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A6 • CJN-MMA • MAY 21, 2014

Milford tennis duo’s volleys not reserved for net By Mark D. Motz


» Clermont Northeastern beat Bethel-Tate in its Division III sectional tournament opener May 16. The Rockets advanced to face Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy after deadline May » Goshen beat Talawanda 7-1 in the Division II sectional tournament opener May 12. The Warriors were scheduled to meet Batavia after deadline May 19. The winner advances to face New Richmond for the sectional title May 22 at Anderson. » Milford beat Sycamore 7-1 May 12 in the first round of the Division I sectional tournament. The Eagles were set to face Colerain in the second round

Clermont Northeastern pitcher secure on mound By Mark D. Motz

OWENSVILLE — Forget trying to steal his signs.

Milford High School seniors David Hacker, left, and Brennan Perkins teamed for the sectional doubles tournament for the Eagles.MARK D. MOTZ/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

Perkins said it’s a team sport, but it’s individualized. “Even with a doubles partner, it’s at least 50 percent on you. You have to do your part.” Smalley had a entirely senior roster with the exception of sophomore Logan Chrislip. With the experienced roster came high expectations. “We had such bright things happen, just never at the same time,” she said. “An individual match here and a team score there, it might have been different. “The story of our season was weather and injuries. We didn’t get to play a lot matches consecutively

early on and get in a rhythm. And then we started having injuries. You have to give credit. It’s a tough league and even though I felt like nobody in the league was that much better than us, we had a few bad breaks and didn’t win it.” Perkins and Hacker said they hoped the sectional tournament would be a time of redemption. “It’s our last chance to go out and show what we can do,” Hacker said. Added Perkins, “It’s going to be our chance to go out and beat some of the teams that beat us before. It’s time for a little revenge.”

PRESS PREPS HIGHLIGHTS By Mark D. Motz and Scott Springer


Editor: Melanie Laughman,, 513-248-7573


MILFORD — If the tennis is as good as the repartee, things should work out well. Milford High School head coach Claire Smalley paired seniors Brennan Perkins and David Hacker together at first doubles late in the season and sent them into Division I sectional action together May 13. “Coach has been trying stuff all season with the lineup,” Perkins said. “She just thought we had the highest propensity of winning some matches together.” Hacker asked with a cocked eyebrow, “Propensity? Did you just say ‘propensity?’” “Yeah, it’s a $10 word,” Perkins replied. “I think it sounds good.” Smalley said their pairing - both had played with several other partners and bounced between first and second doubles during the course of the season - sounded good to her. “We’ve had many reshufflings and trying to find the best combinations,” Smalley said. “Sectionals is all about how they can gel together in a short amount of time. I think this combinations gives us a good chance. It’s relatively new, so it’s more of just see how they do together under pressure. “They both have strong strokes. When Brennan is at the net, he’s very tough. They’re both big hitters. They complement each other well. ” Even if the compliment is - pardon the pun - backhanded. “He’s a beast at the net because he’s big and he’s got long arms” Hacker said of Perkins. “He’s scary looking up there.” With an eyebrow cocked similarly to Hacker’s earlier, Perkins asked his partner, “Scary looking?” “Yeah, but you’re fun to play with,” Hacker answered. Perkins said the same of Hacker. “He’s got amazing ground strokes and he can read what I’m doing very well without me even having to say anything,” Perkins said. “That’s a great feeling.” Perkins is the more experienced of the two, taking up the game in seventh grade on a whim. Hacker started playing as a sophomore when some of his friends decided to give it a try. Both have similar reasons for liking the game, especially playing doubles. “You have somebody to rely on,” Hacker said. “It’s easier to get motivated and get up when you have somebody there pushing you.”


after deadline May 19. The winner meets either Anderson or Western Hills in the sectional title game scheduled for May 22 at Kings High School. » McNicholas beat Hughes High School 3-1 in the Division II sectional tournament opener May 13. The Rockets were scheduled to meet Western Brown in the second round May 19. The winner will play Wyoming May 22 at Milford for the sectional championship.


