Edmonson Voice Sports:
Brayden Johnson, a sophomore tennis member of ECHS was awarded the Central Kentucky Tennis Series (CKTS) Points Standing Race Award on Sunday at Buchanan Park in Bowling Green in two different levels, which included the 18 & under and the men's open.
Brayden competed in 7 of 8 tournaments in the 2023 summer series while earning the most wins of any player in both divisions. This is Brayden’s second year earning the top honor in two age divisions. Last year he won the 16u & 18u divisions.
ECHS Tennis Coach Jodi Johnson, who is also his mother said she was fortunate to be married to one of the most successful coaches in Kentucky.
"Brad never took his teams to play the weaker opponents," she said. He signed up for the most difficult schedule. I preach that to Brayden—to beat the best, you have to play the best. We don’t shy away from more experienced, older players. Brayden hits with the most talented players we can find weekly. We travel outside our state to compete at the highest level. The fact that Brayden won the Men’s Open Overall Champion as a 16 year old, is a testament to Brad’s philosophy."
She also wished to thank the school system and community for the support of tennis at Edmonson County High School.
The Central Kentucky Tennis Series is a nonprofit organization with the purpose of promoting amateur tennis play in the Central Kentucky area.
Story and photos by Joseph Barkoff:
It was the final regular season football game in the Kentucky High School Athletic Association Division 2a District 2 for the class of 2023 Edmonson County Wildcats, Friday, October 27th at Breckinridge County High School.
It was Breckinridge County’s senior night. It was Edmonson County’s second win of the season.
Not just a win, though. It was a statement.
“I think this game right here proves what the year could have been,” Edmonson County head coach Zach Vincent said after the game.
In the battle of the big cats, the Wildcats tore the fur off of host Fighting Tigers for a decisive 41-0 win.
“Give them some credit,” Vincent said about Breckinridge. “They didn’t have their starting quarter back.”
They still had dangerous players with the ability to break open the game at any point.
Breckinridge was scouted for double pass plays, and other actions off their flanker, Vincent said. He was proud of his boys for identifying those potential plays during the game and calling them out to each other on the field, which meant the coaches didn’t have to scream from the sidelines. The kids were in tune to the game.
“The kids took charge tonight,” Vincent said.
Having noticed the defense, or offense was keying in a certain way, the players shared their experience from the field and adjustments were made accordingly, Vincent said.
“That’s a fun group to coach when they can do that,” Vincent said.
It’s a fun game to watch for the spectators too, of at least the winning team.
Home team Breckinridge County received the ball first and ended up punting but pinning Edmonson County inside the 5-yard line for their first offensive possession.
Folks from Edmonson County double down on what they know, and the Edmonson Voice is not on the radar for scouting from other teams, or the 3-4 defense Breckinridge set up which would have been stouter to receive senior running back Michael Mills up the middle from a shotgun handoff in the endzone from senior quarterback Noah Meredith.
“It was awesome,” Meredith said. “It was like one of them things that you play high school (football) for four years for. It just felt so good. I don’t know how to explain it.”
It was like a chain reaction, he said. First one play was successful. Then another, and another, and then they were able to have some big plays where there really was no answer from Breckinridge.
“Everything clicked,” Meredith said.
Indeed, it did. Clicked into an over six-minute drive and a 55-yard touchdown run by Mills to take the end of the first quarter 7-0 Edmonson County.
No more spoilers but quarter scores, except senior lineman, both offense and defense, Kasey Webb had another touch on the ball. Replays of the game can be found on EdmonsonVoice.com as well as Facebook @TheEdmonsonVoice.
“It’s just fun because playing line your whole life you never get to run the ball,” Webb said. “Only people on the field who don’t get to touch the ball at all. It’s not a very glorious position. You don’t have your name in the newspaper.”
He thinks it’s the first time they have shut out a team since his freshmen year, he said.
“I felt really good about it,” Webb said. I felt like we played a really good defensive game.”
At the end of the first half, Edmonson County defense had allowed no points from the home team and lead 27-0.
“It feels good to get a win on our last regular season (game) as a senior,” Mills said. “We put the team together tonight and come out and smacked ‘em in the mouth and never let off the gas pedal.”
