Archive for October, 2008

Soccer teams together again

It should come as no surprise that Boyle County and Danville girls will play for a district soccer championship tonight, because it happens quite often.
Tonight’s 29th District final at Marion County marks the fifth time in the last eight years that the Lady Admirals and Lady Rebels have played to decide a district title. They also met in title games in 2001, 2003, 2005 and 2006, with Danville winning three of those games and Boyle winning one. Boyle scored a 1-0 overtime win in last year’s district semifinals, as well as a win in a 2006 regional final.
Rematches of the crosstown rivalry aren’t as common for the boys teams, who play tonight in a district title game at Mercer County, and there hasn’t been one in a district title game in this century.
There have been three four meetings in district semifinals since 2001, with each team winning two.
Overall, Boyle leads 8-6 in boys games played since 2001 and 10-5 in girls games in the same period. In their Constitution Cup games earlier this season, Boyle’s boys won 3-0 and Boyle’s girls won 4-1.
No matter who wins tonight, the possibility of a third meeting will remain. All four teams will advance to next week’s regional tournaments. The Boyle-Danville girls winner will host their tourney, and the boys tourney will be at Southwestern.

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Cities of tradition

As near as I can tell, a Danville-Bardstown game doesn’t have as much historical significance to Admirals fans as, say, Danville-Somerset or Danville-Corbin. But maybe it should.

Like Danville, Bardstown is one of the best brand names in Kentucky small-school football — or football of any class, for that matter. The Tigers have earned their place alongside schools tradition-rich city schools like Somerset, Corbin, Pikeville and Paris with four championships, the most recent in 2001, and a wonderful stable of great coaches and players. And of course, there is no city school with a better tradition than Danville with its 10 titles.

And that’s only part of what makes Danville’s game tonight at Bardstown so appealing. The histories of these two teams are interesting enough, but their recent past makes for good storylines, too. It starts in the 2004 playoffs when Danville beat Bardstown in a second-round game, then gets more interesting with the 2005 regional final in which Bardstown defeated then-unbeaten Danville 21-0.

Last season, the two teams landed in the same district and played two good games, with Danville winning 20-14 in their regular-season meeting at Admiral Stadium and Bardstown winning 23-13 in a second-round playoff game at Garnis Martin Field.

Tonight’s game could also be part one of a two-part series. The winner will likely finish on top in Class 2A, District 4, but the loser will still be well-positioned for a possible rematch. And that means another interesting chapter in the growing history these two schools share.

* * *

We finally get a handful of links this week to game previews from out-of-town papers:

The Kentucky Standard of Bardstown previews the Danville-Bardstown battle.

A look at Lincoln County’s game with South Laurel from The Sentinel-Echo of London.

A quick glance at the Hopkinsville-Mercer County game from the Kentucky New Era of Hopkinsville.

A look at the Garrard County-Casey County game within the “Friday Morning Quarterback” column in The Casey County News.

* * *

Now for the weekly picks, with a friendly reminder that even though I went 2-1 last week, I wasn’t the only one who thought Casey County had a good chance to beat Adair County:

  • Danville over Bardstown
  • Garrard County over Casey County
  • South Laurel over Lincoln County
  • Mercer County over Hopkinsville
  • Boyle County over West Jessamine

Last week: 2-1; season 25-5 (.833).

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It matters to someone

It would be easy to look at this week’s local football schedule — which includes open dates for three teams and rather pedestrian games for three others — and decide it’s not that interesting. Unless you’re playing in one of those games.

They aren’t the most glamourous games, to be sure, but they’re important to the players who will be on the field tonight in Danville, Stanford and Liberty. When you’re only guaranteed 10 or 11, every game should matter.

And there are reasons why each of these three games is important to the area teams involved:

Can Danville wrap its collective arms around a Campbellsville team that should have a size advantage at almost every position and continue the progress the Admirals showed last week?

Can Casey County build on the momentum of its first victory with a win over Adair County, a team the Rebels usually match up well with?

Can Lincoln County overcome injury problems that seem to get worse by the week and knock off Rockcastle County for its first win?

The answers may not matter to large numbers of people, but they definitely matter.

* * *

No links this week, so on to the picks:

  • Casey County over Adair County
  • Danville over Campbellsville
  • Rockcastle County over Lincoln County

Last week: 4-2; season 23-4 (.852).

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The only list that matters

Coty Cantrell of Garrard County didn’t make the Advocate’s preseason list of the area’s top boys golfers, a list that was compiled by yours truly. And he made it clear early in the season that he was a little bit miffed and quite a bit motivated by that omission.

Now he is alone on the list of local players who qualified for the boys state tournament, and I’m eating my words for the second time in less that a week. That’s OK, though. Cantrell is a talented golfer who worked hard to put himself in this position and will continue to work hard to achieve even more, and obviously I shouldn’t have overlooked him this summer.

He took today off to exhale after his success at the 4th Region Tournament, where he shot 75 to tie for fourth place and earn one of the three available individual qualifying berths, but tomorrow it’ll be back to work to prepare for next week’s state tournament in Bowling Green.

Cantrell is a soft-spoken player, but as I learned when we talked for a feature story I wrote just a few days after he was left off my list, he isn’t afraid to say what he thinks. And he had a couple of good lines when we talked at the regional on Tuesday.

The best of them came when he was asked about how difficult the Dix River Country Club course played during the tournament. The rough was crispy, the greens were fast and a number of players and coaches commented on the challenging pin placements, though none said it as well as Cantrell: “They had the pins stout. They weren’t playing around this morning. Somebody must’ve got into it with their wife or something.”

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