Posted on 5/27/2020 at 10:00 a.m.

GCL South Announces Joe Quinn Scholar-Athlete Finalists

Seniors Sam Harmeyer of Elder and Ronit Hiryur of St. Xavier have been named co-winners of the prestigious Joe Quinn Scholar-Athlete Award that is presented each spring by the Greater Catholic League South Division to a deserving student-athlete from one of its four member schools – Elder, La Salle, Moeller and St. Xavier.  Finalists for the award are Harmeyer, Hiryur, Michael Wergers of La Salle and Michael Currin of Moeller.

The Joe Quinn Scholar-Athlete Award is the most coveted honor presented each year by the GCL South to a student-athlete.  Each of the GCL South member schools nominates one student-athlete to represent their athletic department.  The winner is determined by a point system that considers a student-athlete’s
academic excellence, participation in extracurricular activities and accomplishments in varsity athletics.

Named after Quinn, the former high school sports editor of The Cincinnati Post from 1937 to 1976 and a journalist who truly cared about the people participating in the sports he covered, the honor was first presented in 1977.  The award, presented annually each spring as part of the GCL South Track and Field Championships that was scheduled to be held at the University of Cincinnati’s Gettler Stadium earlier this month, was canceled because of COVID-19.

Here is a look at the four finalists, listed in alphabetical order by school:

Sam Harmeyer, Elder – A key member of the Panthers’ football team that advanced to the Division I state final this past year, Harmeyer was nearly automatic when called upon to cap off a touchdown drive or nail a field goal for the Elder’s potent offense.  Voted by league coaches as a GCL South Kicker of the Year, Harmeyer converted 47-of-49 extra points and 5-of-6 field goals to tie for second in scoring on his team, with 62 points.  As a junior, he nailed 22-of-23 extra points and 4-of-5 field goals – giving him 69-of-72 conversions and 9-of-11 field goals made his final two seasons.  He played four years of varsity football, spending time at linebacker, and was a two-year member of the Panthers’ track and field team.

Harmeyer earned a perfect score of 50 in the academics category of the award, which combines a student’s standardized test score, class rank, grade-point average, and being a National Merit Scholar finalist.  He participated in Stage Band and Mock Trial, served as a Student Ambassador, was a Peer Tutor and Boys and Girls Club Tutor, was a Eucharistic Minister, was involved with Elder News Broadcasting, and was Elder's Class of 2020 Valedictorian.  Harmeyer  plans to attend The Ohio State University this fall and major in biomedical engineering.

Michael Wergers, La Salle – A two-year starter for the Lancers’ successful basketball team, Wergers gave his team a consistent rebounder and defender on the court as La Salle posted an impressive 23-4 record this past season, finished second in the league and was 19-1 against non-conference opponents.  As a junior Wergers put together a three-game stretch where he grabbed 45 rebounds, including a school-record 22 against Roger Bacon.  He also had 17 rebounds in a game against Thurgood Marshall and led the league in rebounding, at 8.8 per game.  He averaged 3.1 points and 3.0 rebounds as a senior.  Wergers  played varsity baseball for one year, was a basketball team captain and received the Brian Wagner Above and Beyond Award.

Wergers excelled in the classroom, finishing in the upper five percent of his class while maintaining an A GPA.  He was part of the LaSallian Honor Guard/Flag Detail, the LaSallian Scholars Institute, served as a Student Ambassador, Director of Special Programs, and a Mass Minister.  Wergers plans to attend the University of Tampa and major in political science.  He will be in the school’s ROTC program.

Michael Currin, Moeller – A member of the Crusaders’ varsity basketball team the last two seasons, Currin came off the bench as a junior when Moeller finished 29-0 and won the Ohio DI state championship and then was a starter this past season helping lead his team to a 26-1 record and a trip to the regional final.  That game and the remainder of the winter sports tournament was canceled by the Ohio High School Athletic Association because of COVID-19.  Currin ranked third in the GCL south in assists averaging 3.0 per game, and was named recipient of the Man of Moeller Award for basketball.