The end of the third quarter was the final score of the game 41-0 in favor of Edmonson County.
After the game sophomore lineman Hunter Kinser was grateful for his coaches and the win, he said.
“It’s pretty good,” Kinser said. “I enjoyed it a lot. We run the ball good, executed good, not much more you can ask for.”
Edmonson County ended the game with 302 rushing yards and 105 passing yards from Meredith and a “record breaking,” according to Mills, two touchdowns in the air.
“X’s and O’s, we’re fine,” Vincent told his team before they took the field. “It’s just Jim’s and Joe’s,”
They had 10 Jim and Joe first downs and even an interception by Meredith in the fourth quarter where after realizing he had room to run, with a smile he slid down after a couple steps.
Score withstanding, each team helped those around them up when appropriate. Like brothers and brotherhood described last week by Vincent is still present today in the sportsmanship executed from both teams.
“I love this sport,” Kinser said.
Win or lose, it is fun to watch when it is done well.
“This group of men, they played backyard ball,” Vincent said. “They were having fun, sharing the ball and giving me advice.”
There are more games yet to come and perhaps the hardest test yet.
“They were pushing each other, coaching each other, it’s wonderful,” Vincent said. “It made my job easy to do.”
The seniors get better every game, Vincent said. They will need to be their best, which is loose and confident in execution, next week at Mayfield High School in Mayfield, Thursday ,November 2 at 7PM.
The smile on Vincent’s face said it all. His cheeks were flush with color from smiling and glowing with pride in his boys’ win. His win. The win. The second of the season. Now Edmonson County (2-8) is set to face an 8-1 Mayfield, the second-ranked team in the division in the post season.
Some folks have expressed the thought it may be a rough night. If the Wildcats from Oct. 27 show up, who knows what could happen.
Edmonson Voice Sports:
The Edmonson County Wildcat Cross Country team brought home second place honors at the regional cross country meet on Saturday, October 21st, which qualifies them to compete in state meet.
The trio of Tyler Brooks (5th), Ashton Johnson (6th) and Landon Franich (7th) finished in the top 8 to earn All Region Honors. Other finishers were Zander Garrett (30th) , Owen Ruth (33rd), Jack Browning (38th), Jack Lich (60th).
“Our boys executed our race plans perfectly," said Head Coach Brad Meredith. "We talked about it this week about what we could accomplish if we race the way we know we can. Based on personal best times we were picked 5th as a team going into the meet but we know the work we have put in all season and some of the courses we ran on are hard courses so our times were not as fast as some of the other teams."
Meredith said the team does that for a specific purpose.
"All other races are like extra workouts for us and we plan to race our best at region. Like our girls team that won region in 2021, no one but us knew what we were capable of. We kind of were overlooked , until the gun went off," he said. “I told our big 3 that they could be all Region (top 8), they trusted me and went after it."
He said runner Landon Franich was ranked 19th based on times but finished 7th.
"For a team score they take the top five runners to make up the score. Then your 6th and 7th runners also score points which helps if they are in front of other teams top 5 runners so it takes everyone to accomplish a good team score. A lot of times your 4-6 runners are more important than your top three. So we talked about that as well with those kids, where they needed to be for us to bring home a trophy. Owen (Ruth), for example, was ranked in the 50s I told him he could get top 30 and he finished 33rd. We just had a great day on the boys' side-- all the hard work that they have put in since July paid off today and I am very proud of them. When you have teams like Bethlehem, Owensboro Catholic , Hancock, Green County, Glasgow, the list goes on of really good teams in our region and we competed to finish Runners up as a team. That's a huge accomplishment ”
For the Lady Cats, Mollie Johnson finished 17th and advanced as an individual participant at the state meet. Other finishers for girls were Kylee Williams (40th) , Layla Ellis (48th), Lilly Lindsey (57th), and Kaylee Roeder (62nd).
“I am very proud of our girls, especially our Middle School girls (Lilly and Kaylee) that ran today, we had not planned on them running, they have never even run a 5k this season. Looking at the entries to the region, I thought we may have a chance to make it out, so I talked to them on Friday and they stepped up to the challenge. They ran great, it just didn’t work out on the team standing like we wanted it to, but it wasn’t for the lack of effort on their part," Meredith said.
