High School Sports

High school sports predictions for August and beyond

Dunbar's Taveion Hollingsworth shoots over Madison Central's Cameron Thomas, Tuesday night, January 6, 2015, in Richmond. Central won 66-63. Photo by Tim Webb
Dunbar's Taveion Hollingsworth shoots over Madison Central's Cameron Thomas, Tuesday night, January 6, 2015, in Richmond. Central won 66-63. Photo by Tim Webb

The final pitch of the Rawlings/KHSAA State Baseball Tournament on Saturday will signal the end of the 2015-16 high school sports season (just try to ignore the fact that many schools across the state closed their doors about a month ago). Before we know it, the first touchdown of 2016-17 will be thrown.

Here are a few fun predictions for next season to mull over until the high school notebook returns in August:

▪ Pulaski County’s Jake Johnson will break the all-time receptions record held by James Quick during the Maroons’ season opener against Harlan County at Southwestern, establishing himself as a frontrunner for Mr. Football in the process.

▪ A year after falling to Sacred Heart in the final moments of the state finals, the Lexington Catholic girls’ soccer team — led by University of Kentucky commitment Kennedy Tranter — will win its second state title.

▪ As will likely remain the case until the end of time, one of four teams is winning the state volleyball championship in November: Assumption, Mercy, Sacred Heart or Notre Dame. The only public school with an outside shot? Henry Clay, which boasts a Penn State commitment in Kaitlyn Hord.

▪ The new Fayette County high school’s name and mascot will be unveiled by year’s end. My uninformed guess: in 2017 we will welcome the Patriots of Mary Todd Lincoln High School to Lexington.

▪ Like the University of Tennessee without Peyton Manning, Paintsville will make its run to a state title while reigning Mr. Football Kash Daniel is playing in Lexington.

▪ Paul Laurence Dunbar star Taveion Hollingsworth will take 2017 Mr. Basketball honors. With homegrown guys Dominique Hawkins and Derek Willis on their way out, he will also earn a much-coveted scholarship offer from the University of Kentucky.

▪ Scott County, a regional power helmed by all-time wins leader Billy Hicks, and Taylor County, a rising program coached by up-and-comer Richard Gatewood, will meet in a championship bout to decide the 100th Boys’ Sweet Sixteen. The Cardinals’ big fan followings will help the should-be-spectacle produce a near-record-breaking attendance figure one year after one of the lowest-attended tournaments ever.

Epps a head coach again

About a year after leaving the Marion County girls’ basketball job, Anthony Epps has been named the new head coach of the Campbellsville girls’ program.

Epps spent the last season as an assistant under Campbellsville boys’ coach Tim Davis. Transitioning from his alma mater, where he won a Sweet Sixteen as a player in 1993, worked out great.

“They welcomed me just like I was one of their own,” Epps said. “I couldn’t ask for a better situation.”

Campbellsville’s girls finished 7-23 last season, including an 0-7 mark against its 20th District opponents. The school competes in Class A in football, and girls made up only 44 percent of its student body in 2015-16.

In that type of enrollment situation, athletes often end up playing more than one sport. Epps encourages that to keep happening because he thinks it ultimately makes them better basketball players.

He hopes his passion for the sport trickles down to his team and can help transform Campbellsville into a program that can compete for the All “A” Classic title and become a regional contender.

“If the individuals can get better, the team can get better,” Epps said. “ ... I’m just gonna have a lot of fun with it. I hope the girls have a lot of fun learning the game of basketball from me and changing their mindset to a winning attitude.”

Epps was the starting point guard on the University of Kentucky’s 1996 championship team. His daughter, Makayla, will be a senior player at UK next season. She has been an All-Southeasten Conference first-team selection the previous two seasons.

Successful veteran returns to sidelines

Nearly 40 years after leaving the Powell County boys’ basketball program in 1977, Dave Fraley is back in charge of the Pirates.

Fraley, who guided Pulaski County to the 1986 boys’ Sweet Sixteen crown and is 10th all-time with 664 career victories, last coached at Knott County Central in the 2009-10 season.

He is rejoining a program where he got his start in the 1970s and which he took to its first of two Sweet Sixteens in 1974. Fraley, 73, has been to six Sweet Sixteens, four coming with Pulaski and one in his lone season at Knott Central.

This is the third time Fraley has come out of retirement. Coaching’s just something that stays in your system, he said, and he relishes the competition and adventure the profession presents.

“I think I can still make a contribution to some youngsters wanting to play basketball,” Fraley said. “And I feel like I can improve the program at Powell County and we can get back to where we’re pretty competitive in our region. ...

“I still feel good and I want to do it, so I guess the question becomes ‘Why not do it?’”

Hall of Fame notes

▪ The late Blanton Collier, a Millersburg native who whose coaching career started at Paris High School, is among the five individuals who will be inducted into the Kentucky Pro Football Hall of Fame at 7 p.m. next Friday at the Lexington Opera House.

Collier, who played at Paris and Georgetown College, was the head coach at UK from 1954-61 and led the Cleveland Browns from 1963-1970. His 41-36-3 record with the Wildcats is the last winning record for a UK coach. He died in 1983.

Howard Schnellenberger, who played for and coached under Collier at UK, will receive the 10th annual Blanton Collier Award for Integrity. Schnellenberger, who coached at Louisville from 1985-1994, won a national championship in 1983 as the head coach at Miami.

