Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

January 2, 2014

Russell honors Meredith in classic

RUSSELL — Russell is hosting the inaugural Marvin Meredith Classic in the gym that bears the late coach’s name on Saturday.

Meredith died in July at age 85. The Red Devils won 677 games and three region championships during his 32-season stint as the boys’ basketball coach.

“He was very well-respected, not only in coaching basketball but in the political field,” current Russell coach Merle Kidwell said Wednesday of Meredith, who also served as a Boyd County commissioner. “You could never get anybody to say a bad word about coach, and our gym’s named after him, and we thought this past summer this would be another way to honor him.

“When you talk about local coaching legends you have to include him (and) coach Ivan McGlone here at Russell, and we just thought it would be appropriate and fitting to name the classic after him, and hopefully this will be something we can have for years to come and bring in some good teams for local fans to see.”

Saturday’s festivities kick off with Russell freshman and junior varsity games at 2 and 4 p.m., respectively, and culminate with a varsity doubleheader matching Ashland and Scott at 6 p.m. and the Red Devils and Wheelersburg at 8.

Kidwell is hoping to expand the event into “three, four games” in the future, but for now, he’s satisfied with the field the classic has drawn.

The Tomcats (7-3) have established themselves among the 16th Region’s favorites entering the new year. Scott has struggled with its perennially difficult schedule to the tune of a 5-10 start, but the Eagles were 10th Region tournament runners-up last season, and the Pirates (2-3) got a late start after their football team’s run to the region championship game.

“We feel like we’ve got three quality teams coming in to play,” Kidwell said.

Russell has found the going tough through the first month-plus of the season, sitting at 4-9. The Red Devils graduated 87 percent of their scoring from last season and are waiting on senior Johnny McGuire’s broken leg to heal.

Kidwell said Russell is “hoping that in the next couple weeks” McGuire, the lone returning starter from last year’s 63rd District champions, can return.

In the meantime, the Red Devils are trying to get toughened up to attempt a similar postseason run, and their coach said they “have grown pretty well.”

“No pun, but our weakness is when we play physical teams,” Kidwell said with a laugh. “Physical teams are giving us a lot of problems, but we’ve been in every game but two or three. Ramsey Mullins and Zach Tackett have been mainstays and we expect that out of our two seniors, and we have some other young kids that stepped up in our wins.”

Kidwell noted that Wheelersburg dropped a 58-50 decision to Minford (Ohio) on Dec. 20. Seven days later, the Falcons dealt Russell an 88-52 setback.

“We know we’re going up against a quality opponent,” he said. “You try to bring in teams that you can get fans to come out and see, and I think the Ashland-Scott game with (Tomcats) coach (Buddy) Biggs and (Eagles) coach (Brad) Carr’s teams will be a good game to see, and I think our kids will be excited to play Wheelersburg.”

The event is being sponsored by Slim and Trim, A&A Porta Potty, Big Sandy Superstore, Stultz Pharmacy, Tim Horton’s and Johnson Chiropractic.

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

1
Text Only
Local Sports
  • Golf scramble will benefit Paramount Arts Center

    Paramount Woman’s Association’s seventh annual Ladies’ Golf Scramble is scheduled for Aug. 11 at Bellefonte Country Club.

    July 30, 2014

  • Kittens call on Ingram

    Somebody had to follow Dave Miller.
    Scott Ingram is pleased to be the coach to fill the vacancy for the man who built Ashland Blazer softball into a perennial state Top 25 program. The Kittens have won the 16th Region championship every year since 2009.

    July 29, 2014

  • 0729kypgaJr0034.jpg Golfers go out with an encore

    Evan Goble said he “wasn’t completely ready for a playoff” on Monday.
    That didn’t stop him from holing two pressure-packed playoff putts to win the 13-14-year-old division of the final event of the summer on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour at Bellefonte Country Club.
     

    July 29, 2014 4 Photos

  • EKC Grid-O-Rama set for Aug. 15-16

    The annual Eastern Kentucky Conference football scrimmage contests are set for Aug. 15-16 at Fleming County and Raceland.

    July 29, 2014

  • Holliday embraces high expectations

    As Marshall football prepares to return to the gridiron to begin fall practice Aug. 4, this season the program finds itself labeled something that it has not been in many years: a favorite.

    July 29, 2014

  • Mobley, Jude key for EKU

    Eastern Kentucky coach Dean Hood has revamped the Colonels’ defense in hopes of containing OVC opponents’ spread offenses.

    July 29, 2014

  • ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching

    The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.

    July 27, 2014

  • 0726fbPrac0079.jpg Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks

    As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
    You gotta work. Hard.
    And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
    “Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
    “Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”

    July 25, 2014 4 Photos

  • kenzie-breaststroke.jpg Pennington makes push for Nationals

    Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
    The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.

    July 25, 2014 1 Photo

  • Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside

    Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.

    July 24, 2014