Archive for August, 2009

Football finals schedule set

The KHSAA announced the schedule today for the state football finals, which will be played Dec. 4-5 at Houchens/L.T. Smith Stadium in Bowling Green.

The five-week playoffs will begin Nov. 6, with the state final being played one week earlier than last year. There will be three games each day at the finals, and no conflict with the Western Kentucky University schedule. The Hilltoppers play their final game of the season Dec. 3.

The schedule:

  • Friday, Dec. 4: Class 4A, Noon; Class 2A, 4 p.m.; Class 5A, 8 p.m.
  • Saturday, Dec. 5: Class 3A, Noon; Class 1A, 4 p.m.; Class 6A, 8 p.m.

Bowling Green will host the finals for at least two years. The site beyond 2010 has not been determined.

No Comments »

Friday football digest, week 2

Every Advocate-area team is playing in a bowl this weekend, with Garrard County and Lincoln County playing in separate games at Lincoln, Boyle County and Danville playing in separate games at Danville, and Mercer County and Casey County playing the host teams at Tates Creek and Perry County Central, respectively.

All six teams face some intriguing questions, but they have been waiting longest for answers at Lincoln, the only one of those teams that didn’t play last week. The Patriots’ game tonight against East Jessamine in their Death Valley Bowl is their first chance to show they have improved from last year’s 1-9 season.

On Saturday, those watching the Bob Allen Pigskin Classic can learn whether Boyle is as good as it looked last week and whether Danville can rebound from a suprisingly lopsided loss.

* * *

Here are the links to previews of this week’s games:

* * *

Now for this week’s picks, following a solid showing in week 1. Even more so than last week, I’m bullish on the local teams:

  • Garrard County over Rowan County.
  • Lincoln County over East Jessamine.
  • Perry County Central over Casey County.
  • Mercer County over Tates Creek.
  • Boyle County over Rockcastle County.
  • Danville over Franklin County.

Last week: 4-1 (.800).

No Comments »

The bowls are back

It’s one week later in the schedule than we’re used to seeing them, but this is the week for the two multi-game bowls hosted by Lincoln County and Danville.

Four local teams will play in the two doubleheaders, adding to the level of interest for local fans. Garrard County makes its third straight appearance in Lincoln County’s bowl, while Boyle County is returning to Danville’s bowl for the first time in 12 years.

Here’s the weekend schedule:

  • Death Valley Bowl at Lincoln County: East Jessamine vs. Lincoln County, 6 p.m.; Rowan County vs. Garrard County, 8:30 p.m.
  • Bob Allen Pigskin Classic at Danville: Rockcastle County vs. Boyle County, 5:30 p.m.; Franklin County vs. Danville, 8 p.m.

These bowls are the two survivors among three multi-game bowls that have been held at Advocate-area schools over the years. A third event, the Fort Harrod Bowl, was held at Harrodsburg in 2005 and featured Harrodsburg and Mercer County, but it didn’t survive the schools’ 2006 merger.

Danville and Boyle County both have winning records in the bowl formerly known as the Constitution Bowl and now known as the Pigskin Classic, although it should be noted that Boyle has made only one appearance. Garrard and Lincoln haven’t fared so well in the Death Valley Bowl, where
both teams have losing records.

Both bowls have usually featured good competition. This year’s out-of-town visitors are all Class 4A teams. Rockcastle was ranked 12th and Franklin was 13th in the preseason rankings by, while East Jessamine and Rowan were in the lower half of the class at Nos. 23 and 27, respectively.

I stumbled upon a little information on BGP that had been compiled by friend and research department chief Daniel Hopkins of Lancaster, and did a little research of my own to put together the history of the local teams in their respective bowls:

Death Valley Bowl

Garrard County (1-2)

  • 1998 – Garrard County 24, Newport Central Catholic 14
  • 2007 – Washington County 33, Garrard County 28
  • 2008 – Bell County 50, Garrard County 6

Lincoln County (3-8)

  • 1998 – Marion County 33, Lincoln County 13
  • 1999 – Lincoln County 41, Mercer County 14
  • 2000 – Rockcastle County 24, Lincoln County 14
  • 2001 – Bourbon County 40, Lincoln County 28
  • 2002 – Lincoln County 21, Franklin County 0
  • 2003 – East Jessamine 40, Lincoln County 8
  • 2004 – Harrison County 34, Lincoln County 14
  • 2005 – Lincoln County 19, Pulaski County 15
  • 2006 – Pleasure Ridge Park 30, Lincoln County 13
  • 2007 – Bell County 31, Lincoln County 7
  • 2008 – Washington County 35, Lincoln County 30

