It’s time to look back at the fall sports season and pick out 5 highlights for the Eminence Warriors sports teams. All in all, it was a good year for the Warriors’ fall sports teams. They managed to win a fair number of games with young rosters. That should bode well for next year’s fall sports season.
1. Comeback win vs. Berea
This game had to be the highlight of the season for Warrior football fans. There were many dramatic elements involved: Brandon Mitchell returned to lineup after being told the week before that his playing days were over. A second opinion gave the Warriors’ record-setting receiver a reprieve and it paid off with two touchdown catches.
Freshman DeMarcus Bailey had a night that would be fantastic for any player, let alone a rookie high schooler. He had three touchdown catches and a dramatic game winning two-point conversion catch that Coach Steve Frommeyer described as the best catch of the season.
Finally, the Warriors were coming off their first loss of the season; a disappointing home performance against Cincinnati Oyler that would have been in the win column if not for late defensive breakdowns and offensive miscues.
2. Volleyball team goes 16-7
Picking one match as a highlight of the season is hard because there were so many important wins.
The Warriors won five matches against district opponents. Those five wins are three more than the Warriors have had in eight years. The last winning record for a Warrior volleyball team was 2005 when the team went 13-9.
That year ended a golden era for Warrior volleyball: In 2003 the team was 21-10 and in 2004 they went 18-4. After the 2005, season the bottom dropped out of the program and from 2006 through 2009, the Warriors won a combined six matches.
Since Stephanie Barrows took charge of the program in 2009 the Warriors win totals have been steadily climbing, from three to seven to 14 and now 16 wins.
With most of the key players returning for next year, the Warriors hope to take the next step and make it to the regional tournament-something that hasn’t been done since 2003.
3. Mitchell brothers’ record setting season
Senior Brandon Mitchell and sophomore Justin Mitchell had a season for the record books. According to Frommeyer the duo had more than nine records each. Justin as quarterback and Brandon as receiver terrorized opposing defenses. There is no doubt that Justin will miss his big brother next season, but with all of his other main targets coming back, he should continue to roll up impressive stats. I will have more on the record setting season in a future issue.
4. Volleyball team’s district loss to Carroll County
That’s right I am including a loss in the Eminence highlight package. Why? Because it showed the tremendous strides the team made not only during the season but also in the past three years as they brought the Warriors’ program off the bottom of the 8th Region standings.
I know most players and fans don’t want to be reminded of that match, but when you step back and put it in perspective, you realize that it was the match when other teams in the district started to show them some respect. I heard many comments and saw many faces that said “wow they are for real.”
Next year a more mature and experienced group of young ladies won’t let a lead like that slip away.
5. Jimison era starts for EHS cross country
Christina Jimison took over the EHS cross country program and faced a ‘rebuilding from the ground up’ job. With mostly new runners this year, Jimison brought energy and enthusiasm to the program. While most of the team consisted of middle school students, the young Warriors showed much improvement as the season went along.
With Jimison’s enthusiasm and several young ladies with promise returning, don’t be surprised if the cross country program makes the same type of strides as the volleyball program over the next several years.