Author Archives: Andrew Lechleiter

2017 Tiger Football Season Preview

The 2017 Tiger Football season is fast approaching, with the season kicking off against Cathedral on Friday, August 18th. Before St. X takes the field, let’s break down what you can expect from Coach Wolford and company this year.

2016 Season Recap

Last year’s Tigers enjoyed a strong year, posting a 7-3 regular season record and finishing 10-4 overall. The highlight of their regular season was a big win on the road against Male, the 2015 State Champions. The Tigers made a run in the playoffs but ultimately lost in the semifinals to the eventual State Champ Trinity. This year’s St. X football squad will look to build on last year’s momentum. Now let’s take a look at who will be leading the charge for the Tigers this fall.

FullSizeRender (1)Offense

Key Losses: QB Desmond Ridder, RB Sam Taylor, FB Mack Blincoe, WR/RB Blake Roshkowski, WR Addison Waddell, WR Brewer Cahalan, OL GJ Wellinghurst

Quarterback: Rising senior Jack Albers was Desmond Ridder’s understudy the past two years, but he will be given the keys to the offense this season as the starting QB. Albers played sparingly last year, but he logged two starts, including a 42-28 win on the road against Lexington Catholic in the season opener. He also had a big rushing touchdown against Trinity in the playoffs after Ridder left the game due to injury. Junior Keegan Sullivan will most likely be the backup, but look for Albers to take the majority of the snaps under center.

Running Back: With the departure of bruiser Sam Taylor, there are big shoes to be filled at the running back position. Rising Senior Brett Metzmeier will look to pick up where Taylor left off. Metzmeier was sidelined for the majority of last season with an ankle injury, but is now healed and has been pegged as the starting running back. Rising junior Anthony “Tones” Moretti will look to make an impact in the backfield as well. If the Tigers want to make a run this year, they will need production from the backfield down the stretch.

Wide Receiver: The Tigers’ lost four key wideouts from last season, but do not expect a drop-off from the current receiving corps. This year’s team boasts a lot of depth at the receiver position. Seniors Ben Seger, Will Crum, Ben Mueller, and Dominic Allgeier will be Albers’ main targets this season. Seger makes up for a lack of height with great hands and impeccable quickness, while the latter three are bigger possession receivers, all standing at 6’0″ or taller. Youngsters Brycen Harkins and Andre Coleman, both juniors, will also try to carve out roles as wideouts. Immense depth at receiver will play in the St. X’s favor as the season heats up.

Offensive Line: St. X brings back most of its offensive line from a year ago. Chase Farris, Clayton Six, and Wyatt Smock will build on a very impressive 2016 campaign. Six holds a D1 offer from Morehead State, while Farris is committed to UT-Martin and Smock is committed to Vanderbilt. With three of five offensive lineman holding D1 offers, look for Albers to have plenty of time in the pocket this fall. You will feel like you are sitting at IHOP with all the pancakes this group can throw down.

FullSizeRender.jpg (2)

Defense

Key Losses: DL Kyle Robinson, DL Max Willinger, LB Braidon Washburn, LB Jack Kronk, DB Jacob Stofer, DB Jake Taylor

Defensive Line: The D-Line was a strong point for Coach Wolford’s squad last year, led by recent graduates Kyle Robinson and Max Willinger. Their departure hurts the Tigers, but several players are poised to fill the void. Rising senior and returning starter Andrew Uhls, a varsity player since sophomore year, will be the leader in the trenches this year. Ben Shugart, Nolan Bruner, and Connor Schaefer all played sparingly last year, but will look to capitalize on their increased roles this fall. Junior Richard Bascom will also be fighting for reps in his first year as a varsity player. Don’t be surprised if Uhls and company are living in opposing backfields all season.

