• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

2015-16 WCHS Sports Wrap: Fall Sports

Another year of high school sports is in the books, and the Woodford County High School teams had their share of successes and strong play. In this, part one of a three-part series, we look at the WCHS fall sports. The 2015 Fall Sports seasons for Woodford County High School saw a good deal of success and growth. The girls’ and boys’ soccer teams defended their district titles, while the football, volleyball and the cross country teams learned and prepared for future success. Here’s a look back at how the teams did during their 2015 seasons. Football Under the leadership of first-year head coach Dennis Johnson, the WCHS football team saw its ups and downs last season. Overall, the team finished the year 3-8 overall, 1-5 in region play and 0-3 in district play. While the record might not show it, the team had some solid success in 2015 and also made its first playoff appearance since 2010, when it played Highlands in the first round of the Class 5A Russell Athletic/KHSAA Commonwealth Gridiron Bowl on Friday, Nov. 6. In the game, Woodford lost 50-15. Coincidently, Highlands was also the team Woodford lost to in the playoffs in 2010. Woodford opened the 2015 season with three home games, a 37-32 loss to North Bullitt, a 48-20 win over West Jessamine and a 56-35 loss to Franklin County, in a game that took two days to complete because of bad weather. Woodford then went on the road for its next two games and won handily over Marion County 55-18, and, in arguably its best game of the season, defeated Nelson County, 42-12. After that, injuries and mistakes plagued the Yellow Jackets, and they finished the regular season with six straight losses. It began with losses to Madison Central and Anderson County at home, and then to Madison Southern, Montgomery County and Central Hardin on the road. However, their three wins earned them a spot in the playoffs and put them on solid footing for the future. Girls’ Soccer The WCHS girls’ soccer team continued its winning tradition under second-year head coach Brad Turpin Jr. The Lady Jackets finished the year with a 15-4-1 overall record, an 11-3-1 region record and an undefeated 5-0 district record. In the 41st District playoffs, which was played at Capitol View Park in Frankfort, Woodford opened with a 10-0 win over Frankfort, and then defeated Franklin County 1-0 to win its fourth straight 41st District title. In the 11th Region tournament at Madison Southern, Woodford defeated Bryan Station 1-0 in their opener, but then lost to Lexington Catholic 2-0 to end its season. In 2016, Woodford returns a number of top players, including Caitlyn Burdine, Jasmine Collins, Makayla Devore, Leila Graf, Camryn Pictor and Emma Sandman, to name just a few. Along with some new, up-and-coming young players, the Lady Jackets should be in good form to defend their district title and move deeper into the region tournament as well. Boys’ Soccer The WCHS boys’ soccer team also had a successful 2015 season under fifth-year head coach Fonyam Atanga. Overall, Woodford finished with a 16-5-1 record, a 10-3 region record and went undefeated in the district with a 5-0 record. In the 41 District tournament, which was held at Capitol View Park, Woodford opened with an 8-1 win over Western Hills, then captured its third straight 41st District tile with a 2-0 win over Franklin County. In the 11th Region tournament, which was also held at Capitol View Park, Woodford opened with a 1-0 win over Sayre, but then lost to Dunbar 2-0 to end its season. While Woodford lost a number of seniors to graduation, it returns a solid core of players, including Drew Blaydes, Maclain Evans and Trevor White, which should make the team a solid contender once again in 2016. Volleyball With a number of young players on its roster, the WCHS volleyball team made a strong attempt to defend its 41st District title under second-year head coach Meghan Bottom. Overall, the Lady Jackets finished the year 7-22, 4-10 in the region and 3-2 in the district. But, those numbers do not tell the whole story, because the whole story shows that this young team grew stronger with every match it played and, ultimately, fell just short of reaching its goal to defend its district title. In the 41st District tournament, Woodford lost in the first round to Franklin County in a five-game, heartbreaker, 25-23, 25-19, 16-25, 24-26, 15-11. This coming season, Woodford returns a strong core of players who saw a lot of action last year, and that experience could pay off putting the Lady Jackets back in contention for the district. Some of the returners that will lead Woodford in 2016 are Mary Crutchfield, Sophie Adams, Cheyenne Barrier, Caleigh Evans, Lauren Smiley, Gloria Mullins, Kennedy Morgan and Alex Gililland. Cross County The WCHS cross country team did not have as strong a year as they usually do. However, as a young team, they gained a lot of experience, which will pay dividends heading into the 2016 season. In 2015, senior Will Miller finished 28th out of 69 runners at the Region 6 Cross Country meet. With that result, Miller was the only WCHS athlete to qualify for the 2015 KHSAA Class 3A State Cross Country meet, which was held at the Kentucky Horse Park on Saturday, Nov. 7. There, he finished 125th place out of 244 runners. Also at the Region 6 meet, Jodie Smith was the top Woodford performer on the girls’ team. She finished in 20th place out of 62 runners, but did not qualify for state.

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