What a sports week, it was for Louisville: City, University, Trinity and Central!
Except for when Denny Crum and two of his basketball teams won the national basketball championship, never have we experienced such a successful week by our teams.
Ken Lolla’s University of Louisville Cardinals lured a bunch of sunny California beach young men to Louisville on one of our coldest, snowiest nights. The result: No. 1 seed U of L nipped UCLA 5-4 Saturday to qualify for this week’s Final Four in the NCAA’s College Cup at Santa Barbara, Calif., Friday night against No. 4 North Carolina at, 8:30 p.m on ESPNU. No. 3 Akron, from whom U of L director of athletics Tom Jurich lured Lolla, and No. 10 Michigan will meet in the other semifinal.
Despite the weather, another great crowd (5,467) turned out to see the Cardinals rally at Cardinal Park.
Rick Pitino’s U of L Cardinals won two more games to finish the week, unbeaten.
Coach Jeff Walz’s U of L women’s basketball team not only thrashed No. 8-ranked Kentucky 78-52 to avenge last year’s 26-point loss, but they did it before 22,152 fans at KFC Yum! Center. That is the largest crowd ever to see a women’s, game in Kentucky.
Coach Charlie Strong’s football Cardinals were invited to the Beef O’ Brady’s Bowl to play Brett Favre’s old team, Southern Mississippi. at 8 p.m Tuesday, Dec. 1, in St. Petersburg, Fla. ESPN will televise the game. U of L finished 6-6 in Strong’s first year and Southern Miss was 8-4 and its most impressive victory was over Kansas 31-16.
Kentucky’s, 6-6 football Wildcats, coached by Joker Phillips, kept pace with U of L by accepting a bid to the Compass Bowl in Birmingham, Ala., at noon Saturday, Jan. 8, to play Pittsburgh, which beat U of L 20-3 in a regular-season Big East Conference game. ESPN will televise the game at noon. Compass is the name of a large group of banks in the South and in Texas.
Last but certainly not least, the city of Louisville proved once again to be the home of Kentucky’s finest high school football when two of its teams, Trinity and Central, brought home two of our state’s six championships from the state finals at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green.
Coach Bob Beatty’s powerful Trinity Shamrocks tied Fort Thomas Highlands High for the most state championships at 20 by beating Male High 38-0 in Class 6-A, the class for Kentucky’s biggest schools. It was Beatty’s record eighth championship. Only Fort Thomas Highlands coach Dale Mueller has won more state titles. He has nine.
Coach Ty Scroggins’ Central High YellowJackets won, their third title in four years by routing Belfry 46-7. Elusive running back Anthony Wales led Central with two touchdowns and 244 yards, which gave the 5-foot-9, 167-pound junior the new Jefferson County record of 2,994 yards. That broke the 2,756 record by Moore High’s Monquantae Gibson in 2001.
Many of the best players for both Trinity and Central will return next season!
About the Author (Author Profile)
Earl Cox, Sports Columnist
Earl doesn¹t just write about sports legends, he counts many of them as his
friends. A member of the Kentucky Athletic Hall of Fame, he has been writing
about sports for 60 years. Incidentally, that¹s about how long it’s been
since he¹s cleaned his desk but he knows where everything is.