Cats Fall To Hart County But Celebrate Milestones
Chaz Wilson, son of Erick and Michelle Wilson, was honored for scoring his 1000th point this season.
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The Wildcats were defeated by Hart County last night at ECHS 72-67, but the boys were still able to celebrate their 2021 senior night with their families. During the ceremony, senior Chaz Wilson was recognized for scoring his 1000th career point, which occurred at Glasgow on February 8th.
Wilson, who is averaging 18 points per game and is ranked 4th in the state at nearly 14 rebounds per game, was presented a special basketball commemorating the event.
In addition to Wilson, six other seniors and their families were honored during the ceremony which included Isaiah Johnson, Dylan Lindsey, Lane Lindsey, Gavin Rose, Jon Smith, and Daniel Woosley.
The Wildcats were led by Chaz Wilson's 19 points and 15 rebounds, followed by Daniel Woosley's 18 points and 4 rebounds. Gavin Rose added 13 points, Jon Smith scored 6 and pulled 5 rebounds, Jon Smith and Trace Taylor added 6 points each, Isaiah Johnson had 5 points, and Lane Lindsey added one point.
The Wildcats are now 6-7 on the season and are scheduled to travel to Logan County on Thursday for a girl/boy doubleheader with the Lady Cats scheduled for a 6pm tip.
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
The Edmonson County High School girls basketball team will continue postponing games for now due to a positive COVID case on the team, according to ECHS Athletic Director Kyle Pierce.
"We've had a positive COVID case within our varsity girls basketball program," he said. "We will be in quarantine through all of next week. Our girls games with Caverna, Todd County, and Whitesville Trinity have been postponed."
Games for the boys varsity team has also been paused until February 2nd.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County High School is postponing Friday night's girls varsity basketball game against Grayson County as a precautionary measure, due to possible sickness related to the program.
"Out of precaution, we're postponing our girls varsity game with Grayson County," said ECHS Athletic Director Kyle Pierce. "Our Saturday game with Warren Central was already cancelled."
He said the school is currently waiting on the results of a particular COVID-19 test to determine what will be the course of action over the next few days.
"Our girls will need to remain quarantined until the results have been returned," he said.
On Tuesday the boys varsity team postponed their games until February 2nd due to do at least one active case on the Wildcat team.
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County High School has announced that the ECHS boys Wildcat varsity basketball team will be pausing their season for now, due to a positive COVID-19 case within the team. The break will begin immediately.
"We've had a positive COVID case within our varsity basketball team," said ECHS Athletic Director Kyle Pierce. "Our last date of exposure was Friday, January 22nd."
Pierce said the team will be required to quarantine for 10 days, which will end on February 1st. That will allow the team to resume regular activities the day after. The boys freshmen and JV teams have been quarantining for several days already, but that action hasn't affected the varsity team.
"This will allow us to come back to practice and play on Tuesday, February 2nd," Pierce added. "Our freshman and JV players will resume practice and play starting Friday."
Games scheduled for tonight against Hart County through February 1st (Caverna) will be put on hold for now. No timetable for rescheduling has been confirmed as of now.
Four Wildcats in Double Figures
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It was a thrilling win for the Wildcats on Friday night at ECHS where Edmonson County topped their District 12 foes, The Butler County Bears 65-59 in overtime.
With the Wildcats trailing 52-54, junior guard Trace Taylor tipped-in a missed three-point attempt from senior Jon Smith with 8 seconds to go in the 4th quarter. Butler County was forced to throw up a prayer at the buzzer that was an air ball, which led to overtime.
The Wildcats went into the game knowing that Butler County would be a well-balanced team that would be crashing the boards, would be defensively sound, and could shoot from the perimeter. They also knew effort from the Bears would be top-notch. Their plan was to out-do them in all of that, and their plan worked.
Edmonson County got off to a dandy start, forcing a Butler County timeout leading 12-3. The Bears connected on some early threes to try to work their way back in but the Cats led 17-10 after the first quarter. Jon Smith paced the Wildcats with 12 of his 19 team-high points coming in the first.
The start of the second quarter looked much like the first with the Cats forcing a second Bears timeout, leading 25-13 with 5:14 left in the half. Edmonson County led as much as 14 in the quarter before the Bears cut the Wildcat lead to 29-21 at halftime.
Some timely turnovers from the Wildcats and easy baskets missed allowed Butler County to build some momentum early in the third quarter and cut their deficit to only 2 with 5:47 left in the quarter. The Wildcats put together a 9-2 run to keep a 40-32 lead as the fourth quarter began, thanks to 7 points and an assist from senior Chaz Wilson during the final 2 and a half minutes of the third.
Butler County then went on a 9-2 run of their own to cut Edmonson's lead to only 1 with just over 5 minutes to go in regulation. The Bears then tied it at 43 and the Wildcats turned it over on the next possession, giving Butler County an easy layup for the first Bears lead since the score was 3-2 in the first minute of the ballgame. Edmonson trailed 47-44 when senior Gavin Rose connected on a three with 2:47 to go to tie the score.
It would be Rose again with a three, this time with 50 seconds left in the game and the Cats trailing by 2. His big basket would put Edmonson back on top, 52-51. Butler County scored on their next possession to regain the lead 53-52, and with three more fouls to give, the Wildcats put them to use to control the clock. They forced the Bears to the line where Solomon Flener with one out of two shots. The Bears led 54-52 with 17 seconds left, which would bring on the final offensive play for the Wildcats in regulation. Taylor's offensive tip tied the score, forcing the overtime.
Edmonson County never trailed during the overtime and outscored the Bears 9-5 during the period. Jon Smith's three point attempt rattled around and fell in with 1:30, which would prove to be huge. Butler County came within one point, but some key free throws by Rose and Taylor and a turnover in the final seconds from the Bears sealed the fate of Butler County.
"This is our district, this is us, Butler, Grayson, Trinity," said Coach Mike McClintic. "This is the way our games are going to be all year. The kids that got in the game did everything we wanted them to do. I thought we didn't rebound as good in the third and fourth quarters as we did in the first half, and that hurt us. And we had some costly turnovers in the fourth, but the kids battled back and I can't ask any more from them, I mean, good grief."
The Cats had four players in double figures as Jon Smith led the Cats with 19 points and 9 rebounds on (4 threes), Trace Taylor had 17 points, Chaz Wilson had 15 points and 11 rebounds, and Gavin Rose had 10 points.
