By Nita Johnson
LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — “Stepping up” is what sportscaster Tom Leach believes is needed for a successful year for the Kentucky Wildcats.
Leach was the guest speaker for the London-Laurel Chamber of Commerce’s regular membership meeting Thursday and talked about both football and basketball for the upcoming seasons.
As “The Voice of the Wildcats,” Leach’s knowledge of the Wildcat plan for both football and basketball is well-respected throughout the state — and nation.
“The Wildcats are a great unifying force for our state,” he said. “It doesn’t matter what part of the state you’re in, if you mention the Wildcats, you can start a conversation.”
As for the 2013 football season, Leach feels hiring Mark Stoops as coach is one of the best moves Kentucky ever made. Stoops comes from a long line of experience and the impact his brother made at the University of Florida and then at the University of Oklahoma with aligning experienced coaching staff is similar to the current Kentucky staff.
“I think Mark Stoops will solidify Kentucky’s defense,” he added.
Leach’s predictions for the upcoming football season is better than the two-game win last year. Although he credited Stoops for his recruiting efforts, Leach said Kentucky is still only favored in three games of this year.
As for basketball, Leach compared the 2013-2014 team to the talents of the 2010 NCAA Championship team that included John Wall, Demarcus Cousins, and Patrick Patterson.
“This team is like the team of that year, not the team from last year,” Leach said.
With the college football season kicking off soon and the basketball season right around the corner, Leach said late fall is always busy.
“In November and December, basketball starts and football hasn’t quite ended yet, so those are busy months with the two overlapping,” he said. “It’s a busy time for Kentucky sports.”