We are officially heading down the home stretch of yet again, another athletic season and I wanted to take the time to revisit some of my favorite moments of the year.
We saw another great football season around the coverage area.
But you have to start with the amazing year that Johnson Central running back JJ Jude has this season for the Golden Eagles. Rushing for 586 yards in a single game (All Time State Record) and rushing for 3,258 yards on the year(Second All Time in State), its hard not to recognize such a great talent over in Johnson County. The best part about it, is the fact that he will be a senior next season, so we will get one year to watch him play at the high school level.
How about Bell County's Dudley Hilton?!?! 345 career coaching wins, tying him for first all time in the state of Kentucky. Then, on top of that, for the first time ever, he decides to head to the college ranks with the University of Pikeville to test the waters there! Best of luck this coming season in the NAIA coach!
You can not bring up Bell County without talking about the football rivalry between the Bobcats and the Knox Central Panthers. And what about this for a twist? The head coach of the Panthers, Wayne Mills, heads over to Bell County to become the new head coach with the departure of Dudley Hilton.
One of the best moments for me was the speech Coach Mills gave before the first time these two met this past season. Remember this?
Now, the rivalry becomes much more interesting. Now, we will have to wait to find out when these two teams will meet again on the gridiron.
Over to basketball, we had the luxury of having two champions crowned in one season.
One year after the Shelby Valley Wildcats won their state title on the boys side, the Rockcastle County Lady Rockets won a state title. Watching these group of girls for the last 5 years that I have been here has really been a treat and I wish them the best of luck as they further their careers and anything else that is before them.
Then just over a week later, it was Pikeville College's turn to bring home a title. After a year that had its ups and downs especially in the Mid South Conference, the Bears found a way to put everything together at the right time and was truly "All In", bring home the college's first national title.
And finally with the baseball and softball season's winding down, although I did not get a chance to see many games in person this season, due to me having to anchor the 6pm and the 11pm, there is always a special place in my heart for the North Laurel softball team.
North has dominated the 12th and 13th regions respectively year in and year out. This year they once again showed their dominance and their grit. Fighting back from behind in the 13th region championship game versus South Laurel and not giving up in the state tournament down in Bowling Green.
So with one more week left in the athletic year. Its our baseball teams who can leave one more mark on the state and their respective schools. Clay County, Letcher Central and Lawrence County will get a chance to battle for a state title, and to add to their many memories that they have already experienced.