Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

November 25, 2013

AARON SNYDER: Rams looking hairy, scary

Aaron Snyder

RACELAND — Raceland’s been razor sharp on the football field lately, but where are the razors?

Secondly, who knew Rams head coach T.J. Maynard had hair?

After sporting the Mr. Clean look for 17 years, Maynard is getting some strange looks from others.

Most are just now discovering that baldness is no trait of the coach.

Grayness? Well, that’s another story, but it’s not from locker-room stress.

The bearded Maynard hasn’t picked up a razor since the first week of November, a day before Raceland began its historic playoff trek, to be specific.

The 6-foot-5 former offensive lineman made a deal with Raceland’s front five that none would shave until the season ended.

Let the beards grow and flow, say the Rams after knocking off Pikeville, 14-3, in a Class A regional final on Friday. Raceland travels to Williamsburg for a state semifinal clash on Friday.

Facial follicles are ever-present inside the Raceland huddle, though. It’s not just Nevan Johnson, Austin Manis, Mac Boggs, Alec Risner and Lucas Bradley employing “No-shave November.” There are several others on board with beards.

Adam Elkins, for instance, rocks a full beard and moustache.

Daylin Beach simply styles with a ’stache.

Kane Snyder’s joined the party.

Assistant coaches Gary Fannin and Scott Grizzle don’t think the beard is weird, either.

You only have to rewind a month to remember the Red Sox, the hairiest baseball team in history. Hey, it worked for them.

How about Brian Wilson, the blackbearded former San Francisco Giant closer who helped bring to birth the phrase “Fear the Beard?” Hey, it worked for him. He’s a two-time world champion.

There’s the LeBron James beard, the Ed Reed beard, the Jimmie Johnson beard ... All champions.

Even “The Most Interesting Man in the World” from the Dos Equis commercials wears whiskers.

Maynard’s postgame message to his team on Friday was to stay focused and make good decisions this week, that they were just one step away from the carpet. He’s referring to the grand stage at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green. One more win, and they’re in the doors.

“The Doors!” Now there’s a band with a lead singer who grew an iconic caveman bush. If any of these 18-year-olds can pull a Jim Morrison off, I’ll be thoroughly impressed.

Killer B’s

At this point, just about every game features a quality matchup.

It may not get much better than Bourbon County-Belfry this Friday night. The winner, in my opinion, should be thrust into the “favorite” slot when it comes to talking a Class 3A state title.

Bourbon County (13-0) is coming off its closest game of the season — a 26-point rout of Mason County.

The only team to get the best of Belfry (12-1) this season was Johnson Central.

If you’re not traveling to Williamsburg to witness the Rams and Yellow Jackets, hop on over to Paris. There’s no French cuisine but it should be a sweet showdown.

Wingin’ It

Former Rowan County basketball star Adam Wing has started every game for the University of Evansville this season.

The Aces are 5-0, and Wing is a key reason why.

The sophomore shooting guard is averaging 13.6 points per game and has drained 21 of 31 field goals (67.7 percent). The 6-foot-4 Wing has also led Evansville in rebounds in two separate contests, with eight boards in each one.

Dawgin’ It

Another former area standout, Lawrence County product Taylor Porter, is shining on the college court as well.

The Murray State freshman tallied a team-high 17 points in the Racers’ 83-64 defeat of St. Louis on Saturday. She added five rebounds. She was 6 for 6 from the foul line in the contest.

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.