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District title victory named top local sports story of the year

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By Brian Blair

There were many big moments in sports throughout 2008. The New York Giants were the improbable winners of the Super Bowl over the previously unbeaten New England Patriots. Tiger Woods won the U.S. Open on one leg. Michael Phelps won eight Gold Medals at the Olympics in Beijing. The Tampa Bays Rays made it to the World Series before falling to the Philadelphia Phillies. It was a good year.

Owen County also had its share of sports memories over the past year. I have chosen five memorable moments of 2008. 

#5

Local basketball fans experience rough weather at SEC Tournament in Atlanta

On March 14, as Alabama and Mississippi State were playing a hotly contested basketball game and Kentucky and Georgia were waiting their turn, a tornado ripped through downtown Atlanta. Jerry and Sandy Stafford as well as Danny Stockdale were all in attendance. All three talked about hearing a loud sound that resembled a train and wondering what was happening inside the Georgia Dome. “Everything started swaying and you could see the roof flexing,” said Stafford a couple of days after the storm. “It was weird,” said Sandy Stafford. The UK game was eventually postponed until the next day and was moved to the campus of Georgia Tech University due to concerns about the safety of the Georgia Dome.

#4

Bowling Middle School girls capture “A” title

For the first time since 2003, the BMS eighth-graders won the Eighth Grade Single “A” championship. The girls defeated Gallatin County to claim the trophy. The Lady Rebels cruised through the tournament by dominating every team they played.

#3

Danielle Hoop has another great season

It may not have ended the way she hoped, but for Danielle Hoop, 2008 proved to be a successful cross country season. The sophomore captured the Conference Championship, finished second at the Regional Meet and ran a strong race at the Kentucky Horse Park to finish second at the State Cross County Meet in November. She then had the chance to compete against runners from all over the country when she took part in the Foot Locker South Regional in North Carolina.

#2

BMS football team goes unbeaten and makes the playoffs

A 52-0 win over Trimble County on the last night of the season gave the Rebels not only a perfect season but also a Conference Championship. Jeff Jump and his team celebrated and few days later took part in the first ever Middle School State Football Championships. The Rebels hosted a first round game against Grant County. The Braves may have gotten the best of the Rebels that night but it made the season no less of a success. The season also marked the end of Jeff Jump’s career as head coach as he stepped down at the end of the year.

#1

Lady Rebels cut down the nets as district champions

It had not happened since 1999, but in February, the Owen County Lady Rebels won the 31st District Championship. Kelsey Williams and Kendall Cochran provided the senior leadership as the team defeated Carroll County at home to claim the title. Fans stormed the court to celebrate the win and everyone enjoyed cutting down the nets. “It is indescribable,” said Williams after the game. Cochran summed up everyone’s feeling about the night when she simply said, “It is so awesome.”

•••••

What does 2009 have in store? We will all have to wait and find out together.