Archive for August, 2011

Indianapolis school added to Boyle schedule

Boyle County’s football schedule is full once again with the addition of a game against Indianapolis Tech on Sept. 16 at Rebel Stadium.

Boyle coach Larry French told the Advocate’s Hal Morris today that the game is set, and it now appears on both Boyle’s page on the KHSAA online schedule and on Indianapolis Tech’s page on an IHSAA-sanctioned schedule site. Both pages currently list it as a road game for the respective teams, but French confirmed that the game will be at Boyle.

The game replaces an Oct. 7 game at Hancock County (Tenn.) that Hancock abruptly canceled last week, apparently after it had replaced Boyle with another opponent. The TSSSA schedule site shows that Hancock will play Ewing (Va.) Thomas Walker on the same night it was to have played the Rebels.

The game at Hancock would have been a walkover for Boyle, but this one probably won’t. Indianapolis Tech, also known locally as Arsenal Tech (the school occupies what was once a U.S. Civil War arsenal), plays in Indiana’s Class 5A, the largest of that state’s enrollment classes, and is in a sectional that includes 2010 5A runner-up Lawrence Central and current 5A No. 1 Indianapolis Warren Central. The Titans are 1-1 so far this summer under first-year coach Emil Ekiyor after going 8-2 last season.

The public school has an enrollment of about 2,000 students and includes three magnet programs. It is located only about a mile from Indianapolis’ central business district. It was originally designated as a practice site for one of the teams that will participate in the 2012 Super Bowl, but those plans have been changed. There won’t be a return game in Indianapolis, however, as the contract between the teams is for only one year.

Boyle will now have an open date Oct. 7.

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Saturday football finals, week 2

Here are Saturday night’s final scores from around the Advoplex:

  • Anderson County 42, Lincoln County 7
  • Boyle County 21, Allen County-Scottsville 0
  • Collins 56, Mercer County 13
  • Danville 22, Garrard County 14

And next week’s area games (all games Friday, Sept. 2):

  • Boyle County at Danville, 7:30 p.m.
  • Madison Central at Mercer County, 7:30 p.m.
  • Lincoln County at Washington County, 7:30 p.m.
  • Casey County at Green County, 8 p.m.
  • Garrard County at Lloyd Memorial, 8 p.m.
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Friday football final, week 2

Here’s the one and only final score from the Advoplex tonight:

  • Casey County 39, Taylor County 0

Remember, five of the six Advocate-area schools play Saturday. Here’s the schedule:

  • Stuart Powell Ford Tough Classic at Boyle County: Collins vs. Mercer County, 5 p.m.; Allen County-Scottsville vs. Boyle County, 7:45 p.m.
  • Bob Allen Pigskin Classic at Danville: Anderson County vs. Lincoln County, 5:30 p.m.; Garrard County vs. Danville, 8 p.m.
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This town is big enough for the both of them

If you wanted to stage a festival, something with music and games and funnel cakes, would you schedule it for the same weekend as the only other festival in your town? Probably not.

If you wanted to put on an early-season football bowl, a doubleheader that could bring in fans from a broad area, would you schedule it for the same day as the only other event of its kind in your town? At Boyle County, the answer is yes.

As a result, we have arrived on the eve of a day that will see two doubleheaders played within two miles of each other at exactly the same time in one of the most baffling scheduling decisions I’ve ever seen. Never mind that it makes no sense on any level of logic for these two bowls to go head to head, and never mind that bowls are commonly played around the state in each of the first three weeks of the season. Let’s put this game in this town on this day, and let the chips fall where they may.

It wasn’t supposed to be this way, or so we thought. The word was out well before last season started that Boyle wanted to start its own bowl, and the Advocate was told in January, about the time that most schedules were being finalized, that the game would be played on this day, Friday, Aug. 26, specifically because they didn’t want to compete with Danville’s bowl.

The Bob Allen Pigskin Classic’s spot on the schedule was already established. It has been played on the second Saturday of the season for the past two years and was already scheduled for the same spot in 2011 and 2012. Boyle had committed its bowl, which was recently titled the Stuart Powell Ford Tough Classic, for the second week of the season as well, but it made perfect sense for its games to be played on Friday.

The most distant team playing at Boyle, Allen County-Scottsville, has a drive of about 2 hours, 15 minutes from Scottsville to Danville, Slotting the Patriots into the second game would allow more than enough time for them and their fans to make that trip without cutting into anyone’s school or work day. The trip from Shelbyville, where Collins is located, is only about 1:15, giving that team plenty of time to get to Boyle for an early game.

I say all of that to say this: There is no good reason why these events should be held at the same time. Sure, both bowls will draw good crowds, especially because both have other nearby teams playing in them in addition to the hosts, and both will make money. But what’s wrong with attracting even more people and making even more money?

And what’s wrong with just doing the right thing in the interest of getting along with your neighbor? You may not like the so-and-so that lives next door to you, but you probably aren’t going to throw rocks through his windows just because you can. Boyle and Danville, however, have reached the rock-throwing stage, and pretty soon the flying objects are only going to get bigger. What happens next? The fence between their two yards just keeps getting taller and taller.

