Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Back row L-R: ECHS asst. coach Hannah Ruth Clemmons, ECHS head coach Alex Jane Massey, Todd VanMeter, Jennifer VanMeter, ECHS asst. coach Kevin Clemmons, Front row L-R: Brescia head coach Traci Smith, Shea VanMeter, Brescia asst. coach Kim McCrady.
Shea VanMeter, a 2021 graduate of Edmonson County High School signed with Brescia University today to play softball.
VanMeter said she had been thinking about Brescia non-stop since Brescia Bearcat Head Coach Traci Smith first reached out to her.
"I thought about it all the time," she said. "I was just trying to decide what was best and I know that this is best and it will pay off. I've worked too hard to just let softball go. I'm not ready to hang my cleats up just yet."
Coach Smith said VanMeter's work ethic was what drew her to the Bearcat program.
"She's got such great work ethic, and paired with her athletic ability, I mean, what more could you ask for?" she said. "I didn't hear back from her and didn't think she was interested but thank goodness her coach reached out to me and said she was still interested."
ECHS Coach Massey said anytime a player can continue their sport past high school is a big deal.
"Not everyone gets these opportunities and it takes a lot to get to that point," she said. "To play at the next level is something you can be proud of."
Brescia is located in Owensboro, KY, and Shea plans on starting there in the fall.
Coach Madison Reflects On Both Professional Career and Edmonson County Roots
Darren Doyle, story: photo courtesy of K. Madison:
Retired University of Kentucky baseball coach Keith Madison, a Brownsville native and ECHS graduate, has been announced as one of this year's inductees to the Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame.
Coach Madison was head baseball coach at UK for 25 years (1979-2003), leading the Wildcats to 737 wins, third-most in SEC history when he retired, and second-most wins for any coach in any sport in UK history behind Adolph Rupp. Madison was 26 when he took over at UK, the youngest Division I head baseball coach in history at the time, and coached 17 players who eventually played in the majors, including 2006 Cy Young winner Brandon Webb.
"I was stunned," Coach Madison told the Edmonson Voice when he heard the news about his upcoming induction. "I didn’t even know that I had been nominated. After the initial shock, the emotions I felt were humbleness and gratitude."
Madison, a 1969 graduate of Edmonson County High School, had what he described as an "incredibly rewarding" path from his home in Lindseyville to bringing success to the University of Kentucky for 25 years.
"After being released by the Reds in ’74, I had to make some serious plans," he said. "I now had a wife but no job. Thankfully, I had attended Western Kentucky University during the off season of my baseball career and graduated the same year I was released from the Reds. Coaching was something I could pour all of my energy into and utilize the knowledge I had gained from the Expos' and Reds' coaches and field managers."
Madison's coaching beginnings started in Lake Wales, Florida, thanks to one of his cousins, Kenneth Ashley, who was teaching in the Polk County School system. He encouraged Coach Madison and his wife, Sharon, to start careers in education there. After two years at the high school level, a big break came when a graduate assistant-ship was offered him at Mississippi State University under legendary coach Ron Polk.
While finishing up graduate school at there, he began exploring coaching opportunities at the college level.
"I was hoping for an assistant coach position at a four-year school or perhaps a head coaching opportunity at a junior college," he said. "One day toward the end of the baseball season at Mississippi State, Coach Polk told me the University of Kentucky job was “open” and he suggested that I apply. My response was, “Coach, I’m 26 years old. Cliff Hagan (Athletic Director) isn’t going to hire someone my age.” Coach Polk simply said, "send your resume, I’ll give him a call.” I sent the resume to Mr. Hagan, but before I could hear back I was offered a junior college coaching position in Illinois. I didn’t want to give up on the dream for coaching for the Wildcats so I called Mr. Hagan from my mom and dad’s house in Lindseyville and actually got through to him. I told him that I had sent my resume to him a few weeks earlier and was in Kentucky visiting my parents. He said, “can you be in my office at 10:00 tomorrow morning?” Needless to say, I made the trip. The rest is history. I became the youngest baseball coach in Division l baseball and stayed there for 25 years. The interview process and then getting the call a few days later from Cliff Hagan was surreal. I had heard my father tell stories about the great Cliff Hagan and his prowess on the basketball court, and I now I will be working for him and coaching in the SEC. Prior to the interview, the only time I had been to Lexington was when my mom and dad took us to the Kentucky High School State Basketball Tournament. It was overwhelming for a boy from Edmonson County. Fortunately, I had coaches, teachers, and family members who believed in me…probably more than I believed in myself."
Coach Madison said he could sum up his stellar career at UK In one word, "relationships."
