In a vote that ended Aug. 27, Cincinnati.com readers selected the 2021-2022 school year’s first winners for the Cincinnati Enquirer Athlete of the Week, presented by Mercy Health, from high school sports action through Aug. 22.
Winners will receive a certificate sent through the school’s athletic department. The first round will come out near the end of September.
Please remember to send a picture of winning athletes with their certificates for the photo gallery to [email protected].
Ohio football team: Taylor – Taylor scored 31-unanswered points to top Greenon 38-17 in coach David Dransman’s debut with the Jackets.
Northern Kentucky football team: Highlands – Highlands caused four turnovers and made crucial defensive stops to beat defending 5A state champions Bowling Green 21-18 on Saturday.
Boys fall team: Highlands soccer – Highlands edged St. Henry 2-1 before tying Louisville Collegiate 2-2 in the Northern Kentucky Soccer Showcase.
Girls fall team: Oak Hills soccer – Oak Hills opened the year with a 4-0 win over Ross, helped by a 10-save shutout from goalie Carly Shiplett.
Boys cross country runner: Parker Losure, Bishop Brossart – He finished second in the Trimble County meet Aug. 21 to lead the Mustangs to the team title.
Girls cross country runner: Madison Conatser, Loveland – Running the 5K in 19:27.8, she was the highest-placing runner (11th) for the first-place Loveland girls cross country team at the OHSAA Early Season High School Invitational.
Ohio football player, big school: Michael Cornett, Little Miami – The senior outside linebacker, returning from an ACL injury after missing his entire junior season, had nine tackles and a sack, helping Little Miami hold Goshen to three points Aug. 20.
Ohio football player, small school: Jake Mott, Clermont Northeastern – The junior running back had 100 yards on nine attempts, including a long of 23, with one touchdown. He also played some quarterback, 3-for-6 passing for 84 yards and one interception.
Northern Kentucky/Indiana football player: Sam Robinson, Highlands – The senior had two interceptions, including a pick-six to give Highlands a 21-3 lead, and a late pick to clinch the game, as Highlands beat reining 5A state champion Bowling Green on the road.
Boys golfer: Jack Ward, Harrison – The sophomore leads the Southwest Ohio League for the 9-0 Wildcats with a 37.30 average over 108 holes.
Girls golfer: Debra Brogan, Oak Hills – She was the medalist at Circling Hills Golf Course in a 178-220 win over Ross Aug. 16.
Ohio boys soccer player: Luke Banschbach, Oak Hills – The junior, who is a co-leader on the Greater Miami Conference leader-board for goals scored, scored one and assisted on two more in the 3-3 tie with Ross Aug. 19.
Northern Kentucky/Indiana boys soccer player: Dana Lewis, South Dearborn – The junior scored his third hat track in as many games to lead the Knights to 5-4 win over conference foe Rushville in overtime Aug. 21. He scored the winning goal on a penalty kick in extra time after drawing a foul in the 18.
Ohio girls soccer player: Presley Pennekamp, Oak Hills – The freshman forward scored a goal and assisted on two others in the 4-0 win over Ross Aug. 19.
Northern Kentucky/Indiana girls soccer player: Emma Landrum, Walton-Verona – The sophomore had three goals in a 5-0 win over Collins Aug. 21 that improved the Bearcats record to 5-0, and she is tied for the team lead with seven goals.
Girls tennis player, singles: Caroline Boyle, Badin – The freshman got a first-singles win over her McNicholas opponent Aug. 19, helping Badin to a 5-0 team win.
Girls tennis player, doubles team: Adalyn Middick and Danica Kollmorgen, Goshen – The girls are 2-0 on the season in first doubles play to help Goshen start the season 5-0 as a team and lead the SBAAC American conference.
Ohio volleyball player: Madison Hornsby, Goshen – The senior leads the Southern Buckeye Athletic and Academic Conference with 23 kills, helping the Warriors beat Seven Hills and Reading last week.
Northern Kentucky/Indiana volleyball player: Devin Readnour, Boone County – She had 20 assists and 21 digs in the three-set win over Newport Central Catholic Aug. 16.
Boys water polo: Levi Shooner, St. Xavier – The senior captain has led St. Xavier to a 4-1 record to start the season. In the five games played, hei has been one of the most disruptive players in the pool as he has accumulated 16 goals, 13 steals, and 14 exclusions drawn, all while adding in four assists. As a center, he has forced the opposing teams to double and triple-team him, none of which has slowed him down. He has also done this against excellent competition, as the Bombers have played two different defending state champions (Michigan and Illinois).
Girls water polo: Rachell Hemmila, Mavericks – The freshman goalie led the Mavericks with shutouts against Mason and Walnut Hills. She had two games with 14 blocks. Against last year’s state champion Upper Arlington, she led the defense with 14 blocks, allowing only two goals her. She scored one and assisted two others. She played a crucial role in helping to secure not only five wins at the Upper Arlington invite but also played the field, where she scored five goals. For the week, she had 43 blocks, an 83% blocking percentage, allowed only nine goals and had six goals, four steals and three assists.