What a week. Really, what a last four days. Tiger Fall Sports is in full swing now and all four sports had a strong week. Sometimes we, Tiger Nation, forget how good we have it here. As part of my senior year and this being my last time around the sports circuit, I want to make sure we do understand how special this program is and how this year could be extra special. To do that, I will occasionally write on Sunday nights on the latest in Tiger Sports.
Between Thursday and Saturday, Tiger Football defeated Henry Clay 40-13, Tiger Cross Country beat the other two best teams in the state at the Tiger Run, Tiger Golf continues to dominate and Tiger Soccer beat South Oldham, last year’s state runner-up.
Let’s dive into a bit more though, so here is the latest in Tiger Sports.
Coming into the season, there were some question marks for this team. Who would be quarterback? How would the new offense work? Do we have to rebuild or did we reload once again? Those three were answered Friday night.
One thing you noticed immediately at the game, was that Desmond Ridder has that “it” factor about him. He can change a broken play into a big play, and he did that Friday where he took many broken plays and ended up running or scrambling for a huge gain. One person told me, “His vision of the field makes him unlike a lot of people. He sees everything.” That can’t help but make you excited about these next two years with him at the helm.
This offense could be really good this year. The offense produced almost 600 total yards and struck early and often against Henry Clay. They were up 30-0 before you could even blink it felt like. This offense is fast paced and aggressive. There isn’t much pause in between plays. They just line back up and keep going. Their goal is to be the best conditioned team out there and make the defense tire early.
Over 400 yards rushing is huge no matter what team you’re playing, and you have to give some credit to the O-line for that. They have five new starters, but they stepped up big in the first game with a brand new offense.
With one game under the belt, are the Tigers ready for Bowling Green? The Purples have beaten the Tigers the past four years, and the team felt they should have won last year. The team took that OT loss personal and with it being Patriotic Night, they want to get a W for the fans. The team truly believes this is the year to end the streak.
Tiger Soccer is on a bit of a high too, as they just defeated South Oldham on Thursday night. Last year, the Dragons dominated the Tigers in a 2-0 win, but that didn’t happen this time around. South Oldham was ranked #4 in the state going into the game, and St. X was ranked #8.
This team feels like they have the talent to go really far this year. They feel like they are getting better week by week, and they know that they’re in really good form right now. South was a good early test for the Tigers, and they for sure passed. They didn’t start fast but once they settled in, they dominated possession and controlled the game. They have a long way until state and Trinity is good once again this year, but they believe they have the talent to pull it off. The seniors don’t want to leave this school without a state ring, and they are doing everything they can to make sure they get one.
Soccer has a road trip coming up next weekend, as they travel to St. Louis for two games against Springfield-Glendale and St. Louis University High School. These will be big tests, as both teams will be difficult competition. We will have scores up on the site and twitter feed as soon as we have them.
Last year at state, Tiger Cross Country lost by one point to South Oldham in a surprise upset. That has been eating at the runners, and many have not gone a day without thinking about it. Saturday, they got their chance to get some revenge on South Oldham for last year. The Tigers took the opportunity and beat South Oldham by 17 points and beat Trinity in the process as well.
The win was huge, and Matthew Thomas and Spencer Hayden ran great races, but it was almost more about who was out that is even more special. Freshmen Grady Shiflit and Zach Larkin both did not run in the Varsity race, and they have a very good chance of being in the top five at the end of the year. Junior Ryan Guenthner and sophomore Patrick Schaeffer were both out of the race as well and will almost certainly be one of the top five runners for St. X. Winning Saturday was great, but they could still be a lot better which is kind of scary to think about.
The vibe around the course on Saturday was how good of a race it was. Thomas battled with Cole Dowdy of South Oldham until the very end, and Hayden beat out Tanner Dowdy. It truly was a battle up front, and it shows how good this season could be for cross country racing fans everywhere in the state.
Tiger Cross Country has an off-week next Saturday, and will travel to North Oldham’s Rumble through the Jungle the following weekend. The Trinity Invitational will be the week after that.
The Tiger Golf team won once again, this time at the Madison Central Invitational. The same five members that won state last year are back again this year and looking for a repeat. They want to finish their careers at St. X. as back to back state champs. They have the experience to do it, so all they have to do is finish it out once again.
Because they brought back five members from last year, they know they are the favorites, but they also know they are their own competition. One told me, “There are solid teams that are capable of solid team scores, but at the end of the day if we play to our abilities, we’ll come out on top.” They will play at the Henry Clay Invitational next weekend.
After defeating South Oldham on Thursday night, the Tiger Soccer team moved up two spots to number 6. The Tigers remain behind South Oldham by one spot despite the result on Thursday.
Maher Top 10 Rankings
1) Bowling Green
2) Paul Laurence Dunbar
4) Henry Clay
5) South Oldham
6) Saint Xavier
7) Daviess County
8) Woodford County
9) DuPont Manual
10) Covington Catholic
Tiger Soccer has been busy getting wins these past two weeks, but senior Trent Stigler found time to answer 20 questions with our good friends over at Louisville Catholic Sports. Check out the article here.
Here is an excerpt from the article:
19. If time machines were real, and you could choose just one – to travel forward or backward – which would you select and why? I would travel backward because I love classic cars, cheap prices, and I’d want to see my parents when they were young.
20. If you could pick one person, dead or alive, and ask them just one question that they had to answer honestly, who would you pick and what would you ask? I would ask an Egyptian pyramid builder how the pyramids were built.
The Tiger Soccer team didn’t let a loss on Tuesday effect them, as they dominated Collegiate 4-1 in the season’s home opener Thursday night. Trent Stigler and Matthew Phelan were the stars of the night on offense, as they both scored 2 goals.
The scoring started early for the Tigers Thursday night with Stigler scoring his first goal in the 9th minute. He failed to capitalize on a penalty kick two minutes before, but he took advantage of the ball being tossed around inside the box and lobbed the ball over the goalie’s head. The score remained the same until after halftime when Stigler scored again in the 45th minute. This time with an assist from Colin Kremer.
The Tigers weren’t done scoring though, as Phelan scored two goals in two minutes. In the 55th and 57th minute, Phelan got the ball behind the goalie and increased the lead to 4-0.
“It’s was a statement game for us,” Phelan said. “After losing 3-0 against Central Hardin, that we can come back here and win 4-1 against Collegiate, our bitter rivals, it’s a big confidence booster.”
Although the Tigers did win 4-1, it’s early on in the season and there are still things to work on.
“It’s a step in the right direction,” Phelan said. “We possessed the ball pretty well out there but then we would lose it after a little while. I think our intensity was good, but overall sharpness and precision of passing needs to get better so that we can tire teams out with our possession.”
NEXT GAME: vs. Daviess County | Home | Saturday – 1:30 pm