Currin is in the upper 10 percent of his class academically while carrying an A GPA.  He also is a member of the National Honor Society.  He was a member of the Admissions and Development Teams, a Kairos leader, and part of the Little Buddies and Moeller Cavalry. Currin plans to attend the University of Dayton and major in business.  He is considering joining the Flyers’ basketball team as a walk-on.

Ronit Hiryur, St. Xavier – A member of the Bombers’ talented varsity tennis team from 2017 to 2019, Hiryur was named GCL South Player of the Year all three of those seasons, in which he also was named first team All-GCL South.  A state quarterfinalist as a freshman and state runner-up in singles as a junior, Hiryur was the St. Xavier MVP each of those two seasons as well.  He also was named first team singles by the Greater Cincinnati Tennis Coaches Association in 2017, 2018 and 2019, and won the GCTCA Newcomer Award his freshman season.

Hiryur, like Harmeyer, also earned a perfect score for his academic prowess based on his standardized test score, finishing in the top five percent of his class with an A average and being a National Merit Scholar finalist.  He was a Homeroom Leader, member of the Fair Trade, Math and Entrepreneur clubs, and active in community service.  Hiryur plans to continue his tennis career at the University of Dayton, where he plans to study chemical engineering.

Each of the finalists receives a personalized plaque from the GCL South commemorating their outstanding achievement and for representing the league in such a meaningful way.

Posted on 3/19/2020 at 11:35 a.m.

GCL South Represented As All-State Teams Are Announced
Senior guard Max Land, who guided Moeller to a 21-1 regular-season record that included another Greater Catholic League South Division championship, was named first team All-Ohio when the Division I and II All-State teams were announced Tuesday by a statewide media panel. The teams were selected by members of the Ohio Prep Sportswriters Association.  The Ohio Mr. Basketball award will be announced today.
The 6-foot-4 senior Land is the lone GCL South Division player named to the DI first team after averaging a team-best 14.1 points on a balanced Moeller team that is awaiting word from the OHSAA as to whether the postseason will continue after growing concerns about the spread of COVID-19 forced the OHSAA to postpone indefinitely the boys’ tournament.  Moeller – which has won 20 consecutive postseason games – is scheduled to meet Lakota East in the Southwest Regional final if the tournament resumes.
Land is the lone player from Greater Cincinnati on the 10-person first team.
Moeller junior Logan Duncomb, a 6-9 forward who averages 13.8 points, is a member of the third team along with St. Xavier senior Hank Thomas – a versatile 6-6 player who aveagd 14.8 points.  Junior Alex Williams of Moeller was named Honorable Mention.  Thomas was named the GCL South Defensive Player of the year along with Moeller junior Will MCCracken and Elder senior Matthew Luebbe.  Land was named the GCL South Player of the Year.

