Thursday, September 25, 2014

FINALLY!!! They stepped on it.

The last time the Neers played Boone County, during the September Slam Tournament at Scott, they let a match get away from them as they squandered a 14-7 lead and lost the tie breaker set by a score of 15-17.  The Lady Neers went up tonight by a score of 14-8 and buckled down to not let history repeat itself as they finished the match off in convincing fashion.  The scores for the night were 25-14, 23-25, 20-25, 25-21 and 15-8. 
SK did what they hadn’t all year- they stepped on their opponent and didn’t let them off the mat after they got a good lead.  SK also showed some nice fight after being down 2 games to 1 to come back and win the final two sets for the exciting match win.  Ellie Smith pulled out a very strong 5th set by logging 6 of her 12 kills on the night in that set.  SK was without the services of Amarah Nicholson tonight but Anna Cully stepped in and had a strong match with 10 kills and 8 blocks.  Other notable stats included Haley Robinson with 12 kills and 3 blocks, Sarah Sergent with 51 assists and Carson Elliott with 12 digs playing the libero spot.  

SK was also without the services of their student cheering section tonight as the football team got double booked with a late practice.  Their absence was very apparent as the gym took on an eerie silence at times.  C’mon Man! (that’s for Coach M, right Grant?) 

The Lady Neers wrapped up a week of 3-0 play as they beat Walton Verona in the Dig for Depew Memorial on Tuesday and Lloyd on Wednesday.  SK only has one match next week as they travel to Dixie on Tuesday.  Homecoming festivities will dominate the remainder of the week. 
Great job tonight girls; I've been waiting for your AH-HA moment....I think this was it.

Throwback Thursday Pic....Lloyd's trainer and former Pioneer, Rachel Kloentrup

Wednesday, September 24, 2014

Wow! Thank you Simon Kenton Community

Wow!  Drum roll please…..we have tallied the results of the t-shirt sales, bake sales, silent  auction, pumpkin sales, art donation, art auction (I don’t have an auctioneer license so we surely violated some Redbook rule) and donations from those who attended last night.  The grand total was nearly $2,700 that will be donated to the Simon Kenton Special Education Department  in memory of Brittany Depew!  Absolutely amazing!!!!  Thanks again everyone who participated in so many ways.

Thank you Tricia Mann for your help coordinating efforts at SK!


Tuesday, September 23, 2014

Dig for Depew Memorial Celbrates Brittany and SK Special Ed

Oh what a night!  What occurred at SK tonight is exactly why I’m daggone proud to be a part of the Southern Kenton County/Independence Community, a SK Alumnus and a parent of a SK student and teacher.  The community, coming out and taking the time to remember Brittany Depew’s impact on the community while raising funds for SK Special Education, was a goose bump raising experience for everyone at the Joe tonight. 

Kaitlin Murray and Megan Leggett, two of Brittany’s best friends, did an awesome job of sharing from the heart what SK meant to Brittany and what Brittany meant to the SK Community.   While Brittany Depew became a national media darling, she was first our queen and her legacy and spirit were celebrated tonight at our school.  I’ll never forget the Dig For Depew event last year and Brittany grabbing ahold of Kaitlin’s arm while Kaitlin told Brittany’s story.  Truly just a special moment that you’ll never forget if you were there. 

Since the event was meant to raise funds for SK Special Ed students, the students from the SK Adaptive Guard delivered a performance to the crowd that I can’t find the words for.  It just made me feel good to get to share in the night and watch the joy on their faces of getting to perform for the crowd.  The Guard  performed a routine with their flags that brought the house down. 

I can’t say enough about the student body’s support of the game.  Lead cheerleaders Chris Hicks, Grant Vercheak and Kyle Heflin for leading a huge contingent of SK students in cheering for their team.  They showed how it is done with their stellar performance tonight that earned them the Novacare 7th Man Award and a lovely Novacare/SK T-shirt. 

