The story posted below tells about four Madeira track athletes that were denied a shot at a state championship this past spring.  They got a second chance when they entered the AAU National Junior Olympics competition.  On Thursday morning in Satellite Beach, Florida, they achieved their goal as a championship 4 x 800 relay team.  Instead of a state title, it is a national title in the 17-18 year age group at the Junior Olympics.  The senior team of Diego Arredondo, Ben Cunningham, Ben Ramos, & Dylan Whitson won with a time of 8:04.42.  They were 44 seconds faster than the 2nd place team.  Their goal was to be under 8 minutes, but that didn't take away from their joy of being national champs!  Congratulations to Diego, Ben C., Ben R., & Dylan and also to Madeira Cross Country & Track & Field Coach Josh Dooley!

When it was announced late March that the spring sports season would be cancelled because of the pandemic, it was a devastating blow for the spring athletes.  It was the worst for the seniors.  Madeira was no different than any other school.  Four senior Mustang track members had a real shot at a state championship in the 4 x 800 Relay. Diego Arredondo, Ben Cunningham, Ben Ramos, & Dylan Whitson finished 8th at the 2019 state championship in the 4 x 8.  The four were the only 4x 8 relay team at state championship in 2019 that were all underclassmen.  But the chance to finish their senior year as state champs was ended with the spring sport cancellation.  With the help of their coach Josh Dooley, the four found a new way to end their high school careers as champions.  The four seniors formed the Madeira Distance Project and entered the AAU Junior Olympic competition.  A series of qualifying events are held culminating with the national championship.  The four athletes, now with new life, worked hard and made it to the nationals.  They capped off the qualifying with a school record time of 7:56.75 at the Summer Finale Distance Open in Marion, Indiana.  The AAU National Championship will be held at Satellite High School in Satellite Beach, Florida, August 4-8.  The four athletes, along with Coach Dooley, have arrived in Florida.  They will be competing in the 4 x 800 Relay on Thursday at 8:00am.  There will be five teams in the finals.  Madeira will be up against teams from Florida & Texas.  
All four have college plans but only Whitson has plans to run cross country.  Whitson will be going to Ohio State, Arredondo Wisconsin, Cunningham University of Cincinnati, & Ramos Alabama.  According to Coach Dooley, “These four boys are the most dedicated & selfless kids I have ever worked with in my 9-10 years of coaching……  Everything was taken from them but they worked harder twice a day at times in hopes of finding something greater.  They truly are 4 of a kind”.

Good luck to Diego, Ben C, Ben R, & Dylan!

We are back at official sports practices for the first time since late March.  It's hard to believe that we actually will start the fall season with regular contests later this week.  Check out the story below on what the OHSAA procedures are.

Congratulations to Wyoming football coach Aaron Hancock for receiving the Paul Brown Coaching Award.  The award is given by the Bengals honoring a high school football coach in the region.  Along with the award, the Bengals will give a $7500 donation to the Wyoming Athletic Department.  Coach Hancock has led the Cowboys to seven straight playoff appearances, including trip to the final four in 2019 and a Division IV state championship in 2018.  He will begin his 9th year as the Cowboy head coach this season.

About 80% of the fall schedules are now posted.  We should have all of them up by next week.

The first weekly website report will be next week.  As mentioned earlier, the fall season begins this week.  Golf will have their first regular season matches.

Three league schools are having major construction projects going:
Finneytown has a new turf going down to replace the grass field.  It is hope that it will be ready for the Wildcat soccer and football teams in a couple of weeks.
Wyoming's Champion Center is under way.  It will be a large indoor athletic facility for the Cowboy junior high and senior high sports programs.
Mariemont has started Phase Two in their high school renovation.  Phase One was the academic areas.  This phase, which should be completed by next school year, will focus on the arts/athletic area.

Check out the story
on four Madeira track athletics who have found a way to keep their championship dreams alive.

The fall sports season is moving forward, although cautiously.  Practices officially started Saturday in all sports.  Three sports, golf, tennis, & volleyball, have been cleared for regular season contests.  Cross country, field hockey, soccer, & football are still waiting the final decision on regular season contests.  Here is part of the press release from the OHSAA:

Earlier Friday, the OHSAA Board of Directors reaffirmed their position that the OHSAA fall sports seasons will go forward as planned. While all fall sports can practice, contests between schools in the sports of golf, tennis and volleyball have been approved by Governor Mike DeWine. The OHSAA continues to work with the Governor’s Office toward approval of contests in cross country, field hockey, soccer and football. 

“It is important to keep athletic activity moving forward,” said Dan Leffingwell, president of the OHSAA Board of Directors and superintendent of the Noble Local Schools in Sarahsville. “And with that, we believe our member schools provide our student-athletes with the safest possible environment to return to play and that our school programs are the best avenue to help students learn lifelong lessons and provide social, emotional and physical benefits that other programs cannot. Moving forward allows those students to continue to be engaged with their school coaches and teammates. Membership data also supports this decision.”

Earlier this week, the OHSAA suspended scrimmages in the four fall contact sports that have not yet been approved by the Governor for school vs. school competition (field hockey, cross country, soccer and football).