Also scoring for the Cats were Lane Lindsey with 2 points and 5 rebounds and Isaiah Johnson added 2 points.
The Wildcats are now 4-2 on the season and 2-1 in district play. They are scheduled to travel to Hart County on Tuesday for a JV/V match and then a District 12 rematch against Grayson County as the Cougars travel to ECHS next Friday.
Darren Doyle, story:
After a second quarter deficit, the Wildcats struggled to play catch up the rest of the night as they took their first loss of the season against Grayson County last night on the road, 56-50.
Both teams looked a bit ragged in the first with several turnovers and missed shots as the scored was tied 8-8 at the end of the quarter. Grayson County found success by pressuring the ball, hitting the boards, and knocking down shots in the second quarter. The Wildcats had 11 turnovers at the half as they trailed 25-18.
While it wasn't a blowout, Edmonson County was never able to get over the hump as Grayson kept the momentum in their favor throughout the second half. The Wildcats almost got a fire started with a 7-1 run with 2 minutes to go to cut Grayson County's lead to 48-44, but as Edmonson County was forced to foul to try to control the clock and the Cougars were able to hit free throws down the stretch for the win.
Unofficial stats for the game were:
Chaz Wilson 14pts-10 rebounds, Gavin Rose 8pts-2 rebounds, Daniel Woosley 7pts-7rebounds, Trace Taylor 6 pts-8 rebounds, Lane Lindsey 5pts-7 rebounds, Jon Smith 5pts-2 rebounds, Dylan Lindsey 3pts, Cole Saling 1pt.
Edmonson County is now 3-1 on the season and is scheduled to take on Metcalfe County tonight at ECHS in a G/B doubleheader with the girls game beginning at 6pm. The WildcatsLive crew will bring you the live video and audio streams only on the Edmonson Voice.
Darren Doyle, story: Alyssa Doyle, photos:
At times it wasn't the prettiest, but the Wildcats were able to execute their game plan last night in Whitesville as they defeated the Trinity Raiders 63-47.
A dominating start set the tone for the rest of the physical game, which is always expected when playing the Raiders. Edmonson County jumped out to a 19-4 lead in the first quarter thanks to their defensive pressure that turned Raider turnovers into Wildcat points.
While the competition would be fairly equal for the remainder of the game, the Raiders couldn't overcome the deficit they saw in the first quarter.
Chaz Wilson scored 15 points and grabbed 15 boards on the night while Daniel Woosley and Gavin Rose added 12 points each for the Wildcats.
Jon Smith added 9 points, Trace Taylor had 7, Dylan Lindsey and Braden Wall had 3 points each, and Tyler Anderson added 2 points.
Edmonson County was able to control a 15-point-or-so cushion throughout the rest of the game with three Cats in double figures, while nearly everyone that saw game action got in the scoring book. Every Wildcat notched at least one rebound as well.
Coach Mac discussed the win after the game.
"We played in spurts tonight," he said. "We had good spurts and we had sloppy spurts."
He discussed the defensive effort from his team.
"We've been working on it and we want to continue to do that as much as possible. It was key tonight that we play that type of defense because this was their (Trinity) first game tonight and we knew that if we got after them a little bit, cause some pressure, then it might cause some problems, but it was a typical Trinity team because they didn't quit."
"Everybody knew that these first games in the district were going to be big, so a big win on the road and I'm pleased with that," added McClintic.
Edmonson County is 2-0 on the season and 1-0 in District 12 play. They are set to face Bethlehem High School at home today at 12 noon. There will be no game coverage on the Edmonson Voice today but live video streams will be available for Tuesday's games against Metcalfe County at home in a G/B doubleheader beginning at 6PM.
Lady Cats Outscore Lady Raiders 34-11 In Final Quarter
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It took three quarters to really get things moving, but once they did, the Lady Cats did it in a big way as they defeated the Trinity Lady Raiders in Whitesville Friday night 67-42.
Edmonson County outscored Trinity 34-11 in the final quarter to secure the district win, improving to 3-2 on the season and 2-0 in district play.
Led by Macie McCombs' 19 points and sophomore Lily Jayne Vincent's 16 points and 16 rebounds, Edmonson County scraped by for three quarters, as the score difference never reached above 6 points; however, the Lady Cats outlasted Trinity down the stretch and the rebounding became much more of a team effort, which snuffed out most all the Lady Raiders' second chance opportunities.
Coach Bart Weaver said it seems like this is a regular thing when coming to Trinity; fighting back-and-forth then getting it done at the end.
"I told them, you do this to me every time we come here. You let them in it, you let them hang around, then you finally take care of business," he said. "All I can say is that they did it again."
Edmonson County led 11-7 after the first and 21-17 at halftime. Trinity refused to go away after a couple of runs by Edmonson County and tied the score at 28 with just over a minute left in the third. Edmonson clung to a 33-31 lead going into the fourth but began to pull away about three minutes into the final quarter. Trinity began to foul towards the end of the contest but Edmonson County was efficient with their free throws to seal the deal.
Katie Lindsey scored 17 for the Lady Cats while being held to only two points in the first half. She also added 6 assists and 3 rebounds.
Also scoring for Edmonson County were Hallie Cassady, 7 points-6 rebounds, Paige Wolfe, 5 points, Kaylee Ann Sanders, 3 points.
Edmonson County is scheduled to take on Monroe County today on the road at 3pm; however, no game coverage is available today on the Edmonson Voice. The next broadcast will be at home against Metcalfe County in a G/B doubleheader on Tuesday, January 19 at 6PM.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Former Grayson County Coach Ed Smart was named Head Football Coach at Edmonson County High School earlier today.
Smart, who was head of the Cougar football program from 2004 to 2019, had a 84-94 career record at Grayson County. He also served as head coach at McLean County from 1997 to 2004. During his coaching career he was also named District Coach of the Year four different times, has 100 total career victories, was a two-time MAC Coach of the Year, and was the winningest coach at Grayson County where he also had the most playoff wins and most winning seasons for the school's football program.
"I'm excited to be here because I played against Edmonson all those years," said Coach Smart. "I know the kids here always played hard and were well disciplined, which are things that I like. I like having more similar teams here because anyone with a good team has a chance to win the district it and that's appealing. They like football here. The administration has been great to me here so far, everyone here has been friendly and I'm excited to get started."
