District Championship Leads to Canton in “Record” Numbers
“Records are meant to be broken, tradition is meant to be kept,” said assistant and hall of fame coach Jim Brower. For the St. Xavier Swimming & Diving team that is precisely what occurred Saturday at the Ohio Southwest District meet held at Miami University. The AquaBombers amassed a record 603.5 points. Moeller was second with 208.5 and Mason third with 175. Points added up quickly as the team won 9 of the 11 events, while posting meet records in six of them.
St. X qualified 35 swims to District (most possible) and scored in all 35. 31 of that number were top eight. As importantly, 31 swims and diver Josh Knapke’s performance qualified for state in Canton late this week. It was the 49th consecutive District crown for the Blue and White, long considered one of the fastest districts in the US. This year 40% of all swims headed to Canton will come from the SW District.
Bill Keating, Jr. addressed the team prior to the meet and set the tone by encouraging each athlete to keep the wave of tradition going. The response was remarkable.
Event winners started early and finished strong.
200 Medley Relay 1:31.12* (Meet Record) [Justin Grender (JR), Charles Leibson (SR), Luke Sobolewski (SR), Nick Perera (JR)]
200 Free 1:35.79* (Meet & Pool Record) Grant House (SR)
200 IM 1:50.50# Charles Leibson (SR)
100 Fly 48.67* Luke Sobolewski (SR)
100 Free 45.16# Justin Grender (JR)
500 Free 4:21.19* (Meet & Pool Record) Grant House (SR)
200 Free Relay 1:22.80* (Meet Record) [Grender, Perera, Leibson, House]
100 Back 48.51* (Meet Record) Luke Sobolewski (SR)
400 Free Relay 3:01.68* (Meet Record) [Perera, Sobolewski, House, Grender]
*Automatic All American #Consideration All American
Additional All American Consideration swims were turned in by:
Gordon Wheeler (SR) 1:39.03 – 200 Free
Justin Grender (JR) 20.71 – 50 Free
Charles Leibson (SR) 45.84 – 100 Free
Christian Imbus (SR) 4:33.30 – 500 Free
INSIDE THE NUMBERS REFLECTED 39 TOP 50 ST. X SWIMS AND 84% BEST TIME.
The squad earning the trip to Canton to defend the State title:
Sean Brandabur (SR) Josh Knapke (JR)
Peter Breissinger (SR) Jean-Pierre Khouzam (FR)
Blake Brockman (SR) Charles Leibson (SR)
Andrew Devine (SO) Nicholas Perera (JR)
Sam Fallon (JR) Luke Sobolewski (SR)
Ansel Froass (FR) Luke Van Gorp (SR)
Dillon Froass (SR) Alex Wade (JR)
Justin Grender (JR) Jared Watson (SR)
Grant House (SR) Gordon Wheeler (SR)
Christian Imbus (SR)
“We were very please at how the athletes raced on Saturday. We want to keep the wave moving as we compete in Canton,” summarized head coach Tim Beerman. Coach Beerman was named District Coach of the Year by a vote of his colleagues for the second consecutive year.
The Varsity Basketball team has had an up and down year and on Saturday night the Senior class had an opportunity to end the year on an upswing in their final home game. Even though Senior Night was celebrated at the home game vs. Elder, the Bombers went with a starting lineup of all seniors. Greg Ruppert, Matthew Budde, Daniel Keyes, Pete Rumpke and Gage Hammann took the floor to start their final game in Berning Gymnasium.