Pigskin Classic

Boyle County (1-0)

  • 1997 – Boyle County 32, Southwestern 0

Danville (10-4)

  • 1995 – Danville 33, Russellville 6
  • 1996 – Harrison County 13, Danville 12
  • 1997 – Danville 41, Oldham County 7
  • 1998 – Danville 75, Southwestern 6
  • 1999 – Franklin-Simpson 41, Danville 13
  • 2000 – Danville 35, Corbin 6
  • 2001 – Danville 28, Glasgow 6
  • 2002 – Danville 64, Washington County 0
  • 2003 – Danville 22, DuPont Manual 7
  • 2004 – Garrard County 1, Danville 0, forfeit
  • 2005 – Danville 34, Rockcastle County 0
  • 2006 – Danville 33, Southwestern 30
  • 2007 – Madison Central 26, Danville 7
  • 2008 – Danville 44, Russell County 31

East Jessamine has played twice in the Death Valley Bowl, beating Lincoln in 2003 and beating Casey County 45-6 the following year. Likewise, Rockcastle has played twice in the Pigskin Classic, following its 2005 loss to Danville with a 2-0 win over Corbin in 2006 that was one of the ugliest football games you could ever hope not to see. Let’s hope this weekend’s games are more entertaining than that one.

No Comments »

Softball pitchers stepping back

The KHSAA board of control has approved a rule change for fast-pitch softball that moves the rubber back 3 feet to a distance of 43 feet from home plate for the 2010 season.

The rule change was approved by the National Federation of State High School Associations for the 2010-11 school year, but states were given the option of making the change for next season.

We’re canvassing local coaches to discuss the change. Watch the Advocate in the coming days for some of their reactions.

No Comments »

Friday football digest, week 1

I don’t care how the KHSAA labels it, if this were ” week zero” there wouldn’t be any games. Instead, we’re off and running with four local games tonight and another on Saturday.

Much like last year, this weekly post will provide a few tidbits about the weekend’s games, link to preview stories from the Advocate and other newspapers close with my usually useless predictions.

As the new season begins, we’re just 106 days away from the state finals, which will have a new home this fall. The finals will be played in Bowling Green for the first time since 1975 and outside Louisville for the first time since 1978.

The schedule begins with a terrific matchup between two teams that aspire to the finals every year: Class 4A power Boyle County and Class 5A power Johnson Central. It will be interesting to see how Boyle looks with a significant number of new starters, and Johnson is usually a cut above your typical mountain team.

We have one new coach, Bill Mason of Mercer County, whose team debuts Saturday night against Breathitt County in Campbellsville. And five of the six area schools will have new starting quarterbacks, with Will Hatter of Casey County being the only incumbent. The other probable starters: Boone Goldsmith (Boyle County), Will Dunn (Danville), Billy Abney (Garrard County), Austin Hinds (Lincoln County) and Tre Dunn (Mercer County).

* * *

Once again, the stories of games covered by the Advocate sports team will be posted on on Saturday mornings. This makes those stories available 12 to 18 hours before the Sunday Advocate is printed, and it has become a popular feature with our online readers. Of course, the stories and photos will still be available in the Sunday Advocate. (For those who don’t know us, the Advocate doesn’t publish on Saturdays.)

The Advocate’s preview stories, game stories and features from throughout the season can all be found in one place, on the high school football page at Stories seen there will be available for reading or reference all season long.

To get you stoked for this weekend’s games, here are the links to every preview story I could find. Just click on the links to read the stories:

Since we’re at the start of the season, I’m also linking to all of the football preview sections I can find online:

* * * has issued its preseason rankings, which rank all 220 schools in the state’s six football classes. It’s the only ranking I know of that does that.

Here are some highlights:

  • 1A: 1. Beechwood; 2. Lexington Christian; 3. Frankfort; 4. Mayfield; 5. Raceland.
  • 2A: 1. Fort Campbell; 2. Corbin; 3. Newport Centrall Catholic; 4. Danville; 5. DeSales; 13. Bardstown; 22. Washington County; 31. Fort Knox.
  • 3A: 1. Central; 2. Breathitt County; 3. Mason County; 4. Belfry; 5. Paducah Tilghman; 12. Somerset; 13. Wayne County; 19. Garrard County; 23. Taylor County; 31. Casey County; 36. Jackson County.
  • 4A: 1. Boyle County; 2. Bell County; 3. Lexington Catholic; 4. Allen County-Scottsville; 5. Bullitt East; 23. East Jessamine; 29. West Jessamine.
  • 5A: 1. Highlands; 2. Whitley County; 3. Bowling Green; 4. Owensboro; 5. John Hardin; 9. Pulaski County; 15. Mercer County; 18. Southwestern; 26. South Laurel; 31. Lincoln County.
  • 6A: 1. St. Xavier; 2. Trinity; 3. Henry Clay; 4. Male; 5. Eastern.

