2019 In Review

01/02/2020

Happy New Year to everyone.  It's time to look back at 2019 at the Cincinnati Hills League.  Another great year that brought us a team state champion, seven individual state titles, and many other titles, awards, and honors.

The year started with a big honor for Indian Hill girls soccer coach Amy Dunlap.  She was one of 23 coaches across the country to be selected as 2018 National Coach of the Year.  Coach Dunlap's girls were coming off of back to back state titles. 
Deer Park girls' bowling became the first winter sport to clinch a league title. On the boys' side, it was a three way tie for the league title with Deer Park, Mariemont, & Taylor.  In the bowling sectional, Rylynne Jenkins (Reading) was sectional champ.  Deer Park & Reading girls moved on to district.  Chelsea Hammer of Deer Park became the first girl league bower to qualify for the state championship.  The junior finished 55th in the state.
Mariemont girls' claimed their 6th straight swimming/diving championship.  It is the longest CHL league win streak of any Warrior varsity team.  Indian Hill boys' were a "threepeat" for swimming/diving.  Mariemont girls' won their 4th straight district title and Indian Hill boys' won their district title.  The league sent 42 swimmers & divers to the state championships.  Cora Dupre of Mariemont made CHL history at the state meet.  The senior had already won three previous state individual swimming titles.  At the meet this year, she won the 200 and 100 Freestyle events.  That gave her five individual state titles, more than any other athlete in CHL history.  Dupre was named Meet MVP in Division II.  In four years at the state meet, she made the podium 14 of 16 times.  Mariemont girls finished 6th at the state meet.  Indian Hill boys also had a 6th place state finished.  The CHL claimed the Division II state diving title for the 3rd year in a row.  Indian Hill's Noah Vigran won it in 2017 & 2018.  Ilya  Gerasimchuk of Wyoming was runner up last year.  This year he won the state title on his last dive. 
In 2018, Indian Hill broke Reading's decade long domination of league wrestling.  The Braves followed it up in 2019 with another league title.  Two league wrestlers had podium finishes at the state meet.  For the 2nd year in a row, John Mark Williams of Indian Hill was 7th.  Colton Robins of Reading was 5th.
Indian Hill girls' basketball won the league title, their first since 2012.  The Braves went the farthest in the post season making it to the sectional finals.
Wyoming boys won their 5th league basketball title in the last 6 years.  Many of the players were on the state championship football team.  Boys' basketball saw two teams make the district finals: Deer Park & Reading.  The Wildcats were defending state D3 champs.
In April, four from the CHL received top honors at the Cincinnati.com Awards:  Ryan Lienhart (Madeira) I Am Sports Award, Evan Prater (Wyoming) Small School Football Player of the Year, Jan Wilking (Wyoming) Athletic Director of the Year.  Anna Podojil (Indian Hill) had two honors: Small School Soccer Player of the Year and Overall Girls Athlete of the Year for soccer & track.
Taylor softball won their 3rd straight league title.  The Yellowjackets will begin the 2020 season with a 42 game league win streak. Both Taylor & Deer Park were district runner-ups.
Taylor boys won their 4th straight baseball title.  Both Madeira & Wyoming were district runner-ups.  Thomas Stickney (Wyoming)  had a rare accomplishment.  He pitched two consecutive no hitters, one of them in post season.
Indian Hill boys' tennis won their 5th straight league title.  It was the 32nd overall title in the CHL, a record for any league sport.  Indian Hill doubles team of Tejas Pisati & Mack Ellis were 3rd at the state championships.
Lacrosse was still a non league sport in the spring of 2019.  We hope that will change this coming spring.  It became a OHSAA recognized sport in 2017.  Indian Hill girls were D2 state champs in 2017.  Mariemont girls are defending D2 state champs.  Mariemont boys were state champs in 2017.  This year, both Mariemont boys and girls made the state final four.  The boys lost in the semi 
finals.  The girls were state runner-ups this year.
Indian Hill boys' won the league track & field title by 43 points over 2nd place Reading.  The Blue Devils have been runner-ups for three years in a row.  Indian Hill girls completed the sweep by winning their title with a CHL record breaking 198 points.  This was going to be a start for for a remarkable end of the season for the Lady Braves.  Nine league records were broken at the meet.  Both Indian Hill teams repeated as Division II District champs.  Five district records were set by CHL athletes.  The Indian Hill girls won the regional meet for their 3rd title in three weeks and qualified for the state meet in nine events.  Athletes from four league schools qualified for the state meet.  Indian Hill senior Anna Podojil made the podium in all four events she competed in.  Her win in the 400 Dash was her 2nd state title (200 dash - sophomore year).  Indian Hill girls had already clinched the Division II State Championship before the last event.  The capped it off by winning the 4 x 400 Relay with a new state record of 3:49.30.  Anna Podojil anchored the relay winning her 3rd state title in her high school career.  Other relay members were junior Ellie Podojil, sophomore Meghan O'Brien, & freshman Elizabeth Whaley.  There was one other state title at the meet.  Marin Valentine (Mariemont) won the Division II 800 Run.
