Archive for December, 2010

Boyle’s Dawson named Mr. Football

Lamar Dawson of Boyle County has been named Kentucky’s Mr. Football for the 2010 season.

Results of voting by statewide members of The Associated Press was announced today, and Dawson became the second Boyle player to win Mr. Football and the fourth local player to win the award in its 25-year history.

Jeff Duggins of Boyle won the award in 2001, joining previous winners Jeremy Simpson of Lincoln County (1993) and Dennis Johnson of Harrodsburg (1997).

The link within the first paragraph takes you to the story on Dawson. Also on is a story by Hal Morris on the Boyle coaches’ reaction to Dawson’s selection.

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Mercer holiday tournament schedules

For the next two weeks, Mercer County will be the place to watch basketball in this area.

While area teams will be criss-crossing the map to get to holiday tournaments, Mercer will host two big events — the only two holiday tournaments in the Advocate’s coverage area — that will include six local teams and 25 others.

Beginning Monday, there will be 60 games played in a span of 11 days in the boys and girls tournaments hosted by Mercer. The inaugural Whitaker Bank Fort Harrod Classic boys tournament tips off Monday, and the Kentucky Army National Guard Titan Christmas Clash girls tournament will be played for the third time starting Dec. 27.

The boys tournament will be played at both the new and old Mercer high school gyms (the old school is now called Mercer County Ninth Grade Academy), while the girls tourney will be played entirely at the new Mercer gym for the first time.

Here are the full schedules for both tournaments:

Whitaker Bank Fort Harrod Classic
Monday, Dec. 20

Game 1 — x-Perry County Central vs. DeSales, 1:30 p.m.
Game 2 — x-Oldham County vs. North Hardin, 3:45 p.m.
Game 3 — x-Whitley County vs. Danville, 6 p.m.
Game 4 — x-Mercer County vs. Deming, 8:15 p.m.
Game 5 — Russellville vs. Fort Walton Beach (Fla.), 1:30 p.m.
Game 6 — North Oldham vs. Marion County, 3:45 p.m.
Game 7 — Franklin County vs. Conner, 6 p.m.
Game 8 — Lincoln County vs. Highlands, 8:15 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 21

Game 9 — x-Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 1:30 p.m.
Game 10 — x-Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 3:45 p.m.
Game 11 — Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser, 1:30 p.m.
Game 12 — Game 7 loser vs. Game 8 loser, 3:45 p.m.
Game 13 — x-Quarterfinal, Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 14 — x-Quarterfinal, Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 8:15 p.m.
Game 15 — Quarterfinal, Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 16 — Quarterfinal, Game 7 winner vs. Game 8 winner, 8:15 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 22

Game 17 — x-Game 9 loser vs. Game 10 loser, 1:30 p.m.
Game 18 — x-Game 11 loser vs. Game 12 loser, 3:45 p.m.
Game 19 — Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 1:30 p.m.
Game 20 — Game 11 winner vs. Game 12 winner, 3:45 p.m.
Game 21 — x-Game 13 loser vs. Game 14 loser, 6 p.m.
Game 22 — x-Game 15 loser vs. Game 16 loser, 8:15 p.m.
Game 23 — Semifinal, Game 13 winner vs. Game 14 winner, 6 p.m.
Game 24 — Semifinal, Game 15 winner vs. Game 16 winner, 8:15 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 23

Game 25 — 11th place, Game 19 loser vs. Game 20 loser, 12:15 p.m.
Game 26 — x-15th place, Game 17 loser vs. Game 18 loser, 12:15 p.m.
Game 27 — x-Seventh place, Game 21 loser vs. Game 22 loser, 2:30 p.m.
Game 28 — x-13th place, Game 17 winner vs. Game 18 winner, 4:45 p.m.
Game 29 — x-Fifth place, Game 21 winner vs. Game 22 winner, 7 p.m.
Game 30 — Ninth place, Game 19 winner vs. Game 20 winner, 2:30 p.m.
Game 31 — Third place, Game 23 loser vs. Game 24 loser, 4:45 p.m.
Game 32 — Championship, Game 23 winner vs. Game 24 winner, 7 p.m.
x-at Mercer County Ninth Grade Academy