If you’re not a BGP subscriber or the above link doesn’t work for you, we published the entire rankings list in today’s Advocate.

* * *

Finally, here are this week’s picks. These will mirror the picks I made in Thursday’s post in which I made predictions for the entire season, but that won’t necessarily be the case as the season unfolds:

  • Boyle County over Johnson Central.
  • Casey County over Caverna.
  • Anderson County over Garrard County.
  • Danville over Mason County.
  • Breathitt County over Mercer County (Saturday).

Last season: 51-12 (.809).

No Comments »

Pickin’ time

Contrary to what you might think, it isn’t that hard to sit at my desk in the middle of August and say this team will go 7-3 or that team will go 2-8. The hard part is being right.

So once again I’ll try to do what’s hard, holding my breath and offering my best guess as to how the six Advocate-area football teams will fare this season:

Boyle County (13-1 in 2008): For the second straight year, this looks like a championship-caliber team. That’s not to say the Rebels will win Class 4A, only to say they should once again be one of the very best teams in the class.

Boyle faces at least half a dozen potentially challenging games during the course of the season, and it’s hard to imagine the Rebels winning them all. They might, and it was tempting to pick them to go 10-0, but I’m thinking there’ll be one stumblingblock along the way.

The pick: 9-1. The wins: Johnson Central, Rockcastle County, Pikeville, Mercer County, Danville, Lafayette, West Jessamine, East Jessamine, Christian County.

Casey County (2-8 in 2008): The Rebels may be getting better, but it’s a slow process. For now their roster is still a contradiction in terms: They have experience, but they’re very young, they have more players but little depth.

What that means is that they’ll probably win some games you might not expect, and they’ll probably lose some games you think they’ll win, making them the toughest team on this page to predict.

The pick: 4-6. The wins: Caverna, Bourbon County, Clinton County, Jackson County.

Danville (8-4 in 2008): The Admirals are throwing untested players at a tough schedule, which is always cause for concern. But there’s quite a bit of talented among those untested players, and this figures to be one of those Danville teams that gets better as the season goes on.

The Admirals should more fun to watch during the regular season and more dangerous in the 2A playoffs, but they’ll take some hits along the way.

The pick: 7-3. The wins: Mason County, Franklin County, Somerset, Southwestern, Bardstown, Fort Knox, Washington County.

Garrard County (4-7 in 2008): The Golden Lions are the one area team whose stock has risen most since last season. A full year under coach Mark Scenters and the experience gained by young players last season will do them good.

Garrard is another one of those teams that could be all over the map: One preseason poll I’ve read had them at No. 10 in 3A; another had them at No. 20, which puts them in the second half of the class. I’d put them somewhere in between, but a better team and a better schedule will definitely give them a better season than last year.

The pick: 7-3. The wins: Rowan County, West Jessamine, Estill County, Jackson County, Taylor County, Casey County, Lincoln County.

Lincoln County (1-9 in 2008): After a difficult season in coach Mike Settles’ first year in Stanford, the Patriots are ready to start down the road back to success. But the experience and depth aren’t where they’d like them to be yet, and changing offensive coordinators twice this year hasn’t helped, either.

The Patriots should be better and might win up to two or three district games, but they also might still endure some more growing pains this fall.

The pick: 3-7: The wins: Madison Southern, Washington County, South Laurel.

Mercer County (6-6 in 2008): With the loss of 30 or so seniors and the drama of a midsummer coaching change, there are those who think the Titans are going in the tank, but I am not among them. Instead, I think they’ll be one of those rare teams that will be better than their record — if they can improve through August and Septemeber while enduring a brutal non-district schedule.

Mercer has the talent and the numbers to field a competitive team, but it will still be playing catch-up in the first half of the season against an unforgiving schedule. The Titans should find district play much more to their liking and should stay in that race until facing 5A-6 favorite Pulaski County in their final game.

The pick: 4-6. The wins: Tates Creek, South Laurel, Southwestern, Lincoln County.

No Comments »

Mercer’s opener a Saturday game

Your schedule might say otherwise, but the Mercer County football team will open its season Saturday night in a bowl at Campbellsville.

The schedule posted on the KHSAA scoreboard originally listed the Titans’ lidlifter against Breathitt County as a Friday game, and a schedule posted on the team’s Web site,, still does. However, the game will be played on Saturday at Campbellsville’s Fryrear Field as the second half of a doubleheader that opens with LaRue County playing Campbellsville.

