River Rat

  • RIVER RAT: Timed impeccably, Brown goes out on top

    When I first arrived in Bardstown some seven years ago, my advance research told me Bethlehem wasn’t much more than a soccer school.

    Now, it’s become so much more, and it can’t really be a coincidence, can it?

    “He’s done for Bethlehem what Tom Jurich did for U of L,” said Tom Hamilton, the Bethlehem principal, of outgoing athletics director Tom Brown.

  • RIVER RAT: Select Preps is this week

    Last year around this time, we were making our preparations for the first Select Preps awards show, honoring the top student-athletes in each of the 25 varsity sports played at our local high schools, as well as the coach of the year.


    It’s a pretty big number to wrap my mind around, considering it was only a handful of that when I started as a high school sports reporter some 11 years ago, switching from news.

  • RIVER RAT: Bardstown basketball made the leap

    When you go to the Sweet 16 like I do every year to photograph the event, you end up with a lot of down time in between games and quarters.

    Most of that time, for me anyway, is filled up by visiting with old friends from my travels across the commonwealth, as well as chatting with whomever might be nearby in the press room and on press row, and while strolling through the stands and concourses and lobbies and streets around downtown Lexington, soaking up the environment.

  • WHITAKER BANK/KHSAA BOYS' SWEET 16: Can Bardstown break through?

    In seven previous trips to the Sweet 16, Bardstown has never made it past the first round.

    Could this be the year the Tigers break that drought? The magic 8-ball doesn’t necessarily say yes, but the signs do point to that possibility.

    Their first-round opponent Thursday at 6:30 p.m. is Pleasure Ridge Park, a veteran of 14 appearances including last year, when they fell 65-60 in the first round to Covington Holmes.

  • PEOPLE and PLACES: District snapshot

    The postseason is special, and as a result the performances that occur during the postseason are just a little bit bigger, a little more weighty. There’s just so much more on the line, especially when you’re facing down a win-or-go-home scenario.

    We’ve seen plenty of big outings during this 19th District tournament (Saturday’s boys’ championship between Bardstown and Thomas Nelson was too late for this edition), and here are a few of the biggest highlights of the week:


  • RIVER RAT: Weather cancellations, reschedules keep ADs scrambling

    Were you to check my computer’s browser history, I’m pretty sure the Weather Channel’s site has moved into my top three. And I’m not alone.

    Athletic directors at area high schools have to do a lot more prognosticating than they would like as they try to get as many ballgames in during an increasingly closing weather window.

  • RIVER RAT: Not on the Broncos bandwagon; Seahawks have played the best

    As you can imagine, over the past two weeks, I’ve had a lot of people ask me who my pick is for tonight’s Super Bowl.

    Readers of this column know I’ve been riding the Seahawks during the playoffs, but I latched onto them as my pick to win it much earlier in the season, right around the time I watched them destroy San Francisco 29-3 on a Sunday night in the second week of the season.

  • RIVER RAT: Look for Seahawks, Patriots to survive Sunday's championships

    So, here we are in January, and it’s butt-cold here.

    This is the time when the weather is always a consideration for picking NFL playoff games, especially when Peyton Manning is involved.

    The Denver gunslinger has enjoyed an incredible regular season, like he usually does, but now is the time for his cold-weather woes to crop up again.

    Or not.

    What alternate universe have we fallen into where it’s in the 20s here in Kentucky and today’s gametime temperatures in mountainous Colorado are going to be almost 60 degrees?!?!

  • RIVER RAT: Sunday's playoff picks

    Last week’s playoff picks were a bit middling on my part, as I went just 2-2. However, in a bit of absolution for my mistakes in the long lead time from my deadline to the games’ kickoffs, I did modify my opinions a bit.

  • RIVER RAT: Cardinal football coaching shuffle leaves emotional spin in its wake

    It’s been a weird, stressful week for Louisville fans.

    They’ve found their own little ways to sort out the range of emotions in play from the fallout of the departure of football coach Charlie Strong and the quick turnaround that led to Wednesday’s announcement that Bobby Petrino would be returning for Act 2.

    I’d like to touch on some of that.