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Highland Scots High School Athletics


Highland Working on Finding Answers

Highland was an outstanding football team a year ago that shared the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference title and made the playoffs in division four.

This year they are kind of taking things one day at a time.

Coach Chad Carpenter says so far, so good. “I think the kids have been driven. We had a very good off season. Two a days have been going well. It is one of those things that we just got our first scrimmage under our belt and we have two more left. Just trying to work through the process this early,” he said.

They scrimmaged Watkins Memorial on Tuesday and will play Galion on Saturday. Carpenter says scrimmages are good tools. “You try to prepare in practice for game situations, but you can’t simulate it as well as you can in a scrimmage. It is good for our kids to see that speed and how hard they are going to have to play for an extended period of time. They are very beneficial,” he said.

The preseason can be long and Carpenter says you have to keep a focus. He says they try and work on something every day. “I think as long as they maintain a focus. Constantly we trying to get certain things accomplished when we walk on the field. We just tell the kids what they are, so they have a focus for the day instead of we just wanting to get better and win some games this year. It is just one of those things that is a lot of repetition, especially with they way we do things at Highland,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “We are very repetition oriented. We do things a certain way. The same thing over and over and over again. These kids have bought into that system and they know what to expect. It can be trying sometimes.”

Carpenter says they really aren’t sure what kind of team they can be quite yet. He says they are a work in progress. “Our kids are still trying to get better. It is still a long way away from getting geared up. There are injuries that take place and some you get back, and some you don’t. You are still kind of moving guys around a little bit to see what is the best fit. It is exciting though this time of year. It is fun for us coaches as well trying to find pieces to the puzzle and what will work best for our needs,” said Carpenter.

Published 8/09/18

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Highland Earns Share of “KMAC” Title

Highland secured a share of the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference baseball title with a (12-1) win over Mt. Gilead on Monday evening,

They share the title with Fredericktown. The two teams split their two regular season meetings this year.

Coach Donnie Kline says winning a title is always special. “We try to stress that to the boys to kind of soak it in for a night. Of course, the sectional tournament starts (Tuesday,) so we will have that as the next goal. All of the winter workouts, all of the weightlifting, all of the running, all of the cage work. That is always the first goal, so to check off that first box is really sweet and again I hope the boys can really let it soak in and they can enjoy it for a night or two,” Kline.

Mack Anglin has four RBI on Monday. Lane Ballard had three hits and Anglin, Sam Lopiccolo and Tate Tobin all has two. Kline says they have a lot of depth. “We have been a little more blessed with a deeper roster. We tell the guys it is almost like having a collegiate approach. We have 12, 13 guys that are probably starters on most teams. It is kind of a hot hand approach. We have been able to maximize that so far and hope to keep doing that,” he said.

Kyle Munday got the win for Scots, his third of the season.

Highland (14-8) plays host to Columbus Beechcroft in a first round tournament game in division two on Tuesday. Kline says they need the same approach they have had all season. “It is a lot of fun. We tell the boys all of the time it is just a tournament, that’s all it is. We have the brackets up and so we cab see where we are headed here. We host Beechcroft (Tuesday.) If we are successful in that game we will go to Licking Valley, a really tough “LCL” opponent,” he told Swankonspirts.com on Monday night, “It is one game at a time. If your pitchers are on and you have strong defense up the middle and you are able to play a little small ball offensively and defensively and hopefully the bats get hot and we get the right bounce and we are able to play for a little bit.”

Published 5/08/18

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Highland Back into a Tie for First Place

Highland pounded Cardington (10-2) on Wednesday and put itself in good position in the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference standings.

They share first place with East Knox and Fredericktown. The Bulldogs beat the Freddies (6-3) on Wednesday and those two teams play again on Friday at East Knox. Highland still must play Mt. Gilead.

Highland (12-6,11-2) has won all it games this week and coach Donnie Kline says they are starting to play pretty well. “It is nice to have good weather and get the boys into a rhythm. It seems that we play every night, which isn’t a bad thing. The weather has allowed us to get a lot of games in, a lot of action in. It has been an exciting two weeks that’s for sure,” he said.

Highland had 11 hits on Wednesday. Tate Tobin had three of them and Mack Anglin had three RBI.

