Yesterday, 12 athletes from 9 different sports signed on to play to the next level. Congrats to all these guys for all the hard work they have put in, it has certainly paid off. Good Luck to all these guys in college. Go Tigers!
Jake Zickel – Lacrosse (University of Indianapolis): Zickel is a three-year Varsity Letterman and two-year starter at midfield for the Tigers. In 2016, he was the team’s 4th leading scorer with 23 goals and 7 assists. This year, he has displayed skill as one of the best ball handlers around the crease, while racking up 17 goals and 11 assists.
Nic Malubay – Lacrosse (Centre College): Nic is a two sport Varsity Letterman, earning honors as an Attack on the Tiger Lacrosse team and as a Defensive Back on the Tiger Football team. After scoring 5 goals and assisting on 11 in 2016, he has emerged as the team’s second leading scorer this year with 25 goals and 11 assists.
Spencer Blandford – Tennis (University of Southern Indiana): Blandford was a state semi-finalist in Doubles this past season. Presently, he is a team captain and carries an 11-2 record in singles and 13-0 record in doubles this year. He is a four-year Varsity tennis Letterman, and his singles victory in 2015 and come from behind doubles court victory in 2016 helped the Tigers capture two recent team titles.
Ryan Guenthner – Cross Country and Track (University of Cincinnati): Ryan was the top senior finisher for St.X at the KHSAA State Championship meet in November, finishing 4th overall in 15:58. He was a 2017 Team Captain, a state competitor for 2016 &2017 back-to-back state Championship squads, and an integral member of the 2017 Nationally Ranked Cross Country team this past fall. During his four years at St.X, he has earned five varsity letters – 2 in Track and 3 in Cross Country.
Andrew Edwards – Track and Cross Country (Centre College): Andrew was one of the top seniors and a Team Captain as the 8th runner for the 2017 State Championship and nationally ranked Tiger Cross Country team this past fall. During his four years at St.X, he has earned four varsity letters – 2 in Track and 2 in Cross Country
Martin Nitzken – Swimming (Miami of Ohio): Martin was a four-year Letterman for the Tiger Swimming and Diving team. In 2017, he was a State Captain and a state finalist for the third time. For the second consecutive year he, along with his teammates, broke the Kentucky state record in the 200 yard medley relay at the KHSAA State Meet, earning both All-State and All-American honors.
Owen Johnson – Football (Elon University): Owen was the Tiger Football team’s 3rd leading scorer, kicking 8 field goals and 41 extra points. In addition, he was a valuable member of the kick-off team, consistently booming his kicks into the end zone, eliminating any chance for a return. Owen earned 2nd team All-Metro Area Kicker honors from the Courier Journal for his accomplishments this year.
Brad Middleton – Soccer (Bellarmine University): Brad was a 2 year Letterman at striker for the Tiger Soccer program. During his career, he scored 12 goals and had 4 assists to help lead the Tigers to 34 wins. With 8 goals and 4 assists this season, he was the team’s leading scorer.
Chris Esselman – Baseball (Centre College): Chris has been a varsity starter for the past two seasons as an infielder and right-handed pitcher. In 2016, he hit .278 with 4 doubles and was 1-0 pitching with 3 saves. In addition, he hit .364 in last year’s KHSAA State Tournament, helping the Tiger Baseball team claim their second title in three years. Currently, Chris is hitting .386 with 21 RBI and has earned two victories on the mound.
Joshua Schmidt – Wrestling (Lindsey Wilson College): Josh has earned four varsity letter in Wrestling and two more for the Tiger Powerlifting team during his four-year career. In 2017, he was a State Champion powerlifter as well as Jefferson County and Region 4 Wrestling Champion at 113 lbs. He also earned victories in the first two rounds of the KHSAA State Wrestling Tournament for the state-runner up team.
Sam Wilson – Baseball (Earlham College): Sam has been a stalwart on the mound for the past two Tiger Baseball seasons. In 2016, he had a 1.46 ERA in 24 innings pitched. In 2017, he has a 1.24 ERA in 22.2 innings while striking out 25 opposing batters and earning 3 wins in 6 appearances.
Ian Waldrop – Soccer (Hanover College): Ian was a two-year varsity Letterman for the Tiger Soccer program. During his career, he scored 5 goals and had 5 assists to help lead the Tigers to 34 wins. With five assists, he was the team’s second leading facilitator for the team in 2017.