Max Land, Cincinnati Moeller, 6-4, sr., 14.1 (points per game); Matt Allocco, Hilliard Bradley, 6-4, sr., 18.0; VonCameron Davis, Walnut Ridge, 6-5, sr., 27.3; Sean Jones, Gahanna, 5-11, so., 19.0; Brandon Noel, Chillicothe, 6-8, sr., 18.0; Josiah Fulcher, Lima Senior, 6-foot-2, senior, 21.3; John Hugley, Lyndhurst Brush, 6-10, sr., 23.0; Grant Huffman, Lakewood St. Edward, 6-4, sr., 17.0; Kade Ruegsegger, Dover, 6-4, sr., 24.5; Kobe Johnson, Canton McKinley, 6-3, jr., 18.1.
Gabe Cupps, Centerville, 6-1, fr., 10.3; Nate Johnson, Lakota East, 6-3, jr., 17.0; Kalen McKinney, West Carrollton, 6-3, sr., 18.2; Trevell Adams, Columbus South, 6-0, sr., 15.7; Keaton Turner, Dublin Coffman, 6-0, sr., 22.6; Sean Craig, Sylvania Northview, 6-6, so., 20.3; Luke Chicone, Mentor, 5-10, jr., 18.4; Devontae Blanton, Lakewood St. Edward, 6-6, sr., 17.1; Garrison Keeslar, Green, 6-5, sr., 12.1; Derrick Anderson, Boardman, 6-1, sr., 22.2; Christian Parker, Canton GlenOak, 6-5, sr., 18.9.
Logan Duncomb, Cincinnati Moeller, 6-9, jr., 138; Nic Smith, Walnut Hills, 6-6, sr. 15.8; Hank Thomas, Cincinnati St. Xavier, 6-6, sr., 14.8; Henry Hinkle, Olentangy Liberty, 6-0, sr., 16.8; Jalen Sullinger, Thomas Worthington, 5-10, jr., 17.8; Tavaz Showers, Toledo Start, 5-9, sr., 13.4; Jackson Sizemore, Perrysburg, 6-8, sr., 14.0; Jamir Simpson, Lima Senior, 6-5, sr., 17.5; Jonny Manning, Grafton Midview, 6-6, sr., 18.0; Dakota Cochran, Shaker Heights, 6-2, sr., 16.5; Garvin Clarke, Cleveland Heights, 6-1, sr., 15.0; Jaden Stock, Massillon, 5-10, sr., 15.5.
A.J. Adams, Findlay, 6-4, jr., 17.2; Zach Szul, Whitehouse Anthony Wayne, 6-4, sr., 17.1; Jayvon Maughmer, Chillicothe, 6-5, sr., 16.5; Kyle Szumski, Medina, 6-3, sr., 18.5; Ezra McKee, Wooster, 6-6, sr., 14.1; Isaiah Young, Akron Hoban, 5-11, jr., 16.0; Zack Oddo, Green, 6-5, soph., 11.0; Jonah McCartney, North Canton Hoover, 6-1, sr., 17.4; Nathan Ravine, Dover, 5-10, jr., 10.1.
Adrian Michael, Toledo Start, 5-10, sr., 10.9; Luke Denbow, Ashland, 6-1, so., 18.2; Kendal Marshall, Toledo Central Catholic, 6-3, sr., 11.1; Feisal Crumby, Toledo St. Francis, 12.2; Dominique Cole, Toledo Central Catholic, 6-6, sr., 10.7; Dashad Floyd, Toledo Start, 6-1, sr., 11.2; Brady Lichtenberg, Toledo St. John’s; 6-1, jr., 12.7; Noah Moser, Springboro, 6-4, sr., Mo Njie, Centerville, 6-9, sr., Alex Williams, Moeller, 6-4, jr., Trey Robinson, Hamilton, 6-6, sr., DeArius Randle-Barker, Princeton, 6-1, sr., Julian Mackey, Lakota West, 6-3, sr., Jackson Holt, Turpin, 6-3, jr.; Tre Beard, Chillicothe, 5-11, sr., 13.9; Tegan Myers, Logan, 6-0, so., 14.7; Brandon Ford, Ashtabula Lakeside, 6-0, jr., 18.2; Chad Rogers, Mentor, 6-5, sr., 21.4; Luke Floriea, Mentor, 5-10, sr., 15.5; Omar Abuhamdeh, North Royalton, 5-10, jr., 13.0; Bishop Thomas, Painesville Harvey, 6-3, sr., 19.4; Chris Blauman, Madison, 6-3, sr., 20.4; Tyler Jackson, Garfield Heights, 6-4, jr., 14.4; Brent Walker, Canton McKinley, 6-6, jr., 12.8; Quentin Toles, Massillon Perry, 5-11, jr., 14.8; Jayden Ballard, Massillon Washington, 6-3, jr., 12.9; Corey Tripp, Medina, 6-3, jr., 12.7; Tre Massey, Brunswick, 6-2, jr. 21.2; Ethan Andersen, Youngstown Boardman, 6-7, jr., 11.2; D'Muntize Owens, Warren Harding, 5-11, sr., 16.0; Todd Simons, Austintown Fitch, 6-3, jr., 21.0; Trevin Carter, Akron Ellet, 6-1, sr., 19.0; Maison Ross, Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, 6-3, sr., 13.9; Erik Stern, Cuyahoga Falls Walsh Jesuit, 6-8, jr., 14.1; Jack Christian, Marysville, 5-10, jr., 18.2; Bobby Crenshaw, Newark, 6-0, sr., 12.5; Marcus Johnson, South, 6-4, sr., 14.7; Kaveon Ross, Walnut Ridge, 6-6, sr., 15.7; Victor Searls, St. Charles, 6-8, sr., 14.5; Bilal Sow, Canal Winchester, 6-4, sr., 19.3; Brock Waits, Grove City, 6-0, jr., 19.8.
VonCameron Davis, Columbus Walnut Ridge
Tony Staib, Gahanna Lincoln

