• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

2015-16 WCHS Winter Sports Wrap-Up

Another year of high school sports is in the books, and the Woodford County High School teams had their share of success and strong play. In this, part two of a three part series, we look at the WCHS winter sports. The 2015-16 winter sports season was an exciting one for both basketball teams, as well as the wrestling and swimming and diving teams. Here’s a recap of the WCHS winter sports seasons. Wrestling The wrestling team, under second-year head coach Rusty Parks Jr., had a phenomenal season in 2015-16. Following a solid regular season, Woodford finished in second place at the Region 5 Wrestling Tournament at Anderson County High School. There, six Woodford wrestlers won region titles, while 12 wrestlers in total qualified for the KHSAA State Championships. Winning region titles were Chase Yost (106-pounds), Tylan Tucker (113-pounds), Joey Roberts (132 pounds), Max Andreoni (160 pounds), Michael Eldridge (170 pounds) and Emir Bernabe (195 pounds). Also qualifying for the state championships, which were held in the Alltech Arena at the Kentucky Horse Park, were Tucker Hurst (120 pounds), Marik Black (126 pounds), Dermot Cunningham (138 pounds), Matthew Fallon (145 pounds), Brandon Varble (182 pounds) and Helio Reyes (heavyweight). The highlight of the state championships for Woodford was when eighth-grader Chase Yost defeated Cagon Wallace of Wayne County 4-2 in overtime to capture the state title in the 106-pound weight class. Also placing at the state championships were Andreoni, who finished in second place in the 160-pound division, Hurst, who finished in fourth place in the 120-pound weight division; Eldridge, who finished in fourth place in the 170 -pound division; Bernabe, who finished in fourth place in the 195-pound division; and Roberts, who finished in fifth place in the 132-pound division. What was even more rewarding for the Mat Jackets was that, as a team, Woodford finished in second place in the state with 140.5 points. Union County won the state title with 187.5 points, while Oldham County finished third with 130.5 points, followed by Trinity (Louisville) in fourth with 118.5 points and St. Xavier in fifth with 117.0 points. With a number of starters returning next year, including Yost, Tucker, Roberts and Andreoni, to name just a few, the Woodford will have another solid opportunity to capture their 14th state title. Girls’ Basketball It was a season of youth and learning for the WCHS girls’ basketball team, which was led by head coach Jay Lucas. Led by senior Caitlin Ferguson, sophomore Peyton Rose, and a host of young players, including eighth-grader Delaney Enlow, who showed tremendous potential for the future, the Lady Jackets finished the season 7-23 overall, 3-11 in the region and 1-6 in the district. Then in the 41st District Tournament, which was held at the Frankfort Civic Center, they lost a two-point, overtime, heartbreaker to Western Hills in the first round to end their season. This coming season, Rose and Enlow will help lead another very young Woodford squad as they face a strong schedule of tough teams. Some of the other returning players next year include junior Kassie Cook, sophomore Anna Manges, and freshmen Kasey Abel and Abby Moffett, among others. While the team will be young, they have a year of varsity playing experience under their belts, which will give them a solid chance to compete for another district title. Boys’ Basketball The boys’ basketball team under head coach Scott Hundley once again competed hard for a district title. Led by seniors Tucker Sly, Wesley Smith, Jonathan Colley, Bryce Hewitt and DeVontre Winkfield, the Yellow Jackets finished the year 14-17 overall, 9-7 in the region and 6-2 in the district. Then in the 41st District tournament, which was held at the Frankfort Civic Center, they defeated Western Hills 71-46, but then lost to Franklin County 65-57 in the district championship game. With the win over Western Hills, however, Woodford qualified for the 11th Region tournament, which was held at Eastern Kentucky University. There they lost to Henry Clay 72-41 in the opening round to end their season. Next year, Woodford returns a solid core of players with a year or more of playing experience, which will make them solid contenders for another district title. The players include seniors Keagan Stromberg, Alex Karbach and Alex Cason, junior Chandler Stewart, and sophomore Brandon Cromwell. The one big surprise for the boys’ basketball team is that they will have to do it without Hundley, who announced his resignation as head coach shortly after the season so that he could spend more time with his family. He is still close by, however, as he is working as an administrator at Woodford County Middle School. Hundley closed out his six-year head coaching career with the Yellow Jackets with a 107-82 overall record, a 61-43 region record and a 38-10 district record, which included one undefeated season, 8-0, in 2012-13. In addition, he won the district title three times, was runner up three times and made it to the region championship game in 2011-12. The Yellow Jackets should have no problem transitioning to their new head coach, Ryan Wilson, as he is very familiar to Yellow Jacket players and fans. Wilson was the assistant coach under Hundley for the last four years, and the junior varsity head coach the last three years. Swimming and Diving The swimming and diving team also had a good season, winning a number of meets and qualifying 12 swimmers and two divers to the state championships. The swimmers that represented the girls’ team at state were: Madeline Gatewood, Caroline Crain, Katie Gatewood, Callie Hicks, and Katie Beth Craig. (Relay alternates were Mary Crutchfield and Megan Robertson). Representing the boys’ team at state were Luke McEachin, Ian Combs, Alberto Zambrano, Justin O’Nan, and Austin Call. (Isaac Tonges was a relay alternate.) In addition, Jacqui Kowalke and Chelsea Call participated in the girls’ diving competition. At the state championships, Kowalke and Zambrano had the team’s best finishes, as Kowalke finished 11th in the diving competition, while Zambrano finished seventh in the 100-yard backstroke and ninth in the 100-yard butterfly.

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