River Rat

  • RIVER RAT: Go west, young man

    I’ve occasionally been known to be overtaken by fits of spontaneous whimsy, and this past weekend was one of them.

    After a frantic month’s worth of postseason activity in the high school sports world that wrapped up last week, along with the heaviness of the tragic shooting death of BPD officer Jason Ellis, I felt a powerful need to get out of town, and didn’t really want to wait until next week for my scheduled vacation.

  • RIVER RAT: Talk Derby to me

    If you remember back to last year at this time, I was exploring a new and fanciful way of playing the Derby. I pieced together 10 exactas with various combinations. Half of them I played straight-up by my own handicapping; the other half were determined by having my mom and dad draw random numbers out of a hat to build my tickets.

  • RIVER RAT: Is this The Year of the Pitcher?

    Warning: This is totally unscientific.

    On the KHSAA/Riherd’s baseball scoreboard site Saturday morning, there are 24 games listed that were reported in from Friday, from around the state. Most others, including all those involving our local schools, were rained out.

    Of those games that actually did get played, nine of them saw the winner score five runs or fewer. On the losing side, a third of them were shutouts, and eight more saw the losing team score either one or two runs.

  • RIVER RAT: Louisville over Syracuse in the finals

    Well, I was sort of right on last week’s prognostication, correctly calling Syracuse to top Marquette in the East, and getting Louisville right coming out of the Midwest.

    The rest — not so much. But hey, there have been many a birdcage lined with incorrect predictions from sportswriters, so I’ll just dive right in.

  • RIVER RAT: Rewind the tape

    Last Friday morning, my mother called for some reason or another, but it was way too early for me to be coherent over the phone, so I ignored it and banked a couple more hours of sleep.

    She called again later on in the morning, but I still hadn’t awoken and didn’t pick up.

    I told myself I’d check her voice mail later, reasoning that if it were a life-or-death scenario, the phone calls wouldn’t have such a gap between them, and she’d keep calling incessantly until I had to pick up.

  • RIVER RAT: Building a better bracket, on the fly

    It’s 11:19 in the a.m. Thursday, one of the most exciting days of the year, less than an hour before Michigan St. tips off against 14 seed Valpo.

    It’s a game that will surely be a dominant win by the No. 3 seed Spartans. I’m just now getting brackets printed out for my first swing at winning the pool.

    That’s the procrastinator in me, I guess, but I’ve found my first instinct usually is better than when I spend a lot of time over-thinking it all.

  • RIVER RAT: Looking back at St. Joe's 1963 CSAA champs

    I got a call Tuesday from a fellow about two hours before deadline.

    He was calling to tell me about a special anniversary of something, but I was rushed at the time. I didn’t quite understand what he was referring to, as I have a tendency to block everything out when I’m in “drive time,” the mad, frantic period on deadline days where I’m usually cursing myself and my procrastinating ways.

  • RIVER RAT: Sunday finals leads to more exciting Sweet 16

    When the Kentucky High School Athletic Association released its schedule for the boys’ Sweet 16, I was skeptical at first about the idea of splitting up the finals and semifinals.

    Until this year, the Sweet 16 would culminate with the semifinals on Saturday morning and the finals later that night. A scheduling conflict with Rupp Arena — Kentucky was hosting Florida in its regular season finale at noon Saturday — necessitated the first-ever Sunday afternoon Sweet 16 championship, preceded by the semifinals on Saturday night.

  • RIVER RAT: It's notebook time!

    What the heck, let’s do a hoops notebook!

    Now, with the Super Bowl in the rearview mirror, I’ve been able to draw my focus more sharply on basketball, so let’s go over a few things I’ve been chewing on lately.


    Thomas Nelson’s boys may have just five wins as of my writing this piece, but they’re possibly the most entertaining five-win team in the state.

  • RIVER RAT: A general discussion

    With Thomas Nelson High School playing a JV-only schedule in 2012, we didn’t get a lot of chances to check up on the Generals during the fall.

    To help remedy that and get kind of a “state of the program” idea of what went on during the 2012 season, I exchanged a few questions with coach Greg Brohm over e-mail to get his thoughts on what he saw during the season, and what the TNHS program could look forward to as it makes the leap to varsity district competition in 2013.

    Here are the results of that exchange.