Darren Doyle, story and photos:
It's rare when Edmonson County has the privilege of being represented at the KHSAA Girls' State Golf Championships, in fact, it's only been done four other times in the school's history, but when it happens to be two sisters coached by their dad, it's even more special.
Senior Lady Cat golfer Makayla Hogg, who also is a member of Edmonson's softball team, made her second consecutive cut to the state competition, which is the third consecutive year for Edmonson County, dating back to Paige Wolfe two years ago. To qualify for state, one must be a member of the top two finishing teams at the regional tournament or one of the top 10 individual finishers. Scores from players who are members of the top two teams are removed from individual results, allowing more opportunity for individuals not on top finishing teams. This means those finishing as far back as 17 have a shot at qualifying for state.
Last year, Makayla was the last one in with a score of 93 for a number 17 ranking. This year, after she qualified, they waited for the results of her younger sister, Abigail, a sophomore, who is also a member of Lady Cat softball and a varsity cheerleader, to be calculated with the rest of the scores. Coincidentally, her score was a 93 and she was number 17 on the list, and the final competitor named to the state competition.
As if that wasn't unique enough, their father, Caleb Hogg, was named head coach of the girls' team this season. The Hogg family moved from Florida to Edmonson County in 2019 and immediately became part of the community. They began attending a local church, Melinda Hogg (mom and wife) began teaching at Kyrock Elementary, Caleb took a job with a local company, and the girls became involved with programs and sports at Edmonson County Schools. Yesterday's competition, held at Calvert City Golf and Country Club, was indeed a family affair.
While the results of yesterday's match for Makayla and Abigail weren't enough to move them into today's second round of play, they shared their experiences on a number of golf-related items with the Edmonson Voice.
Makayla, who started playing golf around the age of 9, said this year has been filled with many positives, as she's practiced more, seen her team grow and improve, and achieved a personal best more than once this season.
"We had fun this season and accomplished several things," said Makayla. "After I found out I was going to state, my main goal was to shoot better than I did last year. After the first hole, I knew I had to tighten it up real quick."
While she didn't beat her last year's score, she wasn't upset.
"I was pretty nervous on the first few holes, and it showed. But then I thought, 'you know what? I won't make it to the second round, but it's not that big of a deal at the end of the day. There's worse things that can happen.' I was still smiling at the end."
She was indeed smiling. Slapping a high-five to her dad and being embraced by her mother on the final hole, she was still wearing a large grin.
Younger sister Abigail once said she'd never play golf, after falling out of a moving golf cart at age 5, skinning up her arms and legs, but she eventually came around and picked up the clubs. She also discussed her season, and the dynamics of playing along with her family.
"The season was a success for me," Abigail said. "I shot a personal best several times and of course, made it to the state tournament, which was a big deal for me."
She also credited other team members for being great teammates and she enjoyed watching them succeed as well, reaching personal bests and improving in multiple categories.
Abigail played in the first group of the day but said she wasn't too nervous.
"I was just happy to be there, especially as a sophomore, and with my sister," she said.
Both also discussed being coached by their dad.
"It has its moments," said Makayla as she cut her eyes over to Caleb with a grin. "But it does help. I've known him for all my 18 years. Yeah, we butt heads sometimes, but he's helped me and everyone on the team."
"It has its advantages and disadvantages," she said, also smiling. "Sometimes I wish he would be quiet but I don't know how to say that nicely, at least without getting into trouble."
She said at the end of the day, it's always good to have her dad around.
"When I have a bad moment or a breakdown and start to cry, well, he's my dad first and foremost, and he's always going to be there for me."
Caleb discussed getting looks from other teams and parents when he says "Let's go Hogg!"
"It seems like I always have to tell at least one person that our last name is Hogg. I get some funny looks when others hear me say "Come on, Hogg!" or "Pay attention, Hogg!"
In softball, teammates call Makayla "Hogg," and Abigail "Piglet." Coach Caleb Hogg discussed his season with his daughters and other team members.
"It gets tiring at times, just like anything else, but I wouldn't trade it for anything," he said with an occasional flutter of emotion in his voice. "We had 5 girls that were good together, played well together and got along, and they wanted each other to do better."
He discussed how happy he was to have the opportunity to coach both his girls, go to state, and share that moment with his family. He also talked about next year.
"We've had so much support from our community and I'm excited for next year. We have two returning players and they're good golfers," (including freshman Elizabeth Talley and Abigail).
The Hoggs also have a younger brother, Jacob, who attends Kyrock Elementary. It's likely he'll pick up a golf club or baseball bat, under the close eye of his mother, of course, so that he doesn't do something with them he shouldn't.
No trophies were handed out and no other awards were presented to the girls after yesterday's round, but the Hoggs still went out in hog heaven, after making the cut from 57 players in the regional tournament last week. They join the ranks of other memorable Lady Cat golfers to make the state tournament that include Michelle (Ulm) Coleman, collegiate golfer Kayla Meredith, and Paige Wolfe.
Wildcat boy's golf Coach Shane Doyle assisted Hogg in the tournament yesterday. Both have completed their first season as head coaches for ECHS golf.
