Jackson Looks To Spend More Time With Family After 33 Years Of Coaching
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County Lady Cat Head Basketball Coach Kevin Jackson has announced that he is officially stepping down after 33 total years of coaching high school basketball and softball.
The announcement was made at the April 29th Lady Cat Basketball banquet as the team celebrated their accomplishments together. Jackson said he made the decision late last week.
"After 33 years in coaching and education, I just felt like now is as good of a time as any to do this," he said. "I said when I came back here three years ago, I wanted to leave the program in better shape than it was when I got here, and I feel like I've done that."
Jackson spent a total of 26 years at Edmonson County. He first arrived in 1989 where he was the boys' freshmen and JV coach and varsity assistant. He took over duties of head coach for the girls in 1992 and stayed there for 11 seasons. He also served as head coach for Lady Cat softball from 2003-2010.
He returned to the Lady Cats in 2015 where the Lady Cats went 17-13. The team improved over the 2016-17 season to 23-9, and finally to 29-5 last season, the best record in the school's 44-year history. The team finished as District 12 Champions, Region 3 All-A Champions, and advanced to the final four of the Region 3 All-A State Classic. Their season ended in the second round of the Region 3 KHSAA tournament to Apollo.
"We had a tough loss to end our season this year," he said. "I took a month and just thought things over. I have two grandkids now and another one on the way. None of us know how much time we have left here so I just want to be sure I have the opportunity to be with my family if needed. Coaching is a complete five or six month commitment out of the year and my wife, Debbie, has been more than generous during all these years and now it's time for me to be with my family."
ECHS Athletic Director Kyle Pierce said Coach Jackson will be missed.
"Obviously we hate to see Coach Jackson leave, but we totally understand the reasons why. He had a tremendous return and took our girls program to new heights," he said.
"Coach Jackson came into this job three years ago with high expectations. He has been a proven winner over his career in every sport he has coached," Pierce added. "He does things the right way. He always focused on the fundamentals and built from there."
Lady Cat basketball won all four of their district titles under Jackson. Since Jackson's 2015 return, the team went 70-27. When asked how the 2017-18 team stacked up with all the others in his coaching career, he said this team will be long remembered.
"This team is as good as any group that I've ever seen," he said. "It wasn't just on the court, either. Out of 16 kids, we had 13 of them with a 4.0 GPA or higher. Those 13 were academic all-state. The other three were honorable mention. During our magical week at EKU (at the Region 3 All-A State), it just really came to us how special this group of young ladies actually was. It's the most well-behaved and mature group of kids I've seen in 33 years. We never had to worry about them. It just seemed you could always count of them to make good decisions. With this team, I just could never have asked for anything more."
Coach Jackson was also a two-time winner of the Kentucky Association of Basketball Coaches Region 3 Girls' Coach of the Year award. He was showered with accolades from several organizations and media outlets over the years. Two girls from this past season's team, Caitlin Simon and Peyton Martin were named to the Lady Cat Wall of Fame, being the number one and number four all-time leading scorers, respectively.
While records, titles, and trophies are very important to coaches anywhere, Jackson wants to be remembered for something else.
"For every kid I've ever coached, and every team I've ever had, I hope they know that I really tried to give them everything I had. I made lots of mistakes, that's for sure. There are some things I like to redo, but I hope that in all my 33 years, I proved I always had the kids' best interests at heart. I've always tried to help them, and that goes for now as well as the future."
Director Pierce said there was no timetable set in stone for when another coach would be hired.
"The job was posted today and it should close at the end of May. We would like to have a new coach in place soon after. Obviously, we want the best coach possible for our girls program," he said. "For any sport, I always have a short list of people that I'll contact to gauge their interest. As of now, the girls coaching staff will take care of our off-season workouts until our new coach is announced."
When asked if there was ever a possibility of coming out of retirement, Jackson said he'd "never say never."
"I'm a little down today. This is the first time in my professional career where I've been without being involved in education, coaching, or both. I'm moving on now, but we'll just have to see what the future holds. Honestly though, this job is more of a young man or young woman's game these days."
Although Jackson currently resides in the Smiths Grove area and grew up there, going to school at Warren East, he has called Edmonson County home for a long time.
"To me, Edmonson County is home," he said. "I chose to be here. I wasn't born here, I didn't grow up here, but I chose to be here. It's a special place that will always be home to me."
Win Game One 2-1, Game Two 9-2
BOWLING GREEN, KY – The Bowling Green Hot Rods swept a double header with the South Bend Cubs, winning game one in extra innings 2-1 and taking game two 9-2. The Hot Rods walked off in the eighth inning in the opener, and SS Taylor Walls finished a home run shy of the cycle in the nightcap.
RHP Drew Strotman got the start in game one and was fantastic. He threw six innings and only allowed four hits, one earned run, one walk, and he sent four down on strikes. RHP Cory Abbott was just as strong for the Cubs, as he was able to throw seven innings and only allowed two hits, one run, didn’t walk a batter, and sent six Hot Rods down on strikes.
