High School Sports

High school notebook: Feldhaus brothers understand Harbaughs' quandary

The clash of sibling coaches — brother vs. brother — on football's biggest stage has been hyped ever since Jim Harbaugh's San Francisco 49ers and John Harbaugh's Baltimore Ravens qualified for Super Bowl XLVII.

"I can't imagine playing your brother at that level, the highest level," said Madison Central basketball coach Allen Feldhaus Jr.

"That would be very difficult," agreed Russell County basketball coach Willie Feldhaus. "That would be tough on the family."

The Feldhauses can relate to the Harbaughs, who grew up in a football household because their dad, Jack, was a successful coach. Allen Jr. and Willie grew up in a basketball household because their dad, Allen Sr., was a successful coach.

Allen Jr. and Willie also know what it's like to play against each other. They'll renew their friendly rivalry for the sixth year in a row when Madison Central visits Russell County next weekend in a game that was postponed last week by bad weather.

Like the Harbaughs, who are only 13 months apart, Allen Jr. and Willie are close in age. Allen will turn 50 in April; Willie will be 49 in February. "We were kind of raised like twins," Allen said.

They first went against each other as coaches when Allen was at Green County and Willie was at Pendleton County. When Allen took over at Madison Central, Willie joined him as an assistant and spent 11 years on the bench with his brother.

Both of them say there was more conflict when they coached together than when they've coached against each other. "When he was my assistant, we got into it a lot," Allen said. "I remember one game we were arguing about something, and my mom, who was sitting right behind the bench, yelled both our names."

There's no such tension when their teams play each other. They're not in the same region, so there's nothing at stake "except maybe bragging rights at Christmas," Allen said with a laugh.

Their mother, Dottie, said the game is awkward for her "because one of them is going to lose. I cheer for both sides, but not as loud as I normally do."

Allen has lost to Willie only once in their careers, but he's his brother's biggest fan. "I look at it this way. If somebody's gonna beat me, I'd like it to be him."

The Feldhauses don't know how they would handle it if they were coaching in the same district or region, a situation the Code brothers found themselves in a few years ago. In 2009, Bishop Brossart, coached by Mike Code, beat Campbell County, coached by Mike's brother Scott, in the 37th District semifinals.

"I was thrilled for my kids and was hugging them on the sidelines," Mike said. "Then I looked down the court and saw my brother's face. That took a lot of the joy away. I hurt for him. That probably would've been one of the sweeter wins in my career had it not been that my brother's team lost."

One of the Harbaugh brothers figures to have the same mixed emotions after Sunday's Super Bowl.

■ Robertson County (formerly Deming High) opened its new gym on Monday with a memorable game. Darrin Edwards banked in a three-pointer at the buzzer to beat Covington Latin 53-52. Latin's Mitchell Blewett, who had 24 points and 20 rebounds, hit a free throw with four seconds left to give his team a 52-50 lead. That set the stage for Edwards' heroics, which gave Robertson its second win of the season. "The home side of the new gym, all 19 rows, went wild. The kids had a pileup at midcourt. It was a great win for our team and community," Coach John Brown said in an email.

■ Knott County Central sophomore Camron Justice said he has scholarship offers from Morehead State, Tennessee, Alabama-Birmingham and Western Kentucky.

■ Tyler Harville is the fifth boys' player in Lexington Christian history to score 1,000 points. The senior guard has a shot at the school record for career three-pointers. Harville has made 201 threes, trailing Taylor Barnette's 226. Harville leads the state with 3.4 threes made per game this season.

■ Lawrence County senior Taylor Porter, who has signed with Murray State, had a school-record 47 points in a rout of Piarist. She was 20-for-31 from the field, including 5-for-9 on threes, and had 13 rebounds.

■ Watching Madison Central's Quan Taylor grab 24 rebounds in a win over Henry Clay made me appreciate Jim McDaniels even more. In 1967, McDaniels averaged 35 points and 28 rebounds for Allen County-Scottsville, and was named Mr. Basketball.

■ West Carter senior Kyle Brown, playing on the court named for his dad, the late Comets girls' coach John "Hop" Brown, had a career-high 37 points in a loss to Fleming County.

