Cincinnati State Surge Athletics
Cincinnati State athletics provide opportunities for students to enhance their overall experience at the College by encouraging lifelong wellness, sportsmanship, and academics.
Cincinnati State currently fields teams in six sports: women’s and men’s basketball, women’s and men’s soccer, women's volleyball and golf. All six teams regularly compete under the rules and regulations of the National Junior College Athletic Association Region XII (Indiana, Michigan, and Ohio) and play a very competitive junior college schedule. After playing for the Surge, many student-athletes go on to play for four-year institutions.
The Cincinnati State Athletic Department is under the leadership of athletic director Tom Hathaway. Staff members include: Wil Cagle, women’s soccer coach; Mike Combs, men’s soccer coach and fitness center director; Kristy Parrill, women's volleyball coach; Sonya Beeler, women's basketball coach; Andre Tate, men's basketball coach; and Scott Webb, golf coach.
Baird Comes South To Join The Surge
Chloe Baird, a graduate of Coventry High School in Akron, signed a letter of intent to join the Cincinnati State women’s basketball team on Tuesday.
A 5-foot-7 guard, Baird averaged 16.7 points and 6.1 assists per game as a senior for the Coventry Comets.
After the high school season, she scored a game-high 17 points to lead Summit County to a victory over Stark County in the Plain Rotary All-Star Classic and then netted 13 points in Team Summit’s win over Team Portage in the Women’s Tri-County Basketball Coaches Association Senior All-Star Game.
Baird earned Associated Press Northeast Inland All-District Division II First Team honors and was named AP All-Ohio Division II Special Mention.
Despite moving approximately four hours from home, Baird cited a comfortable feeling with the coaches and the opportunity to improve her game as the main reasons for choosing Cincinnati State.
The Surge coaches are thrilled with her decision, and they are looking forward to adding Baird to the team.
“The biggest asset we see in Chloe is her ability to shoot the ball,” Cincinnati State women’s basketball assistant coach Derek Williams said. “We brought in a lot of shooters this year, and it will be competitive for playing time, but Chloe will be right in the mix.”
Roberts Joins Surge Women's Basketball Program
Montrail Roberts, a 6-foot-2 center, is transferring to Cincinnati State to join the Surge women’s basketball team.
Roberts, a Cincinnati native, played last season at NCAA Division II West Virginia State University. She averaged 4 points, 3.6 rebounds and 1.4 blocks in 14.9 minutes a game for the Yellow Jackets during her freshman season. Roberts recorded game highs of 16 points, 8 rebounds and 6 blocks.
A 2014 graduate of Withrow High School, Roberts was a force in her senior year. She had 15 points, 8.6 rebounds and 2.7 blocks per game for a Withrow squad that went 17-5 overall and 10-1 in the Cincinnati Metro Athletic Conference. She tied for the conference lead in blocks was third in scoring and fourth in rebounds. Roberts posted season highs of 25 points and 16 rebounds in the same game in the 2013-14 season.
“Montrail has great size and runs the floor well,” Cincinnati State women’s basketball assistant coach Derek Williams said. “We like her ability to get up and down the floor. We run a lot of transition and fast-paced ball, so that ability really stuck out to us.”
Surge Dip Into Virginia To Bring In Griggs
Jordan Griggs, a graduate of Christ Chapel Academy in Woodbridge, Virginia, has signed a letter of intent to continue his academic and basketball careers at Cincinnati State.
A 6-foot-4 wing player, Griggs averaged 12.3 points, 4.6 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game as a senior. Griggs, who had season highs of 22 points and nine rebounds (three times), was named Second Team All-State after the 2014-15 season.
As a junior, Griggs averaged 10.3 points and 3.9 rebounds a game and was named MVP of the Highland Invitational Basketball Tournament in December.
Griggs played on teams that had tremendous success, including runner-up finishes at the Virginia Independent Schools Athletic Association Division III State Tournament in both the 2013-14 and 2014-15 seasons. Additionally, his teams won the Northern Virginia Independent Athletic Conference (NVIAC) title in both of those seasons and Griggs was named First Team All-League in the NVIAC in his junior and senior years.
Griggs’ ability to shoot the ball is what caught the eye of Surge head coach Andre Tate.
“Jordan is super athletic and a great catch-and-shoot player,” Tate said. “He’s also a solid defender, and I really like that he gives us another knock-down shooter.”
Surge Men's Soccer Newcomers: Zane Ross
Zane Ross, a dynamic forward from Burlington, Kentucky and a graduate of Cooper High School, is the final addition to the Cincinnati State men’s soccer 2015 roster.
Ross had committed to play soccer at Radford University in Virginia, but after a family tragedy, he walked away from the game.
“Zane sustained a loss in his family with his father passing away,” Surge head coach Mike Combs said. “He then decided not to play club soccer. About a month ago, he reached out to some of his friends, knowing they were coming to Cincinnati State. He revitalized his interest in playing soccer, and we connected.”
Ross had played club soccer for Ohio Elite, where he teamed with Reid Abney, Aaron Ledermeier and Jake Mutlu, each of whom will join him at Cincinnati State.
Ross also starred at Cooper High School, playing for a team that started his senior season with 12 straight wins and finished with an 18-3 record. After scoring 30 goals and adding 16 assists (76 points) as a junior, he was named Kentucky High School Soccer Coaches Association East All-State Honorable Mention and All-Northern Kentucky First Team. Ross had 14 goals and 13 assists (41 points) as a sophomore during the 2012 season.
Combs is thrilled to bring in a player of this caliber.
“Zane is a fantastic player. I think he is a player who will be in every game and be a game-changer for us,” the head coach said. “He is a great goal scorer and has great athletic ability.
“Zane is going to bounce back by coming to Cincinnati State, and we are very happy to have him.”
Surge Men's Soccer Newcomers: Christian Quinn
Christian Quinn, a graduate of Thomas Worthington High School in Worthington, Ohio, is set to join the Cincinnati State men’s soccer team.
A team captain during his senior year, Quinn earned Ohio Capital Conference Central Second Team honors after the 2014 season.
Quinn, who also was a member of Columbus Crew Pre-Academy Team, likely will play an outside back or outside midfield spot for the Surge.
“Christian is a great addition for us,” Cincinnati State head coach Mike Combs said. “He’s very athletic and strong on the ball and has great pace. I think he has great potential to be one of those players who goes on to a four-year school and continues to play after his time here.”
Combs added that he expects Quinn to be in the mix to see playing time right away this upcoming season.
The Surge men’s soccer team will begin practice on Aug. 1. Cincinnati State will play a pair of exhibition matches before opening the regular season at conference foe Owens Community College on Aug. 29.
Surge Men's Soccer Newcomers: Hayden Peake
Hayden Peake, an All-State soccer and football player from Oakwood High School in Dayton, Ohio, is set to join the Cincinnati State men’s soccer program.
A versatile 6-foot-2 player on the soccer field, Peake earned Division II All-State Second Team honors as well as Miami Valley Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association Division II South First Team and MVSSCA Division II District Team recognition after his senior season. He also was named All-Southwestern Buckeye League First Team after playing for an Oakwood squad that went 8-4-3 in 2014.
Peake performed double duty this past fall, also serving as the kicker for the football team. As a senior, he converted nine field goals and 14 extra points en route to being named All-Ohio Division IV First Team. Perhaps his best game on the gridiron came in Oakwood’s 38-22 victory over Brookville when he was perfect on three field-goal attempts and a trio of extra-point tries.
Peake, who played his club soccer for Ohio Galaxies FC, likely will play a defensive position for the Surge.
“We’re excited about having Hayden come in,” Cincinnati State head coach Mike Combs said. “He is an intelligent player with a great soccer IQ. He is very athletic, and I think he will be great for our team chemistry. I expect good things from him.”
The Surge men’s soccer team begins practice on Aug. 1 and the first regular-season game is at Owens Community College on Aug. 29.
Santos Set To Join The Surge
Josh Santos, a 6-foot-8 forward originally from London, England, has transferred to Cincinnati State and will join the Surge men’s basketball team.
Santos played last season at Ancilla College in Donaldson, Indiana. He averaged 12.7 points, 6.1 rebounds and 1.3 assists per game while playing in 16 contests. Santos, who produced game highs of 25 points and 12 rebounds last season, was named Third Team All-Conference in the Michigan Community College Athletic Association.
Cincinnati State head coach Andre Tate is excited about the versatility Santos will bring to his squad.
“Josh is a great shooter, as far as midrange, and he can hit the three,” Tate said. “He’s a good rebounder. And he will be a veteran for us.”
The Surge men’s basketball team produced a 25-7 record, had winning streaks of eight, six and five games and was ranked in the top 15 of the NJCAA Division II poll all season in 2014-15.
Surge Men's Soccer Newcomers: Jake Mutlu
Jake Mutlu, a highly decorated goalkeeper from Lakota West High School, is joining the Cincinnati State men’s soccer team.
Mutlu, who stands 6-foot-2, comes off an impressive senior season with the Firebirds. Mutlu recorded six shutouts as Lakota West finished 13-5 and went on to reach the sectional finals. For his efforts, Mutlu was named to the Division I All-State Second Team, All-Southwest Ohio, First Team All-Greater Miami Conference and the Division I All City Team.
“I am expecting great things from Jake, right away from year one,” Surge head coach Mike Combs said. “He had a great high school season as a senior and was in great form for his club.”
Mutlu played his club soccer for Ohio Elite, alongside fellow Cincinnati State newcomers Reid Abney, Zane Ross and Aaron Ledermeier. He also teamed with Ledermeier, as well as returning Surge players Hall Banks and Jose Corona, while at Lakota West.
Combs like multiple facets of Mutlu’s game.
“Jake is very athletic and good with the ball at his feet, so our defensive players can play the ball back to him, which suits our style of play of keeping possession,” Combs said. “Jake has great mobility and he is going to cover the whole back third exceptionally well.”
The head coach believes Mutlu will mesh well with the Cincinnati State team.
“He also has great hands, good shot stopping and good distribution, so we can get into some quick counterattacks,” Combs added. “I think Jake is going to be a perfect fit for us.”
Cicha Earns NJCAA Academic Award
Kasia Cicha, a graduating sophomore on the Cincinnati State women’s basketball team, received the NJCAA Exemplary Achievement Award.
A native of Aleksandrow Lodzki, Poland, Cicha earned a 3.66 GPA as she completed an Associate of Science degree at Cincinnati State.
On the basketball court, the 5-foot-8 wing player saw action in 58 games and started 34 over two seasons with the Surge. Cicha averaged 10.1 points and 3.2 rebounds per game and was the only Cincinnati State player to appear in every game of the 2014-15 season. Additionally, she was named Honorable Mention All-Ohio Community College Athletic Conference after her sophomore campaign.
“Kasia was the consummate student-athlete,” Surge head coach Sonya Beeler said. “She excelled in the classroom and did everything we asked of her as a basketball player.”
Cicha plans to continue her education at the University of Maryland and work toward a bachelor’s degree in food science. After completing that, she said she would like to earn a master’s degree.
Wilkins Transfers To Cincinnati State
Brandon Wilkins, a 6-foot-6 forward who played last season at Mercyhurst North East in North East, Pennsylvania, has transferred to Cincinnati State and will join the Surge men’s basketball team.
Originally from Medina, Ohio, Wilkins attended and played basketball for Medina High School.
Wilkins played in 24 games, including starting 19, and averaged 12.3 points, a team-high 8.4 rebounds and 1.1 assists per game for Mercyhurst North East during the 2014-15 season. He recorded season highs of 23 points and 13 rebounds in a game against Notre Dame JV.
Cincinnati State head coach Andre Tate got a close-up look at Wilkins last season.
“When we played against him last year versus Mercyhurst, he put up 17 (points) and 12 (rebounds) against us,” Tate said. “So I remembered him. He was a load on the block.”
Tate also has been pleasantly surprised since seeing Wilkins work out at the gym at Cincinnati State.
“I didn’t know how good of a shooter he is until I saw him here,” the head coach said. “He’s a good face-up shooter.”
Suggs Signs With Cincinnati Christian
Taylor Suggs, who won an individual national championship and was the leader of the Cincinnati State golf team that won the NJCAA Division III national title this spring, signed to continue his academic and golf careers with Cincinnati Christian University on Thursday.
Suggs was accompanied by his parents, Joel and Darlene Suggs, Cincinnati Christian head coach Micah Peavley, assistant coach Tom McNeil and Cincinnati State head coach Scott Webb.
In addition to winning the individual national championship and helping the Surge notch the first national title in school history, Suggs was a two-time NJCAA All-American and two-time OCCAC First Team honoree.
After becoming the OCCAC season medalist, Suggs tied the school record with a 4-under-par 68 in the final round of the NJCAA Region XII tournament in May and was the Region XII tournament medalist.
Suggs, who holds a 3.4 GPA at Cincinnati State, plans to major in biblical studies at Cincinnati Christian.
Surge Men's Soccer Newcomers: Christian Morris
Christian Morris, a 6-foot-2 central defender, will join the Cincinnati State men’s soccer team when practice begins on Aug. 1.
A Monroe High School graduate, Morris played for the Hornets and the Cincinnati United club team.
After anchoring the defense for a Monroe squad that went 15-2-3 his senior season, Morris was named to the All-Area Division II South Second Team and First Team All-Southwestern Buckeye League. He netted three goals and added three assists (nine points) in his final high school campaign.
Morris led the Monroe defense as the Hornets finished 12-4-2 and posted a nine-game shutout streak during the 2013 season. As a junior, he earned Miami Valley Scholastic Soccer Coaches Association Division II South Third Team honors and Second Team All-SWBL recognition. Despite playing a defensive role, Morris scored five goals and tallied three assists (13 points).
However, Morris was far from just an athlete. He also was a National Honor Society member and a volunteer with Special Olympics.
Cincinnati State head coach Mike Combs believes there is a lot to like about what Morris will bring to the Surge.
“Christian has good size, good mobility and good touch,” Combs said. “He’s intelligent and has a good soccer IQ. I think he will do well for us in the back.”
Surge Men's Soccer Newcomers: Aaron Ledermeier
Aaron Ledermeier will join the Cincinnati State men’s soccer program after successful stints with Lakota West High School and the Ohio Elite club team.
Ledermeier, who was a member of a Lakota West team that finished 13-5, recorded six shutouts and went on to reach the sectional finals last fall, will see several familiar faces when he begins working out with the Surge.
With Lakota West, Ledermeier played with fellow Cincinnati State newcomer Jake Mutlu as well as returning Surge players Hall Banks and Jose Corona. While playing for Ohio Elite, he teamed with Mutlu, Reid Abney and Zane Ross, each of whom will join him at Cincinnati State.
Surge head coach Mike Combs thinks that previous experience will be a plus for Ledermeier.
“We’re expecting him to come in to be an outside midfielder or outside back on the right side of the field,” Combs said. “Aaron will be with some players he’s familiar with, and we’re looking for him to come in and contribute right away.”
The Surge men’s soccer team will begin practice on Aug. 1. Cincinnati State will play a pair of exhibition matches before opening the regular season at conference foe Owens Community College on Aug. 29.
Trotter Transfers to Cincinnati State
Brandon Trotter has transferred to Cincinnati State and begun working out with the Surge men’s basketball team.