Coach Smart said his duties begin immediately after all the proper documentation is filed and he's going to get guys into the weight room as soon as possible.
ECHS Athletic Director Kyle Pierce, who coached against Smart for years, discussed the high school's decision for the new hire.
"We are excited to hire Coach Smart as our head football coach," he said. "He's a great coach and person and had a great run at Grayson County for 16 years. I was fortunate enough to coach against him for my 12 years here. I always knew it was going to be a battle because he always had his teams well prepared."
Smart's coaching career dates back to 1990, where over the years he also served as assistant football coach at Greenwood, Warren East, Hart County, and at Morehead State, where he served as a grad assistant.
"He just seemed to have most of what we were looking for in a head coach," Pierce said. "He's not only had head coaching experience, but he's had very successful experience at a rural-type school. He's coached our type of kids his whole career, which is important to us. He's experienced all the ups and down and knows how to handle both. His teams were always well conditioned, strong, disciplined, and they played hard. Plus, he's a great X-and-O type coach that knows how to teach his players."
Pierce said the school had 15-20 people interested in the coaching job, but Smart's name continued coming up in conversations.
"Sometimes in a situation like this, where a guy retires, then comes back to coaching, it's a big deal about the money. That's not been the case here. Not once did he ask about the money. He's asking us about when can he start and when can he work with the kids. That says a lot about him."
Coach Smart described a bit of what football fans will see from the next Wildcat football team.
"We're going to run the ball and we're going to play good defense," he said. "We're going to be physical and we're going to get after people. That's always been my philosophy. You can't control how fast we are or how tall we're going to be, but we can control how strong we're going to be and we're going to be very aggressive. I'm an old-school kind-of-guy where we want to physically beat our opponent."
He replaces Nathan Smith, who served 5 seasons as Edmonson's head coach, where he had an overall record of 24-29 and won the Class 2A District 3 Championship in 2019. He was also named KFCA District 3 Coach of the Year for the 2020 season.
Wildcats' Largest Margin of Victory In Over 20 Years
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The Cloverport Aces were several cards shy of a winning hand in the season opener for Edmonson County's boys in a lopsided 88-21 Wildcat blowout on Monday night in Cloverport. The 67-point win for the Wildcats was the team's largest margin of victory dating back to the beginning of statewide KHSAA digital stats, which was the 1997-98 season. It beats the 54-point victory over London Christian Academy from Canada in 2007 under former head coach Darryl Travis.
The Aces were outmatched in every way last night as the Wildcats forced an array of turnovers for easy buckets. Edmonson County swiped the boards clean with 42 team rebounds. Not only did all Wildcats on the roster get in the game, but all players also scored and pulled at least one rebound.
Edmonson County established a 26-7 lead after the first quarter and they never looked back. They led 50-9 at the half and were able to keep players fresh, in-and-out of the contest.
The Wildcats were led (unofficially) by senior Chaz Wilson's 17 points and 10 rebounds. Also scoring in double figures were seniors Gavin Rose with 14 points (4 three-pointers), Lane Lindsey with 12 points, and Daniel Woosley with 10 points.
Also scoring for the Cats were: Tyler Anderson 9, Trace Taylor 8, Jon Smith 7, Cole Saling 5, and Dylan Lindsey and Braden Wall with 3 each.
Coach Mike McClintic said he was very pleased with the intense start and the effort throughout the contest.
"At the half we only had 5 turnovers," he said. "They played a zone, but I thought we handled it pretty well and moved the ball well. The best thing I thought about tonight was everyone was so unselfish."
Coach Mac was also pleased with the rebounding effort but said the schedule moving forward would be much more difficult, where rebounding and team play would continue to be essential.
"I'm really happy with the way we looked, but yes, we're going to have to step it up as the season goes on."
Lady Cats Off To 2-1 Start To Season With District Win
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It was a good night for basketball in Grayson County last night for the Edmonson County Lady Cats, as they took down their District 12 rival for their first road game of the season, 62-38.
Led by Katie Lindsey's 20 points, 5 assists, 5 rebounds, and 4 steals, (who sat much of the first half in foul trouble) Edmonson County found success in pushing the ball and executing in transition; both on offense and defense.
While the Lady Cats couldn't buy a three-point bucket (hitting only 1 out of 16) they were still very effective with their offense by driving the ball in the lane and crashing the boards for second-chance opportunities. Edmonson dominated the rebounding with 47 for the team total, led by sophomore Lily Jayne Vincent's 12 rebound night, in addition to her 8 points.
While the team had committed 10 turnovers by the half, they were able to take better care of the ball in the second half, which allowed them to cut those turnovers for a game total of 14.
After somewhat of a cold start, Edmonson took the lead in the first quarter and never looked back. They led 29-23 at the half and 44-30 after three. They had amassed a large enough lead to pull their starters near the end of the contest; something that always pleases a coach when you're taking on a district opponent on the road. Coach Bart Weaver credited the win to rebounding and very effective defense.
"When we had all that foul trouble in the first half, we went to a 1-3-1 zone and made them really burn some clock in every possession, and I think that helped. We just stayed with the 1-3-1 during the whole second half," he said. "I thought we did well in the passing lanes. We did gamble some and get some steals, but overall I was proud of our defense."
Coach Weaver said he was also happy with the turnover situation after the first half and the performance of Lindsey in the second half. He also discussed the good rebounding effort from Edmonson County.
"I thought as a whole, we all just went to the glass and you know how proud I am of that," he said. "I've been worried about our rebounding, but that's great."
Senior Shea VanMeter finished with 13 points and 6 rebounds. Senior Macie McCombs added 10 points, 5 rebounds, and 3 steals.
The remaining box score was: Emma White 5, Paige Wolfe 2, Hallie Cassady 2 (8 rebounds), Karina Dennison 2.
Edmonson County is 2-1 on the season and 1-0 in District 12 play. They are scheduled to take on Taylor County on the road on Tuesday, January 12th. The Wildcat boys team is scheduled to start their season on Monday, January 11th at Cloverport after a delay due to COVID. The WildcatsLive broadcast team on the Edmonson Voice is scheduled to carry the live game video Monday night, beginning at approximately 5:45.