“If we were to delay, our students will find opportunities to compete in sports through non-school programs that may not be focused on safety and are not education-based,” Leffingwell said. “Should data on COVID-19 change and/or the Governor’s Office makes changes to our plan, we have flexibility that would allow us to look at implementing other models for our seasons.”

Low/Non-Contact Sports (Golf, Girls Tennis, Volleyball)

  • Official practices may begin on Saturday, Aug. 1.  
  • School vs. school scrimmages and/or contests will follow per their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations.
  • Golf – 1 scrimmage permitted any time during season; first contest Aug. 5.
  • Girls Tennis – 1 scrimmage permitted after practice begins and prior to first match; first contest Aug. 7.
  • Volleyball – 5 scrimmages and 1 preview permitted after practice begins; first contest Aug. 21.


  • Official practices will begin on Saturday, Aug. 1, with the normal acclimatization period in place.
  • No school vs. school scrimmages are permitted.
  • School vs. school contests will follow per their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations with a target date of the week of Monday, Aug. 24 (Note: This date is subject to change and subject to the approval from the Governor’s Office/Ohio Department of Health and with the stipulation that COVID-19 testing will not be required).

Other Contact Sports (Soccer, Field Hockey, Cross Country)

  • Practices will begin on Saturday, Aug. 1, with the normal acclimatization period in place for cross country.
  • No school vs. school scrimmages are permitted in soccer or field hockey.
  • School vs. school contests will follow per their normal OHSAA permissible dates and regulations with a target date of Friday, Aug. 21, for soccer and field hockey and Monday, Aug. 24, for cross country (Note: These dates are subject to change and subject to the approval from the Governor’s Office/Ohio Department of Health and with the stipulation that COVID-19 testing will not be required).

Additional Notes

  • If contact sports are not approved for school vs. school competition by Friday, September 4, fall contact sports and remaining winter and spring sports will move to a condensed schedule that will take place between mid-December and the end of June. Fall non-contact sports would move forward as scheduled.
  • If the fall seasons begin and, for some reason, are stopped but then resume, the OHSAA has plans to move to a modified fall sports season.
  • If contact sports are approved for school vs. school competition, the OHSAA is prepared to set COVID-19-related requirements for schools to follow for competitions as requested by the Governor’s Office. The OHSAA will govern and issue consequences for the violation of these requirements as prescribed in OHSAA Bylaw 11, Penalties.
  • Conversations with the Governor’s Office/Ohio Department of Health continue regarding the status of field hockey and/or cross country being placed into the low/non-contact category. The membership will be updated if that changes for either or both sports.
  • The OHSAA continues with conversations with the Governor’s Office on its plans to ensure we are in concert.


Brian Phelps has been named the new Athletic Director at Indian Hill.
He is a graduate of The Summit Country Day School and went on to get an Associate Degree in Applied Science, Security Administration at the Community College of the Air Force in Lackland, Texas. Phelps served as an E-4 Senior Airman in the Air Force from 1995-1999.  He continued his education at Northern Kentucky University earning a BA in Physical Education/Health in 2002 and a Master's in Sports Administration from Xavier in 2005.
Phelps taught Physical Education & Health at Seven Hills from 2003-2018.  During that time, he was the head baseball coach (2000-2012), head golf coach (2004-2008), boys' basketball coach for middle school, freshman, junior varsity, varsity assistant (1999-2013), and girls' varsity assistant basketball coach (2014-2017).
Brian was the Assistant Athletic Director at Seven Hills from 2000-2012 and the Athletic Director from 2012-2018.
 While at Seven Hills, he supervised over 100 coaches in 22 varsity sports with a total of 54 teams in grades 7-12. The last two years, Phelps was the Athletic Director at Fort Worth Country Day in Fort Worth, Texas.  While at FWCD, he supervised 115 coaches in 24 sports, including back to back state football championships.  He also created football & girls' basketball leagues for elementary aged youth.  The Phelps family moved back to Cincinnati when Brian's wife was offered a new work position.  
When asked what his goals will be at Indian Hill, Phelps stated the following:
"I am eager to be a part of such a great community and to work alongside such talented leadership, staff, coaches, and students.  I look forward to building upon the great things coaches and staff have worked so hard to put in place. As the leader of the Indian Hill Athletic Department, I will be committed to assuring an 
athletic environment of excellence.  It is my goal that students are prepared to be successful on and off the field of play once they leave our athletic program and our school.  I am proud to be a Brave!"  He is also looking forward to learning names and getting to know as many of the Indian Hill students as possible and building relationships with community members.
We also asked him what the challenges would be for the upcoming school year:
"Developing strategies and best practices to deal with the Covid-19 pandemic.  As an athletic department, we want to provide the very best experience possible and at the same time, keep our students, coaches, and staff as healthy as possible".
Brian is married to Dr. Allison Phelps.  Her medical degree is from the 
University of Louisville and she completed her residency in emergency medicine at the University of Cincinnati and a sports medicine fellowship through the Bethesda Family Medicine Sports Medicine Fellowship Program.  They have three daughters, Madden (15), Meran (12), & Mason (8), and a son Hawkins (5).  The Phelps family resides in Indian Hill.
We welcome Brian Phelps to the Cincinnati Hills League!

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