Three months after Woodford County sports fans celebrated their Yellow Jackets winning the state baseball title, they're getting ready to honor another group of hometown champions.
Versailles High School's 1962 football team, which won the Class A state title, is having a 50-year reunion next week. Coach John Snowden and a lot of his former players will take part in the homecoming parade on Thursday evening, be introduced at Friday night's homecoming game against East Jessamine, and have a meet-and-greet with fans in the Woodford County cafeteria on Saturday afternoon.
"I'd say this is the first time in our lives that we really recognize what we accomplished 50 years ago, and what it may have meant to Versailles and Woodford County," Carl "Torchy" King, the quarterback on the '62 team, said in an email from Atlanta.
King, running backs Ray Clifton and Jerry Harrod, and linebackers George Withers and Charlie Million, led the Jackets to a 10-2 record. They upset defending state champ Murray 21-7 on the road in the semifinals, then knocked off perennial power Lynch East Main 21-0 in the finals at UK's Stoll Field.
The goal posts from Versailles' old Memorial Field have been moved to the entrance to Woodford County's current football stadium.
King credited Snowden for pushing the right buttons in getting the Jackets to believe they could win the title. After a regular-season loss to Danville ended their hopes of a Central Kentucky Conference championship, Snowden made a gold-and-black sign that read "VHS Yellow Jackets — 1962 State Champions" and hung it over the locker room door.
It was a sign of things to come.
■ Bowling Green beat host Henderson County 21-7 last Friday in a game that was called with 7:30 left in the first half because of bad weather. The Purples were led by junior star Nacarius Fant, who touched the ball twice and scored both times — on an 83-yard punt return and a 44-yard catch. It was the 19th win in a row for the defending 5A champs. Storms were in the forecast, so Bowling Green Coach Kevin Wallace and Henderson County Coach Clay Clevenger talked Friday morning about moving up the kickoff on Friday or playing instead on Saturday. But Henderson County school officials nixed those proposals. Wallace said waiting out Friday night's storms wasn't an option because 27 of his players had to take the ACT on Saturday morning. "It was kind of frustrating to spend that kind of money and travel that distance and only play 17 minutes," Wallace said. "I totally agree with the decision (to call the game), but I think a better decision could've been made ahead of time."
■ Mayfield beat Murray 38-14 in a game that began on Murray's field on Friday night, was suspended because of storms late in the third quarter, then completed at Murray State's Roy Stewart Stadium on Saturday afternoon. It was supposed to be a showcase game for senior defensive end LaBront Scott, one of the state's top players who transferred from Mayfield to Murray this year. But according to the Murray Ledger & Times, Scott was dismissed from the team for disciplinary reasons.
■ Lynn Camp junior QB Aaron Mills threw a TD pass, had a TD catch and ran for a TD in a 23-14 victory over Pineville last week. He's the first player in school history to achieve that kind of triple score. "Aaron is an outstanding young man, on and off the field," Coach Phil Russell said. "He exemplifies being a student-athlete." Mills has 543 all-purpose yards and six TDs in four games this year.
■ Perry Central pulled out a 50-49 victory at Lawrence County when Austin Pray connected with Robert McClain on an 83-yard TD pass play with three seconds left. Pray, a senior QB, had almost 500 all-purpose yards, including a 70-yard punt return for a TD. He also threw for four TDs and ran for two.
■ Defending 6A champ Trinity won its 28th consecutive game by beating Cincinnati Elder 45-21. James Quick had seven catches for 120 yards and three TDs. Trinity is at home against Cincinnati St. Xavier on Friday. The Shamrocks' game against Indianapolis Cathedral on Sept. 21 will be nationally televised by ESPNU from Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Kickoff is at 8:30 p.m.
■ A week after Nelson County QB Dylan Beasley threw for a state-record 652 yards in a win over Marion County, he passed for 404 yards and four TDs in a loss to Bardstown. Beasley's 652-yard game earned him a spot in Sports Illustrated's "Faces in the Crowd" feature this week. (Beasley's state record wasn't close to the national record of 764 yards set by David Koral of Pacific Palisades, Calif., in 2000.)