Posted on 3/17/2020 at 7:39 p.m.

OHSAA Postpones Indefinitely Winter Sports Tournaments
If any wrestlers from the Greater Catholic League South Division are to bring home state titles in their respective weight classes, they are going to have to wait a little longer than this weekend.  This after the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Thursday and reaffirmed Friday that all remaining winter sport tournaments were immediately postponed due to the growing situation with COVID-19.
The OHSAA Individual Wrestling State Tournament was scheduled March 13-15 at the Jerome Schottenstein Center on The Ohio State University campus in Columbus.  Also postponed indefinitely are the boys’ and girls’ basketball and ice hockey tournaments.  GCL South member Moeller, vying for a three-peat a the Division I level in boys’ basketball, was scheduled to face Lakota East in the regional final last night at Xavier University.
The OHSAA is scheduled to host a press conference at its office in Columbus at noon Thursday, it was announced yesterday.  The press conference will be streamed live through and the OHSAA’s social media platforms (@OHSAASports on Twitter and Facebook). 

At the conference, OHSAA Executive Director Snodgrass will provide updates and information on the OHSAA’s winter tournaments that were postponed indefinitely last Thursday, along with updates on spring sports. He will also take questions from media. 

La Salle – which finished runner-up to Springboro in last week’s OHSAA’s Southwest District Championship, was planning to send five wrestlers to Columbus this weekend – second most in Greater Cincinnati behind Lebanon, which had six of its grapplers qualify for the state tournament. GCL South colleague Elder had four of its wrestlers earn a state berth, while Moeller qualified a pair of grapplers based on their finishes in the district meet, giving the GCL South solid representation.
The Lancers finished second to perennial power Lakewood St. Edward last year, after 11 of their wrestlers qualified for state.  Four of La Salle’s five state qualifiers turned in strong performances last year – led by junior Dustin Norris, who finished second at 106 pounds in 2018 and won state at 113 last year.  Senior Jake Niffenegger was runner-up at 126 a year ago, while junior Cole Skinner placed third at 106, and Casey Wiles came in third in ’18 at 126 and fourth at 132 last March.  La Salle’s fifth qualifier, Dillon Walker, is set to make his first state appearance.
All five advanced to state after wrestling in the championship matches at district.  However, all are competing in different weight classes than a year ago – with Norris wrestling at 120, Skinner 126, Wiles 132, and Niffenegger 138.  Walker is scheduled to wrestler at 182 pounds.
Elder’s contingent of state qualifiers are sophomore Drew Magness, 106 pounds; senior William Doepker, 113; senior Jack Collins, 132; and sophomore Bartley Thomas, 152.  Moeller is scheduled to send two wrestlers to the state competition – junior Brayden Zenni, 132, and sophomore Kurt Thompson, 160.

Posted on 3/14/2020 at 9:57 a.m.