Linebackers: Similar to the defensive line, the linebacker corps also lost two key players in Mason Moorman and Jack Kronk. That being said, several Tigers are eager to pounce on the available reps. Rising seniors Doug Shaffner and Conor O’Dea could potentially be impact players at the linebacker spot. Newcomers Patrick Owen and Evan Walker also hope to be difference-makers on defense. Owen had very few reps last year as a sophomore, but has the potential to be an explosive playmaker. For the past two years, Walker has started on the varsity basketball team, but decided to rejoin the football squad after two years off. St. X’s linebackers have a great chance to exceed expectations with the maturation of Shaffner and O’Dea and the arrival of Owen and Walker.

Secondary: Besides senior Jake Netherton, there will be all new names in the Tiger secondary. Netherton, a returning starter, will most likely be the leader of this group. Juniors Sam Boarman and Harrison Pate are looking to make names for themselves in their first year as full-time varsity players. Senior Cameron Garrett will also be a contributor on defense. Most Tiger fans are familiar with Garrett, but not as a defender. After a successful junior season at wide receiver, Cam made the switch to defense in the offseason. His height, hands, and ball skills could create big plays for the Tigers. There may be a learning curve due to lack of experience in the secondary, but this group will only improve as the season goes on and will wreak havoc on opposing passing attacks.

Special Teams

Key Losses: K Sam McDonogh, K Owen Johnson, P Zac Collins, KR/PR Austin Eisert, KR/PR Blake Roshkowski

Kicking/Punting: Alan Mateja and Kyle Nalley, both rising seniors, will most likely handle the entire kicking game for the Tigers this year. The two played sparingly behind seasoned veterans Owen Johnson and Sam McDonogh, but they will be given ample opportunity to show off their kicking prowess. St. X had a strong kicking game in 2016, and there is no reason to expect a large drop-off in 2017.

Kick/Punt Returning: Will Ginter and Ben Seger will be at the helm of the Tiger return game this year. Garrett is expected to field kickoffs, while Seger should be the main punt returner. Both are very athletic and explosive. They both also have immense experience at wide receiver, where they exhibit great hands and strong playmaking ability in the open field. These two guys are beyond capable of changing the game with a huge return at any time.

team-football-pictureIn Conclusion

As mentioned at the beginning of the article, the Tigers will take on Indianapolis’ Cathedral High School on Friday, August 18th at home. St. X has a tough schedule this year, but they are ranked #4 in Kentucky for a reason. With the enormous amount of talent on the roster and coaching ability of Will Wolford, Tiger football could certainly end up playing well into December.

To see St. X’s full football schedule for 2017, click here. Go Tigers!

2017 Tiger Football Schedule

Schedule

Aug. 18th vs. Cathedral (IN)

Sept. 1 @ Bowling Green

Sept. 8 vs. Fairdale

Sept. 15 @ Central

Sept. 22 @ PRP

Sept. 29 vs. Trinity @ Papa John’s Cardinal Stadium

Oct. 6 @ Manual

Oct. 13 vs. Male

Oct. 20 vs. Butler

Oct. 27 vs. Cinci St. X (OH)

2017 EXPYS – And The Winner Is…

After two weeks of fan voting, the polls have closed and the winners of the 2017 EXPYS winners have been chosen. Now let’s see how each of the seven individual award races panned out.

TIGER PRIDE AWARD

Winner: Cross Country (26%)

2nd Place: Football (19%)

3rd Place: Swimming & Diving (9%)

Despite only receiving about a quarter of the votes, the cross country team won the Tiger Pride Award rather handily. Coach Medley’s squad took state easily this past season, led by senior Ryan Guenthner and juniors Patrick Schaefer and Cooper Marchal. The XC team perfectly embodied what it means to be a St. X Tiger by competing incredibly hard at the highest level while also displaying great class and sportsmanship.

BEST GAME

Winner: Football beats defending State Champ Male 31-21 on the road (29%)

2nd Place: Cross Country wins the Great American Meet (24%)

3rd Place: Lacrosse defeats Trinity 7-5 on the road (7%)

The Tiger Football team entered the Male game with a 5-2 record and was fresh off a 21-0 thrashing of Manual the week before. At the end of the first half, quarterback Desmond Ridder launched a Hail Mary that was snagged by senior receiver Mike Meredith, lighting a fire underneath the Tigers. Great defense and a prolific offensive performance sealed the deal for the Tigers in their first of two impressive wins over Male.

