Johnny Hines and the Maroons came into the year as the preseason favorite in Class 5A District 7 - and that’s exactly how they finished the year out, as the favorite. Despite a young group of players, Pulaski County, who finished with a record of 9-4, advanced all the way to the Class 5A Region 4 Championship, where they fell on the road at Harlan County.
Southwestern lost a lot of experience from the 2011 regional title team, making 2012 a rebuilding season at the Reservation. The Warriors, who finished the year with a mark of 3-7, had a slew of youngsters making their first-ever varsity starts - and most of those players had to play on both sides of the football.
One moment that many fans will remember from this past season was all three football teams coming together to show their support for Will Hinton and Jacobi Gilmore, two Somerset football players injured in a wreck in early October.
That night after the wreck, Somerset wore helmet stickers with nos. 20 and 25 on them, while the Maroons placed purple tape on their helmets and Southwestern wore purple wrist tape. Though the teams are rivals on game day, all three teams put on display that life is more important than the game of football.
The fall sports season was a very successful one for the Somerset Christian Cougars, as they tallied a total of four state titles in a short span. In fact, the Cougars won state championships in the sports of soccer, junior varsity volleyball, varsity volleyball, and girls cross country. The boys basketball team is poised to make a run at a state title under head coach Shane Skaggs.
Well, I guess it’s officially time to close the curtain on the year of 2012. It’s been another grand year for local sports, and always, a privilege for me and the rest of the Commonwealth Journal sports department to cover the area’s athletes.
I hope everyone has had a great Christmas holiday and has a safe and happy New Year — see you all in 2013!