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November 14, 2013

Direct Kick: Digging up memories of stories gone by

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — Memories. That’s what I dug up Monday while rummaging through my closest.

I am on vacation this week and decided to go through some stuff and see if there was anything I could throw out. What I found instead was a folder filled with past Kentucky Press Association entries, and looking through it filled me with memories of sports gone by in Laurel County. Some of these won awards, some didn’t.

There were stories and columns written when North Laurel had three foreign exchange students on its basketball team and the ramifications of that action. There was a photo from the December 18, 2002, issue of The Sentinel-Echo of South Laurel students holding an American flag to try and rattle Aurimas Silys,  Magnus Palsson and Oliver Mansour, but it didn’t work, as North Laurel prevailed by 10 over South Laurel. But South would turn the tables with a region title win over the Jaguars.

Then there was the special issue we did when South Laurel won the boys’ state basketball title in 2005 that won me a first place for Best Special Section. The cover had former coach Steve Wright lifting his arms triumphantly as the clock ticked down in the final game. The Cards took me on a wild ride that season, culminating with a trip to Rupp Arena that saw a classic semifinal win over Pleasure Ridge Park in double overtime.

A feature on black athletes in the 1950s during Black History Month in 2005 won me a first for Best Sports Feature. It still amazes me how this country treated blacks at one time. There was a column I wrote in 2007 after professional wrestler Chris Benoit killed his wife and son and them himself, an incident that still sends shock waves through the sport today. That column also garnered me a first place award.

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Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
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