Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Three Peat in 32nd

Congrats to the Lady Neers for capturing their 3rd straight 32nd District Championship tonight at Williamstown. 

I really liked the look SK had in the first match.  They looked relaxed yet focused.  However, that look didn’t translate into points early on as the Neers fell down early to Walton by a 3-0 score.  SK would draw even at 3 and play back and forth with Walton until the score was 6-7.  At that point, SK put on a full out assault on Walton as SK went on a 8-1 run where they never would look back.  Ellie Smith was blasting serves across the net that Walton struggled to defend.  If Walton returned, SK was making great passes and running some balanced offense.  SK got strong play from Junior Kahlee Fewner (Feen) who put some 95mph fastballs on the other side of the net, on her way to a 9 kill night.  After trailing early, SK goes on for the 25-14 win. 

Once SK took command of the match by setting the tone in the first set, they transitioned from a relaxed and focused look to a relaxed and fun look as Schmee’s cheering antics made sure everyone was having a good time.  I’m not sure of seen more diaphragm chuckling going on during any of SK’s other matches this year.  In between the chuckling, they also made some nice hustle plays that took the wind out of the WV sails.  SK played the second set by making very few unforced errors which kept the Cats from making any type of run.  SK goes on to win the second by 25-11 score. 

The Neers took a nice early lead in the third set before Walton would mount an early charge back.  SK put the hammer back down and stretched the lead to 8.  WV did mount a midset challenged but SK scored the last 4 points straight to preserve the D-32 three-peat.  A great all around effort tonight by our Neers.   Ellie, Feen, and Kelsie Holland were named to the All Tourney Team for SK. 

SK will play in the 8th Region Tourney next week at either Henry County or Carroll County, depending on who wins the 31st District Tournament tomorrow.  

They are funny!
All Tourney Neers
Rare serious Schmee Look
This is funny for some reason.
Ellie's serves had everyone in the gym flinching
Had this job since soph year; who does it get bequeathed to?

Monday, October 20, 2014

SK Advances to District Final; Secures Place in Regional Tourney

The Lady Neers opened up 32nd District Tourney tonight at Williamstown versus the Lady Demons.  SK was the one seed in the District up against the four seed deems.  SK came in the heavy favorite but anything can happen in tourney time.  SK looked loose in the match early and they took control and went on to wallop Williamstown by 25-7 score.  Schmee had the cheering in high gear in the second set as the Neers cruise to another 25-7 score.  Williamstown would go down fighting as they scored double digits as SK goes on to a 25-15 score.  Key stats for the match; Ellie Smith with 9 kills and 2 aces, Haley Robinson with 9 kills and 3 blocks, Kelsie Holland with 12 digs and 3 aces and Sarah Sergent with 30 assists. 

SK will play peaking Walton on Wednesday night at 7:00 p.m. at Williamstown for the 32nd District Tourney Title.  Regardless of Wednesday's outcome, the win tonight secures a place in the Regional Tourney next week.  

Rachael Figgins, ATC
Schmee keeping things loose tonight.

Monday, October 13, 2014

SK Learns to Bite Back at Cake

The Lady Neers didn’t win the Jam Cake Classic sponsored by Highlands this past weekend, but they team showed something they haven’t shown all year; the ability to get knocked down and fight back.  That attribute is one that often separates the good high school teams from the mediocre ones.  The teams that have been successful in the 8th Region the last 2 years have been ones that did fight back.  For the tourney, SK finished with a very respectable tie for 3rd place out of 14 teams in a competitive field.

On Saturday; SK knocked off Dixie for the second time this season by identical scores of 25-20.  Dixie has improved greatly since the last time SK saw them.  This was a game where SK had to claw for the dub and they did so against a scrappy Dixie team.  Key stats for the match; Amarah Nicholson with 6 kills and 5 blocks, Haley Robinson with 7 kills, Sarah Sergent with 27 assists and Schmee with 16 digs.

In the Gold semifinal versus Campbell County, SK came out in the first set and looked terrible, losing by a score of 25-10; their lowest losing score of the season.  The good thing was SK seemed to take getting punched in the gut to heart as they came back to take the second set by a score of 25-18, forcing the third set to determine the Cake finalist.  The third set saw two teams play a very even match that was back and forth.  SK was down 10-14 and came back to force overtime points but ended up losing 16-14.  They could have won the third match but couldn’t catch a break that got them over the hump.  Haley had 6 kills, Amarah with 4 kills and 4 blocks and Sarah posted 20 assists and Schmee had 24 digs.
Overall, an encouraging weekend where SK didn't roll over when getting knocked down. Nice job girls; you can do this.  
SK will wrap up the regular “scrimmage” season tomorrow night on senior night versus New Cath before the real season begins next week. 