"The players and assistant coaches were what it was all about," he said. "Seeing the players improve and reach many of their goals was rewarding. I realized soon into my coaching career that I wasn’t meant to be a Major League Baseball player, I was meant to coach. I stay in touch with many, if not most, of my former players. It’s so special to see them now as successful businessmen, teachers, coaches, doctors, attorneys, but more importantly, good husbands and good fathers. Of course, not all of them are success stories and that is heartbreaking to see them go through difficult times. It’s almost like family. I loved the competition, loved the player development, but the relationships last a lifetime."
These days, you'll likely find him working for a faith-based non-profit organization, SCORE International, a ministry that specializes in short-term mission trips to third world countries. There, he travels with coaches, teams, and business men, where they conduct free baseball clinics, give food, clothing, and baseball equipment to kids in need. He also publishes a magazine called "Inside Pitch" with Cincinnati Reds broadcaster/commentator Chris Welsh.
Coach Madison also reflected back on his athletic career at ECHS more than 50 years ago, where he played baseball, basketball, and ran track. Football was not yet a high school sport in Edmonson County at that time.
"My baseball coach was Kaye Don Van Meter, a quiet, strong leader that had a major impact on my life," he said. "Charles Alexander was an assistant coach in baseball and basketball. He played both sports at Campbellsville University, so he was definitely instrumental in my development. Pete Clemons was my basketball coach and taught me both mental and physical toughness. We had some good teams with Tracy Meredith, Carlton Alexander, Tommy Houchin, Ed Rich, and others who were good players. I took something from every coach, including my junior high coach, Gerald Meredith, and my Little League coach, David Webb. David and I maintained a close relationship until the day he passed. I was blessed to have coaches who were not only good coaches, but good people. I’m thankful for all of them."
He coached nine UK All-Americans, 20 first-team All-SEC selections, 89 SEC academic honors award-winners and led UK to two NCAA appearances. In 1999, he was pitching coach for Team USA; in 2007, he was inducted into the American Baseball Coaches Association (ABCA) Hall of Fame; and in 2013 earned the Lefty Gomez Lifetime Achievement Award for contributions to amateur baseball.
Madison is a former president of the ABCA and currently chairman of the board.
The 2021 Kentucky Sports Hall of Fame Inductees and their families will be honored on Sept. 7, 2021, at the Galt House Hotel in downtown Louisville. For more info, contact Julie Howell at email@example.com / (502) 587-6742.
"Everyone needs someone to believe in them," Coach said. "I was fortunate to have a wonderful mother and father who believed in me and supported me. They made sure that church came before sports. They instilled in me the importance of faith in Christ and treating people with respect. I had numerous teachers and coaches who taught the same values. My parents, each coach, each teacher, each former player, assistant coach, and each teammate are a huge part of this honor. I am very thankful and I know this could not have happened without God opening the doors."
Edmonson Voice Sports:
A total of 63 young basketball campers from grades kindergarten through 8th grade just completed ECHS's Wildcat Basketball Camp, 2021. Members of the Wildcat basketball team served as instructors and participants in the event.
Each year, the camp invites future Wildcats to participate in the program that emphasizes fundamentals, proper footwork and technique, while playing unselfishly and with great effort.
Head Coach Brad Johnson said that this year's campers were very enthusiastic and many were disappointed when it was over.
“I was blown away by the turnout," Coach Brad said. "Kids were enthusiastic and worked hard. I could see lots of improvement from the first day to the last.”
Johnson said the camp was able to show the older kids parts of the ECHS system and what to expect when they enter high school basketball. He said he was also very pleased with how his current players handled themselves as instructors.
“I am proud of the high school boys and how they interacted with the kids.”
Awards were given for "hot spot," offense, defense, as well as "110%."
“We are excited about the future of EC basketball," Coach Brad added. "We have some boys that are ready to go to work.”
DOWNLOAD THE REGISTRATION FORM BELOW:
ECHS Golf parents and players, please join us for a parent/player meeting on Tuesday, July 13 at 6 PM at Edmonson County High School. Any middle school or high school student interested in being a member of the golf team is encouraged to attend. Coach Kayla and Coach Granville will be there to answer any questions about practices, matches, and discuss the upcoming season. We look forward to seeing you there!
Edmonson Voice Sports:
Blake Skaggs, a recent graduate of Edmonson County High School, has signed with Campbellsville University to join their track team as a pole vaulter.
Blake has been involved in track and pole vaulting for three years. He first started pole vaulting with the track team at Warren East High School , coached by Ken Skae, and was part of the boy’s regional champions there as a sophomore in 2019.