Trotter, a 6-foot-7 forward, comes to Cincinnati State after a year at Colby Community College in Colby, Kansas. He averaged 4.7 points and 4.6 rebounds in 14.4 minutes per game during the 2014-15 season. Trotter had season highs of 14 points (against Dodge City) and 10 rebounds (against Northeastern Junior College).
Originally from Louisville, Kentucky, Trotter is a 2014 graduate of Seneca High School. After posting 11 points, 5.6 rebounds and 2.6 blocks a game as a junior, he had 14 points and six boards per contest during his senior season.
Trotter then played in the Ohio-Kentucky Boys' All-Star Basketball Game in 2014.
Surge head coach Andre Tate is looking forward to adding Trotter to the Cincinnati State roster for a variety of reasons.
“Brandon gives us length and athleticism,” Tate said. “I like his ability to rebound, and I really think he is going to help us in transition.”
Surge Men's Soccer Newcomers: Reid Abney
Reid Abney, a Middletown High School graduate, comes to Cincinnati State after distinguished club and high school soccer careers.
Abney holds the Middletown career records for goals (60) and points (143), and he also set the Middies’ single-season goals mark with 24 in his senior campaign.
After scoring eight goals and adding seven assists as a freshman, Abney was named to the Greater Miami Conference Second Team. He followed that up by earning First Team All-GMC recognition each of the next three seasons.
As a sophomore, Abney tallied 13 goals and 30 points, good for second and tied for third, respectively, in the conference. Perhaps his best game of the season came when he scored four goals in a 4-3 victory over Colerain.
He netted a pair of goals in six games en route to 15 goals and 37 points during his junior year. Abney was tremendous as a senior, leading the GMC in goals (24) and points (53) and helping the Middies to a 10-8 record. Early in the season, he scored an astounding nine goals and added two assists over a two-game stretch.
Abney played his club soccer for Ohio Elite for 11 years, and he will join former Ohio Elite teammates Aaron Ledermeier, Jake Mutlu and Zane Ross at Cincinnati State.
Surge head coach Mike Combs believes Abney has the ability to be a game changer.
“Reid is really great at running at players and creating goal-scoring opportunities for himself or his teammates,” Combs said. “We’re looking forward to his ability to impact the game. He’ll be a very dangerous player.”
Combs feels he got a steal in Abney, who likely will play outside midfielder or forward for the Surge.
“I think some of the four-year schools might have passed on him because he’s a little smaller in size, but the kid has a tremendous engine,” the head coach said. “I expect big things from Reid here at Cincinnati State and certainly beyond his time at Cincinnati State.”
Getting To Know The National Champions: Head Coach Scott Webb
In his 19th season as the head coach of the Cincinnati State golf team, Scott Webb led the Surge to an NJCAA Division III national championship. It marked the first national title in any sport for Cincinnati State.
Along the way, the Surge also won the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference championship, a first for the golf team, and the NJCAA Region XII title.
We recently had a chance to talk to Webb about the team’s accomplishments, his players, a special celebration and much more.
What does it mean to you to win the national championship?
“It means the world. That is what we’re all here for. If you don’t have the goal of winning the whole thing, you are not doing your job.
“It’s great for the kids, for all the work they put in, from running stairs to lifting weights. The kids tried so hard, and to see success after so much effort makes it even better.”
What does this accomplishment mean for your career as a golf coach?
“It’s not just winning the national championship, but also what we did in the spring, by winning the league against all other (NJCAA) Division II schools. To win the league, it says a lot about the kids we have and the character they have. Winning the league was fantastic.
“Then to play Vincennes and beat them at the regionals this year says a lot about our guys. In the fall, Vincennes beat us at our tournament. But we peaked at the right time.”
What was the feeling of the team heading into the national tournament?
“When we went to nationals, we had every expectation of going there and winning it. We fully expected to go there and win the tournament. We didn’t go there to take second place. We wanted to win it.”
Describe the final round of the national tournament.
“The night before, we didn’t get nervous. We were leading last year; this year we were one shot behind. Last year they were nervous – not this year. They’ve played great teams all year. Sandhills (Community College) was just another great team they had to beat.
“When it came down to the last person on the course, who was Taylor Suggs for us, we didn’t know it would come down to that hole. Hayden Burns caught up four shots on his guy on the back nine. He lost to his guy by two, but he saved us.
“Suggs’ opponent birdied 16 and 17. Taylor is the kind of kid that I want all the pressure in the world on, because he can handle it. There was a large crowd around the green on 18, and he birdied it.
“My kids played hard-nosed golf the whole way. They played their ‘A’ game the whole time. We had to use all five guys. If we didn’t have every player doing what they did, we wouldn’t have won.”
What have the players on this team meant to you?
“My three captains were Taylor Suggs, John McQueen and Jeff Wray. With captains, I look for guys who will take control and say, ‘We need to work out today. We need to practice today. Let’s do it.’ I don’t know how many times over the winter these guys were working. I look for a leader, and all three of those guys made us a championship team. They are the greatest group of guys I can ever imagine having. I never had an issue with any of them. They have always done well in school and they have always been there when I needed them.
“Hayden Burns really showed me what he’s made of. He’s a hard-nosed kid who when you put pressure on him, he really shines. That kid can play some serious golf when the pressure is on him. He has really improved.
“Alex Ebel came on board at the last minute. He called me and told me what kind of player he is. I didn’t know he was going to be such a good student and such a good person. He did everything I asked the day I asked. I knew then he was serious and devoted to playing. He will prove to be one of Cincinnati State’s best golfers. He has a real shot at winning the national championship next year. And he’s just as good a person as a golfer. He became a leader. I called Alex my rock.”
What was it like living in a condominium with this team for a week at the national tournament?
“These kids all got along. It was a great week. The players who weren’t playing in the tournament really supported us. They were awesome. They were just as on board as the guys in the tournament. We had a blast. I love them all.”
Describe your celebration after the team won the national tournament.
“The guys who played with me last year know every time we would walk up 18, there is a pond there. I would say, ‘If we win this thing, I’m going to jump in the pond.’ It’s been kind of a running joke that if we win it, I’m going to jump in the pond.
“After we won it, they said, ‘Hey, Scotty, the pond is there.’ I said, ‘You don’t have to remind me.’ So I ran into the pond. It was about waist-deep. It was perfect. The best part was the water was Surge green.”
Surge Bring In Point Guard Baker
Justin Baker, who played basketball for Owens Community College last season, has transferred to Cincinnati State.
A 5-foot-7 point guard, Baker is from Indianapolis and is a 2014 graduate of Cathedral High School. He averaged 20 points, three rebounds, seven assists and three steals per game as a senior for a team that went 19-5. Baker was named First Team All-City after his junior and senior seasons and Honorable Mention All-Indiana following his senior campaign.
Baker averaged 6.2 points, 3.2 assists and 1.5 rebounds a game while playing for Owens in 2014-15. He shot 40 percent from 3-point range and posted a season-high 20 points in a game against Columbus State in February. Baker also had a season-high 11 assists against Muskegon in November in his first career start.
Surge head coach Andre Tate is looking for Baker to come in and take charge.
“Sometimes players transfer in and they want to take a back seat, but with him playing point guard, I told Justin he has to be a leader,” Tate said. “And he’s done a good job of meshing with the guys and telling them where they need to be.”
Tate believes Baker’s strengths will be accentuated when playing Cincinnati State’s brand of basketball.
“I like his speed. Justin will fit in well with the up-tempo style of play,” the head coach said. “And he knows what he wants to do with the ball. He’s a very good passer.”
Evans Set To Join Surge Women's Soccer Team
Chelsea Evans, a recent graduate of Dixie High School in New Lebanon, Ohio, will join the Cincinnati State women’s soccer program this fall.
Evans had a standout senior season this past fall, earning First Team Southwestern Buckeye League honors as well as Miami Valley Area Soccer Association, Division III South First Team recognition. Evans scored four goals on the season, including a pair in Dixie’s 3-2 victory over Trotwood-Madison.
In the spring of her junior year, she set the Dixie High School record in the 200 meters while running for the school’s track team.
Evans also was a member of the same Warren County United club team as fellow Surge signees and Monroe High School grads Brianna Mays and Charly Jackson.
Cincinnati State head coach Wil Cagle expects Evans to be in the mix to crack the starting lineup this upcoming season.
“Chelsea will be counted on to push for a starting center back or defensive midfield spot this fall,” Cagle said.
Wilmer Joins Surge Women's Soccer Team
Britne Wilmer, a transfer from NCAA Division I Wright State, has joined the Cincinnati State women’s soccer program.
A 2014 Fairfield High School graduate, Wilmer earned Second Team All Greater Miami Conference honors as an outside midfielder during her senior season. She also helped lead the Indians to the district final in 2013.
Wilmer, who played her club soccer for Cincinnati United Premier and was a State Cup semifinalist in 2013, began taking classes at Cincinnati State this spring.
Surge head coach Wil Cagle is thrilled to bring in a player of Wilmer’s caliber to his program.
“Britne is quick and crafty. She’s always looking for unique ways to beat somebody and take somebody on,” Cagle said. “And she wants to play. She is a soccer player to the core. Sometimes we have difficulty recruiting that type of player, so I’m excited to have Britne transfer in.”
Wilmer likely will play an attacking center midfielder position for the Surge, the same spot she played while at Wright State.
“I’m going to look for Britne to take players on and open things up offensively,” Cagle said. “It will provide her some scoring opportunities, but perhaps more important, it will provide scoring opportunities for our forwards and other midfielders.”
Sakho Transfers To Cincinnati State
Mamadou Sakho, a transfer from Monroe Community College in Rochester, New York, has joined the Cincinnati State men’s basketball team.
A 2012 graduate of Shenandoah Valley Christian Academy in Virginia, Sakho averaged 17.1 points, 6.4 rebounds and 2.6 assists per game during the 2011-12 season.
Sakho, a 6-foot-4 wing, played one season at NJCAA Division I Clinton Community College in South Carolina and averaged nine points and five rebounds a game while shooting 43 percent from 3-point range. He then redshirted last season while at Monroe Community College.
Sakho is excited about the opportunity to join the Surge program and play for head coach Andre Tate.
“This is one of the top teams in the country, especially at the (NJCAA) Division II level, and coach Tate has a great reputation of getting guys to the next level,” Sakho said. “I believe if I do my job, I’ll be one of those guys going to the next level.”
Sakho, originally from Queens, New York, said the transition to Cincinnati State is going well and he is ready to contribute.
“I’m looking to bring a New York toughness (to the team), and I have some college experience under my belt,” he said.
Tate pointed to Sakho’s shooting as one of the key attributes he can add to the Surge, and the head coach is looking forward to pairing up Sakho with fellow sharpshooter Cory Smith.
“Mamadou is going to help stretch the defense for us,” Tate said. “I think he will help loosen up the defense a little bit, especially when you have him and Cory on the floor together.”
Getting To Know The National Champions: Alex Ebel
First-year Cincinnati State golfer Alex Ebel contributed to the Surge winning the NJCAA Division III national championship last week in Chautauqua, New York. Ebel shot an even-par 72 in the final round to help Cincinnati State claim a two-shot victory.
Ebel, a Mason High School graduate, finished 14th in the individual standings to earn NJCAA All-America honors.
We caught up with Ebel after he returned home from a triumphant trip to New York to discuss the championship, how he played, living in a condominium with his teammates for a week and more.
What was it like coming to Cincinnati State and being one of the new guys on the team?
“The team welcomed me with arms wide open right away. They are a bunch of great guys. I love the guys on the team.”
How was it living in the same place with your teammates for the week?
“It was awesome. I got a lot closer with them and got more comfortable with them. It was one of the best weeks I’ve had in my life.”
What does it mean to you to win a team national championship?
“It means a lot. There’s a lot that went in to it, with (Head Coach) Scotty (Webb) preparing us and practicing all the time. To do it together was even more special because we had the chemistry.”
You seemed to play your best during the final round on Friday. Talk about what changed.
“My first two days, I had some swing flaws that I worked out with Scotty and my dad. In the third round, I didn’t putt well, but I hit the ball great. Then on Friday, I played the last 16 holes in two-under par. I was calm and relaxed coming down the stretch. I’ve never been in a position where people relied on me that heavily, but I took that well.”
What was it like on Friday afternoon with such tight circumstances?
“I was talking to Scotty, and he didn’t really know the team scores, but he said, ‘You have to come in strong.’ I took that to heart, and I probably played the best seven holes of my life to finish the round.
“Outside the ropes of the 18th green, [my teammates and I] were talking about how we played against the guy we were matched up against. I beat my guy by about five strokes, so I was proud of that.”
What did it mean to have family members there during the national tournament?
“My parents were there for the whole week, and my grandparents were there for the first two rounds. It was awesome. My parents saw me all four rounds. They saw me when I didn’t play well, and then when I did play well. To see them coming off 18 after we won the championship, and to share that with them was exciting for sure.”
What has it been like to play for Coach Webb?
“It’s probably been my favorite experience in golf so far. Scotty is a great guy. He has done a lot for Cincinnati State, and he still does a lot for Cincinnati State. He is one of the best guys I know.”
Describe Coach Webb’s celebration after the team won the national championship.
“He told us he’s been waiting to jump in the pond for 20 years, and now he had to do it. So he ran and jumped in the pond. It’s something I’ll never forget.”
Getting To Know The National Champions: Jeff Wray
Cincinnati State sophomore Jeff Wray came in fifth in the individual standings as the Surge golf team won the NJCAA Division III national championship last week in Chautauqua, New York.
We talked with Wray, a Lakota West High School graduate and a two-time NJCAA All-American, when he returned to campus. He discussed winning a national title, improving his play, a special good-luck charm from his mom and more.
What does it mean to you to win a team national championship?
“It’s huge. I feel it’s better for Scotty because he’s been doing it a lot longer, but of course it means a bunch to me. It was nice to go back (to the national tournament) and see him cry with joy instead of kind of disappointment. It’s certainly huge for me, and the team, Scotty and the school, winning the first (national) championship.”
How did the last round on Friday play out?
“We knew we were one (stroke) down going into [the final round]. I knew it was going to be a tough fight between me and my Sandhills [opponent]. We ended up both shooting 73 on the last day, but no one really knew how tight it was coming down that last hole.”
Talk about how you played during the final round.
“I knew [my opponent] was a really solid player. We were tied for sixth (place going into the round). … We were all square going into [the 10th hole], and I knew I had some work to do. Every time he would birdie a hole, I would birdie it, too. Every time he bogeyed a hole, I bogeyed it. So we went back and forth. … It was a good fight. Even though I shot a 70 last year (during the national tournament) and didn’t shoot as low (this year), I feel like that was by far the best round I’ve ever played, considering the stage we were on.”
Last year you placed 15th at the national tournament. Talk about jumping up to fifth place this year.
“That was one of my goals going there, to better myself. I knew if I kept it tight and kept in down the fairway and put it on the green and two-putted and a couple of putts dropped in, I knew I’d be in kind of good shape. I feel like if I can jump up 10 spots in a year, with it being better golf, I feel like I’ve come on leaps and bounds since last year.”
What did it mean to have your parents at the national tournament?
“My parents came Tuesday, and it was awesome for them to be there. On the last day, my mom had a four-leaf clover that’s 40 years old. She’s had it in a book since she was a kid. [Friday] was the day she passed it down to me. That, I feel, brought me some good luck.
“The first three days (of the tournament) she had it, and she gave it to me on the last day. It was in my back pocket the entire round. Before every shot, I would rub my back pocket a little bit to give me some luck.”
