High School Basketball

LexCath boasts three father-son pairs

When Lexington Catholic sophomore Taylor Martin went to the free-throw line with three seconds left in the region finals and his team trailing No. 1 Scott County by one point, he appeared calm and confident.

In the McBrayer Arena stands, however, his dad was sweating bullets.

"That was the most gut-wrenching thing I've ever been through in my sporting life," Rodney Martin said.

He need not have worried.

Taylor hit two foul shots to give the Knights a 68-67 upset and a second consecutive trip to the Sweet Sixteen.

Rodney Martin was pulling for his son and Lexington Catholic, the team he played for more than 25 years ago.

And he wasn't alone as an alumnus cheering for his son and his school.

This Lexington Catholic team is bound by family ties, including three sets of fathers and sons who have played for the Knights.

Rodney Martin was a standout basketball and baseball player at Lexington Catholic in the early 1980s. Taylor is following in his footsteps in both sports.

Senior guard Taylor Botkin's dad, Mike Botkin, was a junior on Lexington Catholic's 1977 state tournament team.

Sophomore guard Scott Schuette's dad, Brent Schuette, was a sophomore on that '77 Sweet Sixteen team.

"The family heritage we've got here is great," Knights Coach Brandon Salsman said. "I know it was a lot of fun for Rodney, Mike and Brent to be part of Lexington Catholic as a player, and now it's fun to be part of it as a parent."

Rodney Martin never got to the Sweet Sixteen as a player, but it's a thrill for him to see his son experience it.

"It's awesome," he said. "Taylor is going to the (basketball) tournament for the second year in a row, and he's been once in baseball. That's something for a sophomore."

Brent Schuette is trying to get his son to appreciate how special it is to get to Rupp Arena in his first two years of high school.

"I told him that he's spoiled, that he doesn't understand what a privilege and honor this is," Brent said with a smile. "When we went in 1977, it was the first time Catholic had been in (11 years), and it was another eight before we went back."

Mike Botkin is pleasantly surprised that his son Taylor is getting to finish off his senior year in the Sweet Sixteen. It wasn't expected after the Knights graduated stars Nathan Novosel, Jordan Smart and Taylor Stewart last year.

"Rodney and I were talking about how when we saw this team play last summer, we thought it might be tough just to get out of the district," Mike Botkin said.

"But the young players learned, improved and adapted, and the team's had a tremendous year."

Even though Lexington Catholic got over the big hurdle and won the region, that doesn't mean the dads can relax in Rupp Arena.

"Being a parent and watching is not quite as enjoyable as playing in it," Brent Schuette said. "You want (your son) to do well and have the same fun experience you had. That can be a little bit stressful."

Scott Schuette, Taylor Botkin and Taylor Martin are showing no signs of stress as they get ready for Thursday's game against Bowling Green.

But then they didn't even feel the pressure in the closing seconds of the region finals.

Taylor Botkin said Taylor Martin was asking to be put on the spot in that make-or-break moment.

"He said he was money. He was saying, 'Give me the ball, I'm going to hit these.' He was hyped," Botkin said.

Up in the stands, Rodney Martin, Mike Botkin and Scott Schuette were the ones with the sweaty palms.

Related stories from Lexington Herald Leader

  Comments