Story and photos by Joseph Barkoff:
Edmonson County football traveled an hour or so to Albany to face Class 2A rival Clinton County Friday, September 23rd. The ride back home to Edmonson may have been smoother with less traffic, but it was no less rough after a 26-6 road loss, again, for the Wildcats.
On Clinton's post game broadcast it was overheard, after a career-long running of a 4-4 defense, it was altered special for the Cats. Knowing the Cats are one breakaway from scoring, and even winning, the Bulldogs came out in a “6-2 defense for the first time ever.”
What does this mean?
In layman terms, a 4-4 defense has four down lineman, four linebackers, and three defensive backs. Instead of calling a defensive play with what are called sometimes called “stunts” for blitzing a quarterback, where a middle backer will set up down on the line, Clinton County dropped six in the trenches with two backers and three defensive backs.
This can be a problem when a team relies heavily upon one look.
He is a workhorse, and despite being banged up in the previous week’s game, and leaving in the third quarter not to return, he was ready to play against Clinton County.
The Wildcats took the ball first on the evening, and the first play from scrimmage against the Wildcats, the Bulldogs showed rushing six.
Wildcats went three and out, but prevented the pass-heavy Bulldogs from converting on fourth down for a turnover on downs.
From the Bulldogs’ 29-yard line, the Wildcats came out with senior quarterback Noah Meredith in shotgun formation, four receivers, and Mills in the backfield. Mills went in motion to the right, leaving Meredith with five linemen against the Bulldogs’ incoming six.
Meredith snapped the ball, rolled to his right and under pressure, tossed a strike to senior wide receiver Alex Elkins right on the sideline of the 43-yard line.
Mills got the ball next and found room to bounce outside and through pressure, to carry would-be tacklers along for a 12-yard run.
The Wildcats didn’t run out of steam, but they seemed to have trouble adjusting to the consistent onslaught of six defensive lineman.
Though the first quarter ended with neither team on the scoreboard, on the first play of the second, from the Wildcats 22-yard line, Clinton County sophomore quarterback Jaxson Mason threw a strike to the end zone in step with receiver Kasyn Massengale. The Bulldogs did not convert a two-point attempt and the score was 6-0.
The Wildcats started with good position after a nice return from junior running back Carter Swihart. When the Cats looked like they were grasping at ends to go for it on fourth-down and eight on the 50-yard line, those were claws.
Meredith sailed the ball with a defender in his chest and Elkins had presence to pay attention and was able to come back and make a shoelaces catch, just above the thick grass as he fell forward for 15 yards and the first down.
The Wildcats continued to pound the ball forward, while being equally pounded against six rushers. Another way to think of it, is the defense was always blitzing two extra folks.
In the red zone, on the 15-yard line, it was fourth and four. The Wildcats went for it but did not convert and Clinton County took over on downs.
Edmonson County defense held strong and Clinton County punted from with the line of scrimmage still on the 15.
Meredith made two passing attempts to start the drive. On the third he was intercepted and the Wildcats would turn over the ball on their own 45-yard line with 3:15 left in the first half.
Clinton County drove to the 13-yard line, but could not convert on fourth down and six.
The Wildcats would get the ball back again, now with 1:05 left in the half only down 6.
Then the unthinkable happened with 2 seconds left. Clinton County rushed only three and the Edmonson County offensive line all missed their assignments. Meredith took the snap from shotgun and was instantly in trouble and sacked for a loss to tend the half.
Clinton County started the second half with the ball and drove down and scored with 8:40 still to go in the third quarter. With a successful 2-point conversion the score was now 12-0 for the Bulldogs.
The Wildcats turned around and drove for a little bit longer off the clock than Clinton County, and down to the four-yard line, on fourth and four, they could not convert.
With 6:10 left in the third, Clinton County took over on their own 4-yard line.
They punted and Edmonson County took over on their own 45-yard line with still 3:59 left in the quarter. On another fourth down, on their own 45-yard line, Edmonson was unable to convert and turned the ball back over to Clinton County.
The fourth quarter began with Edmonson County down 12-0 with Clinton County first and 10 from the Edmonson County 14-yard line. Two minutes, 10 seconds, and 14 yards later Clinton County scored for a third time.
After another failed two-point conversion from Clinton County, the score was 20-0 in favor of Clinton County over Edmonson County with 8:39 left on the game clock.
Edmonson drove for almost five minutes and finally punched in the ball for 6 points with around 3:45 to go. Their two-point attempt failed but there was now only a two-score gap. A two-touchdown with at least one two-point conversion to tie, two-score gap. Surmountable, but facing a six man front all evening took a toll for Edmonson County, again because, most of their players are ironmen. Playing both offense and defense.
Clinton County, on their last drive of the game, was able to score again with :38.9 seconds left to go.
Edmonson County prevented another two-point attempt from Clinton County and the score was 26-6 in favor of Clinton.
Edmonson took the ball, made a first down, but with 17 seconds left and no longer any way to win, and the general wear from being a warrior of the gridiron.
After the game Edmonson County head coach Zach Vincent spoke to his team near one end zone.
