Ashland’s boys basketball program reached a milestone recently with its 1,900th victory.
The Tomcats achieved that mark, which ranks third nationally, with a 70-65 triumph over Elliott County at James A. Anderson Gymnasium.
Ashland has since won two more games to bring the total to 1,902. The Tomcats’ victories date to 1909, according to local sports historian Curtis Crye, who found those games only in recent years.
The Tomcats rank No. 1 in the state for victories, with Paducah Tilghman in the No. 2 spot, according to Kentucky High School Athletic Association records.
Ashland has made 32 state tournament appearances, the last coming in 2002. The Tomcats are tied for third in the state with four state titles, the last in 1961.
Ashland also owns the longest winning streak at 44 games with a 37-0 record in the 1928 season and a 7-0 start in the 1929 season.
Tussey back on air
Longtime radio announcer Mike Tussey will be part of the Elite Learfield Sports Broadcast team for the State Tournament in March.
Tussey, who lives in northern Kentucky, announced Northern Kentucky University men’s and women’s basketball games for several years before being unceremoniously replaced prior to the start of this season.
He has been aching to get back behind the microphone ever since. Tussey called a couple of Ashland basketball games in northern Kentucky in December with Dicky Martin.
The Kentucky Utilities Radio Network spans 50 stations across Kentucky and parts of West Virginia.
Other members of the Learfield team include play-by-play broadcasters Doug Ormay, Gregg Stottlemeyer and Gary Ball and color analysts Cameron Mills, Steve Hardeman and Lee Prewitt.
Tussey will be doing the sideline reporting, coaches interviews and the games’ Most Valuable Player interviews.
The state tournament will be March 6 through 9 in Rupp Arena.
Tussey was inducted into the West Virginia Broadcasting Hall of Fame in 2010.
He called high school sports in our area for years, both on radio and cable television, while also serving as an Ashland policeman.
Tussey was also the voice of the Huntington Cubs minor league baseball team.
He has written a book, “You’re on the Air!” chronicling his career in broadcasting.
60 years ago ...
Bill Lanham of Russell dropped a copy of the 1953 64th District basketball program by the office this week.
Lanham, who is 76, has kept the souvenir program in pristine condition.
The district had 10 schools, most of which are no longer in existence.
The district foes were: Ashland, Boyd County, Catlettsburg, Greenup, Holy Family, McKell, Raceland, Russell, South Portsmouth and Wurtland.
The ’53 Ashland team was one of its best ever with players like Brother Earl Adkins, Bob Emrick, Lee Marshall, Billy Ray Jennings, Jerry Henderson, Bill Gray, Darryle Kouns and Jim Bailey.
The Tomcats won the district and regional championship that season, but were upset in the opening round of the state tournament by Paducah.
Fred Simpson and Tom Fitzsimmons were part of Holy Family’s team, which defeated Russell 66-62, but was eliminated by Catlettsburg in the quarterfinals.
Ashland defeated Catlettsburg 79-68 in the district finals. Norm Collinsworth, who is NFL analyst Cris Collinsworth’s uncle, and Warren Pack were stars for the Wildcats.
The games were played at the Ashland Armory.
Former multisport Raceland star Tyler Boyles suffered a broken left arm in a recent basketball game for Shawnee State University.
Boyles, who was one of our Sportsman of the Year selections, is a senior with the Bears.
The break was clean and Boyles should heal fine, according to doctors, but his career is over.
When he learned of the injury, he turned to his mother, Annette Boyles, and said, “God has a plan.”
That kind of attitude is why he was named our Sportsman of the Year and why Tyler Boyles is the kind of role model you look for in a young man.
Tyler Boyles is what’s right with today’s youth.
MARK MAYNARD can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2648.