Archive for June, 2009

Mercer promotes Mason to head coach

An eventful week at Mercer County has ended with the hiring of Bill Mason today as the school’s head football coach.

Mason has been an assistant at Mercer for the past three years, and he was the head coach at Nelson County for four years prior to that.

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Mercer moves ahead; Weaver moves back

Mercer County is apparently on the fast track toward making another offer to a football coaching candidate. The Advocate’s Larry Vaught reports that the school has turned its focus to Shadon Brown, the former Danville player and Boyle County assistant coach, who has been Rowan County’s head coach for one year.

Will Weaver of Madisonville-North Hopkins accepted the job on Monday but told Mercer principal Terry Yates today that he had changed his mind and wanted to stay at his current position. We couldn’t reach Weaver today, but he told The Messenger of Madisonville that he wanted to fulfill a promise he made upon arriving at Madisonville in 2007 to see that year’s freshmen through their four high school years.

“All I kept thinking is about the commitment I made to my kids and those (Mercer) guys weren’t my kids,” Weaver told the newspaper. “I went back and talked with my wife. We made a family decision that no matter what happens we’re coming back here and finishing our commitment. We’re happy in Madisonville and we’re 100 percent sure about that decision.

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Calling a reverse at Mercer

Less than 24 hours after he was introduced as Mercer County’s new football coach, Will Weaver is on his way back to Madisonville and his old job.

Weaver has decided to stay at Madisonville-North Hopkins, telling Mercer principal Terry Yates this morning that he had changed his mind.

That surprising move came at the end of a whirlwind period of 24 hours or so in which he:

  • met with his Madisonville players Tuesday morning.
  • almost immediately drove to Harrodsburg, arriving just in time for the afternoon news conference at which he was introduced.
  • checked in with his family to a Harrodsburg-area hotel, where they would spend Tuesday night.
  • attended Mercer’s weightlifting and conditioning session Tuesday evening.
  • met with the Mercer players this morning.
  • met with Yates at about 10 or 10:30 a.m. to tell the principal he was returning to Madisonville.
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All-star baseball

Five local players and one coach will participate in the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association’s East-West All-Star games this weekend at Cliff Hagan Stadium in Lexington.

Duran Elmore, Mike Evans and Dustin Sparrow of Danville were named to the Junior East all-stars, who will play the West juniors in two games at 2 and 5 p.m. Saturday. Danville coach Paul Morse will coach the East team.

Jeff Embree of Danville and Garrick Whittle of Boyle County will play for the Senior East team in its games against the West seniors at 1 and 4 p.m. Sunday.

Clay Cinnamon of Mercer County is one of three 12th Region players — and the only one from this area — invited to participate in a sophomore showcase on Saturday that is also part of the all-star weekend.

Whittle also earned honorable mention on the KHSBCA all-state team.
Tanner Perkins of Rockcastle County was named the regional player of the year; Somerset’s Phil Grundy is the regional coach of the year.

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East-West football recap

For the second straight year, the East-West all star football game was a romp for the West side, which won Friday’s game in Bowling Green 20-3. And from what I can gather from the game story in the Daily News of Bowling Green, it wasn’t that close.

The West outgained the East 210 yards to 166, holding Boyle County coach Larry French’s squad to 95 yards in the first three quarters, forcing three turnovers and getting two sacks.

The West also won last year’s game in Louisville 41-10.

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Football all-stars in Bowling Green

There’s a fair amount of local flavor in the East vs. West All-Star Football Game, which moves to Bowling Green for tonight’s game after a forgettable game in Louisville last year.

Eight players and three coaches from Advocate-area schools, including East head coach Larry French of Boyle County, will play in the game, which was re-established last year after the Kentucky-Tennessee all-star series was discontinued. Four of the players were added to the roster as replacements for those who were initially selected but chose not to play or are unable to play.

Full rosters can be found here, but here’s the full list of local stars (x-injured and unable to play; y-replacement player added to roster):

  • East players: x-Jordan Aumiller, TE-S, Boyle County; y-Trey Edwards, S, Lincoln County; y-Tyler Horn, S, Mercer County; Bret Marshall, WR, Boyle County; y-Philip Mason, QB, Boyle County; Ben Sloan, LB, Boyle County; Daniel Wiechart, OT, Boyle County; y-Jordan Yeast, LB, Mercer County.
  • East coaches: Larry French, head coach, Boyle County; Jeff Hester, assistant coach, Boyle County; John Hodge, assistant coach, Boyle County.
  • West player: Evan Hester, DE, Danville.

It remains to be seen whether the game can draw a crowd in its new home. The game clearly doesn’t carry the same panache as the Kentucky-Tennessee games, but organizers are surely hoping there’s more interest than there was last year in Louisville, when a rainy night and a $15 admission charge limited the crowd to about 300.