No Comments »

Scrimmage time

(UPDATED at 4:15 p.m.: The Boyle County-Montgomery County scrimmage is tonight, NOT Friday. I just found out.)

(UPDATED at 9:45 p.m.: The Casey County-McCreary Central scrimmage Friday is a three-team scrimmage, with Johnson Central added to the mix after its previously scheduled scrimmage fell through.)

All six Advocate-area football teams have preseason scrimmages scheduled for this week, most of them on Friday. Some teams try to keep their scrimmages a closely guarded secret; others don’t mind you knowing when they play. All of the information for the games listed below has come from public sources, so there are no secrets being given away here:


  • Boyle County at Montgomery County, 6 p.m.
  • Garrard County at Madison Central, 7:30 p.m.


  • Boyle County at Montgomery County, 6 p.m.
  • Anderson County at Lincoln County, 7 p.m.
  • Casey County, Johnson Central at McCreary Central, 7 p.m.
  • Danville vs. Mercer County at Alvis Johnson Field, 7 p.m.

Remember, teams that play during the KHSAA’s so-called “week zero” (Aug. 21-22) are allowed only one scrimmage. Teams that don’t start until the following week are allowed two, but Lincoln County, the only local team that fits that description, doesn’t have another one scheduled.

No Comments »

Somerset promotes Lucas

The Somerset football coaching saga is complete — though the discussion there surely isn’t — with the naming of Robbie Lucas as the Briar Jumpers’ interim head coach.

Somerset athletic director Bob Tucker said there will be a search after the season, but for now the team belongs to Lucas, a longtime assistant under Jay Cobb, who resigned unexpectedly earlier this week.

Lucas’ only previous experience as a head coach was at Lincoln County, and that didn’t go well, as he led the Patriots to consecutive 2-8 seasons in 2002 and ’03 before he resigned, returned to the Somerset staff where he had worked before coming to Lincoln and was ultimately replaced by Larry French.

He tells the Commonwealth Journal in the story linked above that he’s “a little older and a little wiser” now, and that’s often the case with coaches who get a second chance such as this. He certainly inherits a much better team at Somerset than he had in Stanford — the Jumpers had few graduation losses last year and are an overwhelming pick to win their Class AAA district — and his transition will be a smooth one since he has been in the program for so long, so here’s hoping things will go better for him this time around.

No Comments »

Off and running for another year

Just like that, another school year and another fall sports season are upon us. Summer seems to get shorter every year.

Football season opens in just nine days for five of the six Advocate-area teams. Everyone opens the season Aug. 21 except Lincoln County, which opens a week later. Golf and volleyball seasons are under way, soccer starts Monday and cross country opens Aug. 24.

If you missed the Advocate’s football preview section, click here to find everything you need to know about the coming season. Once there, you can click on the helmets to see the previews and schedules for specific teams.

As usual, previews of specific games will appear in the Advocate and on on Wednesdays and Thursdays during the season. Previews for Casey, Garrard, Lincoln and Mercer counties appear on Wednesdays; those for Boyle County and Danville run on Thursdays.

Preseason rankings

Preseason rankings have appeared for two fall sports, and an area team is ranked in one of them: Boyle County’s girls soccer team is at No. 17 in its coaches’ poll. Boyle should also appear in the boys preseason poll, but it hasn’t been released yet.

In volleyball, there were no teams in the statewide rankings. There were top-five rankings for each of the 16 regions, and the highest-ranked local team in the 12th Region was Boyle County at No. 4, behind Pulaski County (which Boyle beat Tuesday night), Southwestern and Russell County.

New coaches

The new school year also brings a number of new coaches at all eight area schools. Here’s the list of newbies, based on directory listings at

Boyle County: Sharon Beasley, girls golf; Keith Smith, wrestling. (The wrestling program has been resurrected about 20 years after it was discontinued.)

Burgin: Greg Harlow, baseball; Chris Myers, girls basketball; Maggie McKnight, v0lleyball. (The volleyball program is in its first varsity season; McKnight coached the junior varsity team last year.)

Casey County: Neal King, boys golf; Sarah Christian, girls golf.

Danville: Abbe Milburn, volleyball.

Garrard County: Doug Simpson, baseball; Dave McDaniel, boys basketball; Larry Ebert Jr., boys soccer; Andy Floyd, girls soccer.

Lincoln County: Bryan Sanders, girls cross country.

Mercer County: Jaziel Guerra, athletic director; Bill Mason, football; Terry Dailey, girls golf; David Welsh, boys soccer; Jennifer Grimes, girls soccer.

No Comments »

WP Login