This From the Sidelines column appeared in the June 6, 2018 print edition of the News Journal as part of special coverage of the Corbin Redhounds baseball team qualifying for the KHSAA state championship tournament…
Things were a little bit different the last time the Corbin Redhounds went to a state baseball tournament.
The year was 2005, and I had just graduated high school. The upperclassmen on this year’s CHS baseball team were probably playing tee-ball as preschoolers or kindergartners. George W. Bush would be in the White House for three more years, Carrie Underwood had just won American Idol and Star Wars: Episode III was breaking all kinds of box office records.
Also at this time, the Redhounds baseball program, led by seniors Jake Mahan, Dempsey Ballou, Travis Prewitt, Kenny Kysar, Tom Watkins, Jake McDaniel, Andrew Parks, Hobe Watkins, Brent Mozingo and Andrew Davis, was celebrating its first 13th Region championship victory since 1994. The road to get to state featured another obstacle back then, however, with teams having to survive a best-of-three series in semi-state round competition before they could progress on to the actual championship tournament.
After defeating Whitley County 10-0 to win their regional crown in 2005, the Hounds went on to host Pikeville in the semi-state. They won two straight, 3-0 and 9-1, to earn the right to play against Boyd County at Lexington’s Applebee’s Park in round one of the Elite Eight.
Boyd would end Corbin’s season in that game, winning 13-2, but the ’05 baseball Hounds will always be remembered as one of the best to ever represent the school on the diamond. Like this year’s team, they rose up and ended a long drought of no regional titles that lasted over a decade.
As for the championship that came before that in 1994, well, the world was a very different place indeed. I was about to turn eight, it was still early in the Clinton presidency and Disney’s the Lion King was about to hit theaters.
That year the Hounds were led by players such as Jody Mouser, Marcus Fox, Patrick McCowan, Jason Siler and David Parsons. They defeated Harlan 8-4 at Cawood High School in the 13th Region finals, advancing them to a sectional tournament where they picked up wins over Boyd County (19-12) and Betsy Layne (10-4) in Pikeville.
After their sectional championship victory, the ’94 Corbin team moved on to compete in the state Final Four at Kentucky Wesleyan College in Owensboro. They got past Apollo 5-4 in game one, then went up 6-0 on Pleasure Ridge Park in the first inning of the championship game. Unfortunately for Big Red Nation though, PRP would eventually come back to win the season finale by the final score of 10-8.
Same as with all athletics, Corbin High School always strives to be the best. Many, many major championships have been won during the school’s long history, and several have come during this past school year alone.
Each one is special in its own way, but these baseball titles are perhaps a little extra-special considering the fact that regional wins in that sport have proven to be somewhat elusive over the years.
Reflecting on all that has transpired over the past several months, it seems fitting that this would be the year for the Redhounds baseball team to once again break the streak of 13th Region tournament losses.
Just about every team at CHS has won some type of accolade or another, and now destiny has dictated that 2017-18 will be capped off with a trip back to the KHSAA state baseball tournament.
We went to Lexington for football state finals, basketball state quarterfinals and several other events in between. Now it’s time for one last trip north on I-75 before the book is officially closed on this school year. I hope it’s a good one! Go Hounds!
Editor’s Note: Be sure to check thenewsjournal.net late Thursday for coverage from Corbin’s round one contest in the 2018 KHSAA state tourney. Also, look in the June 6 print edition for a full tournament bracket, a 2018 season recap, more information on the Redhounds’ round one opponent and much more!