“The one positive thing from the evening,” he said. “You guys did not retaliate.”
There were late hits, roughing the pass and unsportsmanlike conduct penalties called on Clinton County, to name a couple. Perhaps there was even room for more.
The defense played well, all the coaches said after the game.
Edmonson County was scheduled to face Fort Campbell on the road, originally next week on Friday Sept. 29 at 7 p.m., but there have been recent schedule adjustments which have not yet been finalized. The Edmonson Voice will have updates as they become available.
The Wildcats are now 1-5 on the season.
Four senior Lady Cat soccer team members were honored Monday night on senior night 2023 with each of their families.
Chloe Pandolfi, Greenlee Goins, Emily Youngblood, and Brianna Whittinghill were all honored during on on-field ceremony before the game.
Madison Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Lady Cats hosted the Whitesville Trinity Lady Raiders at home tonight, September 19, 2023, and lost in a 3-0 sweep. Edmonson had a few adjustments in the lineup tonight which seemed to cause some difficulty for the Lady Cats, as the Lady Raiders jumped out with a 7-0 lead in the first set. Edmonson was able to pull out of that rut and went on a five-point run and were able to keep the score close, until Trinity went on another run to force a Lady Cat timeout at 17-11. Edmonson got the ball back at 21-12, and gave the first set to Trinity at 25-14.
In set two, Edmonson got off to another rocky start as Whitesville was able to quickly put 12 points on the scoreboard, forcing a Lady Cat time out at 12-3. Edmonson got the ball back immediately after the timeout, but lost it again and had a hard time getting it back. Another Lady Cat timeout was called at 24-9, and Trinity took set two 25-10.
In the third set the Lady Cats were able to keep the score closer for the first half of the set, until Trinity went on yet another run and forced a Lady Cat timeout at 18-7. With hard kills from Trinity, the Lady Cats had a hard time recovering and lost the set 25-14, resulting in a loss for the game.
The Lady Cats are now 4-12 on the season and are scheduled to take on Breckinridge County away on Thursday, September 21, 2023 at 7:30 pm.
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Story and photos by Joseph Barkoff:
It was a hard loss for the Edmonson County Wildcats at home against visiting Ohio County Eagles Friday Sept. 16th in Brownsville on homecoming night.
The Wildcats lost their momentum from the previous week’s win, senior running back Michael Mills was injured in the third quarter, and the offense was held to only two scores in the 33-12 defeat.
However, there were positives on the evening. Senior ironman quarterback and defensive tackle Noah Meredith is a punter now, and pretty good at it. Another senior made his first-ever football suit-up and start when Josh Gates, an Edmonson County soccer standout, walked on to help with kickoffs and extra points. Gates showed his boot, powering his first-ever kickoff 65 yards to the 20-yard line. After passing only a half dozen times or so in the previous week, and running it almost 30, there were flashes of brilliance through the air, along with your regularly scheduled Mills down their throats.
Junior tight end Garret Lyons looked like a pinball bouncing off Ohio County defenders like bumpers while careening down field after a reception.
Sophomore receiver Will Saling looked like a flash making a grab in traffic on a quick slant route and proceeded to streak almost 40 yards down the sideline to the 2-yard line.
It was ultimately not enough.
With 21 seconds left in the first quarter Ohio County scored first. By the end of the first half it was 21-6.
With 2:53 left in the fourth quarter, after the brilliant play from Meredith to Saling, the Wildcats could not score and turned over the ball on downs.
Despite the new kicker’s “amphibious” (ambidextrous) kicking, the Voice live broadcast, head coach Zach Vincent and even Meredith after the game, acknowledged there was a lot of arm tackles.
Arm tackles are not accurately described with their name as they are not actual tackles, but an attempt to tackle with an outstretched arm.
“This is the half time talk,” Vincent said on the Post-Game Show. “It is the basis of football. If you’ve played you’ve heard it. It’s blocking, tackling and turnovers. And we didn’t accomplish one.”
It hasn’t changed since football was created, Vincent said he told his squad. Then he told them they were going to work on tackling in the coming week.
“It puts a dent in our scheme,” Vincent said about Mill’s injury.
He is a big part of the offense because the defense will key in him, he said.
“We had out back against the wall, but we still tried to fight,” Vincent said.
“They want to play and they want to win,” he said. “And I love it. I just wish they could focus on the little things a little more.”
After the game Meredith said he thought they genuinely played hard but there were a couple playmakers on the Eagles they could not contain.
Most of the varsity squad plays both offense and defense, but not every player makes a tackle for a loss from the defensive end position and turns around to pass for almost 60 and run for another few dozen.
None of the team would ever complain or want to not play both ways. They don’t bicker on the sidelines or get down on each other like some teams when they face adversity.
It is not easy.
“It’s tough man,” Meredith said. “It’s always something.”
You get a turnover on downs and you’re really happy, then you have to turn around, go get the play from coach, run it back in, and then run the play, he said. It’s just always something.
“I absolutely love football,” he said. “It’s my passion. It’s what I love to do and I love to play as much of it as I can, so I love playing both ways, but it’s tough. It really is.”
