Sportsman of the Year: What the voters said

mstory@herald-leader.comJanuary 29, 2014 

What voters said about some of the 2013 Kentucky Sportsman of the Year contenders (listed here in alphabetical order) who finished outside the Top 10.

DREW BARKER, Conner High School quarterback and UK football recruit

"The Conner senior has had an outstanding high school career. He achieved the seventh-rated quarterback rating at the Elite Eleven camp back in the summer. In the just-completed Army All-American All-Star Game, he was the most consistent quarterback there throughout the week's practice and game. Over and above that, he has been the best recruiter for the 2014 UK football recruiting (class)."

— Lonny Demaree, Kentucky Sports Report

RON BEVARS, who retired as North Hardin basketball coach as one of only four boys' hoops coaches in state history with more than 800 career wins

"Twelve 5th Regions titles, retired as one of four coaches with over 800 victories and a 70-percent winning percentage. Enough said."

— Aaron Taylor, WTXH-radio, Elizabethtown

"In high school coaching, no one coaches at the same school for 38 years. But Ron did. And he won over 800 games."

— Gary West, freelance writer, Bowling Green

JOHN BLAND, now the former head football coach at the University of the Cumberlands, who coached the Patriots to an undefeated regular season and runner-up finish in the NAIA national playoffs

"Most people have no idea who he is, but what he has done is truly remarkable and needs to be recognized."

— Ryan Lemond, WLAP radio, Lexington

KEN-JAH BOSLEY, Madison Central guard, whose last-second three-pointer beat Ballard in the state finals

"His three will go down as one of the greatest shots in Sweet Sixteen history, but he made clutch plays the entire tournament including free throws (he made his last 20-plus)."

— Kyle Scott, WLEX-TV, Lexinton

JOAO DE LUCCA, Louisville swimmer who won men's NCAA championship at 200 meters with third-fastest time in meet history

"Anytime you are one of the fastest athletes in the world at your events, you should get some votes."

— Howie Lindsey, CardinalSports.com, (U of L site on the Rivals.com network)

A.J. ELLIS, Los Angeles Dodgers catcher, and Paul Laurence Dunbar graduate

"Any catcher's job would be awfully easy with Clayton Kershaw and Zack Greinke 60 feet and 6 inches away, but the point stands that Ellis, again, was behind the plate for one of the best starting rotations in baseball. Starter Hyun-Jin Ryu was outstanding as a rookie throwing to Ellis."

— James Pennington, KyForward.com, Lexington

NACARIUS FANT, Bowling Green football star who was named Mr. Football

"Hands down the best high school football player and playmaker in Kentucky this year."

— Scott Brown, WKDZ radio, Cadiz

ALLEN FELDHAUS JR., state championship-winning Madison Central boys' basketball coach

"From Kentucky basketball royalty, Allen's display of character, perseverance, poise and dedication to get to the top was a fitting tribute."

— Kenny Rice, NBC Sports

PHILIP HAYWOOD, Belfry High School football coach

"For my money, high school football is done best in small Appalachian towns, and Belfry, Ky., is the mecca of Kentucky high school mountain football. ... Haywood and Belfry remind us that it doesn't take millions of dollars or a roster of superstars to make an impact on a community."

— Joshua Moore, Lexington Herald-Leader

"Aside from the (all-time state) wins record and another (Class 3A) state title, I would argue that no other high school football coach means more to their small community in Kentucky 'away from the field' than Haywood. His impact on the youth of Belfry through lessons on the field, in the church where he is proactive and as a school guidance counselor place him high and above his (state) titles/wins."

— Jamey Johnson, East Kentucky Broadcasting, Pikeville

SAMANTHA KINCHEN, Lexington teenager and welterweight boxer, who won the USA women's national championship and was a bronze medalist at the Junior/Youth World Championships

"She will knock you out and do it in 10 seconds."

