Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local News

February 19, 2012

Power of the mind

Russell victorious in Governor’s Cup

RUSSELL — Russell High School won Saturday’s quick recall contest at the regional Governor’s Cup competition, beating out Paul G. Blazer High School in the sixth round. Russell beat Blazer 34 to 22 in what Russell Coach Kirk Barnett called a “rebuilding year” for the team.

Russell also won the overall competition, earning 65.5 points, West Carter High School came in second with 23 points and Blazer came in third with 21 points.

Russell won it’s fifth state Governor’s Cup Championship last March, and several talented seniors on the team graduated last year, Barnett said. Now one senior, two juniors and a sophomore make up the starting lineup for the quick recall team.

“They’re good also, but they’ve been kind of behind everyone else in the past, so it’s now their turn to step up,” Barnett said.

Claire Lyon, a sophomore on the Russell team, said quick recall victory at the regional competition gave the team a sense of togetherness and confidence going into state competition next month.

“I felt like I did really well, both individually in the test and I feel like our team did really well working together,” she said.

To make up for a loss of older members last year, members of the team have been working hard in practice sessions and learned a lot from graduating seniors when watching and scrimmaging with them.

“Whenever we practiced last year and played we had good competition and learned how to play well,” Lyon said.

Russell’s academic team practices every school day at 7 a.m. Members also take part in after school tutoring in individual subjects and participate in one to two weeks of academic summer camp to prepare, Barnett said. They also participate in other academic tournaments throughout the year.

“We’re feeling pretty good about the win,” he said. “It was very tough competition today. Several of the teams are very good and we don’t take anyone for granted.”

Eric Lambert, head coach at Blazer, said his team is also young. Starters include a freshman, two sophomores and a junior.

“We would have rather won, but second place against a good team like Russell is definitely a reward for a long year of hard work,” Lambert said. “We’re definitely feeling proud of our team and proud of the work we did today.”

KATIE BRANDENBURG can be reached at kbrandenburg@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2653.

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