Next week, after recovery, Meredith said it will be film and tackling drills.
“We missed a lot of tackles,” he said. “They got away from us a lot.”
If we can tackle and play all four quarters he thinks they will be a solid football team, he said.
Next week, at 7 p.m. Sept. 22, Edmonson County is on the road at Clinton County.
Madison Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Wildcats hosted the Ohio County Eagles for the 2023 Homecoming football game. Senior Cheerleader Carly Burris, daughter of Brandy Burris, was named the Homecoming Queen. Burris was escorted by Trystan Hardin, son of Melinda Hardin.
Brooklyn Carroll, daughter of Lauren Carroll, was named Freshman Princess. Carroll was escorted by Cash Morton, son of Mike and Amanda Morton.
Sydney Blanton, daughter of Craig and Laura Culbreth, was named Sophomore Princess. Blanton's escort was Daylen Cook, son of Timmy and Dawnita Cook.
Emma Beavers, daughter of Tammy Beavers, was named Junior Princess. Beavers was escorted by Ian Dooley, son of Jason and Jennifer Dooley.
The winning candidates were crowned by last year's Homecoming Queen, Tina Compton. Compton is the daughter Bill and Linda Akridge, and is attending the University of the Cumberlands. Compton's escort was Tyler Anderson, son of Tiffany and Leo Gonzalez.
The attendants tonight representing Kyrock Elementary School were Connally Esters, daughter of Derek and Morgan Esters, escorted by Crosby Carroll, son of Nick and Nora Carroll; also Livi Culbreth, daughter of Kyle and Nikki Culbreth, escorted by Parker Coy, son of Jessica Coy and Austin Bishop.
Edmonson Tops Butler 3-1
Madison Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Lady Cat Volleyball team hosted the Butler County Lady Bears at home on Tuesday, but it wasn't just a regular district match up; it was a benefit called "Paws For A Cause" to raise money for two year-old Avie-Lynn Williams, who began treatments for her high risk B Cell Acute Lymphocytic Leukemia upon her diagnosis in March, and will continue her treatments through the summer of 2025.
There was a silent auction where items such as UK basketball and Nashville Predator tickets, rocking chairs, handmade blankets, etc. were donated. A total of $5,650 was raised for the Williams family, who decided to donate $2,500 of that to the Faulkner family, for the recent sudden passing of the Lady Cats teammate's father, Shawn Faulkner, according to Head Coach Christine Barrett.
The Lady Cats won in a 3-1 match last night where they started out on fire, burning Butler with a 25-7 win in set one.
At the start of the second set, things didn't look as promising for the Lady Cats as they did in set one. Edmonson made several errors and were down by a rather large margin through most of the set. However, they found their way to much needed points and were able to start a comeback towards the end of the set. It wasn't enough to take the set back from Butler, resulting in a 21-25 loss for Edmonson.
The Lady Cats came back to the third set much stronger and more prepared than the second set. With much needed kills and strong serves from Edmonson, Butler was only able to put up 11 total points on the scoreboard. Edmonson won set three 25-11. The fourth set was much of the same, and the Lady Cats won 25-13, resulting in a 3-1 Edmonson County win.
Senior Middle Hitter Avary Vertrees led the Lady Cats in kills with a total of seven. Brooklyn Simon had six, Josie Lich and Riley Monroe each had five, Madison Bullock had two, and Alivia Mabrey and Sydney Hennion each had one. Libero Ryann Davis led the team in digs with 16, Mabrey and Julie Norris each had three, Josie Lich had four, Simon and Bailey Ferguson had two each, and Averie Hill had one. The Lady Cats as a team had 30 service aces, with Mabrey having 12 of those herself.
Head Coach Christine Barrett said that she could not be more proud of her players and the community.
"This fundraiser brought our team and community together for a night and it was amazing to witness. We couldn't have made last night happen without the help of our fantastic boosters and volunteers. We aren't just a team; we are a family, and we are capable of achieving greatness on and off the court."
The Lady Cats are now 4-10 on the season and are scheduled to take on Hart County at on the road tomorrow, September 14, 2023 at 5:30 pm.
Edmonson Voice Sports:
The Edmonson County Lady Cat Soccer team earned their win in the program's history on Monday night in a 1-0 win against McLean County.
The goal was scored by senior Chloe Pandolfi with the assist from sophomore Zoey Wachowiak. Freshman goalkeeper Haley Shields earned her first shutout with 10 saves, bringing her season total to 171 saves so far, which keeps her in the top 10 goalkeepers in the state (currently 6th).
The game was also "kick out cancer" night for the team to raise money for the United Breast Cancer Foundation. Sponsors for the game included C&C Firearms and Outdoors, Kentucky Farm Bureau Eric Spainhoward, Sarah’s Play School, Garner Foundations and Basement Walls, and Sun Valley Feed Mill.
The Lady Cats are coached by Ashley Ritter, who started as a volunteer assistant last year and took the head coach job this season. She has over 15 years of soccer playing experience in Massachusetts, where she was born and raised.