Kline believes they have a deep lineup. “We have a lot of guys put the time and the work in. As the temperatures go up so does the hitting. I am real proud of the boy’s approach right now, they are really dialed in,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “We have a pretty deep roster, which is kind of rare. We have a lot of guys that are sort of comping at the bit. They are getting some plate appearances and it is a lot fun.”

You rarely find three teams tied for the lead with one game to play in any league, but that is the case with the “KMAC” this year. Kline says this is what sports in about. “It has been an exciting race this year. It has been a very competitive league. It has been a lot of fun. East Knox and Fredericktown will play on Friday and we have one game to finish up with Mt. Gilead. It is near the end here, but it is neck, neck, neck and it is going all of the way to the end,” he said.

Published 5/03/18

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Highland Creates Logjam at the Top of “KMAC”

Highland handed East Knox its first loss of the season Monday (6-4) and created a three way tie for first place in the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference with the Bulldogs and Fredericktown.

The Freddies, who spilt with the Scots two weeks ago, hammered Cardington (14-1) on Monday.

East Knox (15-1,7-1), #1 in the Swankonsports.com baseball coaches poll n the small school division, was unbeaten going into Monday. Highland coach Donnie Kline says it was a tremendous win for them. “To go into East Knox and knock off an undefeated team is always tough. They are a well coached team. They have a lot of great athletes and they play the game the right way. It was a tough game, it really was. I was proud our guys were able to hang in there and we were able to pull out the win,” he said.

Trailing 2-1 going to the top of the fifth, the Scots put five runs on the board and Kline says that was key. He says it changed the momentum of the game. “One of our team goals is to try and win that big inning each game. It started off with a sophomore Liam Garrett getting a base hit up the middle, a double by Sam Lopiccolo, a senior, a triple by Tate Tobin. It really kind of exploded like that,” he told Swankonsports.com after the win, “I think what it does is it puts a lot of pressure on the other side. We were down 2-1 and then we are up 6-2. The pitcher was throwing pretty good and the defense was playing pretty well. It just kind of changed the momentum.”

Mack Anglin went six innings to get the win on Monday for the Scots. He allowed five hits and stuck out 14. Kyle Munday got the save by pitching the seventh.

Highland (7-4,6-1) plays at home against East Knox on Tuesday, weather permitting. Kline says they will have to do it all over again. “It is a unique challenge. I know a lot of conferences have done this is the past. It is a lot of fun, it really is. It is kind of like at the collegiate or professional level where you are trying to win a series. From a scouting standpoint, from the data we used for the games the boys get to use the same scouting reports, the same players, for back to back nights,” said Kline.

Published 4/24/18

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Highland Expects to be in “KMAC” Race

Highland has shown its muscle already and the Scots feel they are going to be in the mix in the Knox Morrow Athletic Association.

They have played one game so far and that was a (10-0) win in six innings over Danville, in a league game, on Monday.

Coach Donnie Kline says that was a good performance, but they have to keep pressing forward. “It is a good baseball team. The boys prepared well. We respect Danville, they have a lot of good athletes, a division four powerhouse. Our backbone of success toward the end of last year and coming into this year is pitching and defense. The boys came out and played a good baseball game, but I told them when we play Danville again if they don’t come sharp we could be on the other end of that type of score,” said Kline.

Mack Anglin has six strikeouts in three innings. Matty Reid had two hits for the Scots on Monday.

Now, there have been two days without games and Kline says you have to have self discipline and one of the jobs coaches have is to keep the players ready to go. “That is part of the cost of doing business in Central Ohio is Mother Nature holds all of the cards here. It makes for a challenge to try and keep pitchers fresh and keep the hitters fresh,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “The other side of that is next week we have six games in six days trying to make games up. Just trying to schedule and keep guys fresh and keep guys sharp is the biggest thing and keeping the competitive edge going until they get a chance to play. It is tough, but one of the challenges of high school coaching.”

Can the Scots win the “KMAC” this year? Kline says that is certainly a goal the team has this season. “The boys have high expectations. They have worked very hard. Last year, we were a very young team, two to three guys that had experience. This year is the fruition of last year’s teaching. The boys have more experience and they are definitely hoping to be competitive, If we can stay healthy and get some good bounces that is the expectations of our club this year,” he said.

Published 3/29/18

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Point of Attack Big For Highland

Highland travels St. Mary’s Memorial for a first round playoff game in division four on Friday night.

