Last Saturday we began a new year, 2005. It makes you wonder where the last 12 months went and how fast they flew by,
We covered some exciting sporting events in the year 2004. I wanted to take you back with what I considered the top ten stories of the year. Some were on the basketball court, some were on the football field and even some were on the diamond. The top ten covered all the schools and even Cumberland College.
Whitley County has a variety of athletes that serve up some of the most exciting games I have watched in my 30 years of covering high school sports.
Here are those top ten stories and even a couple I put in a high honorable mention category.
No.1: The Redhounds 34-33 loss to Owensboro Catholic in the Class AA playoffs. Some thought the Redhounds might reach the state semifinals but when the season started did anyone really think they would be so close to the carpet in Louisville.
The loss to the Aces was no doubt one of the best high school games of the season. The Redhounds chased the Aces and their star quarterback all over the field. Corbin came from behind to tie the game and the decision to go for two was made by coach Steve Jewell and half the Corbin crowd.
Corbin missed the extra point and the team walked off the field, sad but heads up after playing a terrific ballgame.
No. 2: Who would have thought the Whitley County Lady Colonels would win their fourth district title in a row? After a shocking win over Corbin in the first-round, the Lady Colonels came from a halftime deficit to beat Knox Central, 34-28.
With the championship win, they became only the second team in 50th District history to win four in a row. Knox Central had accomplished that feat back in the early 90s.
No. 3: After losing its opening Mid-South Conference game at Pikeville and blowing a lead in the second half at Lambuth, Cumberland College still went into the season finale with a chance at the NAIA playoffs. The Patriots met the power of the Mid-South Conference in Georgetown College. A win virtually assured the Patriots a spot in the playoffs.
Fighting to stay alive, the Patriots tied the game 21-21 with just seconds to go but a heart-breaking kickoff return saw the Tigers get a 27-21 win with no time left on the clock. Despite the loss, the Patriots finished one spot shy of making the playoffs, 17th.
No. 4: The two teams scored 78 points. It was the first time since 1965 that little Williamsburg High School had knocked off Class AA power, Corbin in football. The Yellow Jackets did it behind the play of senior quarterback Andy Greer, who would later be named the Player of the Year in the area.
However, it would be a sophomore, Alex Day, who came up with a hero’s catch as he interecepted a Clint Cashen pass in the final seconds as Williamsburg High School held off Corbin, 40-38.
No. 5: Cumberland College junior Toccara Montgomery put the Williamsburg school on the Olympic map when she won her way into the 2004 Olympic Games by becoming one of the first women to participate in Women’s Wrestling. Montgomery not only was to participate but was considered a favorite for the gold medal.
However, Montgomery drew the toughest foe of them all in the first-round and lost to the eventual gold medalist.
No. 6: They were undefeated heading into football country, PIkeville High School. The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets, 12-0 lost to the Pikeville High School Panthers in overtime as their season came to an end, 29-22 in overtime. The Yellow Jackets led until the final minutes as Pikeville behind its senior, Robert Shurtliff, came back to steal the victory. Had the game been at Williamsburg, no telling how far the Yellow Jackets could have gone because they would have met the Beechwood Tigers at home the following week.
No. 7: He finished his career at Morehead State University. However, Corbin’s Zac Prewitt wasn’t ready to turn in the cleats and football uniform. He tried out for the Kentucky Horsemen and made the team. A midseason injury kept Prewitt from playing in the national indoor playoffs as the Kentucky Horsemen went on to win the national title.
No. 8: Junior guard Travis Reeves had one of his banner games against the Whitley County Colonels back on February 18. It would be one of the best high school basketball games in the area last year. Whitley County held off the Wildcats, 83-82.
Reeves, one of the highly touted guards in the county, scored 32 points as his Lynn Camp team nearly pulled the biggest upset of the seaon in coach Anthony Pennington’s first year with the ‘Cats.
No. 9: The Cumberland College basketball and football teams were not the only ones who enjoyed an incredible season. Coach Brad Shelton’s baseball Patriots reached milestones never thought possible for the baseball program.
Led by senior pitcher J.J. Jackson and a host of others, the Patriots reached the number three ranking in the nation and picked up the most wins ever (45) in school history. Cumberland then had a disappointing outing in the Region 11 NAIA playoffs where they lost two straight and returned home.
However, the stage is set for another run to the nationals for Shelton and the Cumberland College Patriots.
No. 10: The basketball Patriots enjoyed a 15-game winning streak to start the 2003-04 season. That streak ended on the road at Brescia College in Owensboro, 60-50.
However, the great beginning allowed Cumberland to enjoy a lofty number five rating in the nation. They won 19 of their first 20 games and even took a narrow 58-56 win over Georgetown College at the O Wayne Rollins Center. The Patriots finished the season 23-8 before falling to the Georgetown College Tigers in the conference tournament.
Honorable Mentions: Corbin’s come from behind victory over the South Laurel Cardinals on the basketball court last year. The dominance of the Corbin High School Tennis teams that continue to win the region and the honors for Whitley County baseball player, Jeremy Taylor and softball player, Samantha Hundley. The two juniors represented their school and district in the annual East-West All-Star Games.
Top 10 Male Athletes
1. Jermey Taylor
2. Tyler Ayers
3. Brad Lawson
4. Andy Greer
5. Will Hill
6. Jordan Noble
7. J. J. Jackson
8. Jimmy Chaffin
9. Clint Cashen
10. Wes Lanham
Top 10 Female Athletes
1. Toccara Montgomery
2. Katie Akins
3. Jennifer Shelley
4. Mikka Rogers
5. Samantha Hundley
6. Kayla Haynes
7. Jennifer Nagy
8. Amanda Smith
9. Kati Frazier
10. Nicole Bryant