Today's Sports


    The way veteran coach Donnie Baker looks at it, the North Hardin Trojans are a lot like their coach – getting older.

    “All of those little girls are growing up. They’re a year older and a year stronger and a year more experienced,” he said. “They’re growing up, slowly but surely.”

    Sophomore Bailey Blair returns to the pitching circle after making it her full-time home last season. Baker said she developed as the season went on and continued to improve in the offseason.


    Even though Deron Bell is in his first season as the John Hardin Lady Bulldogs’ coach, he still feels the pressure is on his youthful squad.

    “I think the girls are more nervous than I am,” Bell said.

    Bell hopes to bring some stability to a program which had two coaches last season. Corey Yates started the season as coach. After Yates resigned, assistant Brittany Glascock was promoted to interim coach.


    Elizabethtown coach Matt Mardis was shocked when his Lady Panthers were picked third in the 5th Region in a preseason poll.

    After graduating pitcher and team leader Mary Beth Russell and catcher Sydney Herzog, the Lady Panthers were slated to return 8-of-10 starters from a team which went 14-19 and lost in extra innings in the region tournament semifinals. Those numbers, and positions, were thrown into flux when All-Area freshman shortstop Erin Boley decided not to return.


    Central Hardin coach Jamie Goodman has reminded the Lady Bruins championships are not won on paper. Last season was the second time in the last three years the Lady Bruins were considered to be a 5th Region Tournament contender, only to get knocked out before the final.

    Central Hardin lost to Green County in the region tournament semifinals last season and to Nelson County in the 2010 region semis.


    Following her breakthrough season last year, longtime Meade County coach Mike Harreld believes opposing teams will do anything to take junior shortstop Ashley Nikolao away from the Lady Waves.

    Nikolao is the reigning News-Enterprise Player of the Year and was voted in February as the 3rd Region Preseason Player of the Year.

    Harreld has every reason to believe teams won’t pitch to Nikolao, who he’s said is one of the best players he’s ever coached.


    Rick Thompson remembers how quiet the bus ride from Central Hardin back to Fort Knox was last season after the Lady Eagles lost to John Hardin in the 17th District Tournament quarterfinal.

    Fort Knox couldn’t hold on to a 14-6 lead and wound up losing, 17-16 in one of the wildest district tournament games in history.

    “That game last year against John Hardin was a heartbreaker,” Thompson said. “Things just fell apart at the end. We were playing well in that game and all of a sudden, the wheels fell off.”


    Aaron Howell looks back on his second season at the helm of the LaRue County Lady Hawks and wonders what happened to his team’s defense.

    The Lady Hawks committed more than 150 errors last season, finishing 14-22 and losing in the 5th Region Softball Tournament quarterfinals. After advancing to the region final in his first season, Howell was disappointed watching his team struggle last year.

    If they want to get back among the region’s best teams, Howell said the Lady Hawks must first shore up their defense.


    One seed, two seed. Red team, blue team.

    I would not pick them in a box, I would not pick them with a fox.

    My apologies to Dr. Seuss, but my daughter, Lilee, was reading stories to me Monday afternoon and now I have them stuck in my head. It’s distracting trying to write about the NCAA Tournament with rhymes running through my mind.


    It shouldn’t come as a surprise the team the 17th District coaches tabbed as the favorite is also favored to win the 5th Region. As one coach put it, the region runs through the 17th District.

    It’s hard to argue with his logic. A 17th District team has won the last nine region championships, and of those nine, five were all-17th finals. The 17th District has claimed 21 of the last 24 championships and 34 of the last 39.


    The Fort Knox Eagles will have plenty of fresh faces, including a new one leading the team this season.

    Fort Knox principal Dr. Gregg Mowen takes over the program, becoming the third coach in as many years. The Eagles went 4-25 under Coach Jennifer Sanders last year.

    The Eagles only had 10 players last season, but they begin this year with 22. The influx of new players gives the Eagles one of their deepest teams in recent years.