 senior Kayaune Ross scored 12 first-half points off the bench.
Ross, who entered the game without scoring more than two points in a varsity game, also finished with four rebounds.
Feeding off the energy in the first half, Lakota West began the second half on a 7-0 run.
Battling back, the Highlanders cut the Firebirds’ lead to 38-31 after three-point field goals from seniors Ben Laumann and Jack Pflum late in the third quarter. (more…)
Lakota West senior defenseman Wesley Hartoin scored a golden goal with 1:51 left in the second overtime to advance the Firebirds to Saturday’s Division I regional final against Beavercreek.
The Firebirds are one of the final eight teams remaining in the Ohio High School Athletic Association Division I state soccer playoffs. If Lakota West were to win the regional final, it would be the third time in program history that it made it to the final four and the first time since 2004. The program has never advanced to the championship game.
Milford sent the game into overtime with 2:02 left in regulation on a 30-yard shot by senior defender James Hammond that surprised Lakota West senior goalie Joe McClanahan and got over his outstretched hand.
It was the only thing that surprised McClanahan in the game. He came up with multiple stops in the second half and in overtime as Milford kept pressure on the Lakota West defense in the attempt to erase a 1-0 deficit.
Two and a half minutes prior to Hartoin’s goal, McClanahan took the ball off of the feet of Milford freshman Rodolfo Castillo on a one-on-one situation 10 yards from the goal to keep Lakota West alive. Milford unofficially outshot Lakota West 18-13 and had many more shots on goal than the Firebirds.
“I told (McClanahan) the reason we were here was because of him,” said Lakota West coach Rick Cooper. “He saved two penalty kicks against Mason (in the district final). We’re not here without him. We trust in him and believe in him and I told him we’d pick him up. In overtime he stepped up.”
Milford had beaten Moeller 3-2 in overtime to win its sectional title. The Eagles got goals with three minutes remaining to send the game into extra time and Kyle Grothaus won it with a goal eight minutes into the overtime.
Lakota West outscored Mason 4-2 on penalty kicks to win the district title, 2-1.
Under OHSAA postseason rules, the first team to score in overtime wins the match. If both teams do not score in two 15-minute overtime periods, then the match would be decided on penalty kicks.
Saturday’s regional final will take place at Bellbrook. Time of the match has not been released.
Lakota West head coach Rick Cooper confirmed late this morning that the Lakota West regional semifinal match against Milford has been moved to Lakota East High School and will kickoff at 7 p.m. this Tuesday.
The match was originally scheduled to take place Tuesday night at Lakota West. After the Firebirds’ district final win Saturday, Cooper said the regional semifinal match would be moved to a neutral site.
Lakota West won its district final match against Mason Saturday by the score of 1-1 (4-2 in penalty kicks). Meanwhile, also on Saturday, Milford won its district final match against Centerville by the score of 2-0. Both teams enter the match with identical 15-3-2 records. Milford, however, defeated Lakota West earlier this season by the score of 5-2.
Led by junior goalkeeper Joe McClanahan, who stopped two penalty kicks late, Lakota West held off Greater Miami Conference foe Mason 1-1 (4-2 penalty kicks) and captured a district title at Bob Lewis Stadium in Wyoming Saturday.
The win puts the Firebirds in the regional semifinal match against Milford, which was originally scheduled to take place Tuesday night at Lakota West High School. The Firebirds head coach, Rick Cooper, said that the match would be moved to a neutral site.
Lakota West, who won its first Greater Miami Conference title since 2002 in the regular season, will enter the regional semifinal with a 15-3-2 overall record. In the regular season, the Firebirds lost to Milford by the score of 5-2.