COLUMN: Making a statement

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By John Herndon

The cars have been converging on Anderson County High School again for a week now.

Walking through a few stores in the last few days, I have seen Bearcat paraphernalia in much larger quantities than in recent years. I've seen everything from sweat pants to back packs. It might be a reaction to an unbeaten regular football season, two regional championship teams, a regional runner-up and several highly ranked teams.

From packed stands every football Friday night all the way through the large contingent that cheered the Lady Bearcats on in Owensboro at the softball state tournament, Anderson County repeatedly backed up its reputation last year as having one of the largest followings in central Kentucky. Bearcat fans consistently reminded me of a conversation I had with another writer who mentioned that one of the coaches of the teams he covers have said they would love to have an atmosphere like the one at Anderson.

A year ago, "Make it Happen" banners that came in several editions of this paper popped up all over town in store windows. A few businesses had their own good luck wishes. And before the baseball and softball state tournaments, large signs sprang up on the courthouse lawn.

It was a display that underscored Anderson County's reputation as a place that really supports its high school teams.

But it could still be better.

A few years ago, I mentioned that the water tower that overlooks the Anderson athletic complex could sure use some sprucing up, at least on the side nearest the facility.

Run by the city of Lawrenceburg, the tower understandably has the city's logo on the side facing 127, but what could add so much to the atmosphere at nearly every outdoor sport is currently just a bland structure that adds nothing from the electricity surrounding a sporting event.

But having some sort of slogan, like "Go Bearcats" or something as simple as a red "A" or "AC" would give even more personality to one of the better sports venues in central Kentucky. One in support of the University of Kentucky is near Commonwealth Stadium and just adds a nice little touch.

Putting a logo, an "A" or "Go Bearcats" on the school side of the tower can't be that big of a job, would benefit nearly all Anderson teams and it's long overdue.

Here's one also hoping to see a concerted effort to have a sea of red in the stands on Friday night. While Anderson crowds have consistently been large over the years, it would sure look good to see nearly every home crowd drenched in red.

Gestures such as these will never score a touchdown or make a tackle, but they would add to the superb fan support that already exists for Anderson County sports, giving even more visual reminders that when a Bearcat team is playing in Lawrenceburg, it is playing in its house.

Kudos to softball tourney organizers

A big thumbs up to the local softball people who brought the National Softball Association Appreciation Tournament to town over the past weekend.

When I arrived at Community Park Saturday, relatively large crowds were watching games being played on all four fields.

Walking through the parking lot, I saw some out-of-state license tags and from some Kentucky counties nearly 100 miles from Lawrenceburg.

Some would see such a gathering of what are generally called "traveling teams," although the tourney also featured a few all-star teams from recreational leagues, as a bit of overkill. Others think such meets are the greatest thing this side of Jennie Finch.

What can't be argued is the impact such a meet has on Lawrenceburg and Anderson County. People visit town, they spend money here.

It is a grand opportunity to showcase Anderson County to people who know little of the area. The tourney has been played at Community Park for several years now. Here's one that hopes it will continue and the portrait it paints of the community continues to be positive.

Be sure to send in college results

Over the past few years, we have tried to keep up with Anderson County kids playing college sports with varying degrees of success. Part of that has been our inability to keep up with kids once they graduate from high school. Transfers, injuries and academic issues all contribute to that as does the fact that most college athletes play at smaller schools that do not have large sports information departments.

However, we love getting information about local kids continuing to play at the college level.

We know of 25 to 30 young people that have graduated from Anderson County High School or Christian Academy of Lawrenceburg that have signed to play college sports. That is a very large number, maybe the most ever at one time for the county. We would love to keep our readers informed of how they are doing but we need your help.

Just drop me a note with the information.