After COVID shut down the track program in 2020, Skaggs returned to ECHS in 2021 as part of the Wildcat Track Team, competing in track and pole vaulting. He recently placed fourth in the region in pole vault, where he competed against athletes who had vaulted for years while Blake had only two years experience. Blake also competed in the 200 meter and 400 meter events.
ECHS Track Coach Brad Meredith discussed Blake's signing today.
"I'm very proud of Blake," he said. "He's worked extremely hard, on his own I may add. There were times when he was the last one at practice, working on his own. His work ethic is the reason he's got this opportunity. I'm very excited for him and his family and I thing Campbellsville is a perfect fit and I think he'll succeed."
Blake most recently competed in the KHSAA State meet where he performed his personal best. Blake chose Campbellsville over the University of the Cumberlands.
"I would like to thank all of my coaches from high school, including Edmonson County Track Coach Brad Meredith and Warren East Track Coach Ken Skae," Skaggs said. "Also a special thanks goes to Vault Coach Mike Fansler and former teammate and Vault Coach Rylee Fansler for their help and dedication."
He’s the son of Lori and Brian Alexander of Caneyville and Kyle and Kelli Skaggs of Oakland.
Edmonson Voice Sports:
The Edmonson County Lady Cat Softball team hosted a youth team camp June 23rd and 24th at James Woodcock Field.
Head Coach Alex Jane Massey said during the two-day camp, 47 youth players ranging from grades 1-8 learned drills, techniques, and most importantly, had plenty of fun.
Campers worked both one-on-one and in teams with Lady Cat coaching staff and players.
"The best part is that our own Lady Cats were there teaching them along the way," she said. "This is something that we hope to do every year."
Kayla Meredith Named Head Lady Cat Golf Coach, Granville Meredith Named Head Coach of Wildcat Golf
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County High School named new coaches today for the Wildcat and Lady Cat Golf Team for the upcoming school year. Granville Meredith was named boys' coach and the girls' team will be led by his daughter and former ECHS golf standout, Kayla Meredith.
Granville is a 1988 graduate of ECHS and is returning to the course in his Edmonson County gear after serving as volunteer assistant coach for the team from 2010 through 2016. Upon completing his first stint of coaching, Granville continued to stay busy in high school athletics as a KHSAA softball official and is currently in his 9th year as umpiring at the high school level.
He also has 36 years experience as a youth league umpire. He is currently a WildcatsLive sports commentator on the Edmonson Voice and is employed at Delta Faucet Company in Morgantown as Information Technology Administrator.
"I look forward to this opportunity," he said. "I enjoy working with youth and teaching them not only about the sport, but also about attributes they can carry with them their whole life. I want to be a positive role model and teach them that whether you win or lose, be thankful for the opportunity. I'm excited to be coaching at my old high school. Everybody says it but I mean it. Once a Wildcat, always a Wildcat.”
Granville's daughter Kayla graduated from ECHS in 2016 after playing multiple seasons with the Lady Cat golf team where she qualified for the All-A State Tournament three times and the KHSAA State Championship her senior year. After graduating, she attended Midway University on scholarship as a member of the Lady Eagles golf team. She went on to win individual and team titles including NAIA Conference Champions for three years and also competed at the national level by qualifying for the NAIA National Championship. Kayla also works as a behavioral therapist for children with autism.
"I’m very excited to help this team," she said. "It’s a big moment for me to have the opportunity to return to my home team that I love so much, and I hope I can help create opportunities for these kids, just like the ones I had over the years."
Principal Jonathan Williams said that this is a unique opportunity for not only Granville and Kayla, but also for the school.
"I don't know that we've ever had a father-daughter combo in coaching any of our teams, so that's special and I'm excited about that," he said. "But you can't have quality coaching unless you start with quality people, and that's what we have here with Granville and Kayla. They know what they're doing and I'm looking forward to seeing where they'll take our golf program."
Granville said few get the opportunity to coach a high school sport with their children.
"After coaching Kayla for six years and seeing her reach so many of her goals, words can't express the joy of joining her as head coach for this program," he added. "She certainly knows golf, but her drive and compassion to help others is what I believe will bring her success and I look forward to being out on the course with her and the kids."
The two coaches plan on scheduling a meet-and-greet with team members soon.
Edmonson Voice Sports:
The ECHS Track team had a successful run at the 2021 KHSAA State Meet on Thursday, June 10th in Lexington at the University of Kentucky's track and field complex.
Multiple team and individuals finished in the top 20 of their respective categories, with four categories finishing in the top 10.