Kentucky Army National Guard Titan Christmas Clash
Monday, Dec. 27

Game 1 — Tates Creek vs. Lincoln County, 10 a.m.
Game 2 — Central vs. Elizabethtown, 11:30 a.m.
Game 3 — Monticello vs. Anderson County, 1 p.m.
Game 4 — St. Patrick vs. Nelson County, 2:30 p.m.
Game 5 — Lexington Catholic vs. St. Henry, 4 p.m.
Game 6 — Wayne County vs. Taylor County, 5:30 p.m.
Game 7 — Boyle County vs. Pineville, 7 p.m.
Game 8 — Mercer County bye

Tuesday, Dec. 28

Game 9 — Game 1 loser vs. Game 2 loser, 11 a.m.
Game 10 — Game 3 loser vs. Game 4 loser, 12:30 p.m.
Game 11 — Game 5 loser vs. Game 6 loser, 2 p.m.
Game 12 — Game 7 loser bye
Game 13 — Quarterfinal, Game 1 winner vs. Game 2 winner, 5 p.m.
Game 14 — Quarterfinal, Game 3 winner vs. Game 4 winner, 6:30 p.m.
Game 15 — Quarterfinal, Game 5 winner vs. Game 6 winner, 8 p.m.
Game 16 — Quarterfinal, Game 7 winner vs. Mercer County, 9:30 p.m.

Wednesday, Dec. 29

Game 17 — Game 9 loser vs. Game 10 loser, 10 a.m.
Game 18 — Game 11 loser bye
Game 19 — Game 9 winner vs. Game 10 winner, 1 p.m.
Game 20 — Game 11 winner vs. Game 7 loser, 2:30 p.m.
Game 21 — Game 13 loser vs. Game 14 loser, 4 p.m.
Game 22 — Game 15 loser vs. Game 16 loser, 5:30 p.m.
Game 23 — Semifinal, Game 13 winner vs. Game 14 winner, 7 p.m.
Game 24 — Semifinal, Game 15 winner vs. Game 16 winner, 8:30 p.m.

Thursday, Dec. 30

Game 25 — 15th place, Game 17 loser bye
Game 26 — Seventh place, Game 21 loser vs. Game 22 loser, 10:30 a.m.
Game 27 — 13th place, Game 17 winner vs. Game 11 loser, Noon
Game 28 — 11th place, Game 19 loser vs. Game 20 loser, 1:30 p.m.
Game 29 — Ninth place, Game 19 winner vs. Game 20 winner, 3 p.m.
Game 30 — Fifth place, Game 21 winner vs. Game 22 winner, 4:30 p.m.
Game 31 — Third place, Game 23 loser vs. Game 24 loser, 6 p.m.
Game 32 — Championship, Game 23 winner vs. Game 24 winner, 7:30 p.m.

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Area teams in holiday tourneys

Almost every area basketball team will be hitting the road for holiday tournaments some time over the next two weeks. The games begin today and continue through Dec. 30, with all but six of the area’s 18 teams competing in at least one holiday event.

Here’s where the local teams can be seen:


  • Boyle County: Henry County Invitational, Dec. 28-30.
  • Casey County: Twin Lakes Holiday Classic at Clinton County, Monday-Wednesday; Norton Suburban Hospital Classic at Nelson County, Dec. 27-29.
  • Danville: Whitaker Bank Fort Harrod Classic at Mercer County, Monday-Thursday; Citizens Bank/Campbellsville University Classic at Campbellsville University, Dec. 28-30.
  • Garrard County: Shirley Kearns Invitational (round-robin) at Model, Dec. 28-29.
  • Lincoln County: Whitaker Bank Fort Harrod Classic at Mercer County, Monday-Thursday; Gateway Holiday Classic at Montgomery County, Dec. 28-30.
  • Mercer County: Whitaker Bank Fort Harrod Classic at Mercer County, Monday-Thursday; Republic Bank Classic at Lexington Catholic, Dec. 26-30.