BEST CHAMPIONSHIP PERFORMANCE

Winner: Drew Singerman and Alex Westbrooks face off in the Regional Finals (48%)

2nd Place: Cross Country places 5 runners in the top 15 at State (21%)

3rd Place: Golf wins State by 11 strokes (17%)

Of all the EXPYS races, the winner of this one had the largest percentage of votes as well as the largest margin of victory. This is very understandable, considering the performance displayed by Westbrooks and Singerman. Of all the players in the tournament, these two ran the table, setting up an all-Tiger singles final. This high level of play was continued as St. X took state in tennis yet again.

BREAKTHROUGH ATHLETE

Winner: Track & Field- Beck O’Daniel (39%)

2nd Place: Football- Wyatt Smock (13%)

3rd Place: Swimming & Diving- Will Cole (10%)

Beck O’Daniel made a huge impact for the track team this past year. Although he was only a sophomore, O’Daniel competed at the highest level. The standout sprinter excelled in events such as the 110 meter hurdles, the 300 meter hurdles, and the 4×100 meter relay. Beck will look to build on this breakout season next year.

BEST COACH

Winner: Swimming & Diving- Todd Larkin (43%)

2nd Place: Cross Country- Chuck Medley (18%)

3rd Place: Golf- Patrick Sullivan (17%)

Not enough can be said about Coach Larkin’s talent as a head coach. He always has his swimmers beyond prepared for every meet thanks to constant physical and mental preparation. He is undoubtably one of the main reasons St. X Swimming has won 29 consecutive state titles. Larkin is one of the best coaches at St. X and will be for years to come.

BEST TEAM

Winner: Cross Country (33%)

2nd Place: Swimming & Diving (26%)

3rd Place: Golf (19%)

The Cross Country team displayed its unparalleled skill all season long. They won meet after meet but still weren’t satisfied. When State rolled around, the Tigers placed 5 runners in the top 15, bringing home another ring in a landslide. Coach Medley’s squad also won the Great American Meet this past year. With all these jaw-dropping victories, it’s easy to see why the Cross Country Tigers were voted best team.

BEST ATHLETE

Winner: Tennis- Drew Singerman (37%)

2nd Place: Lacrosse- Blake Roshkowski (16%)

3rd Place: Cross Country- Patrick Schaefer (13%)

Senior Drew Singerman finished his prolific high school tennis career on a high note this past season. Along with taking home the team title, Drew made it all the way to the regional and state singles finals. His storied career and impressive season also led to him being named a High School All-American for the 2nd year in a row, winning Mr. Tennis in Kentucky, and being crowned the Courier-Journal Player of the Year.  Singerman will continue his tennis career as a Paladin at Furman University this coming year.

Thanks for voting, Tiger Nation!

EXPYS Voting Update – Tuesday, August 1st

Fan voting for the fourth annual EXPYS Awards has been open for a week, so let’s check the standings for each individual race as the competition continues to heat up.

Tiger Pride Award

The Leader: Football (19%)

The Pack: Cross Country (18%), Swimming & Diving (14%), Baseball (10%), Lacrosse (10%)

Best Game

The Leader: Football defeats defending State Champ Male on the road 31-21 (29%)

The Pack: XC wins the Great American Meet for the first time (19%), Baseball beats Trinity 5-1 at Louisville Slugger Field (12%), Lax beats Trinity 7-5 on their home turf (9%)

Best Championship Performance

The Leader: Golf wins the State Championship by 11 shots (32%)

The Pack: Swimming & Diving wins their 29th state championship in a row (27%), Cross Country places 5 runners in the top 15 (26%), Drew Singerman and Alex Westbrooks play each other in the Regional Finals (10%)

Breakthrough Athlete

The Leader: Football: Wyatt Smock (21%)