Joseph Barkoff, story and photos:
It almost started like Edmonson County High School football squad hadn’t shown up after a first series of three and out against the host Caverna High School Colonels Friday September 8th in Horse Cave.
The Wildcats received the ball first and despite some cool looks in their offensive formations, they punted on 4th down and the Colonels picked up on their own 20-yard line.
One pass--if you can call a wobbling lobbed projectile a pass--from Caverna connected for a 20-yard warble with a 15-yard gain after. Into the flats and Caverna advanced another 10 yards.
On the third play for Caverna, junior quarterback Russell Williams lobbed the ball almost directly in the waiting hands of Edmonson junior linebacker Carter Swihart.
Swihart, running out on coverage, came back in to make a two-handed, palms-up bucket catch on the 20-yard line and sprinted for his life to the sideline. He was able to make it 79 and-a-half yards before he was knocked out of bounds.
Senior quarterback Noah Meredith handed off to senior running back Michael Mills for the half-yard punch-in off right tackle. The two-point conversion following, was completed, more or less, in the same fashion to Mills and Wildcats lead for the first time from the get-go, and on the road.
Momentum builds confidence and the Wildcats led 8-0 with 8:21 left in the first quarter.
“Some big runs, some big plays on the outside,” Meredith said. “Some outside contain issues, but that’s fixable. Other than that I think we played a really good game. I have to give it all to the line tonight. Michael (Mills) ran hard, and people ran hard, but, the line, that’s the reason they ever got to the end zone.”
Asked about his favorite moment of the evening, Meredith had only one thing to say.
“Definitely as soon as that buzzer ended and I realized we just won, that’s pretty awesome,” he said. “That’s pretty awesome.”
From out of the backfield, Mills shared Meredith’s sentiment.
“It feels amazing,” Mills said. “Our line come out on fire and was knocking them in the teeth. When your line is good you're good.”
Mills noted he wouldn’t have had any of his rushing, and Meredith wouldn’t have had any passing lanes if it wasn’t for the line’s effort on the evening, he said.
“Caverna had a lot of talent,” Mills said. “They had some fast kids and you just have to play with them. Sometimes you can outscore them.”
Outscore them indeed.
It was 30-12 in favor of the visiting Wildcats at half time, and they really never looked back.
“I think with us beating them it gives us really good momentum and really good energy to go into the next game,” Mills said.
The beginning of the fourth quarter Edmonson was ahead 36-20.
“I love the win,” head coach Zach Vincent said. The first win’s always great. We’ve talked for weeks about ‘this close’ and that just proves it.”
They were hard to contain, they have four really tough players, and those twins are good, he said about Caverna.
“I think it’s a great win and it shows you how far the boys have come,” Vincent said. “They keep getting better every day and every week.”
Vincent wanted to note the extra effort of his assistant coaches during the week, he said.
“I want to give credit to my coaches this week,” Vincent said. “They put in extra time to help prepare these kids.”
Vincent thinks their confidence in these kids has helped build the confidence of the kids up, he said.
The score was 43-28 in favor of the Wildcats, and with 18 tics left on the tock, Meredith took a knee to run out the clock for the first win of the 2023 season.
Edmonson County is host next week, Friday at 7 p.m. against Ohio County for homecoming.
Over $1600 in Prizes Awarded
By Mark Wardlow, SHH Board Member:
The Santa’s Helping Hands 7th Annual Golf Scramble, sponsored by Alford’s Pharmacy, was blessed with a full field, great food, beautiful weather, and a little less heat than previous days. SHH would like to say a special thank you to Michael Meredith, Brad Johnson, and Greg Nugent for helping organize everything from signups, guidelines, rules, and teams.
Mark Rich gave the blessing before the scramble started and then everyone began at their designated holes at Shady Hollow Golf Course, which was in excellent condition as always. Course owner Stanley Ramsey has always supported Santa’s Helping Hands.
The pavilion was very popular because of the great food donated by Dad’s BBQ, lots of cold drinks donated by Houchens Industries, and the several fans that were brought by Rob & Lynette Saling. Between 1st, 2nd & 3rd place and 12 different holes to win prizes there were over $1,600 worth of Rafferty’s gift cards won on Saturday. Most of the teams were from Edmonson County but we also had teams from Louisville, Elizabethtown, Leitchfield, Franklin, Bowling Green, and Tennessee.
When the scores were finally posted, nine out of the top 10 teams were from right here in Edmonson County.
First place was awarded to the team consisting of Brad Johnson, Tommy Webb, Ty Johnson, & Matt Atwell. Second place finishers were Josh Jones, Mickey Jones, Dennis VanMeter, & Gary Minor, while third place went to Stanley Ramsey, J.C. Ramsey, Neil Vance, and Patrick Campbell.
A 90 minute for-golfers-only raffle was held from 6:30am to 8:00am with Charlie Peck winning a Winchester SXP 12ga pump shotgun.
Everyone at Santa’s Helping Hands would like to thank Alford’s Pharmacy for sponsoring our golf scramble this year as well as each and every one of the hole sponsors.
We had more players and hole sponsors than previous tournaments, and we would also like to thank all the volunteers that helped put this tournament together.