■ Sayre's Ray Brewer, who underwent Tommy John surgery on his right elbow last summer, has recovered well enough that he's playing basketball again for the Spartans. The 6-foot-7 senior had 35 points (including 3-for-3 on three-pointers) and 10 rebounds in a win over Monticello on Sayre's senior night. Brewer has committed to play baseball at Cornell.

■ There's a simple explanation for Scott County's girls losing five of their last seven games and falling from No. 10 to No. 64 in Dave Cantrall's ratings. "Injuries," Cardinals assistant coach Tara Helton said in an email. Tara and her husband, Steve Helton, who is the head coach, haven't had a team beset by bad luck like this in their 13 years at Scott County. Senior point guard Audriana Christopher (17 points per game) suffered a torn ACL in mid-December. Backup point guard Rachel Young (10 ppg) tore her ACL a few weeks later. Shooting guard Danielle Defoor (12 ppg) had to sit out a month with back problems. The Cards' injury toll has also sidelined reserve post player Halee Hudson (ACL) and reserve guard Peyton Riddle (ankle). "We're missing 55 points from our arsenal now with all the injuries," Tara said. "But we're still fighting and moving forward."

■ Trinity looks capable of defending its Sweet Sixteen title. Two weeks ago Coach Mike Szabo's Shamrocks, missing two starters, won the Louisville Invitational Tournament by beating No. 1 Ballard in the finals. On Tuesday, No. 2 Trinity pounded No. 5 Pleasure Ridge Park 71-34, its third win over the Panthers this season. On Friday, Trinity plays host to No. 6 Madison Central, the only Kentucky team to beat the Shamrocks last year. On Saturday the 'Rocks play No. 4 Henry Clay in the Jock Sutherland Classic at Lafayette. That event is a tribute to Sutherland, who coached Lafayette to the 1979 state title. The first game matches Gallatin County and Harrison County (4 p.m.), two schools that Sutherland also coached to the state tournament. Henry Clay and Trinity play at 6, followed by No. 22 Lafayette taking on No. 20 Butler.

■ Trigg County senior Deonquez Nance had a career-high 42 points in a win over Caldwell County on Monday. Nance has more than 1,700 career points. Trigg County Coach Mike Wright also got his 300th career victory (212 as boys' coach and 88 as girls' coach) on Monday. Wright has announced this will be his final season as coach.

■ Marion County senior star Makayla Epps reached 3,000 career points last weekend while helping the Knights stay unbeaten (24-0) and retain their No. 7 national ranking in USA Today. Twenty years ago Makayla's dad, Anthony Epps, led Marion County to the state title and finished his high school career with 2,044 points.

■ Bowling Green's Brittany Vaughn had 38 points, 10 assists and 10 steals, and Diamond Marshall had 31 points in a 96-55 rout of South Warren.

■ Covington Catholic junior Nick Ruthsatz has eclipsed 1,000 points and figures to have a shot at the school's career scoring record of 1,730 points set by Andy Listerman in the early 1990s. Nick is the son of CovCath Coach Scott Ruthsatz. The Colonels are 20-4 and 18th in the state.

■ Dan Wagner, a Newport Central Catholic alumnus (1978) and the Thoroughbreds' defensive coordinator the last 13 years, has been named head football coach. Wagner will replace Eddie Eviston, who led NewCath to two state titles in the last three years before leaving to become offensive coordinator at Georgetown College, his alma mater.

■ Condolences to Owen County football coach Adam Fowler and his family on the death of his father, David Fowler. Mr. Fowler was a standout quarterback at Mayfield High School and Memphis State and played for the Jacksonville Express in the old World Football League in the mid-1970s.


Bad weather may have kept attendance down at this year's Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic, which drew the second-fewest fans in the tournament's history.

Year Attendance Site

2013 31,703 Frankfort

2012 34,781 Frankfort

2011 34,008 Richmond

2010 37,654 Richmond

2009 24,147 Richmond

2008 44,470 Richmond

2007 41,584 Richmond

2006 42,227 Richmond

2005 47,124 Richmond

2004 48,081 Richmond

2003 46,895 Richmond

2002 49,859 Richmond

2001 47,831 Richmond

2000 46,284 Richmond

1999 45,911 Richmond

1998 50,619 Richmond

1997 48,453 Richmond

1996 44,353 Richmond

1995 48,328 Richmond

1994 48,449 Richmond

1993 51,013 Lexington/ Richmond

1992 42,414 Lexington/ Richmond

1991 33,598 Lexington