SOUTH LAUREL—Two state championships highlight the 2018-19 school year for South Laurel High School’s athletics program and South Laurel Athletic Director Ryan Nolan is hoping to only see continued growth in the years to come.

Having a competitive athletic department is a tradition that has continued at South Laurel High School for over a decade now and Nolan believes this year has been no different, especially after bringing home two state titles.

“We were very proud of all our student-athletes and coaches,” said Nolan. “We were very fortunate that the athletic department was able to win two state championships.”

The South Laurel Bass Fishing Team brought home its first state title this past school year with the South Laurel duo of Shawn Coots and Trent Keltner who captured the 2019 KHSAA State Bass Fishing Championship. Keltner and Coots took first place out of 88 teams by catching a two-day total of 10 fish that combined to weigh 32 pounds, 13 ounces.

The duo went on to compete in the TBF/FLW High School Fishing World Finals where they placed 17th—the highest place a South Laurel Bass Fishing team has ever found in the tournament.

South Laurel sophomore Phoebe McCowan was also once again named a state champion after taking first place in the KHSAA Class 3A State Track and Field Meet’s 800 Meter Run with a time of 2:13.28 this past school year. McCowan was also named runner-up in the girls’ 1600 Meter Run with a time of 5:08.63.

South Laurel athletics teams also brought home several district titles and competed for region titles this past school year, including being named 13th Region runner-up in volleyball, as well as 13th Region runner-up in both boys and girls soccer.

“Our expectation every year is to be competitive and be in contention for a regional championship in all sports and sport activities,” Nolan said. “I feel we were very close to doing that this past year.”

Nolan is hoping the facelift to the South Laurel High School’s gymnasium will get volleyball and basketball fans excited for their upcoming seasons, with big changes made to the gymnasium floor.

The baseline is now painted red while "South Laurel" and "Cardinals" are written in black on opposite ends of the court. The inside part of the 3-point line is now gray while the remainder of the court has gray slightly mixed in. The Cardinal head at half-court is also outlined in gray.

Nolan said that addition of the color gray was to pay homage to the “Laurel County High School teams before us.”

Nolan believes that South Laurel High School’s athletics department will continue being competitive in the upcoming school year and hopes to only continue to see his athletics teams grow with each new school year.

“The future is bright at South Laurel,” Nolan said. “We expect to continue our tradition of being very competitive athletically.”

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