What has it meant to you to play for Coach Webb?
“Scott Webb, he’s not only a golf coach, he’s a life coach. He’s taught me so many things outside the game of golf. He’s just a great guy all around.
“That we could bring this (national championship) home for him was awesome. He’s just such a good guy. And all the guys on the team couldn’t ask for a better coach.”
Describe Coach Webb’s celebration after the team won the national championship.
“When we were there last year, he said, ‘Boys, next year I’m jumping in that [pond].’ And he did. He stripped down to his boxers and ran and jumped in. He said he wasn’t expecting the ground to be that muddy and when he was walking out he was stepping all over golf balls.”
What is next for you?
“Right now, I’m working at the Golf Exchange. I’m looking to go into a sales-rep kind of job. Working at the Golf Exchange really is going to help me with that.
“I’m taking my last couple of classes right now. So at the end of this summer, I will graduate (from Cincinnati State).”
Delas Coming South To Cincinnati State
Kianna Delas, a recent high school graduate originally from Brampton, Ontario, Canada, signed a letter of intent to join the Cincinnati State women’s basketball program.
Delas, who went to Andrews Osborne Academy in Willoughby, Ohio, for her senior year, will begin taking classes and working out with the women’s basketball team in August.
A 5-foot-7 guard, she averaged 15.7 points, 3.9 rebounds, 3.3 assists and 3.6 steals per game as a senior. Delas recorded game highs of 29 points, eight rebounds, eight assists and six steals during the 2014-15 season.
Surge head coach Sonya Beeler is thrilled to bring in a player like Delas.
“Kianna is an outstanding shooter, a very fundamentally sound shooter, and we need that,” Beeler said. “She reminds me a lot of Phylicia Johnson, our All-American from two years ago, with the way she shoots the ball.”
While initially impressed by highlight video she saw of Delas, an in-person look was even better for Beeler.
“I liked her film,” Beeler said. “Then she came down here for a visit and a workout, and I liked her even more.”
While Delas has played the point guard position, Beeler expects to utilize her at the shooting guard spot.
Getting To Know The National Champions: John McQueen
Cincinnati State sophomore John McQueen helped the Surge golf team win an NJCAA Division III national championship, the first national title in any sport for the school, last week in Chautauqua, New York.
We caught up with McQueen, a Lakota West High School graduate, to get his thoughts on the team’s accomplishments and much more.
What does it mean to you to win a national championship?
“It means the world, to be honest with you. It’s a great accomplishment for the school, for the team and for (head coach) Scott Webb. It means the world to me that Scott won a national championship. He’s a fantastic coach.”
Did you have any family members attend the national championship tournament?
“My mom and dad came and watched every round. I have great support. If something didn’t go my way, it was awesome to look over and see my parents. It makes a huge difference.”
How would you describe the golf team’s chemistry?
“The team chemistry is great. Taylor Suggs, Jeff Wray and I, being the returning players, we weren’t sure about how the chemistry would be with the new guys, but when spring came around, everyone started clicking and everyone picked each other up. We really clicked as a team.”
What was it like living in a condominium with your teammates for the week of the national tournament?
“It was great. It was a lot of fun. Everyone can talk trash with the best of them and then take it with a grain of salt. We jabbed at each other all season and all week, but it’s a lot of laughs. I had a great time.”
What has Coach Webb meant to you?
“Coach Webb has been the best coach for me. He knows how to coach. He knows how to manage peoples’ attitudes, and he knows how to deal with people. When someone needs to be pushed, he does that. When someone needs a coach to back off, he does that, too. I have the utmost respect for his coaching abilities.
“It means a lot to get the national championship and put the crown on his career, because he’s been a terrific coach.”
Describe Coach Webb’s celebration after the team won the national championship.
“The year before, he said if we win, he was going in the pond. When we got the win, after the dust had settled and after the awards ceremony, he said, ‘Let’s go to the pond.’ Scott always told me he wears his lucky green underwear. So he got down to the lucky green underwear and ran into the pond. And it was good form on the jump. It was a great feeling to help him out of the pond and be one of the first hands he grabbed after getting to celebrate the win. It was an incredible feeling.”
What’s next for you?
“I’m taking an online class now, and I will graduate (from Cincinnati State) at the end of this summer semester. The next step for me is to transfer to [Northern Kentucky University]. I’m going to major in business management.”
Barnes Headed Back To Alabama, Division I Basketball
Cincinnati State sophomore Nick Barnes recently signed a letter of intent to join the men’s basketball program at Alabama State University. A native of Lanett, Alabama, he will return to his home state to attend the NCAA Division I school located in Montgomery.
Barnes went to Texas Southern University, an NCAA Division I program, right out of high school, but injuries prevented him from seeing any game action. And after one year at Snead State Community College, Barnes came to Cincinnati State.
Surge head coach Andre Tate knows Barnes always has wanted another shot at playing at college basketball’s top level.
“Something Nick had in mind when he transferred in was getting back to Division I,” Tate said. “So I’m really happy for him. I think he’ll do a great job for Alabama State. He’s just got to put the work in, and I think things will fall in line for him.”
A 6-foot-6 wing player, Barnes averaged 7.8 points and 4.3 rebounds per game this past season for the Surge. He shot 37.5 percent from three-point range and had game highs of 27 points and 14 rebounds during the 2014-15 campaign.
However, it was more than just his statistics that impressed Tate.
“Nick was a leader for us this past season, and that was something we really needed,” the head coach said. “We had a lot of freshmen. He took on a leadership role, especially when we got into conference play.”
Tate believes Barnes will be a nice addition for the Hornets, which are coming off a 19-10 overall record and a 14-4 mark in Southwestern Athletic Conference play last season.
“I think he will provide great shooting for Alabama State and be a good fit for them,” Tate said.
Getting To Know The National Champions: Taylor Suggs
Cincinnati State sophomore Taylor Suggs led the Surge to a team national championship and won an individual national title last week at the NJCAA Division III Golf Championships in Chautauqua, New York.
Suggs, a native of the Greenhills area of Cincinnati and a two-time NJCAA All-American, will continue his academic and golf careers at Cincinnati Christian University beginning this fall.
We got a chance to talk with Suggs when he returned to campus following his big week in New York.
What does it mean to you to win a team national championship?
“This week I went out and played well, and my teammates backed me up big time. I’ve been with them for the past two years, and this was a lot of fun.”
Describe how the final round on Friday played out.
“Coming down the stretch, I had no idea how the teams were doing. (Head Coach) Scotty (Webb) let us go. He didn’t talk to us. He just said, ‘You guys know what to do. Do your best.’ When I came down to the last hole, all I knew was that I pretty much had won the individual (title), but I had no clue about the team. There was a lot of pressure. I was just staying quiet, staying in my zone.”
Talk about winning the individual championship.
“It meant a lot. I’ve been thinking about it for the past two years, ever since I joined (the team). I had a couple people trying to get in my head. One in particular was verbally messing with me for about two days straight, including during the final round, but I ended up shutting him up pretty well. So that made it even sweeter.”
You appear to be extremely focused on the course and then let out your emotions at the end of the round. Can you talk about that?
“To get where I am right now, I’ve had to sacrifice a lot of things. I don’t get to hang out with many friends. I don’t get to do a lot of extracurricular stuff. So to stay patient and play well, I have to keep my emotions down. And when I finish, it all just kind of comes out. It happened again up there (in New York). I couldn’t even stand up. My teammates carried me off.”
You holed out from 175 yards to end your round on Thursday. Talk about that shot.
“It was the hardest hole on the course. I had just lost another couple shots to the Sandhills player I was playing with. I hit [the tee shot] down the left side in fine shape. It was 175 yards downhill, downwind to a really hard target. I hit 8-iron, and it went up there and landed just on the front of the green. I was thinking it was going to stop because the greens had been soft all week, but it just kept rolling. It was going right at the pin, and I thought, ‘That could go in, but it’s going to stop.’ Then one of my teammates put his hand up like it was going to go in, and it just disappeared. [My teammates] went nuts. I didn’t know what to say. I just walked down the fairway laughing because I didn’t have any more shots to hit. I was done.”
What did it mean to have your dad and Coach Webb there with you when you won a team and an individual national championship?
“It was huge, especially my dad. We’ve gone through some hard things the past couple years, with how much time I’ve had to devote to golf. But he stayed patient with me, and I stayed patient with him. I think it meant a lot to him.
“For Scotty: The week before I joined (the team) here, I quit golf. The only reason I came back was because I figured I could just come out and fool around and try to help Scotty get a national championship. I never thought God would get me here, to where I’ve won it and we’ve won it. It was cool that me and Scotty got to share that and that he finally got one.”
Describe Coach Webb’s celebration after the team won the national championship.
“He had been saying for years he was going to jump in the pond, but we had to win. So we finally won. He stripped down to his Cincinnati State shirt and his lucky green underwear, and he jumped right into the lake.”
The Cincinnati State golf team won the NJCAA Division III national championship on Friday, marking the first national title for the Surge in any sport.
Cincinnati State saved its best for last, delivering a team score of 294 in the final round to overcome a one-shot deficit and win by two strokes over defending national champions Sandhills Community College at Chautauqua Golf Club in Chautauqua, New York.
Taylor Suggs led the way, carding a 1-under-par 71 on Friday en route to an individual national championship. Suggs’ four-round total of 285 was five shots better than his closest competitor.
Mason graduate Alex Ebel (72) and Jeff Wray (73) from Lakota West each recorded their best round of the tournament on the final day, while Oak Hills grad Hayden Burns (78) matched his best score.
“I have played golf for over 40 years, and I have never seen the never-give-up attitude like we had today,” Surge head coach Scott Webb said. “It took Taylor and Alex to birdie the last hole and Jeff and Hayden to par it in front of a huge crowd to win it.”
Suggs, Wray and Ebel each earned All-America honors. Wray, who finished with a total of 300 (+ 12), was fifth in the individual standings, and Ebel (309, +21) placed 14th. For sophomores Suggs and Wray, it is the second time they have achieved All-America status. It also was the second straight year the Surge had three of their five participating golfers earn that recognition.
Burns finished tied for 27th (313, +25), and sophomore John McQueen, another Lakota West graduate, came in tied for 41st (322, +34). McQueen’s second-round 76 was pivotal, as it tied for the second-best Surge score of the day and contributed to the team’s 302 total on Wednesday.
Cincinnati State, which had a three-round lead disappear a year ago due to red-hot play by Sandhills, was able to return the favor in 2015.
"We had incredible support from all of the teams and players pulling for us,” Webb added. “It was a great day in Cincinnati State sports history."
Suggs Stretches Advantage; Surge Close In On Leader
Cincinnati State sophomore Taylor Suggs holed out from 175 yards for an eagle on his final hole of the day to finish with a 2-under-par 70 on Thursday, highlighting a strong performance by the Surge golf team during the third round of the NJCAA Division III Golf Championships in Chautauqua, New York.
Entering the day trailing leader Sandhills Community College by six strokes, Cincinnati State fired a team total of 303 on Thursday and moved to within one shot of the lead.
Suggs’ three-round total of 214 (-2) gives him a six-shot lead in the individual standings. Jordan Estes of Georgia Northwestern and Brandon Grzywacz of Sandhills are tied for second with totals of 220 (+4). Suggs’ score of 70 on Thursday tied the low round of the tournament.
Surge head coach Scott Webb was impressed by the finishes from Suggs and fellow sophomore Jeff Wray.
“Taylor landed his shot perfectly on the edge of the green and the ball rolled in the hole,” Webb said. “Then Jeff sinks a 25-foot putt on his final hole.”
Wray and first-year player Alex Ebel each carded a 77, while freshman Hayden Burns shot a 79 to round out the scoring for Cincinnati State.
Wray, who has a three-round total of 227 (+11), is tied for sixth in the individual standings, while Burns (235, +19) is tied for 22nd. Ebel (237, +21) is tied for 31st, and sophomore John McQueen (240, +24) is tied for 39th.
Of the five players on each team, the top four scores of each round are counted for the team total. Webb believes the balance on his team is a big asset for the Surge.
“All five players were solid today,” Webb said. “It takes the pressure off each guy when we can use any of their scores.”
The Cincinnati State golf team, which finished in second place behind Sandhills at the national tournament last season, will look to capture the school’s first national championship in any sport when it tees off for the final round on Friday.
“The guys are so loose and ready to play,” Webb said. “We are in the exact place we want to be.”
Taylor Suggs: Born To Golf
Cincinnati State sophomore Taylor Suggs says golf always has been part of his life. His parents tell him he started playing golf before he could walk.
It’s certainly in his gene pool.
Taylor’s great-aunt is Louise Suggs, a founder of the LPGA Tour, a 61-time winner on that tour, a World Golf Hall of Famer, and the namesake for the LPGA Rookie of the Year Award. Taylor’s father is a PGA Master Teaching Professional who works out of Greenhills Golf Course.
Suggs, who was exclusively home-schooled, came to Cincinnati State when he was just 16 years old.
“I realized I could come to Cincinnati State when I was 16 and play on the golf team, so we thought it would be a good experience for me,” Suggs said. “We found out they have a nice Turf Grass Management degree, so it seemed like it would be a good fit.”
That’s not to say that Surge golf head coach Scott Webb initially didn’t have some fears about bringing such a young golfer on to his team. However, those concerns quickly were assuaged.
“Taylor has been such a great person and great player that the team has really embraced having him,” Webb said.
Now, Suggs is a captain for the Cincinnati State golf team, which is nearing the end of a quite successful season. The Surge won its first Ohio Community College Athletic Conference season title in April, and Suggs took home season medalist honors.
He then was the medalist at the NJCAA Region XII Championships, shooting a 218 (+2) over three rounds. That included a school-record-tying four-under 68 in the tournament’s final round. Led by Suggs, the Surge rolled to the team title, topping second-place Vincennes University by 34 strokes.
Suggs believes a good portion of his and the team’s success can be attributed to Webb.
“Scott has been a great coach and always been there for us,” Suggs said. “He’s helped me grow. When I had attitude problems my first year, he cracked down on me. It’s made me a lot better player and a better kid.”
The victory at the regional tournament qualified Cincinnati State for the NJCAA Division III National Championship, which starts Monday in Chautauqua, New York. Suggs says he is confident in his abilities and those of his team members.
“We’re looking to take the national championship on a team level, and I think I can do it on an individual level as well,” he said.
Regardless of the results on the golf course next week in New York, Suggs is on track to graduate from Cincinnati State at the end of the Summer Semester. In the fall he will attend nearby Cincinnati Christian University, majoring in biblical studies. Suggs said he plans to earn a bachelor’s degree from Cincinnati Christian, and he expects it will take about three years to complete.
He also will play golf for Cincinnati Christian.
While he started attending Cincinnati State earlier than most students, Suggs says it was the right choice for him.
“I like how it’s a little bit more personal,” he said. “It’s not as big as a four-year college, so you get a little bit more attention.”
Suggs believes he has developed at Cincinnati State and is ready for his next step.
“I feel totally prepared to go to CCU, to take their golf team far and also to do well in school,” he said. “And I feel like I’ve grown a lot, personally, over the past couple years as well.”
So what are his plans for the long-term?
“My goal is to be play on the PGA Tour, and I’m on track for that right now, so hopefully it will all fall into place,” Suggs said.
Webb, his coach at Cincinnati State, believes it will happen.
“The sky is the limit for him,” Webb said. “He’s still young, and his work ethic is beyond his years.”
