Wildcats Kick Off Season Against Hancock County This Friday Night
All content copyright 2020, Edmonson Voice, LLC.
Darren Doyle, story and photo:
Edmonson County Wildcat Football is back this Friday night, September 11th as they host Hancock County at home at 7pm. While the fan experience will be different this year due to attendance and state regulations, Head Coach Nathan Smith is looking to build on last year's momentum of a district championship. We had a question and answer session with him yesterday.
EV: We counted seven seniors gone from last year's team, which is significant, but you have a good number of seniors this year, correct?
NS: Yes that is correct. We lost 7 last season and currently have 12 seniors.
EV: Who are the leaders of this team so far?
NS: Jon (Smith) has really been vocal so far. Both of the Shaw boys, Michael and Matt, have really increased their role on the team as well.
EV: What can we expect on both the offensive and defensive side of things, respectively?
NS: We have a very experienced offensive and defensive line. Many have started since they were freshmen, so I'm looking to be able to control the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball. So probably a lot of running offense.
EV: Are there any underclassmen that might be on the "watch list?"
NS: Definitely look at Matt Shaw to continue where he left off and we will see a lot of Logan Davis (replacing Brock Stethan at linebacker) and a pair of sophomores-- Daren Alexander and Zander Bass-- are also going to see significant minutes in the defensive and offensive backfields.
EV: How has the team/coaching staff responded to the regulations/social distancing/mask wearing, etc.?
NS: It's definitely different, but we have focused on staying positive and keeping our minds on just being able to play football--because a few months ago we didn't think that would even happen.
EV: Compare what you've seen so far to last year, and what are your overall expectations for this year's team?
NS: Our goals are similar to what we had last season. I expect us to contend for the district championship and make a deep push into the playoffs. We are returning several starters from that team last season who really got a taste of what it feels like, and I'm sure that they want that to continue.
Edmonson County finished the 2019 season with a record of 6-7, and as Class 2A District 3 champions. The Edmonson Voice will once again provide audio and video streams of ECHS football games this season. This Friday's game will be video streamed on both the Voice's FB page and WildcatsLive page of Edmonson Voice.com. The audio stream will also be available.
Experience Pays Off In First Game of Season
All content copyright 2020, Edmonson Voice, LLC.
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
Teamwork was key in last night's 2-0 sweep against Hart County as the Edmonson County Lady Cats opened up their season on the road.
Lady Cat players seemed to have little issue with the ball being wiped down with a cleaning cloth after every single dead ball...yes, that's right...every single one, or the fact that there was no typical "bench." Instead, there were chairs separated six feet apart on the sidelines, staggered, with all players not currently in the game wearing a mask as required. All attendees were required to wear masks upon entry, which also included staff, coaches, and officials.
Edmonson was impressive as the game began, jumping out to an early 8-3 lead; however, the Lady Raiders answered with a 5-0 run to tie the score at 8. Both teams went at each other and the score was tied again at 11, but three straight from Edmonson prompted a Hart County timeout.
Hart County put together a couple of four and five-point runs, but the Lady Cats were steady and committed few errors and took set one 25-22.
The score remained close for the first half of the set as there were three ties and neither team held more than a one-point lead until the Lady Cats put together a 7-1 run that allowed them to keep control of the game. Hart County got as close as 22-20, but three straight points from Edmonson County gave them the set (25-20), and the game, 2-0.
The Lady Cats have a core group of girls made up of both upper and underclassmen that have played together for several seasons. Senior Emma Woodcock is beginning her 6th season as a varsity player and much of the varsity team is made up of players that have played together since the 7th grade.
Edmonson County is looking to turn things around from the past two seasons, where they finished with a total record of 17-38 (.447) and have not won a district game since 2017 where they were district champions. They are 0-15 in district play since that time. This is the second season for Head Coach Bridget Simon.
Darren Doyle, story and video:
Edmonson County High School has a new surface on the gym floor for the first time in over 20 years. Superintendent Brian Alexander said the work took about 2 weeks to complete and the finish was sanded down to the bare wood.