» Clermont Northeastern lost 4-1 to Goshen in the opening round of the Division II sectional tournament May 13. Sevenseed Goshen handed second-seeded McNicholas a 5-3 upset defeat May 17 in the second round. The Warriors were scheduled to meet Wilmington for the sectional championship after deadline May 20.

» Third-seeded Milford had a first-round bye in the Division I sectional tournament. Rain pushed its game against 10-seed Oak Hills to May 19. The winner advances to the sectional finals scheduled for May 20 against Western Brown.

Track and field

» CNE finished third in the Southern Buckeye Conference National boys meet May 14 and finished fourth in the girls team standings. » Goshen finished fourth in both the boys and girls Southern Buckeye Conference American meet May 14. » Milford was fifth in the Eastern Cincinnati Conference girls meet May 16; the Eagles boys took sixth. » McNicholas track and field finished fifth in both the boys and girls Greater Catholic League Coed

meets May 12.

College volleyball

» Jessica Winstel, a Milford native and graduate of Milford High School, will join the Capital University volleyball program as a student-athlete this fall. Capital welcomes 13 first-year student-athletes to campus as members of the Crusaders, head coach Pam Briggs announced. Winstel earned first team all-Eastern Cincinnati Conference and third team all-city accolades at Milford.

College basketball

» Former McNicholas High School point guard Geoff Hensley Jr. was named head basketball coach at Thomas College in Maine. Hensley had most recently served as an assistant and recruiting coordinator at Center College in Danville, Ky.

Clermont Northeastern High School senior pitcher Nick Tipton knows a hacker when he sees one. Tipton – a first-team all-Southern Buckeye Conference selection for the Rockets - plans to study computer science at Mount Union College, where he will also play baseball next season. He will concentrate in forensics and cyber security. “I already do a lot of that stuff on my own,” he said of preventing hackers. “It’s just interesting to me.” CNE head baseball coach and athletic director Mike Kirk said Tipton’s matriculation to Mount Union is a good fit. “Size-wise and program-wise, he’s going to fit in very well there,” Kirk said. “But more importantly, they have the academic programs he wanted. He understands that’s his first priority. “He’s a hard worker and a smart player on the mound. He’s a baseball player. He’s an athletic kid and we definitely take advantage of that when he’s not pitching. (Tipton also plays outfield for the Rockets.) If he’d have stuck with soccer or basketball, he would have been one of our best in those sports, too.” While Tipton played both soccer and hoops growing up, baseball has always been his first love. He began playing at age 5. He taught himself how to throw a curve ball at age 13, a pitch he said has become his best. (“That’s probably because he doesn’t give enough credit to his changeup,” Kirk said.) He played up with his older brother - CNE grad Nathan Tipton from the class of 2011 - in select ball. The two got to play together for the Rockets when Nathan was a senior and Nick a freshman, which Nick said was special for both of them. Kirk said some his most special memories of Tipton on the field came last season when he threw a no-hit game against Taylor in the second round of the sectional tournament and followed it up with a compete-game win over top-seeded Wyoming in the sectional title game. Now as a senior himself, Nick likes the leadership aspect of the game. “Going out on the field and leading my team defensively on the mound and making sure every player keeps his head in the game is great,” he said. “It’s all-around just my favorite sport. I feel more comfortable on the diamond than I do on any other field or court. “Each time you get that last strikeout to end a game is a great feeling. And it’s one that you can have over and over, not just once. There’s always another game.” Even when your high school career is coming to a close. “I’m glad I’ve had the chance to mature with all the years of high school baseball,” Tipton said. “In a way I will always be emotionally attached to this place, but the road doesn’t end here. I’m grateful for that.” Rain postponed CNE’s first game in the Division III sectional tournament Bethel-Tate May 14. The Rockets and Tigers were scheduled to try again May 16. Whenever it’s played, the winner advances to face either top-seeded Cincinnati Hills Christian Academy or East Clinton in a game scheduled for 5 p.m. May 21 at the Summit Country Day athletic complex. “We’re looking forward to it,” Kirk said. “That’s the beauty of baseball. Anything can happen in one game.” Clermont Northeastern High School senior pitcher Nick Tipton throws in a March 21 scrimmage against Summit Country Day. MARK D. MOTZ/THE COMMUNITY PRESS

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