Story and photos by Joseph Barkoff.
It was a tough night.
Edmonson County Wildcat football traveled south to Clarksville Tennessee Friday, September 30 to face a 2-0 in class 2A (4-3 overall) Fort Campbell Falcons. The Falcons were victorious against the visiting Wildcats 37-8.
"I haven’t seen anyone run faster since the ice cream truck was giving away free popsicles and Granville (Meredith) ran ‘em down," said Edmonson Voice play-by-play announcer Scott Lindsey after the ensuing kickoff ran off just 11 seconds before the Falcons were on the board.
After a successful kick, it was 7-0 Falcons with 11:49 left in the first quarter.
Edmonson County would start with the ball on their own 32-yard line and on the first play, a hand off to the workhorse senior Michael Mills, a gash by his offensive line, with a final lunge carrying would-be tacklers, gave him a 10-yard gain and a Wildcat first down.
Fort Campbell does not read the Edmonson Voice, as they began the game in a 3-4 defensive formation. The formation has only three down defensive lineman, in comparison to the 6-2, with six down defensive lineman utilized by Clinton County in the previous week.
The second play from scrimmage was similar to the first. This time, without the misdirection of shotgun pro formation with junior running back Carter Swihart on senior quarterback Noah Meredith’s left and Mills to his right, running right before the snap and Mills attacking the two-hole, Swihart stood firm and Mills went off right tackle for six yards.
The next play, the Falcons used four down lineman and a missed block by the Wildcats left Swihart tackled for a 6-yard loss heading left.
Again, against four defensive linemen, Meredith handed off to Mills off the center’s hip for a gain of 7 yards, bringing up fourth and three.
True to form and believing in the line, head coach Zach Vincent went for it and from an "I" formation, Meredith handed off to Mills still against a 4-3 for another 7 yards and first down.
The Falcons showed a three-down front, but with a delayed blitz from a middle linebacker who was not picked up, Swihart was tackled for a loss.
On fourth down with nine yards to go, the Wildcats were unsuccessful and turned over the ball on downs after nine plays, and almost five minutes of game clock management.
There was a play-clock ticking to begin the game and Edmonson County was able to utilize every tick without being rushed; Fort Campbell had an efficient play-calling system in the hurry-up style of offense, with plays being called by code the moment the whistle blew dead the last play.
The play clock had issues and despite its discontinuation, the hurry up offense continued.
After a goal line stand from Edmonson County on the half-yard line form a 43-yard pass from Fort Campbell, the Falcons scored again from five yards out. After the extra point it, was 14-0 in favor of the home team with 2:46 left in the first quarter.
Three down linemen for the Falcons with no blitzing and extra rushers, Mills, on the first play after the kick return gained 11 up the gut.
Again Meredith looked down the throat of a 3-4 defensive set, and with the middle linebacker not on a delayed blitz, a hand off to Mills gained another four up the gut.
The next two plays had Meredith keep on both against a blitzing 3-4 and moved the chains where the Wildcats let the time run out on the first quarter only down two touchdowns.
The second quarter started with moments of brilliance. These Wildcats boys can play. After a penalty brought them back, Meredith made a couple passes to begin an assault of the Falcon red zone with a first and 10 from the 15-yard line.
After running almost three minutes off the clock, Edmonson County turned over the ball on downs making a first and 10 for Fort Campbell on the 10-and-one-half yard line with 9:10 to go in the half.
Edmonson County still only down two scores.
With only 13 seconds left in the half down two scores Meredith rolls out, but is sacked and the half ended with Edmonson County down 14-0 to Fort Campbell.
The second half was more of the same.
One large factor causing adversity with the Wildcats, though you would never hear it from them, is when the game switches from offense to defense, often only two players are replaced.
Compounding the issue specifically against their current adversary, Fort Campbell, the no-huddle offense is taking its toll on the never say die Edmonson County.
Fort Campbell scored again in the third quarter, but three scores is not an insurmountable task, especially for the explosive Edmonson County. They just didn’t get the one break they needed.
Mills would score from the red zone, and after a two-point conversion, the third quarter would end with Edmonson County down 21-8.
The fourth quarter, with the combination of a previous no-huddle offense from Fort Campbell for the past three, Edmonson County finally started to show, not a breaking point, but a limit at to which they could no longer completely contain Fort Campbell’s onslaught.
To say Edmonson did not play valiantly, bravely and even humbly is an understatement.
At one point in the game Meredith had to come out from injury. At another point the back of Mills’ head was hit so hard he had to be helped off the field where he stood with an ice pack on his neck until he convinced the medical staff he was all right to play more.
There was no flag thrown on the play when Mills was hit with what looked like what is defined as a “targeting” shot.
Mills used to be able to sit out defense, but since the loss of junior linebacker Colton White, he has been playing both ways.
The final play of the game saw Swihart run down to the Fort Campbell 4-yard line, but with 15 seconds remaining, despite two timeouts left, Edmonson County was down 37-8 and realizing the time and punishment they took, Edmonson County headed off the field allowing the final seconds to tick off, signifying the end of the game.
“I love you boys,” Vincent said after the game in the post game huddle in the defending end zone.
These young men are not like others covered when they get down in points. They do not chirp at each other or coaches, or officials. They often pat their opponents on the back even after an attempted lethal blow is applied. Their loyalty to each other, the coaching staff and community is almost an immeasurable, intangible thing.
It doesn’t amount to wins though.
Love may not get a team wins. After the football season ends, after high school ends, the heart these student athletes at Edmonson County have been able to grow, the skills in play written on the backs of their adversary’s Army sponsors shirts and in their doctrine; loyalty, duty, respect, selfless service, integrity and personal courage, could not be more accurate to describe the next generation of leaders and members in the community of Edmonson County.
There is a bye week next week and Edmonson County resumes the season against Owensboro Catholic October 13 at 7 p.m. in Owensboro.
Replays of all games can be found on the Edmonson Voice under the drop down under sports labeled recorded game videos.
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.