CNE is distinctly best in Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference National Division

By Dick Maloney, Contributor

Having established itself as the best athletic program in the Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference’s National Division a year ago, Clermont Northeastern High School has no intention of giving up that distinction.

CNE won its first SBAAC National Division All-Sports Award in 2018-2019 and is setting a similar pace through the first portion of 2019-2020. The Rockets were regular-season champions in boys golf, finished second in football (tied) girls golf, girls tennis and volleyball, and third in boys cross country, girls cross country, boys soccer and girls soccer. The fall performance has CNE atop the All-Sports standings with 35.5 points, 7.5 ahead of second-place Bethel-Tate.

Points are awarded based on where a team finishes in the league standings, and on the number of schools that participate in that sport. Last year, CNE led Bethel-Tate by seven points – 37-30 – after the fall season.

One-hundred-forty-seven students participated in fall sports; several played more than one sport. Austin Yeager was first-team All-SBAAC in golf and soccer. Abbey Puckett was first-team All-SBAAC in cross country and second-team in soccer; Kylie Hoerth was second-team in cross country and soccer 

Here is a look at each of the CNE fall sports:

Boys cross country: Finish: Third in league meet.

Sophomore Summit Northrup was CNE’s top runner, placing second in the league meet in a time of 17 minutes, 44.88 seconds, and advancing to the Division II regional championships. He was CNE’s first regional qualifier since 2003. Another sophomore, Clayton Hodge, placed seventh in the league meet (18:41.14).

CNE won four meets, finished second in one, third in five, and fifth at district.

All-SBAAC athletes: First team – Clayton Hodge (sophomore) and Summit Northrup (sophomore). Second-team – Tyler Conley (senior).

Girls cross country: Finish: Third in league meet.

Four runners placed in the top 14 at the SBAAC meet – Abby Puckett (seventh), Zoey Eichenlaub (tied for eighth), Kylie Hoerth (12th) and Abigail Averwater (14th).

All-SBAAC athletes: First-team – Abby Puckett (junior). Second-team – Abigail Averwater (senior), Zoey Eichenlaub (freshman) and Kylie Hoerth (senior).

CNE also fielded a full middle school squad for the first time, with three first-place finishes, five seconds and one third. The squad placed second to Western Brown in the SBAAC. Individually, Lucy Sullivan was second in the league and Ellie Breitenstein fourth.

Football: Record: 6-4 overall, 3-2 (tied for second) in SBAAC National.

The Rockets alternated wins and losses in the first six weeks, then finished with three straight victories after an Oct. 11 loss to Bethel-Tate. In its six wins, CNE averaged 42 points per game and allowed 13.3; in the four losses, they averaged 12 ppg and allowed 31.

CNE finished 11th in Division V, Region 20, in the Ohio High School Athletic Association computer ratings. The top eight teams in each region qualify for the postseason.

Individually, junior quarterback Landon Amann was the fifth-best passer in the SBAAC, throwing for 843 yards in nine games. Senior Cole Joslin averaged 129.1 rushing yards per game, second in the SBAAC. Senior David Pride was fifth in receiving yards with 440.

All-SBAAC athletes: First-team – Max Ansteatt (senior), Cole Joslin (senior), David Pride (senior), Skyler Schmidt (junior), J.T. Shepherd (senior). Second-team – Landen Amann (junior), Damian Bowen (senior), Albert Corey (senior), Logan Pottorf (junior). Honorable mention – Dakota Hawk (senior), Steven Norton (junior).

Boys golf: Record: 12-3 regular season (SBAAC National Division champion); second in SBAAC postseason tournament.

Foster Kuntz placed second in the league tournament and Jake Ansteatt placed fourth.

All-SBAAC athletes: First-team – Jake Ansteatt (junior), Foster Kuntz (senior), Austin Yeager (sophomore). Second-team – Cooper Woolery (sophomore). Coach Ernie Havrilla was chosen National Division Coach of the Year.

Girls golf: Finish: Second in league tournament (all SBAAC schools competed in the same tournament). Won the Dayton Christian Invitational and qualified for the Division II District Tournament for first time.

Hailey Stegemann was medalist at the Dayton Christian Invitational, first-team All-Cincinnati Girls Golf Conference, first-team All-Southwest District and placed second in the SBAAC Tournament.

Taylor Shumard was first-team All-CGGC and first-team All-Southwest District. Sadie Hoeppner was honorable mention All-Southwest District. Shumard and Hoeppner finished in a three-way tie for sixth in the SBAAC.

All-SBAAC athletes: First-team – Sadie Hoeppner (junior), Taylor Shumard (senior), Hailey Stegeman (junior).

Boys soccer: Record: 8-10-0 overall; 5-5-0 SBAAC (third in National Division).