  • Boyle County: Kentucky Army National Guard Titan Christmas Clash at Mercer County, Dec. 27-30.
  • Casey County: Smoky Mountain Holiday Classic at Gatlinburg, Tenn., today-Monday; Gateway Holiday Classic at Montgomery County, Dec. 28-30.
  • Danville: Lady Dragon Invitational at Doss, Monday-Wednesday; Max Performance Invitational at Collins/Shelby County, Dec. 28-30.
  • Garrard County: Republic Bank Classic at Lexington Catholic, today-Wednesday.
  • Lincoln County: Republic Bank Classic at Lexington Catholic, today-Wednesday; Kentucky Army National Guard Titan Christmas Clash at Mercer County, Dec. 27-30.
  • Mercer County: Kentucky Army National Guard Titan Christmas Clash at Mercer County, Dec. 27-30.
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Waiver allows KSD, DCA to face off

The rule says that Kentucky High School Athletic Association member schools can’t play varsity games against schools that are in Kentucky but aren’t members of the KHSAA. So what are Kentucky School for the Deaf and Danville Christian doing playing each other in basketball?

KSD, which is a member of the KHSAA, and DCA, which plays in the Kentucky Christian Athletic Association, are scheduled to play a girls-boys doubleheader tonight at KSD’s Thomas Hall, and another one Jan. 4 after the schools’ Christmas break.

These games were scheduled thanks to a KHSAA waiver of its by-law that allows KSD to play non-member schools. And since the KHSAA gets plenty of grief for its more controversial decisions — including sometimes in this space — it should also get a pat on the back for this move.

With its ever-shrinking student body size, KSD can compete against only a handful of Kentucky schools. DCA, which is in only its third year of varsity basketball, should be one of them. Allowing KSD to play DCA and Somerset Christian, which the KSD boys play in a home-and-home series later this season, gives the Colonels a chance to compete against a couple more teams that are within easy driving distance.

Travel is always an issue for KSD, which plays many of its games against schools for the deaf from other states. Even when it plays another state school, it’s usually a long bus ride. Other than DCA and SCA, Burgin and Berea are the only schools on this year’s schedules that are less than 90 minutes away.

The games are also good for DCA, which is still trying to develop its programs and which has its share of long road trips as well. Its closest competitors in the KCAA are in Lexington, Frankfort and Somerset, so it’s good for the Warriors to find a team they can play only three or four miles from their front door.

Allowing these schools to play does no damage to the intent of the KHSAA’s rule against playing non-members. And it does a world of good for the area’s two smallest schools.

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To play or to stay?

Sometimes it’s obvious when basketball games and other high school sporting events should be called off due to winter weather, such as when freezing rain coats everything in sight. Sometimes it isn’t, and two of those times were Monday and Tuesday of this week.

Snow fell Sunday night and early Monday morning across much of Kentucky, and temperatures didn’t get above 20 degrees in our neck of the woods until today. On Monday night, only about five games statewide were played, with the rest of the scheduled games canceled or postponed. On Tuesday night, well over three-quarters of the schedule was played, with fewer than 20 games called off.

As I was layering up to go to my game Tuesday night, I wondered, “What’s the difference?” Most local schools were closed both days. On both Monday and Tuesday afternoon and evening, the main highways were in good condition and the back roads were bad. The same roads that were coated one day were coated the next. At nightfall, the temperature felt about the same on both days.

There are two ways of looking at this: (1) If conditions were too bad to play games on Monday, they were too bad on Tuesday; or (2) if it was safe to play on Tuesday, it would have been safe on Monday.