Hackney Signs With Shawnee State
Cincinnati State sophomore Maura Hackney will continue her academic and basketball careers at Shawnee State University.
Accompanied by Surge head coach Sonya Beeler, Shawnee State head coach Jeff Nickel, her parents and her sister, Hackney signed a letter of intent on Thursday to join the NAIA program in Portsmouth, Ohio.
Hackney was off to a strong start to the 2014-15 campaign with Cincinnati State before injuries ended her season after 12 games. A 6-foot-1 post player, she averaged 13.3 points and 7.9 rebounds while starting all 12 contests.
“When Maura had to stop playing at the end of December, she was really coming into her own and becoming quite a force for us,” Beeler said. “I think she will continue to grow while she is at Shawnee State.”
Nickel was attracted to Hackney’s style of play.
“I really liked how hard Maura played and her effort and how good of a teammate she was,” he said.
Hackney, who will join former Surge teammate Jonessa Moore at Shawnee State, is excited about the next step in her journey.
“I had a couple schools I was deciding between, and I went for an open gym, and the competition and the level the girls played at was great,” Hackney said. “I like the area, love the coach and love the team.”
Nickel is thrilled to have two strong forwards from Cincinnati State make the move to his program.
“Getting Jonessa Moore and Maura Hackney, they are two very, very talented post players,” he said. “Having them for two years, along with what we’ve already brought in, I think we’re going to have a really good frontcourt.”
Hackney is grateful for what Cincinnati State provided for her.
“Cincinnati State was a great opportunity for me,” she said. “I came here, and coach Beeler got me into shape and got me where I needed to be, so it was a great step.”
Hackney has completely healed from her injuries and is ready to hit the ground running at Shawnee State. She will begin taking classes and working out with the basketball team in August.
Surge Golf Team Rolls To Region XII Title
The Cincinnati State golf team left no doubt regarding the top squad in the NJCAA Division III Region XII. Behind four of the top five individual finishers, the Surge rolled to a 34-stroke victory at the tournament played this weekend at Weatherwax Golf Club in Middletown, Ohio.
The win advances Cincinnati State to the NJCAA Division III National Championships for the second straight season.
Cincinnati State put up an impressive three-round team total of 888, followed by Vincennes University (922) and Schoolcraft College (1,005).
Surge sophomore All-American Taylor Suggs (pictured) was dialed in on Sunday, carding a school-record-tying 4-under-par 68.
“Taylor was focused, and he stayed focused,” Cincinnati State head coach Scott Webb said. “And once he got into a rhythm, no one was going to stop him.”
Suggs was the medalist for the tournament, finishing with a total of 218 (+2). The leader after Saturday’s first two rounds, Surge freshman Hayden Burns was second with a 221. First-year player Alex Ebel was consistent throughout the weekend, firing rounds of 76, 74 and 75 to come in third.
Cincinnati State sophomore John McQueen shot an even-par 72 on Saturday and finished in a tie for fourth with Vincennes golfer Jake Bartley. Bartley edged McQueen in a one-hole playoff to claim fourth place.
McQueen, who gave a fist pump after sinking a putt on the last hole on Sunday, was happy with the way he played.
“I stayed mentally tough and kept the ball in play off the tee and really putted well,” McQueen said.
The top five individual golfers earned spots on the All-Region XII First Team.
While winning the Region XII championship is nothing new for Webb, it doesn’t mean each one doesn’t bring a special feeling.
“This one feels really good because I knew Vincennes was an unbelievably good team this year,” Webb said. “I am really proud of our guys.”
For Surge sophomores Suggs, McQueen and Jeff Wray, it will be back-to-back appearances at the national tournament in Chautauqua, New York.
“It’s huge for us to come back and defend the title and make a second trip to New York,” McQueen said.
Young Signs With Surge Women's Hoops Team
Hannah Young, a senior at Henry Clay High School in Lexington, Kentucky, is set to join the Cincinnati State women’s basketball program.
Young, a 6-foot-1 center, signed a letter of intent on Tuesday at her high school.
Young’s team at Henry Clay, led by head coach Eric Sanford, posted an impressive 27-4 record this past season. The Lady Devils went undefeated in district play and won the district championship before falling in the regional final. Young corralled 10 rebounds in a regional semifinal victory and scored 10 points in her last high school game.
Surge head coach Sonya Beeler said Young played in a system at Henry Clay that is very similar to the one she runs at Cincinnati State.
“They did a lot of full-court pressing, strong man-to man defense and they run and fast-break a lot,” Beeler said. “Hannah will fit right in with our system immediately.”
Beeler, who added that Young has a nice jump hook and she can go right or left, is looking forward to working with Young and enhancing her current post game.
Franklin Ready For Return to Cincinnati
Cydney Franklin, who played her first three high school seasons in the Cincinnati area before finishing her career at Grovetown High School in Grovetown, Georgia, recently signed a letter of intent to join the Cincinnati State women’s basketball team.
Franklin had a very successful season in her one campaign in Georgia. She led her Grovetown team, which finished 22-6, with 14.1 points, 4.9 assists, and 2 steals per game. For her efforts, Franklin was named to the Georgia Athletic Coaches Association Class AAAAA South All-State Team.
Franklin, who topped 20 points six times, scored a season-high 26 on two occasions. She finished the season strong, averaging 20.3 points a game over her final six. A 5-foot-4 point guard, Franklin was particularly effective from 3-point range. As a senior, she connected on six 3-pointers in one game and nailed five treys in three other contests.
Surge head coach Sonya Beeler is excited about bringing Franklin into her program.
“Cydney is a quick, smart point guard who is a scoring threat, including being a very good 3-point shooter,” Beeler said.
In addition to scoring, Franklin was a solid ball-handler and distributor. She dished out a season-high 12 assists in a game and posted a 2-to-1 assist-to-turnover ratio for the season.
Catching Up With: Liam Doyle
Liam Doyle, a native of the Isle of Man, U.K., and one of the best soccer players ever to wear a Cincinnati State uniform, completed an extremely successful junior season at Ohio State this past fall.
After scoring five goals and adding eight assists in his first year with the Surge in 2012, Doyle did it all during his sophomore season. He led the team in points with 43 (14 goals and 15 assists) and was selected as an NSCAA and NJCAA All-American. Doyle also was tabbed for the NJCAA National Tournament Team, First Team All-Region and First Team All-OCCAC. Additionally, he was named the Cincinnati State Athlete of the Year.
In his first season at Ohio State, Doyle was the anchor of the Buckeyes’ back line, starting every game at center back and earning First Team All-Big Ten recognition. He also tied for the team lead in goals with five and paced the club with three game-winning goals. During the season, Doyle was named to the Wolstein Classic All-Tournament Team and the UNCW All-Tournament Team.
Doyle stopped by Cincinnati State recently to catch up with some former teammates and coaches as well as work out. We were able to sit down with Doyle and Surge men’s soccer head coach Mike Combs to discuss a variety of topics. Here is what they said:
How did going to Cincinnati State prepare you for Ohio State?
Liam Doyle: “When I came here, I was nowhere near fit enough. Here with (strength and conditioning coach) Ron (Pharr) and coach, I got in the best shape I could and it translated onto the field and I got the chance to move on.”
Mike Combs: “When Liam first came here, I think he would be the first to admit that he was maybe not quite in shape. But he trained regularly and did great work with Ron Pharr, our strength and conditioning coach. I think the style of play was a little different than what he was used to, but a credit to him, he was open-minded and a great kid, and he adjusted very quickly.”
What was the transition from Cincinnati State to Ohio State like?
Doyle: “People don’t rate this level of junior college high enough. It’s definitely a step up (in the NCAA), but it’s not as big as you would think. There are more good players (in the NCAA), but the elite at this level can definitely do well.”
Combs: “From talking to parents, recruits, and anyone out there in the public about Cincinnati State soccer and junior college Division I, the usual response is one that somewhat looks down at the level and thinks the expectation aren’t as high, but I think over the last 12 years we’ve shown that a lot of our kids can come in and have success, play right away and go off to these major schools.”
How was this past season at Ohio State?
Doyle: “At the start, we were predicted to be ninth in the Big Ten, which is last. And obviously we didn’t want to be ranked down there. We had a slow start to the season, lots of draws and we would get a few wins here and there, but not against ranked teams. Then we actually lost three on the bounce, and it was not a crisis because we had a lot of ability. Then we went on to beat Louisville, Michigan State and just turned it around from there.”
Combs: “He adjusted at Ohio State very
well. I think he was prepared for it, mentally and physically, and he was a
mature kid, so you knew he was ready to go in and adjust. He had a fantastic
junior year. He was a leader for them, and he was a force in the back. I got to
go see a couple games, and he looked like a kid who had been there for three
What are you doing now during the offseason?
Doyle: “Actually, the spring at Ohio State is probably harder than the season. It’s not that we did a lot of running, but we’re up at 6 a.m. every day. We play a lot, and it’s competitive that way.”
What are your plans for the summer?
Doyle: “I’m playing for the Isle of Man in two national tournaments.”
Do you play the same central back position for the Isle of Man that you play for Ohio State?
Doyle: “No, for the Isle of Man, I hardly do play in the back. I play more holding midfield. I think I fit the team better in that position.”
What are you looking forward to next season at Ohio State?
Doyle: “We have a very good class coming in, and we have seven returning starting players. We came in second in the Big Ten (last season), and hopefully we can win that and have a good run in the (national) tournament.”
Combs: “I think the expectations next season for him and Ohio State are very high, and realistically so.”
What does the future hold after next season?
Doyle: “I don’t know the exact answer, but I definitely want to carry on playing.”
Combs: “I think Liam is looking at it correctly by focusing on having a good season and performing well and staying healthy and the team doing well, which will give him that exposure to be looked at and strongly considered by Major League Soccer or another professional level. I think his work ethic on and off the field is what is going to help prepare him to be a professional. I can’t see him not reaching his goals.”
Diebold Headed To Life University
Samantha Diebold, who just graduated from Cincinnati State, will continue her academic and volleyball careers at Life University in Marietta, Georgia.
Life University is adding volleyball as a varsity sport, and the team will begin playing this fall. However, joining a new volleyball program is nothing new for Diebold. After two years at Youngstown State, the Cincinnati native and Mount Notre Dame graduate transferred to Cincinnati State and immediately became an integral member of the Surge.
“My coaches put me in an important role right off the bat,” Diebold said. “And with it being a new program, it was a lot of responsibility.”
Although she could not compete during the inaugural season of volleyball in 2013, Diebold practiced and served as a valuable team member.
“Sam really showed our players a great work ethic,” Surge head coach Kristy Parrill said. “She was a crucial member of the team.”
Diebold then was named a team captain for the 2014 season. An outside hitter, she led the team in kills (384) and points (480.5) and was third in digs (377) this past season.
Diebold, who has two years of eligibility remaining, will join a Life University volleyball squad that will compete in the NAIA and the Mid-South Conference. And it was a visit to the school that made all the difference.
“Originally, I didn’t think I was going to go on to play, but when I got down there I just fell in love with the campus and the area,” Diebold said. “Then I met everyone in the athletic department, and they were just so excited about starting a new program, so that just made me want to do it even more.”
Diebold believes her time at Cincinnati State was tremendous preparation for this next step.
“Academically, the teachers at Cincinnati State were superb,” she said. “They helped me so much. Within these last two years, I learned a lot.”
Diebold is excited to get to Life University and begin working with the volleyball team.
“It is a new program,” she said, “so I’m ready to start off with a bang and make an impact immediately.”
Webb Named Conference Coach Of The Year
Cincinnati State’s Scott Webb is the 2015 Ohio Community College Athletic Conference Golf Coach of the Year.
In his 20th year at the helm of the Surge golf team, Webb guided this season’s squad to new heights. Cincinnati State won the conference regular-season championship, had the top two finishers in the OCCAC individual standings and placed five golfers on the all-conference teams. All three accomplishments were firsts for the Surge golf program.
Sophomore Taylor Suggs was the OCCAC season medalist, while first-year player Alex Ebel came in second. Both Suggs and Ebel were on the all-conference first team, while Surge golfers Hayden Burns, John McQueen and Jeff Wray earned spots on the second team.
Led by Webb, Cincinnati State won the first five OCCAC regular-season events and finished second in the sixth. The Surge posted a team-best score of 294 in the OCCAC South Tournament at Weatherwax Golf Club in Middletown, Ohio, and notched another team score under 300 when they combined to shoot 296 in the Lakeland Invitational at Quail Hollow Country Club in Concord, Ohio. Ebel also recorded a school-record-tying 3-under-par 68 in the event hosted by Lakeland Community College.
Making the conference title even more impressive is the fact that Cincinnati State competes in the NJCAA Division III for golf while the other teams in the conference play at the Division II level.
Webb also was honored with the OCCAC Coach of the Year Award in 2009.
Check Inducted Into Ohio Basketball Hall Of Fame
Former Cincinnati State athletic director and women’s basketball head coach Theresa Check was inducted into the Ohio Basketball Hall of Fame on Saturday.
Check, a member of the Cincinnati State Athletics Hall of Fame, guided the Surge women’s basketball team to a 64-23 record from 2008-2011. During that time, she led Cincinnati State to two Ohio Community College Athletic Conference championships and an appearance in the NJCAA national tournament in 2011.
After the 2010-11 season, Check gave up her coaching duties and put all her effort into leading the athletic department. She retired a year later, but during her time as the Cincinnati State athletic director, Surge teams reached five NJCAA national tournaments.
Prior to joining Cincinnati State, Check established herself as one of the top women’s basketball coaches in Ohio. She won more than 400 games in 17 seasons as women’s basketball head coach at Central State and earned Converse/NAIA Coach of the Year honors in 1993. She also served as athletic director at Central State for 11 years. Under her leadership, football was reinstated and tennis, volleyball, baseball, softball and bowling were added.
Prior to going to Central State, Check coached the girls basketball team at Alter High School. She won 122 games over seven seasons and guided the team to the regionals twice.
Check, who is an adjunct instructor at Cincinnati State, also is a member of the NAIA Hall of Fame, the Central State Hall of Fame, Cedarville High School's Hall of Honor, Alter High School's Hall of Fame and the Greene County (Ohio) Women's Hall of Fame.
Surge Have Top Two, Five of Top 10 OCCAC Golfers
The Cincinnati State golf team completed its regular season on Sunday, and the Surge did so in record-setting fashion.
Although Cincinnati State had its five-tournament winning streak snapped, finishing second at the Owens Invitational at Belmont Country Club in Perrysburg, Ohio, the Surge secured the top two golfers and five of the top 10 in the OCCAC individual standings.
Those top 10 golfers earn All-Conference recognition, and it marked the first time Cincinnati State placed five in that group.
Taylor Suggs tied for third place on Sunday with a 78, but the Cincinnati State sophomore clinched the season medalist honor. Suggs finished with 440 strokes over six events, taking the top spot by four shots.
Surge first-year player Alex Ebel was the medalist on Sunday, shooting a 73 and besting the second-place golfer by four strokes. Ebel earned second place in the season individual standings, helping Cincinnati State reach another milestone. Suggs and Ebel became the first Surge golfers to finish in the top two spots of the OCCAC individual scoring average.
Hayden Burns (83), Jeff Wray (84), Branden Ritter (84) and John McQueen (85) rounded out Cincinnati State’s team scoring at the event hosted by Owens Community College.
