Fall sports ready to start back up once again

-A A +A
By Tommie Kendall

As I rub my chin in puzzlement, I can’t help but think: is it already that time of the year again? Time for the high school football teams from across the state to kick off their seasons; time for the volleyball squads to work on that perfect bump-set-spike routine; time for the golfers to get out the driver; time for the cross country runners to increase their mileage before toeing the starting line; and time for the soccer players to put more oomph in their kicks.

I’m a little confused. Where has my summer gone? I swear I feel like it started just last week. I guess time truly does fly when you’re having fun (not that I went on a summer vacation or took any exciting trips this year, but I still had a good time). Well, I guess it it that time of the year — my calendar says so.

Here we go again. For me, this will be round five as I start my fifth full school year as the sportswriter for the two high schools in the county. Each year has brought more surprises and excitement, and I’m sure this year will not disappoint either.

The big story this fall will be the two new soccer teams at Henry County High School. The girls will field a varsity squad after playing a junior varsity schedule last year, while the boys will dive head first into varsity action in their first attempt on the high school level. It should be interesting to see how they perform. Without much pressure due to the young and inexperienced players, they will hopefully hold their own and squeeze out some wins.

As for the football teams, they should provide another unpredictable storyline to follow. Henry County, from the sound of things, are in position to improve on last year’s record-breaking season. By looking at the depth of this year’s roster, I can see this team doing some serious damage when postseason arrives. Trust me when I say this — Chris Engstrand will have his team ready.

Down the road at Eminence, with the Warriors first year back in 11-man behind them, they should be ready to turn the pages to another chapter which might include the school’s first state playoff game victory. With added depth like their cross-town rivals — a luxury EHS has not had in the past — they seem to be up for the challenge. Steve Frommeyer thinks so, too.

On the volleyball court, Jon Kasten and his Ladycats are in position to improve on their first district title last fall. Possibly, these players could be the ones to win the school’s first volleyball game in the 8th Region Tournament. It hasn’t been done at HCHS before, but I have a feeling it’s just around the corner.

Meanwhile, Eminence’s volleyball team will still be young with just one senior in Sarah Floyd, but returns some talented young girls that could turn the program around after a two-win season. Kristen Lively, the new head coach, thinks her players are on the right track as the season progresses.

Out on the cross country courses, Henry is hoping to get back to the Kentucky State Track and Field Championships as a team. The boys have not qualified since 2006, the girls have not qualified since 2002, and both teams have never qualified in the same season. If Ricky Drawbaugh can get enough runners out to field both varsity teams, this could be the first year.

At Eminence, Scott McClamroch has his team primed to be one of the better ones to come through EHS in a while. He’s stacked on the girls’ side, and has enough solid boys to keep things interesting up front. The season is fast approaching, and the long-distance runners should be ready to take their marks.

Steve Dent has his boys’ golf team at Henry County playing better than they have for a long time. They are already just behind what they shot last season, and they still have almost a full schedule left to play. And with no seniors on the roster, future seasons look promising as well.

The girls’ golf team has been one of the more consistent programs in the county during the last few years, and this looks to be the Ladycats best season on record. With Kathy Peyton in charge, and a handful of young, athletic golfers on the course, this could be an interesting year that could provide the most excitement in the county this fall.

I look forward to this season — can you tell? I look forward to getting out to the sporting events, talking with the wonderful coaches and players we have, and writing stories. Hopefully, they will be up-to-par for our readers.

I look forward to watching these teams and individuals blossom as the season progresses. I look forward to witnesses new stars step up to the plate to lead their teams. I look forward to the upcoming headlines, which I’m sure will be full of all the positives these teams provide.

Mainly, I look forward to another go around — for the bell to ring and the next round to start. I know it will be exciting.

Tommie Kendall can be reached at sports@hclocal.com.