Now that we have flipped the calendar over to 2014, let’s all sit back and take a look in the past at what happened in the world of high school sports over the course of 2013, in my fourth annual year in review.
There were many, many different things that happened in the Somerset-Pulaski County area during the past year, but when I take a look back at what the biggest story was in high school sports in our area, the first thing that comes to mind is the success of the Pulaski County Maroons football team.
Johnny Hines and crew had a year to remember in 2013, as they went 14-1 and finished as Class 5A state runner-up to Bowling Green, who collected their 44th victory in a row. The Maroons earned their fifth district title in six years, along with their second regional championship in school history.
“I am proud of our team and their accomplishments this season,” told Hines. “Our senior leadership was a key to our success. These seniors have elevated our program to the brink of a state title. It’s great to see a young team that believes it belongs with the elite teams in the state. I love their attitude. Our coaching staff did a great job all-year long prepping for each game, and at the same time, developing young players to get them ready for 5A competition.”
Hines feels that this past season was a stepping stone for the future, a future that looks bright for Hines and the Pulaski County Maroons.
“Making the 5A State Championship Game was a great accomplishment,” stated the PC coach. “However, it says a lot about our team that they weren't satisfied just to get there. They wanted to win it. The next logical step for our program to take, is to someday win the state championship. It is no longer a pipe dream. It is now a goal.”
After touching on what I thought to be biggest story of the year, it is now time to run down the rest of the things that caught my eye in local sports during the year of 2013.
With Jeff Cothron back as the head coach, the Somerset boys basketball team advanced all the way to the Boys 12th Region Champ-ionship game, where they fell to Wayne County. The Briar Jumpers, despite not winning their own district, claimed a regional runner-up trophy and finished with a record of 20-10 under Cothron.
Southwestern’s baseball squad had themselves quite a spring, finishing as regional runner-up to eventual state runner-up and three-time defending regional champion Mercer County. Paced by the clutch play of senior Logan Starnes, Alex Eaton’s Warriors went 27-9 on the season.
On the track, three local athletes were crowned as individual champions at the KHSAA State Track Meet – Pulaski County’s Jimmy Goldson, along with Cam Cheuvront and Maranda Mills of Somerset. Goldson won the 800-meter run with a time of 1:55, while Cheuvront won 100-meter dash (1:55) and Mills took the first-place medal in the triple jump (35’06”).
The Somerset-Pulaski County Babe Ruth All-Stars had themselves a nice summer, sweeping the state championships in the 13-, 14-, and 15-year old divisions. A sweep in all three age divisions had not been accomplished until the summer of 2013.
A pair of Pulaski County junior golfers – Elsa Moberly and Kellan Wilson – had themselves a nice fall on the links. Moberly took the girls regional title and finished 5th at the state championship, while Wilson became only the second-ever Maroon boy to win region.
Teresa Combs and the Pulaski County Lady Maroons volleyball claimed the regional runner-up trophy this fall after falling to Wayne County in the finals of the 12th Region Volleyball Tournament. The Lady Maroons, who won their second straight 47th District title, finished with an overall record of 25-12. Southwestern’s span of five regional championships in a row was snapped after a first-round loss to West Jessamine.
On the gridiron, the Somerset Briar Jumpers had themselves another nice season, tallying their fifth regional championship in as many years. Unfortunately, Somerset’s season would come to an end in a 49-48, overtime heart breaker to foe Newport Central Catholic – one game away from the Class 2A State Championship.
Southwestern, meanwhile, had their second losing season in a row, finishing with an overall mark of 1-9. Andy Stephens, after two full seasons as the head coach of the Warriors, resigned following the one-win campaign in 2013.
2013 was a grand year for Somerset Christian School, as they claimed multiple KCAA state championships in multiple sports. In fact, the Cougars won state titles in baseball, volleyball, and boys soccer.
However, there were losses this year that were far greater than any loss that happened on the athletic playing field.
Our community lost two great people in the latter part of the year, as Randy Elmore and Scott Taylor both passed away. Elmore served as an athletic director at Pulaski County, while Taylor was a coach for the Lady Maroons softball team. Both men were highly-respected individuals and are both certainly missed in the Somerset-Pulaski County area.
Follow Michael Childers on Twitter: @GetChili22