Martin Luther King Jr. weekend explodes with energy from Highlands Athletics


Tamra Armstrong

Senior Maggie Hinegardner prepares to pass the ball.

Girls Varsity basketball beats Pandas 

     On Monday night, The Varsity girls basketball team beat Notre Dame Academy (NDA) and finished with a win that paid off. With this being NDA’s first loss in Northern Kentucky, this victory was a huge achievement for the Birds. Even though the Birds were down 12 points with only six minutes left in the game, they never gave up.

     Senior Maggie Hinegardner was pleased with the win.

     “We knew coming in this would be a big game and we just wanted to come out and play our hardest, and we ended up getting the win,” Hinegardener said.

     The Ladybirds will play this Thursday, January 23rd, at Grant County High School at 6:00 P.M. to play another sure-to-be great win. 


Boys Varsity basketball downs Camels 

     This past Saturday, the Varsity boys basketball team beat the Campbell County High School Camels for the first time in seven years. 

     Junior Sam Vinson put up 25 points, with three of them dunks. The second quarter was a game-changer as the Birds outscored the Camels 23-10. Senior Hunter Ahlfeld put up 20 points and Junior Even Rom went four for four with eight points. 

      Coach Kevin Listerman said, “This game was by far the best defensive effort this season.” 

     According to Listerman, the Camels are a very good program, so beating them was a great indication that the Birds are on the right track for this season. 

     Ahlfeld said, “This win felt really good… It was my best game this year and I’m glad we were able to win this big of a game.” 

     The Birds are back in action on Friday, January 24th at Bellevue High School. 

Swimming “rocked the block”

     This past Saturday, the Highlands boys and girls swim teams went to Louisville to compete in the Rock the Block Swim Meet. Both teams crushed the competition, coming out on top for all team and combined events. 

     The girls finished strong, placing first overall as a team. The 200-meter freestyle relay, filled by Junior Sarah Redden, Freshman Belle Bryant, Seniors Rachel Moscona and Caroline Sand placed first. With the girls trailing behind by 18 points, Sand swam an event, earning a two to four-point difference lead, which helped the girls boost up their score. 

     Moscona, co-captain, who placed 3rd overall in the girls swimming category, felt that there were major strides made by the team. 

     “As a team, there were huge time improvements and many swimmers placed in the top eight … We hope to have more state qualifiers this year.” 

     During the boys’ events, they also came in first overall as a team and many Highlands swimmers slid into the top five for multiple events. The boys team placed first during the 200-meter freestyle relay with Senior Mason Optiz, Juniors Mac Russell and Harrison Pawsat, and Sophomore Samuel Jones. Russell broke the meet record in the 50-meter freestyle with a time of 21.19 seconds. Seniors Tyler Brown and Davis Recht, Russell, and Freshman Adam Pawlak placed second in the 100-meter freestyle relay. 

     Opitz was very pleased with the new young talent and leadership skills of the veterans.

     “The majority of the team are younger swimmers and we have seen a lot of leadership from the older swimmers helping out with the new members of the team.”

     As both swim teams completed their events, the combined team of both boys and girls finished 1st overall. With great achievements happening for Highlands swimming, the future looks bright for both the girls and boys swim teams.

     The Highlands Bluebirds take on the NKAC Swimming Division I meet at Scott High School this Saturday, January 25th.


Bowling has clean sweep at Dayton Singles Bowling Tournament

     The Highlands bowling teams struck down the competition last Saturday with a clean sweep at the Dayton Singles Bowling Tournament. The girls swept the competition by taking first and second place. Juniors Tessa Killen and Abby Bach took first and second place, respectively, during this event. On the boys’ side of things, Seniors Jordan Cole and Perry Daniel also took the top spots, earning first and second place. 

      The Highlands bowling birds are back at it again next Monday and Wednesday for their Varsity Regionals at Super Bowl, Bellewood. On Monday they compete in singles matches, while Wednesday will be a whole team effort.


Highlands Dance Teams 

The Highlands Varsity and junior varsity dance teams also conquered on Saturday at the KDCO Regionals Competition at Spencer County High School.

The Varsity team earned the Grand Champion title, placing first in Pom and first in Hip Hop.

Though this competition was very fastpaced due to how close all of the Varsity team’s performances were to each other, Junior Rachel Hoffmann felt it went very well and was very happy with all of their victories.

“Overall the competition was fun, like always, and performing is always so much joy for me because I love dancing in front of a crowd.”

The junior varsity team placed first in Pom and first in Hip Hop in their division.

Both teams will be competing in a few more competitions this season, including the KDCO State Competition in late February and, ultimately, NDA Nationals (Varsity only) in Orlando, Florida in early March.