A Look Back At The Team's Accomplishments In Record Year
Darren Doyle, story:
Lady Cat Head Coach Kevin Jackson spent a few extra minutes with the Edmonson Voice after the 64-13 win over the Ohio County Lady Eagles on Friday night, as he discussed the five seniors on this current team and how this year's squad matches up with other memorable teams from the past.
The Edmonson County Lady Cats have already tied a school record for the most number of wins in a season (23-4) and have at least three games remaining on the schedule. A win in the first round of the district tournament will grant them at least two more games, one of which would be an appearance in the Region 3 Tournament. The Lady Cats are currently ranked as one of the top teams in the third region.
"I've done this for 33 years and every year it seems like you say 'that was a great senior class' or 'those were great kids,' and they are," said Jackson. "But this really is one of those special classes. I know when I came back over here three years ago everybody said how good they'd be and I'd only seen them play one time, but this senior class, they've really lived up to it. On the floor and off the floor as well, and I'm so glad that I came back to be a part of the Lady Cat program again, and part of these kids' lives. They'll be part of mine, and like I said, they're just a special group of kids."
So how special is the current team? Well, for starters, the team includes two players that are two of the top scorers in the history of the Lady Cats, including the all-time leader, senior Caitlin Simon who was recognized on Tuesday night for her record-breaking milestone. On Tuesday night at Butler County, Simon broke Stephanie Dennison's record of 2,390 points, which had stood for 23 years. Simon finished the game with 2,392 points. Her 18 points last night put her at 2,410 for her career, but unless something completely out of the ordinary happens, that record will only continue to grow. Jackson said in an earlier interview that he thought the record would not likely be broken.
Simon has been a member of the varsity team since her 7th grade year.
Also in the mix is senior Peyton Martin, who is number four on the all-time scoring list. The current list is as follows:
1. Caitlin Simon (2,410--current)
2. Stephanie Dennison (2,390pts--1995)
3. Madison Rich (2,135pts--2014)
4. Peyton Martin (1,649--current)
5. Jennifer Slaughter Bates (1,567pts--1999)
Another anomaly is the fact that three out of the top five scorers in Lady Cat history actually played together in 2014, with Madison Rich, Simon, and Martin, all being teammates.
The Lady Cats have been state-ranked in several statistical categories all season long. Currently, they are ranked top 20 in the following categories:
In addition to what they're doing on the court, the girls are also getting things done in the classroom. They have a cumulative grade point average of 3.84 as a team.
The last team to win a district championship was the 1998 team, also coached by Kevin Jackson. They finished the season at 22-6, which is the lowest number of losses in a season. The 1994 team finished at 22-8 and the 1995 team finished at 22-7, those teams were back-to-back district champions under Jackson.
Jackson talked about this year's team and just how special it really is.
"When you go to the state tournament and you're a basketball buff like me, you read those programs and see the teams that are 30-3 and 31-4 and you think 'how in the world did they do that?' But we're on pace this year to kind of have one of those seasons. I think this bunch could go down as the greatest team that's played here in the first 44 years of Lady Cat Basketball."
Jackson also said he was extremely proud to be part of the current team and discussed the impact of having two of the top leading scorers on this team, with Simon and Martin.
"We've had some good teams but might have only had one good scorer, but when you have two like we have this year, it's why you can win some ballgames. It's not me, it's what they do out there and I'm so proud of how they've handled it."
Simon and Martin have certainly earned their time in the spotlight, but Jackson credited the entire team for not just their effort and game accomplishments, but for the total character and academics.
"When you have kids like these, it relaxes you as a coach," he said. "You don't have to worry about what they're doing after school. They're not running around down here smoking cigarettes and all that kind of stuff. They're taking care of themselves, they're going to their grandparents' house and having a meal, they're doing a good job in the classroom. We all hear that each class is made up of good kids, and they are, but I still say that this group of five seniors and the rest of this Lady Cat team is just a special, special group of young ladies and I hope that people will appreciate them, no matter what happens the rest of the way, I hope they appreciate what they've done for Edmonson County High School."