We will be starting our big “Kentucky Edition" Henry Rifles Raffle soon and our 19th Annual SHH Auction/Benefit will be held November 4th at the ECHS gymnasium. We are in the process of looking for items to be donated for our auction.
Thanks to everyone who supports this charity where the money stays in Edmonson County.
--from Mark Wardlow, SHH co-founder, and the SHH Board Members
Story and photos by Joseph Barkoff:
With the heat index in the triple digits throughout the day in Brownsville, the regular start time for the Edmonson County Wildcats to host the visiting Metcalfe County Hornets was pushed to 7:30 p.m. Friday, August 25 to help players, friends and families, enjoy the game a bit more.
Did it help? Perhaps.
The largest way it helped was get the fans, players and community closer to a double-digit heat index, with the sun setting over Wildcat Stadium at kickoff, and the breeze that eventually kicked in, it was anyone’s game to begin.
Though during pregame warmups, Metcalfe County loosened up without their shoulder pads and helmets in some cases. It could have ultimately been a sign of things to come, but, spoiler alert—there was a 30 minute lightning game delay with 6-plus minutes left in the fourth quarter.
Did the game delay give Metcalfe County a much-needed boost? It seemed so as the momentum left the Wildcats and shifted toward the Hornets.
It was a point brought up in the post-game interview on the Edmonson Voice live feed, where ECHS head coach Zach Vincent agreed.
Edmonson County elected to defer to the second half for the coin-toss and kicked to ball to Metcalfe to begin the game.
Lightning was not the only electricity on the field of play during the evening.
After stopping the Hornets at mid-field and forcing them to punt, the Wildcats, with great punt coverage from the visitors, stalled out themselves. Following a blocked punt, the Hornets capitalized on excellent field position and scored first.
The Wildcats then drove for a couple first downs and on third down and 5, from their own 35 -yard line, senior running back Michael Mills made it to the visiting sideline and followed it the endzone for a touchdown.
The Wildcats were unable to convert the extra-point attempt and the score was 7-6 Metcalfe County with 4:41 left in the first quarter.
The electricity wasn’t done yet.
On the ensuing kickoff, Edmonson County elected to onside kick the ball and Aiden Seabolt was able to recover it for possession Edmonson.
The first quarter would end Edmonson down by one point with a 4th down and 15 on the 30. To begin the second quarter, they would ultimately turn the ball over .
The half would end with the score still 7-6 in favor of the visiting team.
In the third quarter Edmonson County tied the game at 14-14, after being behind 8 with a two-point conversion from Mills. By the end of the quarter, with 34 seconds remaining, Metcalfe would go back ahead.
The score was now 21-14, visiting Metcalfe County over Edmonson County.
With 6:26 left in the game, there was a lightning strike visible enough for an official to call a game delay.
Edmonson County would score again with 4:11 left with Mills in at the quarterback position on a 15-yard run to their right. The PAT went to the left following, and Mills did not have a path to the endzone this time.
Metcalfe County retained its lead 21-20.
Metcalfe would score twice more. The final score was on a pick-6 interception with only 20 seconds remaining in the game.
The final score was visiting Metcalfe County 34 and 20 for Edmonson County.
“We tried to pull a rabbit out of our hat and it just didn’t go our way this time,” Vincent said.
I thought we were in better shape and didn’t see any of our guys take a knee, Vincent said. I was glad to see that, he said.
The players gathered around Vincent near the home endzone after the game.
“There’s nothing wrong with your work ethic,” Vincent said to his players after the game. “This one is on me. Right there towards the end, I made some bad calls.”
He said he is thankful for the patience and commitment of the families of the team. With the practice schedule consistently changing due to weather, but the desire to train and everyone believing in his system, he said.
“Getting the kids here and supporting them,” Vincent said. “I can’t ask for a better situation.”
“When we get to where we can play four quarters, we can play some football,” Vincent said.
They work hard, Vincent said. The kids, he wants a win for them, but he wants them to earn it, he said.
“We are this close,” Vincent said holding up his thumb and pointy finger daylight close, “We are this close to being a different team.”
“I wish we would’ve, after we stopped them on that opening drive, I wish we could have come out and scored,” Mills said.
Mills hopes they can come out and score first to put the pressure on the other teams and looks forward to working hard in the next week to get ready for Muhlenberg County, he said.
Starting senior quarterback Noah Meredith feels his team played some good smash mouth football, he said. They just got the batter hand.
“I thought this was a very, very tough Metcalfe County team and I thought we played them really well,” Meredith said.
Meredith feels like his team often ends up playing from behind but feels as well like his coach and teammate Mills where if they can get ahead and score first, making the other teams have to catch up to them, it will be a good day, he said.
The biggest thing, Vincent said, is keep working boys, it’s going to happen.
Next week Edmonson County travels to play Muhlenberg County September 1 at 7 p.m..
Madison Doyle, story and photos:
Last night the Edmonson County Lady Cat Volleyball team faced the Allen County Lady Patriots for the first home game of the season, which was also part of the 2A classic tournament. Edmonson County, which has been in Class 1A for over a decade, recently moved into Class 2A.
