As the calendar moves forward to 2018, let's take one more look at 2017.

Sports moments in the area that brought many memories, good or bad in what was an action packed 2017. 

In no particular order, here are the events that transpired in '17 that made it memorable.

-Darius Miller gets second shot at NBA. Miller, a Mason County and UK grad, didn’t get much of an opportunity in his first time around with the New Orleans Pelicans. After a couple seasons overseas with Brose Baskets in Germany in which Miller solidified himself as a precision shooter from long range, the Pelicans came calling again, signing Miller to a two-year deal to return with the team. So far, so good as Miller is making the most of his opportunities, currently ranking 10th in the NBA in 3-point percentage, coming off the bench and averaging 7.6 points per game through 36 games this season.

-Austin Crawford defines his legacy by crossing the 3,000-point mark. Crawford had been doing it for the Polar Bears forever it seemed. His longevity of success as a Polar Bear showed in his senior season as he cleared the 3,000 point marker. Crawford helped lead the Polar Bears to their first 10th Region tournament victory in 28 years and ended a story book high school career in a semifinal loss to Campbell County, a game in which he almost willed his team to victory. Crawford is now a walk-on at Morehead State.

-Lady Warriors make it to Columbus. Eastern’s star-studded Lady Warrriors basketball squad ran through the Southern Hills Athletic Conference with ease, earning the golden ball with an undefeated conference play season and made it through the postseason with some comfortability, knocking off SHAC foe Lynchburg-Clay for the third time in the season as they clinched their berth to the Final Four at Ohio State. The run would end there as they lost to Versailles, but the whole Eastern community enjoyed the ride there. The Lady Warriors won 20 straight and ended the season at 26-2.

-Mason County Lady Royals a half step from state berth. With all the pieces intact, Mason County was set for a long postseason run in girls’ basketball. After playing a tough schedule throughout the season and having numerous players hit milestones, the Lady Royals got through their first four postseason games with just George Rogers Clark standing in the way between them and a berth to the Sweet 16 at NKU’s BB&T Arena. In the 10th Region final, the Lady Royals trailed the Lady Cardinals throughout before a furious rally got them tied up in the closing minute. Mason had a chance to win in regulation, but Briana McNutt’s game-winner was called off due to a travel. The two would head to overtime where GRC would come away with the victory, an agonizing defeat for a Lady Royals team with eight seniors, four of which cleared the 1,000-point mark.

-Mason County girls' win regional tennis tourney. The Lady Royals claimed region supremacy for the first time since 1991, knocking off Highlands. Tessa Gray won the singles title while Haley White and Mallory Conrad won the doubles title.

-Panthers claim outright district title for first time in 16 years. An outright district title for the Fleming County football team came in 2017. The Panthers did it with a thriller in Flatwoods against Russell as Jaden Campbell returned a punt for a touchdown in the final minute to grab the victory as the Panthers would go on to be undefeated in district play and earn a No. 1 seed for the playoffs.

-Jefferson runs to regional title, top three finish at state. Bracken County’s Jacob Hamilton set some high marks for the future of Polar Bears cross country in 2016 and Jared Jefferson was able to set some new marks in 2017. On top of some record setting times, Jefferson claimed the first individual regional title in school history and went on a week later to finish third in the state in the Class A meet.

-Polar Bears pounce on first playoff win. Just a few years back, Bracken County wondered if the football program would keep continuing with lack of interest. Just a few years later, the Polar Bears have started to make a name for themselves, breaking through in 2017 for their first playoff win in school history with a win over Fairview.

-Blakefield breaks through. St. Patrick and UK graduate Mark Blakefield gets a win on the Canadian PGA Tour. His first professional victory at the National Capital Open. Blakefield continued to play well in 2017 and earned a qualifying spot on the Web.com tour.

-St. Patrick integrates its soccer team by going co-ed. With a lack of numbers and unable to field a girls team, St. Patrick formed a co-ed team to play boys' varsity. The Saints were competitive, finishing with a 6-6-6 record.

