Woodford County celebrates state baseball championship

dmoore@herald-leader.com,By MeJune 14, 2012 

VERSAILLES — Alongside horse farms and bourbon, add championship baseball to the list of Woodford County distinctions.

Hundreds of people gathered in Versailles on Thursday to celebrate the Woodford County Yellowjackets' state title. The Jackets shut out Henderson County 4-0 on Saturday night to capture the high school's first state championship in any sport other than wrestling.

Main Street turned into a sea of yellow and black as the team and its cheerleaders paraded by.

"Get your Yellowjacket Gold!" yelled Brian Staples who, along with Libby Kelly, was selling gold T-shirts emblazoned with the team's yearlong motto put into past tense: "Played hard. Had fun. Cared for one another. Believed and achieved."

Staples, 50, a self-described sports fanatic, described the group of players and coaches as a "class program."

"It's really exciting to see the community as excited as they are about the achievement of these kids," Staples said. "These are good kids."

The parade ended with a pep rally in the Hive, Woodford County High School's gymnasium. Former Kentucky Gov. Julian Carroll, state Rep. Carl Rollins and Versailles Mayor Fred Siegelman were all in attendance.

Superintendent Scott Hawkins thanked the community for its support, which he said was most evident as he scanned the crowd from the baseball field after the win.

"From the other side of home plate, all the way down the first-base line, it was completely full of gold and black," Hawkins said. "When you have a small town and you have one high school, everyone gets behind them."

The game drew the second largest crowd (5,111) in tournament history.

Before the parade, Kathy Goodrich, whose son Kyle won a state wrestling title in 2006, struggled with her sister Becky to drape a sign in front of their business: "Bat Jackets #1." She said it's nice to see the high school, a wrestling powerhouse, boast a championship in another sport.

"We've never had anything like this," Goodrich said. "This is really special tonight."

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