CNE Fall Sports Wrap up
By Dick Maloney
CLERMONTY COUNTY, OH (November 22, 2022) – It took 17 years for Clermont Northeastern High School’s athletic program to win its first Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference National Division All-Sports Trophy; now the Rockets appear to have a firm grip on the hardware.
CNE fall teams were regular-season champions in boys cross country and girls soccer, finished second in girls tennis and girls cross country, and third in volleyball. The performance has the school atop the All-Sports standings with 32 points, 2.5 ahead of Bethel-Tate and Williamsburg, each with 29.5 The other SBAAC National schools are Blanchester, East Clinton, Felicity-Franklin and Williamsburg.
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 7.5 points – 33-25.5 – after the fall season.
One-hundred-twenty students participated in fall sports (including cheer); nine played more than one sport – Taylor Beasley (cheer, girls soccer), Trent McIntosh (cross country, boys soccer), Ellie Breitenstein (cross country, girls soccer), Lucy Sullivan (cross country, girls soccer), Wyatt Fisher (boys golf, boys soccer), Xaden Hunt (football, boys soccer), Connor Yeager (football, boys soccer), Lucas Yeager (football, boys soccer) and Reed Etling (football, boys soccer).
Breitenstein and Connor Yeager were All-SBAAC in two sports.
Here is a look at CNE fall sports:
Boys cross country
Finish: Won league meet for second consecutive season.
Senior Noah Bunting was the National Division Runner of the Year and coach Moe Cooper the Coach of the Year. A state qualifier in 2021, Bunting posted a season-best time of 16 minutes, 48 seconds, in the West Union Invitational, and was the fastest National Division runner at the league meet (17:06).
Junior Matthew Crawford qualified to the Division II regional meet. CNE’s boys won five of six regular-season meets, and placed second in the other
Cooper has rebuilt the program during his nine years as coach.
“We were the team that just kind of was irrelevant. We just competed and we never did things five years ago,” Cooper said. “We lost a bunch of seniors last year and we’re just reloading this year.”
All-SBAAC athletes: First team – Noah Bunting (senior); Matthew Crawford (junior); Luke Hauserman (junior). Second-team – Jackson Crawford (junior), Grayson Moore (junior).
Girls cross country
Finish: Second in league meet; qualified as team to Division III regional meet.
Sophomore Ellie Breitenstein placed third in the league meet (21:14) and junior Lucy Sullivan was seventh (21:58). At the district meet, Breitenstein was ninth and Sullivan 13th.
Cooper noted that until recently, CNE was unable to enter a full girls team at league or district competitions.
“It signifies to me that all of our hard-earned work put in throughout the season has been worthwhile,” Sullivan said of earning a trip to regional.
All-SBAAC athletes: First-team – Ellie Breitenstein (sophomore) and Lucy Sullivan (junior). Second-team – Julia Patterson (junior).
Record: 3-7 overall, 1-3 in SBAAC National.
The Rockets won their first two games, 30-6 at home over Clark Montessori and 35-14 at Miami Valley Christian, but then dropped six in a row (three by one score) before a 50-22 win at East Clinton. They scored 30 or more points four times.
Individually, senior Jake Mott rushed for 1,191 yards on 124 carries – 9.6 yards per carry – and 13 touchdowns. His longest run was 96 yards against Miami Valley Christian. Twice Mott rushed for 200 yards or more in a game – 200 at Batavia and 209 vs. Williamsburg.
Senior C.J. Boothby led the National Division with six interceptions, including three against Bethel-Tate Sept. 29.
All-SBAAC athletes: First-team – C.J. Boothby (senior), Grant Brown (senior), Jake Mott (senior). Second-team – Josh Groeber (sophomore), Andrew McIntosh (junior). Honorable mention – Connor Yeager (sophomore).
All-Ohio Academic team – C.J. Boothby.
First-team All-City/All-District – C.J. Boothby, Grant Brown, Jake Mott. All-District second team – Andrew McIntosh, Connor Yeager.
Record: 12-3 regular season (SBAAC National Division champion); fourth in SBAAC National Division postseason tournament.
All-SBAAC athletes: Parker Woolery (junior) Second-team – Ian Howser (junior).
Record: 5-9-3 overall; 0-5-3 SBAAC National.