The Hot Rods got on the board first when LF Moises Gomez crushed a solo home run onto the grass in left-center field in the bottom of the fifth. The Cubs immediately responded in the next half inning with a leadoff single from CF Chris Singleton. He scored on a RBI single from DH Tyler Payne.
That sent the game into extra innings where both teams started the frame with a runner on second. The Cubs started their half of the frame with a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third. RHP Phoenix Sanders then struck out the next batter, and forced a groundout to keep the game tied.
The Hot Rods followed suit with a sacrifice bunt to move the runner to third in the bottom of the inning, and then LF Moises Gomez roped a walk-off single into right field giving the Hot Rods the win. Sanders was the winning pitcher as he picked up his first win of the season, and RHP Brian Glowicki took his first loss of the season
In game two the Hot Rods wasted no time getting on the board when 2B Vidal Brujan worked a leadoff walk, stole second and third, then came home to score on a wild pitch. C Ronaldo Hernandez hit a two run double later in the frame to give Bowling Green a 3-0 lead.
The Hot Rods added on five more runs in the second, three of them coming on a Walls bases clearing triple to give Bowling Green the 8-0 lead.
The Cubs got two runs in the top of the third with a double from 3B Austin Filiere. The Hot Rods picked up their final run when Brujan scored on two throwing errors in the bottom of the fourth.
RHP Jhonleider Solinas got his first start of the year and he went three and two-third innings allowing four hits, two earned runs, one walk, and he struck out six. RHP Tyler Zombro followed up with three and one-third innings of scoreless relief and was credited with his first win on the season. RHP Jose Albertos took the loss for the second time.
Next up the Hot Rods face the South Bend Cubs again tomorrow evening at 6:35pm Central time. LHP Resly Linares (0-0 5.91) will get the start for the Hot Rods, while the Cubs will go with RHP Eric Uelmen (0-2, 11.57).
Hot Rods Win Both In Doubleheader
BOWLING GREEN, KY – The Bowling Green Hot Rods snapped their six game losing streak and picked up two wins in a doubleheader sweep over the Fort Wayne TinCaps. The Hot Rods came from behind in game one to win 5-3 and cruised to a 7-1 win in game two.
LHP Brendan McKay got the start in game one and pitched three innings, allowing two hits and two runs. The Hot Rods were the first to score when INF Taylor Walls scored on a fielder’s choice in the bottom of the first.
The TinCaps responded in the top of the third when Esteury Ruiz hit a two-run home run to give Fort Wayne a 2-1 lead. The TinCaps added another run to in the top of the fifth when Justin Lopez scored on a Juan Fernandez single.
The Hot Rods responded in the bottom of the fifth thanks to two doubles and a triple in the frame. Walls tied the game up with an RBI triple. Then C Ronaldo Hernandez and INF Zach Rutherford put the Hot Rods back on top with back to back RBI doubles. It was 5-3 after the rally.
RHP Jhonleider Salinas pitched three innings while only giving up one run, earning the win for the Hot Rods. LHP Hunter Schryver picked up the save, allowing one hit and ringing up a strikeout along the way.
In game two things went a little smoother for the Hot Rods when they jumped out to a three run lead in the bottom of the first thanks to an error and then back to back RBI doubles from Hernandez and Rutherford.
The Hot Rods picked up another run in the second on an OF Carl Chester sac fly, and then two more in the third with a RBI double from OF Moises Gomezfollowed up immediately by an INF Devin Davis RBI single.
RHP Alex Valverde got the start for the Hot Rods and he pitched five innings only allowing three hits and one run. He also struck out four TinCaps en route to his first win of the season.
Fort Wayne got their only run of the game in the top of the third with a bases loaded single from Gabriel Arias.
RHP Phoenix Sanders and RHP Tyler Day finished off the TinCaps in game two, each throwing one inning without allowing a run or a hit.
Next up the Hot Rods have an off day, then will be in West Michigan on Tuesday. First pitch will be 5:35 pm central time.
Edmonson County Dominates Todd County 14-0
Edmonson Voice Sports: Madison Doyle, photos:
Wildcat Baseball bounced back from three consecutive losses in a big way with a dominating 14-0 shutout over Todd County Central on Friday, April 13th in five innings.
Edmonson County rattled the Rebels early as they jumped out to 7-0 lead in the first inning, powered by two doubles, three singles, four walks, and a hit-by-pitch. Thirteen batters came to the plate in the inning.
Senior pitcher Logan Minton allowed only one hit over three innings with only one walk and four strikeouts. Junior Preston Dunn pitched two innings of relief in the non-save situation, giving up no hits, striking out two, while walking three.
Edmonson County's offense struck again in the third inning, highlighted by freshman Chaz Wilson's two-run homer. The Wildcats scored 6 more in the third, which put the game out of reach for the Rebels.
Wilson finished with 3 RBIs on the evening, along with senior Ryan Lindsey. Edmonson County took advantage of several scoring opportunities, something with which the Wildcats have struggled as of late.
"We have a really high team on-base percentage but we were struggling a little with leaving guys on base earlier in the season," said head coach Bo West. "Chaz has been having really good at-bats recently, so we moved him up in the lineup to give him more opportunities to drive in runs. He's done a really good job at that over the past few weeks."
