Ivan McGlone, in his 36th season as football coach at Russell, can notch his 300th victory with the Red Devils when they play host to Fleming County Friday night.
Only six other coaches in state history have won that many games, but when McGlone joins the 300 Club, don't expect him to click his heels in celebration. In his estimation, it won't measure up to his first victory at Russell. "Shoot, that was the most exciting one to me," he said.
"It was in 1976, my first year here. We started the season and Ashland beat us 28-0. Then Ironton beat us 6-0. Then Belfry beat us 7-0.
"We were just excited when we finally scored a touchdown in our fourth game against Montgomery County. We beat them 26-20. That was a big win."
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McGlone, 73, and his Devils have celebrated a lot of big wins over the years, most notably state championship victories in 1978 and 2005. (The 27 years between titles is a state record for a coach.)
One of McGlone's sweetest memories came in the 1977 regular season — a 17-14 victory over Greenup County and star running back Jim Dunaway.
"They were (Class 4A) at-large state champs that year. It was a strange game. I remember they threw a screen pass to Dunaway and ran about 70 yards, but he couldn't get away from the sidelines because his own players had him trapped. We ran him out of bounds at about the 15. They tried a field goal that would have tied it, but they missed it."
McGlone was head coach at Vinson High School in Huntington, W. Va., for five years before taking the Russell job. "There's a little group that thought I'd only stay here a year or two and then leave," he said. "They laugh about it and still refer to me as the interim coach."
But McGlone has spent almost half his life coaching the Devils, and has a 299-138 record to show for it.
"Winning that many games means I've been here a long time and had some success," he said modestly. "Being able to stay in for this long is important to me.
"You could say I struck up a love affair with Russell."
■ Undefeated Rockcastle County hosts undefeated Russell County in a 4A district showdown Friday. The Rockets are coming off an impressive 20-0 victory over previously unbeaten 5A Perry County Central last week. "Our defense played extremely well," Rockcastle County Coach Scott Parkey said. "We were able to use our team speed to fly around and stop them." Steven Thomason and B.B. Bradley led the defensive effort. The Rockets' task against Russell County is to slow star RB Nick Britt, who's rushed for more than 1,300 yards and 23 TDs in six games. "He's really, really good," Parkey said. "He's super quick, so we hope to get a hand or two on him. Playing a guy like that gets your defense excited."
■ Lone Oak sophomore QB Cole Ousley lit up Calloway County in a 56-28 romp. He threw for 521 yards and seven TDs (to six different receivers), sparking comparisons to former Lone Oak QB Corey Robinson, who was Mr. Football in 2007. In one and a half seasons, Ousley has already thrown for almost 5,000 yards and 54 TDs.
■ While Franklin County's Ryan Timmons was putting on a show offensively — 274 total yards, five TDs — in a 55-29 win over West Jessamine, Sean Donaldson was starring defensively, scoring three times. He ran back two interceptions 70 and 39 yards for TDs, and a blocked punt 29 yards for a TD. He was also crowned homecoming king.
■ You can watch a replay of St. Xavier vs. Trinity Friday at 10:30 p.m. at ihigh.com/greatamericanrivalries. Gary Ball and Mike Meighan will call the game from Papa John's Cardinal Stadium.
■ Lincoln County's Deon Shannon had 417 all-purpose yards and five TDs as the Patriots got their first win by beating Pulaski County 49-41. Shannon ran 29 times for 242 yards and three TDs, and returned two kickoffs 85 and 90 yards for TDs.
■ John Hardin recorded its 49th win its last 50 regular-season games, its third shutout in a row, and set a school scoring record with a 75-0 rout of Iroquois. How easy was it? The Bulldogs led 47-0 after the first quarter, and Quensie Brown and Jeremy Harness combined for 332 yards and six TDs rushing on just 10 carries.
■ Chasing Derek Homer: Johnson Central's J.J. Jude had another big night — he rushed for 372 yards in a win over Boyd County. That gives Jude 7,056 career yards, 1,068 behind Homer's state career record of 8,224. Central's Anthony Wales, meanwhile, ran for 230 yards in an overtime loss to St. Xavier. Wales has 6,675 career yards, 1,549 shy of Homer's mark.