Thank you to so many who helped this night be a special one.  First, Karen and Andy Murray of Murray Promotions for a nice donation to the t-shirt cause, Kaitlin and Megan for your inspiring words, the SK Special Ed Department for delivering an amazing performance honoring Brittany, SK Volleyball program for selling t-shirts and getting the support out for tonight, all of the volleyball parents who donated to the baskets and provided baked goods, SK Football and Cheerleaders for also donating baskets, the committee of Tricia Mann, Mary Jo Schmiade and Mischelle Figgins and the Boosters who helped pull everything together, and everyone who donated in some way.  Finally and most importantly, we thank Brittany’s family who supported this celebration tonight. 

That arm lock that Brittany put on Kaitlin and Brittany’s tears of pure joy is a memory that our community needs to make sure goes on for a very long time.  Brittany was celebrated tonight, her student buddies delivered an awesome performance and we raised money that will allow these students to participate on field trips etc. that they would not have likely been able to enjoy.   

Thanks SK Community, you are the best!

Brittany, you were celebrated tonight.

Well Done Buddy!
Awesome job by two friends
Some of Brittany's Team
Solid Effort

Friday, September 19, 2014

NDA "Cans" Neers

The MASH Neers headed to Park Hills tonight for a match-up with defending state runner-up Notre Dame.  The Frosh took the second set from the Pandas but went down in three with all three sets being well contested.  The JV team looked good at times but just couldn’t seem to get the big point that they needed to get over the hump.   

After a nice ceremony that recognized the NDA teachers, the varsity girls took to the floor.  The girls looked strong early but NDA took over and cruised to a first set victory by a final of   25-11 .  The banged up would Neers would take another hit as MH Amarah Nicholson went down with an ankle sprain late in the set.  The senior's injury would cause Coach Atwood to jumble her line-up once again.  NDA would jump out to a huge lead but the Neers did not quit.  The shuffled line-up started to work as the girls got comfortable and got confidence.  SK won several points in a row prompting an NDA timeout.  SK finished strong and did not give up and walked off the court feeling good with their efforts, going down by a final of 25-17.   Kahlee Fuener had 3 kills, Rachael Figgins posted 2 kills and 3 blocks, Sarah Sergent had 10 assists and Carson Elliott tallied 4 digs and 3 aces. 
SK has three games next week:
  • SK hosts Walton on Tuesday.  The team will host the Dig for Depew Memorial featuring fund raising activities to benefit the SK Special Education Department.  If you've been thinking about coming to an SK game, this is the one to make.
  • Travel to Lloyd on Wednesday- start times TBA.
  • Match in Flo-town with resurgent Boone County. 

See what I mean by the headline?  I don't care where you come from; that's funny right there.  Yes, that's a ball caddy, she is not playing some type of game show race.   

Schmee getting in a little snooze prior to her AP Chem test today.

Feen with a Jordan like hit in the first set.

Rach and Ellie doing a little dance to "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun"

Celebrating some good stuff in the second set.

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

Neers Downed by Eagles

The Lady Neers couldn’t overcome injury, illness and a hungry Scott Eagle team tonight as the team went down in straight sets on the road by scores of 25-19, 25-21 and 25-18.  The jumbled line-up looked very strong at times but the ability to finish plagued the team as it has so many times this season. 

Key stats for the night:  Haley Robinson with 6 kills, Amarah Nicholson with 5 kills and 7 blocks, Sarah Sergent with 22 assists and Carson Elliott wearing the libero jersey with 13 digs. 

I’m not sure what it is-whether the girls are too nice or they just tense up when the game gets down to crunch-time.  Whatever it is, I think I came up with the answer tonight.  Last Friday night at the football game, I was standing  just yards away from the SK defensive line as they had New Cath backed up deep into their own territory.  It was almost frightening at times as that line was not going to let New Cath get a single yard.  I heard crunching moaning as the Neer line pummelled the offensive line of New Cath.  The old sports cliché of stepping on their neck was about as accurate as it could be.  With that said, I ran into Coach Marksberry tonight at the UDF gas pumps.  I told him to send the D-line to a volleyball practice to teach them some of that killer instinct I saw the other night…he just chuckled.