OHSAA Postpones Remaining Winter Sports Tournaments Indefinitely
One day after Moeller extended a pair of lengthy winning streaks, the Crusaders learned that any chance at a threepeat is being placed on hold after the Ohio High School Athletic Association announced Thursday that all remaining winter sports tournaments are postponed indefinitely because of growing concerns about the COVID-19.
The suspended tournaments include the boys’ regional finals around the state, and three state tournaments all scheduled to take place in Columbus – girls’ basketball, ice hockey and individual wrestling.   The announcement came after state and local officials recommended that no public gatherings take place to help stop the spread of the virus, the OHSAA said in a release.
There is no timetable for possible rescheduling of the tournaments.
For Wednesday’s DI regional semifinals held at Xavier University’s Cintas Center, the OHSAA limited attendance by issuing allotted tickets that could only be used by members of the participating schools as a first step in the process.  Played in front of a largely vacant building, usually buzzing at tournament time, the Greater Catholic League went 1-1 in the semifinals as Moeller defeated Centerville, 54-42, in the first game to advance to the regional final for the fourth straight year, while league colleague La Salle suffered its first setback outside of the league against Lakota East, 44-35, in the second game – ending the chances of a GCL South regional final.
Moeller (26-1), which has won 25 consecutive games this season and 21 in a row in the postseason, was scheduled to face Lakota East (25-2), the Greater Miami Conference champion and winner of 16 straight, in the regional final at 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Cintas Center.  East is scheduled to make its first regional final appearance after advancing to the regional semis in 2011, 2016 and 2019 – where the Thunderhawks fell to Moeller, 47-33.
In its regional matchup with Centerville, Moeller used a scoring spurt to again take command.  Just four days after reeling off 33 unanswered points to ultimately post a 65-25 win against Springboro, the Crusaders put together a 17-0 run to snap a 5-5 tie and take a 28-10 halftime lead against another team from the Greater Western Ohio Conference.  The run was keyed by the stingy Moeller defense that limited Centerville to 7-of-25 shooting through three quarters   and a balanced offense with three players in double figures – junior Alex Williams with 18, junior Logan Duncomb with 17 and senior Max Land adding 11.
Moeller, which has now won 81 straight games against teams from Southwest Ohio, attempted only two field goals in the final eight minutes but managed to connect on 20-of-29 free throws for the game.
For almost a half, it appeared that La Salle was going to get another shot at its league rival in the regional final.  The Lances had suffered only three losses before Wednesday, two to Moeller (one a 45-43 thriller in the GCL south opener on January 10) and the third to Elder, 49-48.  Besides suffering setbacks to the two league rivals, the Lancers were a perfect 20-0 against non-league competition – including a 5-0 mark against the GMC.   And, the Lancers got off to a fast start and held a 20-10 advantage in the second quarter before East put together a seven-point rally to trail by just three heading into halftime.
East picked up where it left off in the third quarter, keyed by senior Kaden Fuhrmann, who scored eight of his 17 points, including two three-pointers, to give the Thunderhawks a 31-29 edge heading into the final eight minutes.  Furhmann also was solid down the stretch in the clutch, sinking 5-of-6 free throws in the final 35 seconds to extend his team’s lengthy winning streak and send East to the final.  Coach Clint Adkins’ team has been solid from the foul line in recent tournament games, knocking down 20-of-24 against Turpin in the district semifinals, and then senior Alex Mangold concerting the game-winner in a 33-32 win against Beavercreek in the district final last Saturday.
It was an outstanding season for La Salle (23-4), which won 20-plus games for the fourth time in the last six seasons.  The Lancers, who graduate eight seniors, were led by 11 points and four rebounds from junior Justin Lovette.  La Salle entered the game having won eight of nine and 13 of its last 15 games – including four straight wins in the postseason.  The Lances spent weeks during the regular season ranked No. 6 in the Associated Press DI state poll and finished second to Moeller in the GCL South with a 3-3 record.  Coach Pat Goedde was named GCL South co-Coach of the Year with Moeller’s Carl Kremer.

Posted on 3/9/2020 at 10:28 a.m.