The Pack: Swimming & Diving: Will Cole (16%), Cross Country: Grady Shift (11%), Archery: Chris Kamer (11%)

Best Coach

The Leader: Swimming & Diving: Todd Larkin (40%)

The Pack: Cross Country: Chuck Medley (23%), Golf: Patrick Sullivan (15%), Tennis: Gil Downs (14%)

Best Team

The Leader: Swimming & Diving (29%)

The Pack: Cross Country (27%), Golf (26%), Tennis (7%)

Best Athlete

The Leader: Lacrosse: Blake Roshkowski (28%)

The Pack: Cross Country: Patrick Schaefer (14%), Football: Desmond Ridder (11%), Tennis: Drew Singerman (10%)

Remember, Tiger Nation, keep voting for your favorite athletes and teams for one more week. The winners of the 2017 EXPYS will be announced on Monday, August 7.

To vote, click here.

 

Justin Thomas Has Big Weekend at US Open

Justin Thomas, a 2011 St. X graduate, opened the 2017 US Open with a modest 73, placing him nowhere near the top of the leaderboard heading into Friday. But that did not deter his confidence. On Friday, he gained some more attention with a very impressive 3-under par score of 69. JT sat tied for 24th place at -2 heading into Saturday. Little did the spectators at Erin Hills know, Thomas was on the brink of making history.

Justin came out red-hot on Saturday afternoon, knocking in six birdies on the front nine, including one off of a wild circus putt on the fifth hole. He was just as impressive on the back nine, going 4-under. This historic round was emphatically punctuated on the last hole; after nailing his 3-wood roughly 330 yards off the tee, Thomas boldly reached for the same club on his second shot. He contemplated laying up with his 2-iron before deciding to go for the pin. With little room for error, Justin rifled his approach shot about 310 yards, sticking it 8 feet from the pin. He then knocked in the eagle putt, completing a 9-under par round––the best score in US Open history.

JT’s incredible -9 score dethroned Johnny Miller, whose -8 score at the 1973 US Open was unparalleled for more than 40 years. Thomas even held the lead solely for some time before Saturday ended. His -11 overall score was enough to place him in the final Sunday group with leader Brian Harman (-12 at the time). Unfortunately, JT ran out of steam on Sunday. His 3-over par round featured four bogies and only one birdie. But Sunday does not do justice to Thomas’ greatness.

At -8, Thomas finished tied for ninth, his first ever top ten finish at a Major. He also pocketed an eye-popping $291,795. It may have taken a record-breaking round in a Major Tournament for the world to finally notice Justin Thomas, but he has been on the rise all year. He won back-to-back tournaments in January (the SBS Tournament of Champions and the Sony Open). At the Sony Open, he became the youngest player to ever shoot 59 or lower. At the same tournament, Thomas broke the PGA record for lowest total score by shooting 253 for the entire weekend. His 22nd place finish at The Masters was also a great success. Don’t be surprised if Thomas continues to build upon his already-strong year.

As JT continues to climb in the Official World Golf Rankings (he is currently #12), he is also building his resume as the best golfer to come out of Saint X. Frank Beard, class of 1957, and Bobby Nichols, 1954, are Justin’s top competitors for that title. Beard won 11 PGA Tour events and had 9 top-ten finishes at Majors. Nichols boasts 15 PGA wins and 9 top-ten Major finishes. Bobby is most famous for edging out Arnold Palmer and Jack Nicklaus to win the 1964 PGA Championship. While JT is not quite on their level, he is well on his way. In the next few years, it is very possible that Thomas may join Nichols as the only Tiger Tech alums to win majors. Justin Thomas has been on a perpetual tear this year, and it does not look like he will be slowing down any time soon.

