River Rat

  • 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.


  • RIVER RAT: 49ers are my pick

    Well, here we are at the end of the road, with the glory of possible redemption hanging in the air. For me, that is, and my recent string of bad picks.

    I’m not sure what ESPN and the other national sports media is feeding you lo this past fortnight. I’ve been on SportsCenter blackout since the Super Bowl entrants had been decided two weeks ago, wary of the massive amount of hype that two weeks’ worth of a 24-hour sports news cycle can vomit onto our living room floors.

  • RIVER RAT: Is this Bardstown's last All A?

    The Touchstone Energy All A Classic is this week at Frankfort’s Farnham-Dudgeon Civic Center, and Bardstown goes into the boys’ draw with an air of confidence.

    Disappointment from a last-year’s heartbreaking last-second loss in the championship to Covington Holy Cross is still fresh in the minds of Tiger players and coaches. “Unfinished business” was a common theme when I did postgame interviews after their 72-48 win over Bethlehem in Friday’s 5th Region All A Classic championship.

  • RIVER RAT: Look for Pats, 49ers to advance

    For the purposes of great storylines, this round of playoffs has plenty.

    Tom Brady trying to cement his legacy with one more Super Bowl. Will former WKU coach Jack Harbaugh enjoy the pleasure or be distraught with nerves over seeing his coaching sons face off in New Orleans in two weeks, assuming San Francisco (Jim) and Baltimore (John) win Sunday? And what about Atlanta and Matt Ryan, who got the playoff win monkey off his back with a dramatic last-minute drive for a winning field goal?

    Definitely intriguing.

    Here’s how I’m seeing it:

  • RIVER RAT: Expect blowouts

    By now, you’ll know whether or not my picks for the Saturday games are correct.

    As I noted, I feel strongly enough about them that I see no need to alter strategy or do anything crazy like go completely against my initial instinct out of fear of bad mojo, or whatever else jinx possibilities might be at play.

    And besides, I wasn’t that bad last week, was I? After all, I did hit two of the four. That’s pretty good, right? (This bargaining with myself doesn’t seem pathetic, right?)

  • RIVER RAT: Wrong? Not this time …

    Well, my first-round playoff picks went … ehhh. Nothing special. Nothing remarkable. Nothing more to see here.

    I’m hoping to remedy that poor performance, starting Saturday. I feel very confident this week. Of course, I did last week as well, but anyway.

    Here’s how Saturday should go down, at least as far as I’m concerned.


    AFC: Baltimore at Denver

  • RIVER RAT: More playoff picks

    This goes to press Saturday morning, so I’m just going to have to operate under the assumption that I was right on my picks for Saturday’s games (see Friday’s issue). As a result, why change my thinking for the Sunday games?

    Here are the picks:


    Colts over Ratbirds

    So far, Andrew Luck’s been pretty special as a pro, finding a way to win games against all odds all season long. Sure, logic says to go against the rookie QB on the road in his playoff debut, especially against a good defensive team.