Wildcats Begin Season At Home Next Week Against Breckinridge County
Darren Doyle, story and photos:
The Edmonson County Wildcats are coming off a great season where they brought home the first district championship in 24 years. The question now becomes, can they reproduce those same results with a team that will see four brand new starters? Head Coach Mike McClintic, better known as Coach Mac, says yes, thanks to eight seniors that are no strangers to the game, but more importantly, playing together.
"These guys are veteran players," said Coach Mac. "They've played together for years, going back to middle school and JV seasons. They know how to play together, so even though we're losing some guys, we still have plenty of positive pieces to build on."
The Wildcats lost their top four scorers and rebounders from last season, and on any given night you were likely to see a different Wildcat, or even multiple players leading the way for Edmonson County.
"We're proud of what we accomplished last year, but we can't live on the past," McClintic added. "That being said, we're using that good feeling to start this season. Our guys want to achieve good things again. I have to keep reminding them that we have a target on our backs. We're still not getting the respect I think we deserve from some of these guys that are making predictions, but that's ok, too."
Last season, both Bowling Green and Owensboro area-based newspapers predicted the Wildcats to finish dead last in district 12. Edmonson County used that to fuel their fire as they eventually cut down the nets in the district finals as champions.
"Our kids are confident, but not cocky, and there's a big difference," he said. "All eight of our seniors have shown great leadership since practice began and they're always ready to help each other."
Coach Mac said his guys are in great shape which will hopefully allow them to use more full court press and very aggressive defense. He said the Wildcats will also hope to score transition points as a result of their defense, and be ready to use a busy motion offense as well.
The Wildcats' realistic goals for the upcoming season are to improve as the season progresses toward tournaments, have a winning season, win another district championship, and be a serious contender in the regional tournament.
Edmonson County will look to returning senior starter Tucker Cole at the point guard position and will depend on senior returning varsity players Logan Lindsey, Brayden Carey, and J.T. Vincent. You can also expect to see seniors Logan Minton, Ryan Lindsey, John Potter, and Dylan Elmore play larger roles this season. Coach Mac said the starting five will likely be based on nightly matchups and what's needed from game to game. Underclassmen will also see some playing time. McClintic also noted that this year's team will be around 15 players deep, a luxury that the Wildcats don't normally have.
"I'm happy with where our guys are right now. We have to be very good defensively, we have to keep our turnovers to a minimum, and we have to hit our free throws, and we're working hard on all of that. Our kids are very tough, both physically and mentally," he said.
"This is going to be a fun group of kids to watch this year. We hope that carries over into wins."
The Wildcats are scheduled to take on top-rated Breckinridge County in the season opener at home on Monday, November 27, in a JV/V matchup with JV action beginning at 5:30pm. You can listen to the game live on the Edmonson Voice with the WildcatsLive crew beginning around 6:50pm.