The state meet will be held at the Horse Park in Lexington on Saturday, October 28th.
Edmonson Voice Sports:
Edmonson County High School Lady Cat Head Basketball Coach Jody Booth said the recent one-day fall camp with open practice was successful.
"ECHS Lady Cat Basketball had a great day with our annual Fall Camp and open practice," he said. "We had 60 girls sign up looking to improve on their fundamentals and basketball knowledge. Overall, it was a huge success and a big day for our future Lady Cats."
"Thank you to all-time leading scorer, Caitlin Caudill, for being our guest speaker," he continued. "Thank you to our coaches, players, and parents that helped with organizing. A big thank you to our sponsors including Lake Forest Recruiting, Julie Skaggs-Reed/Mike Reed, Harpstead Contracting, DC Homes, Premier Asphalt, White’s Towing & Recovery, A Plus Family Healthcare, McReynolds Physical Therapy, and Adam’s Landscaping. And thank you Pelican’s for taking the time to come and serve our campers with a good treat."
Cats Fall to Rebels 27-14
Story and photos by Joseph Barkoff:
Edmonson County High School football fell short against visiting opponent Todd County Central on Senior Night, Friday, October 20th in Brownsville.
With momentum of Senior Night, senior Wildcat wide receiver Alex Elkins bruised forward with the opening kickoff for a modest 7-yard gain to start ECHS on their own 30-yard line.
Six plays two minutes and 48 seconds later, senior quarterback Noah Meredith would punch in the ball from one yard after being set up by a 51-yard scramble from senior running back Michael Mills.
“Guys, if you’ll execute what I tell you to do, we’ll just go down and score,” ECHS head coach Zach Vincent said to his team before the game.
After the extra point from new recruit senior placekicker Josh Gates, the score was 7-0 in favor of Edmonson County against Todd County Central with 9:11 left in the first quarter.
Edmonson County was able to hold Todd County Central from scoring and force a punt after over five minutes being eaten off the clock in the first.
When Edmonson got the ball back, at first it looked like they were still riding their momentum of scoring first, despite Todd County Central’s adjustments of stacking the box.
Somewhere along the way, something changed. It was small, but not much is needed.
“I thought we’d come out firing on all cylinders, driving the ball, doin’ our thing,” ECHS head coach Zach Vincent said. “Little mistakes. Little things, it gets us every time.”
The Wildcats and Rebels traded punts and the first quarter ended with Wildcats still ahead 7-0 at home.
Despite taking advantage of some throws, "the penalties killed us," he said.
It wasn’t until 2:35 left in the half there would be another score, this time from Todd County Central on a play action with broken coverage on the streaking Rebels receiver.
With just over 18 seconds left in the first half, Mills, who was playing both ways as a defensive back, made an interception on Todd County Central’s 10-yard line and ran it back to the Edmonson County 47 with 0:7.8 seconds left on clock.
With two strikes toward the end zone, both ended in dropped passes and time ran out on the first half with the score tied 7-7 on Senior Night.
Todd County Central opened the second with the ball and after a missed tackle, 56 yards later, they were on Edmonson County’s 8-yard line with only 12 seconds off the clock.
A couple minutes later the score was 7-13 after a failed extra point kick attempt by Todd County Central.
After trading a series of punts, Todd County Central marched down into Edmonson County’s redzone but would turn the ball over on downs and leave Edmonson County with 0:43.8 seconds left in the third quarter.
Edmonson County was unable to advance out of their side of the field and punted giving Todd County Central excellent field position.
Todd County Central took advantage of the short field and drove down to score with 7:06 left in the game, the score was now 20-7 in favor of Todd County Central.
They would score again leaving only 3:30 left in the final quarter. The score, 27-7, was not what Edmonson County had hoped for.
Edmonson County never gave up.
On fourth-down, 10 yards to go, with 2:26 remaining in some players' last home game as seniors, in brilliant stubborn Wildcat fashion, they went for it.
Meredith took the snap, pitched to Mills, handed back to junior tight end Garrett Lyons streaking back from the right to the left, lateralled back to Meredith with Mills now on a fly pattern, 25 yards further down field for a reception and finally run out of bounds at the 43-yard line.