 

Gameday Preview: Lacrosse State Championship vs. Trinity

Gameday Information

St. Xavier (16-3) vs. Trinity (18-3)

Friday, May 19, 2017

7:00 PM

Christian Academy of Louisville

Louisville, KY

Most Recent Matchup

Saint X and Trinity last faced off at Trinity’s Marshall Stadium on March 29. Saint X jumped out to an early lead, but Trinity battled back. The Rocks ultimately tied the game 5-5 midway through the second half. Sophomore Pat Anderson broke the tie for the Tigers two minutes into the 4th quarter. The game was clinched with Nic Malubay’s goal two minutes later. The Tigers’ stifling defense sealed the 7-5 St. X victory over the Rocks.

What Have They Been Doing Since?

It has been almost two months since the Tigers and Rocks squared off in the regular season. Both teams have gotten into the thick of their seasons and fought through postseason play. Let’s see what the two squads have been up to.

Saint Xavier

The Tigers moved to 8-0 following their big win over the Shamrocks. Following the rivalry game, St. X moved into the toughest stretch of its season. During that stretch, Coach Howe’s squad has gone 8-3, accumulating an overall record of 16-3.

St. Xavier’s offense has stayed hot as the season developed, scoring at least 10 goals in every single game siNce Trinity. This impressive scoring stretch was highlighted by a 32-2 victory against Male, a 24-3 win over KCD, and an 18-2 thrashing of Henry Clay

Along with the numerous victories, the Tigers have also endured a few tough losses. On their annual Spring Break trip, Saint X was defeated 15-12 by St. Anne’s-Belfield school from Charlottesville, Virginia. Coach Howe’s squad also faced a tough 11-5 loss on the trip against Virginia’s Norfolk Academy. The Tiger’s most recent loss was a 13-12 heartbreaker in overtime against Cincinnati St. Xavier on April 26.

However, the Tigers have bounced back incredibly well from those minor setbacks. Saint X has gone on a tear this postseason, pummeling Collegiate, KCD, and South Oldham by a combined score of 61-14. Tiger Lacrosse will look to keep this momentum rolling by claiming a 4th consecutive state title Friday night.

Trinity

Following their loss to Saint Xavier, the Shamrocks fell to a mediocre 7-3 record, but have since improved. Since then, Trinity has recorded 11 straight victories over in-state opponents, amassing an 18-3 record heading into the state finals. The Tigers will look to bring this momentum to a screeching halt at CAL.

The Shamrock offense has been playing increasingly well as the season continued. Just like the Tigers, Trinity has tallied double-digit goals in every game since the rivalry matchup, including 19 goals in each of  the last 4 games. The Tiger defense led by senior goalie Hudson Hill will look to stop this hot streak in its tracks.

The Trinity offense has been led by senior Lucas Porter, a Transy commit, and junior Jonathan Endicott, a Furman commit. Junior attackmen Scott Graehler and Bryce Lowe also contribute for the Shamrocks. They struggled immensely in the last matchup, but will attempt to improve against the stifling Tiger defense.

The Shamrocks semifinal game was against the CAL on Wednesday. They defeated the Centurions 19-8, but face an exponentially tougher challenge against the Tigers in the State Finals.

Game Notes

The bitter rivalry between the Rocks and the Tigers will be fueled to even greater heights Friday night, as they will matchup in a very intense State Championship. MaxPreps ranks the Tigers and Shamrocks as #1 and #2 in the state, respectively. Both teams are also ranked nationally; Trinity sits at #86 while St. X is at #51. This game truly is a heavyweight battle in the state of Kentucky.

Look for the Tiger offense, led by sophomore Patrick Anderson and senior Nic Malubay to have a big night against the Shamrocks defense. On the other side of the field, goalie Hudson Hill and defenders Max Malkani and Ben Mueller will look to hinder Trinity’s offensive efforts.

Get out to CAL tonight to support your Tiger Lacrosse seniors, as they are playing in their final high school game. The seniors are also seeking a fourth state title in a row, an almost unprecedented feat in any sport. The theme for tonight’s game is Jersey Night. Make the trip to CAL at 7:00 PM, be loud, be proud, and root on your Tigers to victory.