The Wildcats' box score was: Minton 3-3, 2 RBI, L. Lindsey 2-2, Dunn 1-3, 1 RBI, Wilson 1-2, 3 RBI, Woodcock 1-2, 2 RBI, Meredith 1-1, G. Lindsey 2-3, 1 RBI, Decker 3-4, 1 RBI, R. Lindsey 2-3, 3 RBI. The team notched 16 total base hits.
Edmonson County is now 5-5 on the season. They are 2-0 in District 12 play and 2-1 against Third Region teams.
Edmonson County Softball Now 4-6 On Season
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Lady Cats dropped both games in a doubleheader last night: the first game against Trinity 7-5, then against Barren County 13-1 in five innings.
The Lady Cats were in control for most of game one, led by the pitching performance of 8th grader Josi Morrison. She pitched all seven innings while freshman Abbie Slaughter led the offense, going 3 for 4 with an RBI.
Edmonson County led 4-0 until the fourth inning when the Lady Raiders finally got on the board with two runs. The Lady Cats added one more in the 5th to lead 5-2 but Trinity rallied with five runs in the sixth inning to take the lead.
The Lady Cats were held scoreless in the final inning as they took the 7-5 loss. Trinity's Nina Wathen was credited for the win as she gave up 8 hits, walked four, struck out two and allowed 5 earned runs in a seven inning pitching performance.
Morrison allowed only two earned runs on 8 hits and three walks in the loss.
In the remaining box score, Katie Lindsey was 1-4, Kaitlyn Hyde went 1-3 with an RBI, Karissa Waldrop was 1-3 with an RBI, and Morrison was 1-4.
Edmonson County struggled on both sides of the field in game two against Barren County in a 13-1 loss. The Trojanettes struck first with two doubles and a triple in the first inning, as they took an early 4-0 lead.
Barren County continued to play add-on as they compiled a 13-0 lead going into the bottom of the 5th. Edmonson County was able to put a run on the board on a sacrifice fly by Karissa Waldrop that scored Abbie Slaughter from third, but the deficit was too great as Barren County took game two.
Kaitlyn Hyde was 2-2 with two singles and Josi Morrison went 1-2 with a single. Pitcher Chloe Deweese went all five innings as she gave up 6 earned runs on 11 hits and three walks.
The Lady Cats are now 4-6 on the season. They are 2-2 in region play and 0-1 in District 12 competition.
Hot Rods Sweep Dragons 8-4
Edmonson Voice Sports:
A day after their Opening Day walk-off win over the Dragons, the Hot Rods scored in the opening frame and led wire-to-wire on their way to an 8-4 victory and their second consecutive win over Dayton.
Austin Franklin (W, 1-0) started the game on the bump for the Hot Rods and threw five innings of 2-hit, one-run baseball, while striking out three and walking two. Franklin is listed as the Tampa Bay Ray’s 10th overall prospect according to Baseball America.
The scoring started in the first when on a full count, Hot Rods starting shortstop Taylor Walls hit a solo home run to right-center field. The home run was Wall’s first of the season and the second of his career.
An inning later, catcher Ronaldo Hernandez continued his red-hot start with a leadoff double. He later advanced on a wild pitch, and ultimately scored on a sacrifice fly by first baseman, Devin Davis.
Later in the fourth, on the first pitch he saw, Zac Law hit a solo home run to push the lead to 3-0. Ronaldo Hernandez and Eleardo Cabrera followed with back-to-back singles. Devin Davis scored Hernandez on an RBI single and Moises Gomez scored Cabrera on an RBI ground out to push the lead to 5-0 after four.
Dayton would not quit however, as they would score in three successive innings. Dragon catcher Henrik Clementina hit a solo home run to right field in the fifth. The run was the only earned run of the night for Austin Franklin. An inning later, Riley O’Brien replaced Franklin and allowed a single to Miles Gordon who stole second and scored on a John Sansone ground out. After a Jeter Downs RBI double in the 7th, the Hot Rods lead was 5-3.
The Hot Rods would respond in the bottom of the frame however. Moises Gomez led off the 7th with a triple and after Emilio Gustave walked, Vidal Brujan lined a single to right to score Gomez. The next batter, Zach Rutherford, blooped a single to right and scored Gustave. Two batters later, Zac Law collected his second RBI of the game when his groundout to second scored Brujan to extend the Hot Rods lead to 8-4.
Austin Schryver made his Hot Rods debut in the 8th and allowed a solo home run to Stuart Fairchild. Schryver would bounce back and shut the Dragons down the rest of the way as the Hot Rods held on to win 8-4.
Austin Franklin was the winner for the Hot Rods, while Dragons starter Mac Sceroler was hung with the loss for Dayton.
The Hot Rods (2-0) will travel to Dayton to continue the series tomorrow with first pitch at 6:00 pm at Fifth Third Field. Righty Tobias Myers will get the start for Bowling Green tomorrow while Dayton will counter with right hander Tyler Mondile.