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Friday football digest, week 2

It’s a strange football Friday throughout most of the Advoplex, as only one local team will be in action tonight, while everyone else will play Saturday in one of two local bowl games.

Casey County has the stage to itself tonight for its home game with Taylor County. It looks like a bounce-back game for the Rebels, who acquitted themselves very well last week against Simon Kenton in a game where most people — including, I’ll admit, me — thought they would be obliterated. Everyone knows what the differences are between Casey and Simon Kenton, the largest school Casey has ever played, which is why the Rebels are and have every right to be energized after a 25-point defeat.

They find themselves on the opposite side of the coin tonight against Taylor, a team that won only one game last year and this year has its third coach in three seasons. The Rebels won’t be the kind of overwhelming favorite that Simon Kenton was last week, but they do have the edge in this game, and taking care of business the way favored teams are expeceted to do should serve them well in the coming weeks.

The other five area teams will play in one of the four games to be played Saturday at Boyle County and Danville. Check back later for my thoughts on why two bowls in one night in one town is one too many, but for now I’ll stick to the matchups.

Don’t expect the same kind of game that Boyle County and Allen County-Scottsville played in last year’s Class 4A championship when they meet again Saturday. Allen’s roster was gutted by graduation, and this year’s Patriots don’t look anything like the team that took Boyle to the wire last year, at least not yet. The rematch looks like it could be the most one-sided game of the weekend.

The Collins-Mercer County game at Boyle figures to be more interesting, if only to see what kind of stamp Paul Rains has put on the Mercer program. It also figures to be a wide-open game, with both teams relying heavily on the spread offense.

Across town, Lincoln County will face an angry Anderson County team that was stunned by a season-opening loss to Bryan Station — congratulations on your first win, Craig Yeast — in the opening game at Danville. Will the Patriots be just as angry about their loss to Danville last week and able to keep pace with what was expected to be a potent group of Bearcats?

In the nightcap, Danville gets a Garrard County team that is coming off the most exciting win of week one, a four-overtime victory over Clay County. Garrard is making a significant move up in class this week, even though it’s playing a team from a lower class, so the Golden Lions will have to rise to a greater challenge. Almost everything went right for the Admirals last week, but they will still be vulnerable if they can’t fix the few things that didn’t.

On another note, I’ve noticed that some people might be checking this blog in search of a final score for their favorite teams, so I’ll be posting those here on Friday nights (and Saturdays when necessary). This blog has never been designed as a first option for results and game details, because there simply isn’t time in my schedule to post results from so many different teams and sports. But I’ll post a quick list of football scores here as my schedule permits on game nights, and remember that you can visit on Saturday mornings to read the stories from Friday night’s games.

Finally, here are this week’s predictions:

  • Casey County over Taylor County.
  • Anderson County over Lincoln County.
  • Boyle County over Allen County-Scottsville.
  • Collins over Mercer County.
  • Danville over Garrard County.

Last week: 3-1.

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Boyle bowl time moved up; Rebels close to adding game

The brand new Boyle County bowl, which will be played for the first time Saturday at Rebel Stadium, has a new name and a new start time.

The doubleheader is now the Stuart Powell Ford Tough Classic thanks to sponsorship from the local Ford dealer. And while previously released schedules said the first game between Mercer County and Collins would start at 5:30 p.m., it will start at 5 p.m. Boyle’s game against Allen County-Scottsville is expected to begin at about 7:45 p.m.

Meanwhile, the Advocate’s Hal Morris reports that Boyle may have found an Indianapolis school to fill the vacancy on its schedule created hearly this week when Hancock County (Tenn.) suddenly canceled its Oct. 7 game with the Rebels. If Boyle and the unnamed Indiana school can reach an agreement, they would play Sept. 16, and Oct. 7 would become the Rebels’ open date.

Here’s the full schedule for both local bowls Saturday:

  • Stuart Powell Ford Tough Classic at Boyle County: Collins vs. Mercer County, 5 p.m.; Allen County-Scottsville vs. Boyle County, 7:45 p.m.
  • Bob Allen Pigskin Classic at Danville: Anderson County vs. Lincoln County, 5:30 p.m.; Garrard County vs. Danville, 8 p.m.
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Boyle looking for 10th game — again

For the second time this year, Boyle County has a hole on its 2011 football schedule after Hancock County (Tenn.) canceled its Oct. 7 game with the Rebels today.

Boyle assistant coach Chris Mason sent an email to the Kentucky football coaches’ list-serve saying that Hancock canceled the game and that Boyle is looking for a game. “If anyone is looking we would be glad to play anybody. We can talk about home and away if you are interested,” Mason said in the email.

The Boyle-Hancock game, which was added to the schedule only about two months ago, never made sense to begin with — Hancock is a fledgling program that plays in Tennessee’s smallest public-school class and went 6-36 in its first five seasons — but Boyle was trying to fill its schedule any way possible.

