Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

December 2, 2013

Season of surprises for Salyers

Russell sophomore Player of the Year

ASHLAND — Forgive Russell sophomore Baylee Salyers for feeling a bit overwhelmed — with joy.

Tickled by earning Player of the Year honors this summer in the Eastern Kentucky Junior Golf Association’s Girls Grade 10-12 division, Salyers is also the area high school Player of the Year.

She was the top vote-getter by area coaches, edging out Boyd County eighth-grader McKinzie Walters.

“It was definitely a year of improvement,” Salyers said recently after joining other All-Area selections for the team photo at Diamond Links Golf Course. “I did a lot I didn’t think I would be able to do. I surprised myself a lot. It’s been an amazing season.”

Especially at the end. She shot a first-round 80 at Bowling Green Country Club to become the only the area girl to advance to the second round of the State Tournament. The cut was 83.

“I loved the course,” Salyers said. “The greens were so smooth, and fast. Honestly, I didn’t expect to make it to the state, let alone make the cut for the second day.”

 As a result, Salyers took a pressure-free approach into her first State Tournament.

“I wanted to be loose, play golf and put into practice what I had been practicing all year,” she said. “If it’s not fun, it’s not worth it.”

Salyers finished with a two-day total of 172 to tie for 46th.

“The second day, nerves got to me, but I can’t complain,” she said. “I had a great experience. I really hope to make it back next year.”

Salyers put in the practice time and raised her level of play this season to take over the No. 1 role for Russell. She was one of four individual state qualifiers from Region 11, winning a playoff for the final spot.

Walters captured the regional title with an 89 at Old Silo Golf Club in Mount Sterling. The middle-schooler was 27th on the All-State points list this season with 27, including invitational victories at Sandy Creek and Hidden Cove during the high school season. She also posted a high finish in Powell County’s large tournament.

Salyers said she owes much to her “support team” consisting of her parents, grandparents, Russell coach Angie Boyd and Lexington-based swing coach Larry Ward.

“I don’t know what I would do without the whole team,” Salyers said. “I feel blessed. I wouldn’t trade them for any in the world.” 

Like Salyers, 2013 All-Area Coach of the Year Bill Brock of Rowan County is a firm believer that improvement only comes with commitment.

Rowan County played in nine 18-hole tournaments during the regular season.

“We were out competing every weekend,” Brock said. “You don’t get better without doing that. You have to challenge them.”

The Lady Vikings outdueled Greenup County by one shot for the regional championship — their first in 23 years.

“We kind of established that as our goal,” said Brock, whose lineup included three seniors and two sophomores. “Our expectation was to go to state. Winning the region, I’m tickled to death to accomplish that.”

Rowan County’s third-year coach received his first All-Area Coach of the Year honor.

“I appreciate that the other coaches realize what we are doing,” he said. “There must be a little respect there.”

Taylor Kendrick, part of the Lady Vikings’ sophomore trio, won a playoff to finish second individually in the regional tournament.

Rowan County led the All-Area three team with three selections. Kendrick was joined by senior teammates Allison Fletcher and Emma Marriner.

Teams with two players chosen included: Boyd County (Walters and Tori Sager); Russell (Salyers and Jessica Ison); Greenup County (Madison Crump and Megan Mulkey); and Johnson Central (Zoee Crum and Rachelle Fairchild). Crum, a seventh-grader, was the Region 10 champion and ranked 32nd on the state points list.

Midway College signee Amber Greene of Fairview put together another solid season despite battling Crohn’s Disease. West Carter’s Kendra Adkins and Paintsville’s Katherine Dale were also selected.

ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at rstanley@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2671.  



Text Only
Local Sports
  • Proposed plan a touchdown for Ashland, Central

    They’ll have to wait another year, but some major changes are on the horizon.

    April 15, 2014

  • Martin, Cannoy put pop on top of Boyd 12-2 win

    Boyd County’s softball bats are booming of late.

    April 14, 2014

  • Stock spiking for Raceland softball

    Raceland took a major step in trying to shift the balance of power in 63rd District softball.

    April 14, 2014

  • 0415eastSB0110.jpg Still chasing the Kittens

    East Carter entered Monday’s softball showdown with Ashland looking to show it’s a credible threat to the Kittens’ recent domination of the 16th Region.

    April 14, 2014 5 Photos

  • Local Sports in Brief: Bush, Porter Wendy's Heisman finalists

    Rose Hill Christian seniors David Bush and Myriah Porter have been named state finalists for the Wendy’s High School Heisman Award.

    April 14, 2014

  • Paintsville tops Magoffin, 12-0

    Kash Daniel and Spencer Taylor combined to toss a one-hitter as Paintsville pounded Magoffin County, 12-0, on Monday night in the first of a two-game series between 57th District foes.

    April 14, 2014

  • AARON SNYDER: Kittens on prowl for SS

    The Monday Morning Shortstop didn't have to dodge any actual darts at Ashland Softball Complex, although there may be an enlarged picture of him riddled with holes somewhere close by.
    If the piercing looks thrown my way weren't enough to sway me, the Kittens did more than enough on the field the past two weeks to distance themselves from a No. 5 ranking in northeastern Kentucky.

    April 13, 2014

  • 0414bcclassic0539.jpg Raceland girls, Boyd boys win track Classic

    As Boyd County first-year track and field coach Chris Holbrook stood on the infield and watched a member of Raceland’s 4-by-400-meter relay team circle the track in the final girls’ event of Saturday’s Boyd County Classic, he commented aloud to no one in particular, “She’s not showing any signs of running out of gas.”
    The Lady Rams had just enough in the tank to fend off the Lady Lions’ late charge and lock down their third victory of the young season, edging host Boyd County by six points, 171-165.
    On the boys’ side, Boyd County cruised, beating second-place Rowan County 175-114. A Lions club that finished 10th in last spring’s Class 2A, Region 6 meet has won all three meets it’s participated in this season.

    April 13, 2014 4 Photos

  • Starns, Steward stellar in '13-14

    After compiling a 40-2 record against 16th Region opponents over the last two seasons, Fleming County left the rest of the area thoroughly convinced of its prowess on the basketball court.

    April 13, 2014

  • Thunder on a sunny day

    Greenup County did its best to pitch to Ashland slugger McKenzie Vanover in her first three trips to the plate Saturday afternoon.
    It didn’t work out so well.

    April 13, 2014