Madeira grad Andrew Benintendi life changed dramatically on Monday, June 15 when the Boston Red Sox choose him as the 7thpick in the Major League Draft.  Benintendi just completed a fantastic year for the University of Arkansas baseball team.  This should be no surprise for people who follow the CHL website.

Benintendi was a two sport star for the Mustangs in baseball and basketball.  In basketball he set the all time scoring record for Madeira with 1753 points.   He was Player of the Year in the CHL his junior & senior year.  Baseball was his main sport.   Andrew was the CHL baseball Player of the Year junior & senior years and first team all league all four years. In his senior year he was the Player of the Year in Ohio finishing his high school career 2nd in history in Ohio in hits (213). He holds almost every baseball record and several basketball records at Madeira.  Before his senior year, Benintendi signed to play college baseball at the University of Arkansas.

Before going to college, he had minor surgery on his hand.  His freshman year for the Razorbacks was so-so.  He batted .276 with 1 home run & 17 steals.  His sophomore year was a whole different story!  Benintendi batted .376 with 20 home runs, 57 RBIs & 24 stolen bases.  His 20 home runs led the nation. Andrew received many honors including SEC Player of the Year, Baseball America National Player of the Year, the Dick Howser Trophy for best college baseball player. He help Arkansas to a 40-25 record and a spot in the College World Series.  It was the 8th appearance for Arkansas. His Razorbacks lost to Virginia and Miami (Florida) in the double elimination tourney. 

A few days after the tourney lost, Andrew Benintendi join the Red Sox organization.  Actually, it was his second time to be in the major league draft.  In 2013, right out of high school, the Reds picked him in the 31stround of the Major League Draft.  Obviously he opted to go to Arkansas.

So now Andrew starts a new era of baseball.   After following him throughout his high school career on the CHL website, we will be  anxious to following him on the pro level.

SID Note: Some of the information for this story came from the University of Arkansas baseball website and some from Chuck Britton, former professor at the university.

For the 5th year in a row, the Cincinnati Hills League had quite possibly the most unique summer camp anywhere. Cross country runners from several league schools, and this year also from Clark Montessori, had a one week day camp at Mariemont High School.  The camp offered two a day runs with several presentations on training, nutrition, injury prevention, and motivation speeches. The camp was the brainchild of Rich Jones and Randy Cox.  Rich is the Finneytown cross country coach. Six years ago was his first year coaching.  He wanted to have a summer camp for his athletes. He ask Randy Cox, a friend of his from running, to help. Randy manages at the Tri-State Running Company.  Cox has been a runner for many years and has coached on high school and college levels. The camp was a success with 15-20 Wildcat runners attending. Two other league coaches, Jeff Timmers of Mariemont and Travis Glendenning of Wyoming, heard what Jones and Cox were doing and suggested that it could be expanded to include anyone in the league. Over the five years that the camp has been league wide, it has rotated among Finneytown, Mariemont, and Wyoming High Schools. According to Coach Jones, the camp has been counter-cultural in that it brings league runners together to train. "We are promoting the idea that you want to train hard with your competition to have them run their best to make you better."  He also added that it's a great camp for the price. There is scholarship money available to help any runners with camp payment.  Camp Director Cox agreed that the camp is counter-cultural and he believes it has helped the CHL become more competitive.  There were 55 runners at the camp this year 7th to 12th grade.  They included first time runners to state qualifiers. Besides, Cox, Jones, Timmers, and Glendenning, Mariemont coach Terri Thomas and Clark Coach Carl Weir helped.  We had an opportunity to talk to three runners about what the camp means to them.  Lily Parker, Wyoming sophomore, said, "It is a way to improve, to see your competition, to meet new people, and to make a lot of friends".  Luke Bruggenmeyer, a senior from Finneytown, said "It is a way to make summer training more competitive and in a different atmosphere." Charlie Jordan, a senior from Mariemont, said, "You know who is in the league and develop friendships." The main camp sponsors this year were Tri-State Running Company and Premier Orthopedics.  Campers were given swag during the week.  Overall the camp was a success and coaches and athletes are looking forward to the 6th annual CHL Cross Country camp next year at Wyoming.

Justin Dreyling, Reading track & field athlete, won the 15-16 year age group long jump & triple jump at the state Junior Olympics. He repeated the feat at the regional meet held in Charleston, West Virginia. His winning attempt in the triple jump was 40'8", about a foot farther than his best jump at the state meet.  It also was a better jump than the 17-18 year old age group.  That took place on Friday, June 26.  On Sunday, he competed in the long jump which prove to be more exciting.  Dreyling was tied for 1st going into the finals with a best jump of 20'3".  He won the event on his last jump with a leap of 20'9", 4" better than 2nd place.

Justin will compete at the AAU National Junior Olympics in Norfolk, Virginia.  The athletic events (track & field) will take place August 3-8 at Norfolk State University. More the Junior Olympics later in July.

We have now officially closed out the 2014-2015 sports year for the Cincinnati Hills League.  All conference for the spring sports are now posted.  The All Sports Trophy is complete for the year (see related story). 

It was another great year for the CHL.  Several league races were exciting.  Many individuals and teams advance into post season, some making it all the way to the state championships.  We had to wait to the final day of the season to get the first state champion of the 2104-2015 sports year.  And, we almost had two in the same day.  Senior Ben Stites of Wyoming won the 3200 run at the state track & field meet.  Interesting fact about Ben's state title.  His sister Emily also was state champion in the 3200 run in her senior year (2012).  On the same day, Mariemont's boys lacrosse team lost in the Division II state championship in double overtime. The Warriors were trying for their 3rd state title in a row.

As the summer goes on, we will continue to have stories on the website front page.  A current one now is the CHL Cross Country Camp starting on June 22 and going for a week.  Look for additional stories about the camp.

Looking ahead to the fall, football, volleyball, and soccer schedules are already posted.  Cross country, girls' tennis, and boys' golf will be posted in August.  Throughout late June until early August, athletes will be involved in sports camps and conditioning.  It won't be that long until the official fall practices will begin. 

Wyoming won the 2014-2015 All Sports Trophy.  The Cowboys have won the trophy every year the website has been around (2006) and for several years before that.  The only time in recent history that they came close to losing it was in 2011-2012 when they tied with Indian Hill.  Wyoming had 118.5 points 25 better than 2nd place Madeira.  Indian Hill was 3rd with 85.5 points.  The Cowboys won 8 league titles during the school year.  Madeira won 4 and Indian Hill 3.  The points are determined from the final league standings in each sport. If there are eight teams competing the  points go from last to first 1-2-3-4-5-6-7-9.  Its always a 2 point difference from 1st to 2nd.  So if only 5 teams compete it would be 1-2-3-4-6.

Compete standings and the breakdown of points by sport can be found under the All Sports Trophy link at the top of this page.

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