The Edmonson Voice play-by-play succinctly described it as a “pitch, catch, pitch, catch and a toss to Mills.”
The next play senior right tackle, and now part-time running back, Kasey Webb took a handoff and left a wake of defenders for a 9-yard gain.
It was Meredith’s favorite moment of the game, he said.
“Kasey Webb, our right tackle, I don’t think he’s ever had any rushing yards in probably his whole entire football career, he’s always been on the line,” Meredith said. “He got to run the ball and he got about 8 yards. Pretty cool.”
A couple more hand-offs to Mills set up a play action similar to what happened to the Wildcats earlier with the defender giving up long coverage on the fake handoff to Mills.
Sophomore receiver William Saling made the grab in the 11-yard line with 1:03 still left in the game.
Meredith hurled his body into the defense and brought the Wildcats down to the 2-yard line. Now third and goal on the two and no timeouts remaining. It took what seemed like an eternity where they made two attempts in the same amount of time in the first half, now wasted before spiking the ball with only 0:21.2 left in the game.
From the shotgun, Meredith threw to a wide-open Mills in the flats and just into the front left corner of the end zone.
After the extra point, the score was 14-27 in favor of Todd County Central and with 0:15.7 left in the game, they elected to take a knee to run out the clock after the kickoff.
“The penalties that killed us pretty good,” Meredith said. “I thought the effort was there. I thought we played really hard. I think all the seniors gave it all they could. I really do. It’s just a tough game. It was just one of those games.”
After it was all said and done there were 179 yards gained on the ground, 83 through the air, but it was the 6 penalties for around 55 yards and missed assignments for Edmonson County to seal their fates on the evening.
“It’s a tough loss.” Vincent said. “Any time you lose on senior night when it’s your night it’s tough."
Vincent wishes people could see the young men in practice because they work so hard, he said and it breaks your heart knowing the end result is not what they want.
“Overall, I mean I am proud of my guys,” Vincent said. “I don’t care what the score is. Never care what the score is. I mean that’s a lie, I want us to win, but, end of the night, I want these boys to be healthy. I want them to be competitive and happy with themselves and their performance.”
“Some things are bigger than football,” he said.
“As young men, I think they’ll grow up to be great men in life, and that kinda makes me proud,” Vincent said.
On Breckinridge next week, Vincent feels it looks good numbers-wise on paper and tradition says it will be a good game despite what the standings ever say, he said.
Next week at Breckinridge, it’s going to be a game, going to be brawl, Meredith said.
“Just like they all are,” Meredith said. “Football.”
As a senior, Meredith noticed how it all went by so fast, he said. He is glad he was able to play and gets to play one more time.
He does not plan to play football in college but is looking forward to learning the trade of welding like his dad after attending a local trade school, he said.
Next week, Friday, October 27th at 7 p.m. Edmonson County travels to Breckinridge County High School for the final regular season game.
Photos by Joseph Barkoff:
Edmonson County High School celebrated fall senior night at Wildcat Stadium on Friday, October 20, 2023 with football, cheer, band, and golf seniors.
Madison Doyle, story and photos:
Six Edmonson County Lady Cat Volleyball Seniors were honored tonight at their final home game of the season against Hart County, where they fell 0-2 to the Lady Raiders.
Madison Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Lady Cats faced the Hart County Lady Raiders at home for ECHS Volleyball Senior Night, where they fell 0-2.
The Lady Cats started out with the lead, but the Lady Raiders quickly tied it up and from that moment forward both teams were neck and neck on the scoreboard. Hart County eventually took the set, 23-25.
The second set did not fare well for the Lady Cats as they trailed throughout, and Hart County won set two 16-25 for a sweep against Edmonson County.
This was the final home game for six seniors, Riley Monroe, Avary Vertrees, Madison Bullock, Abigail Oakley, Ryann Davis, and Sydney Hennion.
Avary Vertrees led the Lady Cats with four kills. Junior Julie Norris added three, Riley Monroe added two, and Madison Bullock and Abigail Oakley added one each. Vertrees also added three blocks. Ryann Davis led in digs with 20, and Monroe also had four service aces.
The Lady Cats finish the regular season with a record of 5-23 and are scheduled to play Grayson County at the District Tournament at Whitesville Trinity on Monday at 7 pm.