Now the Rebels’ options for filling their schedule are few, at least in Kentucky. A cross-check of KHSAA schedules released Aug. 10 and the KHSAA football scoreboard shows that only nine other state schools have less than 10 games on their schedules at this point. Of those nine, only three teams have open dates that match one of Boyle’s two available slots, Sept. 16 and Oct. 7.

Here’s the list: Louisville Holy Cross (Class 1A-2), open on Sept. 16; Knox Central (Class 4A-6), open on Oct. 7; and Shawnee (Class 2A-4), open on Sept. 16.

There’s no chance that Shawnee would want any part of playing Boyle, and probably not much chance that Holy Cross would be interested, either. The most likely matchup would seem to be with Knox, but the Panthers play in the sister district in Boyle’s region and therefore are a possible playoff opponent, and they might not be interested in the idea of perhaps playing Boyle twice in a month.

The bottom line is that if Boyle can’t find another out-of-state opponent — and fast — it’s looking at a nine-game schedule.


Friday football digest, week 1

The day many of us have been pointing toward for months is finally here, as a new high school football season begins again tonight, with five of the six Advocate-area teams kicking things off with local games.

It’s Danville vs. Lincoln County and Casey County vs. Simon Kenton in Lincoln’s Death Valley Bowl, Boyle County hosts Highlands and Garrard County hosts Clay County. (Mercer County will wait until next week to get going.)

Let’s cut to the chase. With due respect to tonight’s other three local games, the Highlands-Boyle game is the most anticipated regular-season game in these parts in several years. It’s a battle between two teams that have been stacking up championships — Highlands has won four straight; Boyle has two in a row — but that will now be fighting for the same title as a result of the latest realignment.

Message board discussions on this game were under way even before last season ended, and of course they’ve been going strong for the last two or three weeks. The question is whether Boyle can stand up to the tough new kid on its block or whether Highlands will simply steamroll through Boyle and everyone else in Class 4A as it has done recently in 5A.

The answer, however, lies somewhere in the middle. Boyle is certainly good enough to be more than a speed bump in Highlands’ path, but the Bluebirds still look on paper to be a better team than the Rebels at this point. I expect Highlands to win convincingly but not in a rout, and I expect a much better game between these two teams if they meet again in November, which they likely will.

To the south, there are three local teams in the Death Valley Bowl, and the main event is the opener, a renewal of the Danville-Lincoln rivalry that has been dormant since 2004. It’s good to see these two teams playing again, which they’ll also do next year in Danville’s bowl. There’s not much love lost between the two fan bases, but this rivalry isn’t so bitter that it can’t be played at least every now and then. Danville begins its 100th season with a bright outlook but also a fistful of question marks on both sides of the ball, while Lincoln is looking to build some momentum after starting an upward climb last season.

Casey has one of the area’s two new coaches, as Sam Marple makes his head coaching debut at his alma mater. Marple inherited an experienced team from Andy Stephens, who is now an assistant coach at Southwestern, but he also inherited a brutal schedule that is easily the toughest the Rebels have ever played. The other new coach is Mercer’s Paul Rains, who is trying to turn a program that has been going in the wrong direction since 2007, the year after it won the 2A championship.

Garrard and its coach, Mark Scenters, are looking for a better year but are starting with a tough opponent in Clay. Still, the Golden Lions have a wealth of experience returning as well, including a number of skill players who hope to help them put up big numbers on the scoreboard — which they’ll probably have to do.

The Garrard-Clay game is dubbed the Hall of Fame Bowl — though its only a single game — and it and the Death Valley Bowl comprise only half the schedule of local bowls this year. There are two more games next Saturday, one established and one new: the Bob Allen Pigskin Classic at Danville (Anderson County vs. Lincoln, Garrard vs. Danville) and a yet-to-bep-named bowl at Boyle (Collins vs. Mercer, Allen County-Scottsville vs. Boyle). More on that next week.

Hope you’re ready for the season. Enjoy the games and my predictions for week 1:

  • Clay County over Garrard County.
  • Danville over Lincoln County.
  • Highlands over Boyle County.
  • Simon Kenton over Casey County.


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Live high school sports chat debuts Wednesday

Join us Wednesday at as for the debut of a live weekly chat devoted exclusively to high school sports.

Fellow Advocate sports writer Hal Morris and I will take questions and talk sports on the 30-minute chat, which begins at 1 p.m. Wednesday and will move to a regular time slot at 1 p.m. Thursdays beginning next week. You can find the chat at this link and even sign in now if you like, in which case you’ll receive an email reminder when the chat draws near.

The chat concides with the start of football season Friday, but we welcome your questions and comments on any high school sport. It’ll be a friendly discussion, so come in, pull up a chair and join the conversation.

We’ll keep an eye out for your boss.

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Casey volleyball, softball player dies

The Casey County volleyball and softball teams have been stunned by the death of Olivia Shugars, who died Saturday from what appears to be a case of viral meningitis.

Shugars would have been a senior this year. Her funeral will be held Wednesday at the school. Here is her obituary. Condolences to her family and the Casey athletic family.

Casey’s match Monday at Marion County was postponed.

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