Did someone say road trip?
Actually sports editor Aaron Snyder did, as he has me burning up I-64 this weekend to cover three different season openers.
On Thursday, I was in the press box at Jayne Stadium to see Morehead State’s opener against Pikeville. The Eagles are starting their first season under the helm of Rob Tenyer.
Tonight, I will travel east as I take in Fairview’s season opener against East Carter in Grayson. The Eagles are looking to build off of last year’s state championship game appearance.
And on Saturday, I find myself in Huntington for Marshall’s season opener against Miami (Ohio). The Thundering Herd have high expectations this season, and will look to get off to a fast start against the struggling Red Hawks of the Mid-American Conference.
On the way, I hope to experience some awesome junk food (Waffle House anyone?), some tailgaiting (hot dogs anyone?) and especially some great
Game of the week
-Raceland at Ashland, 7:30 p.m. Raceland has all the tools to leave Putnam Stadium with a win, including a punishing defense that will look to bottle up the Ashland offense.
This game also features two of the best running backs in the area in Raceland’s Daylin Beach and Ashland’s Quinton Baker.
I can see this game going two directions — a running exhibition with a lot of yards on the ground or a great defensive battle between the teams.
-Fairview’s regular season streak. Going into tonight’s game against East Carter, Fairview has won 21 straight during the regular season.
In the past three regular seasons, the Eagles have gone 29-1 with the one loss coming against a good Lexington Christian team in 2010.
The Eagles have outscored opponents 980-238 during the streak. Fairview also holds a four-game winning streak over East Carter.
-Ivan McGlone: King of the season opener. Russell’s head coach has enjoyed a lot of success in the first game of the season.
Entering his 42nd year overall as a high school football coach, McGlone has gone 27-9 in Russell season openers.
McGlone has led Russell to 12 straight season-starting wins. Russell hosts Greenup County tonight.
With McGlone as the head coach, the Red Devils have an impressive 30-5 record against the Musketeers — the last loss in the Backyard Brawl came in 2010 in the second game of the Red Devils’ season.
-A.J. Cyrus is good. This is just me gloating, but I told the rest of The Independent staff that Lawrence County will be ready to show off in the first game of the season.
To go along with Cyrus’ 165 yards rushing against Boyd County, the dynamic quarterback threw for 134 yards as well. Look for Cyrus to have another big game as the Bulldogs travel to Rowan County tonight.
Into the airwaves
This week’s radio coverage:
Raceland at Ashland (WBVB 97.1-FM); Boyd County at Mason County (wlgcradio.com); Greenup County at Russell (WLGC 105.7-FM); Fairview at East Carter (wlgcradio.com); Holy Trinity at Johnson Central (98.9 WSIP-FM); Lawrence County at Rowan County (WZAQ 92.3-FM, WMOR 106.1-FM); West Carter at Bath County (99.7 WUGO-FM); Wheelersburg at Ironton (WIRO 1230 AM).
Watch a live broadcast: Russell-Greenup County will be streamed at greenupbeacon.com. Click on “live streaming & archives.”
Worried about me on my road trip? You can check up on me by following @KHobstetter on Twitter. You can also follow @DindependentQB for all your weekly high school sports news and score updates. He will also be giving me bad directions.
KYLE HOBSTETTER can be reached at email@example.com or (606) 326-2658.
Did someone say road trip?
- Local Sports
Panthers pound Ashland for repeat trip to Rupp (with video)
The Fleming County Panthers waited nearly an hour to ascend the ladders set up under the goals at Ellis T. Johnson Arena on Tuesday night.
To the victor belongs the spoils, which traditionally includes the nets after winning a tournament title. But Fleming County milled around on Morehead State’s floor taking pictures and soaking in the atmosphere after handling Ashland 82-59 in the 16th Region Tournament final.
Snipping the twine was almost an afterthought. In fact, except for a minute or so of celebration with their student section immediately following the final buzzer, the Panthers didn’t really even seem all that excited.
They expected to be here, and they were all business after earning back-to-back region titles and trips to Rupp Arena.
AARON SNYDER: Truth or Dare unkind to ’Cats
Ashland was left feeling like the shy kid after an intense game of Truth or Dare.
Truth: Fleming County outrebounded Ashland, 39-24, after Ashland outdueled Greenup County by 10 the night before.
'Relaxed' Steward earns MVP award
Both Fleming County coach Mark Starns and stellar senior Troy Steward attributed his significant strides this season to aggressiveness.
Playing a part, too, in Steward earning the 16th Region Tournament Most Valuable Player award was the lack of nerves, which were nearly overwhelming at times a year ago.
Central's 15th Region reign continues
Once was good.
Twice was nice.
Three was sweet for the Johnson Central Eagles.
Senior Slade McPeek scored 22 points and earned most valuable player honors Tuesday night as Johnson Central rolled past Shelby Valley, 81-56, for its third straight 15th Region championship at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
- Fleming goes for two: Panthers beat Ashland for 16th Region repeat Fleming County pulled away early and never looked back as the Panthers pounced on Ashland, winning 82-59 in the 16th Region championship game on Tuesday in Morehead. Fleming County will face Scott County in the Sweet Sixteen next Wednesday at Rupp Arena.
VIDEO: 16th Region semifinals highlights
Fleming County defeated Lewis County, 66-58, and Ashland beat Greenup County, 81-61, on Monday night at Morehead State University to set up tonight's championship matchup. Tipoff is set for 7.
Ashland cruises past Greenup to 16th Region championship game
Tyler Stewart is known for his unrelenting hustle as one of Ashland’s glue guys.
When the senior guard can pitch in some offense too, as he did Monday in the 16th Region Tournament semifinals, that’s just one more problem for Tomcats opponents.
Stewart scored 20 points, senior Steven Friley posted a double-double with 21 points and 14 rebounds, and Ashland outscored Greenup County 21-9 in the third quarter to break open what was a seven-point game at halftime and cruise past the Musketeers, 81-61.
Fleming battles back to 16th Region final
A healthy Wilder Williams this season has given Fleming County a whole new dimension.
Prior to his sophomore year, Williams sustained a football injury that resulted in three ankle surgeries and limited him to bench duty last season while the Panthers made their run to the 16th Region championship.
A physical 6-foot-3 player, Williams is making his presence felt around the basket as Fleming County looks to return to the Sweet Sixteen.
AARON SNYDER: Will the next hero be unmasked?
Who will the bat signal shine for tonight?
Or, should I say, the Cat signal?
In the third installment of a trilogy that might rival the Batman three-pack of “Batman Begins,” “The Dark Knight” and “The Dark Knight Rises,” Fleming County and Ashland will battle in a matchup that has produced a classic clash in each of the last two 16th Region Tournaments.
If the first two collectively served as a gradual progressions to tonight’s scene, the climax could be off the charts.
Corey Gregg was Ashland’s superhero in 2012, when the senior confidently fired a perfect 3-point shot from the right corner. The triple thrust the Tomcats and Panthers into overtime, from which Ashland emerged 79-73 in a first-round game.
Central wins, Lawrence falls in 15th
The biggest concern for Lawrence County coach Josh Cook was staying out of foul trouble.
His team stayed in it all night, and it cost them a spot in the 15th Region title game.
Shelby Valley senior Tyler Carr led four players in double figures with 19 points as the Wildcats knocked off Lawrence County, 72-60, in the semifinals of the 15th Region Tournament at the East Kentucky Expo Center.
“This one hurts,” said Cook. “We’ll learn from this, and I have no doubt that our kids will get back here and finish the job.”
- More Local Sports Headlines
- Panthers pound Ashland for repeat trip to Rupp (with video)