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The Lady Cats struggled against the defensive pressure of the Owensboro Catholic Lady Aces last night at ECHS in the season basketball opener, which was part of the All "A" Classic. Edmonson County fell 71-41 against Catholic.
A much smaller and younger Edmonson County team than those in recent years past held their own in the rebounding category, although the Lady Aces held a slight advantage; however, turnovers from the Lady Cats (22) were turned into points for Catholic, which proved to be the difference in this game. The Lady Aces only committed 10 turnovers during the contest.
"There's a lot of inexperience on this team," said Head Coach Bart Weaver. "Girls are going to have to learn to step up. You know, it's not a good team to play you when they're going to press you all the time and you're trying to start the season with some new kids in, but we'll keep working and tomorrow's a better day."
While the scoring was mostly handled by three seniors, Katie Lindsey (14pts), Macie McCombs (12pts), and Shea VanMeter (8pts), several underclassmen are taking on roles they haven't faced before.
Coach Weaver found some positives in the loss with the team effort, as well as VanMeter's 8 points and 6 rebounds off the bench. Weaver also was impressed with sophomore Emma White's performance with 2 points and 5 rebounds off the bench in her very first varsity contest.
"Listen, I love my team and I think by mid-season we'll be a lot better team and we'll execute better," he said.
Also contributing for the Lady Cats were Lily Jayne Vincent (3pts, 5rbs, 3blk), and Hallie Cassady (2pts, 3rbs).
Kinsley Goetz led the Lady Aces with 13 points; however, all 12 OC players scored in the contest.
Edmonson County shot 38% from the field, 36% from behind the arc, and 44% from the free throw line.
The Lady Cats are scheduled to take on Logan County Tuesday night in a JV/V match beginning at 6PM. The Lady Cougars lost all 5 starters from last year's team. Weaver is hoping to cut down on turnovers against Logan County and is looking for the team's first win of the season.
Girls Team Not Affected At This Time
Darren Doyle, story:
Just moments after publishing our 2021 preview of Wildcat Basketball, we were informed of breaking news for the boys team. Due to a positive COVID test within the boys basketball program today, the season will be delayed one week for the Wildcats.
Players will quarantine and be retested after one week and a decision will be made regarding future games at that time.
"This does not affect the girls team at this time," said Superintendent of Schools Brian Alexander. "We will plan on starting their season at the regular time on Monday of next week. We will follow all the proper protocols and do whatever we can for our students and their health and safety."
**Update: 12/30/20, 11:30AM: Moments after publishing this story, we received word that the boys will delay their season one week due to a positive COVID test from someone within the team today. This does not affect the girls team at this time.
Darren Doyle, story:
While the seasons will look like none others in the past, high school basketball is ready to begin in Edmonson County as well as all across Kentucky.
We stopped by practices held by both the Lady Cats and Wildcats this week and sat down with Lady Cat Head Coach Bart Weaver, who is looking to bring home a 4th consecutive district title, and Wildcat Head Coach Mike McClintic (Coach Mac) who is entering his 43rd year in his coaching career.
Here's a look at each team and what these coaches expect from each one going into what has already been a rollercoaster preseason.
ECHS Lady Cats, 2020-21
Girls basketball in Edmonson County is experiencing the most success it's ever seen; coming off a 20-11 season where they brought home the school's third consecutive district championship. Coach Bart Weaver will begin his third season as the head of the program that has already been up-and-down with the virus pandemic that hit shortly after the season ended last year.
"The pandemic just put everyone in a bind," Weaver said. "We were just getting ready for our off-season where we start workouts and activities again during spring break; then all of that was just gone. It cost us some conditioning but I really feel like our girls bounced back and have worked really hard to make up for it."
With the bar being set very high for Edmonson County, Weaver said expectations for his team and continued success still compare to what they've been for years.
"We're going to see a deficiency in rebounding--that's just a fact," he said. The team lost three seniors from last year that had over 500 career rebounds each. "But we're getting better, and on the plus-side, we're more athletic. With that, you'll see more pressing because I think we have better conditioning, even after COVID delayed our season. We're only looking at about 14 kids on the roster, so with a reduced number, you've got more kids getting more action in practices."
Three seniors are returning for the Lady Cats: point guard Katie Lindsey, and guards Macie McCombs and Shea VanMeter.
"Katie is sort of our 'general' the way she leads our team," he said. "Personally, I think she's the best point guard in the district. She's just so competitive and a great leader. With Macie coming back, we've got the best percentage 3-point shooter around, and Shea is also a shooter that's really improved her defensive work."
Underclassmen expected to contribute for the varsity team are juniors Paige Wolfe, who is considered the team's top defender, Jaedlyn Simon, and Hallie Cassady, and sophomores Lily Jayne Vincent and Emma White.
"I think our district is wide open and all four teams match up pretty well," he said. "I think overall, we're all about pretty equal and it will be competitive. We're getting better every day and our goal is another district championship."
With the success over the last three years, losing scorers and rebounders from last year, and having a smaller roster, some might see as the bar set too high for continued success, but Weaver doesn't see it that way.
"I don't see the bar too high at all. I've always had high expectations. If you want to have a winning program, the expectations have to be high."
Attendance regulations are among the hot topics that have been discussed during the pandemic and fans at ECHS are going to see a much different gym setup this season, both at home and on the road. Home seating will be limited to up to four tickets per player (approximately 120-130 seats) and visiting teams can purchase up to two tickets per player (approx. 60-70 seats). Attendance is left up to the opposing teams when the Lady Cats are on the road. There will also be no cheer or band for the first two weeks of the season. That also means no student section, also known as Wildcat Alley, which will also affect the game experience.
Coaches are expected to wear masks during practices and games, and benches are required to practice social distancing, despite the fact players are making full body contact throughout the entire game.
"I obviously don't like all the regulations and all this we have to do, but we have to do it," he said. "The other teams all face the same thing. This year, we have to play for each other. We've always played as a team, but this year we MUST rely on each other and I may be wrong, but I really feel like we're ready to play."
ECHS Wildcat Basketball 2020-21
The boys basketball team is facing the same issues caused by the COVID pandemic as not only the girls team, but every other team in Kentucky, and it's also been a hurdle for the team to overcome. Coach Mac credited not only his players but also the parents for pulling together to help get the season started off right.