Friday, October 10, 2014

Wet Cake Classic Opener

The SK Volleyball team got a good night to be playing indoors and not going to a football game as they headed to Ft. Thomas, the home of Jess Ginter, for the Annual Cake Classic Volleyball tourney.  SK’s opponents tonight were the Louisville Ballard Bruins and the South Oldham Dragons. 

SK looked a little flat at first against Ballard.  Ballard jumped out to a 7-4 lead in the first set before Kelsey Holland went on a scoring run to put SK in front for good.  The Neers played with a high degree of fun and executed several trick plays that we had not seen all year.  They end up winning easily in the first set by a score of 25-16.  

The second set looked like a replay; SK goes down early but comes back again taking the lead that they would not relinquish.  Biz Manser made a play in the second set where she hit a ball with what looked like a back-hand tennis return as she was headed toward the bleachers.  SK would do what they needed to in order to get that point which gave them the mo that they carried to a 25-17 win.  The Neers looked as relaxed as they have all year and played in a manner where they just looked like they were having fun.  Key stats for the match; Rachael Figgins with 8 kills; Ellie Smith with 6 kills, Sarah Sergent with 26 assists and Schmee had 12 digs. 

Once SK wrapped up their match with Ballard; they headed through the maze , and a bumpy ride for Big Schmee, to the middle school for a match with the South Oldham Dragons, a team in the 8th Region locked in the same District as the other two Oldhams.  SK looked good early in the first set before they tensed up and had trouble getting their hits to drop on the floor in the tight confines of the Highlands Middle School gym.  SK battled back towards the end of the set but still fell by a score of 18-25.  The loss took a shot at the looseness the team built during the Ballard game.  

The Dragons took it to the Neers in the second set early and often.  South would build a lead that would extend to 19-10 sending the bus driver out to warm up the cheese wagon.  While South doesn’t have the gaudy record of their Oldham counterparts, they are a solid club which has battled with the best in the 8th and frankly looked to be a notch up on our beloved Neers.  

But then; something happened.  SK played with a refuse to lose mentality that we haven’t seen all year.  Amarah “Airforce” Nicholson was flying around, coming out of nowhere to put blocks on the Dragon hitters that seemed to rattle them.  The Neers went on an absolutely amazing 11-2 run to tie the match at 21 before they would go on to the 25-22 win.  Wow, wow, wow!  More importantly, SK clearly had the momentum on their side.  

SK would look to be in control of the final set going up 7-4 before South would come back and tie the game at 7.  The teams traded point after point with the game being tied at 11 and then again at 13 -before Carson Elliott would serve the final two points to secure SK’s biggest come back of the season.  Key stats for the match; Rachael Figgins with 5 kills and 4 blocks; Ellie Smith with 4 kills; Amarah had 5 kills and 7 blocks, Schmee with 15 digs and Sarah Sergent racked up 20 assists.  Now that was fun!  

SK plays again tomorrow in the Jam Cake Classic as they get bumped from playing in Ft. Thomas due to the ESPN High School Football game and have to play at the Next Level Academy, close to the Wilder City Building. 

Boone County versus SK from 2008

As the Volleyball Season wraps up, I'll be shutting the Blog down from active posts but I decided to posts some of my favorites.  This one was published exactly 6 years ago today and goes out to my brother-in-law Timmy King.  Boone County would absolutely trounce the Neers on this date but the loss woke SK up on route to their appearance in the State Finals.

10/10/2008-A tough night to be a Pioneer fan. I was to have met my sister, Laura, and brother-in-law, Tim King, at the game tonight. Kind of lucky for me; I was late. By the time I found Tim and Laura on the Boone side of the field, it was time to head for Atwood. He just looked at me and smiled. My sister, who didn’t attend SK or Boone, was ready to roll long before we started walking to the gate.