Things ratchet up another level as the team travels to Park Hills to play the Pandas on Thursday night.   SK played NDA tough last year at the Joe. 

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Neers Down Demons

Back to the Joe tonight for the 32nd District Trifecta as SK wrapped up 3 games in a row against their 32nd District foes.  Williamstown was on the schedule tonight as t0he Neers were once again without the services of seniors Ellie Smith and Schmee.  Ellie was under the weather and Schmee was banged up after her stunt action last night and will be out for a week or so.  You could see it in her face sitting on the bench that she wasn’t enjoying her unplanned time off. 

After putting together a couple of nights of play where the confidence was growing, the team came out in the first set against the Lady Demons and played….um, bad.  SK trailed by a score of 10-8 early in the first set.  They would start getting things together later in the set and would pull out the 25-18 win after nip and tuck action .  The Neers would settle down in the second and third sets and wallop the Demons by scores of 25-6 and 25-4 as Coach Atwood would get everyone involved in the match.

Stats from the night:
Haley Robinson  8 kills
Amarah Nicholson 7 Kills – 4 Blocks
Rachael Figgins  6 Kills – 3 blocks
MacKenzie Bard 15 assists
Emily Popham 6 aces
The schedule starts heating up next week as SK takes to the road in a couple of tough matches as they play cross county rival Scott on Tuesday followed by a match-up with the paNDAs on Thursday.
Someone keeping things light on the bench.
Fig with a nice pass in the third set. 
Haley with another solid game in the middle. 

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

SK Bests Walton in Verona

The Lady Neers took to the road the last two nights for 32nd District action. The team got some confidence going last night following some tough games this past weekend at the Scott Summer Slam. SK bested Grant Count last night in straight sets 25-11, 25-16 and 25-8. The GPS took us to Verona tonight for the rubber floored confines of Walton Verona Elementary School as the high school is undergoing major renovations.

SK got off to a slow start and fell behind early. Problems would get compounded as Iron Woman Kelsey Schmiade went down with an early injury. Schmee would go get checked out at the hospital and early reports sound encouraging. Please keep our girl Schmee in your prayers. Line-up challenges would become even tougher as Ellie Smith was unable to play due to illness. SK was able to dominate WV off of their serve as the Lady Cats had trouble passing the service of Kenzie Bard, Biz Manser and Carson Elliott. Coach Atwood would call on the services of Kayla McDonald to don the yellow libero jersey. The sophomore did a nice job of answering the call. SK was able to get their offense going through their middles as Amarah Nicholson and Haley Robinson were able dominate at the net. SK goes on to win by a final scores of 25-9, 25-22 and 25-13.

Stats from Grant County
Haley Robinson  -  7 Kills, 3 aces
Rachael Figgins -  6 Kills
MacKenzie Bard -  17 assists – 3 aces
Stats from WV
Haley Robinson – 9 kills, 2 blocks
Amarah Nicholson – 7 kills,  3 blocks
Carson Elliott – 19 assists -  4 aces
MacKenzie Bard – 15 assists, 6 aces
Kayla  McDonald – 14 digs
A big shout out to the nice contingent of SK students who made the journey out tonight.  Thank you!

The win puts the Neers at 3-0 in District play. Williamstown will travel to the Joe on Thursday at a special game time of 6:30. Please remember, no candy sales during school hours.  :)

Bard celebrating a SK Block. MF1_2780

Get Well Soon Schmee!!!! MF1_2711

Friday, August 22, 2014

Atwood Battle Goes to Neers at Hot Time in the Joe

The Lady Pioneers opened their volleyball season tonight at home at the Muggy Joe against the Conner Cougars.  The humid conditions were causing the AC to condensate and leak on the floor.  The air was turned off but the Joe turned into a sauna, causing the floor to sweat and get slippery.  Nevertheless, an absolute phenomenal weeknight crowd, including a decent student section, turned out for the contest.  Conner is led by SK Coach Andrea Atwood’s daughter, Deandra, a soph at the Hebron campus. 