Wyoming won the All Sports Trophy for the 2018-2019 school year breaking Indian Hill's two year streak.  Before that streak, Wyoming had won all previous All Sports Trophies for the CHL.
Anna Podojil received many honors in her high school.  She finished winning the Penn Station Athlete of the Year.
During the summer months, we did a profile on Anna and also Indian Hill track & field coach Sue Savage.  You can still read those stories.  Check below under Older Articles.
Fall of 2019 saw Mariemont boys' golf claim the first league title.  It was the 
first golf title for the Warriors since 1997.  League teams went 1-2-3 in the sectional tourney.  Indian Hill team and Jack Neville (Mariemont) qualified for state.  Neville finished 6th among all D2 golfers, only 4 strokes off of the state medalist.
The first ever CHL girls' golf champion was crowned.  Wyoming won the nine hole tourney.  The Cowboys had a "three peat" at the sectional tourney.  Their quest for back to back trips to the state championship were derailed in the district.  Wyoming lost going to state by 4 stokes.
Indian Hill girls' won the league tennis title for the 23rd time in a row.  This now ties them with the Indian Hill boys' tennis team as the most league titles in a row of any CHL sport. Seven league girls made it to state.  Haley Hirsch & Morgan Coburn won the D2 state tennis doubles title.  Indian Hill also made it to the state final four in team tennis.  The Braves lost to Hathaway Brown in the finals 3-2.
Wyoming boys' soccer won their 3rd straight league title.  The Cowboys made it all the way to the regional finals before losing to Tippecanoe.  Their 19-1-1  record is the best in school history for boys' soccer. Mariemont boys made it to the D3 regional 
semi-finals.
Indian Hill girls won their 6th soccer title in the last 7 years.  Both Madeira & Mariemont made it to the regionals.  The two teams played each other  in the regional semi finals.  Mariemont won but lost to eventual state champ Cincinnati Country Day in the regional finals.
Wyoming girls volleyball closed out a decade of dominance in the CHL.  The Cowboys now have 10 straight league titles and a win streak of 140 league matches in row.  Both Indian Hill & Wyoming made the district finals.  Indian Hill was runner-up.  Wyoming won, but ended their season in the regional semi-finals losing to eventual state champ Bishop 
Fenwick.
Indian Hill girls cross country won their first league title since 2013.  Madeira boys won their 3rd league title in row.  Nine league teams moved on to the regional meet.  Five went as district champs.  Both Madeira girls' and boys' qualified for the state meet.  For the girls, it was the first time since 2001.  For the boys, it was back to back trips to state.  It is the first time since 1998 that both Madeira teams went in the same year.  The girls' finished 17th and the boys' 13th.  Indian Hill sophomore Elizabeth Whaley was the highest finisher for the CHL.  She made the podium in 12th place in Division II.
The fall closed out with football.  Wyoming won the league title for the 4th year in a row and 6 
of the last 7.  The Cowboys beat Indian Hill in a thrilling week 10 game 21-18.  The Cowboys finished the year with a 41 game regular season win streak, the longest by any current team in the state. Both teams made the post season in Division IV.  Also in week 10, Madeira edged Mariemont 21-20 to make the playoffs in Division V.  Madeira did lose in round one while Indian Hill & Wyoming won big in their first round games.  The regional semi finals for the 2nd year in row and 3rd out of the last 4 years pitted Indian Hill & Wyoming.  The Cowboys won for the 2nd year in a row.  Wyoming were defending state D4 champs and had been #1 in the state poll all of the regular season.  When they beat Valley View in the regional finals, it was the first time in school history that Wyoming had won back to back regional titles.  They lost to Clyde in the state semi finals, stopping a state best 28 game win streak. Clyde went on the next week to win the D4 title.  Evan Prater ended his high school career with over 9800 total yards in offense and accounted for 148 touchdowns.  
December saw four league soccer players named to the All American team: Myah Giordullo (Mariemont), Ellie Podojil (Indian Hill), Ben Ramos (Madeira), & Caleb Tan (Indian Hill).
During his high school career, Evan Prater has received many awards and honors, including Ohio Division IV Offensive Player of the Year for the 2nd straight year.  He got his biggest football award when he was named Mr. Football Ohio, an award given to the best football player in the state.  He is only the 2nd Cincinnati area player to win the award in the 34 year history.  Evan will play his final high school football game at the Army All American Bowl on January 4th.
Finally, Mariemont Athletic Director Tom Nerl received a national 
honor earning the Distinguished Service Award at the national ADs convention in Washington D.C.

As we start a new year, winter sports are well under way.  And, as we celebrate the success of 2019, we look forward to see what 2020 will bring for the Cincinnati Hills League.