By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter
When preseason practice gets under way on Oct. 26, the Cooper girls basketball team will have a new head coach for the first time in seven years.
The school announced Friday that Justin Holthaus, an assistant boys basketball coach at Cooper for the last 11 years, would be taking charge of the girls program. He replaces Nicole Levandusky, who resigned last month after six years as head coach of the Jaguars.
“I took a new job and my schedule doesn’t allow the time needed to continue to coach,” said Levandusky, who is not a teacher. “This was not an easy decision for me to make, but when it was all said and done it was the only decision I could make.”
Cooper girls basketball teams compiled a 71-95 record during the last six seasons. The lion’s share of those wins came during the 2016-17 season when the Jaguars went 22-8 and lost to Holmes in the 9th Region final.
Last year’s team posted a 3-24 record with one junior, six sophomores, two freshmen and three eighth-graders on the varsity roster. The top returning player is Whitney Lind, who averaged 16 points and eight rebounds as a freshman forward last season.
While Holthaus was a boys varsity assistant for Cooper, teams won more than 200 games, six district titles, one regional title and made it to the 2017 state championship game. School officials would like to see him achieve a similar level of success as head coach of the girls program.
“Coach Holthaus will not only bring a great deal of basketball knowledge with him, but will also bring the knowledge and experience of what it will take to build a winning culture within the Lady Jags basketball program,” according to the school’s press release.
Holy Cross faces familiar foe in All “A” Classic volleyball opener
One of the first-round matches in the Kentucky All “A” Classic state volleyball tournament on Saturday will be Holy Cross vs. Louisville Presentation, the two teams that met in last year’s championship final.
Holy Cross claimed the 2019 small school state title by defeating Presentation, 25-18, 25-23, and the winner of Saturday’s rematch is expected to win this year’s tournament, according to the latest statewide volleyball coaches poll.
The only teams in the All “A” Classic eight-team bracket ranked among the top 25 in last week’s statewide volleyball coaches poll were Presentation at No. 20 and Holy Cross at 21.
Holy Cross entered this week with a 13-2 record and should move up in the next coaches poll after defeating No. 14 Cooper last Saturday. The Indians’ only losses were to No. 8 Ryle and No. 6 St. Henry.
The first-round pairings for the All “A” Classic on Saturday at Eastern Kentucky University are: Trinity Christian vs. Kentucky County Day, 8:30 a.m.; Holy Cross vs. Presentation, 9:45 a.m.; Ballard Memorial vs. Pikeville, 11:45 a.m.; Wolfe County vs. Clinton County, 1 p.m.
Semifinal matches are set for 3 and 4:30 p.m. with the championship final at 6 p.m.
CovCath football coach closing in on 100 mark in career wins
The Covington Catholic football team’s 4-0 start this season has moved coach Eddie Eviston a few steps closer to his 100th career victory.
With four games left on CovCath’s regular-season schedule, Eviston has a 97-21 record in nine years as a high school coach. He posted a 35-8 record in three seasons at Newport Central Catholic, and he’s now 62-13 in his sixth season at CovCath.
NewCath’s current coach, Steve Lickert, is also closing in on the century mark in career wins. He has a 92-93 record in 17 years as a head coach at four schools.