Bowling Green better be ready for the McPeeks.
With Fairview’s 40-6 win over Hazard on Friday in the Class A semifinals, coach Nathan McPeek will lead the Eagles into their first state title game.
The Russell High School graduate and former all-conference offensive lineman at Marshall took the head coaching job at Fairview five years ago.
When he did, he made some big promises.
“I thought like all players, that I could play a long time,” McPeek said. “I knew I wanted to coach one day. And when I took this job five years ago I said we were going to try and win a state championship.
“A lot of people laughed at me and said there is no way.”
Before he started his coaching career, Nathan was a college football star looking to make it big in the NFL. He was invited to the Green Bay Packers training camp after his senior season at Marshall, but injuries and bad timing caused him to be cut.
His father, Talmadge McPeek, was in his truck to pick him and drive him back home. And with pro football in the rear view mirror, Nathan told his father about a new dream.
“Me and his mother (Nancy) are so proud for what he’s done here,” Talmadge McPeek said. “When I picked him up in Green Bay he said I may not be able to play, but I can relate to them. And that’s what he does.
“His players believe in him.”
As soon as he was home he looked for help to get into coaching from uncle, and longtime area coach Garry McPeek.
“We started immediately to look and find him a job.” Garry McPeek said. “We hooked up together at Boyd County and we’ve been coaching together since then. It’s just a joy to work with him everyday and the friendship we’ve built.”
Garry has been coaching in the area for 24 years. He’s been the head coach at Lawrence County, Greenup County, East Carter and Hazard. He’s also served as an assistant at Boyd County and is currently principal, athletic director and assistant coach at Fairview.
In his long career, this season saw Garry be part of his first region title, his first semifinal appearane and now his first appearance in a state championship game.
“I’ve been blessed to be in the business for 24 years and I finally get to put my feet on the carpet,” Garry McPeek said. “The kids have committed to this and worked so hard and it’s just so nice to see it end this way. And to get to share it with your family, it gets no better than that.”
As the time wound down on the game on Friday, Garry hugged Nate and than ran away from everybody. He then looked up to the air with tears in his eyes and mouthed thank you.
“He’s been searching for this his entire career,” Nathan McPeek said. “He’s been coaching so long, and it’s unbelievable we’re getting there in only my fifth year. But it’s a credit to the players, and it’s just a community win.”
Along with Garry and Nathan on the sidelines, and Talmadge in the stands, there is another McPeek on the field. Garry’s son, Cody McPeek, is the Eagles’ starting left tackle, and the sophomore had an impressive year.
Before the season started, Cody was selected to represent the area in the NFL National 7-on-7 Tournament and Lineman Challenge. He was also named to the Eastern Kentucky Conference first-team and carries a 4.0 grade-point average.
“I’ve had a pretty good year,” Cody McPeek said. “But it’s all thanks to my coaches and getting into the weight room.”
Following the footsteps of his father and cousin Nathan, Cody has excelled on the line. And one of the best qualities Nathan sees in his cousin is a lot of his old qualities he had as a player.
“He reminds me a lot of myself,” Nathan McPeek said. “He has a lot of my same mannerisms and can get fired up. We all have that short temper sometimes. He’s got a great future if he keeps working.”
But there is more to Fairview football than the McPeeks.
Cody’s the first to admit that while it’s good to have his dad and his cousin as his coaches, he also pointed out the entire Westwood community has become a giant family.
“This is just a big bond like everyone else on the team,” Cody McPeek said. “We love it here. It’s the best place ever. The best place to coach and the best place to play, ever.”
Talmadge has seen the support his son and brother have received and is amazed at the admiration shown his son.
“The fan support has just been awesome,” Talmadge said. “It’s hard to believe they have so many people pushing for them to win. And not just in football, but in everything.”
“He doesn’t want to be anywhere else. He loves it here and he’s grateful for all the support he’s got here.”
All the McPeeks — Nathan, Gary, Cody and Tallmadge — will make the trek to Bowling Green to watch Fairview take on Mayfield at L.T. Smith Stadium.
“We’ve been to watch several times,” Garry McPeek said. “I’ve said if I can get my feet on that carpet just one time. And just to share it with my family and we’ll give it all we got.”
KYLE HOBSTETTER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2658.
Bowling Green better be ready for the McPeeks.
- Local News
Judge denies renewed motion to dismiss Rosen lawsuit
A judge has refused to dismiss a former Boyd district and circuit judge’s lawsuit challenging the constitutionality of a law that affects his ability to run for re-election this fall.
In an order entered on Friday, Franklin Circuit Judge Thomas D. Wingate denied a renewed motion to dismiss by current Boyd Circuit Judge George W. Davis III, an intervening respondent in the suit filed in January by Marc I. Rosen.
Ashland football players join special-needs students for prom
The purple chiffon gown and the sparkling tiara are back in the closet four days after the big dance, but Karina McBride still hasn’t stopped talking about Saturday night — the decorations, boys bringing her cups of punch, her first kiss (on the cheek, her mother hastens to interject), and dancing the night away at her first prom.
“She’s been flying high since that night,” said Michele Woods, who is Karina’s mother and who brought together friends and volunteers to organize a prom for special needs students.
Concrete pouring at Putnam
Workers are pouring concrete foundations at Putnam Stadium and once those are dry and cured will be ready to install seats at the historic arena.
The workers are putting in 12-hour shifts to keep on schedule to complete the stadium’s reconstruction in time for this fall’s football opener, said site supervisor Craig Chinn of Trace Creek Construction.
The most visible work is happening on the home-team side of the stadium, where workers Tuesday were setting forms for the cylindrical concrete piers that will support the seats. Once those are poured, cured and inspected they will add the seats.
Unique races for Carter magistrates
Carter County magistrate ballots are full of candidates eager to represent constituents in each of the five districts that make up the county’s fiscal court.
Of the five seats available, three magistrates are seeking re-election: Clarence “Sonny” Fankell, D-Grayson, District 2; Clifford “Sodbuster” Roe, D-Olive Hill, District 4; and Brandon Burton, R-Olive Hill, District 5.
The incumbents will each have to battle as many as three opponents in their district primaries next month before they can focus on reclaiming their magistrate titles in the November general election.
This year’s magistrate race will host a total of 22 candidates, with 11 from Grayson, nine from Olive Hill and two from Denton.
Martin County marks 50 years since LBJ visit
Today marks 5o years since former U.S. President Lyndon B. Johnson visited Inez resident Tom Fletcher and promised to end poverty in America on April 24, 1964. On Friday, Inez will be commemorating the occasion with a special event.
Trail Town trial run to be in Olive Hill this Sunday
Olive Hill will participate in a trial run this Saturday in the city’s push to become a certified Kentucky Trail Town.
Some area farmers may be eligible for LIP program
The Grayson Farm Service Agency, (Boyd, Carter, Elliott and Lawrence) is having registration for the Livestock Indemnity Program to eligible producers who suffered losses beginning Oct. 1, 2011, and subsequent years.
News in brief, 04/24/14
The King’s Daughters Pregancy and Infant Loss Support Group invites families who have experienced the loss of an infant during pregnancy or following birth to participate in a butterfly release and prayer ceremony at 2 p.m. May 10 at the Ashland Central Park fountain.
Garner hosting National Day of Prayer activities
The Garner Missionary Baptist Church will be hosting day long events at the Kyova Mall to commemorate the National Day of Prayer on Thursday, May 1.
Flatwoods mayoral debate set for Tuesday
A public debate among the candidates seeking to become the next mayor of Flatwoods will take place next week.
- More Local News Headlines
- Judge denies renewed motion to dismiss Rosen lawsuit