Sophomore Jake Bunting tied for the third-most assists in the conference with (he also scored three goals, for a season total of 17 points. Bunting had a goal and two assists in a 6-0 win at Eastern Sept. 15.
Freshman Lucas Yeager was team leader in goals, with seven; he had three assists to tie Bunting as the team’s leading scorer. He scored two goals in back-to-back games at Norwood Sept. 13 and Eastern Sept. 15.
Junior Symon Mattes had six goals and four assists (16 points).
All-SBAAC athletes: Second-team – Jake Bunting (sophomore), Symon Mattes (junior).
Record: 13-3-1 overall; 9-0-1 SBAAC National Division champions. The league title was CNE’s first since 2015-2016. The Rockets were 1-1 in the postseason, defeating Felicity-Franklin 8-0 before losing to Mariemont 2-0.
CNE outscored opponents 62-13 – eight of the 13 goals allowed came in the final two weeks of the season.
Senior Anna Best was fourth in the conference in scoring (32 goals, nine assists, 73 points). She scored four goals in a game four times, and concluded her career with 56 goals and 36 assists. Sophomore Aubrey Rack had 13 goals and 17 assists (43 points).
“They’re both very dangerous. They work well together and then pop in and out to the outside. They’re both there for the for the crosses as well,” head coach Craig Yeager said.
He was named Southwest District Region 12 Coach of the Year.
All-SBAAC athletes: First-team – Anna Best (senior), Bailey Fishback (senior), Aubrey Rack (sophomore), Meredith Stetson (junior). Second-team – Ellie Breitenstein (sophomore), Gracie Pride (sophomore), Emma Yeager (freshman).
All-Southwest District – Anna Best and Bailey Fishback.
All-Southwest Academic (3.7 grade point average or better, *All-Ohio Academic seniors only, 3.7 GPA or better) – Taylor Beasley, Anna Best*, Ellie Breitenstein, Aryanna King, Jasmine King*, Grace Pride, Audrey Taylor.
Team academic award (3.604 GPA).
Record: 10-6 overall; 8-2 (second place) SBAAC National Division; second in SBAAC National postseason tournament.
Senior Shelby Ruehl was SBAAC runner-up at No. 3 singes and junior CiCi Stringer and sophomore Jayda Sharp were third at No. 1 doubles.
All-SBAAC athletes: First-team – Lilly Braden (senior) No. 1 singles. Second-team – Shelby Ruehl (senior) No. 3 singles, Jayda Sharp (sophomore) and CiCi Stringer (junior) No. 1 doubles; Kailynn Sharp (freshman) and Ava Stephan (freshman) No. 2 doubles.
“Women’s tennis wrapped up another fantastic year,” coach Liz Benjamin said, “Our doubles team known as the ‘Twin Towers’ (Braden and Zoe Moore), who have played together for three years, had to split this year to play singles. It was fun watching them develop into singles players, then at the sectional tournament they reunited to get a first-round win.”
“We had five athletes finish with 10 or more wins this season. We were also surprised with a large freshman class of athletes. Some were forced into action early and held their ground.”
Record: 12-12 overall; 8-4 (third place) SBAAC National Division; went 1-1 in postseason, defeating Gamble Montessori before losing to Mariemont.
Senior Tiffany Drewry finished the season with 207 kills, sixth in the SBAAC. That included a career-best 20 vs. Madeira Oct. 20. She was also fifth in the conference in service aces with 66
All-SBAAC athletes: First-team – Isabella Bosley (juior), Tiffany Drewry (senir), Madie Gilley (senior). Second-team – Genevieve Clevenger (senior). Honorable mention – Sydney Norton (junior).
All-District 16 – First-team, Tiffany Drewry. Second-team, Madie Gilley. Academic Award – Genevieve Clevenger, Tiffany Drewry, Madie Gilley. Team academic award.
“We had a solid season and progressed with each match. The athletes pushed themselves to work through hard challenges and ended up their season playing the best volleyball that they had,” head coach Emma Keough said.
‘We are losing three seniors (Gilley, Drewry and Clevenger). All three of these athletes contributed tremendously to our program not just this year, but over the past four years. There will be big shoes to fill next season as we try to replace them. Not only will we miss their athleticism, but also their positive attitudes, examples, and friendship.
“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.”