The Scots (8-2) lost last week to Northmor (34-12.) It was just their second loss of the season and coach Chad Carpenter says his kids have reacted well. He says it has been a good week of practice. “Practice has went really well this week. I think our kids got refocused there on Saturday. We came in on Monday and just approached this week like any other week. We gave them the scouting reports and talked about expectations,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “What to expect from the playoffs and just get them as much information as we could this week. (Wednesday) night was really cold, windy and raining with some snow in there and we go out and have a great practice. I never heard one kid complain about the weather. That’s what it’s all about just the kids having fun still and still working hard. We are taking the next step.”

Highland is making its first playoff appearance since 2010 and Carpenter says they know how special it is to still be playing on week 11. “We look at it as very special thing. One of our goals going into the season was to get to the playoffs and once we are here now we get to refocus them on trying to win it. We strive to try and win for another week. That is kind of our approach. I have said that numerous times to the kids this week, we have to keep fighting and hopefully we can keep playing next week,” he said.

St. Mary’s (9-1) has been to the playoffs 16 times, but only once since 2008, that coming last year. The Roughriders won the tough Western Buckeye League this year. They beat Wapakoneta (10-0) last week. They have scored more than 50 points three times this year, including a (63-21) destruction of (8-2) Elida this year.

Carpenter says the Roughriders have big kids and backs that run the ball very hard. “The lines on both sides are really big kids. They move extremely well. They have some backs that run the ball really hard. They are really simple, in fact they are a mirror image to us. Maybe even a little more simpler than us. What they do, they do extremely well. They run a 4-3 defense. The guys up front do an amazing job of kind of funneling everything outside. They are fast and very physical. They are a really good football team,” said Carpenter.

The line of scrimmage is going to be a focal point in this game. Carpenter says they must win at the point of attack. “That has been kind of our approach all year. We have been able to hang our hat on the guys up front with them creating holes for us and also stopping the other teams’ run and maybe into a throwing situation. We have to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and hopefully our guys are able to do that,” he said.

Published 11/03/17

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Highland Plays Northmor for Outright Title

Highland has a chance to secure an outright Knox Morrow Athletic Conference title with a victory on Friday night over a good Northmor team.

The Scots (8-1,6-0) lead Danville by a game in the conference standings. Northmor and East Knox trail by two.

Both teams need a win to make sure they are in the playoffs. Highland is right now in fourth in its division four region and Northmor is sixth in their division six region. Neither school has locked into their berth, so a loss on Friday night could cost them.

Highland beat a sound East Knox team (28-7) team last week.

Coach Chad Carpenter says they put together a very good effort and performance together last week against the Bulldogs. “Both sides of the ball I thought really stepped up to the challenge and played really well. It was a very physical game, both sides, and I liked our approach last week,” he said.

Carpenter says right from the beginning they want to be a physical team and that starts in the weight room and in preseason workouts. “Not only this year that is kind of what our M.O. has been in the past as well. We like our kids to play very hard and very physical,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “This year especially that is kind of what we try and hang our hats on. This last game here, Northmor, they are very physical as well, so this should be a very good football game.”

Northmor (7-2,4-2) beat Centerburg (49-0) last week. Their only losses come to Danville (41-34) and East Knox (32-28) in conference games.

They have one the best quarterbacks in the area in the electric Demetrious Johnson. Carpenter says he can do a lot with the ball and make big plays on defense too. “He is really good. He is very shifty and extremely fast and is playing with a lot of confidence right now,” he said.

Northmor on defense is really good too. Carpenter says the Knights make it difficult to get the perimeter. “I think their defense is really good and getting back to the physicality part they play really physical. They have a lot guys that run to the ball extremely well. You can tell they take a lot of pride. It is going to be a big challenge for this week,” said Carpenter.

Published 10/27/17

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Highland With a Chance at a Share

Highland has had a tremendous season so far with their only loss coming by a point in overtime in the season opener, and a clean slate in their conference, and they can claim a share of the Knox Morrow Athletic Conference with a win over East Knox on Friday night.

Right now, the Scots lead East Knox and Danville by one in the conference standings. The Bulldogs lost their first game of the season last week to (32-28) to Fredericktown.

Meanwhile, Highland (7-1,5-0) destroyed Cardington (62-10) in a conference game.

Coach Chad Carpenter says they really did control the game. “We seemed to be clicking on all cylinders last week. Our kids came out and played right from the very kickoff. I thought we controlled the tempo of the game really well. We did a lot of things really well last week,” he said.

