Monday, August 27, 2007

2007 Week One: Highlands 49 Ryle 21

The season opener was a matchup between the top two preseason northern Kentucky teams, Highlands (ranked first) and Ryle (ranked second). Highlands dominated the game, leading 28-0 at halftime en route to a 49-21 victory at Ryle. The 'Birds were led by RB Josh Conner, who racked up 227 yards and five TDs on 19 carries. Highlands outgained Ryle 472 yards to 272 yards in the game. Highlands QB Clay Cecil ran for 46 yards (and one TD) and was 6-9 passing for 96 yards. Highlands' 2007 varsity record to-date: 1-0.

Also, Highlands junior varsity (JV) defeated Ryle 21-0 to begin the JV season 1-0.

Expectations High for the 'Birds in 2007

The Highlands Bluebirds enter the 2007 season with high expectations. This marks the first year of Kentucky's new six-class football system (with Class 1A containing the smallest schools and Class 6A containing the largest schools). Highlands was originally placed in Class 3A, but petitioned and was granted permission by the KHSAA to play up two classes, thus being classified as Class 5A. The 'Birds are the only football program in the entire state that will play two classes above its original classification.

Entering the season, the 'Birds are ranked number one, regardless of classification, in all of northern Kentucky in the preseason coaches' poll, and number one in Class 5A in all the state's major preseason rankings. Also, they are ranked number three in the entire state of Kentucky, regardless of football classification, in Mike Fields' Top 25 (of the Lexington Herald-Leader).

This year, HHS will be led by returning senior quarterback Clay Cecil, listed as one of the top 50 players in Kentucky by the state's coaches. Junior running back Josh Conner figures to play a key role in the offense, as he ran for 771 yards and 8 touchdowns as a backup RB last season. Wideouts Drew Simons and Jay Draper are likely to be Cecil's top receiving targets in 2007. On defense, the linebacking corps will lead the way, featuring Luke Stein (listed as a top-20 senior prospect in Kentucky by the Louisville Courier-Journal), Zach Hurtt, and Ryan Ball.

The highlight of the regular season schedule will undoubtedly occur during the second week, when the 'Birds face Trotwood-Madison (Ohio) in the 2007 Kirk Herbstreit Ohio vs. USA Challenge III, played at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium. Other games of note include Lexington Catholic (the preseason number-one team in Class 4A), Louisville Central (the preseason number-one team in Class 3A), and district archrival and defending state champion Covington Catholic, who eliminated the 'Birds from the playoffs last year. Of HHS' ten 2007 regular season opponents, eight made their respective playoffs last year, and those ten teams combined for a total win-loss record of 75-47 in 2006.

2007 Preseason Record: 2-0

Highlands finished the 2007 preseason very successfully, posting a 2-0 scrimmage record. The 'Birds defeated Beechwood 49-14 in the first preseason scrimmage and handled Class 6A power Louisville Male 34-7 in the second preseason scrimmage. Highlands hosted both preseason games.

Highlands' 2007 Football Schedules


August 10, 2007 - Highlands vs. Beechwood (H)
August 17, 2007 - Highlands vs. Louisville Male (H)

August 24, 2007 - Highlands at Ryle (A)
September 2, 2007 - Highlands vs. Trotwood-Madison (OH)*
September 7, 2007 - Highlands vs. Covington Holmes** (H)
September 14, 2007 - Highlands at Dixie Heights** (A)
September 22, 2007 - Highlands at Covington Catholic** (A)
September 29, 2007 - Highlands vs. Hopkinsville (H)
October 5, 2007 - Highlands vs. Scott** (H)
October 12, 2007 - Highlands at Lexington Catholic (A)
October 19, 2007 - Open
October 26, 2007 - Highlands at Madison Central (A)
November 2, 2007 - Highlands at Louisville Central (A)

* = Kirk Herbstreit Ohio vs. USA Challenge III, played at the University of Cincinnati's Nippert Stadium
** = District game


August 25, 2007 - Highlands JV vs. Ryle (H)
September 3, 2007 - Highlands JV at Cincinnati Withrow (OH) (A)
September 8, 2007 - Highlands JV at Covington Holmes (A)
September 15, 2007 - Highlands JV vs. Dixie Heights (H)
September 24, 2007 - Highlands JV vs. Covington Catholic (H)
September 29, 2007 - Open
October 6, 2007 - Highlands JV at Scott (A)
October 13, 2007 - Highlands JV vs. Lexington Catholic (H)
October 20, 2007 - Highlands JV vs. Scott County (H)
October 27, 2007 - Highlands JV vs. Beechwood (H)
November 3, 2007 - Highlands JV at Covington Catholic (A)


September 1, 2007 - Highlands Fr. at Covington Catholic (A)
September 6, 2007 - Highlands Fr. vs. Ryle (H)
September 12, 2007 - Highlands Fr. at Boone County (A)
September 19, 2007 - Highlands Fr. at Dixie Heights (A)
September 27, 2007 - Highlands Fr. vs. Scott (H)
October 4, 2007 - Highlands Fr. at Campbell County (A)
October 11, 2007 - Highlands Fr. at Covington Holmes (A)
October 18, 2007 - Highlands Fr. at Simon Kenton (A)
October 25, 2007 - Highlands Fr. at Conner (A)

Welcome to Highlands Bluebirds Football!

This is the companion web log (blog) to 'Birds Words, a website I created and maintain dedicated to the Fort Thomas (Kentucky) Highlands High School Bluebirds football program. Highlands has a rich and wonderful football tradition, so please click on the link to 'Birds Words. The website address is:

You will find a great deal of information about Highlands High School and the school's football program on this website. Enjoy, and Go 'Birds!