— Gary Ball, host of The Scholastic Ball Report

SHUG McGAUGHEY, horse racing

"He waited a long time for a Kentucky Derby. Orb made it all worthwhile."

— Keith Farmer, WLEX-TV, Lexington

JIM McKEE Class 6A state title-winning Scott County football coach

"Capping off an undefeated season by winning the 6A state title, Jim McKee, with his son Clay at quarterback, showed that a well-coached, fundamentally sound football team can not only be competitive with, but also defeat those schools from the metropolitan parts of the state. The blueprint he has drawn to bring Scott County's team to a consistently high level of excellence is an example for others to follow, not just in football, but in any high school sport."

— Jim Swinford, WCYN-radio, Cynthiana

BILL MILLER, state title-winning PRP baseball coach

"The all-time winningest baseball coach in Kentucky history capped off the year by winning another state title."

— Kent Taylor, WAVE-TV, Louisville

MATTHEW MITCHELL, Kentucky women's basketball coach

"Coach Mitchell's record at Kentucky is unbelievable. He has energy and enthusiasm to boot. You can tell he loves what he does and where he is at."

— Steve Tressler, WMJR radio, Lexington

"Achieving success while standing in the shadows of the men's team isn't an easy thing to do. What (Mitchell's) done at Kentucky is nothing short of outstanding."

— Keith Taylor, The Winchester Sun

RANDY NAPIER, Perry County Central High School girls' basketball coach who became the all-time wins leader in 2013

"Reaching a milestone of that nature deserves recognition."

— Alex Risen, WTVQ-TV, Lexington

NERLENS NOEL, UK men's basketball

"Despite his season-ending injury, Noel posted the second-most impressive defensive season by a UK player in recent history and one of the best individual games of year with 12 blocks vs. Mississippi."

— Jon Hale, The Cats' Pause

CHELSEA OSWALD, UK track, who won SEC outdoor championships at both 5K and 10K and was SEC Female Scholar Athlete of the Year

"Being able to maintain both an impressive athletic career and a 4.0 GPA in a field such as Biology deserves to be celebrated and needs to be seen as a mark that all college athletes should aspire to."

— Justin Cox, Lexington Herald-Leader

KEN and SARAH RAMSEY, Thoroughbred racehorse owners and breeders

"Wherever their horses show up, you have them to beat, anytime, anywhere, anyplace. All they do is win, promote the Kentucky horse industry and have fun doing it."

— Mike Cameron, WLXG radio, Lexington

"You very rarely see Ken Ramsey without a smile on his face. But he's surely wearing a smile a mile wide these days after the year his farm just had. Ramsey horses dominated at seemingly every major track and meet in the country this past year."

— Steve Moss, WKYT-TV, Lexington

PEYTON SIVA, Louisville men's basketball point guard

"Louisville had a great AD, a great coach and a lot of really good players, but their national championship team was only ever as good as Siva made them. He grew up on the court in his final season and distinguished himself off the court as well."

— Mark Buerger, WLAP-radio, Lexington

DANNY TREVATHAN, ex-UK football player now with the Denver Broncos

"Trevathan's fumble on an interception return in the Broncos' first game could have been all anyone remembered about his season. Instead, (that play) was mostly forgotten as he led Denver with 129 tackles in his second year."

— Ben Jones, former Cats Illustrated writer (UK site on Rivals.com network)

LARRY WARFORD, ex-UK football standout who had a strong NFL rookie season starting at guard for the Detroit Lions

"One of the top offensive linemen in the NFL already in his rookie season."

— Gary Kidwell, The Lewis County Herald

WISE DAN, horse racing

"Won six graded stakes, finished second in another and won Grade I's at Churchill and Keeneland."

— Erik Miller, formerly of the Lexington Herald-Leader

Mark Story: (859) 231-3230. Email: mstory@herald-leader.com. Twitter: @markcstory. Blog: markstory.bloginky.com .

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