The Rockets won a Division III postseason game, defeating Purcell Marian 4-2 in the first round of the Division III sectional tournament. They lost to Mariemont 9-0 in the second round.

Jered Glancy was the team’s leading scorer, with 18 goals and six assists (42 points) in 13 games. Austin Yeager had 14 goals and 10 assists (38 points) in 13 games.

All-SBAAC athletes: First-team – Jered Glancy (junior), Austin Yeager (sophomore). Second-team – Logan Carlier (sophomore), Nick Craig (junior). Honorable mention – Trentin Nichols (senior).

Girls soccer: Record: 9-5-4 overall; 6-2-2 SBAAC National Division (third).

Defense carried the Rockets. They allowed only 21 goals, posting nine shutouts. Goalkeeper Alyssa Williams had nine shutouts and a .660 save percentage. She was voted All-Southwest District.

The Rockets were 1-1 in the Division III postseason, defeating Deer Park 1-0 and losing to Mariemont 7-1. Abbey Puckett scored 11 goals with nine assists (31 points), fifth best in the SBAAC.

Abigail Averwater, Madison Henke, Kylie Hoerth and Alyssa Williams earned All-Southwest Academic honors (3.7 grade point average or better), and All-Ohio Academic honors (3.75 GPA or better).

“We had some great games this year and regardless of the outcome, I was incredibly proud of how the girls played,” coach Craig Yeager said. “They put for the effort and attitude during those contests that showcased the kind of team we are striving to be game in and game out.

“Our eight graduating seniors will be missed next year. They all contributed to the team on and off the field and leave many open positions to fill. We will have four returning starters, two returning captains and many others with time playing varsity. I look forward to the girls coming out ready to go, starting early and pushing each other to be at their best every time we step on the field.”

All-SBAAC athletes: First-team – Madison Henke (senior), Alyssa Williams (senior). Second-team – Kylie Hoerth (senior), Abbey Puckett (junior). Honorable mention – Mackenzie Reece (senior).

Girls tennis: Record: 7-7 overall; 6-2 SBAAC National Division; third in SBAAC National postseason tournament.

CNE’s first doubles team of Destiny Sheanshang and Alyssa Ferguson won their bracket in the National Division tournament. The second doubles pair of Mackenzie Turner and Madison Turner was SBAAC National runner-up.

All-SBAAC athletes: First-team – Destiny Sheanshang and Alyssa Ferguson (first doubles). Second-team – Kenady Brown (first singles), Mackenzie Turner and Madison Turner (second doubles).

Volleyball: Record: 18-6 overall; 10-2 SBAAC National Division (second); lost in Division III sectional finals.

Coach Emma Keough recorded her 100th victory during the 2019 season. The Rockets’ only losses were to Mariemont, Cincinnati Trailblazers, Western Brown, Williamsburg (twice) and Seven Hills in the sectional finals. Fourteen of their 18 wins were in straight sets.

Carson Fishback was named SBAAC National Division Athlete of the Year and first-team All-District. She led the SBAAC in digs with 487 and finished her career with more than 1,000 digs – a school record. Lexi Eyre was second in the SBAAC in kills with 282. Makayla Drewry finished fifth in the conference in assists, with 459.

Fishback, Drewry, Molly Stetson and Elizabeth Lindsey were senior academic award winners for District 16 for having cumulative GPAs of 3.5 or above.

“This season was filled with so much progress individually and as a whole team. We focused all year on getting better every day and I truly felt that our final match of the season was the best product we put on the floor all year,” Keough said. “We made tremendous gains in our ability to finish close sets and matches. Despite coming up short on making CNE history by advancing to the District Tournament, I was extremely proud of the effort and commitment displayed by the entire team.

“Our senior leadership was paramount to our success this season and the respect every player had for each other was a big key to our success. I have always believed in doing the fundamentals well and the best compliment we received this season was a previous coach from a rival team telling me how disciplined our team was. I shared this with the girls because it was a defining moment for our program.”

All-SBAAC athletes: First-team – Makayla Drewry (senior), Carson Fishback (senior). Second-team – Macy Brown (junior), Lexi Eyre (junior). Honorable mention – Molly Stetson (senior).

Photo Captions:

100 wins drewry fishback: Clermont Northeastern volleyball players Makayla Drewry and Carson Fishback with coach Emma Keough, who won her 100th varsity match this season. Fishback was Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference North Division Athlete of the Year and set a school career digs record with more than 1,000. Drewry was first-team All-SBAAC National Division.

Boys golf team: The Clermont Northeastern boys golf team won the SBACC National Division regular season championship.

SN XC Regionals: Clermont Northeastern sophomore Summit Northrup (center) was the school’s first regional cross country qualifier since 2003.

(Photo credit: Courtesy CNE Schools)