Karrington Peger earned All-State Honors in the discus with an 8th place finish. She also finished 10th in the shot put.
Daniel Woosley set a personal best in the long jump to finish 9th place.
Cariann Williams, a 7th grader, finished with a new personal best, which was 18th in the 800 meter.
Emma Grace Cena finished 19th in the 400 meter.
Blake Skaggs set a personal best in the pole vault, while he finished 16th.
Lane Lindsey jumped a personal best in the triple jump and placed 10th while also placing 16th in the 400 meter dash.
4x800 -13th place
Team Members: Caroline Parsley, Cariann Williams, Emma Grace Cena, Courtney Garrett
Team members: Jaedlyn Simon, Lilly Jane Vincent, Courtney Garret, Katie Lindsey
4x100 13th place: (team broke their own school record)
Team members: Maham Shabazz, Lilly Jane Vincent, Courtney Garret, Katie Lindsey
4x400 -12th place:
Team members: Emma Grace Cena, Caroline Parsley, Maham Shabazz, Courtney Garrett
Boys 4x200 -16th place:
Team members: Payton Vincent, Zander Bass, Tyler Anderson, Lane Lindsey
Head Coach Brad Meredith complimented the impressive finishes for his team.
"We had a great state meet," he said. "I’m so proud of how our athletes performed and represented our school and community at the state level.”
Wave Parade Planned For Wednesday Morning
Edmonson Voice Sports:
Members of the ECHS Wildcat Track team are headed to the KHSAA State Championships this week to compete in a host of events.
Competing in the girls 4x100 Meter Relay will be Maham Shabazz; Lilly Jane Vincent; Courtney Garrett; Katie Lindsey Emma Grace Cena; Jaedlyn Simon; Christina Compton.
For the girls 4x200 Meter Relay: Jaedlyn Simon; Lilly Jane Vincent; Courtney Garrett; Katie Lindsey Caroline Parsley; Maham Shabazz; Emma Grace Cena; Christina Compton.
In the girls 4x400 Meter Relay: Emma Grace Cena; Caroline Parsley; Maham Shabazz; Courtney Garrett Lilly Miller; Katie Lindsey; Jaedlyn Simon; Cariann Williams.
For the girls 4x800 Meter Relay: Caroline Parsley; Cariann Williams; Courtney Garrett; Emma Grace Cena Jaedlyn Simon; Kenadi Swihart; Lilly Miller.
For the boys, in the 4x200 Meter Relay: Payton Vincent; Zander Bass; Tyler Anderson; Lane Lindsey Daniel Woosley; Hunter Hayes; Braden Wall.
Competing in the boys 4x400 Meter Relay: Lane Lindsey; Payton Vincent; Zander Bass; Tyler Anderson Daniel Woosley; Braden Wall; Logan Brooks; Jarrett Prunty.
ECHS is coordinating a "wave parade" to send off the team in style as they leave this Wednesday for competition on Thursday. The team bus will leave around 10:15am on Wednesday and community members and fans are asked to line up down the street and on the square to cheer on the team.
All ECHS athletes making the state roster included: Tyler Anderson, Zander Bass, Logan Brooks, Emma Grace Cena, Christina Compton, Courtney Garrett, Hunter Hayes, Katie Lindsey, Lane Lindsey, Lilly Miller, Caroline Parsley, Karrington Peger, Jarrett Prunty, Maham Shabazz, Jaedlyn Simon, Blake Skaggs, Kenadi Swihart, Lilly Jane Vincent, Payton Vincent, Braden Wall, Cariann Williams, and Daniel Woosley.
ECHS Tracks and Cross Country is coached by Brad Meredith.
Edmonson County High is inviting the public to attend an open meeting tonight, June 2nd at 5:30PM to discuss the possibilities of addition of soccer, tennis, and/or other sports for the 21-22 school year.
The meeting will be held in the high school library. Anyone interested in the addition of any new sports is invited to attend.
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Wildcat baseball team won their first district championship team in more than 30 years yesterday, defeating the Trinity Raiders 4-1 in Butler County.
The Wildcats last won the district title back in 1988, during the school's District 15 and Region 4 days. That was the year Edmonson County's very own Superintendent of Schools, Brian Alexander, was a senior on that team.
Edmonson County moved to the District 12 finals yesterday after defeating Grayson County on Monday in an extra-inning game, 4-2.
The Wildcats were in control the entire game yesterday, paced by 7th-grader Hunter Wilson on the mound. Wilson gave up zero runs on three hits, struck out four, and walked three. Junior Gavin Minyard pitched two innings in relief, allowing only one run on no hits, one strikeout, and a walk.
