Here’s a bit of high school trivia. Who was the only boys’ team to win regional championships in all three major sports this season? Owensboro Catholic?, Elizabethtown? Perry Central? Pikeville?
No the aces did not reach the “Sweet 16” in basketball, the Panthers lost to Owensboro Catholic in the football regional finals, Perry Central didn’t make it to the football finals and Pikeville fail to make it to the state basketball tournament. It was the Corbin Redhounds!
And to take that even farther all three teams had a key player for the Redhounds…junior Josh Ware. The larger question still looms with the past. Is he the only Redhound to ever play on a team that won all three regional titles in the same season. “Surely not,” says Ware.
“What an honor to be on all three championship teams,” he said Monday afternoon. “It’s surprising. I never thought all three teams would go as far as we did. We were down in numbers and it was suppose to be our bad year. We did great this year.”
“I think being close friends. I lot of the guys grew up together and adapted. We grew as a family, stuck together and we all believed in one another,” said Ware of the Corbin success. “Maybe some other teams around the region and state didn’t believe in us.”
“The key to the football season was to be able to not only run the football but to be able to pass the football,” said Ware, who rushed the pigskin for 1300 yards and 26 touchdowns.
“We had a great line and great players around the football,” said Ware. “We put that all together by the end of the season.”
Ware wasn’t a starter on the 13th region championship basketball team but that was the least of his worries. “I never started a basketball game but I always got in the game. I love starting, but there were five guys that were better than me if not more. It didn’t bother me because I got played when I needed to be on the floor.”
“I came into the game and gave it my all when coach felt like he needed me,” said Ware. “I was just happy to be able to contribute.”
“Again like football, we were all close and like one big family,” said Ware. “We weren’t selfish as a team and we believed in each other. We were good at using the five men on the floor. Each person had a role and became crucial down the stretch.”
“I think we were due for a hot spoil and lucky it came at the end of the season like that,” added Ware. “But it just wasn’t luck, we had some great talent like Noble, Parks, Tate and Brad.”
A starter in the outfield for the last several seasons, Ware has teamed up with Kenny Kysar and others to give Corbin a solid defense against the long ball.
“I was a little worried at the beginning of the season because we didn’t have a lot of pitching but that really developed as the year went on,” said Ware. “Everything just came together and we have had a great streak here at the end.”
“I think our defense out in the field has been a key factor,” Ware said.
His favorite sport? “That’s tough, I like them all but I would probably say football, but my best would have to be baseball,” he said.
“I feel different when I am playing football,” said Ware. “I feel pumped and free.”
“I like the fact that the game of baseball has no time,” he said. “There’s not a lot of pressure in the game itself. I put a lot of pressure on myself when I am at the plate because I don’t want to do bad.”
It’s no secret that Ware will be ending his high school career at Corbin once baseball ends. He will be moving with his family to Chattanooga, Tennessee. “I will miss the people here most, they have been great. I love every person here in Corbin. They have been wonderful to my family and me,” he said. “It’s going to be hard without them.”
Ware says moving on is not about going to another school, “it’s about growing closer to my family. My grandmother and my sister are real close, and we will be close now,” said Ware.
“It’s a college prep school, so it will give me a chance to get ahead on college,” he added.
Ware has received letters from college all over the south, but it might surprise a few people when he decides which route to go…football or baseball.
He has heard from Louisville, Cincinnati and EKU and some Ivy League schools in football while he has received letters from UK and EKU for baseball.
If he had to make a decision today which way would Ware go? “I would probably go baseball. I would rather play baseball in college but we’ll have to wait and see.”
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