Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

November 27, 2012

Excitement keeps building in Westwood’s football family

WESTWOOD — There has been a perputual buzz in the Westwood community since Friday night.

Three days after Fairview defeated Hazard 40-6 in the Class A state semifinals, excitement is still in the air, said Fairview Superintendent Bill Musick.

“Let’s be honest, we have our problems like everybody else,” he said. “The economy is not great for them, but this is a boost in the spirits. It took them to another level.”

Former players and colleagues have stopped by or called to express congratulations, said Fairview Principal Garry McPeek, who is also an assistant coach and the school’s athletic director. “It has been electric around here,” he said.

Westwood was rocking on Friday night when the Eagles, playing in the first semifinal in school history, emphatically punched their ticket to the state championship game. Undefeated Fairview plays Mayfield at noon (EST) on the Western Kentucky University campus in Bowling Green.

School has already been canceled for Friday, Musick said.

They might as well turn out the lights in Westwood, too.

“I’m sure we’ll have a pretty large contingent of fans down there,” Musick said. “We had a great atmosphere (on Friday). I’m so proud of the whole bunch, how they came together. It’s something positive.”

Musick was a sophomore at Fairview High School in 1975 when the Eagles won the 16th Region basketball championship. He remembers the hoopla that went along with advancing to the Boys State Tournament.

“It is a lot like that,” he said. “There might be even more buzz over this though.”

But, he said, it was also business as usual.

“Our kids came in this morning at 8, and at 8:05 the bell rang and they went to class,” he said. “They went to class to be productive today. That kind of impressed me.”

Musick said the teachers may be just as excited as the students since they get an extra day off this week.

“I’m not much on canceling school,” he said. “They know that.”

Signs along Main Street in Westwood leading to the school proclaim the pride the community has in Fairview’s achievements. The Eagles are attempting to become the first undefeated state champion in northeastern Kentucky history since the Kentucky High School Athletic Association instituted a playoff system in 1959.

Three Ashland champions (1967, 1975 and 1990) suffered one loss apiece. Russell’s state championship teams in 1978 and 2005 also had losses during the regular season.

The winning suits Fairview superfan Becki Musick just fine. The superintendent’s wife may be the school’s biggest cheerleader. She never sat down during the game with Hazard.

“Think I don’t like to lose? They haven’t seen anything like her,” Bill Musick said. “I won’t sit with her at ballgames. She never says anything negative about the refs or the other team. She just cheers for our team.”

Becki Abbott Musick is a former Fairview High School cheerleader. She graduated in 1978.

“Not to brag about my own wife, but she was probably the best (cheerleader) that ever came out of here,” he said. “She could do it all.”

Bill Musick hopes his wife — and the rest of Westwood — has something to cheer about on Friday afternoon.

“We’ve got a shot,” he said. “That’s all you can ask.”

MARK MAYNARD can be reached at mmaynard@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2648.

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