Darren Doyle, story
Once again, Edmonson County High School will host the Rafferty’s/Double Dogs Caveland Classic, a popular Christmas basketball event that has been around for over a decade. The classic will begin on Monday, December 26th and finish on December 29th.
As title sponsor, Rafferty’s & Double Dogs restaurants play the key role in putting on the classic each year thanks to Edmonson County’s own Scott Lindsey, who serves as vice president.
As vice president of the successful and well-known casual restaurant chain, Lindsey, who graduated from ECHS in 1985, has not forgotten his roots and says he is proud to continue to represent Edmonson County.
"Besides my Dad and Mom, Carl and Elsie Lindsey, I have many lifelong friends and relatives still in EC." Lindsey said. "I travel a lot with work, but usually when working in the area I stay with my parents. My church, Brownsville General Baptist is also there."
The Caveland Classic first came to Edmonson County in 1990 but because of location, logistics, and lack of interest, the tournament lost it's appeal and fizzled out. A conversation between Lindsey and former EC Athletic Director and football coach Rick Wood in 2005 helped rekindle the flame.
Lindsey said the conversation started from an idea of how to honor the 1976 State Championship team the following year, which led to a how there could be a way to honor EC boys and Girls basketball every year. That way would be to revive the Caveland Classic with Lindsey at the helm to secure sponsorship from Rafferty's and Double Dog's.
Even with the legwork and effort put forth by Lindsey, he doesn't take credit for the reboot of the classic, nor it's success.
"After that first year I became so impressed with our kids, parent involvement, and the coaches that I knew this tourney partnership needed to continue," he said. "And it will as long as the school will have us, if it's always my decision."
ECHS Athletic Director Kyle Pierce credited Lindsey for his pivotal role in bringing the tournament back to Edmonson County.
“Without Scott, there would not be a Caveland Classic. He not only helps us financially, but he's provided meals for all the teams and that’s a lot of food," Pierce said. "Our girls and boys boosters have also stepped up and will help feed the teams as well."
Pierce said that each game should be close and competitive as the featured teams will share similar styles, sizes, and talent.
This year, there will be four girls' teams and four boys' teams which include: Edmonson County, Russellville, Barren County, and Bardstown for the girls, and Edmonson County, Clinton County, Barren County, and Ohio County on the boys' side.
There will be four games each day with all games being played at ECHS. You can buy a three-day tournament pass for $20 or single day tickets are $8.00 for the entire day. There is no cost to ECHS season tickets holders as their cards will be honored throughout the tournament.
"The teams and coaches that come here are always impressed," added Pierce. "The officials are always excited to come here also because they know we treat them well, too. This three-day event helps our high school teams, parents, and our fans to stay close and not have to travel far away to watch us play. We are very fortunate to have Scott Lindsey and the people at Rafferty’s & Double Dogs to help us put on this great event, so come early and watch some great basketball.”
Lindsey said the impact from the tournament is positive in so many ways and Rafferty's is proud to be involved.
"I've had many former players students thank me over the years for Rafferty's sponsorship and the work we've done with all EC athletics. I've also gained employees that either attended or played in the classic. Currently, I think we have six EC grads working for Rafferty's, three of which are long-term managers."
Lindsey said that just recently at the Rafferty's Bowling Green location, he counted forty guests from EC eating there.
"Those were just the ones that I knew. I see many others in my travels at our other concepts, Double Dogs, Montana Grille, and Corner Bakery. Our intent is to keep this partnership growing and hopefully it will increase. My hope is for it to become the premiere small school tourney in the area."
If you can't attend in person, you can listen to all EC girls and boys action on WildcatsLive, only on EdmonsonVoice.com