The other inductees are: Council Rudolph, a defensive end out of Kentucky State who played in 72 NFL games; Warren Bryant, a UK offensive lineman who was drafted sixth overall by the Atlanta Falcons in the 1977 draft; Myron Guyton, a safety who played at Eastern Kentucky University and who won a Super Bowl with the New York Giants; Ray Buchanan, a University of Louisville product who spent 12 seasons in the NFL and made the Pro Bowl in 1998.

▪ The Kentucky High School Basketball Hall of Fame 2016 induction ceremony takes place on July 9 in Elizabethtown’s State Theater. Tickets are on sale for $30 and can be purchased through khsbhf.com.

Among this year’s inductees are Scott County Coach Billy Hicks, former Paul Laurence Dunbar standout George Wilson and Mason County-turned-UK star Darius Miller.

Softball extras

▪ The East-West All-Star softball games will be played Saturday and Sunday at Georgetown College. Four teams — comprised of East and West seniors and juniors — will play a round-robin tournament concluding with an East-West senior game at 12:30 p.m. Sunday. A full schedule with complete team rosters is available at bit.ly/1Pur2qV.

Players from the 11th Region participating in the games are: Madison Burke (Lafayette), Mallory Cornish (Franklin County), Morgan Elliston (Madison Central), Kendall Fields (Tates Creek), Chandler Kelly (Franklin County), Kasi Schneid (Madison Central), Kyla Simpson (Woodford County), Sydney Wiard (Franklin County), Tia Wilson (Paul Laurence Dunbar) and CeCe Wittry (Scott County).

▪ Magoffin County’s Hannah Skaggs was named the Midway University/KHSAA Female Student-Athlete of the Year in softball, making her eligible for the overall award when it is announced next May.

▪ Scott County’s win over McCracken County for the state softball title was win No. 100 for head coach Jeff Portwood.

▪ Taylor Wheeler, an All-State player at Boyd County in 2014, signed with Morehead State. Wheeler hit .415 with 10 home runs and 41 RBI as the leadoff hitter this season at Walters State, which finished 44-11 and went to the National Junior College Athletic Association World Series.

Thank you

Limitless thanks are due to all of the players, coaches, administrators and fans who made my first year as a reporter an absolute joy. You warmly welcomed my words onto your screens and coffee tables with little hesitation, and made following a Kentucky legend much easier than it could have been. Between some summer traveling, relaxing and family-ing, I’ll be working behind the scenes to see that year two is an even better experience for you all than year one. See ya on the sidelines!

Josh Moore: 859-231-1307, @HLpreps

All-City baseball teams

(As voted on by the city’s eight coaches)

FIRST TEAM

Player of the Year

GRADE

SCHOOL

AVG

R

RBI

HR

Jaren Shelby (OF)

Senior

Tates Creek

0.378

38

34

12

Non-pitchers

AVG

R

RBI

HR

Logan Adams (C)

Senior

Lafayette

0.367

0

18

2

CJ Bush (1B)

Senior

Lexington Catholic

0.402

32

32

0

Chandler Dunn (2B)

Senior

Henry Clay

0.368

30

22

0

Michael Flora (3B)

Senior

Sayre

0.338

24

26

1

Jacob Abbott (SS)

Senior

Lafayette

0.281

22

32

3

Andy Thompson (OF)

Senior

Lexington Catholic

0.321

35

13

0

Jackson Boggs (OF)

Senior

Lafayette

0.347

28

15

4

Tyler Grigalis (OF)

Sophomore

Lexington Catholic

0.361

22

26

3

Aidan Elias (OF)

Senior

Sayre

0.365

36

22

0

Colin Burgess (DH)

Freshman

Tates Creek

0.355

4

22

3

Ben Wilcoxson (Utility)

Junior

Lexington Catholic

0.312

26

14

0

Pitchers

W

L

Innings

ERA

Luke Wilson

Junior

Henry Clay

7

1

55

1.53

Carson Coleman

Senior

Lexington Catholic

4

1

44.2

0.95

Evan Hall

Junior

Tates Creek

7

2

54

1.29

James Dupree

Junior

Sayre

5

3

41

0.85

Austin Shepherd

Junior

Paul Laurence Dunbar

5

4

53

1.56

SECOND TEAM

Non-pitchers

AVG

R

RBI

HR

Landon Moberly (C)

Junior

Lexington Catholic

0.301

0

17

1

Boo Thompson (1B)

Junior

Henry Clay

0.333

0

28

3

Parker Selin (2B)

Senior

Tates Creek

0.317

21

20

0

Tyler Guilfoil (3B)

Sophomore

Lafayette

0.312

14

0

0

Spencer Coop (SS)

Senior

Tates Creek

0.300

32

21

0

Morgan Harris (OF)

Senior

Lafayette

0.324

22

19

0

Steven Bender (OF)

Junior

Lexington Catholic

0.290

21

14

0

Jackson Beerman (OF)

Junior

Tates Creek

0.333

12

10

0

Casey Womack (OF)

Senior

Henry Clay

0.286

34

13

0

Dalton Hill (DH)

Senior

Paul Laurence Dunbar

0.345

16

30

1

Logan Holland (Utility)

Senior

Lafayette

0.329

16

20

0

Pitchers

W

L

Innings

ERA

Trip Lockhart

Junior

Lexington Catholic

5

1

56.3

2.36

Eric Sottile

Sophomore

Lexington Catholic

2

2

40.7

1.55

Grant Deaton

Senior

Tates Creek

5

1

41

1.51

Aaron Miley

Senior

Bryan Station

1

7

61

2.13

Eddie Satisky

Junior

Lafayette

4

3

38

2.39

  Comments