-The loss of a couple coaching legends. Longtime Mason County coach Allen Feldhaus, known for putting Mason County basketball on the map, lost his battle to cancer in 2017. Keith Prater, former Lewis County and Rowan County baseball coach also lost his battle with cancer in 2017.

-Wells wins. Ex-Mason County coach Kelly Wells at University of Pikeville as surpasses 250 wins. He’s been successful everywhere he’s been and Pikeville has been no different, entering the 2017-2018 season with 259 wins.

-Second for a third time. For the third straight year, the Mason County Lady Royals earned a second place finish at the indoor state track and field meet at the Mason County Indoor Facility.

-KCU makes NCCAA Final. Kentucky Christian University's men's basketball team made their way to the National Christian College Athletic Association Final as Augusta grad Owens Crawford and Lewis County grad Trenton Walker were big parts of the postseason run. The Knights now have four players from the coverage area in Crawford, Walker and two more Augusta grads in Connor Maddox and Jared Shoemaker.

-Mason County continues overseas exposure. Darius Miller made his return to America, but Chris Lofton and Trevor Setty continue their careers overseas. Treg Setty plays a season, decides to hang them up to pursue other opportunities.

-Ritchie rifles Midway to title. Mason County grad Dalton Ritchie helps Midland University to their first shooting title in the ACUI NCAA Division II National Championship. Ritchie hit 98 out of 100 targets in the trap shooting competition.

-Lewis County heads to state golf tourney for the first time in school history. The Lions claimed a runner-up finish in the 12th Region.

-Lofton’s long-awaited sign gets its place. Mason County puts up a sign in front of the school honoring Chris Lofton, joining Darius Miller.

-State track medalists. Rheagan Sizemore, Jordan Frodge, Jacob Hamilton, Jared Jefferson, Brandon Cox, Trey Deaton and Dalton Kindt medal at state track meet.

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-Royals and Thorobreds play to thriller in opener of 10th Region baseball tourney. Mason County was one strike away on two different occasions of elimintating Harrison County. The Thorobreds rallied for a 10-8 win against the Royals.

-Claypoole and Fouts duel. East Carter and Fleming County met in the 10th Region softball tournament and coming in a run would probably win the contest between the two high level pitchers. That was the case as East won 1-0, ending the Lady Panthers season and Claypoole went out with the most strikeouts in school history.

-Football returns. Southern Ohio Independent League (SOIL) forms with Eastern and Georgetown, West Union, Peebles and North Adams.

-Mason County continues archery growth. The program makes their first individuals to the state tournament, host their own tournament for first time in seven-year program history.

-Elijah McCarty golf success. The West Union senior earned his second stright SHAC title, went on to finish second in sectional and earned a district title and was named Southeast Division III Player of the Year.

-Ryan Hamm named 30-under-30 coaches. Former Mason County grad earns distinguished honor as an assistant at Lindenwood University. Hamm was named an Under Armour 30-under-30 award winner by the National Association of Basketball Coaches in April.

-Seas siblings cross country success. Matt and Jenny Seas continued their torrid pace for Peebles in cross country.

-Andrew Benintendi posts solid rookie year. The former Brown County native posts a strong season with the Boston Red Sox, finishing runner-up in Rookie of the Year voting. Benintendi hit .271 with 20 HR's and 90 RBI in the '17 season.

-Fleming County's Jordan Hughes misses out on golf regional title in sudden death playoff. The senior just missed out on a 8th region title, losing to Grant County's Ryan Mitts in a playoff.

-Lewis County claims first boys' basketball EKC title in 61 years. The Lions knocked off Morgan County in the title game, their first Eastern Kentucky Conference Title since 1956.

-Mason County volleyball moves to the Fieldhouse. The Lady Royals make the permanent move to play games on campus and not at the intermediate school.

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