Archive for April, 2009

Don't think it can't happen here

High school sports officials in Texas had already announced Wednesday that all of their sporting events statewide were canceled for 12 days, and now comes word today that all high school sports in Alabama have been called off for at least five days.

And if you think that can’t happen in Kentucky, you’re kidding yourself.

There have been no confirmed cases of swine flu in Kentucky as of this mid-afternoon writing, but there haven’t been any in Alabama, either. The 109 confirmed cases nationwide include one each in Ohio, Indiana and Georgia and 10 in South Carolina. The patient in Georgia is a Kentucky native who was in Cancun, Mexico, earlier this month and was in Georgia when she became ill.

It may be only a matter of time before a case of swine flu is discovered in Kentucky, and if that case has any connection to a school (student, teacher, parent), it may be followed by a quick decision to suspend sports and perhaps other extracurricular activities for a few days.

It would be a drastic measure, to be sure, but until we have a better idea of how big this outbreak might become, you can’t say it’s an overreaction. For now, all I’m saying is don’t be surprised.

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Snapp part of stellar 3,200 field

Kaitlin Snapp doesn’t run many races that she isn’t favored to win, but that’s just what she’ll be doing this weekend.

The talented Danville freshman can outclass the competition in most of the track and cross country races she runs in this part of the world. That won’t be the case on Saturday, however, when she competes as part of what is essentially an all-star field in the Eastern Relays.

Snapp was invited to the Louisville meet to compete in a 3,200-meter run that is being billed as the best girls 3,200 ever at a Kentucky high school meet. Yes, I said ever.

How good is the talent level in this race? At the head of the pack is Emma Brink, the Sacred Heart sophomore who is the defending Class AAA state champion in both cross country and in track’s 3,200, and some top-flight runners from Ohio are expected to attend as well. A number of runners who can complete the 3,200 in under 12 minutes — including Snapp — are scheduled to compete.

One Kentucky coach wrote recently in a track and field forum that it will be effectively “a who’s who of Kentucky distance running” and that this race alone would be well worth the price of admission to the meet.

The race was also supposed to feature Kathy Kroeger of Franklin, Tenn., a Stanford signee who won a national high school title at the Foot Locker Cross Country Championships in 2006 and was the female winner of the Wendy’s High School Heisman award in 2008; and Lindsay Flanagan of Roselle, Ill., another nationally prominent distance runner. Both girls are capable of times of 10:30 or better, but Kroeger reportedly withdrew with an injury, and Flanagan reportedly had transportation issues that couldn’t be worked out.

Of course, Snapp brings her own impressive resume to the race, having won three straight Class A championships in cross country as well as last year’s track championships in the 1,600 and 3,200. Snapp is seeded second in this race at 11:14, which is 15 seconds behind Brink.

The race, billed as the KYTrackXC.com Girls Invitational 3200 thanks to a sponsorship, is officially the first heat of the meet’s 3,200 competition, but it is being showcased and will be run outside the regular schedule of the two-day meet. It will be the first running event of the day at 10 a.m.

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While Snapp is testing herself in Louisville, her Danville teammates and runners from five other area teams will compete in the E.G. Plummer Invitational on Saturday at Admiral Stadium.

Danville, Boyle County, Burgin, Casey County, Lincoln County and Mercer County are part of a 15-team field that also includes Bellevue, Bishop Brossart, Madison Central, Russell County and Somerset. The meet begins at 10:30 a.m.

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Local players not on all-star rosters

The two local basketball players who tried out for the boys and girls Kentucky All-Stars didn’t make the teams. Lauren Hatter of Casey County and Ethan Spurlin of Lincoln County were invited to the tryouts after winning the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches’ 12th Region Player of the Year awards.
The girls team was announced Tuesday; the boys team was announced today.

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Casey ballpark, track open

The Casey County baseball field is ready for play again, about three weeks after being damaged by a tornado. The worst of the damage was to a large chunk of the fence between the dugouts (which has been repaired) and to the scoreboard (which must be replaced). The Rebels have played nine straight road games but are scheduled to host Rockcastle County on Thursday.

There was also storm damage at Casey’s track, but nothing that will prevent the school from hosting the Double-A Derby for the first time since 2005. The meet will be Thursday, and the only question is whether the pole vault competition will be held. The tornado destroyed the school’s pole vault pads, and replacements were scheduled to arrive today. If they don’t make it on time, the pole vault will be canceled.

