Phreshmen Phenoms: Fall Edition

Edwin Sam

By Edwin Sam ’13, Sports Section Editor

Following a long year of endless hype, predictions, and excitement about this year’s incoming grade, the freshmen have made their grand entrance into the athletic scene in style. They have not only met the standards and expectations set last year, but exceeded them, making headlines and setting records in various sports. From soccer to tennis to golf, these freshmen have answered the questions asked of them and are ready to make names for themselves.

Coming off a disappointing season last year, the upperclasswomen-heavy Girls’ Golf team was ready for a fresh start. With the addition of the new and young, but experienced freshman, Kacie Bradfish ’15, the team has been invigorated, and the improvement from last year to this is remarkably clear.

Bradfish had already set herself apart before the school year started, shooting a stellar 35 (E) against Mariemont at the Little Miami regulation course. Her rigorous summer schedule has helped her focus for high school golf, allowing her to make a smooth transition from playing tournaments in the summer to the matches with the CCDS Girls’ Golf team. Throughout the summer, she typically played two or three eighteen hole tournaments a week.

“During the summer I played with girls that are the best in Ohio,” said Bradfish. “[who were] shooting even par and sometimes shooting under par so I was used to competing with the girls who devote their lives to golf.”

Splattered with accomplishments from before she came to CCD, Bradfish tied for fifth in the Greater Cincinnati Golf Association (girls, age group 13-18) this summer as well as earning many awards for placing top three in Southern Ohio PGA Junior events.

After leaving All Saints, coming to CCD has matured her as a golfer because as she notes, “Mrs. Dunn and all the team golfers have made it really fun and enjoyable.” Bradfish continued, “You tend to play at your best when it is fun and you want to be there competing.”

After not playing tennis with CCD in Middle School, the former Middle School president and current star of the tennis team Danielle Wolf ’15 has now joined the Upper School program and leads the team from the first singles position.

With the departure of key senior, Elizabeth Blackburn ’11, younger players needed to step up to fill her role. Wolf, like many other of the athletic stars of the freshmen class, practices on a demanding schedule that requires year-round training.

“My tennis schedule outside of school consists of clinic on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays at Five Seasons, and on Tuesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays, and Sundays I either hit with my dad [her coach] or my other coach, Brian Schubert,” Wolf explained. “And on top of that I have to train a lot to stay in good shape.”

Though her tennis career was put on hold by a stint with club soccer, she has still garnered many awards and accolades. Her many accomplishments include coming in 4th in the USTA national regional and losing in the finals of her bracket at National Hard Courts in Georgia.

Her personal highlight so far this school year has been playing a rival of CHCA from her Five Seasons clinic, Holly Dahmus. “We played in the finals of the CCDS Invitational, and I lost after being up 6-2, 2-0, in three sets, 6-2, 3-6, 3-6,” said Wolf. In their Conference match the next week, however, Wolf won 6-4, 6-3.”It was a good feeling to win after having lost the match just a few days earlier.”

Wolf, similar to Bradfish, notes the connection between tennis and making friends in the Upper School. “I got to know several of the high school girls before school actually started because the team started training in early August. Knowing some familiar faces once school started eased some of the freshman anxiety that might have occurred had I not known several of these girls.”

Though many sports have experienced a positive influence from talented freshmen, arguably the most notable difference has been in the soccer program.

Seven new freshmen, who come from other schools, combined with the two varsity freshmen that are coming from the CCD Middle School, make nine total new boys and girls varsity freshmen soccer players.

On the boys’ side, the five varsity freshmen have led a dynamic and high scoring attack. All five players play for the local club Cincinnati United Premier (CUP), and a few of them have been playing together since they were young.

As Assistant Athletic Director Greg Ross noted, “A big factor that made these players want to come to CCD was parent-based. Word of mouth was our biggest tool because these players have been playing together for many years.” Will Cohen ‘15 and Jacob Scheper ’15, two CUP players, were influential in the decisions of these club players to come to CCD. Having two high level soccer players going to the same school helps bring other players to CCD because in Ross’s words, “Winning attracts student athletes.”

Though Cohen and Scheper have been at Country Day for a long time, they have not been able to play for CCD because

of the Middle School restrictions on club players.

Cohen, a creative flair player on the ball, has used his CUP experience to make himself into a dominant high school player. Scheper, who in the words of his club coach, Terry Nicholl, “has got tricks,” has played a large role in establishing the team’s style of imaginative dribbling and excellent passing.

Luke Deimer ’15, Nathan Gibson ’15, and Brandin Ward ’15, the three players who joined from other schools, have each affected the team’s overall quality with their vast experience of high level soccer. Deimer is the aggressive enforcer, smart with his challenges but fearless and relentless. Gibson and Ward are both speedy players on the wing that are nifty with their feet and accurate with their crosses.

Gibson, who chose to come to CCD from Indian Hill said, “Being on the soccer team has given me connections to upperclassmen that I would have been afraid to approach before soccer.”

A similar boost in talent is seen in the Girls’ Soccer team who added new club players this year, most of whom belong to the CUP soccer club. After losing three important seniors, the team relies on their freshmen to play big minutes and big roles in games.

The anchor of the midfield along with Sirena Isadore ’12 is Grace Krammer ‘15, the intelligent, tactical center midfielder with a knack for making great decisions. The clever CUP player has built a strong partnership with Isadore to form a dangerous tandem in the center midfield positions.

Kaitlin Harden ’15 and Brianna Maggard ’15 are the team’s wingers that love to get up the field and join the attack. They have the perfect combination of creativity, pace, versatility and tactical knowledge that allows them to be prominent forces on the field. From their CUP experience, each has learned become very skillful and unpredictable.

Ali Lusk ‘15, the freshman that plays for Greg Hirschauer’s team, the Beechmont Soccer Club, pops up on the scoresheet at the most opportune of moments. Within the first week of the season, she had already netted one game-tying and one game-winning goal.

Though the long term implications of this prolific freshmen class are still unknown, the one thing we do know is that these “Phreshmen Phenoms” will continue to grow and have even bigger impacts on the school, athletically and socially as they move through the high school.