By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
How did Knox County 11-year-old coach Scott Payne celebrate his team’s state championship?
As soon as his team won the state title on Friday, he and his family decided to hit the road and take a vacation to Orlando, Fla. Saturday to relax and have some fun in the sun without worrying about whether his team was going to win or not.
“Man, I tell you, it’s a great way to enjoy the state championship,” he admitted. “It feels like I’ve had a ton of bricks lifted off of me. It’s a great feeling.
“We’re at Universal Studios right now and it’s a blast,” he added. “We had a great time in the state tournament last week and now it’s time to take a break.”
Even though he’s taking a break, Payne said it hasn’t kept the Knox County All-Stars from looking ahead to next year in the 11 & 12-year-old division.
“The kids had already talked about that,” he admitted. “It’s going to be tougher to win it in the 11 & 12-year-old (division), but we’re going to try and see what happens.
“We know we’ll have a target on our backs next season, but that comes with winning a state championship,” Payne said. “It would be the ultimate dream come true, if we could do that next year.”
Payne quickly went back to this year’s accomplishments and he admitted winning a state title hasn’t sunk in just yet.
“It really hasn’t for me or my players,” he said. “It probably won’t set in for a while, to be honest. Our kids probably don’t realize what they’ve accomplished, but I’m sure they will when they get older. It was a great accomplishment for them.”
Knox County won the state championship this past Friday by defeating Franklin Simpson at Prestonsburg’s Stone Crest Field, 7-2.
Knox County jumped out to a 3-0 lead and put the game away after a two-run homer by Tucker Holland. Payne’s squad posted an impressive 5-0 record during state tournament play while outscoring their opponents, 61-10 during the process.
“This is a special group of kids and they never quit,” Payne said after his team won the state championship on Friday. “I really can’t put it into words of how big this is. To come from a small town like Barbourville and go up against teams that have 300 to 400 kids in their Little League programs is huge. It’s an honor to just be here. It’s really a special time and for us to accomplish this is huge.”
Knox County coach Scott Payne says winning state championship hasn't sunk in yet
By Les Dixon / Sports Editor
- Local Sports
The Williamsburg Yellow Jackets are partying like it's 1987! That was the last time the Jackets won a game in the 13th Region Tournament, and they ended the 27-year drought with a 47-44 win over the heavily-favored Knox Central Panthers on Thursday night.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'Em
When it comes to picking region tournament games, it’s not an easy task to say the least. This is the most parity that I’ve ever seen in the 13th Region Boys and Girls Tournaments.
If Clay County’s play during the first game of the 13th Region Tournament is any indication of things to come, Robert Marcum’s squad could be well on its way of capturing their second straight 13th Region championship.
The Way it is
Since I’m picking Corbin to pull off the upset against Jackson County today, I figured I’d give my top five upsets dating back to 2005-06 when the 13th realigned and welcomed both North and South Laurel high schools to the mix.
Tony Pietrowski’s Corbin Redhounds have been favored during the past two first round 13th Region match-ups, and have been upset both times. Corbin is hoping things might change a bit this time around.
Barbourville will have hands full against Bell County today
Dinky Phipps’ Barbourville Tigers are looking for their first 13th Region Tournament win dating back to 2006’s tournament when they defeated Clay County in the regional semifinals.
Like It or Not
There’s an elephant in the room at this year’s 13th Region Tournament, and really in basketball in general, and I guess I’ll be the first one to point it out (publicly with my name attached to it).
Chris' Daily Region Pick'Em
With the first three days of opening round games in the books, I can honestly say I'm not surprised that I'm 4-2 overall when it comes to my pick'ems record.
You can never count out the Clay County Lady Tigers when it comes to the 13th Region Tournament.
Les Dixon's Daily Region Pick'em
After going just .500 during the girls games, things are going to get even tougher when it comes to picking the 13th Region Boys Tournament games.
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