Mike Fields: Private schools took most state titles; Bowling Green, Glasgow did well in all seasons

Herald-Leader Staff WriterJune 14, 2012 

  • 2011-12 state champions

    Football: Trinity (6A); Bowling Green (5A); Highlands (4A); Central (3A); Covington Holy Cross (2A); Hazard (A)

    Golf: Lexington Christian Academy (boys); Sacred Heart (girls)

    Volleyball: Assumption

    Cross Country: St. Xavier (3A boys); North Oldham (2A boys); St. Henry (A boys); Assumption (3A girls); South Oldham (2A girls); St. Henry (A girls)

    Soccer: St. Xavier (boys); Notre Dame (girls)

    Wrestling: Campbell County

    Swimming: St. Xavier (boys); Manual (girls)

    Basketball: Louisville Trinity (boys); Manual (girls)

    Tennis: St. Xavier (boys); Assumption (girls)

    Track: Bryan Station (3A boys); Paducah Tilghman (2A boys); St. Henry (A boys); Assumption (3A girls); Western Hills (2A girls); St. Henry (A girls)

    Softball: Mercy

    Baseball: Woodford County

The high school sports year officially ended on Saturday. Summer officially begins next week. That means it's time to close up the Friday notebook and chase Titleists instead of quotes for a while.

■ Private schools won 19 of the 34 state championships sponsored by the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Louisville teams won 16 titles; Northern Kentucky teams won eight.

2011-12 state champions:

Football: Trinity (6A); Bowling Green (5A); Highlands (4A); Central (3A); Covington Holy Cross (2A); Hazard (A)

Golf: Lexington Christian Academy (boys); Sacred Heart (girls)

Volleyball: Assumption

Cross Country: St. Xavier (3A boys); North Oldham (2A boys); St. Henry (A boys); Assumption (3A girls); South Oldham (2A girls); St. Henry (A girls)

Soccer: St. Xavier (boys); Notre Dame (girls)

Wrestling: Campbell County

Swimming: St. Xavier (boys); Manual (girls)

Basketball: Louisville Trinity (boys); Manual (girls)

Bowling: Scott County (boys); Pleasure Ridge Park (girls)

Tennis: St. Xavier (boys); Assumption (girls)

Track: Bryan Station (3A boys); Paducah Tilghman (2A boys); St. Henry (A boys); Assumption (3A girls); Western Hills (2A girls); St. Henry (A girls)

Softball: Mercy

Baseball: Woodford County

■ Bowling Green and Glasgow, both in the 4th Region, are the only schools that won at least 10 games in football, and at least 20 in boys’ and girls’ basketball, baseball and softball. Bowling Green was undefeated state champ in Class 5A football, and made it to the state tournament in basketball. Glasgow was Class 2A state runner-up in football, and played in the All “A” state in boys’ basketball and baseball.

■ After Woodford County's players celebrated their state baseball title for a few minutes on Saturday night, Coach Jeff Parrett instructed them to pay tribute to their fans. The players turned toward their thousands of faithful followers at Whitaker Bank Ballpark and gave them a rousing round of applause.

In turn, the KHSAA should thank Woodford County and its fans for giving the state tournament a big boost at the box office. Record crowds for the finals (5,111) and semifinals (4,129) were mostly Yellowjackets' fans. Total attendance was 22,875, down from 25,779 in 2010 and 23,726 in 2011.

■ Woodford County Coach Jeff Parrett had to feel proud watching his son Logan throw a complete game in the Jackets' 4-0 victory over Henderson County in the finals. But Jeff said he's a coach first, a dad second in those situations.

"When (Logan) is out there pitching, I truly try to treat him just like everybody else, and his successes and failures don't affect me as far as happiness or sadness," Jeff Parrett said. "I just get him prepared and let him play, and he did a heck of a job."

Logan said his dad, a former major-league pitcher, gave him simple advice before the finals.

"He said it's same as any other game, so just go out, make pitches, and win," Logan Parrett said.

■ Woodford County's pitching and defense combined to keep opponents scoreless over the last 19 innings of the tournament. According to researcher Jim Swinford, that's the longest such streak since Ashland held opponents scoreless for 23 innings in the 1969 state tournament, which tied the record set by Louisville Southern in 1968.

■ Woodford County is the seventh 11th Region team in the past 14 years to win the state title. Four schools have shared in that glory grab — Lexington Catholic (1999, 2006, 2009), Paul Laurence Dunbar (2003, 2007); Lexington Christian (2005).

Going back 26 years, the 11th Region has had 11 champs, with Lafayette (1988, 1989, 1992) and Tates Creek (1986) sharing in the bounty.

■ Ty Pitts of South Warren was injured when he collided with Woodford County catcher Gage Beavers in a play at the plate in the quarterfinals. Pitts was diagnosed with a concussion, Coach Chris Gage said.

■ Woodford County will be well-armed to repeat as region champ next year. The Jackets return their top five pitchers — Clinton Hollon, Logan Parrett, J.T. O'Reel, Eli Boggess and Pete O'Nan — and catcher Gage Beavers, who called pitches this year.

■ There was a dramatic drop-off in offense in the state tournament compared to the previous two years of the 16-team competition.

There were 153 hits and 95 runs at Whitaker Bank Ballpark last week. In 2011 there were 241 hits and 182 runs. In 2010 the totals were 206 and 127.

