Dan Weber’s Just Sayin’: Rain, rain go away, basketball stay around for a while

Dan Weber
Dan Weber
Dan Weber is LINK nky's sports editor-at-large. Contact him at [email protected]

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Hey, it’s spring and it’s still raining around here. What to do? How about extending the basketball season – Oh, and add to the artificial turf fields for baseball/softball.

Yeah, that’ll do it. JUST SAYIN’.

*** Speaking of artificial turf fields, we’re about to get another one in Northern Kentucky soon. Opening Day – and the dedication — for the new St. Elizabeth Ball Park at Lemker Field in Ludlow is scheduled for Tuesday, April 19, before the 5 p.m. Calvary Christian game. To this point, Ludlow’s Panthers have been on the road all season. Going to be good to get home – and have a home. And great for Northern Kentucky to have another all-weather facility. Might want to stop by that day. Always a good time to be able to take in a ball game – and watch the Ohio River traffic pass by — at this classic ball park right on the banks of the Ohio . . . Just Sayin’.

*** Congrats to Dixie Heights basketball coach Roddy Stainforth for going out almost on top with his team of eight seniors this season who took it all the way to the Ninth Region championship game before coming up just a bit short to Covington Catholic. His assistant, Chad Fields, will take over the basketball job and face the challenge of getting the Colonels back to the program that won three 34th District titles under Stainforth and twice were Ninth Region runner-up.

Chad Fields, a Dixie alum and assistant under Stainforth the last five seasons, has been promoted to head coach. Under Stainforth, Dixie has won three 34th District championships in going 82-69 in his five seasons and finished 22-7 last year. The school’s press release builds on Fields’ history there saying he’ll “make a positive impact on the lives of our student-athletes based on his ability to build relationships with his current players and alumni.”

Stainforth, an assistant principal at Dixie and always a delight to deal with for those of us covering the Colonels’ games, tweeted how “Words cannot express how happy this makes me! While I certainly will miss being on the sidelines, I’m really going to enjoy watching my brother lead this program. It’s a special day Dixie!!” If Fields can follow in Stainforth’s footsteps at Dixie, it will indeed be . . . Just Sayin’.

*** An “A” for effort in this weather: Newport Central Catholic and Beechwood each advanced to Thursday’s All “A” Classic Baseball semifinals at Thomas More Stadium in Florence where the Florence Y’Alls minor league team plays. The two games took just a combined total of eight innings as Beechwood won 15-0 in three innings with NewCath winning 18-0 in five. Now it’s up to Villa Madonna-Bellevue and Newport-St. Henry to provide the other two winners Wednesday for the semifinal games at 5 and 7:30. Two games for the price of one. Heck of a deal . . . Just Sayin’.

*** Basketball is back in Northern Kentucky this weekend and at Thomas More where the Ohio-Kentucky All-Star High School Basketball Games will tip off at 5 Saturday for the girls’ game and 7 for the boys’ game at the Connor Convocation Center, where it’s been played since 2002 after its inception at Ohio’s Shawnee State University in Portsmouth in 1991. Five Northern Kentuckians will play in the games. For the Kentucky boys, who trail in the series 18-10, Covington Catholic’s Mitchell Rylee, heading to Miami of Ohio, is the lone participant.

For the girls, with Kentucky leading 15-12, it’s another story. Ludlow’s Jenna Lillard, will be going home as she’s headed to TMU for college. Her 2,000-point career scorer partner, Rylee Turner of NewCath, has yet to choose a school. The Notre Dame pair of Macie Feldman, heading to Johns Hopkins, and Lacey Bradshaw (Morehead State) rounds out the Kentucky stars. NewCath Coach Ralph Meyer is the Kentucky assistant coach. For more details on the weekend’s activities including Friday’s 7 p.m. Slam Jam Festival, where the admission is free, as well as complete rosters for all four teams, go to the game’s website: www.oh-kyallstargame.com. Keep the season going . . . Just Sayin’.

*** Mark your calendars for the annual golf outing put on by the Northern Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame, Saturday, July 16, at the Kenton County Golf Course that will be limited to 36 teams with a 7:30 a.m. shotgun start. All sorts of prizes with a cost of $70 per player. It’s the NKSHOF’s major fundraiser every year. Opportunities for hole sponsors and title sponsors as well. Contact Golf Chair John Wenderfer, 859-371-1260 or at [email protected] for further info. See you there . . . Just Sayin’.

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