"We've had to cram a lot of stuff in a short period of time, but we've done it," he said. "We had no summer ball and that was a real setback, but our kids have been great and I can't say enough about our parents for their roles in helping us do what we need to do."
McClintic said in the midst of the issues caused by the pandemic, the chemistry in the locker room has been outstanding, and is the reason things have gotten off to a good start.
"These guys are good kids and they're great together," he said. "There's a great atmosphere in the locker room where you know everyone wants to be around each other. Our older kids have shown some great leadership and our younger guys have been great by following it."
The makeup of this year's varsity team will likely revolve around 8 to 10 players, Mac said, and will rely on the leadership of seven seniors. Five of those seniors have varsity experience, which include center Chaz Wilson, who led the Wildcats in scoring and rebounding (14ppg, 10 rpg) as a sophomore. He was hindered much of the season last year with an injury but was still able to average 10ppg and nearly 7rpg.
Other seniors expected to see a majority of playing time are Gavin Rose, a guard, and forwards Jon Smith and Isaiah Johnson, as well as returning forward/center Daniel Woosley. Dylan Lindsey and Lane Lindsey round out the seniors for the team.
Coach Mac said to also expect action from junior Trace Taylor, and sophomores Braden Wall and Tyler Anderson. Other juniors and two freshmen might also see some varsity playing time.
"We lost some guys from last year but we have more depth than most people might think," he said. "Most all these guys are good at something and everyone will have a role to play."
Much like the girls, District 12 play looks much of the same, Mac said.
"I feel good about our district. I don't see one particular team having a huge advantage over another. It's going to be competitive."
Coach Mac said this year's schedule is probably the toughest he's seen so far as head coach.
"I'll probably get criticized for the toughness of our schedule this year, but I don't think you get better if you don't play tough teams. I'm hoping this will get us where we're playing our best when tournament time comes."
Both Lady Cats and Wildcats will open their seasons on Monday, January 4th at home as ECHS hosts the All A Classic, where both teams will take on Owensboro Catholic.
"Catholic is always a tough team and they're favored heavily in the All A," said McClintic. "They've got two of the top-rated players in the region. I think it's good for us to start off with a good team. If we win, we advance. If we don't, we'll still work on the next game."
The Wildcats will focus on pushing the ball as much as possible on the offense while seeing more motion and movement.
"We want to make it hard for teams to defend us. And on the defensive side, you'll see some different zones and what I call some 'junk' defenses," which are used to create confusion for opponents.
"As always, our assistants have been great, with Jodi Booth and Jackson Saase, returning, and new assistant Brad Johnson has been great to work with. He's a heckuva coach."
With the attendance issues, Mac said the bench will have to be the cheering section.
"I'm a little worried about the lack of noise, which is a huge part of basketball," he said. "Our bench guys will have to help cheer the other guys on when they're not in the game. It's going to be different, but we're going to give it out best. Our goal is to win the district championship and do some real damage in the region tournament. We plan on getting better as the season goes along and be ready when tournament time gets here."
The WildcatsLive crew will broadcast most games this season on the Edmonson Voice and will stream live video where available internet will allow. The girls will take on Owensboro Catholic Monday, January 4th at 6pm. The boys will play immediately following.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Edmonson County High School head football coach Nathan Smith has officially stepped down from the role as of today.
Coach Smith made the announcement first with players and school administration this afternoon. Smith said it was a family decision and it's now time for someone else to take over after his 5 years at the head of the program.
"I entered the ECHS football program 17 years ago as a freshman and have never spent a season away from this program," he said. "It's been one of the biggest blessings in my life and some of my fondest memories have come from ECHS football; however, at this time I feel that it's in the best interest of me and my family that I step away from the program that I love. A lot of other things in my life have been neglected because of the time and passion that football requires. It's time to pass the reigns to some one else for a while."
Smith said he wanted to share his thanks with everyone that has contributed to his life of football over the years.
"All of the players that I have had the privilege of coaching have shaped the person that I have become and I can't express how much they have meant to me. The men who have coached with me have been great and are some of my best friends. We have a great and supportive community who have always helped us and a group of parents that have gone above and beyond to provide for our football program. I want to thank my family for supporting me for all these years and for the sacrifices they have made to help me and the football team. Lastly I want to thank Kyle Pierce who has been so influential to me over the past 17 years. He has been a true coach, friend, and mentor to me along the way."
Smith was named head coach on January 15, 2016. During his 5 seasons as head coach, Edmonson County had an overall record of 24-29 and won the Class 2A District 3 Championship in 2019. He was also named KFCA District 3 Coach of the Year for the 2020 season.
Athletic Director Kyle Pierce said Smith has been contributing to Edmonson County football every since he was a player.
"Coach Smith has been a tremendous asset to our football program since he walked into the fieldhouse in 2004 as a player," Pierce said. "He began working with our coaching staff immediately following his senior season and we've been extremely fortunate to have him working with our student-athletes for the past 13 years."
Pierce said the search for Smiths' replacement will begin immediately and that there is already a short list of candidates the school would like to consider.
"There are some quality people out there that have head coaching experience and a few solid assistant coaches that we would want to sit down and talk with," he said.
"At the end of it, you want a person who will be a good fit with our football team, our school system, and our community. If any of those are missing, it's usually an uphill battle."
Smith said while he's stepping down from the responsibilities of coach, there's no way he could ever fully walk away from Wildcat football.
"I plan on being at every football game in the future and will always support this program and our players in any way that I can. Once you get ECHS football in your blood it doesn't really ever leave. Go Cats!" he added.
Wildcats Finish Season 4-4
Darren Doyle, story:
It was a scrappy, hard fought game by two similarly-matched teams, but one that would fall in favor of the Metcalfe County Hornets over the Wildcats 34-27 in the Class AA, District 3 finals on Friday, November 27, 2020 at ECHS.
Metcalfe County got their offense going first as they scored a touchdown on a reverse play. The extra point was no good for a Hornet 6-0 lead with 5:09 left in the first.
On the next Wildcat possession, quarterback Jon Smith connected with Clay Walden for a 43-yard catch and touchdown. Walden's extra point attempt was a little left with a score of 6-6 with 3:55 to go in the first.
Edmonson County scored again in the first, thanks to quick hands from Isaiah Johnson as he intercepted Hornet quarterback Peyton Dial's pass and ran it back for a 29-yard touchdown. The extra point attempt was good and the Cats took a 13-6 lead with 2:22 left in the first.
