Darren Doyle, story:
The Rafferty's Caveland Classic is set to return to Edmonson County High School December 27th and run through December 29th and will feature girl/boy doubleheaders from four schools: Edmonson County, Adair County, Franklin Simpson, and Jeffersontown.
2017 will mark the eleventh year in a row that Rafferty's Restaurants, which include Double Dogs and Montana Grille, has been a major factor in the event's success, thanks to Senior Vice President and ECHS graduate Scott Lindsey.
This year, Lindsey is teaming up with another well known ECHS alumnus, former UK baseball coach Keith Madison, for a very unique benefit that will allow all participants a chance to win a $200 Rafferty's gift card.
Lindsey is asking that Caveland Classic attendees bring a new or gently used baseball glove to a game. The gloves will be donated to the S.C.O.R.E. International Baseball Ministry outreach in Eastern Kentucky. SCORE, (Sharing Christ Our Redeemer Enterprises), which is led by Madison, provides gloves for youth in the Dominican Republic.
"Scott and I have been friends for a long time," said Madison. "He's just a very generous and caring person. I appreciate what he does for our home county with the Classic and for what I'm doing now."
Madison provides the gloves to youth in the Dominican Republic that have no way of acquiring proper baseball equipment.
All who bring a glove will be entered to win a $200 gift card from Rafferty's Restaurants; however, glove donations will not substitute gate admission.
"Kids love baseball there. They're so passionate about the game, but so many of the kids don't have gloves," Madison said. "We provide free baseball clinics to 5 or 6 thousand kids down there, and we give the gloves to those who need them."
Coach Madison graduated ECHS in 1969 and spent the next few years in professional baseball before becoming the head baseball coach at UK in 1978. He stayed there as head coach for 25 years and is the winningest coach in UK men's baseball.
While Lindsey credited Madison for his charitable work, Lindsey's own work in Edmonson County helps assure the Classic continues to positively impact the local community. ECHS Athletic Director Kyle Pierce discussed the importance of Lindsey's role in the classic.
“Without Scott, there would not be a Caveland Classic," said Pierce. "He not only helps us out financially, but he provides meals for all eight teams one day. Our girls and boys booster clubs each feed the eight teams another day. That is a lot of food! The teams, coaches, media, and officials that come here are always impressed because they know we treat them well, too."
This year's classic will bring one of the top-rated players in the nation to ECHS, Zion Harmon of Adair County, a 5'11" freshman point guard who currently ranks number one in the state for points per game at 33.1. Pierce said that both Jeffersontown and Franklin Simpson will bring a high energy, athletic-style to the Classic and another ECHS graduate will return to Brownsville, which is Cody Rich, who is now head coach for the Franklin Simpson girls team.
"Our boys team has had a few injuries early in the season," added Pierce. "We have lost three of our games by a combined 11 points, so we’ll be in there battling and look forward to hosting the other three schools.”
Pierce said Edmonson County is fortunate to have Lindsey and the people at Rafferty’s to help bring the event to our community. "I know many of our people do, but if you get the chance, make sure to visit Rafferty’s or Double Dogs to show our appreciation. Come early and watch some great basketball.”
Lindsey said that because Rafferty's is a relatively small company that doesn't cover what's known as a mass media market, they focus on community involvement more than advertising campaigns.
"The idea for our sponsorship for the Caveland Classic started with several conversations between former Coach Rick Wood and I," said Lindsey. "We wanted to establish a solid tournament where our kids could play at home during the Christmas holiday."
Eleven years later, the tournament is stronger than ever, as a result of the effort coming from Lindsey and Rafferty's.
"I'm a sports junkie--high school sports in particular-- and have a deep love for all things EC," Lindsey added. "It's my home, my root system and always will be."
Pierce also said Edmonson County High was proud to welcome the baseball glove benefit.
"We always want to help promote athletics and our youth. We're honored that Scott has taken this initiative and of course we're always happy to support Coach Madison. We're proud to say both of these men are from right here in Edmonson County."
There will be four games each day, all of which will be played at ECHS. Tickets are $8.00 per day or you may purchase a three-day pass for $20. There is no cost to a season ticket holder. Their card will be honored throughout the tournament. Again, bringing a baseball glove will not substitute admission cost, it will only enter you for the Rafferty's gift card.
Wednesday, December 27th
2:00---Franklin Simpson vs. Jeffersontown (Girls)
3:45---Franklin Simpson vs. Jeffersontown (Boys)
5:30---Adair County vs. Edmonson County (Girls)
7:15---Adair County vs. Edmonson County (Boys)
Thursday, December 28th
2:00---Franklin Simpson vs. Adair County (Girls)
3:45---Franklin Simpson vs. Adair County (Boys)
5:30---Jeffersontown vs. Edmonson County (Girls)
7:15---Jeffersontown vs. Edmonson County (Boys)
Friday, December 29th
2:00---Jeffersontown vs. Adair County (Girls)
3:45---Jeffersontown vs. Adair County (Boys)
5:30---Franklin Simpson vs. Edmonson County (Girls)
7:15---Franklin Simpson vs. Edmonson County (Boys)