I received an Email from David Selvy last week identifying the Barbourville Rosenwald Fighting Tigers as my mystery team week before last. David writes about an opposing player he always respected the Tigers and their big center 6-7 William Smith. David also alluded to the talent of the Tigers cheerleading squad by saying they were so good they even inspired his play.
David was a junior on the outstanding ’58-59 Redhounds team, which David refers to as Jerry Smith’s team. David repeated what he had told me before, that Jerry Smith was the best player in the state that season. David also said had Smith not been sick in regional play that the ‘Hounds would possibly have gone on to a state championship.
This year’s editions of the Redhounds are having ups and downs, as a young team will. Josh Crawford, the sensational Redhound sophomore is suffering from knee problems and probably could use some rest, but this is a very difficult thing for such a young team to lose its leader for any extended period of time. Josh is very mature and continues to play through the pain.
The 13th region is very tough this year and the South Laurel Cardinals have three very talented individuals on their side. I still feel, however, that Bell County is the team to beat in regional play. The Whitaker brothers are very good and their supporting cast is better than South Laurel’s. The Corbin Redhounds are legitimate contenders as well, but they must have the little things such as ball security and hitting their free throws go well for them. Josh Crawford must be healthy and they must continue to get the rebounding, defense and instant offense from Madison Johnson along with the aggressive play of Josh Smith, the instant offense of Deke Barley and the leadership from Josh Hamlin and Clayton Sewell. The fearless play of freshmen Isaac Wilson and Aaron Manns. Devin Rogers, Rob Madon and Clint Cashen are all contributing to what could be the deepest team in the region. The Redhounds certainly will be a factor in who comes out of the 13th region.
As I often do, I like to think back to highlights in Redhound history in all sports.
September of 1923 – Coach H.B. McGregor led his young group of Redhounds into their very first game on the gridiron against Pineville. Coach McGregor’s game plan did not work too well and the Redhounds (known then as the Railsplitters) were defeated 143-0. William Alford Cadle died in that first game.
October of 1931 – The Redhound football team travels to Dayton, Ohio to take on Dayton Stivers High School who had won the mythical national high school championship the year before. Corbin defeated Stivers High, 12-6. Over the years questions have arisen over the eligibility of some of the Redhound players but to my knowledge the win is still valid and stands as one of the biggest wins in Corbin football history.
March of 1936 – The Redhounds capture their only state basketball championship with a 24-18 win over Nebo.
Over the years the Redhound football program has gone against some outstanding coaches Ed Miracle at Lynch High School, Bill Adams of Pineville High School, Tom Stapleton of Middlesboro High School, Tom Harper of Louisville Manual to Homer Rice of Highlands and Bill Shannon of Dixie Heights. My question to you, who was the best?
Homer Rice went on to coach Georgia Tech and later coached in the NFL, I personally had a lot of respect for Bill Adams and Tom “Chalk” Stapleton, as they were always very formidable opponents for the Redhounds.
I was very disappointed in the Kentucky Wildcats loss to Vanderbilt over the weekend. Vandy just killed the Wildcats with three pointers and went around the defenders. I expect the road to get tough with Georgia, but difficulties began prematurely with the Commodores. I still feel the ‘Cats will have a very good year overall, as Tubby seems to be ironing out the wrinkles.
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