• Rick Capone, Sports Editor

2016 WCHS Spring Sports Wrap-Up

CAITLIN FERGUSON helped the Woodford County High School softball team repeat as 41st District champions. The senior will play for the University of Louisville next year. (Photo by Rick Capone)

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 the final part of this three-part series, we look at the WCHS spring sports. The 2016 spring sports season at WCHS was an exciting one, as the softball team battled for a spot in the KHSAA state championship tournament, while baseball played its first season under head coach Paul Patterson. In addition, the track team sent nine athletes to the state championship track & field meet, and in boys’ tennis, senior Luke Least finished his high school career just short of advancing to his third state championship tournament. However, he finished on a high note as he was named to the 11th Region All-Region tennis team. Here’s a look back at the 2016 WCHS spring sports season. Softball Of all the WCHS teams that had a chance to make it to a KHSAA State Championship tournament, softball was the team to pick. With two of the best pitchers in the state on the roster in Bethany Todd and Caitlin Karo, along with college-bound players such as shortstop Caitlin Ferguson, third baseman Lindsey Anderson, outfielder Morgan Grose, and all-position player Ariel Dailey, the Lady Jackets under fourth-year head coach Sasha Turansky, looked like a team destined to reach the state tournament. In the regular season, Woodford finished 28-3 overall, 14-3 in the region and undefeated, 8-0, in the district. Then, in the 41st District softball tournament, which the Lady Jackets hosted, Woodford scored a three-inning, 17-0 mercy-rule win over Frankfort in the first round, then won a five-inning, 14-0, mercy-rule game over Western Hills to win their second consecutive district title. The team advanced to the 11th Region softball tournament, which was played at Madison Central in Richmond, and continued its strong play. In the first round, the team shut out Henry Clay 7-0 and then followed that with a 3-0 shutout of the host team, Madison Central. With that win, Woodford advanced to the region championship game where the team faced Scott County, a team that had denied it a chance at going to state the last five seasons. The championship game was a hard-fought contest, with solid pitching and strong defense played by both teams. The difference in the game was offense, and on that end, Scott County came out on top, as it scored some early runs and would not allow Woodford to get back in the game. When the final pitch was thrown, the Lady Cardinals had a 4-0 win and ended the Lady Jackets’ season one game short of their goal of reaching the championship once again. Just a few days after the season ended, Turansky surprised a lot of people when she announced that she would step down as head coach of the Lady Jackets. She finished her WCHS career with a 109-30-1 overall record, a 56-13 region record and a 28-6 district record. In two of those seasons, Woodford was undefeated in district play. In addition, under her leadership, Woodford won two district championships, was district runner-up twice and region runner-up twice. On Thursday, July 21, Les Anderson, assistant coach under Turansky, was named the new head coach of the WCHS softball team. Baseball The WCHS baseball team entered the season with a new head coach in Paul Patterson and with a young group of players ready to learn what it takes to become a winning team. Together, the Bat Jackets had their ups and downs, but played some good baseball early in the year, which included two strong district wins: a five-inning, 18-0, mercy-rule home win over Frankfort and a 4-0 win on the road against Franklin County. However, as everyone knows, the key to being a really successful team is to play consistent ball all season long, and that’s where the Bat Jackets fell short this year, as they finished with a 12-20 overall record, a 6-9 region record and a 4-3 district record. In the first round of the 41st District tournament, Woodford faced Western Hills, a team that had beaten it twice in the regular season. In the tournament game, the Wolverines did it again, as they defeated the Bat Jackets 13-3 in a six-inning mercy-rule game to end the Bat Jackets’ season. In watching Woodford this season, however, fans could see that Patterson has his team heading in the right direction in terms of its play, work ethic and attitude. All of which should help make the Bat Jackets a much better team come next year. Tennis The 2016 tennis season saw Luke Least finish off his high school career just short of making it to his third KHSAA State Championship tournament, while his teammate on the girls’ squad, Addison Beck, ended her year by being named to her first 11th Region All-Region team. Both players saw their season come to an end in the quarterfinals of the 11th Region tournament. For Least, a senior, who was also named to the 11th Region All-Region team, it was a tough loss, as he fell short of making it to the KHSAA State Tennis Championships for the third time in his high school career. For Beck, a freshman, it could be a stepping stone to bigger accomplishments in the future. Next year, head coach Stan Watts returns a solid foundation of players to build his team upon. Along with Beck, Woodford returns a number of young, up-and-coming athletes on both the boys’ and girls’ teams, who will be ready to compete against teams in the area. Track Once again, WCHS head coach Tracey Sobolewski fielded strong girls’ and boys’ track teams, who charged through the 2016 season with a lot of success. That success culminated when nine athletes qualified for the KHSAA State Track and Field Championships, which were held at the University of Kentucky. Brandon Brookfield had the best finish for Woodford at state, as he finished tied for third place in the pole vault when he cleared 12-ft., 6-ins. His teammate, Sam Martin also participated in the pole vault and cleared 12-feet to finish in a tie for seventh place. The other top finishes for Woodford at the state championships were: • 100-meter dash: Dwayne “D” Depp finished in eighth place with a time of 11.11. • 200-meter dash: Depp finished in sixth place with a time of 22.40. • 110-meter hurdles: Landon Saum finished in 18th place with a time of 16.89. • Discus: Darnell Richard finished in 20th place with a best throw of 113-ft., 10-ins. • Discus: Collin Hudson finished in 21st place with a best throw of 113-ft., 6-ins. • Shot put: Justin Brown finished in 19th place with a best throw of 41-ft., 3-ins. • Long Jump: Jordan Upton finished in 16th place with a best jump of 41-ft., 3-ins.

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