“One thing Coach ( Randy) Sanders always talks about is making memories,” Randall Cobb, the University of Kentucky’s star football player, said last week. “I have made many with my teammates, coaches, administration, and fans that I will never forget.”
Ah, the college experience.
Probably Cobb made a diary notation also for Saturday January 15, 2011.
Scene: Rupp Arena, LSU and Kentucky. Break in play, the traditional K-E-N-T-U-C-K-Y cheer, at the end of which Cobb strolled toward midcourt and lifted his arms into the familiar ‘Y.’
A titan- worthy ‘ thank you’ cheer went up for the kid from Alcoa, Tenn. The school’s newest All-American basked in the glow of Big Blue Nation.
Cobb is more than another football star leaving school for the National Football League. From the start, keeping his commit to UK, he grew into the quintessential college athlete. Skill and class poured into 5-feet-11, 186-pound power pack that seemed at times indestructible despite the fierce hits he weathered in SEC play. Strike a match on his toughness.
“Kentucky is a great place to play football for many reasons,” he said last week. “I know without a doubt in my mind my teammates will carry on the tradition and we will continue to recruit top athletes and develop the best players. I will continue to represent this university to the best of my ability and wear my UK Blue and White with pride.”
All-purpose yards, all-purpose character, all-purpose leader. This is All-American.
Randall Cobb’s name belongs on a special wall of elites at Kentucky – from Raphael Little, Derek Abney, and Wesley Woodyard on to Jim Kovach — who came to Kentucky as football scholarship kids from other states and left as men.
Sports Person of 2010?
For Kentucky Sports person of the Year for 2010, who would make your final ballot, one-through-10, and why?
Have fun with it. I did. My ballot, last to first …
10. Josh Harrellson. From Josh Who(?), destined for mop-up minutes, became MVP at Yum! Center New Year’s Eve and today is SEC rebounds leader, 9.5, rpg.
9. Shelvin Mack. Lexington na- tive, led Butler to the NCAA title game against Duke. Named to the Final Four all-tournament team.
8. Bill Kennedy. Led Murray State to an OVC league and tournament title and a 31-5 season including an NCAA tourney firstround win over Vanderbilt. Was the Racers’ first NCAA win since Bush 41. Murray beat North Carolina State in 1988.
7. Larry French. Boyle County’s coach led his team to back-to-back unbeaten seasons, 2010 and 2009 and 4A titles. He coached Mr. Football 2010, Lamar Dawson.
6. Dale Mueller. Coached Fort Thomas Highlands to a 5A state title again, and became our state’s first ever coach to have nine state championships on his resume`.
5. Lamar Dawson. Mr. Football, linebacker, running back, logged big numbers on both sides of scrimmage. More, according to his coach, Dawson is a good student and citizen. May be best Kentucky prospect since Mr. Football Shaun Alexander went to Alabama in 1994.
4. Randall Cobb. Every- man for UK football. Would rate higher except at 5-11, 186 pounds, he could not lift Kentucky higher (6-7) by himself.
3. Calvin Borel. Rode Kentucky Derby winner Super Saver. A Run-for-the- Roses hat trick for Borel. Three Derby winners in last four tries. More, Borel’s common man persona made him wildly popular.
2. Jim Host. Credited with pushing construction of KFC Yum! Center, Host dedicated long work days to making metropolitan Louisville’s downtown stateof the-art palace the talk of the sports world. Basketball and more, Yum! Center will bring millions of dollars to Louisville and boost our state’s economy.
1. Charlie Strong. In his debut year, nobody had more impact on a state and program than Louisville’s football coach. Strong has produced a buzz statewide, leading UofL to a winning season, bowl victory, and major impact on recruiting. Exclamation point? When Florida’s job opened Strong skipped the code words, “nobody has contacted me,” saying instead he was committed to his current job.
Practice field to game day to fan interaction to wins column, Charlie Strong personified the best of sports in Kentucky.
Larry Conley, the popular TV basketball analyst, visited home last week.
Speaking at a Kiwanis Club breakfast in Ashland, the man who was the heart of Rupp’s Runts shared his points of view, reported the Daily Independent.
Conley wants college basketball to start in mid- December to stop competing with football bowl games.
“No one in America pays attention to college basketball — except in Kentucky — (with) the season beginning in November,” he said. “It’s still football season. The attention begins to change over in mid-January.”
A mid-December start would be better for student athletes academically, Conley added, because it would allow them to “have a semester under their belts before the season started.”
And so it goes.
You may reach Bob Watkins at Sprtsinky@aol.com. the Lady Cougars 21-17 in the final eight minutes to tie the game at 50-50 and force the overtime.
Junior guard Erica Meade led LCCHS with 18 points. Sophomore forward Julie Cornett tossed in 14 points and sophomore Vannah Breeding added 12 points. Cornett and Breeding led LCCHS with nine rebounds each. Senior Micca Boggs and sophomore Keisha Collins scored five points each. Junior Haley Whitaker finished with four points and eight rebounds and senior Lauren Thomas wound up with 3 points.
The Lady Cougars struggled to contain Leslie County senior Hillary Moore, the region’s top scorer with an average of nearly 33 points per game. Moore led the Lady Eagles with a gamehigh
29 points — including 17-of-21 from the charity line. The 5-9 guard led her team defensively with 16 rebounds. Her sister, eighthgrader Katie Moore, added 10 points and 14 rebounds for the 8-6 Lady Eagles.
Knott County Central 95
Jenkins Independent 66
The Jenkins Lady Cavaliers saw their record dip to 4-8 with their 95-66 loss at district foe Knott County Central on Jan. 14.
Knott County Central used huge offensive performances in the first and third quarters to raise its record to a misleading 6-8. The Lady Patriots have played a very competitive statewide schedule to this point.
KCCHS, with balanced scoring, raced out to a 21-9 lead by the end of the first quarter. Jenkins, behind the scoring of Whitney Creech and Kayla Stambaugh, battled the Lady Patriots on even terms in the second quarter and stayed within striking distance at 46-34 at the intermission.
KCCHS then overpowered the Lady Cavs in the third quarter and extended its margin to 77-48 heading into the final quarter.
Junior Sasha Pike led KCCHS with 20 points while sophomore Kennedy King added 18. Kelsie Jacobs added 17 points and Paige Slone finished with 15 points. Keisha Perkins wound up with 13 points.
Whitney Creech led JHS with a game-high 22 points. Kayla Stambaugh chipped in with 14 points and Sarah Corbett added eight points. Bethany Mullins scored six points, Lexi Stambaugh three points, and Tiffany Ramey two points.