Tickets were cut to $10 for this year’s game. And if you aren’t bound for Bowling Green but still want to follow the action, Hopkinsville radio station WHVO-AM is broadcasting the game and streaming it online.

And if, like me, you’re wondering why Danville’s lone all-star will play for the West while the Boyle stars — whose school is west of Danville — will play for the East, it’s because the teams are divided by districts within the KHSAA football alignment. Players from schools in districts 1-4 play for the West, those from districts 5-8 with the East.

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All-state softball

Hagan Goldey and Jessica Speake of 12th Region champion Garrard County were named to the all-state first team by the Kentucky Softball Coaches Association.

The two Garrard girls were named to the Class 2A first team by the KSCA, which names separate all-state teams in three classes based on the KHSAA’s track and field alignment. They earned their spots by being among the top 10 vote-getters in their class.

Both girls are also scheduled to play in the East-West all-star games (Goldey in the seniors’ game, Speake with the juniors) Saturday and Sunday in Lexington.

Also honored were Kendra Ross of Boyle County on the Class 2A second team and Elizabeth Harlow of Burgin on the Class A first team.

Fourteen girls from local teams also earned academic all-state honors:

  • First team (3.75-4.0 grade-point average): Emily Donlon and Hayley Hellyer of Boyle; Paisley Carey of Burgin, Evie Frederick, Cara Underwood and Carly Walton of Danville; Goldey and Elizabeth Miller of Garrard; Hannah McKenzie of Mercer County.
  • Second team (3.5-3.74): Shelby Lilly of Burgin; Jessica Morris of Garrard.
  • Honorable mention (3.25-3.49): Amanda Leopold and Speake of Garrard; Stacey Yeager of Mercer.
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West Jessamine hoops job filled

The high-profile basketball coaching vacancy of the year in the 12th Region has been filled as the Lexington Herald-Leader reports that West Jessamine has hired former Lafayette coach Damon Kelley for its boys team.

Kelley was fired earlier this year after seven season as Lafayette’s coach — he spent 14 years on the staff there — but he has landed what is probably an even better job in Nicholasville. West Jessamine reached the Boys Sweet Sixteen semifinals after winning its first regional title this year under Robert Hammonds, who left for Letcher County Central, and the Colts return a number of key players, including senior-to-be guard Jared Polson, one of the top players in the 12th.

It remains to be seen what the future holds for Derek Springate, the former Boyle County star who was an assistant coach under Hammonds and hopes to become a head coach in the 12th Region.

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Garrard exits state softball tourney

Garrard County concluded its best postseason run yet today at the State Softball Tournament with its second loss in as many days to Allen County-Scottsville.

The Lady Lions left the double-elimination tournament with a 3-2 record after an 11-2 loss to Allen, which also beat them 5-4 in their opening game Friday. They were among the last six teams left standing from the original 16-team field.

Garrard finished with a 28-15 record, which isn’t as good as last year’s 34-9 mark, but this year’s won two more games in the state tourney than the 2008 team.

The Lady Lions’ last win was an 11-3 trouncing of Pleasure Ridge Park in which the y broke a 3-all tie with a four-run fifth inning, then scored three more in the sixth to put the game away.

They reached double figures in runs and hits for the second time in the tournament, and the 11-hit attack included a home run by Brandy Pingleton, her second of the tourney.

The Lady Lions then faced Allen for the second time, and it didn’t go as well as the first. They held (and lost) a 4-0 lead in Friday’s game, but this time they fell behind 4-0 after two innings. Garrard cut the margin in half in the third inning, but Allen scored two runs in the bottom of that inning to lead 6-2, and that lead was never threatened.

Garrard had committed only one error in its first four tournament games but had four in this game, and Allen banged out 11 hits. It was Garrard’s third loss to Allen this season, including a 7-1 defeat in a regular-season tournament at North Laurel.

Click here to see Saturday’s linescores.

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Danville swept in semi-state series

Danville’s season ended Friday night as Lexington Catholic completed a two-game sweep of their semi-state series with a 15-2, six-inning victory.

The pitching staff took a beating for the second straight game, as the Admirals were outscored 25-2 in their two games at Henry Clay.

In the second game, which was pushed back two days by rain, Danville led 2-0 before Lexington Catholic tied the game with two runs in the third inning, went ahead with two more in the fourth, broke it open with four in the fifth and finished the Admirals off by dropping seven on them in the sixth. Both games in the series were shortened by the mercy rule.

This was the Admirals’ second trip to the semi-state round — which is considered the first round of the state tournament — in three years, and both times they were swept by Lexington Catholic in the best-of-three series.

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