While the Wildcats notched only one unearned run against the Raiders, they were able to use five errors committed by Trinity to their advantage, turning them into trips across the plate. Edmonson had zero errors in the field, and defense is an area where Head Coach Bo West has been determined to find success all season long.
"Our defense was huge yesterday," he said. "Our defense is what's turned us around this year. We committed only one error in two district tournament games, and coming into the stretch, we knew it would be even more important."
West said in addition to solid defense, it was also the senior leaders that helped boost the team's confidence early in the season after beating Butler County on the road 6-2, after getting thrashed from them at home the night before, 15-3.
"Everything was off when this season started because of the COVID shutdown," he said. "We were working through so much after losing an entire season. The guys were pretty quiet at the beginning of the year as everyone started working back to baseball stuff. Our seniors stepped up and led the team as the team as a whole started gaining confidence. Our guys were able to stay loose but also stay focused and those are things that led to the guys playing really good baseball recently."
Isaiah Johnson and Hunter Wilson each went 1-3, Chaz Wilson was 1-1 with an RBI. Gavin Rose was 1-2 with an RBI, and Dylan Lindsey went 1-2 with 2 RBIs.
The team was met at Riverhill with emergency vehicles last night for an official district championship escort into town.
"I thought there was a wreck or something, then they said it was because they were escorting us in, and that was awesome," Coach West said.
West's teams have gotten close a few times, but not often. The last time Edmonson competed in the region tournament was 2013, so the opportunity to still be playing baseball at this time of the year brings on a whole new excitement for the team.
"I'm proud of these kids and proud for our county," our parents, our coaches, the alum, and everyone that's been involved in the baseball program," he said. "You wouldn't think it'd be that hard to win two games, but boy, it is. I'm just happy for everybody."
The District Champion Wildcats are now set to take on District 11 runner-up Hancock County this Saturday, at 10AM at the Region 3 Tournament, hosted at Grayson County.
"Everybody is excited to make it to region. I feel like we'll be ready and that right now, we're playing our best baseball. I'll look at some scouting reports on Hancock, but we know they have good speed and a couple good pitchers. We'll have to have our A-game on defense to beat them. We're going out there with nothing to lose and we're looking forward to it."
Edmonson County is now 17-14 on the season and have won their last 4 games. They have won the last 8 of 9 contests, dating back to May 11th.
ECHS Sports: Photos courtesy of ECHS Bass Fishing:
The ECHS Bass Fishing Team brought home the team's first-ever hardware for the school with both team and individual honors on Saturday, May 22nd at the KBF/SAF Nolin Lake-Wax tournament. The team just missed the first place mark, coming in second for the school's first win.
Team members Cooper Richardson and Jake Coy's combined 17.5lbs of fish helped give the Wildcats their first tournament placing. Richardson's 5lb 11oz largemouth was good enough to win him biggest fish of the tournament honors.
Head Coach Jeremy Hodges said the boys on the team have been nothing but impressive this year.
"I'm extremely proud of our guys this season," he said. "They have incredible determination and drive and it's great to see these young men succeeding. I look forward to bigger and better things--and fish--in the future for these guys."
Coach Hodges said there were about 50 boats in the tournament from three different schools.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Wildcat Baseball team celebrated their annual senior night on Monday, May 18, 2021 at Wildcat Field by honoring 9 seniors and their families.
The following seniors were honored on the infield during the ceremony:
The Wildcats won 7-2 over Warren Central to improve their record to 12-13 on the season. Senior Chaz Wilson pitched a complete game with 10 strikeouts and 5 walks. He also went 2-4 with an RBI.
J.T. Skaggs went 1-3 with an RBI while Gavin Rose and Grayson Nunn added one RBI each.
Coach Bo West discussed each senior and their respective impacts on the team.
