Sportsmanship isn't out of style; it's just not worn by a lot of people involved in athletics these days. The behavior of some players, coaches and parents suggests that games are being taken way too seriously.
Thank goodness for high school athletes like Monroe County senior Chad Wilson, who is a shining example of sportsmanship in football, basketball and baseball.
Wilson and Lexie Hunter, a senior cheerleader and runner at Beechwood, were honored as the statewide winners of the 2013 Forcht Bank/KHSAA Sportsmanship awards. Each will receive a $3,000 scholarship.
"I've got to give credit to my parents (Larry and Terri Lynn Wilson)," Chad said. "They put me on a straight guideline when I was young, and any time I veered off it they put me right back on it."
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Given his success in sports, it would be understandable if Wilson acted like a cocksure star. But he doesn't.
In football, he was a first-team all-state quarterback after rushing and passing for 2,500 yards and 38 touchdowns last fall while leading the Falcons to a region title and 12-2 record.
"One of the best athletes I've ever coached," Monroe County football coach John Petett said. "Not only is he a great student-athlete, but he's a role model for our whole community."
In basketball, the 6-foot-1 Wilson was team captain and averaged 13 points and five rebounds a game in helping Monroe County to a 16-11 record.
Falcons basketball coach Steve Kirkpatrick said the referees in the 4th Region have known Chad on a first-name basis since his freshman year because of the way he conducted himself on the court.
In baseball, Wilson is also a team captain, and a standout shortstop and pitcher. He's batting .587. "Never complains, never gives up and always is upbeat to lead his teammates," Coach Jerome Taylor said.
Wilson, who hopes to play college baseball, admits to learning from others on how not to act. "Watching other people behave, you kind of train yourself not what to do," he said.
He remembers Monroe County's showdown with Allen County-Scottsville in the district basketball tournament. One of his teammates and an opponent "were going back and forth, and it was getting heated."
Wilson said he stepped in and told them, "'There's no sense in that. We're here having fun, playing a game, so why don't you chill out.' They listened to me and we didn't have any problems the rest of the game."
■ Woodford County ace and UK signee Clinton Hollon threw a no-hitter in a 3-0 victory over Mercer County. Hollon had 11 strikeouts and one walk in the Yellowjackets' 20th win of the season.
■ Walker Buehler from Henry Clay is having a solid freshman year at Vanderbilt. The 6-foot-1 right-hander has pitched 39 innings as a starter and reliever, and has a 3-1 record, 36 strikeouts, 22 walks and a 2.54 ERA. Vanderbilt, No. 1 in the nation, visits Kentucky this weekend.
■ Central Hardin's baseball team, rated No. 1 last week, beat No. 2 St. Xavier 1-0 when Justin Rouse scored on pinch-hitter Isaac VanMeter's single in the bottom of the seventh inning.
■ Lafayette senior pitcher Tyler Pope will sign next week to play college baseball at Berea. Generals senior pitcher/center fielder/team captain Jamie Vescio will sign next week to play softball at Transylvania.
■ Paul Laurence Dunbar senior pitcher Hunter Martin will sign with Centre College, and senior infielder/pitcher Michael Marsh will sign with Kentucky State on Friday.
■ Henry Clay's unbeaten lacrosse team got a forfeit from Glasgow in Thursday's opening round of the Kentucky Lacrosse Association state tournament. The Blue Devils (15-0) are the favorites to win the championship. Taylor McCoun, in his third year as Henry Clay coach, credits his team's success to a change in the players' attitude over the past few years. "When I first started we were known as a hot-headed team that wanted to go out and hurt people," McCoun said. "I grew up in Maryland where lacrosse is very big, and where it's a finesse sport. It's not about hitting people. This group of seniors has matured, and now they play the right way. Our strength is our chemistry. The boys are really close, best friends on and off the field. They've taken the family thing to heart." The Devils are led by four captains: seniors Logan Begley (goalie), Jake Linton (midfielder) and Braxton DeCamp (attacker); and sophomore Webb VanMeter (defender). The state tournament quarterfinals are on Saturday, the semifinals on Tuesday, and the championship will be May 18 at Bryan Station at 6 p.m. The Louisville metro area has its own league and playoffs this year.
■ Conner quarterback Drew Barker announces his college choice Friday at 3:30 p.m. in front of what figures to be a big crowd in the school gym. Kentucky and South Carolina assistant coaches have been among those visiting Conner in recent days hoping to make one last good impression.
■ Rob Goodman is coming home. The former Sayre basketball player (Class of 1989) and assistant coach (1990-99) is the Spartans' new head coach. He replaces Ted Hall, who had a seven-year record of 55-70. Goodman spent 22 years as an assistant (at Sayre, Morehead State, Transylvania, Bourbon County and Henry Clay) before getting his first chance to be a head coach at Bourbon County last season. "I've always wanted to go back to Sayre someday and coach there," he said. "So I'm excited about this opportunity." Goodman, 42, has three children who attend Sayre. Son Robbie is an eighth-grader, and twin daughters Emme and Cate are fourth-graders. "I'm proud to be part of Sayre," Goodman said. "I know the struggles, but I've seen a lot of good done there." Goodman's assistants at Sayre will be Barry Mitchell and Jason Nahra, both former Spartans.
■ Matthew Martin is the new boys' basketball coach at Bourbon County. He succeeds Rob Goodman. Martin, 26, played at Clark County and Transylvania. He's been an assistant at Transy under Brian Lane in basketball (and golf) the last three years. "It's definitely exciting. I can't wait to get going," Martin said of his first job as a head coach. "There's potential at Bourbon County. They've got a great administration that wants to win. It's just a matter of working hard and getting the kids to buy into what we want to accomplish." The Colonels haven't had a winning season since 2006. Martin's dad, Wayne, coached at Pikeville College (1973-77) and Morehead State (1978-87), and later became president and general manager of WKYT-TV.
■ Darius Lewis, a reserve basketball player at Tates Creek as a freshman and sophomore before he transferred to IMG Academy in Florida, has signed with Duquesne. The 6-foot-11 Lewis averaged 13 points and 10 rebounds this past season.
■ John Hardin's Brandon Price, who led the Bulldogs to the Sweet Sixteen the last two years, will be a preferred walk-on at WKU. Price averaged 18 points and six assists this season. Bellarmine, IU-Southeast and Transylvania were also interested in the 5-foot-9 point guard.
■ Trinity, state football champ 10 of the last 12 years, will again play seven regular-season games against out-of-state competition in 2013. The Shamrocks' in-state district games will be against Male, Manual and St. Xavier. The rest of their schedule will be against Nashville Ensworth; Carmel, Ind.; Indianapolis Lawrence Central; Cincinnati Colerain; Indianapolis Cathedral; Chicago Marist, and Cincinnati Moeller.
■ Newport Central Catholic is calling it a "triple crown" of success: The Thoroughbeds won the Touchstone Energy All "A" Classic baseball title this week to go along with the boys' All "A" basketball championship it won three months ago, and the Class 2A football title it claimed last fall.
■ Lexington Christian Academy swimmer Victoria Tinker has signed with American University in Washington, D.C. LCA baseball player Ryan Bale is headed to Transylvania.
■ The Ebonite/KHSAA State Bowling Championship will be held at Collins Eastland in Lexington next year. The event was held at Executive Strike & Spare in Louisville the past two years.
■ Commemorative programs from the boys' and girls' 2013 state basketball tournaments are available online at TheBookPatch.com. The KHSAA is using the website to provide full-color ($19) or black-and-white ($5) programs.