“I’d really like to thank the Board for their eagerness to make this project happen," he said. "It gives the high school gym a rejuvenated look and I’m sure our students that use the gym as well as our student athletes will love the change. I’m thankful to work with staff members across our district who are helping to make improvements in all our schools, but I’m very proud to be part of the end product on this particular project.”
Edmonson Voice Will Continue Audio and Video Broadcasts of Local Sports
Darren Doyle, story:
Edmonson County High School sports are scheduled to begin this week and Wildcat fans will experience a different process than in years past, thanks to restrictions set due to COVID-19. ECHS Golf has been underway for over a month, but Wildcat and Lady Cat golf teams have seen very little restriction due to the virus.
Wildcat Football is scheduled to kickoff this Friday night, September 11, 2020 at 7pm at home against Hancock County and Lady Cat Volleyball begins this week on the road: tonight at Hart County at 5pm and Thursday night at Grayson County at 5pm.
Home football tickets will not be available for purchase at the gate, at least for now, according to ECHS Athletic Director Kyle Pierce. He said that tickets are available for advanced purchase only at this time. Tickets are on sale this morning from 9-11am, then later from noon until 3pm. Both Tuesday & Wednesday's football ticket sales will be for football, cheer, & band families only, with a limit of four members per family. Exact change is required.
Each ticket recipient will also receive a contact tracing form to hand in at the gate with your purchased ticket. No one will be allowed to enter before 6pm and all attendees must enter through the main gate.
Volleyball fans will be allowed to purchase tickets at the gym door; however, exact change must be provided. Social distancing will be required for fans and all attendees must wear a mask upon entry. A contact tracing form is also required upon entry.
Road games will be a bit more uncertain and those regulations will be set by the visitor school.
"We are glad to see fall sports starting back up at Edmonson County," said Pierce. "We will be doing a few things to help increase our seating and allow for social distancing as well. Families are strongly encouraged to sit together to help allow us to maximize our attendance."
He also said there is a new phone number for athletics that can provide football ticket and other information.
"For people coming to buy tickets, when your arrive, please call our NEW Athletics phone line at 270-597-8939. I'll meet you out in front of the high school office with your tickets."
The Edmonson Voice is once again the exclusive broadcast provider for ECHS athletics. We will carry audio broadcasts of all football games with several live stream videos throughout the season. Scott Lindsey and Granville Meredith will return to the press box this Friday to bring you the game live, both on audio and video.
Coach Discusses Boys' and Girls' Rosters, Early Success
Edmonson Voice Sports:
The ECHS boys’ and girls’ golf teams have had a busy start to the season with practice beginning on July 15th and competition beginning just two weeks later.
"We have played in eight tournaments so far this season and we just finished our third week,” said Head Golf Coach Ed Nunnelee. He also said not only busy, but also with a purpose.
“We created a schedule this year knowing we would have a solid group of girls returning. So we put them in more tournaments to help build their confidence for the season.”
Nunnelee says it appears to be working. After this weekend's competition at the Franklin Simpson Invitational, every girl posted their lowest round of the season, which are led by juniors Paige Wolfe, Hallie Cassady and Macy Cassady, freshmen Makayla Hogg and Beth Elmore, plus middle schoolers Lily Parsley and Abigail Hogg.
The boys team lost its top 3 players from last year's squad through graduation and transfer.
“It happens to every coach and team, but we have some experience returning” he said.
Junior Evan Stice and sophomore Andrew Talley return with plenty of tournament experience.
“These two will be counted on to lead, not only with their play, but also their attitude and course management.”
Brandon Cassady, Jarrett Prunty, Cameron Whitfill, and Levi Meredith fill out the playing roster.
“It’s just good to have kids back playing sports and trying to find a sense of normalcy and routine," Nunnelee said. "We are lucky to compete in a sport where social distancing is somewhat of a norm and is easily monitored. Covid has had an effect on how tournaments are run, but we are still able to compete.”