Most seem to agree that the new bats, which provide less bounce, are to blame for weaker hitting throughout the season.

Dunbar Coach Larry Poynter said the difference was even more apparent in the Lexington area.

"In our district and region, we were facing a lot of Division I pitchers, and we don't have many Division I players batting against them.

"The strong, mature kid is still able to (hit it far), but the players not physically mature struggled with the new bats. What ended up happening was outfielders played in closer, and that made it more difficult to get those in-between hits."

Poynter would like to see bats made for high school baseball that aren't as restrictive as those used on the college level.

"But that'll never happen," he said. "Players and coaches have to make adjustments."

More work in the weight room is a must, too.

"In the long run, it's going to make kids better hitters. They'll have to learn to hit instead of just swinging the bat."

■ Lexington Catholic catcher Tyler Jackson has been one of the state's best hitters the past couple years, so it was a surprise when the WKU signee didn't make first- or second-team all-state this week. He was listed under "honorable mention." Turns out that was an error. John Morris of the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association said a mistake was made in counting the votes, and Jackson made first-team all-state.

■ Green County junior right-hander Brennen Milby tied a state record with 20 strikeouts in a seven-inning game against Cumberland, Tenn., in early May. Two weeks later, Milby set a state record with his sixth career no-hitter against Hart County. Milby, who was mistakenly left off the all-state "honorable mention" list, is getting looks from Arkansas, Ball State, Baylor, Central Florida, Indiana and Ohio State, among others, according to Green County Coach Ricky Davis.

■ Brian Kirk, a former Augusta High School and Union College player, is Burgin's new boys' basketball coach.

■ It was sad to hear of Allen McCowan's death last week. The former Henry Clay and Georgetown College multi-sport star, who had lived in Australia for almost 20 years, died of a heart attack at age 42. He was one of the best athletes to come through Lexington in my 32 years covering high school sports here, and one of the most engaging personalities.

■ Rodney Gross, who led Woodford County's state baseball champs in runs (39) and stolen bases (24), and helped the Yellowjackets to a 11th Region runner-up finish in basketball, is headed to Centre to play baseball, with an option to also play hoops. He plans to study pre-medicine.

■ The 17th annual East-West all-star softball games are at the University of Louisville on Saturday and Sunday. The East team includes Brittany Sims of Lafayette, Tabby Shewmaker of Mercer County, Sarah Mathis of Henry Clay and Kristen Fields of North Laurel.

■ Kelsi Pardue of Allen County-Scottsville was named Miss Softball by the Kentucky Softball Coaches Association. The senior pitcher had 112 career victories and 1,290 strikeouts. She was 30-5 with a 0.67 this season, and batted .412 as the Patriots' leadoff hitter. Pardue led Allen County-Scottsville to the state title as a junior. She has signed with WKU.

■ Christian Academy of Louisville's Allison Foster is Gatorade's softball player of the year in Kentucky. The senior pitcher/outfielder was 24-6 with a 0.80 ERA and 302 strikeouts in 176 innings this season. She hit .500, with 10 homers, 39 runs and 31 RBI. Foster will play college softball at Bellarmine.

■ Kentucky's junior all-star boys' and girls' basketball teams play Indiana on Friday at Heritage Christian in Indianapolis, and on Saturday at North Oldham. The girls play at 5:30 p.m., followed by the boys. Kentucky's girls include Owensboro Catholic's Becca Greenwell, Marion County's Makayla Epps, and Madison Central's Larryn Brooks and Ashton Feldhaus. Kentucky's boys include Bullitt East's Derek Willis, Trinity's Darryl Hicks, Montgomery County's Omar Prewitt, Pulaski County's Taylor Gover, and Madison Central's Ken-Jah Bosley, Dominique Hawkins and Quan Taylor.

■ Reggie Warford has been fired as Muhlenberg County boys' basketball coach despite leading the Mustangs to the Sweet Sixteen in 2010, the consolidated school's first season, and runner-up finishes the past two years. Tony Hopper, a Warford assistant, will take over the program. Hopper has taken three schools to the Sweet Sixteen — Central City (1989), Muhlenberg North (1994) and Apollo (2006). Kerry Stovall, who coached Christian County to the 2011 state title, will be Hopper's top assistant.

■ Former Cumberland girls' basketball coach John Bond, who has 492 career victories, including two All "A" state titles, is getting back in the game as boys' coach at Harlan County Christian.

■ Gerald Bennett is the new girls' basketball coach at Hopkinsville, where he's been an assistant to Tonya Wells the past three years.

■ The 8th annual Adidas Appalachian All-Star Classic, featuring the top boys' and girls' basketball players in regions 12-16, will be played June 22 at Leslie County. The girls will play from 1 to 4 p.m., followed by the boys.

■ Only 63 days until high school football kicks off. The Fayette County iHigh Frenzy will be at Bryan Station the second weekend of the season. On Aug. 24: Bell County vs. Bryan Station, 6 p.m.; Bowling Green vs. Lafayette, 8:30. On Aug. 25: Harlan County vs. Tates Creek, 3 p.m.; Ryle vs. Henry Clay, 6; Eastern vs. Dunbar, 9. Lexington Catholic will host the Bluegrass Bowl on Aug. 25: John Hardin vs. West Jessamine, 5:30; Ensworth, Tenn., vs. Lexington Catholic, 9.

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337.Email: mfields@herald-leader. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com

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