The Frosh and JV teams opened up the Tri-match.  The Freshman won in convincing two game fashion.  Sledding got tough for the JV team as they won the first set easily but ended up losing the match in three sets.
After an outstanding preseason that consisted of a 5th place tie at the Bluegrass State Games (out of 84 teams) and strong scrimmage showings against Cooper and Brossart, the girls were ready to get the real season going.  SK showed up where they left off last season as one of the top ranked teams in Kentucky, coming in at 23 in the state coach's poll-a little low in my biased opinion.   

The varsity team, led by a whopping 7 seniors, took to the floor and looked strong in warm-ups.   The girls looked loose and ready to have fun.  The Neers came out and hung a double digit lead on Conner.  Once SK got to 23, they got frozen and tightened up, allowing Conner to come back and tie the score after they led by 23-16.  SK got the final two points they needed but it clearly gave Conner some momentum for the rest of the match.  A back and forth scoring scenario characterized the second set as SK comes back in the end to also win by a 25-23 score.  SK seemed to let up and tighten up more in the third set as they clearly struggled throughout the set, losing by a final of 21-25.  The team seemed to come back and get things back together in the 4th set, preventing the start of a fifth game and pulled out a 25-20 win.

While the Cougars were scrappy and deserves credit for battling the Neers, SK certainly did not play up to their preseason form.  Call it first game jitters but they really seemed to tighten up when they got backed in a corner.  The team has a lot of talent and will have a better showing on Tuesday night when they return to the Joe.  SK was led by Seniors Rachael Figgins,  who posted 10 kills and 6 blocks, Ellie Smith with 8 kills, Carson Elliott with 19 assists and Floorburn Schmee with 15 digs.   
Kenzie celebrates her match winning serve...just a little!  She also made an unbelievable play one time by blasting the ball into the net which allowed Anna Cully to win the point.  Awesome play by the sophomore. 

It is fun watching these three and their antics. MF2_6627

I can't believe she's a senior...great match last night Smallest Fig Hides Behind a Bush. MF2_6488

Atwoods at least smiling before the game.  Great pic of mom and daughter. 


Wednesday, October 30, 2013

#PioneerNation IS REAL!

Dag-gone-it.  That wasn’t the way it was supposed to be.  A great Neer team that worked hard, had talent and was just a great team to be a part of, even as a parent, was supposed to be the first SK girls team to win a volleyball regional.  It didn’t happen.  
A gym full of Neer faithful (and a few painted Titans) showed up late but were 100% behind the Lady Pioneers.  Thank you students, coaches, teachers and administrators who were there.  I know the girls really appreciated it.  Yes, the Pioneer Nation was real tonight and it helped carry the team to a thrilling match.  I kind of questioned the whole school support thing the other night but it was in full force tonight.  Well done.  
SK goes down by scores of 30-28, 25-23, 20-25, and 25-19.  Points and stats don’t really matter that much now but the turning point was definitely the first set where SK led by scores of 16-8 and 23-18 but just couldn’t get the scores that they needed.  North Oldham proved they were the team to beat in the region as they came storming back to take the set.  The high level of energy was quieted and the looseness of the Neers suddenly made things a little tight after the lead was squandered.  BUT, this team did not quit and give up.  They fought to the very end.  The match was a thriller as evidenced by the scores.  Not too often a team scores 95 points and still falls.  The match went on for almost two hours; but dag-gone-it.  Everyone wanted so bad for the girls to be able to hang a banner in the empty spot on the west wall of the gym.  Mary Jo and I were going to be passing out scissors tomorrow night to have the girls cut down the net.  
Coaches Atwood, Hacker, and Marx.  Thank you for the time you spent with our daughters this year and being there for them to have a positive outlet.  So many other “things” they could have be a part of but they were lucky to have you there leading them and teaching them the sport of volleyball.  
Players, thanks for a great season.  I’m bummed the season is over.  Thanks for your dedication and hard work and making this Blog thing so much fun.  When I think back about the season, I think about success on the court (including the one set V against NDA) but I think most everyone will most remember Dig for Depew Night.  That was one of the best experiences I’ve seen at a high school sporting event or any event at SK.  Even though you lost on the court tonight, your good friend Brittany had a major victory in the game of life today as she got word that her leukemia is once again in remission.  That’s what really matters. 
Kaitlin, Sophie and Megan.  You were a great group of seniors for the team.  I wish you the most in your senior year and college experiences.  You will each be missed.  

