Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

January 19, 2014

Fairview baseball coach familiar

WESTWOOD — Matt Thompson is Westwood-born-and-raised, so it makes total sense to both Thompson and Fairview that he is the Eagles’ new baseball coach.

Thompson, who played at Fairview and the University of Charleston, said he was interested in the job “really as soon as it came open.”

“You don’t really know how often those kind of jobs are gonna come open, and it was perfect for me,” Thompson said Saturday. “It opened up right when I got out of college at my old school and where I work, so it really worked out for me.”

The feeling was mutual.

“When I had him in school, his honesty was impeccable (and) his work ethic was immaculate,” Fairview athletic director Jeff Fletcher said. “He is a hometown boy ... went to school his entire life here, graduated from here. When he did go to school here, he participated in baseball, he got a scholarship and went off to the University of Charleston to play baseball, so for us it was just a perfect fit.”

Thompson’s hiring is expected to become official “after the site-based council meets” this week, Fletcher said.

Thompson, 23, teaches special education at Fairview Elementary and lives in Ashland. He averaged a strikeout per inning over his last three high school seasons and hit .436 with 30 doubles and 97 runs batted in over that span. He posted a 3.13 earned run average as a senior in 2008.

He then completed his collegiate career at Charleston, pitching in 14 games as a senior in 2012.

Thompson said his offensive philosophy is “just get ‘em on, get ‘em over and get ‘em in,” and predictably, his overall baseball doctrine emphasizes pitching.

“Pitching is big at any level of the game,” he said. “If you got five or six quality pitchers, you’re gonna go pretty far no matter (what you do) hitting-wise. Hitting’s really important, but pitching is really the base of the game.”

Thompson takes over a program coached by his father, Terry, who coached the Eagles the past three years. Fletcher said Terry Thompson “wanted to step aside because he’s got a daughter (Becca) and she plays softball and he wanted to spend more time watching her games than coaching his.”

Matt Thompson said following his dad “is gonna help me out more than anything, because he kind of knows all the ins and outs of it and all the paperwork stuff and the behind-the-scenes stuff that you don’t really ever think about, and he’s been a really big help to me so far.”

Matt Thompson served as an assistant on Terry’s staff last season. He listed East Carter graduate Ryan Knipp, and Fairview graduates Alvin “Chip” Bailey and Brett Cooksey as his assistants.

Fairview has the unfortunate lot of trying to compete with Ashland and Boyd County in the 64th District. The Eagles have never won a district title since moving there in 2006 and have only qualified for the 16th Region Tournament once during that time, in 2009.

But because Fairview took some lumps and gained experience last spring, Thompson feels good about the Eagles’ chances of making progress this season.

“We’ve got a lot of good young guys that just came up out of middle school ball,” he said. “We lost seven seniors the year before, so a lot of guys got a lot of experience last year, so that’s gonna be developed more this year.

“So I think we’re gonna be pretty good. We should be.”

The Eagles are slated to open their 2014 schedule on March 18 when Elliott County comes to Westwood.

ZACK KLEMME can be reached at zklemme@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2658.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014

  • 0716fbpractice0105.jpg Four-down territory: Making summer football practice pit stops

    The popular Monday night catchphrase filled my room on Tuesday morning as my new alarm sounded off at 7 a.m.

    July 16, 2014 5 Photos