In addition to Suggs and Ebel earning All-Conference First Team recognition, Burns, McQueen and Wray earned spots on the OCCAC Second Team.
The Surge will play in the OCCAC Tournament Championship at the same location on Monday. Cincinnati State will be seeking its first OCCAC Tournament Championship since 2012.
Surge Golfers Seeking To Rewrite Record Books
The Cincinnati State golf team is looking to add to an already historic season as it heads to tournaments in Perrysburg, Ohio, on Sunday and Monday.
The Surge, winners of five straight events, will play in the Owens Invitational on Sunday, marking their final regular-season tournament. Although Cincinnati State has wrapped up its first OCCAC championship, there still is a lot on the line for the individual players.
Sophomore All-American Taylor Suggs (72.4 scoring average) leads the OCCAC individual standings by nine strokes over fellow Surge golfer Alex Ebel. Ebel (74.2), a first-year player, shot a school-record-tying 68 in the first of two tournaments last weekend.
The top 10 players in the OCCAC individual standings earn all-conference honors, with the top five on the first team and the next five on the second team. Three other Surge golfers are in position to join Suggs (pictured) and Ebel in that group. Freshman Hayden Burns (77.8) sits in sixth place, while sophomore John McQueen (78.8) is eighth and fellow sophomore Jeff Wray (79) is ninth.
If all of them can land in the top 10, it would mark the first time Cincinnati State would have five all-conference golfers in the same season. The Surge also hope to have their first conference individual medalist since 2010 and first top two finishers in school history.
Cincinnati State then will play in the OCCAC Tournament Championship on Monday. The tournament is set up in a Ryder Cup format, with three segments consisting of six holes each. Golfers will be paired up and compete in scramble, alternate shot and best ball formats.
The Surge, which ended Owens’ run of three straight regular-season conference titles, will look to bring home their first OCCAC Tournament Championship since 2012.
Henson Set To Join Cincinnati State Volleyball Team
Alyssa Henson, an accomplished athlete and student at Amelia High School, will continue her volleyball and academic careers at Cincinnati State.
A 5-foot-9 outside hitter, Henson was named the Southern Buckeye Conference American Division Player of the Year after leading Amelia to a 16-6 overall record and 9-1 mark in league play during her senior season.
Henson, who played club volleyball for Cincy Crush VBC and Positively Charged VBC, has become engrossed in the sport.
“I have been playing volleyball for 12 years now, and there is not a minute that I have regretted it,” Henson said. “I now get to fulfill my dreams and play collegiate volleyball.”
A first team all-league performer, she also was named a 2014 Enquirer Media Fall All-Star. Academically, Henson was awarded high honors during her senior year. And she believes Cincinnati State is the best place to play volleyball and continue her education.
“Cincinnati State is a wonderful school with wonderful people, and I'm so excited to spend my first two years there and to be a part of the Surge,” Henson said. “I feel that Cincinnati State is the right option for me because it allows me to really dive in and interact with my area of study and to further my volleyball career.”
Cincinnati State Men's Basketball Team Lands Lewis
DJ Lewis, a senior at Princeton High School, recently signed a letter of intent to join the Cincinnati State men’s basketball program.
Lewis, a versatile 6-foot-3 player, averaged 12 points, 5.5 rebounds, 1.6 assists and 1.1 steals per game for the Vikings during his senior season. He erupted for 19 points and 19 rebounds in a game against Fairfield and also had 17 points and 10 boards in a matchup with Colerain.
Surge head coach Andre Tate is excited about bringing Lewis into the Cincinnati State program.
“I love DJ’s toughness and I love that he’s left-handed,” Tate said. “He’s a tough kid who likes to battle big guys, but he’s going to be a good wing for us.”
Tate anticipates Lewis, who spent much of his time in the post in high school, playing some combination of shooting guard and small forward for the Surge.
“DJ is a solid shooter, good defender and good rebounder,” the head coach said. “So he’s going to help us.”
Georgia Student-Athlete Signs With Surge Men's Hoops Team
The Cincinnati State men’s basketball program reached into Georgia for one of its latest recruits.
Surge head coach Andre Tate and assistant coach Mike Walker discovered Devale Johnson, a senior at Stockbridge High School in Stockbridge, Georgia. The interest was mutual, and Johnson attended an “open gym” session at Cincinnati State.
After seeing him play, Tate offered Johnson a scholarship. The 6-foot-2 combo guard recently signed a letter of intent to join the Surge during a ceremony at his high school.
Johnson averaged 12 points, five rebounds and four assists per game during his senior season. He recorded a season-high 19 points in a Stockbridge victory.
Tate likes Johnson’s versatility and thinks he will fit in well with his scheme.
“Devale has a really good midrange game and is an up-tempo style of player who is going to be an asset for what we like to do,” Tate said.
Cincinnati State, which is coming off a 25-7 record in 2014-15, will have lots of competition for time in the backcourt leading into next season. Johnson will join returning players Grover Anderson and Cory Smith as well as newcomers Jhedayah “Juice” Gibbs, Isiah Bostic and DJ Lewis at the guard spots.
Tate is perfectly fine with having an assortment of guards on his squad.
“That’s a great thing,” the head coach said. “Teams that are deep going into conference play usually are going to be in the thick of things.”
Surge Golf Team Claims First Conference Championship
The Cincinnati State golf team earned a victory and a tie for first place in tournaments on Sunday and Monday, giving the Surge an outright OCCAC championship with one event remaining. It marks the team's first conference title.
The tournaments were held in Concord, Ohio, in less than ideal conditions. The Lakeland Invitational, played on the par-71, 6,833-yard Weiskopf Course at Quail Hollow Country Club on Sunday, started off sunny and calm. As the day continued, the Lake Erie winds took over and the temperatures dropped to a chilling 40 degrees.
The temperatures and conditions did not faze the Surge as they shot one of the best team scores in school history, firing a 296 and defeating defending league champions Owens Community College by 12 shots. Columbus State came in third (329), and host team Lakeland shot a 354. It was the largest margin of victory for the Surge in league play this year.
Leading the Surge to victory was freshman Alex Ebel, who etched his name in the Cincinnati State record books, along with former players Joe Morris, Blake Harpenau and Evan Bryan, by shooting a 3-under-par 68. League medalist and returning All-American sophomore Taylor Suggs shot a 75, as did fellow All-American sophomore Jeff Wray. Surge freshman Hayden Burns rounded out the scoring with a 78.
“Adding a player like Alex to the team this spring has made an unbelievable difference to the squad,” Cincinnati State head coach Scott Webb said. “He adds depth like we have never had in school history and takes pressure off other guys to be on top of their game at all times. With the temperatures dropping and the fact that he was on a course that he had never seen before, the 3-under par round is even more impressive.”
On Monday, the Surge played in the OCCAC North Tournament, which also was held at Quail Hollow Country Club. However, this event was played on the par-71, 6,723-yard Devlin Golf Course. The rain-snow mix off the lake settled in for the morning, as did the bone-chilling temperatures, which hovered around 35 degrees.
This did not stop the Surge, as they went on to tie Owens for the win by shooting a team score of 311. Columbus State again finished third (325), and Lakeland was fourth (353).
Pacing Cincinnati State was Suggs, who fired a 75. Burns added a 77, while sophomore John McQueen shot a 79 and Wray had an 80.
“It was pure survival out on the course today.” Webb stated. “I told the guys today was a game of who had it the most mentally. I was extremely proud of co-captain John McQueen today. He really kept his head in the game under the adverse conditions and gave me a score that we could use.”
The victory brings the Surge win streak to five, marking a school record.
Cincinnati State has five players in the top 10 of the league scoring average, which garners All-Conference honors, with one event to play. Suggs is the league medalist with an average of 72.40, while Ebel sits second, Burns sixth, McQueen eighth and Wray ninth.
The Surge finish off the regular season on Sunday at the Owens Invitational at Belmont Country Club in Perrysburg, Ohio. Cincinnati State then will compete in the OCCAC Championships, also held at Belmont Country Club, on Monday.
Lehmkuhl Signs With Surge Volleyball Program
Karly Lehmkuhl, a senior at Saint Henry District High School in Erlanger, Kentucky, has signed a letter of intent to continue her academic and volleyball careers at Cincinnati State.
Lehmkuhl, a 5-foot-10 middle hitter, has been around the game of volleyball as long as she can remember.
“Volleyball is in my blood. I have been spoon fed volleyball ever since I was born,” Lehmkuhl said. “My mother and aunt were both collegiate volleyball players and have continued their volleyball careers as high school coaches. I have been going to volleyball camps since I could walk.”
Lehmkuhl explained why she decided to join the Surge.
“Cincinnati State is the best fit for me because it has small class sizes that will give me individual help and attention,” she said. “Upon my college visit, the staff made me feel like family, and I can see myself fitting in comfortably.”
Lehmkuhl comes off a successful volleyball career at Saint Henry District High School, playing on the freshmen team as an eighth grader, on the junior varsity team as a freshman and as a starter on the varsity team her last three seasons.
She was named to the District All-Tournament Team, the All “A” Classic All-Tournament Team, the NKGVCA All-Opponent Division II First Team and the Cincinnati Enquirer All-City Kentucky Division II First Team in 2014.
In addition, Lehmkuhl completed more than 100 hours of community service while in school.
Lehmkuhl, who is one of four student-athletes from Kentucky joining the Surge volleyball team, is excited about her future at Cincinnati State.
“This is a great opportunity for me,” she said. “I will be close to home and be able to play the sport I love.”
Rich Ready to Join Surge Volleyball Team
Emily Rich, a senior at Campbell County High School in Alexandria, Kentucky, has signed a letter of intent to join the Cincinnati State volleyball program.
Rich, who is 6-foot-2, played middle hitter for a Campbell County team that went 23-11 and reached the regional championship during her senior season. She led the Camels in kills, was named to the Region All-Tournament Team and received Cincinnati Enquirer’s All-City Kentucky Division I Honorable Mention recognition in 2014. Rich excelled in the classroom as well, earning a scholar-athlete award during her senior year.
She won a regional championship with Campbell County and was named to the District All-Tournament Team as a junior in 2013.
Now, Rich will transition to Cincinnati State, and Surge head coach Kristy Parrill is eager to see her in action. Parrill, who wants to develop Rich on the right side, said she is strong, smart and athletic.
“I can’t wait to get in the gym and work with her a lot,” Parrill said.
Rich explained how she made her decision about continuing her academic and volleyball careers.
“Cincinnati State is the best fit for me because of the welcoming volleyball team, family-like atmosphere and yet it’s still close to home,” she said.
Trimpe Bringing Talents To Cincinnati State
Jenna Trimpe, a senior at Scott High School in Taylor Mill, Kentucky, will continue her academic and volleyball careers at Cincinnati State.
Trimpe completed an accomplished high-school volleyball career this past fall. She stands as the Scott High School career record holder in assists (2,894), digs (795) and aces (276). Trimpe also holds the school’s single-season mark for assists with 907.
Trimpe was a senior on a Scott team that made its first appearance and notched its first win in the state tournament in 2014. A 5-foot-7 setter, she was named to the KHSAA State Tournament All-Tournament Team, Region All-Tournament Team and District All-Tournament Team after her senior season.
In addition, Trimpe twice was named to the Northern Kentucky Athletic Conference All-Star Team, as well as the District All-Tournament Team as a junior and the Region All-Tournament Team as a sophomore.
Trimpe was a standout on the academic side as well, earning KHSAA Academic All-State Honorable Mention recognition each of her last three years in high school.
Her success on the volleyball court comes from years of practice and experience.
“I fell in love with volleyball during grade school while my mom was coaching me,” Trimpe said. “I just continued to play and succeed at all levels. I love the competitiveness, being part of a team and the friends that I’ve made over the years.”
Coming to Cincinnati State for athletics as well as academics was the perfect choice for Trimpe.
“Cincinnati State was the best fit for me because of the small-school atmosphere and it is close to home,” she said. “This will allow me to continue playing the sport that I love, having my friends and family come to watch, all while continuing my education and earning my degree.”
Trimpe will see some familiar faces when she reunites with former Scott High School teammates Claire and Faith Gerhardstein on the Surge volleyball team.
Win Streak On The Line For Cincinnati State Golf Team
The Cincinnati State golf team puts a three-match winning streak on the line with a pair of upcoming matches in the Cleveland area.
The Surge will play in the Lakeland Tournament at Quail Hollow Country Club in Concord, Ohio, on Sunday and the OCCAC North Tournament at the same location on Monday. Sunday’s event starts at 1 p.m., while the tournament on Monday tees off at 9 a.m.
The Surge have won their last three matches, posting a team score of 304 in the Cincinnati State Invitational, 294 in the OCCAC South Tournament and 300 in the Columbus State Invitational.
Cincinnati State head coach Scott Webb was particularly impressed by his team’s performance in its last outing. Playing in wind gusts and steady rain, the Surge pushed through for the victory.
“I am truly amazed at the grit and determination that this team has,” Webb said. “This tournament was played in conditions that no one wants to play golf in, but they kept their heads and got the job done.”
Cincinnati State (12 points) leads the conference team standings, followed by Owens (8.5), Columbus State (6.5) and Lakeland (3).
Surge sophomore Taylor Suggs (pictured) has had a tremendous start to the 2015 spring season. An NJCAA All-American as a freshman, he has carded rounds of 72, 71 and 69 to open the campaign. Suggs’ total of 212 leads the OCCAC individual standings by 10 shots after three events.
Cincinnati State’s Alex Ebel is in second place in the conference standings (222), while fellow Surge golfer Hayden Burns is tied for seventh (234).
Spring Game A Success For Surge Men's Soccer Team
Cincinnati State freshman and NSCAA All-American Mohamed Thiaw (pictured) scored a hat trick as the Surge won their spring match against the University of Cincinnati club team, 7-4, on Monday night at Roger Bacon High School.
Freshmen Juwon Akintunde, Jose Corona, and Javier Meneses-Wallace also scored for Cincinnati State.
Surge head coach Mike Combs was pleased with his team's performance. In addition to Thiaw, Combs noted the play of freshmen Josh Enginger and Hall Banks, as well as newcomer Max Hale.
Playing a central defender position for the first time in a game, Enginger was strong in the back, Combs said. The head coach added that Banks looked quick on the ball and Hale played well and will be a nice addition to the team.
Combs said it was a solid performance overall by the Surge, and this coming fall season is looking very promising for the Cincinnati State men’s soccer program.
Henkenberns Headed To Tiffin University
Cincinnati State sophomore Carly Henkenberns will make her way to Tiffin University.
Henkenberns recently signed a letter of intent to continue her academic and volleyball careers at the Division II school in Tiffin, Ohio.
A member of the first Cincinnati State volleyball team as a freshman in 2013, Henkenberns played the libero position during her two years with the Surge.
After leading the team with 606 digs during her first season, she was second on the club with 395 digs in 2014. She topped 30 digs on five occasions as a freshman and then had a season-high 20 digs this past season.
Cincinnati State head coach Kristy Parrill says Tiffin is getting a player who has a great serve-receive game and is a strong passer. Parrill also is thrilled to see her first player sign with a four-year school.
“It’s moving to see Carly come in here and develop as a player, and now she’s moving on and she’s going to be a great asset for Tiffin’s team,” Parrill said.
Henkenberns is expected to begin taking classes at Tiffin and practicing with the volleyball team in August.