Who is Tim King? Tim was a one of the Boone County storied running backs who rang up gaudy stats at the school. He graduated in 2001. Tim is one of just a couple of former football players at Boone to have been four year letterman in football. From what I can tell, Preston Heron was the other. Tim (we call him Timmy) tallied 1,697 yards in his junior year at Boone. Tim was on target to break school records held by Shaun Alexander before he tore his ACL early in his senior season in a game against LaSalle. Even though he tore his ACL in the first week of September of his senior year, he still amassed nearly 500 yards in just a few games. I found some old stats where he tallied 380 yards in one game against Scott County on 38 carries while also scoring 3 TD’s. Tim has been a good resource for another family member dealing with the same injury. Tim works at SWECO and spends his free time fishing. There will be a Little King here in a few months.

We didn’t really talk about the game once we got back to the house. We watched television and munched on some Kettle Corn.

I really don’t know what to say about the game. As I arrived at Meneffee Stadium, I was scratching my head why there were several parking sports available and people were leaving. Once I got to the gate, the thing I noticed was things were quiet. Funny thing was I didn’t even look at the scoreboard until I had my camera out and ready to go. 42-0! I was shocked. I talked to a couple of other photo guys who basically said it was a case of one team showing up and one team not. If you want to read about the game; the Enquirer sent Ryan Ernst and had long-time Post photographer Jim Osborn on-site. If you really want to read about the game and see pictures, check out; http://nky.cincinnati.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/AB/20081010/SPT030201/310100075/
(Sorry, link doesn't work any longer.)

The playoff picture for SK will come down to the Campbell County game. If they win; they make the playoffs; they lose, it is time for basketball. Also, Miles Simpson left the game with an unknown shoulder injury. He was shaken up after a collision with Boone County QB Nate Alford who left on a stretcher in an ambulance. I read on BGP that Alford was OK and that everything was precautionary.

Here's an old picture of Timmy in his senior season against CovCath.

Happy B-day Rachael and Ellie Edition!

All 6 Teams Pose for a Pregame Pic

SK traveled to the center of Boone County for a fall break match-up with the Cooper Jaguars.  The break seemed to take some sting of energy from all three SK teams as they all went down in straight sets. 
In the first varsity set, the Neers fell behind double digits, right out of the gate as they trailed 15-5.  SK woke up and fought back to pull the score to 17-12 before the Jags went on to win by a final of 25-16.   

SK repeated their start in the second set as they fell down early, putting themselves in the hole at 10-4.  After an awesome volley with nice hustle plays by Sarah Sergent and Kelsey Holland followed up by a kill from Rachael Figgins, the Neers came roaring back to pull within one at 17-16.  Two SK miscues following the Cooper timeout gave the Jags a 19-16 advantage .  Cooper’s mo after the TO put them on an 8-3 run to dash the Pioneers hopes of the second set dub as Cooper cruises to the 25-19 win. 

The Neers reversed the early set doldrums as they got a good start by going up 4-3.  Cooper wasn’t about to loosen up the stranglehold on their potential sweep as they would go on a 8-3 run prompting a SK timeout.  SK failed to hold their early momentum and fell down 15-7.  SK would get a mid-set push but again unforced errors were their challenge as they fell in the final set by a score of 25-13 as the Neers finished the match without much energy.  Key stats for the night included 8 kills and 4 blocks from Rachael Figgins and 14 Digs from Schmee.   

The teams joined forces in Volley for Cure as a fundraiser for the Susan G. Komen Foundation through raffles and bake sales.  A nice effort by both programs. 

SK will play in the Cake Classic sponsored by Highlands Friday night and Saturday.  

Happy 18th Rach and Ellie!
Two of the Biggest Fans

Car, Fig, Nut
Like Daughter...
...Like Mother.  Bomber
First Official Act as an Adult.
Hey! You are looking the wrong way!

Thursday, October 9, 2014

TBT; Happy Birthday Rachael Edition!

NOTE:  This is a TBT Post honoring Rachael's 18th Birthday.  This was originally Blogged in the Fall, 2006 and represents her first appearance on the Blog.

In a game that started in a drizzle and ended in a downpour, the SK Girls bested the Calvary Christian Lady Cougars 2-0 at Calvary's field tonight. The Lady Pioneers have a winning streak of 6 games. The win solidifies the Lady Pioneers as the number one seed in the district tournament in October. SK put 2 goals on the board in the first half off a deflection from junior Shay Nienaber's corner kick and a high shot goal from freshman Jillian Russell.

The Lady Pioneers played a considerable amount of defense in the second half but were able to hold Calvary to post their third consecutive shutout- all against district opponents. The always dangerous Meghan Gudgeon from Calvary had some nice shots on goal but senior Annie Hamm was able to keep the ball out of the net along with another nice effort from the rest of the defense.