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All-star activity

Ethan Spurlin of Lincoln County and Lauren Hatter of Casey County are participating in this weekend’s tryouts for the Kentucky All-Stars in Campbellsville.

Tryouts began Friday and conclude today, but the rosters won’t be announced until Wednesday. The 12 boys and 12 girls selected will play the Indiana All-Stars on June 13 in Indianapolis and June 14 in Louisville.

A third local player, Hayley Hellyer of Boyle County, was invited to the tryouts but was among those who chose not to attend, according to The Courier-Journal.

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Getting on track

The area’s first invitational track and field meets take place this weekend, though in one case that’s not entirely true, as I’ll explain below.

The weekend begins with tonight’s All “A” Classic at Admiral Stadium. Danville is hosting this meet, open to Class A teams from around the state, for the sixth year.

This year’s edition is essentially a regional preview for Danville, as nine of the 12 visiting teams come from the Admirals’ region, which they’ll also host on May 16.

The Region 4 opponents are Bracken County, Burgin, Carroll County, Frankfort, Lexington Christian, Nicholas County, Owen County, Paris and Sayre. They’ll be joined by Green County, Kentucky Country Day and Somerset.

On Saturday, the area’s oldest invitational moves out of the area for the first time since the 1970s as the Alvis Johnson Heart of the Bluegrass meet moves to Henry Clay. The track at Mercer County’s Alvis Johnson field is in disrepair and won’t pass a required inspection by meet officials, so meet director Terry Yeast went in search of an alternate site.

The meet will still be run by Mercer — and Johnson, the former Harrodsburg coach and longtime meet director, will apparently be on the public address mike as usual — but it’s being held away from the Alvis Johnson Field track for the first time since Harrodsburg assumed control of the meet in the late ’70s.

The 18 participating teams include Mercer, Boyle County, Casey County and Lincoln County as well as schools such as Central, Henry Clay, John Hardin, Rockcastle County and West Jessamine.

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Boyle-Danville diamond doings

The first Boyle County-Danville baseball and softball games of the season will be played today, though neither is as originally scheduled.

The softball game was supposed to be played Tuesday night at Troy Trumbo Field but was postponed due to wet conditions. It will be played today at 5:30 p.m., 30 minutes later than its scheduled time Tuesday.

The baseball game scheduled for today at Admiral Field has been pushed back to 7 p.m., apparently so the junior varsity game can be played before rather than after the varsity game.

Yeah, that makes sense. On a day when the forecast high temperature is 51 degrees, let’s move one of the biggest games of the season later into the evening. This is one of the few regular-season games that typically draws what you’d call a crowd, and playing on a cold night like this when you don’t have to does a disservice to those who want to watch.

The baseball teams are scheduled to play again one week from today (April 22) at Boyle — all 45th District teams are playing each other home and home for the first time in several years. For now that game is still scheduled for 5 p.m., so your best bet is probably to hold out for the hope of better weather.

There will also be another Danville-Boyle softball game at 5 p.m. April 23 at Millennium Park.

Tennis matches between the Danville and Boyle boys and girls teams scheduled for Tuesday were also postponed. They’re expected to be rescheduled, though no makeup date has been set yet and the teams do have one other meeting scheduled with each other on April 25.

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Casey needs repairs; Garrard needs a game

Casey County is juggling its baseball schedule after what the National Weather Service called “a weak tornado” damaged its field Sunday night. (I don’t quite know what they consider a weak tornado, but ask anybody whose barn was blown down or whose house was damaged if they thought it was weak.)

The twister damaged the scoreboard, bleachers and some fencing at Casey’s baseball/football field, athletic director Victor Black said. There were also some things blown around at the tennis courts and track nearby.

The Rebels were scheduled to host Garrard County today, but it was too wet and cold to play anyway. They’ve scheduled a makeup game for Wednesday at East Jessamine, and their scheduled home games with Somerset on Thursday and Southwestern on Friday have now become road games. They’ll host those teams on April 20 and 24, respectively, assuming sufficient repairs are made by then.

Meanwhile, Garrard is trying to get some work in after a number of recent postponements and cancellations. Coach Ed Rall said he’d like to add a game this Friday if there’s another team out there that also needs to play.

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