Morrow Excited About Opportunity With Cincinnati State
Mariah Morrow, a senior at Mariemont High School, signed a letter of intent to join the Cincinnati State women's basketball program on Tuesday.
Morrow, a 6-foot post player, was a member of a Mariemont team that went 19-6 this past season. Her Mariemont teams also produced a 55-18 record over the last three seasons, the best record in the Cincinnati Hills League over that time.
Morrow is thrilled with the chance to join the Cincinnati State community and the Surge women’s basketball team.
“It’s a really big opportunity to play for a school that has great coaches and great people,” Morrow said. “I never thought I would do anything like this in my life.”
Cincinnati State head coach Sonya Beeler, who first saw Morrow play as a sophomore, thinks she has a tremendous upside.
“Mariah is going to have to adjust to how fast we play and how physical the play is, but she has a lot of untapped potential we’re going to develop,” Beeler said.
Cain Will Continue Soccer Career At Urbana University
Cincinnati State sophomore Jackie Cain signed a letter of intent on Tuesday to continue her academic and soccer careers at Urbana University.
Cain, a Monroe High School graduate, played a variety of positions for Surge head coach Wil Cagle, and he thinks her versatility is part of what appealed to Urbana head coach Kevin Mounce.
“She was recruited for her athleticism,” Cagle said. “She offers a lot of flexibility. For us, she played four different positions over the course of her two years here.”
Cain primarily played outside back and outside midfielder for Cincinnati State, but she also saw some time at forward and center midfielder. Despite moving around quite a bit, Cain had three goals and one assist as a freshman and tied for the team lead with four assists this past season.
Cain said Urbana is making improvements to athletics and academics, and it was the soccer program that consistently showed the most interest in her, making it a great fit.
Cagle is happy with the example Cain’s journey can provide for younger players.
“This confirms for all of the kids coming next that there is that opportunity to move on, and we will help find you a home,” Cagle said.
Cain is expected to begin working out with the women’s soccer team and taking classes at Urbana in August.
Moore Ready For Move To Shawnee State
After completing an extremely successful sophomore season at Cincinnati State, Jonessa “Joey” Moore signed a letter of intent to join the Shawnee State University women’s basketball program.
Moore, who earned Women’s Basketball Coaches Association All-America Honorable Mention recognition this past season, averaged 22.1 points, 11.6 rebounds and 1.6 blocks per game while shooting 57.8 percent.
Surge head coach Sonya Beeler is proud of what Moore has accomplished.
“Joey is going to go Shawnee State, and I know she’ll do great things,” Beeler said. “I’m very blessed and lucky to have coached her.”
Moore, who had game highs of 36 points and 20 rebounds this past season, was named NJCAA Division II National Player of the Week once and Ohio Community College Athletic Conference Player of the Week three times.
Beeler expects Moore to have the same success at Shawnee State that she produced with the Surge.
“I think she will continue to dominate,” Beeler said. “It’s going to take a special person to stop Joey, because she is that good of a post player and she has a high basketball IQ.”
Moore will join her brother, Fred Moore, who will be a sophomore on the Shawnee State men’s basketball team, when she reports to the school’s campus in Portsmouth, Ohio, in August.
Hill Signs With Surge Women's Hoops Team
Dan’Shae Hill, a senior at Western Hills High School, recently signed a letter of intent to join the Cincinnati State women’s basketball program.
Hill, who earned all-conference honors each of her four high school seasons, averaged 11.1 points, 4.7 rebounds and 2.7 steals per game during her senior campaign. A 5-foot-8 versatile guard, she averaged 7.5 points, 4 rebounds and 2.2 steals a game as a junior.
Cincinnati State head coach Sonya Beeler has had an eye on Hill for quite some time. During her first season with the Surge, Beeler and her team practiced at Western Hills while the basketball court at Cincinnati State was being redone. That was Hill’s freshman year, and Beeler saw something right away.
“I have wanted Dan’Shae to come here and play for me since she was a freshman at Western Hills High School,” Beeler said. “So I’m very excited.”
Beeler added that Hill, who can play either guard spot and likely will play shooting guard for the Surge, is eager to put in work and improve. And while Hill is willing to work hard to get better, the head coach already likes several parts of her game.
“I love her length and her athleticism,” Beeler said. “She sees the floor very well.”
Surge Volleyball Team Excited To Bring In Berning
Mikayla Berning, a graduate of McCutcheon High School in Lafayette, Indiana, has signed a letter of intent to join the Cincinnati State volleyball team.
Berning, who served as a team captain, was a member of McCutcheon teams that made it to the regionals two of her four years.
Surge head coach Kristy Parrill is thrilled to add Berning, who likely will play middle hitter, to her program.
“I just can’t wait to get Mikayla in here and get her working,” Parrill said. “Playing middle, she brings very quick defense to the net.”
Parrill is excited about what the 6-foot Berning will add to the team.
“Mikayla is going to put some major blocks down,” the coach said. “She is going to be great for our blocking game.”
Berning, who also will bring a powerful offensive game to the volleyball team, is eager to get to Cincinnati State.
“I visited Cincinnati State, and I fell in love with the city and the campus location,” she said. “I also fell in love with the volleyball program. I think this school will be a great fit for me to start my student-athlete career.”
Wilson Finds Home At Cincinnati State
Going from a teenager without life’s basic needs to a basketball scholarship to Cincinnati State brings a joyous next step in the life of Various Wilson.
It’s a remarkable story of perseverance for Wilson, who ended up homeless after his mother moved from Indianapolis to Cincinnati to find work last year.
Attending Shortridge Magnet High School in Indianapolis, Wilson worked through his difficult circumstances and found success on the basketball court. The 6-foot-5 forward averaged 16 points and eight rebounds per game during his senior season.
Wilson, who has been staying at different friends’ houses as he finishes high school, doesn’t have any regrets.
“I’m glad everything happened the way it did,” he said. “It’s made me stronger.”
Wilson traveled with a coach to Cincinnati to participate in an “open gym” session at Cincinnati State on Saturday. At the end of the session, Surge head coach Andre Tate offered him the opportunity he has been working toward – a college scholarship.
Wilson accepted, later signed his letter of intent and is set to join the Cincinnati State men’s basketball team.
“It means the world,” Wilson said of the scholarship offer. “It didn’t kick in until [Sunday]. It’s exciting.”
Tate believes Wilson will be an asset to Cincinnati State.
“A kid that has gone through that kind of adversity and is still going strong and finishing up high school, it’s a testament to his character and what kind of person he is,” Tate said. “It’s going to be a pleasure to have him in our program.”
Wilson, who said he is most looking forward to simply the college experience, will begin taking classes at Cincinnati State and working out with the basketball team in June.
Mayes Set To Join Surge Women's Hoops Team
Alexus Mayes from Holmes High School in Covington, Kentucky, signed a letter of intent on Friday to join the Cincinnati State women’s basketball team.
Mayes is a 5-foot-8 versatile player on the hardwood. Surge head coach Sonya Beeler said she either can play a wing position and be a 3-point shooter or play in the post.
Mayes, who played her first three high school seasons at Newport Central Catholic, averaged 9.8 points and 4.8 rebounds per game while shooting 35.1 percent from 3-point range during her junior year. Also during that season she was named to the 2013 Holiday Classic All-Tournament Team.
Mayes, who most recently played her AAU basketball for the Shining Stars, was a part of a Holmes team that produced an impressive 30-3 record this past season.
Beeler is eager to bring in a player with Mayes’ demeanor.
“Alexus works extremely hard,” Beeler said. “She has a will to get better, and she’s a tough competitor.”
Mayes is expected to begin taking classes at Cincinnati State and working out with the Surge women’s basketball team in June.
Cincinnati State Golf Team Drives Through Storm To Victory
The Cincinnati State golf team kept its foot on the pedal and drove through the competition, much as the wind and rain drove through Bent Tree Golf Course, the site of the Columbus State Invitational Tournament.
The event, which was held on Sunday afternoon in Sunbury, Ohio, was filled with wind gusts up to 40 mph and driving sideways rain, but the weather did not derail the Surge as they claimed their third conference tournament in a row. Cincinnati State shot a team score of 300, which bested Owens (308), host school Columbus State (309) and Lakeland (327).
Leading the Surge and claiming his third straight medalist title was sophomore Taylor Suggs with an incredible 69. Freshman Alex Ebel shot an impressive one-over-par 73, while sophomore Jeff Wray carded a 78 and freshman Hayden Burns had an 80.
“I am truly amazed at the grit and determination that this team has,” Cincinnati State head coach Scott Webb said. “This tournament was played in conditions that no one wants to play golf in, but they kept their heads and got the job done. I have always called players who can do this mudders, as they are willing to play through anything. When I start my lineup in conditions such as they were, I look to my mudders to get the job done.”
With the medalist victory, Suggs extended his lead for OCCAC Player of the Year honors to 10 shots over fellow Surge golfer Ebel.
“Taylor played out of this world and quite possibly had one of the most impressive rounds in Cincinnati State history,” Webb said. “He had it to 5-under par with three holes to go, but bogeyed 16 and 17. With the conditions as miserable as they were, I don’t know many people who could have kept their minds and played as well as he did.”
Ebel was able to move into second place in the league standings by four shots over Owens sophomore Harrison Long, who shot a 79.
“I was equally impressed with the play of Alex Ebel,” Webb added. “He remained a rock on our squad by his steady play.”
With the victory, the Surge extend their lead over Owens by 3.5 points, 5.5 over Columbus State and 9 points over Lakeland at the halfway point of conference play.
Next week Cincinnati State will travel to the Cleveland area to play in the Lakeland Invitational on Sunday and the OCCAC North Tournament on Monday. The events will be held at the prestigious Quail Hollow Country Club in Painesville, Ohio, and will begin at 1 p.m. on Sunday and 9:30 a.m. on Monday.
Dickerson Signs With Surge Women's Basketball Team
Jacie Dickerson, a senior at Anderson High School in Anderson, Indiana, signed a letter of intent on Friday to join the Cincinnati State women’s basketball program.
Dickerson, a 5-foot-10 post player, averaged eight points, 6.1 rebounds, two steals and 1.3 blocks per game during her senior season. She had 19 points, 11 rebounds, five steals and four blocks in a win over Indianapolis Bishop Chatard, and later posted 13 points, 13 rebounds and three steals in a victory over Huntington North.
Cincinnati State head coach Sonya Beeler likes what Dickerson will bring to the Surge team.
“She’s very athletic, has a lot of energy and she’s not afraid of anyone,” Beeler said. “I think Jacie will do very well in our league.”
Beeler said Dickerson plays even taller than her 5-foot-10 frame and will play both the small forward and power forward positions for the Surge.
The head coach is hoping Dickerson will be a good rebounder, defender and scorer.
“I’m looking for all of those things from her, and I think she can deliver on all three,” Beeler said.
There will be a family feel when Dickerson joins the Cincinnati State squad. Her cousin, Samia Carter, was the primary point guard for the Surge this past season and will be a sophomore when Dickerson arrives on campus.
Australian Basketball Player Ready For Move To Cincinnati
Tiarna Harfield of Sacred Heart Senior College High School in Adelaide, Australia, has signed a letter of intent to join the Cincinnati State women’s basketball program this upcoming season.
Harfield, a 5-foot-8 guard, was named the Athlete of the Year for her high school during her final year. She played her junior career for the Forestville Eagles Basketball District Club in South Australia and won multiple state championships during that time.
Harfield, who also plays for the U20 South Australia State squad, prides herself on her defensive abilities.
Surge head coach Sonya Beeler is looking forward to bringing Harfield into her program.
“I know she will give me everything that she has and she will come here in good shape,” Beeler said.
Harfield, who Beeler expects to play the shooting guard position, will arrive at Cincinnati State in August.
“She’s a great outside shooter,” Beeler added. “I’m very excited to have her on our team, because we need someone who can shoot the ball like Tiarna can.”
'Juice' Signs To Join Surge Men's Basketball Team
Jhedayah “Juice” Gibbs, from New York City, recently signed a letter of intent to join the Cincinnati State men’s basketball program.
A 6-foot guard, Gibbs scored more than 1,000 points over his last three high school seasons while playing for Thurgood Marshall Academy in Manhattan.
A talented 3-point shooter, he averaged 18.1 points, 6.9 assists and 3.1 steals per game during his senior season. Gibbs, a second team All-City selection, had 30 points, six rebounds and seven assists in a game during his final high school campaign.
Surge head coach Andre Tate is eager to bring Gibbs to Cincinnati State.
“He’s a dynamic point guard who can really handle the basketball and knows how to run a team,” Tate said. “And he’s left-handed. I like left-handed point guards.”
Gibbs, who will begin taking classes at Cincinnati State and working out with the basketball team in June, is expected to be in the running for the starting point guard spot for the Surge next season.
“He’s good defensively, and he’s long,” Tate added. “He’s going to come in and help us.”
Bostic Signs With Surge Men's Hoops Team
Isiah Bostic, a senior at Turpin High School in Cincinnati, signed a letter of intent on Wednesday to continue his academic and basketball careers at Cincinnati State.
Bostic, a 6-foot-1 guard, averaged 13.1 points and 5.3 rebounds per game during his senior season. One of his season highlights came in a 22-point performance in Turpin’s 85-84 victory over Milford. Bostic also played in the Cincinnati East West All-Star Game earlier this month.
Bostic comes from a family rich in basketball tradition in the city of Cincinnati. His father, 6-foot-5 Curtis Bostic, played for the University of Cincinnati and later was a strength and conditioning coach for the Bearcats.
Cincinnati State head coach Andre Tate, a University of Cincinnati standout in his own right, is excited about bringing in the son of a fellow former Bearcat.
“His dad was really good at UC,” Tate said. “Isiah doesn’t have his dad’s height, but he has his athletic ability.”
Tate added that the younger Bostic, who projects as a shooting guard and possibly a wing player with the Surge, is a smart player who is strong, good on the defensive end and can knock down shots.
In addition to being a basketball standout, Bostic is a track-and-field athlete and an honor-roll student.
Gregory Set To Join Cincinnati State Volleyball Program
Savannah Gregory, a senior at Beavercreek High School in Beavercreek, Ohio, signed a letter of intent to continue her academic and volleyball careers at Cincinnati State.
Gregory, who plays the libero position, completed a successful volleyball career this past fall and is on track to finish a strong high school academic career as well. She received best defense and best hitter recognition, a scholar athlete award and was a District 15 Academic All-Star in 2014.
Gregory reflected on her love for the game of volleyball.
“Some players only play sports because they love being in the game, race, or match, but dislike practice and working to get better,” she said. “I feel that you know you love a sport when you not only love the games, but the practices also and always improving.”
Playing for Magic Volleyball Club, Gregory’s team was ranked eighth in the region in 2014.
The decision to come to Cincinnati State seemed like an easy one for Gregory.
“Once I took the time to see what Cincinnati State is about and what is offered there, I wanted to become a part of not only the volleyball team, but the college community there,” she said.
Surge head coach Kristy Parrill is looking forward to Gregory joining her squad.
“She is a great player on and off the court, academically and athletically, and to add her to our roster will be huge,” Parrill said. “Savannah has a great attitude, is a good communicator and has a strong knowledge of the game.”
Gregory is excited about the opportunity ahead of her.
“I was very glad to see how kind-hearted everyone is and how the coaches and players have a great passion for the sport,” she said. “I look forward to not only going far in this coming season, but to make strong friendships with teammates.”