Thanks to all of the parents and players who have cooked, worked, supplied food etc. to help make the tourney run so smooth. A number of you have gone above and beyond.  For fear of missing someone, I'll just say I really appreciate your efforts. Just one more day!  
I have had a blast this season on the Blog and hope you’ve enjoyed my ramblings and shots.  Thanks for reading!  Marc

Good Luck Seniors!

Thanks Coaches!


Our new friends.  Thanks for your support!

Fun times!
MF1_1190"> MF1_1188">

Thank you Neer Fans!  You were awesome.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Neers With "Titan"-ic Like Game in Opening Round of the 8th Region Tourney

SK hosted opening night of 8th Region Volleyball tourney tonight at the Joe. North Oldham bested Collins in the opening match, although Collins turned out with a late arriving, small, but rowdy cheer section. Take note for later.

Once the Lady Neers took in the first game and got dressed for their match, it was clear that they were relaxed and pumped for their match. Jon Webster did a nice job of getting the team ready for action. Once the Neers took to the floor, it was apparent that they were ready for tourney play as they absolutely dismantled the Carroll County Lady Panthers. Scores for the matches were 25-7, 25-10 and 25-5. An awesome team effort where everyone contributed.  

Some stats for the game, Kaitlin Murray with 7 kills, most of them of the hammer variety, Rachael Figgins had 6 kills and 2 blocks, Sophia Dunn with 30 assists, Ellie Smith with a continued strong serve including 7 aces, Sheemeadee with 10 digs, Amarah Nicholson and Haley Robinson with several unreturnable kills in the middle.

Back to the Collins students. There were about 5 young men who showed up late in the first set of their team’s match. After the Collins match was over, they decided to stay and watch the SK match. Not only did they stay and watch but they filled in behind the 25 church pew quiet SK students who were in attendance for the game. For whatever reason, once they decided to take in the game, these Titan fans decided to start cheering for SK. Not only did they cheer, they cheered loudly. It was one of the funnier things I’ve seen in a while at a high school sporting event. The Collins kids were louder than any group of students we’ve seen at SK volleyball. They definitely provided a nice lesson in school spirit. What was really neat is the SK kids really appreciated the cheering.

I got to thinking on the way home; how cool would it be for the SK student body to show up and actually cheer and support the volleyball team on Wednesday night like they do for football and basketball; like this group of 5 Collins students did. North Oldham is the defending regional champ but if the whole Pioneer Nation thing means anything, it can get behind the girls volleyball team and help push them to a regional title. Pioneer Nation doesn’t mean just supporting more football and boys basketball - does it?  I heard a rumor in the hall the Coach Marksberry was going to require the football team to be at the volleyball game after practice on Wednesday.    

This is an awesome group of student athletes that have a chance to do something no other SK team has done by winning a regional title. Get behind them as they play North Oldham in the Regional Semifinals at 6:45 on Wednesday at the Joe. #PioneerNation #IsItReal

Getting ready before the game.

Always smilin'  Happy B-day Kelsey!

Collins kids started off with a group of 3, were joined by a few SK kids.  Once they started catching on, the other SK Volleyballers joined in.  Neat deal.

DSC_0775 DSC_0806

Aerial Competition


Friends afterwards.

Thanks Collins for the support; come on back now ya hear. 610_0693-2