"Chaz has been great for us for 6 years, starting for us as a 7th grader," he said. "A great player and just a workhorse. I can't say enough about him, I mean, where would we be without him? Same with Isaiah Johnson. He's been our varsity catcher since he was a freshman. You don't have a team without a catcher and he's been a wall back there for us. Gavin Rose has really come along as a pitcher for us this year and he's hitting the ball really well. All these guys have been leaders for us but I'm really pleased with Gavin this year. Dylan Lindsey has played several years but never really much varsity time. He's done a great job at second for us this year. Great speed, and one of the best kids, ever. He can also bunt the ball anywhere. This is Grayson Nunn's first year since freshman year and he's come along really well. He can pitch some, hop around to different positions, he just does what we need him to do and he'd done a good job coming back. Clay Walden is in his second year with us, and he's got great speed. When he gets on base, I just let him go. He's done a great job on the bases and center field, and as a lead-off guy. Tyler Fugate is another first-year varsity starter. He got hurt earlier in the year and that kept us from pitching him but he's played infield and outfield, got a great attitude, and always cheers on his teammates. J.T. Skaggs is a great kid, you can't ask for any better. He comes every game with a great attitude, whether he's playing or not. As a senior, it can be hard if you're not playing a lot, but a kid's value isn't just measured in playing time, it's also measured in character and J.T. has that, and we love him. He plays hard and is important to this team. Blake Skaggs is the same way. He also runs track so he's got great speed. He's a great role player, he cheers on his teammates and he's been a good leader. That's a lot of seniors, the most we've had since I've been here. They're great and I couldn't ask for a better group of kids. Seems like our kids just keep getting better, year after year."
The Wildcats have 6 more regular season games left before facing off against Grayson County in the district tournament, which will be hosted by Butler County.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Edmonson County Lady Cat Softball celebrated with their three seniors for 2021 Senior Night at James Woodcock Field.
The three seniors honored were:
The Lady Cats won 15-0 over Warren Central in three innings.
Edmonson Celebrates 15-0 Win Over Warren Central On Senior Night
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
After three tough consecutive seasons, plus last year which saw the entire season cancelled, the Edmonson County Lady Cat softball team has already reached a milestone not achieved since the 2018 season, and that's winning at least 10 games in a season.
Last night's 15-0 dominating performance over the struggling Lady Dragons of Warren Central in only three innings evened out their record at 10-10. Edmonson County has not seen a winning season since 2016, where they finished 23-12 and as district champs. Since then, they'd only won only 2 district games until this year, where they are 4-2 in District 12 play.
With a new coaching staff led by Alex Jane Massey, along with several new faces on the field and dugout, there is a renewed attitude towards Lady Cat softball that revolves around winning--despite their .500 record.
"Winning is a mindset," said Coach Massey. "When we came in as coaches, we believed that these kids needed to know that somebody believed in them and that they had potential to win. We try to be positive, but we have rules and expectations. When they fall short, we know that they're better than that, and we have to let them know that they're better than that."
Coach Massey said although last season was cancelled due to the pandemic, it's caused greater appreciation for the game and that this season has served as somewhat of a fresh start for the team.
"Coming in as a new coach is always an obstacle, but we got to know each other quickly," she said. "Because of COVID and these girls missing an entire season, they were so eager to get out here and play. I think because it was taken away from them and just being able to start new this year, they appreciated it more. "
Three seniors were honored last night after the win; Shea VanMeter, Abbie Slaughter, and Mariena Thomas. Coach Massey talked about each one and what they've meant to this team.
"I couldn't have asked for any better seniors," she said. "They all bring something different to the table, which is great. You've got Mariena, who's always upbeat. She's ready to rock-n-roll no matter what, and she's in full throttle 24/7, but you need that on a team. Her energy is contagious. Then you've got Abbie. Her whole senior story just proves her dedication to this team. She's overcome an injury, she's just come back from being sick all week, she's a prime example of dedication and heart to this team, and the girls feed off that as well. Then you've got Shea who literally has played three different positions since the beginning of the season. She's a kid who leads straight by example. She comes in, puts her head down, works hard, and if you ask her to do anything, she's going to do it to the best of her ability and that's something kids need to see. All of these attributes are things that make a team, a team."
Coach Massey said that coming into the season, she asked each team member to list both personal and team goals. She said 95% of the team said they wanted a district championship.
"We've got 8 or 9 games left before we meet Whitesville in the district tournament," she said. "Every one of those is a practice game to beat Whitesville and then to beat whoever is next. That's our goal. Winning the district tournament is our end goal, no matter what. We're improving every game and we have to continue doing that through the post season."
Wildcats Win Back-To-Back Games Over Trinity
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Wildcats notched their second win over Trinity last night in a 6-2 victory in back-to-back games against the Raiders. Edmonson County won easily the night before in a 19-7 match.
While their 9-12 record may not show it best, Head Coach Bo West says he believes that his team is coming into stride as the district tournament draws near.
"We're doing a lot of things now that we couldn't do at the first of the year," hes said. "Our baseball IQ has really gotten higher, getting back to the groove of baseball, and we've really playing sharp lately--especially our defense. That's what hurt us early in the year. Us coaches have been feeling around for defense because we hadn't seen a lot of kids at different positions. But now, we're really keen on defense because defense is huge, especially when you're not getting 15 to 18 strikeouts per game, you gotta play D."
