Notes from here, there and everywhere:
•The Northeastern Kentucky East-West Senior Bowl kicks off Friday evening at Morehead State's Jayne Stadium and both rosters are dotted with players from area schools.
The East squad includes Mason County receiver-defensive back Dustin Chenault and lineman Cody Smith. Also on the East roster are Bracken County linebacker Eli Florer and four Fleming County Panthers, receiver-defensive back Chaise Gulley, quarterback Desmond McAdams, tackle-defensive end Dakota Miller and guard-defensive tackle D.J. Seitz.
According to game organizer Tom Posey, the Lewis County participants, receiver Bud Burriss and running back-linebacker Jacob Cox, will play for the East team because of limited numbers for the East, which does not include any Ashland Blazer players, as it as in the past.
We will have more on the teams later this week and Zack will be covering the game, which begins at 7:30 p.m.
•Since we realize basketball never really takes a break in Kentucky, the summer hoops scene gets extra busy in the area beginning next Thursday when the Royal Shootout tips at four sites. Among local teams playing in the two-day event will be the host school, Bracken County, Fleming County, Robertson County and St. Patrick. Other teams include Ashland Blazer, Harrison County, Montgomery County, Pendleton County and West Carter. Varsity games will be played at the Fieldhouse and the old Maysville High (Lady Royals) gym downtown. Junior varsity and freshmen action will be featured at the St. Patrick gym and at Straub Elementary School.
•Heading to Richmond on Wednesday to check out the Kentucky Junior All-Stars, which will have its hands full squaring off against the team representing the state in the Friday-Saturday series against the Indiana All-Stars. Augusta guard Brent Bach and Fleming County point guard Darion Burns will be representing the area and the 10th and 16th Regions, respectively in the game, which will tip at approximately 7:30 p.m., following the 5:30 girls game at Madison Central High School.
•The Ledger Independent all-area baseball and softball teams are meant to recognize the most outstanding players in the coverage area but they're only a true representation when all of the coaches participate. The area coaches are the people who nominate and vote on the selections and when they don't respond to repeated emails and pleas to participate, the only people who suffer are the players. The same goes for the other sports we cover and most coaches understand that the more their players are noted for their accomplishments, the better it is for all concerned.
•The sixth annual Keith Carver Memorial softball tournament is looking at its most competitive field since organizer Jimmy Sanders began the event to honor his friend, who passed away in 2008. This year's tourney is June 22-23 at Wald Park, the old ball park that Carver and Sanders worked diligently with other volunteers to restore in 2002. All proceeds benefit the Keith Carver Memorial Scholarship, which was awarded to Carmen Morales from the 2013 class at Mason County High School.
Sanders says several Cincinnati teams and a central Ohio team will be among the 10-team field and more than a dozen college scouts are expected to attend to survey the talent on hand. Sanders and Mike Huff are both working on the event and for more information, email Mike at email@example.com.
We will have much more about the tournament next week.
•The Kentucky Softball Coaches Association named Harrison County senior third baseman Ashley Coppage the 2013 Miss Softball recipient, giving the 10th Region its first Miss Softball since the award's inception in 1995. Coppage, a power-hitting machine, clubbed 18 home runs during her senior season for the Fillies, second most in state history to former Rowan County slugger Amber Riddle, who hit 19 in 2008 before a stellar career at Morehead State.
The KSCA also selected all-state teams in three separate classes. Nicholas County senior pitcher Reesa Martin was named to the first team and Lady Jackets sophomore catcher Megan Bretz earned honorable mention honors among Class A schools.
•Lewis County sports guru Gary Kidwell will be honored with a reception Monday at the Lewis County Extension Office in Vanceburg at 4 p.m. to recognize the most recent hall selection for the longtime coach, athletic director, columnist and broadcaster.
Kidwell, who was named to the KHSAA Hall of Fame in 2011, will be inducted into the National High School Athletic Coaches Association Hall of Fame in Des Moines, Iowa on June 25. He was the Lions' AD from 1987-2004 and remains a visible figure airing games on WKKS radio.