Metcalfe County scored early in the second quarter and took a 14-13 lead with their two-point conversion. They were able to return to the end zone again with 3:24 left in the half. Another 2-point conversion extended their lead to 22-13.
The Wildcats answered on their next possession when Johnson caught a shovel pass from Smith for a 5-yard TD. The extra point cut the Hornets' lead to 22-20 with 1:39 in the half, which would be the score at halftime.
Edmonson County struggled in the third and the Hornets took advantage. Two more touchdowns from Metcalfe with no extra point kicks extended their lead once again to 34-20 with 4:24 left in the third quarter.
Time ticked away in the fourth and the Cats were in a tough spot on 4th and long when Smith connected with Walden on a big 30-yard catch for a first down in the red zone. Smith was able to score on a QB keeper with 4:32 left in the game, and the extra point cut the Cats' deficit to 34-27.
Metcalfe County was able to keep possession through the remainder of the game with a big first down with 3:35 to go on 3rd and 10. It first appeared to be short, but after measurement, the officials ruled the first down and the Hornets held on to win.
Edmonson County will lose 12 seniors from this year's squad, most all of which have played for Coach Nathan Smith, who was named KFCA District 3 Coach of the Year earlier this week, since they were 6th graders.
"We fought through a lot this year, it's been a crazy football season," said Coach Smith. "Just to have a chance the whole game, I never thought we were ever out of it, but they made some plays we didn't make. That's the difference when you got two evenly matched football teams. Us and Metcalfe, it's always been a battle."
Smith sincerely discussed this season's seniors.
"I'm proud of my boys. We just kept making plays and making plays," he said. "You know, it's tough. I love the group we've got right now. I've coached most of them since the sixth grade. A lot of them I have, and it's going to be tough. I don't even know how to coach football without some of them around here. Hats off to them. They played their butts off. I can't ask for any more from a group of football players than what I have right now."
Edmonson County finishes the season at 4-4 and district runner up. Metcalfe County advances to face Lexington Christian in the regional round of the playoffs.
Darren Doyle, photos:
Nearly two dozen senior athletes from fall sports were honored with their families Friday night at Edmonson County High School for the 2020 Fall Sport Senior Night Ceremony.
Seniors from football, golf, cheer, cross country, and band were recognized. The following seniors were honored at midfield at Wildcat Stadium on Friday night, November 20th.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Edmonson County senior Clay Walden made sure to leave his mark on the field during 2020 senior night against Clinton County in the first round of the KHSAA Class AA Playoffs, as his big night led the way for a 26-12 win over the Bulldogs.
Walden has earned respect as one of the area's top kickers, but his defense tonight led to one of the biggest Wildcat plays of the year, which was an end zone steal from the Bulldogs and a 102-yard touchdown that stunned Clinton County and shifted all the momentum back to the Cats
It was a long time coming, as Wildcat football was back after nearly a month without games as a result of the coronavirus. Edmonson County had to pause the season due to quarantining, losing three games in the process. An extra week was added to the season statewide, as KHSAA hoped coronavirus numbers would improve.
Wildcat senior Isaiah Johnson got things started off well for the Cats with a big 50+ yard run, but Edmonson County was unable to score. On the Bulldogs' next play, Clinton County senior quarterback Chase Stines connected with Bryson Cross for an 8-yard touchdown. The two point conversion was no good and Clinton led 6-0 with 5:29 in the first.
Edmonson County once again tried getting into the end zone but took the field goal opportunity with 3:05 left in the first as Walden connected on a 30-yard kick, which cut the Bulldog lead to 6-3.
It would be Walden again early in the second quarter as senior quarterback Jon Smith connected with him for a 35-yard touchdown. The Wildcat two-point conversion was no good but the Cats took their first lead of the game at 9-6 with 9:29 to go.
With time running out in the second quarter, the Bulldogs got into the red zone. A pass went into the hands of a Clinton County receiver while he was airborne in the end zone, but he never gained control of it and Clay Walden snuck right in and snatched it away. Rooster tails flew from the senior's cleats as he blistered the entire field for not only a pickoff, but also a 102-yard touchdown run as the Bulldogs did their best to try to figure out what just happened. What should have been a 12-9 lead for Clinton County was quickly transformed into a 16-6 lead for the Wildcats after Walden's extra point kick with 30.3 seconds left in the half.
Edmonson County never trailed again.
The Wildcats scored again on a 6-yard touchdown run from Logan Davis and the extra point from Walden made it 23-6 with 3:07 in the third.
Walden wasn't finished as he came close to the school field goal yardage record, with a 43-yard kick that extended the Wildcats lead to 26-12 with 4:59 left in the game. The record currently stands at 46 yards, which was accomplished by WildcatsLive broadcaster Granville Meredith in 1988.
Edmonson County held on for the 26-12 win, which also secured a home game advantage for the district finals in the second round of the playoffs against Metcalfe County.
Head Coach Nathan Smith discussed the big win and Walden's huge play that helped seal the deal.
"Anytime you get a playoff win after taking a six-week break from football, I think that's a pretty big deal," he said. "It looked like the kid had the ball and bobbled it a little bit, Clay went over the top and just took the ball right out of his hands. 102 yards. That has to be close to a school record. I don't know what it is, but I'd say it's right there. You can't get much farther, can you?"
Smith then discussed the seniors on the team and what they've meant to not only him, but also the football program over their years of service.
"This senior group, I've been coaching some of them since they were in the 6th grade," he said. "I'm pretty proud of them, and I'd like to just go through the list if you want me to," he said as he then discussed each one.
Edmonson County improves to 4-3 on the season and will face the Hornets next Friday night at 7pm for the District Championship game at ECHS, a title that the Wildcats hope to defend.
Edmonson Voice Sports:
Several Edmonson County Wildcat team members were named to the 2020 all-SKY Conference teams. The SKY Football Conference is made up of southcentral Kentucky schools ranging in size from 1A up to 5A teams. Member schools include Allen County-Scottsville, Barren County, Bowling Green, Edmonson County, Franklin Simpson, Glasgow, Greenwood, Logan County, Metcalfe County, Monroe County, Russellville, South Warren, Todd County, Warren Central, Warren East.