East Knox (7-1,4-1) is young, but they are athletic. Carpenter says the Bulldogs can do a lot of things on offense and defense. “They are very athletic. They have a lot of weapons on offense. They move the ball around a lot. They are about 50-50 run pass. They put you in some really tough positions,” he told Swankonsports.com on Thursday, “Defensively, they give you a lot of different types of looks. Their kids play really aggressive. We have to make sure we take care of business this week.”

Carpenter says they want to go into this game on Friday night and do the things they are good at doing. “Our offense is very simple anyway. Basically, it is whatever they are going to offer us we are going to try and take it. We want to try and control the tempo of the game and the clock and try and use that to our advantage this week,” said Carpenter.

This is a championship game for the Scots and Carpenter says they that is what they have been pounding into their kids during practice this week. “That is what we have been preaching to our kids all week that this is a huge game for us. We have a lot riding on this one. I think our kids are focused and hopefully our kids will play well on (Friday,)” he said.

Published 10/20/17

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The Trenches are Key for Highland

Highland is in a share of first place with East Knox in the new Knox Morrow Athletic Conference.

They play at East Knox next week, but that is next week.

On Friday night, they are home for next door neighbor Cardington in a league game.

The Scots (6-1,4-0) beat arch rival Fredericktown (36-25) last week in a game that was closer than probably a lot thought it would, but coach Chad Carpenter says he knew it would be a battle. “It is one of those things that I said earlier that when you play teams that are in close proximity you can throw the records out and both teams are going to play hard. I think that is what happened Friday. Our kids were able to hang on there. Our offense was rolling pretty well and we were able to keep that going through the rest of the game,” said Carpenter.

Cardington (2-5,1-3) lost last week (41-6) to a very good Danville team. That is really one of the few times this year they haven’t scored a bunch of points in a game.

Carpenter says they can run the football very well with some talent in the backfield and a big, strong offensive line. “They have a good mixture of run and pass. They have a really good running back that runs extremely hard. The guys up front are big and strong and create nice holes for them. I think it is one of those things where we have to neutralize them up front a little bit and try and control that line of scrimmage the best we can and contain them,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “I think our boys are able to do that. It is one those things where again we throw the records out. Whoever shows up Friday and makes the least amount of mistakes will probably win.”

Cardington is going to bring some fire to the game, but Carpenter says they are the ones that have to be more intense from the first whistle of the game. “I hope that we raise that bar and they have to match us. That is my goal. That is something we talk to our kids about in almost every single practice. It’s intensity and energy and effort and trying to get better every time we can,” he said.

Published 10/12/17

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Highland Has Chemistry

Highland has been a surprise to some this season, but the Scots share first place with East Knox in the new Knox Morrow Athletic Conference after three weeks on conference play.

They play at rival Fredericktown on Friday night.

The hammered Mt. Gilead (42-0) last week and they have only allowed two scores in conference games this year.

Coach Chad Carpenter says they have solid chemistry and he thinks that is a big factor in their success. “I think our kids are just playing really well together. We have a good mixture of skilled athletes and linemen. They are a very talented group that works real hard and are fun to coach. It is a special season,” he said.

They are just a whisker from being unbeaten on the season. They lost by one (35-34) in overtime to Bloom-Carroll on the opening week of the season in non-conference play.

Carpenter says with five wins in a row they have been building confidence every time they hit the field. “We brought in a lot of new kids this year and getting them to work together and understanding what we wanted. Confidence is huge for us. I don’t know how good we thought we were at the beginning of the year and to be honest I still don’t know how good we think we are now,” he told Swankonsports.com on Wednesday, “I just know we are playing well together and the kids are having a lot of fun. We just try to get better each time we step on the field.”

Highland (5-1,3-0) is at Fredericktown this week. The Freddies have struggled against good teams. They lost to Danville (42-7) last week in a conference game.

However, Carpenter says this is a typical Fredericktown team in a lot ways. Plus, this is a rivalry game and he knows the Freddies will be fired up to play them. “They have a really nice running game. They are a physical football team. I think going in we are going to have to control the line of scrimmage. Try to put them in tough positions to defend us. One thing is our kids are close to their kids. This one of the game where you throw out the records. You can count on a pretty good game,” said Carpenter.

Published 10/05/17

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