Keyes and Rumpke got the Bombers off on the right foot as they both converted on layups to get St. Xavier out to a 4-0 lead. The Warriors fought back and took the lead 6-5 but Hammann converted another layup and Ruppert made 2 free throws to make it 9-6 Bombers. St. Xavier traded baskets with the Warriors to end the quarter with a lead of 13-10 as junior Bobby Jefferson answered a Warriors layup and Keyes converted his second layup of the game before a Warriors basket at the buzzer. The Bombers took control of the game in the 2nd quarter as Jefferson opened it up with a layup. Sophomore Nathan Stockman knocked down a 3 pointer and junior Chase Wolf converted a free throw. Keyes knocked down a jumper and Rumpke went 2 for 2 from the line to lead the St. Xavier 10-1 run to take a 23-11 lead. Budde got into the senior scoring action as he answered a Warriors' three pointer with one of his own to make it a 26-14 lead. Keyes converted two free throws before the Warriors ended the half with two converted free throws of their own to make it a 28-16 halftime lead for the Bombers.
Rumpke and Budde both scored for St. Xavier early in the 3rd quarter to make it a 32-16 lead. The Warriors fought back and managed to get the lead down to 10 points, 36-26, by the end of the quarter with a three pointer right before the horn. Winton Woods outscored the Bombers 10-8 in the period to make the game feel tighter than it seemed to be going. Hammann opened the final quarter with a jumper and after a free throw by the Warriors, the Bombers took control of the game. Keyes fired in a three pointer and then junior Brandon Gilbert got the Baseline Bombers on their feet when he threw down a huge dunk in transition to extend the St. Xavier lead to 43-27. Sophomore Thomas Kiessling came off the bench and converted a layup and a free throw for a conventional three point play that gave St. Xavier their biggest lead of the night at 18 points. The Warriors could not bounce back and the Bombers sealed their 46-33 win.
St. Xavier was led by Keyes who scored 11 points on 4-7 shooting and grabbed 3 rebounds. Jefferson finished with 8 points on 4-4 shooting with 2 rebounds. Rumpke finished with 6 points and 3 rebounds while Budde score 5 points with 2 rebounds. Hammann scored 4 points and grabbed 2 rebounds while Ruppert scored 3 points.
With the win, the Bombers finished the regular season with an 8-14 record and the #16 seed in the SW District. They open the OHSAA Division I State Tournament on Saturday, February 25 at 8:00 pm vs. #25 seeded Lakota West HS at Hamilton HS. St. Xavier and the Firebirds will meet for the 2nd time this season as the Bombers won the 1st matchup by a score of 54-37. The winner will meet #4 seeded Mason HS on Wednesday, March 1 at Lakota West HS at 8:00 pm.
The Basketball Bombers play at home vs. Winton Woods on Saturday, February 18. The Freshman team opens the evening at 4:30 then JV at 6 p.m. and Varsity at 7:30 p.m. Go Bombers!
To view a live broadcast of the game, click the links below.
The Basketball Bombers play away at LaSalle on Friday, February 17 with Freshman at 4:30 p.m., JV at 6 p.m. and Varsity at 7:30 p.m.
To view live stats of the game click the links below.
JOSH KNAPKE PUNCHES FIRST AQUABOMBERS TICKET TO CANTON
Josh Knapke (JR), the GCL Champ threw down a personal best at the Southwest District Meet to earn 3rd place and a ticket to Canton for the State Championships. It will be Knapke’s first appearance at “the show” having had to sit out last season with shoulder surgery. But watching him compete you would never suspect he had a year off. Consistent and resolute throughout the evening he amassed 398.45 points. Teammate Jacob Rodriguez (SO) also scored in 14th place. Andrew Neyer (SO) got his first taste of District competition and finished 22nd.
Unfortunately, senior captain Jake Knapke was not able to dive due to illness. “There is no doubt that Jake Knapke inspired us all throughout the season and that included tonight. We are very fortunate to have such athletes in our program,” reflected diving coach Lori Rapp.
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The Varsity Hockey team finished the regular season with an overall record of 17-5-2 which included a 10-1-1 record in the Southwest Ohio High School Hockey League (SWOHSHL). They finished as the regular season champions over Elder who also finished 10-1-1 in league play due to scoring 73 goals compared to Elder's 63 goals in league play. By winning the regular season championship, the Bombers were the #1 seed entering the tournament play this past weekend which resulted in a first round bye.