The Lady Cats have a different roster this season after the departure of five seniors last year, and only one returning varsity on this year's team. Edmonson fell to Allen in a 3-0 sweep.
During the first set the Lady Cats started out strong and kept the score close, through most of the set, there was only a two to three point difference until Allen was able to pull away in set one, winning 25-20.
In set two, Allen County started with the lead but Edmonson quickly took it back, tying it up at 4-4 before scoring four straight and taking an 8-4 lead. Allen answered with a 13-point run, and Edmonson never saw the lead again. The Lady Patriots ended the set with a 25-16 win, and a 2-0 lead.
The Lady Cats scored the first point of the third set but the Lady Patriots went another run, scoring 8 consecutive points. Edmonson struggled to keep up with Allen until the very end of the set when they began to close the gap, but it was too little, too late as Allen won the third set 25-18, and sweeping the Lady Cats 3-0.
"Hard fought effort displayed by our girls tonight," said Head Coach Christine Barrett. "Although the final score didn't swing in our favor, it's undeniable that their dedication and cohesive teamwork were on full display. The game might be marked as a loss, but we gained alot of valuable insights tonight. We're going to use this match to refine our skills and strategies. We're not just building strong characters that can handle victories and setbacks alike."
Senior Madison Bullock led the Lady Cats with six kills. Sophomore Josie Lich had four, and senior Riley Monroe had two. Senior Ryann Davis led the team in digs with eight, and Bailey Ferguson, Josie Lich, Alivia Mabrey, and Brookelyn Simon had three each. Alivia Mabrey had four assists and Brookelyn Simon had two.
The Lady Cats are now 2-8 on the season and are scheduled to take on Grayson County away on Monday, August 28th at 7 pm.
Joseph Barkoff, story and photos:
On Friday, August 18, 2023, Friday night lights, was the season opening for most of Kentucky and Edmonson County Wildcats opened their 2023 season at home against longtime rival Grayson County Cougars at the Tobacco Bowl in Brownsville.
The stadium, and high school in Brownsville, is surrounded on all sides by beautiful, lush green trees. Though it was not enough of a serene environment to negate the level of competitiveness, almost palpable on the sidelines and seen on the field of play throughout the contest. Yet, the first half of play was marred by “first game jitters,” as was described on the Edmonson Voice WildcatsLive broadcast on Facebook and available on Youtube.
Grayson won the pregame coin toss and elected to receive the ball first. After a short pooch kick from Edmonson they drove down and punched to ball into the endzone, despite a heartfelt goal line stand by Edmonson, in less than three minutes in the first quarter.
With 9:12 on the game clock, Grayson missed their kick short, but the score was 6-0 Grayson.
In their first series of the game Edmonson lost their momentum and ended up punting, but first game jitters and all.
On the home side of the field, a Grayson County player on punt coverage essentially tackled and sat on top of an Edmonson player and when the ball bounced in, it landed off the back of the Grayson player onto the legs held in the air of the Edmonson player as other Wildcats picked up the ball.
Fourth down conversion, check.
The Wildcats would stall-out again, and the end of the first half had Grayson County up 14-0.
“It wasn’t so much of an adjustment as it was a motivational speech,” head coach Zach Vincent said about the discussion with his team in the locker room after the first half.
The second half, the Wildcats came out with a sense of purpose.
“I think we are in better shape,” Vincent said. “We’re more physical. That first half killed us.”
Starting on their own 30-yard line with 5:40 left in the third quarter, the Wildcats began their drive with senior running back Michael Mills. Mills was able to achieve a first down to the 40. Mills’ next run netted 7 yards. From the 47, Mills was able to, from some key blocks, explode through the Grayson defense playing their men mostly in the box with none on long coverage.
Mills scored the first and only touchdown for Edmonson County on a 53-yard run with 4:26 left in the third quarter. The score was now 14-7 in favor of Grayson.
Perhaps a little late, there was still fight left in the Wildcats, and surrender is not in their vocabulary.
“You can tell these kids have grown since last year considering where we started last year,” Vincent said.
With only eight seniors on the squad this year, after 11 graduated last year, Edmonson County feels good about where they are headed.
“It was really slow in the beginning,” Vincent said. “We’ve got the fight in there and we are in better shape physically.”
They were somber when they came out, Vincent said, and he feels they need to look deep inside themselves to find what motivates them to come out strong.
Despite being a KHSAA Division 5A team, with a school size more similar to a Warren County school, Vincent said he was pleased with how the team executed against Grayson in the second half.
Senior quarterback Noah Meredith acknowledges the team came out “sluggish” in the first half, maybe only giving a 70 percent, he said.
“I feel like we acted like we did rally in the second half,” Meredith said. “They didn’t score a touchdown, our line blocked really good. We had a good run by Michael, number 24, he bounced it out for a big long touchdown. It was a hard-fought loss.”
Meredith feels, like his coach, they need to come out stronger in the beginning of the game.
“We have to come out strong in the first half,” Meredith said. “If we don’t, it’s going to happen every time.”