The JV team was able to start play but was unable to finish as the rains came down and the field became unplayable.
Senior Shari Cooper sends the ball into space.

Jill Russell gvae a nice smile to the crowd as the second half kicks off.

Need-a-bobber practices her pas de bourrée as she follows through on the direct free kick.

"Coach, keeping up with this girl is really giving me a headache."

Brandner battles as Cagle moves into space.

The SK Fans took shelter where they could as the rain came down in Taylor Mill. This Little Fig hid under a spruce.

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

I Saw the Light

When I arrived tonight at Ryle, the gym looked on the dark side; a photog’s disappointment.  I kept waiting for the lights to come on in the Ryle gym; they never did.  The Lady Neers played in the dark in the first set of the varsity match and could do little right as they got blitzed by the Lady Raiders by a final score of 13-25.  

I'm not sure what was said between games but the lights came on for the Lady Neers as they went up 5-0 in the second set and never looked back,  taking the Raiders by a score of 25-22.   Better play by SK caused mental errors by Ryle.  

SK made more unforced errors in the third set but still competed with Ryle falling 18-25.  

The 4th set was nip and tuck throughout.  The score was tied at 17 before Ryle scored 3 straight points that SK couldn't overcome as the blue team fell by a 21-25 score.  

Some key stats for the night; Ellie  Smith - 6 kills - 2 aces.  While Ellie was credited with only 2 aces, Ryle struggled to pass her serves which helped SK to win many points.  Rachael Figgins - 4 kills - 3 Blocks, Kelsey Schmiade posted 17 tough digs and Sarah Sergent tallied 14 assists and 3 aces.

Kudos to the JV team as they lost a tough 3 set match.  It has been a while sine I've seen a team play with this much excitement; nice job girls.  

If you shoot enough pics, you eventually get some interesting things.  Look at the contour of the ball following Rachael's hand and palm; I thought that was pretty cool.  

Monday, October 6, 2014

Neers Shake Cobwebs to take Braves

The Lady Neers entertained the Grant County Braves in their final 32nd District Match of the Regular season.  The Neers made quick action of the Lady Braves in both the Freshman and JV games.

The varsity Neers took to the floor and showed some Homecoming Cobwebs as it was evident that the team had not played in several days.  Grant jumped out to a decent lead before SK came back to take control of the game and go on to win by a final score of 25-19.  When SK wasn’t making unforced errors, Grant was making some nice plays blocking at the net.  SK would buckle down and finally get rolling as they put the blitz on in the second set by cruising 25-7.  Coach Atwood dipped into her complement of substitutions in the final set as SK kept things rolling and finished with a strong 25-11 win.  SK key stats for the night, Ellie Smith with 5 kills and 6 aces; Rachael Figgins with 5 kills and Sarah Sergent with 25 assists. 

The Lady Neers take on Ryle tomorrow night and Cooper on Thursday; both games AWAY.  SK will play in the Cake Classic at Highlands this weekend.  SK has only one more home game left with Senior Night taking place on October 14th.  

Love that face!
Shamaylee back to the libero spot tonight
Nice job on the lines tonight....:)
Every once in a while; I can't come up with a caption.  This is one of those times.  
Coach, these Homecoming nails are getting on my nerves.
Ellie was letting her serves rip tonight.
Sarah with a nice play at the net to get the point. 
Pop with some nice energy and gets the point.  
Having a good time.  
Someone else trying to watch the game through a camera.  
Schmee and Kenz showing off their dance moves that got them first place in the competition at the Homecoming Dance. 
Coming right at me.  
All in the eyes.  

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

SK Fight Song- "Here Come the Pioneers!"

Since it is homecoming week and I threw some good natured humor around at Dixie last night for passing out the words to their fight song, I thought it was an appropriate time to look at some SK History and our fight song.  From the category of turnabout is fair play, I got to thinking whether or not the SK student body knew anything about their fight song.  I conducted an unscientific and limited study and asked current SK students (2) if they knew the words or history to their school’s song….they didn’t.  Extrapolating my survey results, 100% of our students would also need printed sheets with the words so my apologies to our friends at Dixie.     

When I went to SK as a proud graduate of the 1982 class, the handbook that we received in the beginning of the year had the words printed for everyone to know and memorize, right smack in the front of the book.  For those there in the 80’s, I’m referencing that light blue stapled copy of papers printed in Kenny Bowen’s Office Machines class on the mimeograph machine. 

