CINCINNATI, Ohio – It was another banner season for the Deer Park High School Athletic Department, as the boy's and girl's basketball teams, boy's and girl's bowling teams, wrestling squad, dance and cheerleading squads each registered measures of success for the 2018-19 campaign.
The winter season featured a pair of CHL Athletes of the Year, two CHL championships, a state qualifier, a district qualifier, a Southwest Ohio District Player of the Year, two CHL Coaches of the Year, six all district players and 19 All-CHL selections.
The Deer Park boy's basketball team closed the season with an 18-7 record, including a 10-4 mark in the Cincinnati Hills League en route to a second-straight sectional title. The squad was bested by Dayton Stivers in the OHSAA Division III District Championship to bring the season to a close.
Despite the disappointing finish, the Wildcats had plenty to hang their hats on, as junior Mark Wise became the leading scorer in program history, passing '08 alum Ori Harrison and closing the year with 1,244 career points. Wise also closes his junior season with the program record in steals and assists. Senior Ibrahima Athie also eclipsed the 1,000 point mark on his career, hitting the mark in the final game of his career. Junior Steven Gentry ranks second on the all-time assists list behind his counterpart Wise.
Deer Park girls basketball completed the single best season in program history, closing the year with a 14-8 record, including an 8-6 record in the CHL. Both of these are program-best records. This season marked the first time the Wildcats ever closed a year with a winning record, while 14 victories marks the most in program history.
The girl's roster was no stranger to the record books either, as senior Torey Macke brought her career to a close as the all-time steals leader in the program. Macke also ranks fourth on the scoring list, third in rebounds and fifth in assists. Teammate and fellow senior Bailey Weaver closes her career just ahead of Macke in fourth for assists and fifth in steals. A third senior, Maddie Hinton, ranks third in steals. Hinton is also second in the program in assists.
Deer Park head coach Tom Focke was also named CHL Coach of the Year.
For the fifth straight season, the Deer Park boy's bowling team finished atop the CHL standings. This year, the squad finished with a conference record of 7-3 to go with an 8-5 overall mark.
The Wildcats were led by Eric Hamilton with a 184.7 average, good enough for third in the CHL. His game-high 258 was the best for the team and fourth-best single-game total this year in the conference. Johnathan Schramm finished the year with a 152.5 average to also land on the CHL All-Conference squad.
Another first in Deer Park history, junior Chelsea Hammer used a 224 at the District Championship to qualify for the OHSAA State Bowling Championship. Her 181.7 average was the best in the CHL by more than 15 pins, while leading her team to a 6-0 record in the CHL (8-1, overall) and the program's first CHL title since 2015.
Though Hammer led the way, a trio of other Wildcats landed on the All-CHL list, as Kassidy Russell-Gamble's 138.1 average was good enough for 7th in the league. Just behind her, Keryn Houston (135.4 average) and Drew Handorf (129.1 average) each earned Honorable Mention honors.
Deer Park head coach Candis Heringer was also named CHL Coach of the Year.
A revamped wrestling program saw much success under first-year head coach Tyler Goodpaster, as the Wildcats featured a CHL champion as well as a district qualifier. Daron Hickey knocked off Indian Hill's Matthew Briedis in the 285 pound weight class in the CHL championship to put Deer Park atop the podium for the first time in any weight class since 2016. He was the first winner at 285 since Justin Macke ranked first in 2010.
Hickey's counterpart, Ian Goodpaster finished second in the CHL in the 145 weight class, however finished third in the Division III Sectional to qualify for the District Championship. Gabe Wilson also landed on the podium, wrestling at 132. Wilson finished third in his weight class at the CHL meet.
The Deer Park dance team also grabbed a title this winter, finishing in 1st place in the Pom routine at the Centerville Competition. At the same competition the Hip Hop and Kick routines each earned 2nd place honors.
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