■ Bardstown junior Deion Tonge rushed for 252 yards and two TDs in a 55-35 win over Nelson County.
■ Ryan Timmons got the ball only five times, but ran for 104 yards and three TDs in Franklin County's 62-30 rout of Frankfort. Timmons has 27 touches (rushing and receiving) for 604 yards and 13 TDs this season.
■ Five-time defending state champ Highlands earned its 23rd consecutive victory by walloping Western 51-23 as Donovan McCoy totaled 350 yards and five TDs passing and rushing.
■ John Hardin has won 59 of its last 60 regular-season games after beating host Boyle County 34-14.
■ Pulaski County freshman QB Riley Hall isn't playing like a "rookie." He completed 29 of 44 passes for 311 yards in a loss to Russell County last week. He's thrown for 578 yards this season. His brother Aaron Hall, a senior, is the Maroons' top receiver with 15 catches for 179 yards.
■ Covington Catholic's defense has been in lock-down mode this season. Dave Wirth's Colonels have shut out Campbell County, Dixie Heights and Boone County, giving up a total of 297 yards in those games. CovCath lost to Cincinnati LaSalle 27-11, but the Colonels' defense surrendered only six points. In last week's 34-0 win over Boone County, QB Blake Bir had five TD passes to four receivers.
■ When Paris hosts Nicholas County on Friday, it will be their 50th meeting. Paris leads the rivalry 37-12, but the Bluejackets have won eight of the last 13.
■ David Akers has come a long way since he was splitting time between Tates Creek's football and soccer teams in 1991. Akers tied an NFL record with a 63-yard field goal that helped the San Francisco 49ers beat the Green Bay Packers last Sunday. It was almost 21 years to the day after Akers kicked his first field goal — a 25-yarder that gave Tates Creek a 3-0 victory over Shelby County. His longest field goal that season was a 37-yarder.
■ Sayre baseball and basketball standout Ray Brewer had Tommy John surgery (performed by Dr. James Andrews) on his right elbow on Aug. 9. Brewer could miss his senior seasons in both sports. "I might be able to DH for baseball if I recover fast enough, but it's still a question. I'm not going to rush it." Brewer, a 6-foot-7, 245-pound right-hander, was 7-3 with a 2.27 ERA and 101 strikeouts in 54 innings last spring. He had drawn the attention of several Division I schools, but any offers he had have been taken off the table. "Once I had surgery, pretty much all the schools backed off," Brewer said. "It was disappointing." Brewer won't lack for options, however. He visited Cornell and Harvard this week, and will make other visits this fall. He said he's focusing on rehabbing his elbow "and setting small goals for myself to get through it. I'm seeing a bright side now. But it's going to be especially hard when basketball and baseball seasons come around, and I've got to be on the sidelines cheering them on."
■ Former KHSAA commissioner Louis Stout died this week at age 73. Mr. Stout was best known as a sports administrator, but he was a basketball star in his day. He was a first-team all-state player at Cynthiana High School in 1959. He made the Sweet Sixteen's all-tournament team as a junior after getting 17 points and 10 rebounds in a first-round loss to Clark County. Mr. Stout played college hoops for Joe B. Hall at Regis College in Denver. He was a four-time All-Rocky Mountain Athletic Conference honoree, and was a Catholic Digest Little-All American in 1963. Visitation for Mr. Stout is Friday (3-5, 7-9 p.m.) at Kerr Brothers on Harrodsburg Road. Services are Saturday at noon at Consolidated Baptist Church on Russell Cave Road.
■ Jackson County's boys and Green County's girls won the All "A" state golf titles. J.B. Williams of Danville was boys' medalist with a 67 at Eagles Nest in Somerset. Ale Walker of Paintsville was girls' medalist with a 73 at Lincoln Homestead in Springfield.
■ First-round matchups for the state volleyball tournament at Valley High School in Louisville on Oct. 26-27 have been drawn: 7th Region vs. 2nd; 13th vs. 1st; 15th vs. 4th; 16th vs. 11th; 3rd vs. 10th; 5th vs. 8th; 14th vs. 9th; 12th vs. 6th.