* * *

People often ask me during bad winter weather why basketball games are played when school is closed and whether there is a KHSAA rule covering such situations, but there isn’t. The decisions are left to individual districts about whether to play or call off games.

A number of school districts have policies against playing when classes are canceled, but most of them seem to be districts that miss fewer days than most. Such poliicies are in place in Fayette and Jefferson county schools, and the latter system won’t allow its teams to practice or play if school is called off.

Locally, the only school I know of that has a no-school, no-play policy is Danville, whose schools are often open when many of the county schools in the surrounding area are closed. Because of this, Danville becomes something of a bellwether, because if the weather is bad enough to force Danville to cancel classes, it’s usually pretty bad.

County school systems are probably better off without such policies, because it would be difficult if not impossible to make up the games missed in order to play anything close to a full schedule. Buses that travel to basketball games only have to drive the roads that go from one school to the other, not the back roads that school-day buses cover, and those main roads are clear long before school officials are ready to re-open their schools in many counties.

So we’ll continue to play it by ear as one winter storm after another rolls through, even before winter actually gets here. Drive carefully.

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Garrard boys playing Rupp

No matter what else happens during this basketball season, the Garrard County boys know they’re going to play in Rupp Arena.

The Golden Lions are part of a 16-game, 24-team basketball festival that includes 10 games on the Rupp Arena court Sunday. The showcase, called Racing to the Rim, has been organized by the Kentucky Basketball Academy and features a number of games that will spotlight some of the nation’s top high school boys, two games featuring some of the top girls teams in Kentucky and several games between small schools from central and eastern Kentucky.

Of course, Garrard falls into the latter category. And the Lions’ game against Fleming County is last in the Sunday slate, which is scheduled to begin at 8:30 a.m. Garrard’s tipoff is scheduled for 9:45 p.m. and will probably be later than that, by which time the crowd will probably be pared to an intimate few. Still, it’s always a big deal to play on the same Rupp Arena hardwood where the Wildcats tread, and it’s a nice moment for a rebuilding Garrard program.

If you want to see the Garrard game, you should probably come early. Tickets are $12, good for the entire day’s worth of games and including pass-out privileges. Not a good deal if you’re going for just one game, but a much better bargain if you come for a few hours.

The weekend schedule also includes Friday night and Saturday afternoon games at Scott County. For a full schedule, visit


Boyle repeats as 4A champion

Boyle County has won its second consecutive Class 4A football championship and its seventh championship overall, rallying to defeat Allen County-Scottsville 21-14 in the title game tonight in Bowling Green.

The Rebels scored three times in a span of 8 minutes, 23 seconds on touchdown runs by Chris Cook, Lamar Dawson and Devon Cox to wipe out AC-S’s 7-0 halftime lead. The Patriots scored once more with 6:56 remaining, but Boyle killed 5:32 before giving the ball back to the Patriots at their own 24-yard line with 1:20 to play. Cook then intercepted a pass on fourth-and-11 to seal the Rebels’ victory in a second straight final that proved to be closer than many expected.

Boyle rushed for 249 of its 290 offensive yards, with Cook getting 175 yards on 28 carries. Cox added 63 yards on 11 attempts. Ryan Wilson had seven tackles to lead the Rebels’ defense, which allowed 239 yards. AC-S had two turnovers to Boyle’s one.

The Advocate sports team is again hard at work producing content that will appear online in the early morning hours at and in a special four-page wraparound surrounding Sunday’s sports section in the print edition.

For now, you can view the final statistics from the game here.

Meanwhile, the team will celebrate with its fans at its customary homecoming party at the school, which is scheduled to begin at about 2 a.m. Saturday.

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Friday football digest, week 16

These things I know: You cannot beat Boyle County if you cannot throw the football. And unless Allen County-Scottsville has undergone an incredible transformation in the last six days, it cannot — or is not willing — to throw the football.
Put two plus two together, and it adds up to one — one big win for Boyle.