In the small school division (1A-3A), two Wildcats were named to the FIRST TEAM DEFENSE:
Defensive Line: Preston Mills - Edmonson County
Defensive Back: Isaiah Johnson - Edmonson County
Three team members were named to the FIRST TEAM OFFENSE
Quarterback: Jon Smith - Edmonson County
Offensive Line: Jace Conder - Edmonson County
Kicker: Clay Walden - Edmonson County
Two more were named to SECOND TEAM DEFENSE:
Defensive Line: Daniel Pereira - Edmonson County
Linebacker: Logan Davis - Edmonson County
Finally, one more Wildcat was named to the SECOND TEAM DEFENSE:
Offensive Line: Michael Shaw - Edmonson County
Ten different Wildcats were named to the 2020 Class AA District 3 all-district teams:
Edmonson County is scheduled to take on Clinton County at home on Friday, November 20th at 7pm in the first round of the Class AA District 3 playoffs.
Girls Finish 11th In State
Edmonson Voice Sports:
The ECHS Cross Country team traveled to Paris, KY to compete in the annual state meet on Saturday, October 31, 2020, where the girls team finished 11th in the state as a team.
The girls team narrowly missed a top-ten finish in competition. Junior Caroline Parsley led the girls team with a top-half, 69th finish out of 225 Class 1A runners. Behind her were:
Head Coach Brad Meredith made the announcement on twitter.
"Proud of this group," he tweeted. "Goal was to qualify for state, but they came to compete! Boys team faster avg time than region. Girls shocked everyone to finish 11th as a team! Nothing like competing at the State Championships."
The girls team loses only one runner after this season, senior Courtney Garrett, who has been a team member since 8th grade.
Edmonson Falls 3-1, Ends Season With 9-9 Record
Darren Doyle, story:
The 2020 volleyball season for the Lady Cats came to a close last night at the 12th District Tournament hosted in Butler County as Edmonson County fell to the Grayson County Lady Cougars in four sets, 3-1.
Grayson County sat some of their starters during the first set which helped the Lady Cats take an early 11-6 lead. Momentum was on the side of the Lady Cats and they never trailed during the first set, despite a 8-2 run from the Lady Cougars that brought them within 2 points, and Edmonson went on to take the set 25-20.
Grayson's starters were back into the game for set two which was the lineup Edmonson saw all season long; the district favorites that had already comfortably defeated the Lady Cats twice on the season. The momentum gained in set two stayed on the side of Edmonson and the score differential never rose above three points.
The Lady Cats stretched the Lady Cougars to the limit, but Grayson was able to score the last two points of the set, winning 26-24, and tying the game 1-1.
The last two sets were much different and went the way of the Lady Cougars as Edmonson County struggled against Grayson's offense. Lack of communication and court awareness hindered the Lady Cats during both the final sets and Grayson County was able to obtain double-digit leads throughout. The Lady Cougars took set three 25-11 and set four 25-12 as Edmonson County fell 3-1.
Sophomore Kaylee Lindsey led Edmonson County in kills with 10 while adding 3 blocks while sophomore Alyssa Doyle added 8 kills and 2 blocks. Senior Emma Woodcock notched 12 digs, 10 assists, and 2 service aces while senior Abbie Slaughter had 16 digs. Sophomore Rylee Laster had 5 kills, 2 digs, 1 assist, and 1 service ace, and sophomore Halle Tedder had 1 kill and 8 digs. Sophomore Raven Cast had 12 assists and 2 digs. Freshman Alivia Mabery had 7 digs and 1 assist, sophomore Whitney Davis had 2 blocks and 1 dig, and freshman Laura Gibson had 4 digs.
Four Lady Cats received All-District honors at the conclusion of the game, which were:
It was the final volleyball game for three Lady Cat seniors: Emma Woodcock, Abbie Slaughter, and Madalyn Condor, but the roster is young and still has promise for future seasons with three freshmen and seven sophomores on this year's varsity roster. The team also has a host of 7th and 8th grade players in the mix.
One bright spot for the Lady Cats this season, which was shortened due to the COVID pandemic, was their .500 record of 9-9 on the year, an improvement as part of the rebuilding from the 2017 season that saw the exit of 8 seniors that year. The Lady Cats finished 8-20 in 2018 and 9-18 last season.
Big Win On Last Home Game Of Year
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Lady Cats finished their regular season on a huge come-from-behind win against Glasgow in a game that was on track to be a pretty good whipping for ECHS.
The Lady Scotties wasted no time in taking control in set one as they forced an early timeout for Edmonson with a 10-4 lead. Glasgow committed very few errors and were very efficient with their passing, sets, and ball placement. The Lady Cats were rushed, out of sorts, and weren't able to muster up much to celebrate as Glasgow took set one 25-16.
The second set looked about the same as Glasgow forced Edmonson into their first timeout with an 11-5 lead. Out of the timeout, the Lady Scotties rattled off 5 more points to cap off a 10-0 run as they extended their lead to 16-5. The Lady Cats began working on damage control and held their own for the next several points scored, but Glasgow's lead was still plenty comfortable at 20-9.
The Lady Cats then mounted a comeback with a little different look in their rotation. They bounced back with 4 straight, which prompted Glasgow into a timeout at 20-13. Edmonson continued with another run of 5 more and cut the lead to 20-18. The Lady Cats looked like a new team and forced Glasgow into their final timeout as they cut the Lady Scotties' lead to 22-21.
Edmonson County then took their first lead of the game as a stunned Glasgow team got out of rotation, giving Edmonson a point and a 23-22 lead. Glasgow would squeeze out another point but that was it as the Lady Cats took set 2 and tied the game 1-1.
The final set gave fans from both teams plenty to cheer about as the game would be neck-and-neck to the end. Glasgow was able to take an early lead at 7-3 but Edmonson County clawed back and the game would see 5 different ties (8 total for the set) before Edmonson County took their first lead and then forced Glasgow into a timeout at 14-12.
Digs, saves, good passes, communication, kills, and some errors on the part of the Lady Scotties all worked in favor of Edmonson County as they held on to win set three 25-21, and the game 2-1.
The win guaranteed Edmonson County at least an even season on the year as their record improved to 9-8. They will play at least one more game in the first round of the district tournament against Grayson County, which will be hosted at Butler County on Monday evening. This will be the first season the Lady Cats have not had a losing record since 2017.