The Tiger Lacrosse team will begin their defense of their three consecutive titles this upcoming Friday when they play Father Ryan, a team from Nashville, TN. We’ll start to focus on the opponent in the upcoming days, but we want to take a quick look at who the LAX team will be returning this season. We are going to highlight some position groups, and focus on who is poised for a big year. Let’s see how the Tigers look this year!
The Tigers lost their leading scorer from last year, John Mueller. Mueller scored 41 goals along with having 18 assists and was a key leader for last year’s team. He will be tough to replace because of his size and athleticism.
The Tigers return 2 of 3 starters at attack. Junior Keegan Puffer and senior Joey Mackin will look to pick up right where they left off. Puffer, who had a team high 33 assists last season, along with 24 goals, looks to add to what was a very strong sophomore season. He is very shifty and can easily maneuver himself through the defense, which plays in his favor. Mackin also looks to pick up where he left off last season. He had 22 goals, along with 27 assists for the Tigers. Both Mackin and Puffer will be need to have great seasons if this team wants to win a fourth straight state championship. Senior Nic Malubay saw limited playing time last year, but will see that increased in the 2017 season. He scored 5 goals and added 11 assists last year. However, there is no doubt these numbers will take a big jump. Malubay recently committed to play lacrosse at Centre College which shows the ability he has to make this a special season for him and the rest of his teammates.
Sophomore Will Hubbs will look for an increased role on the Varsity team this year. Hubbs was pulled up from the JV team mid-season last year and will look to build on what was a solid season on the JV squad.
Corbyn Buchart , currently playing with Transylvania University, was the Tigers leading face-off man last season. He won 101 face-offs, while only losing 59. Buchart was a great face-off player whose play on both sides of the field helped the Tigers tremendously.
The Tigers return almost all of their main midfielders from last season. Jake Zickel, Patrick Anderson, Blake Roshkowski, Will Ginter, and Cole Stumler will see most of the playing time at this position. Roshkowski was held on the sidelines last year after an ACL injury during the preseason. He is now coming off of another ACL injury from football season, but was just recently cleared to play. It will be interesting to see how the former All-State midfielder returns to form coming off two season-ending injuries. Zickel and Anderson will provide an inside-outside combo. Zickel tends to play around the crease, while Anderson will make the most of his opportunities off shooting from the outside.
Cole Stumler will return as the Tigers’ lead face off man. He backed up Buchart last year and will look to increase his role this year. Peyton Bray will also help carry the load on face offs and appears to be a good distributor for the Tigers.
Will Ginter and Harrison Pate highlight the defensive midfielders and will look to have a strong season. Ginter specifically can force a turnover, then torch the other team with his blazing speed and ability to get up and down the field.
Overall, all of the midfielders have great knowledge about the game which is often overlooked.
Caleb Grimes has been a main stead for the Tiger Defense since his freshman year. The Tigers will feel the loss of Grimes’ leadership and his ability on that side of the field. He was the lockdown defender for the Tigers, so someone will need to step into that role.
Other than Grimes, the Tigers return majority of the starters on the defensive side, which seems to be a popular theme this year. Seniors Paul Porter and Matthew Shewmaker along with juniors Max Malkani and Ben Mueller will be big for the Tigers on defense. Porter, who had a team high 45 ground balls last season, will look to be a leader this year on defense. Shewmaker saw some playing time last year, but will definitely see his action increased this year. His speed and agility will make him a big-time player for the Tigers. Mueller and Malkani are both very tall with long arms which plays in their favor, especially on defense. Their footwork is also key to their success.
The goalie position is pretty much locked up for the upcoming season. Senior Hudson Hill and now graduate Bryce Perram switched off at this key position last year. However, Hill should see almost all of the playing time this season. Last year he saved 33 shots on 80 shots on goal. Hill looks to have a strong season at arguably the hardest and most important position on the field.
The Tigers have a tough out-of-state schedule, and if they are successful, they could climb up the National Rankings quickly. This schedule is highlighted by Cincinnati St.X and Cathedral, who were the 5th and 7th ranked teams in the Midwest by Inside Lacrosse last year. In Kentucky, the Tigers look to continue their dominance in the Bluegrass. Their top competition for the State Title this year looks to be that team on Shelbyville Road, but the Tigers have not lost to them since 2013.
The Tiger Lacrosse team are the 3x Defending State Champions, and anything less than a fourth straight title would be a disappointment. Coach Howe and Co. know what it takes to win, so they’ll approach this year the same as any other.
So, with the Tigers opening up the season this Friday at home at 5:30, make sure to be there and get rowdy!