“In the long run, you make your own luck... good, bad, or indifferent.” —Loretta Lynn

I’m no stranger to Johnson County, Kentucky. In fact I’ve traveled there more times than I can count. The community of Van Lear is one of my favorite stops. Loretta Lynn — it’s shining star, along with her sister Crystal Gayle are two of my heroes. Their family, the Webbs are some of the most genuine and warm people I’ve ever had the pleasure of meeting.

A breaking story surfaced this week regarding a state title football game set to take place today between the Johnson Central Eagles and the Boyle County Rebels.

A coach from Boyle was recorded on video, trash talking beneath a mounted plaque that displayed “Attitude is Everything.”

His encouragement to a team of young athletes... “a lot of people in Johnson Central can't even count to 100, so I vote for Boyle County's defense to hold them under 100 yards rushing, and our offense to score 100 points. I'm picking Boyle County 100-0."

Well bless your heart, sir.

It appears you don’t know “people” from Johnson County very well at all.

People like Chris Stapleton from Staffordsville, whose family broke their backs mining coal. Having graduated from Johnson Central High School, I’m pretty sure he can count, and well past 100. Following his dreams, he’s counted plenty of royalties off his Grammy-winning albums and other awards. I hope the next time you hear his voice from within the speakers of your car you’re reminded of just how high he can count.

I can add some others to my list, the list of Johnson countians who can count past 100.

Most recent the Johnson Central Academic Team who were National Champions in 2017.

Yes, I said national champions.

Hylo Brown, Jenny Wiley, and two Major League Baseball players, Johnnie LeMaster and Willie Blair. Chances are this group of native Eastern Kentuckians were also competent, intelligent and educated.

If I really wanted to get technical here, I could elaborate further into surrounding areas and add multiple names to my list of successful and remarkable Eastern Kentuckians. Many who have impacted and influenced further than just their region... but the world.

There’s not enough column space for that. It would take more than “100” pages or so to document. (Pun fully intended.)

So the bottom line here.

If you mess with one of us, you mess with all of us. My “people” have each other’s backs, mathematically inclined or not. We stick together.

I’m betting Johnson Central by 100. Win or lose I’ll take my extended mountain family any day.

Character and integrity are 100 times more valuable than a title, but nonetheless show them how high we can all count, JC.

Erinn Williams is originally from Williamsburg, and now resides in Owensboro, Ky. The daughter of a teacher and a preacher, she hopes to make a difference through her words. She serves as a teacher's assistant in Daviess County, and writes for two newspapers in Western Kentucky. She can be contacted at

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