Cincinnati State Golf Team Surges Into OCCAC Lead
The Cincinnati State golf team opened the season on a high note this past weekend with wins at the Cincinnati State Invitational and OCCAC South event as well as a second-place finish in the OU Chillicothe Invitational Tournament.
On Friday, the season got started in wet, windy and cold Chillicothe, Ohio, where the Surge had two squads participating in the 15-team event. Four-year NAIA college Shawnee State (Portsmouth, Ohio) won the event, shooting a 314 in the tough conditions. The Cincinnati State “Green” squad finished second with a 317, and the Cincinnati State “White” squad finished third with a team score of 322.
For the “Green” team, sophomore John McQueen led with a 78, and for the “White” team, newcomer Branden Ritter set the pace with a 78 as well.
On Saturday, Cincinnati State opened Ohio Community College Athletic Conference play by hosting and winning the Cincinnati State Invitational at Weatherwax Golf Course in Middletown, Ohio. The event was played on the par-72, 6,799-yard Valley View and Highlands courses. The Surge shot a team score of 304, which topped Owens and Columbus State, who both shot 306. Lakeland finished the event with a 319, while non-OCCAC school Cincinnati Christian had a team score of 330.
Sophomore and returning All-American Taylor Suggs (pictured) led Cincinnati State to the victory by winning the individual event in a playoff over Columbus State’s Zach Griffith with an even-par 72. Griffith eagled the 18th hole to take the lead, but Suggs delivered a birdie on the 18th to tie. It took Suggs just one hole to win, as he recorded a four on the 500-yard par-four playoff hole.
Other scores for the Surge were first-year player Alex Ebel shooting a 77, McQueen with a 77, sophomore and returning All-American Jeff Wray shooting a 78, freshman Hayden Burns with a 79 and freshman Corey Flynn shooting an 81.
On Sunday, the Surge once again came home the victors as they won the OCCAC South Golf Tournament. This event also was held at Weatherwax Golf Course, but this time on the par-72, 7,189-yard Woodside and Meadows courses. Cincinnati State shot a team score of 294 to best Owens (299), Columbus State (315), Cincinnati Christian (321) and Lakeland (329).
The Surge again was led by Suggs, who paced the field along with Owens sophomore Harrison Long with a one-under 71. Also counting in the team competition for Cincinnati State were Ebel (72), Burns (75) and Flynn (76).
Playing as individuals for the Surge were first-year player Drew Mayborg, who fired an even-par 72, and second-year player Andres Martinez, who shot a 75.
“I am thrilled at how this team has come out of the gates and showed how we can play,” Surge head coach Scott Webb said. “This team is the deepest team we have ever had at Cincinnati State, and just making it on the team as a player is a feat in itself.
“We lost the NJCAA national championship last year on the last day, and my sophomores still have a bitter taste in their mouth. They have worked extremely hard in the offseason to better their games, and it is showing as their drive is guiding the first-year players to do the same.”
With the two wins, Cincinnati State has taken an early lead in the OCCAC standings over reigning champion Owens. Suggs leads the OCCAC All-Conference First Team by four shots over Owens’s Long, and Ebel sits in third place.
The team returns to action Sunday as Columbus State hosts their invitational at Bent Tree Golf Course starting at 1 p.m.
Surge Student-Athlete Photo Gallery of the Day
March 17: Jada Jackson
March 18: Davion Ashe
March 19: Samia Carter
March 20: Cory Smith
March 23: Kasia Cicha
March 24: Dellan Whatley
March 25: Cierra Moran
March 26: Grover Anderson
March 27: Tressie Lewis
March 30: James Kilpatrick
March 31: Michayla Barga
April 1: Adam McCall
April 2: Jasmine Watson
April 3: Nick Barnes
April 6: Kay Kay Williams
April 7: Quinton Chames
April 8: Jonessa Moore
April 9: Alex Baptiste
April 10: Larry Johnson
Cincinnati State Golf Team Set To Kick Off Spring Season
The Cincinnati State golf team’s season is about to get started with a flurry of matches, as the Surge officially open their spring season with tournaments on Friday, Saturday and Sunday.
After traveling to Chillicothe, Ohio, for the OU Chillicothe Invitational on Friday, the Surge return to the Cincinnati area for matches over the weekend. The Cincinnati State Tournament will take place at Weatherwax Golf Club in Middletown, Ohio, on Saturday, followed by the OCCAC South Tournament at the same location on Sunday. The Cincinnati State Tournament starts at 1 p.m., while the OCCAC South Tournament tees off at 9:30 a.m.
The Cincinnati State golf team comes off a tremendous 2014 spring season. The Surge finished second at the NJCAA Division III National Golf Championship. Taylor Suggs and Jeff Wray, both of whom finished in the top 15 individually at the national tournament and earned All-America honors, return for their sophomore seasons.
Head coach Scott Webb, who is in his 20th season at the helm of the Surge program, is excited for the season.
“We’ve got 12 players on the squad right now, and three of them played in our top five last year, in Taylor Suggs, Jeff Wray and John McQueen,” Webb said.
Suggs, one of the team’s co-captains, was asked to compare this year’s squad to the very successful one from 2014.
“It’s looking just as good if not better,” he said. “We have a lot of strong players.”
Webb shares that optimism for the upcoming season.
“I think we’ve got a really good shot at winning the league,” he said. “With some of the new guys we’ve got coming on – Hayden Burns, Corey Flynn, Branden Ritter, Andres Martinez – we’ve got a loaded team.”
After this trio of matches to start the season, the Cincinnati State golf team next will play in the Columbus State Invitational on April 19.
Moore Earns WBCA All-America Honorable Mention Recognition
After an impressive season, Cincinnati State women’s basketball player Jonessa “Joey” Moore earned her highest honor yet.
Moore received Junior College All-America Team Honorable Mention recognition from the Women’s Basketball Coaches Association, it was announced on Wednesday.
This honor comes after the sophomore center was named to the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference and NJCAA Region XII first teams.
Moore, a Cincinnati native and Mount Healthy High School graduate, played in 14 games this past season, but she made the most of them. She averaged 22.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game while shooting 57.8 percent from the field, leading the Surge in all three categories.
“For Joey to receive this recognition in the limited amount of games she played is quite an accomplishment,” Cincinnati State head coach Sonya Beeler said.
The 6-foot-1 Moore was a formidable presence in the paint, posting game highs of 36 points and 20 rebounds, with the latter coming in her final game in a Surge uniform, a district tournament semifinals loss.
This marks the third straight season and fourth time in the past five seasons that a Cincinnati State women’s basketball player has earned All-America honors. Moore joins Phylicia Johnson (2014), Cameron Vaughn (2013) and Dominique Fischer (2011) in that group.
“This continues the tradition at Cincinnati State of bringing in top-notch student-athletes and developing them and helping them get better,” Beeler said.
Moore has verbally committed to continue her academic and basketball careers at Shawnee State University in Portsmouth, Ohio.
Season a Success for Cincinnati State Men's Basketball Team
While the 2014-15 Cincinnati State men’s basketball season has to be deemed a success, the ultimate goal remained just out of reach.
The Surge produced a 25-7 record, had winning streaks of eight, six and five games and was ranked in the top 15 of the NJCAA Division II poll all season.
However, a 107-102 overtime loss to Owens Community College in the final regular-season game prevented Cincinnati State from a second straight conference championship and a 75-68 setback to Owens in the semifinals of the district tournament kept the Surge from back-to-back national tournament appearances.
Cincinnati State burst out of the gates, claiming six straight victories to start the season. The Surge ended the calendar year with a 12-2 mark, but 2015 brought changes to the roster and increased roles for some freshmen players.
Cincinnati State went 5-3 to start the month of January before the team gelled and hit its stride. The Surge reeled off eight straight wins heading into the regular-season finale.
“That eight-game stretch, we came together as a team and we got on a roll,” Cincinnati State head coach Andre Tate said.
A leading cause for the run of success was the play of Grover Anderson. The freshman guard from Crest Hill, Illinois, averaged 20.9 points per game during the eight games.
“Grover Anderson took off in the second half of the season to become a first-team all-conference player,” Tate said.
Another key member of the Surge was James Kilpatrick. Tate remarked late in the season that he didn’t know where his team would be without the sophomore forward from Memphis, appreciating the effort from Kilpatrick.
“His consistency, day-in, day-out, as far as hustle, rebounding and points when we needed it was great,” the head coach added.
Anderson paced the Surge with 12.2 points per game, and Kilpatrick led the team with 7.5 rebounds a contest. Freshmen guards Cory Smith (10.6) and Davion Ashe (10.1) rounded out the players who averaged double figures in scoring.
Anderson was named to the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference first team, while Kilpatrick was named to the second team and Ashe received honorable mention recognition.
“I thought it was a very good season,” Tate said. “Any time you win 25 games, it has to be considered a good season.”
Looking forward, Tate believes next season’s team will be back where he wants the program to be. Cincinnati State, which currently has five verbal commitments from high school seniors, will return approximately a half dozen players from this squad.
Women's Basketball Team Worked Through Adversity for Productive Season
The Cincinnati State women’s basketball team worked its way through a seemingly ever-changing roster en route to a productive 2014-15 season.
Despite a lineup hampered by the loss of several players due to injuries and other factors, the Surge finished 19-12 and reached the semifinals of the district tournament.
“Considering the adversity and the amount of players that we lost throughout the season, I think we outperformed anybody’s expectations,” Cincinnati State head coach Sonya Beeler said.
The high point of the season came at the Illinois Central College Tournament in Peoria near the end of December. The Surge opened the tournament with a 66-59 victory over North Iowa Area Community College, at the time the No. 2 ranked team in the NJCAA Division II poll. Cincinnati State then lost by four to Sauk Valley, an NJCAA Division I team that finished the season 26-6. The Surge wrapped up the tourney with a 59-58 overtime win over South Suburban, a team they lost to just 11 days prior and one that went on to qualify for the national tournament.
“We were clicking on all cylinders at that tournament,” Beeler said. “We played very well.”
Roster dynamics again changed in January, but a bright spot was the introduction of Jonessa Moore. The sophomore forward played in 14 games during the second half of the season and put up tremendous numbers. Moore averaged 22.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per contest and was named to the Ohio Community College Athletic Conference first team.
Moore, who earned OCCAC player of the week honors three times, had season highs of 36 points and 20 rebounds.
However, Cincinnati State had as few as six healthy players on any given day.
“It was a struggle at times to have enough players to practice, and we barrowed men’s basketball players all the time, but we made it through,” Beeler said.
The lack of roster depth meant increased practice and playing time and development for the players on floor.
“I can’t pick just one person who improved, because there was such improvement by everybody all season long,” Beeler said.
In addition to Moore being named to the OCCAC first team, freshmen guards Samia Carter and Jada Jackson earned second-team honors and sophomore wing Kasia Cicha received honorable mention recognition.
Moore has verbally committed to Shawnee State University, an NAIA Division I program, while Cicha has garnered interest from some schools.
Meanwhile, Beeler and her staff are looking forward to getting prospects on campus and rounding out the next recruiting class.
Men's Soccer Team Tryout Information
2015 Spring Tryout
Date: Sunday, March 15
Time: 3-5 p.m.
Site: Roger Bacon High School Stadium
35 E. Mitchell Ave., Cincinnati, Ohio 45217
Any participant attending the tryout is required to bring the following completed and signed forms:
· NJCAA Physical Form or a sports physical form completed within the last 12 months before the tryout date
· Sports Tryout Participation Form
· Emergency Contact Form
For more information, contact head coach Mike Combs.
Women's Soccer Players Sign With Ohio Dominican
Deandre Criddell, a midfielder from Huber Heights, Ohio, and Jess Wolski, a midfielder from Oregonia, Ohio, signed letters of commitment to the NCAA Division II school in Columbus.
Criddell, who scored seven goals in two seasons with the Surge and was named to the NJCAA Region XII All-Tournament team as a freshman and to the Region XII second team as a sophomore, is excited about her next step.
“I really couldn’t picture my life without soccer in it, so it is great to have this opportunity,” Criddell said.
Wolski, who won a state championship during her senior year at Bishop Fenwick High School, continued her success at Cincinnati State. She was a first-team Region XII selection in her sophomore season and a second-team Region XII pick her freshman year. Wolski scored 11 goals in two seasons with the Surge.
The Ohio Dominican women’s soccer team, led by head coach Jonathan Meade, is coming off its first Great Lakes Intercollegiate Athletic Conference championship and NCAA tournament appearance.
The Panthers finished the 2014 season with a 15-5-1 record overall and a 10-1-1 mark in the GLIAC. Since 2010, Ohio Dominican has a .658 winning percentage.
Both student-athletes are grateful for the opportunities Cincinnati State provided.
“It was a great step for me,” Wolski said. “I got to hone my skills and develop my play while I was here.”
Criddell echoed that sentiment.
“I liked being here at C-State because it helped me with my soccer fundamentals and it helped me academically,” she added.
Athletic Director to Serve on NJCAA Redesign Committee
Cincinnati State Athletic Director Tom Hathaway has been appointed to serve on the National Junior College Athletic Association’s Ad-Hoc Committee on Organizational Redesign. This 13-person committee will evaluate the results of a recent membership-wide survey, evaluate the current NJCAA structure with a comparison to other college athletic governing bodies and ultimately propose a new model for NJCAA governance structure.
The Committee on Organization Redesign with work collaboratively with the Strategic Planning and the Roles and Responsibilities ad-hoc committees. The goal is to complete a proposal by Dec. 1, 2015.
To evaluate its standing with its membership, the NJCAA began an extensive review of the association last Fall, commissioning a survey to obtain input from athletic administrators, institutional presidents and conference commissioners. The survey results were reviewed at a mid-January retreat involving 25 members of diverse backgrounds and the committees were formed in February.
The committee has begun holding virtual meetings and will meet face-to-face at least twice between now and mid-July.
“We have a great deal of work to complete in the next couple of months to be in a position to finish our proposal by December,” Tom said.
Surge Men's Basketball Team Lets One Slip Away in District Tournament
Circleville, Ohio -- The Cincinnati State men’s basketball team allowed Owens Community College to finish on a 16-4 run as the Surge fell to the Express, 75-68, in the semifinals of the NJCAA Division II District 11 tournament.
Leading, 64-59, with 3:46 remaining, Cincinnati State struggled to rebound and connect from the free-throw line, giving Owens the opportunity to come back. It marked the second time in a week that the Express got the best of the Surge.
Owens (25-6) out-rebounded Cincinnati State by 15, blocked eight more shots and held the Surge to 33.8 percent shooting from the field.
Sophomores James Kilpatrick (pictured), Larry Johnson, Adam McCall and Nick Barnes played their last game for Cincinnati State, which finished the season with a 25-7 record. Barnes led the Surge with 16 points, while Kilpatrick had 10 points and nine rebounds.
Freshman guard Grover Anderson went 10-for-10 from the free-throw line en route to 12 points, and freshman forward Alex Baptiste added nine points and six boards.
Darren Groves led the way for Owens with 19 points and 13 rebounds.
For the season, Anderson led Cincinnati State with 12.2 points per game, while Kilpatrick paced the team with 7.5 rebounds a contest.
Cincinnati State Women's Hoops Team Unable to Overcome Columbus State
Circleville, Ohio -- Jonessa Moore (pictured) turned in another outstanding performance, but it wasn’t enough as the Cincinnati State women’s basketball team lost to Columbus State, 72-63, on Friday afternoon in the NJCAA Division II District I Tournament semifinals.