Crusaders’ Kremer Gets Win No. 600; Lancers Get Past St. Xavier In OT
Greater Catholic League South Division basketball was on display Sunday in the district finals of the Ohio High School Athletic Association State Tournament at Xavier University’s Cintas Center, and it certainly did not disappoint those in attendance.  GCL South champion Moeller, the two-time defending Division I state champion, used a 33-0 scoring spurt to take a 65-25 victory against Springboro in the second of four games, and then La Salle and St. Xavier staged an Instant Classic in the final game of the day, with the Lancers prevailing, 60-52, in overtime to advance to Wednesday’s regional semifinals.
La Salle needed a three-point goal at the buzzer by sophomore Devin Taylor to send the game to regulation, and the Lancers used their momentum to pull away in the extra period and beat its North Bend Road rival for the third time this season.  Taylor’s game-tying, 30-foot shot came after La Salle had the ball trailing 44-41 with 2.1 seconds to play.  Ayden Schneider passed the ball inbounds to Kevin Crigler, who then got it to Taylor for the game-tying shot as time expired.
The victory moves La Salle (23-3) into the regional semifinals against Lakota East (24-2) at 8 p.m. Wednesday at Cintas Center.  The Lancers have won eight of nine and 13 of their last 15 games, while East enters the regional riding a 15-game winning streak.  East – which won the Greater Miami Conference in the regular season – kept its postseason journey alive with a 33-32 win against Beavercreek in the first of four district finals yesterday.
Moeller (25-1), which has won 24 consecutive games this season and 20 straight in the postseason, will face Centerville (15-11) in the first semifinal at 6:15 p.m. Wednesday at Cintas Center. Centerville posted a 48-40 win against Lakota West to advance to the regional tournament.  The Elks hosted Moeller on January 4, with Moeller leaving Greater Dayton with a 57-46 victory.   Moeller also defeated Centerville, 59-41, in the postseason last March.
The regional final is 7:30 p.m. Saturday at Cintas Center.
The win by Moeller was career win No. 600 for Crusaders’ coach Carl Kremer, who is now 600-158 in 30 seasons as Moeller’s coach.  The Crusaders are 109-5 the last three-plus seasons, and also extended their winning streak to 81 games in a row against teams from Southwest Ohio. According to the OHSAA records, Kremer is the 14th  coach in state history to amass 600 or more career and only the second from Greater Cincinnati to do so – joining legendary Paul Walker, who coached the Middies from 1946-76.
Moeller – which has now won seven consecutive district titles – had three players in double figures, led by 10 from junior Logan Duncomb, 17 from junior Will McCracken and 10 from senior Max Land.  The Crusaders ended the first half by scoring 28 unanswered points, and then scored the first five of the third quarter to extend its scoring spurt to 33 points and take a commanding advantage against Springboro (13-12), which had won four straight entering the game.
For much of its game against St. Xavier (17-8), it appeared that La Salle’s season was about to end. The Lancers managed just 13 points in the first half and trailed St. Xavier, 25-13, at intermission. St. Xavier increased the lead to 36-20 with just under three minutes left in the third quarter before La Salle scored 14 consecutive points.  St. Xavier   then held a 43-36 advantage with 1:13 remaining in the game.  But La Salle sank five free throws – three by senior Derek Eddings and a pair by Schneider, to cut the deficit to 43-41.
St. Xavier struggled from the free-throw line, hitting just 5-of-15 In the game and 4-of-11 in the second half – missing three key free throws in the final seconds, including the front end of a one-and-one bonus that gave La Salle a chance at its final play and set up the game-trying three-pointer from Taylor.  Junior guard Kobe Rodgers led St. Xavier with a double-double, finishing with 14 points and 14 rebounds.  The Bombers had a strong season, coming just one win away from their first district title since 2010.
Senior Jeff Queen Jr. had a big game for La Salle, finishing with a game-high 20 points that included 8-of-10 shooting from the field and 3-of-3 from the free-throw line.   Queen scored nine of his team’s 13 points in the first half.  Senior Jaylen Lemons made a pair of key baskets in OT, to give La Salle a 48-46 lead, and the Lancers then proceeded to sink nine free throws in the final minute and a half to preserve the victory.

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