The Rebels will win their second consecutive Class 4A championship and their seventh title in 12 years largely because they will smother an offense that knows only one way to advance.

AC-S has garnered 85 percent of its offensive yardage in 13 games this season by running the ball, and that just won’t work against Boyle. Two Rockcastle County teams learned that nearly a decade ago when their one-dimensional offense was swallowed up by Boyle teams in the 2001 and ’02 championships, and AC-S will learn it tonight.

The Patriots have certainly earned the right to take their best shot. They completed their second consecutive undefeated season — and only the second in school history — then bounced the Lone Oak team that beat them last year before going toe to toe with Boyle in the title game.

Hometown boy and former Lincoln County assistant coach Brad Hood, who worked under current Boyle coach Larry French for two years at Lincoln, gave up a more lucrative career to join the family business, and he now he works on the same field where he once played as a child while his father coached. Hood has pumped life into the program, and his teams have turned heads and taken names in central and western Kentucky for the last three years.

His Patriots do run the ball, and they do it with two running backs and a quarterback who have combined for somewhere in the neighborhood of 4,000 yards.They do not, however, complement it with a passing game. That same quarterback has attempted only 88 throws, a cool 6.8 per game.

Perhaps defense can keep AC-S in the game, but I just can’t see how the offense can accomplish much against Boyle’s impressive group of linemen and linebackers. Bell County couldn’t do it last week, and the list of teams that have tried and failed gets longer all the time. It grows by one tonight.

The pick:

  • Boyle County over Allen County-Scottsville.

Last week: 0-2; season: 58-12 (.829).

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Boyle County game day essentials

Boyle County fans are counting down the hours until game time when the Rebels get their chance at a seventh football championship. In case you’re tired of watching the second hand, here’s some information you can use to follow the Class 4A final between Boyle and Allen County-Scottsville whether you’re going to Bowling Green or staying behind:

Game time: 8 p.m. Friday. (Stadium gates open at 7 p.m.)

Site: Houchens Industries-L.T. Smith Stadium at Western Kentucky University, Bowling Green. (Click here for directions and a local map.)

Tickets: $10 for general admission seats, good for any seat in the stadium except chairbacks. (Chairback seats may be available for an additional charge.) Boyle is the visiting team, so its bench will be on the north side of the stadium, the same side as the press box. (Click here for stadium diagram.)

Parking: Should be available throughout the WKU campus, especially after 6 p.m. Some lots closest to the stadium may be reserved for pass-holders; garages on either side of E.A. Diddle Arena may charge a fee. (Click here for a parking map and info.)

Radio broadcast: WRNZ-FM (105.1) in Danville, WWKU-AM (1450) in Bowling Green, WVLE-FM (99.5) in Scottsville.

Online audio: Your choice of either the local or statewide broadcast is available online. (Click here for the WRNZ-FM broadcast; click here for the KHSAA network broadcast.)

Video/television: There is no live video broadcast or webcast. The KHSAA will make a delayed webcast of each state finals game available two hours after it ends. (Click here to reach the video link.) A delayed broadcast will also air on CWKYT in Lexington (digital channel 27.2, Time Warner Cable channel 99) at 3 p.m. Saturday.

Live stats: Available through the KHSAA once the game begins. (Click here for live stats.)

Game info: Rosters, depth charts, statistics and playoff brackets for all six state finals games are available through the KHSAA. (Click here for the links to all games.)

Newspaper coverage: Read about the game through coverage in the Advocate and in the Daily News of Bowling Green. (Click here for the Advocate’s game preview; click here for more Advocate coverage; click here for a Daily News story on Boyle; click here for a Daily News story on AC-S; click here for a Daily News story on finals weekend.)

Scouting the opponent: The Allen County-Scottsville football boosters maintain a page for their team that might be a good as any in the state. It includes stats, historical data, records and more. (Click here to reach the AC-S football page.)

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