The sophomore center scored 23 points and grabbed a career-high 20 rebounds in her last game in a Surge uniform. It also marked the final Cincinnati State contest for Kasia Cicha, who had nine points, and Tressie Lewis, who contributed four points and six rebounds.
After heading to the half tied at 33, the Surge allowed the Cougars to steadily build an advantage they could never overcome in the second half. Cincinnati State struggled from the field, shooting just 28.6 percent for the game. That included the Surge going 2-for-22 (9.1 percent) from 3-point range.
Bridget Geiger led Columbus State with 15 points, while Paige Lewis added 13. No Cincinnati State player other than Moore reached double figures. Jada Jackson had nine points, and Michayla Barga scored eight.
The Surge finished the 2014-15 season with a 19-12 record. Moore led Cincinnati State with 22.1 points and 11.6 rebounds per game.
Surge Men's Basketball Team Advances to District Tournament Semifinals
After two nail-biting wins against Columbus State Community College this season, the Cincinnati State men’s basketball got out in front and didn’t let up en route to a 77-62 victory over the visiting Cougars in an NJCAA Division II District 11 tournament quarterfinal on Tuesday night.
The Surge used balanced offense and high-pressure defense to secure a spot in the tournament semifinals. Cincinnati State will face Owens Community College at Ohio Christian University in Circleville, Ohio, on Friday at 8 p.m.
Six players scored between nine and 13 points as the Surge won their ninth game in the past 10. Freshmen guards Grover Anderson and Cory Smith led the way with 13 points each, while sophomore forward Larry Johnson added 11. James Kilpatrick posted 10 points, seven rebounds and a game-high four assists, and Alex Baptiste (pictured) had nine points and a team-best eight boards.
“We talked about moving the ball, and when you do that, everyone has a chance to score,” Cincinnati State head coach Andre Tate said.
The Surge locked down defensively, holding Columbus State leading scorer Matthew Rhodes to zero field goals and three points, and Tate noticed a difference in his team’s third game against the Cougars.
“I thought we did a better job of guarding and running them off the 3-point line,” he said.
With a matchup with Owens on the horizon, Cincinnati State is eager for the opportunity.
“We’re looking forward to playing Owens,” Tate said. “They are a very good team and very well coached. As long as we keep them off the glass, we will put ourselves in a position to win.”
Cincinnati State Women's Hoops Team Rolls into District Tournament Semifinals
The Cincinnati State women’s basketball team cruised past visiting Cuyahoga Community College, 100-59, in an NJCAA Division II District I Tournament quarterfinal game on Tuesday.
With the victory, the Surge advance to face Columbus State in the tournament semifinals at Ohio Christian University in Circleville, Ohio, on Friday at 3 p.m.
Cincinnati State used a balance attack en route to its third win over Cuyahoga this season. Jonessa Moore led the Surge with 26 points and 14 rebounds, while Michayla Barga (pictured) came off the bench to score 20 points and grab seven rebounds.
“Michayla Barga put together a good game defensively and offensively, and she didn’t force it,” Cincinnati State head coach Sonya Beeler said.
Jada Jackson added 15 points and eight boards, and Cierra Moran rounded out the double-figure scorers with 14.
Surge freshman Samia Carter just missed a triple-double, with eight points, 10 assists and 11 steals.
“Any time your point guard has 11 steals and 10 assists, that’s always a good night,” Beeler said.
Cincinnati State forced 33 turnovers and scored 48 points off of them on Tuesday, and Beeler was impressed with the Surge’s play in transition.
“When we start to run, there are not too many teams that can keep up with us,” the head coach said.
Surge Hoops Teams Nearing District Tournament Play
The Cincinnati State women’s basketball team will host a district tournament game on Tuesday, while the result of Saturday’s game will determine if the men’s team will do so as well.
The Surge women’s team will face Cuyahoga Community College on campus on Tuesday at 5:30 p.m. If the men’s team wins at Owens on Saturday, it will claim the No. 1 seed and advance to the district tournament semifinals in Circleville, Ohio, on Friday. A loss in the regular-season finale means the Surge will be the No. 3 seed and host Columbus State on Tuesday at 7:30 p.m.
Cincinnati State beat Columbus State in both matchups this season, but the wins came by a total of four points. The Surge pulled out an 85-84 overtime victory at home in late January before an 84-81 decision on the road last week.
While the Cincinnati State women’s team has one regular-season game remaining, a contest at conference-leader Owens on Saturday, it is locked into the No. 3 seed in the district tournament. Cuyahoga is the No. 6 seed.
The Surge (18-10, 9-4 OCCAC) topped Cuyahoga (7-15, 4-9 OCCAC) twice this season. After an 84-36 victory at home in mid January, the Surge claimed a 90-39 win on the road a month later.
With a victory Saturday, the men’s team will face the winner of the Cuyahoga-Sinclair game on Friday at 6 p.m. on the campus of Ohio Christian University.
If the women’s team tops Cuyahoga on Tuesday, it will take on Columbus State, the No. 2 seed, at 3 p.m. on Friday at Ohio Christian. Cincinnati State dropped both games to Columbus State this season, falling 64-63 as the host and 83-73 as the visitor.
2013-2014 Year in Review
The 2013-14 athletics year at Cincinnati State proved to be a season which boasted success in competition and in the classroom.
Four of Cincinnati State’s teams—men’s soccer, women’s basketball, men’s basketball, and men's golf—advanced to the NJCAA national championships of their respective post-season tournaments. Women’s soccer, which advanced to the regional final, narrowly missed becoming a fifth member of that elite group.
Cincinnati State is one of only eleven NJCAA colleges to send teams to four national championships.
Surge teams combined to capture two Ohio Community College Athletic Conference championships (men’s basketball, men’s soccer) and four district or regional titles. The teams combined for a record of 90-49-2, a .645 winning percentage.
Three Cincinnati State student-athletes were selected as OCCAC most outstanding performers in their sports and a total of 20 received all-conference honors. The Surge also had 17 receive all-region honors and had seven NJCAA All-Americans—Liam Doyle (men’s soccer), Julie Martin (women’s soccer), Winston Grays (men’s basketball), Phylicia Johnson (women’s basketball), Matt Nickoson (golf), Taylor Suggs (golf) and Jeff Wray (golf).
Doyle also earned Academic All-American honors as did Danielle Reifenberger (soccer), Austin Klueh (soccer), Tucker Beerman (soccer) and Ricky Dumont (golf).
Academically, 39 Cincinnati State student-athletes—43 percent—were named Surge Scholar Athletes for the Fall Semester, having grade point averages of 3.0 or better while passing at least 12 semester hours. Seventeen had GPAs of 3.5 or better, qualifying for the college’s Dean’s List, and three posted perfect 4.0s.
22 of the program’s 27 sophomore student-athletes have graduated after the Spring or will graduate at the conclusion of the Summer semester. 12 have already accepted offers to play at the NCAA Div. I level next season. 7 will play Div. II and others will make their decisions on where to play later on this summer.
Men's soccer finished the season with an 18-2-2 record while claiming the OCCAC & Region XII titles.
The women's basketball team upset 5th ranked Owens for their 3rd district title in 4 seasons.
Andre Tate's Surge went on to win the district title and earned a 6th place finish at the NJCAA national tournament.
The golf team captured the Region XII title and finished as NJCAA National Runners-Up.
Cincinnati State's Tom Hathaway named OCCAC Athletic Director of the Year
Cincinnati State's Tom Hathaway has been named the 2013-14 Ohio Community College Athletic Conference (OCCAC) Athletic Director of the Year.
Hathaway, in his second year at Cincinnati State, led the Surge athletic program to a very successful year. The men's soccer team, the men's and women's basketball teams, and the men's golf team all won district championships and advanced to the national tournament, while the department introduced women's volleyball as a sport. The women's soccer team also came within one win of a district championship, and the men's soccer and men's basketball teams each captured conference championships.
Academically, Cincinnati State had six student-athletes receive academic honors from the NJCAA, the men's golf team was named an NJCAA All-Academic Team, and 20 student-athletes were named to the All-OCCAC Academic Team.
Hathaway has compiled a wide array of experience during his three-plus decades in athletic administration. Much of that was accumulated during his 27 years as assistant athletic director at the University of Cincinnati where he was responsible for sports communications and served in a variety of administrative roles.
After UC, Hathaway has served as athletic director at Miamisburg High School before taking over at Cincinnati State in May of 2012. While at Miamisburg, he supervised more than $1.2 million in improvement projects to the school’s athletic facilities and developed a long-range plan for the development of sports programs and facilities. He also launched outreach efforts with area youth sports organizations and worked on a wellness coalition involving the school, the city of Miamisburg, township officials and employees of a nearby hospital.
“Tom not only has the skills to manage Cincinnati State’s sports programs, he also gets them the attention they deserve,” said Cincinnati State President O’dell M. Owens.
Cincinnati State competes in men’s and women’s basketball, men’s and women’s soccer, women's volleyball and golf. Over the past three years the golf team, the men’s soccer team, and the men’s and women’s basketball teams have competed in National Junior College Athletic Association national championships.
Hathaway, a graduate of the College of Wooster, launched his career as assistant commissioner of the small-college Ohio Athletic Conference.
He was the 2009 recipient of the Ohio Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (OIAAA) Horizon Award and was recognized for 35 years of service in athletic administration by the National Interscholastic Athletic Administrators Association (NIAAA).He is the author of seven publications and two highlights videos that have received national awards. He also co-authored a book on the history of UC basketball.
Cincinnati SportsMedicine partners with Cincinnati State
Cincinnati State and Cincinnati SportsMedicine and Orthopaedic Center have agreed to a partnership which will not only provide athletic training services for the Surge athletic teams but will benefit student and staff wellness.
Under the arrangement, Cincinnati State student-athletes will have the medical services of Cincinnati SportsMedicine’s nationally-known orthopaedic specialists along with its highly-qualified physical therapy resources for the immediate treatment and recovery from athletic injuries.
Ryan Downing is the certified athletic trainer for the school. He will be covering all home events throughout the year and providing afternoon visits in the gymnasium athletic training room for any athlete, non-athlete, or faculty member needing his services. He can be reached at 513-515-3443 or firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions.
Dr. Frank R. Noyes, chairman and medical director of CSMOC and an internationally recognized authority on the diagnosis and treatment of complex knee problems, will serve as the chief orthopaedic specialist for Cincinnati State athletics. “We’re excited to be partnering with Cincinnati State during the upcoming school year,” commented Dr. Noyes. “Our goal is to provide the best orthopaedic & sports medicine care to the student body and faculty. Our team of physicians, physical therapists, and athletic trainers are well respected in their professions and our team is here for you.”
Cincinnati Sports Medicine will make its services available to Cincinnati State’s students, faculty and staff. Members of the Cincinnati State community can have their athletic-related injuries assessed on campus, with timely referrals to the Cincinnati SportsMedicine physicians when warranted.
“Cincinnati SportsMedicine has an outstanding reputation for its advancements in the treatment and prevention of athletic injuries,” stated Cincinnati State athletic director Tom Hathaway. “We are pleased to have their outstanding sports medicine services, and the support Dr. Noyes and their highly-regarded staff of physicians, for our student-athletes.”
To make an appointment with Cincinnati SportsMedicine, call 513-347-9999.
Theresa Check inducted into Cincinnati State Athletic Hall of Fame
Theresa Check, former athletic director and women’s basketball coach at Cincinnati State, has been inducted into the school’s Athletic Hall of Fame. The recognition took place at the annual athletic awards banquet on April 11.
Check compiled a 64-23 record in three seasons as head coach at Cincinnati State, directing the Surge to a pair of Ohio Community College Athletic Conference championships and an appearance in the National Junior College Athletic Association national tournament in 2011. She relinquished her coaching responsibilities following the 2010-11 season, but Cincinnati State Athletic Director said her efforts helped pave the way for the team’s 2012 national tournament appearance. (The Cincinnati State women finished fourth in that event.)
During Check’s tenure as Cincinnati State’s athletic director, teams from the college made five NJCAA national tournament appearances in men’s basketball, women’s basketball, men’s soccer and men’s golf.
Check retired as athletic director in 2012, but continues to teach at Cincinnati State as an adjunct.
Prior to joining Cincinnati State, Check established herself as one of the top women’s basketball coaches in Ohio. Her teams compiled more than 400 victories in 17 seasons as head women’s basketball coach at Central State, earning Converse/NAIA Coach of the Year honors in 1993. She also served as athletic director there for 11 years. Under her leadership, football was reinstated and tennis, volleyball, baseball, softball and bowling were added.
Check is a member of the NAIA Hall of Fame and the Central State Hall of Fame.
Check is the third person to be enshrined in the Cincinnati State Athletic Hall of Fame. She joins John Hurley, former athletic director and men’s basketball coach, and Omar Cummings, an All-American soccer player who is now playing at the professional level.
Cincinnati State athletics continue to build a winning tradition
Cincinnati State has proven to be one of the most successful junior college programs in the nation. Women's soccer finished 2010 ranked 13th nationally among all junior colleges and advanced to the NJCAA Regional Final in 2013. Volleyball, which was relaunched in 2013, is a program on the rise led by Head Coach Kristy Parrill. The most crowning achievements in recent years have been earned by the men's basketball team, the men's soccer team, women's basketball team and the men's golf team as each program has made multiple trips to the NJCAA National Tournament and made school history with record breaking results as shown below:
2010 NJCAA National Runners - Up, 2010 OCCAC Champions, 2010 Region XII District 11 Champions, Overall Record: 27-9, Head Coach: Andre Tate
2014 NJCAA National Tournament - 6th Place, 2014 Co-OCCAC Champions, 2014 Region XII District 11 Champions, Ranked No. 1 in Final Regular Season Poll, Overall Record: 29-5, Head Coach: Andre Tate
2011 NJCAA National Tournament Appearance, 2011 Region XII Champions, #7 National Ranking, Overall Record: 24-11, Head Coach: Theresa Check,
2012 NJCAA National Tournament Appearance, 2012 Region XII District I Champions, 2012 OCCAC Champions, Overall Record: 32-3
2014 District I Champions, 2014 NJCAA National Tournament Appearance, Overall Record: 21-12, Head Coach: Sonya Beeler
2010, 2011 & 2014 NJCAA National Tournament Qualifier, 2010,2011 & 2014 Region XII Champions, 2014 NJCAA Runners-Up, Head Coach: Scott Webb
2010 NJCAA National Runners Up, 2010 District Champions, 2010 Region XII Champions, 2010 OCCAC Champions, #2 National Ranking, Overall Record: 22-3-0, Head Coach: Mike Combs
2012 NJCAA National Tournament Appearance, 2012 District Champions; 2012 Region XII Champions, 2012 Co- OCCAC Champions, #7 National Ranking, Overall Record: 18-6-1, Head Coach: Mike Combs
2013 NJCAA National Tournament Appearance, 2013 Region XII Champions, 2013 OCCAC Champions, #6 National Ranking, Overall Record: 18-2-2, Head Coach: Mike Combs
Support the Surge!
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For the Surge basketball, soccer, volleyball and golf schedules, stats, and coach contact information, click here.
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Athletic Hall of Fame
The Cincinnati State Surge Athletic Hall of Fame recognizes and celebrates the outstanding athletic contributions of Cincinnati State coaches, graduates, and administratiors. Click here to download a nomination form.