Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Sports Talk: Top Casey County Stories of 2012

As a correspondent sports writer for The Casey County News, I write an weekly editorial column for the publication. Published Jan. 2, 2013. 
I love lists and I love Top 10’s; however, I hate making decisions.
I should have had the foresight of writing a year-in-review article and taken notes throughout 2012 rather than trying to flip through old Word documents to make sure I wasn’t leaving anything out.
Nevertheless, I’ve made a list and I hope no one takes offense to the order—as these were all memorable and proud moments for Casey Countians. (You’ll note I couldn’t cut the list down and it is a Top 15 instead of 10.) If I left something out, forgive me…
15 – The first Cabin Fever River Run was held in late March, putting a 5K event on Casey County’s calendar nearly ever quarter.
14 – Casey County continues to move toward a developed soccer program as the Middle School had its debut season last spring as the youth program continues to thrive.
13 – The Casey County baseball and softball teams hosted the district tournament last spring after improvements were put into the facilities during the off season. In his debut season, head baseball coach Greg Hammond earned a $1,000 grant for new equipment in addition to the facility upgrades already in place.
12 - Both the boys basketball team and the VolleyRebs earned their respective 47th district runner-up titles and advanced to the regional tournament.
11 –Rebel tennis player Ryan Martin advanced to the state tournament after making it to the regional semifinals. The team nearly continued their undefeated streak, which began in 2008 under head coach Phil Williams. Ironically, the inevitable loss came at the hand of Williams’ son and former Rebel tennis star, Landon Williams, who now coaches for Marion County.
10  - Perhaps not an official school record, but VolleyRebel Tyra Sengkhamyong had a new team record with 17 consecutive good serves against Somerset this past fall.
9 – Former Casey County runner Jenna Lee is leaving her mark on the collegiate level. She helped the Bellarmine Unviersity Knights’ track and field women achieve their first conference championship title in school history last spring. This fall she was one of the seven girls who made up the women’s cross country team which qualified for the NCAA Division 2 national meet for the first time in school history.
8 -  Sophomore Blake Durham advanced to the state cross country meet as an individual for the first time. Durham ran as Casey’s only high school athlete through the entire season, giving him little practice competition.
7 - The eighth grade middle school football competed in the state playoffs advancing to the regional finals. Team members earned numerous area recognition awards, including Breece Hayes and Collin Miller being two of the 35 players selected to play for the Team Kentucky national team.
6 – Despite the unexpected early end to Megan Pittman’s senior season last winter, the Lady Rebels went on to win the 47th District tournament and then claim the runner-up title in the 12th Region; a feat many would have expected to be unattainable after the loss of Pittman so late in the season.
5 – Casey County cheerleaders competed on the national level along with over 300 teams. The squad had a top 10 finish in their division at the Universal Cheer Association competition in Orlando, Fl.
4 –  Shelby Stringer was named Kentucky’s 2A state pole vault runner-up after clearing 8’6”. Teammate Nicole Nagy was right there with her finishing in a 3-way tie for sixth place.
3 – It was a record setting season for the Lady Rebel tennis team. The team claimed the 12th Region runner-up title for the first time in school history, led by Tylyn Leigh who was the regional singles champion. Leigh won 16 straight matches having an undefeated record with the exception of the state tournament. Additionally, two doubles teams qualified for state: Allie Tinsley and Haley Owens; Sara Coffman and Chelsey Lynn.
2 – Head Lady Rebel Coach Randy Salyers earned his 300th victory in January. It came in a bittersweet win, as the same game saw the exit of 2012 graduate Pittman. Salyers, coaching since the mid 90s, has seen numerous district championships, regional championship games and even a trip to the Kentucky Sweet 16.
 1 – Alex Bolin destroyed his own yardage records for Casey County High School while also setting brand new ones. He is the first Rebel to surpass 2,000 yards in a season, rushing 2,028 this fall, and ends his career with over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdowns.
As for new year’s resolutions… Well, my first is to keep better notes of top headlines and accomplishments in one place for 2013. My second resolution… I’ll tell you about that next week.

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