The following From the Sidelines column appeared in the June 27, 2018 print edition of the News Journal…
I just recently completed my fifth full school year as a sports reporter for the News Journal. That realization got me reflecting back on all of the history-making events that I’ve covered since 2013. In the grand scheme of things that hasn’t been that long ago, but boy, we sure have experienced a lot in that amount of time, haven’t we?
Just for fun, I decided to go back in our archives and look through all of my end-of-the-year top stories lists in order to get a full picture of all the amazing accomplishments that I have been lucky enough to personally witness. There were a whole lot of district, region, state and even a few national championship victories there, so I decided to take it a step further.
Of course, I’ve had my opinions over the years about which stories ranked #1, but I thought I’d use social media to allow you, the readers, to weigh in as well.
Each day last week I took a top 5 list and typed it into a public Facebook post. 2013 was posted on Monday, 2014 on Tuesday, 2015 was last Wednesday and so on. I asked people to vote on which story they felt was the biggest of that particular year. I am happy to say that I received quite a bit of feedback, and on only two-out-of-five occasions did the readers’ votes line up with my own for which story was the top one for that year. As it turns out, we agreed on the years 2014 and 2015, but for 2013, 2016 and 2017 it was my #2 choices that received the most votes.
Let’s revisit each list, and for each year I will type the winner of the reader votes in bold and italics. I should mention that all but two of the 25 stories mentioned here received at least one vote. I won’t say which two those were, but I will say that they both appeared on lists where the top stories received an overwhelming majority of votes.
Anyway, here are the individual lists…
1. University of the Cumberlands football goes undefeated on their way to an appearance in the NAIA national championship game
2. Williamsburg football team’s run to the Class A state championship game
3. Corbin Lady Hounds basketball team wins region championship
4. The passing of legendary Redhound Calvin Bird
5. Whitley County volleyball wins region
1. Williamsburg football team goes back to Class A state finals
2. Lady Hounds basketball repeats as region champs
3. Corbin Middle School football team goes undefeated to win state championship
4. CHS boys soccer wins third consecutive region title
5. CHS volleyball wins third region title of the past four years
1. Williamsburg boys basketball team wins region championship
2. Corbin football defeats Bell County for region title
3. CHS girls soccer wins region
4. Williamsburg freshman Selena Mattingly wins Class A cross country state championship
5. The return of Corbin versus Whitley County in football
1. Corbin football’s run to the state championship semifinals
2. CHS cheer team wins national title
3. Selena Mattingly wins two state track titles
4. Whitley County volleyball wins region
5. CHS girls soccer repeats as region champs
1. Corbin football’s run to the Class 3A state championship game
2. Selena Mattingly wins track and cross country state titles
3. Corbin Middle School 8th and 7th grade football teams win state
4. CHS boys and girls soccer teams win region and advance to Elite 8
5. Chris Tan makes Sweet 16 while Ellie Jane Carloftis/Caroline Reedy advance to quarterfinals in state tennis tourneys
Notice this vote only includes the years 2013-2017. Of course, 2018 isn’t over yet, but with regional All “A” championships in basketball, baseball and softball, another national cheer championship, and appearances by Corbin in both the boys basketball and baseball Sweet 16 tournaments, well, let’s just say that I should have plenty of stories to choose from when it comes time to compile my next top 5 list later this year.
So, how are we going to determine the overall top sports story in that five-year span? Well, I’m switching over to Twitter for the final vote, so if you are a member of the Twitter-verse be sure to follow us (@cwnewsjournal) and make your voice heard!
Since Twitter only allows for a total of four items per poll, I combined the 2013 and 2014 top stories as “Williamburg football in back-to-back state finals.” That, along with the Yellow Jackets basketball team in the Sweet 16, Corbin cheer’s first national championship victory and Lady Jacket runner Selena Mattingly adding two more state titles to her trophy case are available NOW for you to vote on.
The poll will be up until Sunday, so again, if you don’t already follow us on Twitter, be sure to do so now and vote. Retweet and tell a friend while you’re at it. I’d like to see this thing get as many votes as possible. Thanks to everyone for their participation, and come back next week to find out which story will be the winner!