TOP10 2004 HEADLINES
by TONY McGUIRE
Hazard Bulldogs win All "A"
1The Hazard Bulldogs started the 2003-2004 boys' basketball season on top of the world. The Bulldogs kicked off the season with the Defenders of the Station title, from there they captured the WYMT Mountain Classic crown, and then used the momentum to bring home the trophy from the prestigious All "A" Classic tournament in Richmond.
Hazard started the quest for their first All "A" boys title (the girls have two) with Todd County. This proved to be the only easy game the Bulldogs would have. In the quarter finals Hazard squeaked past Caverna 55-52 to move into the semifinals where they held off Walton-Verona 49-41. Bishop-Brossaart would give the Bulldogs a tough game in the finals, but in the end Hazard would be victorious with the 43-38 win.
2 The Hazard Bulldogs' baseball team continued their winning ways last year, winning the district and region, and then moving into the semi-state where they eventually lost to Johnson Central. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 30-8 season, and along the way set many records. They were only the second Hazard team to win 30 games, the seniors won an amazing 96 games, and they set a state record for runs scored in a seasoPerry Girls record "5-Peat": The term "3-Peat" was coined to describe the pinnacle of success in the sporting world, thus it goes without saying, the achievement of a "5-Peat" is nothing short of a miracle. 2004 was the year that the Perry County Central Lady Commodores achieved "Dynasty" status in 14th region basketball as they won their fifth straight title.
The improbable run started with a "buzzer beater" by Delores Jenkins in Knott County, and reached "five" with a come from behind win in the John C. Combs Arena. Over the year's the Lady Commodores have always been at the top of the region, but have seldom been picked to win it all. But, year after year, that's what Randy Napier and his Lady Commodores do, win it all.
Al Holland Jr. signs with Wake Forest
3 Few players from Eastern Kentucky get the opportunity to play at the Division I level. Last year, Perry County Central's Al Holland Jr. sign to play football with the Wake Forest Demon Deacon of the ACC. The 6' 3" Holland was recruited by many schools at all levels for his strong and accurate arm, his scrambling ability, and his ability to take a hard hit.
While at Perry Central, Holland passed for 7,145 yards, ran for 2,951 yards, and in his senior year alone he accounted for 32 touchdowns. Along the way he racked up many honors including Region and District Player of the Year, All State Courier Journal team. All District team, and numerous MVP awards.
Sizemore and Perry sign with EKU
4 Last year, Hazard's Steve Sizemore and Perry Central's Clint Perry signed to play football at Eastern Kentucky University. Eastern is a Division II A school that has won several national championships, and is known for putting several players in the NFL.
In his senior year at Hazard, Sizemore passed for 3,300 yards with 35 TDs (with only 7 interceptions). On defense, Sizemore accounted for 58 tackles and had 5 interceptions. He was a 2003 Mr. Football candidate, was Honorable Mention All State, and MVP of the District.
As a senior at Perry County Central, Perry rushed for 951 yards on only 111 carries. Perry scored 11 touchdowns (1 every 10 touches) for the Commodores. On defense he had 79 tackles and had 1 interception. Perry also averaged 8.3 yards per carry for his career.
Robinson sweeps county tourney
5Not since 1972 had the Robinson Bluejays hoisted the County championship trophy. Last year, not only did the Bluejays bring home the County Championship, they brought home the 6th grade title as well.
Going into the tournament, few had the Bluejays slated to win the tournament. Robinson, however, was able to overcome the odds and placed the championship trophy in their trophy case. The 6th grade team on the other hand came into the tournament with a 20-1 record and was a favorite to take home the hardware.
6For all too long now, Buckhorn sports have been on the back burner, but 2004 has put the Wildcats back on the front burner. The Wildcats made quite a bit of noise in the boys grade school tournament, making it to the finals of the 6th grade tournament, and the semifinals of the 8th grade tournament. The girls made an excellent showing in the County Tournament, going all the way to the final game. Both boys and girls cross country teams advanced to the state tournament in 2004. The boys' high school basketball team took Leslie County to the wire in last year's district tournament, and they have picked up right where they left off this season. The dedication and hard work of everyone at Buckhorn has paid off, and should produce a successful 2005.
Cameron Bailey wins 4th of July Tournament
7 The golf community (yes, we have a golf community) was shocked when young Cameron Bailey won the 4th of July golf tournament at the Hazard County Club. Bailey was able to overcome a slow start in the second round to tie veteran and local golf legend William Tackett late.
Tackett had overcome a five shot deficit himself to take the lead on the final hole. A great putt by Bailey on the final hole sent the match to a playoff, where he won on the fourth hole.
Perry Central boys pick up first win at state
8In their three previous trips to Rupp Arena, the Perry County Central Commodores walked away empty-handed. Last year, however, the Commodores were able to ride a strong emotional tide from the district, through the region, and into Rupp Arena. The Commodores knocked off a strong Morgan County Cougar team by the score of 66-45. Unfortunately, Perry Central's next game matched them with the eventual state champion Warren Central.
Perry girls' soccer team wins district
9 For the past four years, Perry County Central has been quietly building one of eastern Kentucky's better soccer programs. In the past the boys' team has taken much of the glory, posting several key wins and holding the state scoring lead. However, this year, the girls' team stole the thunder, capturing their first ever district title. The Lady Commodores should pick up where they left off this year as much of their team, and offense, will be returning next year.
10The Hazard Bulldogs' baseball team continued their winning ways last year, winning the district and region, and then moving into the semi-state where they eventually lost to Johnson Central. The Bulldogs finished the season with a 30-8 season, and along the way set many records. They were only the second Hazard team to win 30 games, the seniors won an amazing 96 games, and they set a state record for runs scored in a season (354).
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