Edmonson is home at Wildcat Stadium again next week, Friday, August 25 at 7PM versus Metcalfe County.
Photos by Joseph Barkoff:
Like these photos? Check out more photos this season from photographer/writer Joseph Barkoff!
The recently held Edmonson County Youth Football Camp was a success, according to Allison Mello, youth football board member.
"Thanks to our amazing coaches, high school football team, and experienced volunteers," she said when describing the event as a "huge success."
She continued with "Everyone worked together to teach the players skills to be GREAT! Football is a team sport and we want our players to be great on and off the field. It is our hope to continue to grow our youth program. We have teams Kindergarten-6th grade. If your child would like to sign up, it’s not too late! Follow us on Facebook EC Youth Football."
Edmonson Voice Sports:
ECHS Lady Cat softball varsity pitcher, Julie Norris, competed in Panama City Beach Florida last week at the USFA World Series with her travel ball team, WK Wildfire. Wildfire played in the 16u division against 21 A level teams from across the country.
Wildfire went undefeated throughout the tournament, until the championship game, where they lost by only one run to another Kentucky team, the Louisville Sluggers.
Norris is credited with 27.1 innings pitched across 4 wins, 1 loss, and 1 successful save. A save means she was brought in to pitch with a tying run at the plate and a full count. She struck that batter out on the first pitch and finished the next batter off in 5 pitches, saving the win for the Wildfire as time expired in the game.
Norris faced 108 batters, struck out ten, and threw 350 pitches. She only allowed 19 hits and 6 runs in the entire tournament, 5 of which were during the championship loss.
This is Wildfire’s first year in the 16u division. They plan on returning next year to the World Series in order to take home the championship trophy. You can follow Julie and the Wildfire from their Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/wkwildfire.
Volleyball, Golf, Soccer, and Archery All See New Coaches
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Jody Booth is the newest varsity girls coach at Edmonson County High School, according to the school earlier today.
Kyle Pierce, who has returned as the athletic director for the school after a two-year hiatus, discussed Coach Booth's hire as well as number of new faces that will be at head coaching positions in several sports.
"Coach Booth has a vast amount of experience serving as an assistant for over a decade under some tremendous head coaches," he said. "His knowledge of the game is a great asset but his ability to teach his players the game and break down opponents to put his players in the best position to be successful is incredible."
Pierce said per Booth's request, Maddie Stewart was named associate head coach, and that Booth is securing another assistant.
Principal Jonathan Williams said the school is very fortunate to have the current level of talent applying for local coaching jobs, and said hiring Booth was a "slam dunk."
"Coach Booth a really good person, he has coached under hall of fame coaches, he's led his own middle school program, led our JV program for several years, and has built a reputation as a player development coach that excels at teaching the game."
Williams said he couldn't be happier with the addition of Booth, as well as the additional new hires. He also discussed A.D. Kyle Pierce, who is returning after the retirement of Coach Brad Johnson last school year.
"Having the good fortune to hire someone like Kyle Pierce to lead your athletic department is a blessing," he said. "Athletics is such a great vehicle to teach life and nobody knows that better than him. Kyle is a phenomenal person, has great experience, and can mentor our kids and coaches. We're thrilled to have him back in this role and I look forward to partnering with him in the coming years."
In addition to girls basketball, six others will be taking on new head coaching jobs for the upcoming school year.
In golf, Shane Doyle will be head coach of the boys' team while Caleb Hogg will lead the Lady Cat golfers after Coaches Granville Meredith and Kayla Meredith Velotta stepped down at the end of last season.
Coach Christine Barrett will lead the Lady Cat volleyball team in 2023. She served as an assistant coach last year, gaining the respect of players and parents. She takes over for the departing Caitlyn Caudill.
In soccer, Ashley Ritter will serve as the girls' head coach and Brian Kemble, who was named today, will take over for the boys' soccer team. While the boys' team might be JV-only this season due to low numbers, the school hopes that Kemble and Ritter will help generate more interest in soccer as ECHS looks to grow the program.
Trey Tinsley was named as the new Wildcat Basketball Coach as last school year ended.
Archery will have a new coached named soon, according to ECHS.
Pierce said he is looking forward to serving as A.D. again as ECHS will have a vastly different look for 2023-24.
“I really enjoyed my previous eleven years as Athletic Director, but I also enjoyed the two-year break," he told the Voice. "Our school district was in a spot where they couldn’t find the right fit for the position. Mr. Williams and Mr. Alexander reached out to see if I could help out. I’m sure I won’t have another eleven-year run but I hope I can get the next person ready for the job.”
Fall sports are just around the corner with practices and workouts already underway.
ECHS Soccer starts with the boys and girls on August 7th at Warren East. Volleyball begins August 17th at Butler County, golf matches and cross-country will also begin in August.
Edmonson County Football is scheduled to begin Friday, August 18th at home against Grayson County.
“I always felt the role of an Athletic Director is to help each head coach to improve their program to the maximum of its ability," Pierce added. "When you have this many first time head coaches, it will be extremely rewarding to help them as they begin in their leadership roles.”