Senior Gavin Rose earned the win with 6 innings pitched, giving up 2 runs on 7 hits with no earned runs. He struck out 4 while walking no one. Seventh grader Hunter Wilson pitched one perfect inning in relief, striking out 2.
Sophomore Daren Alexander led the Wildcats on the offense, going 2-4 with an RBI and a run scored. Rose also went 1-3 with an RBI as did Wilson. Clay Walden went 1-3 and Gavin Minyard went 1-4 with a double. The Wildcats had a total of 6 hits against Trinity along with 6 stolen bases.
"Gavin did really well tonight and we hoped he could finish out, but we're not out here trying to throw 100 pitches a game to kill arms, and Trinity's pitcher (Landon Huff) did well tonight, too. He's got 3 different pitches which is hard to find in high school. But going back-to-back is big for us because we've been working on not so much of up-and-down, or Jekyll and Hyde baseball, but finding a consistent balance because baseball is everyday. Not worrying about what happened last night, but focusing on doing the right things one game at a time and I think we did that tonight. I think we're gradually getting there."
Coach West said that the bounce back from COVID was a difficult one and with last year's season being cancelled, it took a while to get back into baseball shape, but the team is still focused on that happening at the right time.
"Having a year off and with our basketball kids coming in later, we're just now getting into season form, and that's the case with most teams," he said. "We had to platoon our pitching early in the year to protect arms. We've had limited practices over the past couple of years and our games have been like practices for us. It's been very difficult dealing with COVID and we have a lot of young guys that hadn't seen much varsity experience. Our focus now is to keep building towards the district tournament. We're not focusing so much on our record or scores, we're worried about getting better every game. We're focusing on district teams and getting to the place where our mentality is winning that one game, then doing it again the next night."
The Wildcats have 10 games left on the regular season before the District 12 Tournament begins in Butler County. Their senior night is scheduled for next week.
The Edmonson Voice is once again partnering with the Bowling Green Hot Rods after last season was shut down during the COVID pandemic.
Regular tickets go on sale on Saturday, April 24th at bghotrods.com but the Edmonson Voice will be giving away tickets all season long; just watch for your chance to win throughout the season.
This week, the Hot Rods released their promotional schedule which features special events at the ballpark like multiple giveaways, a petting zoo, concerts, fireworks, and more.
Edmonson Voice Sports: photo, ECHS:
On Thursday, Edmonson County High School senior Michael Shaw officially signed his letter of intent to cheer at Campbellsville University in Campbellsville, Kentucky.
Shaw has been part of both football and the cheer team for all four years of high school. Both former football coach Nathan Smith and Cheer Coach Courtney Jones spoke highly of Shaw's work ethic.
Shaw said he's excited to begin his new path at Campbellsville. He is the son of Carl and Kimberly Mills.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Jhonna Basil has been named the first female assistant athletic director in the history of Edmonson County High School, according to ECHS Principal Jonathan Williams.
Basil, an English teacher at ECHS, was also a former multi-sport student athlete at ECHS, playing softball, basketball, and golf, where she graduated in 2016.
Ms. Basil said she is excited for the new opportunity within ECHS athletics.
"I was always an athlete myself, and it has been a big part of my life," she said. "I loved representing Edmonson County High School as an athlete, so it will be a great privilege to get to represent ECHS athletics again in this role."
Newly named head boys basketball coach Brad Johnson was also recently named the interim athletic director to complete the current school year. That's just one of many changes in a shuffling of positions at ECHS due to the departing A.D. Kyle Pierce, who was recently named head football coach at Barren County High, as well as the departing boys basketball coach, Coach Mike McClintic, who is retiring after 43 years in coaching. Coach Mac was also the assistant athletic director. Williams said filling positions left by quality leaders like Pierce and McClintic can be challenging, but he's thankful that things have gone well so far.
"We are fortunate to have the opportunity to hire people as talented as Coach Johnson and Coach Basil to lead our athletic programs going forward," he said. "She excelled as an athlete and as a student, was a very successful college student, and now is doing an exceptional job for us in the classroom. I'm thankful to have good, moral, respectable young ladies like Ms. Basil for our kids to look up to. As a Principal, you want to hire the very best to work with our kids and she is that, one of the best."
Throughout Basil's five years of varsity sports, she made four trips to the region tournament in basketball and won two softball district tournaments, in 2013 and 2016. She also became an assistant softball coach at ECHS after her playing days came to an end.
Williams said he's looking forward to where her leadership takes her.