•Much to the chagrin of many of us here in Reds Country, the men of Johnnie B. "Dusty" Baker, Jr. continue to struggle when they meet the hated (by Reds fans anyway) St. Louis Cardinals. The Redbirds increased their lead over Cincy to four games after taking two of three in a weekend series at Great American Ball Park, giving the first-place Cards a 6-3 record in head-to-head matchups in the 2013 season against the Reds.
Cincinnati inched in front of Pittsburgh and to within 3 1/2 games of the idle Cardinals with a strange 6-2 win over the woeful Cubbies in foggy Wrigley Field on Monday night and yes, there is still a lot of baseball yet to played (97 games to be exact after Tuesday's game in the Windy City).
St. Louis simply plays the game the right way. They have excellent starting pitching, they play solid defense and they hit in the clutch. You don't have to necessarily like them, but they still deserve a tremendous amount of respect.
However, if you want to be the best, it's time you beat the best, and the Redlegs have yet to prove they can do that.
•The MLB Draft, conducted over three days last week, will never get the hype the NFL and NBA drafts receive, basically because it is a completely different animal.
The 32 clubs made 1,216 selections over 40 rounds and the draft seldom yields immediate success for even the highest picks. The draft is set up to stock farm systems and develop talent for the future, completely unlike the other two major sports, who can fill immediate needs with draft picks.
The Reds wasted little time signing their first-round pick, junior center fielder Phillip Ervin from Samford University. Ervin, the 27th pick in the draft, hit .337 with 11 home runs, 40 RBI, scored 58 runs and was successful on 21 of 23 base stealing attempts in 55 games played for the Bulldogs.
The Reds made an interesting selection in the 31st round when they chose outfielder Andrew Benintendi from Madeira, a Cincinnati suburb. Benintendi is slated to attend Arkansas and play baseball in Fayetteville next year, but he may be tempted to sign with the hometown team. He was also a standout basketball player and I had the pleasure of seeing him play at Ripley in his junior year.
Bishop Brossart catcher Tanner Norton was the lone 10th Region player taken in the draft when the Milwaukee Brewers called his name in the 13th round.
A pair of promising Kentucky high school pitchers who had signed to play at UK were taken in the second round. Woodford County right-hander Clinton Hollon was picked by Toronto with the 47th overall selection and the Los Angeles Angels used their first draft choice to take lefty Hunter Green of Warren East with the 59th pick. The 17-year-old Green had a remarkable 110 strikeouts and 0.14 earned-run average in 51 innings pitched at the Bowling Green school.
•One of the most exciting, yet overlooked sporting events of the year gets underway Saturday afternoon in Omaha, Neb.
The College World Series returns to the Midwestern town that became home to the event in 1950. Old Rosenblatt Stadium is gone, replaced in 2011 by AD Ameritrade Park (Don't ya just love all the corporate names nowadays?) but the tradition lives on in Omaha, which takes a great deal of pride in hosting the eight teams that reach the series.
An intriguing opening round game matches Louisville against Indiana. It marks the Cardinals' second trip to the CWS, while the Hoosiers are making their first appearance. Louisville appears to have a slight edge, but IU did win two of three against the Birds in head-to-head regular season meetings.
Still, I wouldn't count out the 51-12 Cardinals from advancing deep into the series, even if they do have the most hideous uniforms in Omaha.
North Carolina was the top-seeded team heading into tournament play and the Tar Heels (55-9) slipped past South Carolina in the super regionals to punch their ticket to the CWS.
Former Kentucky coach John Cohen has Mississippi State in the mix and the other participants include LSU, North Carolina State, Oregon State and UCLA.
•New Kentucky football coach Mark Stoops continues to raid the Buckeye State and bring in recruits, seemingly on a daily basis.
The UK coach hails from Youngstown and he already has eight Ohio commitments, with still more expected to join the fold.
The class is getting high marks from recruiting nerds and websites, including several rating the haul in the top 10 nationally.
Stoops and his staff notched its 15th commit on Tuesday when linebacker Nico Firios of Longwood, Fla., said he intends to become a Wildcat.