High School Sports

Herald-Leader's Mike Fields among 11 inductees to KHSAA Hall of Fame

Herald-Leader sportswriter Mike 
Fields interviewed Lexington Catholic's Jordan Smart after the 11th Region championship game in March 2008 at Eastern Kentucky University's McBrayer Arena in Richmond, Ky.
Herald-Leader sportswriter Mike Fields interviewed Lexington Catholic's Jordan Smart after the 11th Region championship game in March 2008 at Eastern Kentucky University's McBrayer Arena in Richmond, Ky.

Four former University of Kentucky football players, a former University of Louisville quarterback and a Herald-Leader sportswriter were among seven men and four women named to the Dawahares/Kentucky High School Athletic Association Hall of Fame on Sunday.

The 11 members of the Class of 2014 will be inducted during ceremonies on April 27, 2014, at the Lexington Convention Center.

The Class of 2014 will be the 27th to be inducted and will bring the total number of individuals honored to 423.

The honorees include Herald-Leader sportswriter Mike Fields.

"I'm honored the KHSAA would include me in its Hall of Fame, for doing a job that's been a joy," said Fields, who began covering high school sports for the Lexington Leader in 1980. The Leader later merged with the morning paper to become the Lexington Herald-Leader.

The four former UK football players entering the KHSAA Hall are Sonny Collins of Madisonville, Derek Homer of Fort Knox, Fred Bishop of Pineville and Russell Miracle of Bell County. They will be joined by former U of L quarterback Jeff Brohm of Louisville Trinity.

The four women selected were Scott County basketball player Ukari Figgs, a WNBA champion who is now UK's assistant athletics director for women's basketball; officiating pioneer Barbara Ann Isaac; three-sport star Brooke Marnitz of Paul Laurence Dunbar; and Sacred Heart swimming champion and Olympian Caroline Burckle.

The class also includes Monticello basketball standout Don Frye.

Before coming to the Leader, Fields covered Kentucky high school sports for the Sunday Courier & Press in Evansville, Ind., and the Henderson Gleaner. Before that, Fields worked for a couple small newspapers in Florida.

"Many years ago a neighbor friend used to regularly razz me about getting a real job, one that didn't require me to watch sports for a living," Fields said. "I was smart enough to ignore him."

Fields, born in Pikeville and raised in Bardstown, has covered more than 2,500 high school basketball games and 700 football games in his career as a sportswriter.

"Heck, I've had a front-row seat to the last 37 Sweet Sixteens," Fields said. "It doesn't get any better than that."

KHSAA Class of 2014

Fred Bishop (Pineville, 1973): A three-sport standout at Pineville High School, Bishop was a four-time all-conference selection in basketball, a three-time All-State honoree in football, and a regional track champion in multiple events. Following his high school career, Bishop attended the University of Kentucky on a football scholarship and graduated in 1977.

Jeff Brohm (Louisville Trinity, 1989): A three-sport athlete, Brohm excelled in baseball, basketball and football at Trinity. His greatest impact came on the football field however, where he was named Mr. Football in 1988. Brohm went on to play football at the University of Louisville and in the NFL.

Caroline Burckle (Sacred Heart, 2004): One of the most decorated high school swimmers in Kentucky high school history, Burckle won a total of 15 event championships at Sacred Heart and still holds the state record in the 500 freestyle. Burckle went on to star at the University of Florida and compete in the 2008 Olympics.

Sonny Collins (Madisonville, 1972): A four-time first-team All-State player, Collins accumulated 6,200 rushing yards and 76 touchdowns for Madisonville from 1968-71, leading the Maroons to back-to-back Class 2A state runner-up finishes. Collins, who was also a state champion sprinter, went on to star at UK, where he rushed for a school-record 3,835 yards, a mark which still stands today.

Mike Fields (Contributor): Fields has dedicated the last 38 years to covering high school sports in Kentucky, recognizing the accomplishments of young men and women on and off the field. Raised in Bardstown, Fields attended St. Joe Prep for three years until its closing, and graduated from Bardstown High School in 1969, where he played baseball. He graduated from UK in 1973.

Ukari Figgs (Scott County, 1995): One of the best girls' basketball players to come out of Kentucky, Figgs' decorated career includes a KHSAA state championship, an NCAA national championship at Purdue and a WNBA championship. Figgs was named Kentucky's Miss Basketball in 1995 after leading Scott County to the state championship.

Don Frye (Monticello, 1960): Frye scored 1,751 points during a standout high school career, helping lead Monticello to three trips to the Sweet Sixteen. He received a basketball scholarship to the University of Colorado, and transferred to Furman University.

Derek Homer Jr. (Fort Knox, 1997): One of the most productive running backs in Kentucky high school football history, Homer ran for a then-state record 8,224 yards and 112 touchdowns at Fort Knox. He was named Kentucky's Mr. Football in 1996 before going on to play at UK. He played professionally in NFL Europe, the Canadian Football League and indoor for the Lexington Horsemen.

Barbara Ann Isaac (official): A pioneer in girls' officiating in the 1970s, Isaac was instrumental in leading the charge for equality for women in all facets of athletics. Isaac became a KHSAA official in 1970 and began to have an impact on social change by helping to put important legislation in action from the ACLU of Kentucky in regard to Title IX and the KHSAA.

Brooke Marnitz (Paul Laurence Dunbar, 2003): A versatile athlete, Marnitz was a standout in softball, golf and basketball while also lettering two years in soccer. She was named Kentucky's Miss Softball in 2003. Marnitz played softball and golf for six years each, and basketball for five seasons at Dunbar. Marnitz played four seasons of softball at UK.

Russell Miracle (Bell County, 1961): Miracle was a two-time member of the All-State football team, led the Bobcats to a 13th Region basketball title, and was a leader on the track team. Miracle had never seen a football upon entering high school, but that didn't stop him from earning All-State honors in 1960 and 1961. He was recruited by Tennessee and Alabama but chose to play football at UK.