"Ms. Basil is getting the opportunity to learn from one of the best in Coach Johnson and I am very excited about the direction they'll be leading our athletic programs."
Basil will officially begin her role on July 1, 2021. She said she's spent over half her life in sports and she looks forward to continuing that in a new role at ECHS.
"I think we have the best kids in the state, and I’m happy to do anything and everything I can for them," she said. "This is just a wonderful opportunity for me, and I am very happy and thankful to have been given the opportunity."
Team members from front L-R: Timmy Ashley, Chester Bethel, Phil Rich, Mark Hennion, Aaron Goad, Kevin Clemmons, Jimmy Cole, Larry Starnes, manager.
Edmonson Voice Sports: Rick Walters, photos:
Several members from the 1976 Kentucky High School Basketball Edmonson County Wildcat Championship team paid a visit to the KY High School Basketball Hall of Fame this past Sunday, April 11th.
One exhibit features a photo of Wildcats team member Mark Hennion cutting down the net, which happened 45 years ago on March 27, 1976.
Edmonson County defeated Betsy Lane 77-72 in round one of the Sweet Sixteen, then Harrison County 61-57. They narrowly topped Shelby County 53-52 in the final four and then dominated Christian County 74-52 in the championship game.
Team members attending the museum together were Timmy Ashley, Chester Bethel, Phil Rich, Mark Hennion, Aaron Goad, Kevin Clemmons, Jimmy Cole, and Larry Starnes, along with their respective families.
Hennion, who was a sophomore starter, recently visited the museum with his family where a tribute to the '76 Wildcat team is on display with the championship trophy.
The KHSBHF is located at Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame, 212 W. Dixie Avenue, Elizabethtown, KY 42701. You can reach them by clicking here.
Johnson Also Named Interim Athletic Director
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Brad Johnson was named the head boys basketball coach at Edmonson County High School today by Principal Jonathan Williams. He takes over for retiring coach Mike McClintic, who just finished his 43rd year in coaching.
Johnson brings an impressive resume to ECHS as not only a coach, but also a teacher and administrator over the course of his nearly 30 year professional career, which includes:
Johnson thanked the administration for the opportunity to come back to ECHS as a Virtual Advisor and AE teacher, and he was invited to be part of the boys basketball program as an assistant. Johnson thanked Coach Mac for his friendship and mentorship over the years.
"I can't say enough good things about Coach Mac, one of the absolute best friends I have in the whole world and one of the absolute best people I've ever met."
Johnson said he was one of the first that Coach Mac told when he was thinking about retirement.
"I tried to talk him out of it," he said. "He told me he wanted me to take his job and if he hadn't told me that, I wouldn't have taken it. If he'd have told me they were forcing him out and not wanting him to coach anymore, then I'd have been out with him. That's how much I think of him."
Johnson told the Edmonson Voice to expect lots of shooting from next year's team.
"We've got some kids that can really shoot, so right now I anticipate having the green light to shoot threes," he said. "At the varsity level with scouting reports, people might take that away, so you have to be able to have a plan B, be able to cut and to drive. Unselfishness. These kids really like each other and you'll see a brand of unselfish basketball. We'll try some up-tempo stuff this summer. You can always slow down if you need to. We'll press some this summer to see what it looks like and adjust on the fly. You'll see man-to-man and switch up because we're all about the same size. You'll see a motion game. Not a whole lot of plays, but trying to teach them how to play and play off each other. The main thing is really playing hard. Going for loose balls, 50/50 balls, and taking charges. This team played very, very hard, but we have to take that out there everyday where the community is proud of the effort we give."
Johnson also offered little leaguers and middle school players spots behind the bench during games and an open invitation for them to hear pregame speeches in the locker room. He said he believes a basketball team is a community product and all teams should be part of the same program, no matter the ages.
Principal Jonathan Williams, who played for Johnson from 1999 to 2002, said he was confident that Johnson was the right person for the job because he felt like Johnson would not only make the kids better players, but also better people.
"When an era ends, someone else has to come in and lead the program from where it is and take it to wherever it's going, and he's the absolutely, 100% the right person to do that."
Some achievements from Coach Johnson are:
Principal Williams also told the Edmonson Voice that Johnson has also been named interim athletic director at ECHS to finish out this school year. He will fill the role of the departing Kyle Pierce, who has served as AD since 2010. Williams said a new AD will be named for the next school year.
This edition of the show features Edmonson County's own "Larry Legend," Larry Starnes. Larry is a witness to many years of Edmonson County sports, and served as a manager, teacher, and athletic trainer before his eventual retirement. We talk to him about a little bit of everything related to his time with Edmonson County Schools.