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Is Lex Catholic a dynasty?


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http://www.kentucky.com/mld/kentucky/sports/13893836.htm

 

 

To find another high school that ever dominated basketball -- regardless of gender -- in Kentucky like the girls at Lexington Catholic are doing, you have to go back to the first quarter of the 20th Century.

The old Lexington High (which eventually morphed into Henry Clay) won the first boys' state tournament in 1918. It also won in 1919, '20, '22 and '24. That's five appearances in the state finals in seven years.

No school has come close to matching that until now. Starting in 1999, Lexington Catholic's girls have also played in five state finals in seven years, winning three championships.

In the 2000s, Catholic has won 213 girls' basketball games.

It has lost 26.

 

 

Last year, the Lady Knights' steamroller of a state championship team vanquished all 29 in-state foes it faced. The average margin of triumph in those games was 29.5 points a game.

This year, Todd frets that his team is not as deep. He worries about slippage from a season ago.

So far, Lexington Catholic (23-1) has beaten its 15 Kentucky opponents by an average of "only" 25.7 a contest.

 

That average margin of victory is impressive.

 

Now for the complaints against Catholic.

 

Many public school coaches say they, too, could make five state finals' appearances in seven years if they were not limited in where they draw players by normal public-school attendance boundaries. "Multi-county All-Star team" is the phrase often applied to Lexington Catholic.

There is some truth in that.

Of the top seven players on this year's roster, one transferred to Lexington Catholic after playing varsity as an eighth grader at Franklin County. Another is also from Franklin County, where she attended a Catholic grade/middle school.

One chose Lexington Catholic for high school after attending the Fayette County public schools in middle school. One player spent part of her primary-school days in Paris; another came from Mercer County.

One player was on the varsity at Frankfort High as an eighth grader before transferring to Lexington Catholic as a freshman.

Of the top seven players, only one is from Lexington and came through the Catholic primary school system.

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Reading further even the LC coach admits a not level playing field.

 

"Every one of those students started here as freshmen. Some were in our feeder programs," Todd said of his top seven players. "Some chose to come here (in high school). Obviously, in this whole public/private thing, things are not totally level as far as sports."

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Reading further even the LC coach admits a not level playing field.

 

"Every one of those students started here as freshmen. Some were in our feeder programs," Todd said of his top seven players. "Some chose to come here (in high school). Obviously, in this whole public/private thing, things are not totally level as far as sports."

 

The way the KHSAA splits up the regions from sport to sport isn't "level". The Louisville public and private schools should make this an issue, yet choose to let it go.

Athletics at all levels isn't played on a level playing field. Little league baseball isn't played on a level playing field. AAU basketball is blantantly not played on a level playing field.

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It seems like this thing is always driven by the same people on BGP. Have you ever stepped foot into the Public schools in Lexington? I have had the luxury of visiting most of the top Middle schools in Lexington and I have been to 1 Middle School so far that I would think about letting my child go too and you have to have some serious cash to live around that school. It's cheeper to put them in a Private school! I've been to most of the "prestigious" Middle schools on my visits. It's easy for outsiders to dog families for putting their kids into Lex Cath and LCA but for the people that live it there is an understanding why! I haven't been to the schools at Frankfort but know people that worked there and they didn't have much good to say about it.

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  • 2 weeks later...

My bet is that this is one of the main reasons for the harsh views that have driven Prop 20 and supposed compromises. But you have highlight other parts of the article to get the complete picture.

 

"There are not a lot of public schools that can claim a 40-county radius as an area to draw from," said Franklin County Coach Joey Thacker. "Of course, if you accomplish the things Coach Todd has done, kids kind of recruit themselves."

 

"They do have super talent there," said Paris Coach Terence Brooks of the Lady Knights. "But he still has to coach them, get them to play together. Greg's been able to do that."

 

So even the opposing coaches admit that its hard work and skill that are required to generate success. Then that success will create ongoing interest in the school.

 

I think the 40-county statement radius is very overstated. And while LC is the only Catholic HS in the entire eastern part of the state the fact that a number of players (and probably overall student body) come from adjacent counties and Franklin county is not at all new or unusual.

 

I know of numerous families that drive from Franklin and Madison for school and other activities daily or at least 3 -4 times a week. Its not a big deal, as those of us who live this region know. All the adjacent counties are well connected to the Lexington 'hub' and Franklin, though not directly adjacent to Fayette county, is well connected through I-64 and Madison is well connected through I-75. Going from these counties to Lexington is as easy or easier than going from Eastern Jefferson County to magnet schools on Dixie Highway.

 

And while it may sound like a school like LC can attract kids all the way to the Ohio, West Virginia and Tennessee borders the practicle matter is that it does not work that way. There are no dorms for students to stay in. The students are not boarded in the coaches house during the season. The real logistics keep the actual drawing region limited to the 'Bluegrass region'. As parents that have played on true all-star teams or elite travel teams that cover a large geographic area can attest - every hour your in the car is an hour the child is not on the (pick one - court, field, ice, track) or doing homework or just being a kid. So the allure of 'multi-county' all-star team (real or not) sounds neat at first, but the parents and students who do this type of daily travel are giving up something and making definite sacrifices to do it. There is a downside to this whole idea and the futher away you are from the school the harder it is. This is why the 'distance limitation' is not really too much of an issue in reality.

 

If Mark Story rewrites this article in a couple of years from now and there are kids from Pikeville and Somerset ;) and Bowling Green playing for LC I would be more alarmed. But kids going to LC from Franklin and Madison is not really news. Mr. Story just wanted to stir the pot.

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Wow.

 

That quote you're referring to can be somewhat loaded. 6 of the 7 girls might not have attended Lexington Private Schools, but it doesn't mean all 6 of those girls aren't Catholic(im not sure exactly how many are but I believe a few are), that a few of those girls already planned on attending Lex Cath for high school but due to travel stayed home for middle school, and so forth. The point it does highlight is that Lex Cath does have many people come in from outside of Lexington, athletes and non athletes included. Catholic isn't getting girls from two-three hours away yet, but is getting girls in general from as far out as say Franklin Co. Does that make the playing field unlevel enough to warrant split playoffs is the biggest question?

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