SK is somewhat unique as they have their own fight song; not one borrowed from UK (On, on U of K), Michigan (Hail to the Victors), USC (Fight On), Notre Dame (Victory March) etc.  Most high schools tend to borrow one of these but not use any words to go along with them.  SK is different; long-time Band Director and musical genius Robert Roden wrote the lyrics and accompaniment to the school’s fight song, “Here Come the Pioneers.”  I couldn’t find what year he wrote the song but safe to say it was a very long time ago as Mr. Roden served as SK’s band director from 1949 to 1975. 

In case you didn’t know the simple words, here they are so try and sing them Friday night after SK scores a TD and the band is blaring the music.   (But please don't print them out and bring to the big Homecoming Game on Friday.  :)) 


Here come the Pioneers, back them with our cheers

Our team will win tonight, cause their all right – FIGHT – FIGHT – FIGHT

Fight boys for SK, beat them the fair way

We’re proud to say that we’re from S-K-S

P – I – O – N – E – E – R – S – FIGHT – FIGHT – FIGHT


Here’s a great article written by Amy Scalf about Robert Roden.     

Whether they’ve known it or not, Robert Roden’s legacy has impacted Simon Kenton music students. Soon they will have a visible reminder of the school’s former band director.  

A plaque honoring Roden will be presented to Simon Kenton principal Martha Setters during a concert at 7 p.m. on Thursday, Dec. 15, to formally dedicate the school’s music facility in his name. Also at that time, a $1,000 contribution to the Robert Roden Memorial Scholarship Fund will be presented by John Stephenson, a Simon Kenton alumni and former superintendent of public instruction for the Commonwealth of Kentucky.  

Stephenson spearheaded the quest for the plaque and raised a portion of the $1,000 donation by producing and selling a DVD about the history of Simon Kenton, featuring faculty including Roden. The DVDs are still available for $20 at the Nicholson and Independence Kroger branches of the Bank of Kentucky. Roden, who served as band director from 1949 to 1975, is remembered for leading the Pioneer band to the state’s number one spot in 1959. He was killed in the Beverly Hills Supper Club fire in 1977.

But, to his students, he was much more than a teacher.

“Mr. Roden helped us purchase instruments, gave lessons, and I was one of those he took to college scholarship auditions because our family could not afford it,” said Debbie Brown, who graduated from Simon Kenton in 1972. Brown has been assistant band director at Simon Kenton, band director at Summit View Middle School and currently serves as the gifted/talented specialist and visual and performing arts consultant for Kenton County School District.

“I have no doubt that I am just one of countless students who could offer testimonies of the positive impact that Mr. Roden had in our lives,” she said. “The passion he had for music and the compassion with which he embraced his students I tried to emulate and pass on to my students and own children.”

Brown has been a music educator for more than 25 years. She, her brother and their mother all were Roden’s students. Her brother is a professional musician, and her four children all used music scholarships; two of them are music educators.

“A true heritage that carries a lasting influence,” said Brown. “Yes, Mr. Roden used music as the vehicle that absolutely changed my life.”

Stephenson was also touched by Roden’s love of music and his generosity, even though Stephenson quit playing in the band to pursue athletics in high school. 

“He never even got mad. He just said, ‘If that is where your heart is, go do it,’” said Stephenson. “He said I should keep up my singing, and I have never stopped singing.”   

Roden helped him purchase a Harmony electric guitar while he was in high school, and Stephenson still has it today, along with a very clear memory of the beloved teacher.  

“He was meticulous in his dress and meticulous in his music. He always looked his best and he always brought out the best in us, no matter what we were doing,” said Stephenson.

Even though Simon Kenton’s current choir director was not a student of Roden, Melissa Martin has also felt the lasting effects of his legacy.  

“He taught many students who decided to pursue music as a career as well as giving students a life long love of music,” said Martin. “ I am grateful in two ways for the influence he had on students. Not only because of the quality of education that was established that I continue to strive for, but because he indirectly influenced music in my life. With my high school choir director also being my mother and his student, music was a great part of my life growing up, which led me to choose my career.”   

She said the scholarship fund is a fitting tribute to Roden, and she’s proud to be a part of that process as well. She said, “It’s an honor to help those students follow their dreams to learn even more about what they love.”
Former SK Band Director Robert Roden (Source:  Cincinnati.com)