Monday, November 30, 2015

Last Week in the KHSAA

Last weekend, for the final time this year, Kentucky high school football teams played on campus in the State Semi-Finals.  There were some huge games.  Here's how they came out (home teams listed first, private schools in italics):

Class 1A:
Russellville 25 - 34 Beechwood
Paintsville 23 - 42 Pikeville

I'm sure many teams are happy that Mayfield moved from 1A to 2A this season, but I would bet Beechwood is that happiest of all.

Class 2A:
Mayfield 24 - 19 Lou. DeSales
Newport Cent. Catholic 15 - 7 Danville (at Newport H.S.)

Louisville DeSales, on the other hand, is probably not happy that Mayfield moved up to 2A.  In a match-up of last year's 1A and 2A champions, Mayfield stopped DeSales's 13-game playoff winning streak.  After beating Owensboro Catholic last week, the Cardinals picked up their second straight win over a private school.  One more -- Newport Central Catholic -- awaits in the State Final.

Class 3A:
Elizabethtown 14 - 35 Lex. Catholic
Belfry 42 - 14 Corbin

Belfry reaches the 3A Final for the sixth year in a row, and the Pirates will be going for their third straight 3A title.  The combination of Pikeville and Belfry means that 2 of the 12 State Finalists are from Pike County.  Lexington Catholic last won a state title in 2005, when they beat Bowling Green to win the old AAA crown.

Class 4A:
S. Warren 36 - 6 Shelby Co.
Wayne Co. 14 - 21 Johnson Cent.

While McCracken County was eliminating high schools, Warren County went in a different direction.  South Warren High School opened in 2010, and now the undefeated Spartans are only one game from wrapping up a state title.  Given all the talent at McCracken County High, one can only wonder how well a school like Lone Oak could have done in Class 4A.  But we'll never find out.

Class 5A:
Bowling Green 21 - 0 Lou. Fern Creek
Ft. Thomas Highlands 31 - 41 Pulaski Co.

Pulaski County won the showdown between last year's 5A and 4A champs, as they went to Fort Thomas and beat Highlands -- something that does not happen often in the KHSAA Playoffs.  Now Pulaski County (who won the 5A title in 2014), will play Bowling Green, who won the same title in 2011, 2012, and 2013).

Class 6A:
Cent. Hardin 0 - 50 Lou. Male
Simon Kenton 28 - 42 Lex. Lafayette

Talk about kicking it old school -- what could be more traditional in Kentucky than a showdown between Louisville Male (opened in 1856) and Lexington Lafayette (opened in 1939).  The Lafayette Generals had to survive overtime to beat Lex. Dunbar (3-7) by the score of 27-21 in the first round of the playoffs.  Then they beat Lex. Hentry Clay (7-4) by one touchdown (35-28).  Next they went to Scott County (11-1), where they beat the 2013 State Champs 36 to 30.   Finally, they beat an undefeated Simon Kenton (13-0) squad.  Male is on a different level, and it seems likely that Lafayette has gone as far as it can.  But Lafayette will be the first school from Fayette County ever to play for the 6A title, and the first Fayette County school to reach the Final of the largest class since Lex. Bryan Station played Lou. St. X for the old AAAA title back in 1999.  (X won 34-31 in overtime).


  1. But Lone Oak is to old Bristow as South Warren is to (probably, some day) South McCracken.

    Go, Mayfield.

    1. Mayfield is amazing. I give them a lot of credit, and they deserve even more credit than I give them.

  2. South Warren competes in Class 4A. In 2012, the last year that Lone Oak fielded its own football team, it competed in . . . Class 4A.

    In Lone Oak's last three seasons of competition, all in Class 4A, the Purple Flash had a record of 29-9.

    So Lone Oak was very competitive with schools of the size of Owensboro and South Warren. If Lone Oak still had its own school, it could have continued to compete for state titles at that level. Instead, those kids are in a class with schools like Male, Trinity, and St. X, which is a level where they are not competitive.

    Consider this year. McCracken County had a great team -- about as good as team as it will ever have. McCracken County beat Mayfield, which isn't going to happen all that happen. The Mustangs were eliminated by Central Hardin in the state quarter-finals by the score of 10-7.

    Last weekend, Male beat Central Hardin 50-0. That's the gap between the big Louisville schools and McCracken County. And it makes no sense to put kids in that sort of situation.

  3. Here's another way to look at it. McCracken County has a population of 65,373, while Paducah has a population of 25,018. So let's say there's 40,355 people served by one high school in McCracken County.

    Meanwhile, Warren County has a population of 118,370, while Bowling Green has a population of 61,488. So that leaves a population of 56,882 for the Warren County schools. To serve that population, Warren County has four high schools: Greenwood, South Warren, Warren Central, and Warren East.

    So it's clear that McCracken County and Warren County have taken different paths, and we'll see which path works better. I would note that in 1980, the population of McCracken County was equal to 85.4 percent of the population of Warren County. In 2010, the population of McCracken County was equal to 57.6 percent of the population of Warren County. So in recent years, at least, Warren County's policies seem to be more attractive to more people.