Darren Doyle, story:
The Edmonson County Wildcats were close to a comeback but couldn't overcome Russellville after trailing most of the game on the 2020 homecoming night.
The Cats were able to strike first as Clay Walden connected with a 28 yard field goal with 2:24 in the 1st quarter for a 3-0 lead. Edmonson County held the Panthers scoreless through the remainder of the first quarter.
Sophomore Daren Alexander intercepted a Russellville pass for a huge run, which set up quarterback Jon Smith for a 1 yard touchdown. The extra point was blocked, but the Wildcats led 9-0 with 11:20 left to go in the 2nd quarter.
The Panthers showed some explosiveness on their next possession as Jovari Gamble broke free with an 80 yard touchdown run for Russellville. Their extra point was good, which cut the Wildcat lead to 9-7 with 11:05 left to go in the 2nd quarter.
With 3:23 left in the half, the Panthers scored on a 13 yard touchdown pass. The extra point was good and Russellville took a 14-9 lead over the Cats.
Russellville's speed was again a problem for the Wildcats, and a couple big runs put them in position to score again. They put 6 more on the board with a 7 yard touchdown and an extra point which extended the Panthers' lead to 21-9 with :35 left in the 2nd quarter. The score would remain the same at the half.
The Wildcats answered in the third quarter as Logan Davis scored on a 3 yard touchdown run. Clay Walden's extra point attempt and the Cats cut the lead to 21-16 with 3:16 to go in the third.
It was another explosive play by the Panthers as they scored on a big 75 yard TD run. The Wildcats blocked the extra point and with 2:56 left in the 3rd quarter, the Wildcats cut the Panther lead to 27-16, which would be the score at the end of the quarter.
The Wildcats kept pushing as Clay Walden scored on a two-yard touchdown run on a pitch from Jon Smith. The Panthers stopped Edmonson's two-point conversion attempt and the Cats trailed 27-22 with 11:55 left in the game.
Russellville's big plays continued as they scored on a 55 yard touchdown run. The extra point made it 34-22 with 4:39 left in the game.
A big run by Logan Davis put the Wildcats in good field position and Jon Smith connected with Isaiah Johnson on a 21 yard touchdown pass. The extra point was good and with 4:18 left to go in the 4th, the Wildcats cut the Panther lead to 34-29.
The Panthers got into the red zone on their next possession and were able to push through over the goal line with 1:27 left in the game. Russellville's extra point was good for a 41-29 lead, which sealed the deal for the Panthers.
Head Coach Nathan Smith said too many big plays from the Panthers proved to be more than the Cats could handle tonight.
"It's amazing that we gave up that many big plays but were still in the game for the whole time," he said. "But I'm proud of the boys for the way they came out in the second half, not keeping their heads down, and kept fighting. They put us in a chance to win this football game, but we made too many mistakes. Russellville deserved the win."
Smith said now the focus is Green County.
"We'll get back to work. We got Green County next week, a big district game for us," he said. "I told the boys we'll take two days off and we'll get back to it on Monday. I see a lot of good things we ran, we put in some different stuff for this game that I liked, that we did. (Logan) Davis is separating himself from the rest as the one 'back in the backfield making big plays for us, but mistakes, mistakes, mistakes, but we'll get it cleaned up."
The Wildcats fell to 2-3 on the season. They are scheduled to travel to Green County next Friday night at 7PM.
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
The struggles against District 12 teams continued for the Lady Cats last night as they were swept by the Grayson County Lady Cougars (14-1) in three sets at Edmonson County High School (25-10, 25-13, 25-12).
The first set saw an even start, but only for the first few points until Grayson County put 6 straight points on the board for a 9-4 lead. The Lady Cats called a timeout for a quick reset but after another run from the Lady Cougars (7-2) and a 19-9 lead, Edmonson's second timeout of the set had to be used. The Lady Cougars went on to win set one 25-10.
Set two saw an abysmal start for Edmonson County as they fell behind 10-1, which prompted a timeout. The Lady Cats were able to gather themselves for a 9-6 run of their own, which caused the Lady Cougars into a timeout as Edmonson had cut their deficit to 16-10. That would be about all the dent the Lady Cats would make for the rest of the set as Grayson outscored Edmonson 9-3 from there on for a 25-13 win for set 2.
Grayson was able to do much of the same in the final set as they took the set and the sweep (25-12, 3-0) to win. Sophomores Kaylee Lindsey and Alyssa Doyle led the Lady Cats in kills with 4 each. Seniors Abbie Slaughter and Emma Woodcock led in digs with 33 and 23, respectively, and sophomore Hallie Tedder notched 16 digs.
The Lady Cougars had already secured the top seed for the upcoming district tournament that is scheduled to take place on October 19th. Edmonson County will face the Lady Cougars again in the first round as a four-seed. Edmonson County hasn't won against a District 12 team since the 2017 District Championship, where they swept Trinity 3-0.
Edmonson County is now 8-7 on the year and has the opportunity to have a winning record for the first time in three seasons. They have only two more games before the district tournament; both home games next week against Ohio County on Monday and Glasgow on Thursday.
Darren Doyle, story:
Kyrock Elementary Principal and local resident Shaun Stice scored a hole-in-one at Shady Hollow Golf Course on Friday, September 25th.
The once-in-a-lifetime feat for most golfers happened for Stice on hole number 6, which is a par 3 on the course. Stice says he hit a 182-yard shot from the blue tees using a 5-iron. He said the ball hit just three feet past the pin, rolled back and went in. Stice was playing with friend Kenny Tunks, also a local resident.
"We were practicing for the two-man scramble that we were playing in the next day," he said. "My shot came one day too soon," he joked.
Stice said he and Tunks parred the hole the next day at the tournament.
When asked if he was going to save the ball, frame the scorecard, or commemorate the event another way, he said no.
"Nah, I'm hoping it's the first of many more," he said with a laugh.
The shot is considered more difficult than hitting a game-winning half-court basketball shot at the buzzer, or hitting a 9th inning grand slam to win a baseball game. According to the PGA, the odds of the average amateur golfer hitting the shot is 12,000 to 1.
"Hopefully it's an omen for a good school year, right?" he said.
Stice is in his 4th year as Kyrock principal. In-person classes are scheduled to begin in Edmonson County schools tomorrow, September 28th.