Saturday, February 25, 2012

The 7th District in 1975

In our continuing series on the 1975 basketball season in Western Kentucky, here are the scores from the Seventh District:

Earlington 66, South Hopkins 57
Madisonville 72, West Hopkins 64
Earlington 87, Dawson Springs 81
Madisonville 76, Earlington 66

This was the last year that the Earlington Yellow Jackets fielded a team. The next year, the 1967 State Champs disappeared into the West Hopkins Rebels and the South Hopkins Tomcats. After the 1995-96 school year, another redistricting left the Hopkins County School District with only two high schools: Madisonville-North Hopkins and Hopkins County Central.

Until the 1966-67 school year, Madisonville had a historically African-American school known as the Madisonville Rosenwald Tigers. My guess is that the school was named after this guy.

Until the 1964-65 school year, Earlington had a historically African-American school known as Earlington Million. Two years after the two Earlington schools were merged, they became the first team in the history of the Second Region to win the state championship.

After the 1961-62 school year, West Hopkins High School was formed from Charleston, Dalton, and Nebo High Schools, while Hanson High School was merged with Madisonville, which was re-named Madisonville-North Hopkins.

Although Dawson Springs was historically a member of this district, it played in the Hopkinsville district from 1960 to 1972. According to the invaluable information collected at, it was reported that in the 1959 Seventh District Tournament, a Madisonville Maroon fan poured a Coke on the head of Dawson Springs Coach George Perry, and Perry vowed never to play in that district again.

South Hopkins High School was formed from a merger between Mortons Gap and Nortonville after the 1954-55 school year.

So if anyone were inclined to make up an eight-team league for use in imaginary sports competition, he could do so with the eight high schools that used to belong to the Hopkins County School District: Charleston, Dalton, Earlington, Hanson, Madisonville, Mortons Gap, Nebo, and Nortonville.

And then the champion of that league could have a playoff against the champion of a league formed from the eight historic high schools in Graves County: Cuba, Fancy Farm, Farmington, Lowes, Mayfield, Sedalia, Symsonia, and Wingo.


  1. I haven't been able to find the nicknames for the former Hopkins County Schools. Any help in this regard would be appreciated.

  2. Hopkins County Central is apparently known as the "Storm," which may be the worst nickname in the entire KHSAA. It's certainly the only KHSAA nickname I know of that sounds like an Arena Football team.

  3. I found nicknames for Earlington, West Hopkins, South Hopkins, and Madisonville Rosenwald. Any help with the other nicknames would be appreciated.

  4. Polling Madisonville family gathered for UK-Vandy game ... Nebo Aces. Hanson Hunters.

  5. Reaching out to some Hopkins County-native Vaughns, one of whom was the statistician for the Yellow Jacket state champions ...

  6. Great picture of the 1948 state champions. My wife had an uncle who jumped center for Brewers in the 1930s. He wasn't particularly tall, but he was a phenomenal jumper--able, as late as age 70, of jumping over his farm's fence from a dead stop. He credited his remarkable jumping ability to his huge big toes; plus, he practiced jumping.

    1. Given that Brewers went undefeated, maybe other teams should try that pre-game ritual.

  7. Earlington state-champion statistician Vaughn brings it strong: Dalton Eagles, Anton Blackhawks, Nortonville Badgers, Mortons Gap Pirates ...

  8. This is HUGE!!!

    And we've found another team of Pirates in Western Kentucky!

    And some rare but great names: Aces, Badgers, and Hunters. I don't think any team currently in the KHSAA is using any of those names.

    Great job, Eric and friends!

    In the meantime, we have another correspondent trying to get the names of the former Crittenden County schools. If we get those, I'll let you know.

  9. The Dalton nickname is under dispute. They might've been Tigers. Will advise as events warrant ...

  10. Dalton was the "Tigers." This was confirmed at church this morning. Also, Charleston was the "Bearcats." And Earlington Million was either the "Purple Wave" or the "Purples."

    Finally, during the call to worship, one of our church trustees whispered to me a great story from the 1954 season. Early in that year, a Mortons Gap Pirate, Jack Winders, broke the state's 38-year-old record for individual points in a game, with 84 against Uniontown Saint Agnes. The trustee's brother played for Hanson, in northern Hopkins County, and the Hunters got together and decided to go after the new record set by the southern Hopkins County player.

    "So, one night, they just kept feeding this one guy the ball," the church trustee said. "He got to 85, and he said, 'Just keep them coming.'"

    Indeed, Wayne Oakley on Dec. 21, 1954, finished the game with 114 points. The victim of the binge by Hanson's Oakley--just as it had been with Mortons Gap's Winders--was the Knights of Saint Agnes. The fete even made Sports Illustrated.

    Oakley's record continues to stand. The closest any Kentucky boy has come to the Hunter's total in the 58 years since came in 1956, when Nancy's Billy Miller scored 90 against Pine Knot.

  11. Hello,
    I am looking for some help in locating members of the 1967 Earlington team and also getting some historical context of how the Million school merger. Working on a project and not sure what direction it will take. Feel free to contact me at

    1. Oh, my gosh, Mr. Jordan, I am so sorry I'm seeing your message only now, almost nine years later. I will reach out to you by email.