On Saturday, they faced Troy High School in the semi finals of the SWOHSHL tournament at South Metro Ice in Dayton, OH. Troy advanced to the semi finals via a win over Talawanda on Friday night by a score of 1-0. The Bombers faced Troy twice during the regular season and beat them by scores of 8-3 on 12/3 and 5-1 on 1/29 to clinch the regular season title. St. Xavier did not take the Trojans lightly and it showed as St. Xavier scored 6 times and sophomore GK Bailey Hammons saved all 11 Troy shots to keep them off the scoreboard. The Bombers goals came from freshman Noah Reidy who scored twice, junior Nick Kaneps who also scored twice, senior Jacob Konerman and junior John Driscoll. Konerman and Kaneps also recorded assists while senior Roope Ketola dished out two assists. Seniors Alec Braun and Conor Wilson each had an assist while junior Tyler Dellerman also had an assist. The 6-0 victory propelled the Bombers to the Finals to face the Elder Panthers for a third time this season.
The SWOHSHL Tournament Finals featured the St. Xavier Bombers and Elder Panthers on Sunday afternoon at South Metro Ice as the teams played twice during the regular season. The first game was played to a 1-1 tie on 12-27 while St. Xavier got the best of the 2nd game by a score of 3-1 on 1-28. Both teams were hungry for the win as each team scored twice in the 1st period. Junior Kyle Archdeacon opened the scoring for the Bombers 18 seconds into the game. Elder responded with 2 goals of their own to take the 2-1 lead but senior Alec Braun tied the game up for the Bombers to make it a 2-2 game after the 1st period. St. Xavier came out focused in the 2nd period and the defense locked Elder down. The offense came up big with 3:45 left in the period when Braun found the back of the net once again to make it a 3-2 game. St. Xavier scored once more before the end of the period when junior Billy Johnson netted the 4th goal. The Bombers added one more goal in the final period when Kaneps scored and the defense kept the Panthers off the scoreboard to seal the 5-2 victory. Assists for the Bombers came from Ketola, Reidy, Wilson, Archdeacon and junior Daniel Luongo.
St. Xavier now turns their sights to the OHSAA State Tournament where they were voted the #8 seed in the Columbus Regional. They were the highest seeded Cincinnati team and selected a position on the bracket that gave them a 1st round bye. They will face off against the winner of #10 seeded Olentangy and #15 seeded Centerville on Sunday, February 19 at 1:15 pm in Columbus at the OhioHealth Ice Haus.
AquaBombers Capture 47th Consecutive Sectional Title – Move on to Districts
Since the inception of the Sectionals for Ohio Swimming, the St. Xavier squad has won the Cincinnati division of the four site competition. This year was no different with as the AquaBombers amassed 714.5 points to runner-up Walnut Hills’ 245. The field included thirteen teams. Hosted at Keating Natatorium, the team took advantage of home water advantage and won every event. As importantly, every performance (swimming and diving) qualified for Districts slated at Miami this week.
Led by multiple winners, Grant House (SR) – 4, Nick Perera (JR) – 4, Justin Grender (JR) – 4, Luke Sobolewski (SR) – 3, and Charles Leibson (SR) -2, the Aquabombers placed every swim in the top 6 and went 1 – 2 in seven of the eight events contested Friday night.
“Our objective was to race hard and advance to Districts, and that is precisely what we did,” summarized head coach, Tim Beerman.
The Basketball Bombers play away at Walnut Hills on Saturday, February 11 with Freshman at 3 p.m., JV at 4:30 p.m. and Varsity at 6 p.m.
To view live stats of the game click the links below.
The Basketball Bombers play away at Moeller on Friday, February 10 with Freshman at 4:30 p.m., JV at 6 p.m. and Varsity at 7:30 p.m.
To view live stats of the game click the links below.