Westside A Hotbed For High School Sports
The High School sport season is coming fast and the Westside of Cincinnati will again be square in the mix of winning in multiple sports. Legends have graced the sidelines for years and continue to bring a positive influence to the student athletes that they coach. Some Westside schools have been staples on the high school front for decades and the 2019-2020 school year appears to be no different. As we take a look at some of the programs to watch this season, there is no doubt that hard work and toughness will be a glaring quality of all involved.
No one quite has a tradition like the Elder Panthers. Elder has been a football powerhouse for a very long time and has even produced pros like Minnesota Viking tight end Kyle Rudolph. Coach Doug Ramsey will once again lead a team looking to capture another GCL south title. It won’t be easy which is always the case in the best league in the state, but droves of people in purple will urge on the panthers on their quest to glory, especially inside "The Pit" in Price Hill.
As of late, no Westside program has been as dominant as the Lasalle Lancers football program. Being state champions three out of the last five years can do that for a program. They are however coming off their first losing season in some time and failed to make the playoffs a year ago. Expect the lancers to bounce back in a huge way and be right back into the conversation as one of the state’s best programs. Expect big things from the crew of North Bend Road.
When winter comes things tend to heat up in gymnasiums across the Westside. We stay on North Bend as the Lancers are always a tough customer on the hardwood as well. Dan Fleming built an empire and his successor Pat Goedde has been keeping things afloat over the past few seasons. Still Lasalle is looking to take a jump with this new era. A push through to a regional or state appearance is always the goal. With the aggressive pressing and trapping that they have done for years, Lasalle could be in position to make a deep run.
Back in Price Hill, Joe Schenfeld has walked the sidelines at Elder for a long time. The panthers have been consistent during his tenure but quite possibly have underachieved on the state level. Can he get them back to state for the first time in almost twenty years? It is possible and with a coach of his pedigree, we have seen teams seemingly make runs out of nowhere. Elder basketball could be that darkhorse in division I.
Bridgetown is where all eyes will be this winter as Oak Hills and longtime coach Mike Price try and do something he has never done. The Highlanders will attempt to make it to state and check off a few boxes for the hall of fame head coach. Some of the great Oak Hills teams have seemed to always come when another area school has just been loaded with talent as well. I think of the 2004 team lead by current Thomas More coach Justin Ray who lost to eventual state champion Hamilton in the district final or the 2016 squad who battled a tough Moeller team but eventually fell in overtime. Mike Price will put another solid team on the court and this could be the year for them to push through.
In any case, get out and follow your Westside high schools this school year. It will be entertaining and it will be fun and you just might welcome home a champion or two when all is said and done.