■ Highlands rolled up more than 500 yards and stayed unbeaten with a 42-37 win at Covington Catholic. Despite playing limited time in three blowouts, Highlands stars Patrick Towles and Austin Sheehan, both UK recruits, have put up impressive numbers. Towles has thrown for 1,384 yards and 13 TDs with one interception. Sheehan has 14 receptions for 579 yards (41 yards per catch!) and four TDs.
■ Beechwood's Cameron Vocke ran for 215 yards and three TDs in a 65-22 win over Elizabethtown. There's no mystery behind E-town's 0-6 record. It has given up an average of 445 yards and 56 points a game.
■ Bourbon County junior RB Kentayvous Hopkins carried 22 times for 408 yards and a school-record six TDs in a 61-26 rout of Western Hills. Hopkins has rushed 99 times for 1,499 yards (15 per carry) and 19 TDs.
■ Jalen Sublett rushed for 233 yards and two TDs to lead unbeaten Glasgow past Somerset 14-7 in a showdown of strong 2A teams.
■ Collins senior linebacker Michael Brooks continues to be a one-man wrecking crew. He had 25 tackles (14 solo) in a win over Spencer County. He has 93 tackles (50 solo) in five games.
■ Former Perry County Central standout Demetri Travis was named NAIA national defensive player of the week for helping the University of Pikeville beat Faulkner last week. Travis had three interceptions and seven solo tackles. He also earned Mid-South Conference defensive honors for the week.
■ Jackson County's boys, runners-up to Corbin in the 10th Region golf tournament at Crooked Creek in London, qualified for the state tournament for the first time in the program's eight-year history. The interesting part of the story is that there are no golf courses in Jackson County. The Generals play and practice at Crooked Creek in neighboring Laurel County. "By far, that's a handicap," Coach Ed Morgan said. "A lot of schools are only five or 10 minutes from a golf course. It's at least a 45-minute drive for us." The only golf facility in Jackson County is a driving range fashioned out of farm field by the father of Generals golfer Jaaron Hignite. Heading to the state for Jackson County are senior Trenton Mathis, junior Logan Estridge, eighth-graders Hignite and Jacob Anderson, and seventh-grader Zach Norris.
■ North Hardin junior Lydia Gumm won a region golf title for the fifth time in six years, and qualified for the state for the ninth time.
■ Four years after West Jessamine's girls won the state golf championship, West Jessamine's boys will shoot for a title next Tuesday and Wednesday in Bowling Green. The Colts won the region for the fifth year in a row with a state-best 289 total at Danville Country Club this week. Connor Haas was medalist with a 2-under 70. Travis Rose had a 71, Fred Allen Meyer a 73, Byron Speech a 75 and Wes Skipworth an 85. The Colts, who finished third in the state last year, are projected as prime title contenders along with St. Xavier and Paducah St. Mary.
■ Former St. Xavier golf star Justin Thomas, a freshman at Alabama, won the first collegiate tournament he played in last week. Thomas shot 71-70-65—206 to win Georgia Tech's Carpet Capital Collegiate. "We learned that Justin Thomas is pretty good," Alabama Coach Jay Seawell said after Thomas carded an eagle, seven birdies and two bogeys in the final round to win by four shots.
■ Paul Laurence Dunbar soccer alum Cassie Yannelli was Mid-South Conference offensive player of the week after she had three goals and five assists in Campbellsville's victories over Midway and Shawnee State. Yannelli is a junior midfielder.
■ Henry Clay plays host to Mercy in a showdown of state volleyball powers Friday night. Dale Grupe's Blue Devils were rated above Mercy a few weeks ago for the first time in school history. Since then Mercy has risen to No. 2 and Henry Clay is still at No. 4. Friday's game is Autism Awareness Night.
■ Cary Barr retired from coaching boys' basketball at Paris two years ago, but he's returning to the sidelines as the Greyhounds' interim girls' coach this season. Barr said he's missed the game. "I still have a lot of good years left. It's good to be back in the gym." Barr, who has 25 years of basketball head coaching experience, also coaches baseball and serves as athletics director at Paris.