Coverage

Twitter: @WSTXSports

 

 

Scouting Report | Tiger Lacrosse vs. Trinity

Your Tiger Lacrosse team will face Trinity on Wednesday night in the newest chapter of the storied rivalry between the two schools. St. X enters the game 7-0, looking to ride the momentum from last Wednesday’s resounding 24-1 thrashing of Manual.

The Shamrocks enter the game with a 7-2 record. They defeated 2 out-of-state opponents this past weekend (Moeller and Libertyville) in impressive fashion, winning both by double digits.

The Rocks and Tigers have played 4 common opponents: Father Ryan (TN), Montgomery Bell Academy (TN), Zionsville (IN), and Cathedral (IN). The Tigers defeated all 4, while the Rocks dropped their season opener to MBA but defeated the other 3 schools.

Trinity is coached by Pete Schroeder, who is in his 16th season at the helm. Trinity finished the 2016 season as the KSLL runner-up, and is looking to build on that. They return a number of key players all over the field. Senior goalie Mike Webb and junior defender Sam Hovious will attempt to stifle the Tigers high powered offense on that end of the field. Seniors Lucas Porter, a Transylvania commit, and Max Turnier are returning starters for the Rocks at midfielder. Another Trinity player to watch out for is junior Jonathan Endicott; Endicott had a successful season starting at attack as a sophomore last year. He is committed to play at Furman University.

Tiger Lacrosse takes on Trinity on the road on Wednesday night. Make plans to get out to Trinity to cheer on St. X as they look to defeat the Rocks and continue their undefeated season. Go Tigers!

Twitter coverage: @WSTXSports

Gameday Central | Tiger Lacrosse vs. Paul Laurence Dunbar (Lexington)

Blake Roshkowski | Photo by Varsity Views

GAMEDAY INFORMATION

Saint Xavier Tigers (3-0) vs. Paul Laurence Dunbar Bulldogs (2-3)

Wednesday, March 15th

Varsity Game — 7:00 PM

JV Game — 6:00 PM

Saint Xavier High School

Louisville, KY

GAME NOTES

Tiger Lacrosse has started its 2017 season off very strongly. They have jumped out to a 3-0 start with wins over three very talented out-of-state opponents (Father Ryan, Montgomery Bell Academy, Cathedral). Coach Howe and co. will look to ride this momentum against their first in-state opponent.

St. X has shown off a prolific offense in the early parts of this season. Players such as
Cole Stumler, Jake Zickel, and Patrick Anderson have led the Tigers high-powered offense so far this year.

The defense has also shown its enormous value already this year. Senior Hudson Hill has established a strong identity as the team’s goalkeeper. Hill and the rest of the defense will look to produce another great performance on that end of the field against Dunbar.

Get out to the game and cheer on Tiger Lacrosse in their quest for another State Title!

GAME COVERAGE

Twitter: @WSTXSports

Gameday Central | Regional Quarterfinals vs. Trinity

 

GAMEDAY INFORMATION

Saint Xavier Tigers (19-11) vs. Trinity Shamrocks (28-3)

Tuesday, February 28

Varsity Game — 7:00 PM

Trinity High School

Louisville, KY

GAME NOTES

Tiger Basketball will look to get back on track following a hardfought loss to Male in last Thursday’s 26th District Championship. The Tigers trailed by 10 with less than two minutes left in the game, but they managed to come back and miraculously force overtime after Jack Koch hit a three to tie it up at the buzzer. They would eventually 67-63.

This will be St. X’s third battle against the Shamrocks this season. The two rivals previously met on January 6 and January 11. Trinity claimed the first two victories but Coach Klein’s squad firmly believes the third time’s the charm.

Last time the Tigers played at Trinity was in 1998 in the 7th Region Tournament and the Tigers defeated the Shamrocks, so watch for history to repeat itself.

The Tigers Have become very confident in their defense down the stretch this season. They will look to stifle Trinity’s offense with a strong, gritty performance on that end of the floor.

Come out and support your Tigers as they look to make another deep run in the 7th Region Tournament on their road to Rupp! Get out to Trinity and cheer on your Tigers!

COVERAGE

Twitter: @WSTXSports