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Rivalry full of nerds

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By Tommie Kendall

I had no idea so many students in the county were such comedians. I sure got a laugh last Thursday night at the boys’ basketball showdown between Henry County and Eminence inside Roy L. Winchester Gym.

I hadn’t seen so many taped glasses, plaid clothes, bow ties, pocket protectors, short pants or suspenders since I was an elementary-aged dreamer thinking it was so cool to be a nerd after watching “Revenge of the Nerds” for the umpteenth time.

During the first in-county boys’ basketball game last Thursday, a number of HCHS students decided to dress as nerds — I was told because of Eminence’s strict grade requirements. In return, a few Eminence students somehow received the memo and also dressed the part. Then, a few Eminence students took a bucket labeled “Donate to the Uneducated” through the crowd. A source told me they were able to raise $25 and were in fact going to donate it to HCHS before it was confiscated. Yes, our county is full of comedians.

While it felt like I was stuck in the middle of a “Revenge of the Nerds” remake, the two high school teams were providing more excitement on the basketball court. Eminence had a surprising 14-10 lead after the first quarter and led for much of the first half. But Henry, a squad that on paper was supposed to run away with a victory, took over late in the second quarter and never trailed again. Eminence’s deficit was still just 10 points during the final quarter before the host Wildcats pulled out a 73-47 win.

EHS coach Chris Nethery said his team simply wore down in the final stretch. The Warriors dropped to 1-11 with the loss.

“It hurts when you see your team playing with a team like Henry and not finish it out,” Nethery said afterwards. “I’ve seen a positive shift where we’re playing with teams for a while, but now we have to transition to playing with them the entire time.”

Meanwhile, Derek Springate and his Wildcats secured their 10th win of the season to improve to 10-8. The teams will collide again on Feb. 13 when Henry travels to Eminence.

As for the fan base, who knows what these students will have in store for round two next month? I do want to take up for the students at both schools: I know most of the students at Eminence and they are not nerds, and the Henry County students are definitely educated. And I want to point out that I personally have nothing against nerds — my nine-month-old son has a very nerdy laugh and I truly hope he’s more studious than I was.

Hopefully nobody took offense Thursday night. In a time when you just never know when something will truly get out of control, it was all good fun. We can all use a laugh.

Tommie Kendall can be reached at (502)845-2858 or sports@hclocal.com.