Friday, December 5, 2008

Rockin' Rockets

Crittenden County's three captains, Gage Courtney, Rodney Robertson and J.D. Gray, greet Beechwood's captains before the cointoss of the their Class A state semifinal football game Friday night in Fort Mitchell.


The outcome of Crittenden County's Class A state semifinal game against Beechwood wasn't just a David vs. Goliath matchup on paper. The differences between the two programs stood out in the stands, too.

According to, the two school's corresponding cities, Marion and Fort Mitchell, have vastly different characteristics, despite being the homes to Class A schools.

Marion 3,069, Fort Mitchell 7,556.

Median household income:
Marion $27,411, Fort Mitchell $53,112.

Residents with income below poverty level:
Marion 24.3 percent, Fort Mitchell 3.4 percent.

Folks with a bachelor's degree or higher:
Marion 9.3 percent, Fort Mitchell 37.6 percent.

Little wonder then, how Beechwood gathered up the funds to play on a turf field.

Rocket fans, donned in Carhardts and camouflage (one Rocket football player actually had a camouflage muff around his waist), were juxtaposed by their calmer counterparts to their right — a few sporting actual fur coats.

While Beechwood's fans huddled together in the cold air reaching temperatures in the teens, Crittenden fans stormed the field before the game to cheer the Rockets as they took the field.

Rocket fans stayed and they cheered through the 34-0 loss and they hugged their football players and cried with them after the game, all the more proud to have Crittenden reach the semifinals for just the second time in school history.

But ask someone who really knows, really cares, who were the best fans at the game Friday night. Ask Rockets coach Al Starnes, who just completed his 18th year with the Rockets.

"You can't beat that," Starnes said about the support. "We had a great send off yesterday. The community did a great job of that, and I looked up here one time and we had more fans in the stands than they did. It just shows the support that we have. It’s a five-hour trip and to have as many as we had — the fans are great."

Maybe money can't buy true support.


Anonymous said...

Thanks so much for your support of our Rockets. We could not be MORE proud of the accomplishments they have made. They deserve NO less than respect and praise for the level of sportsmanship and genuine love of their game shown by the character they displayed all season. Many thanks to you and Joey for the coverage and fine words spoken about this group of fine young men!

Anonymous said...

Why do feel you need to make all the comparisons between Ft Mitchell, Marion, Beechwood and Crittenden County? Many of your assumptions just aren't true. First you compare populations of Ft Mitchell and Marion. Isn't your school name Crittenden County? The population of Crittenden County is over 9000, which is more than for the Beechwood School District. Also, not all Ft Mitchell residents are eligible to attend Beechwood due to historic school district boundaries. Not all kids in district attend Beechwood. Many choose to attend one of the fine private schools in the area like Covington Catholic and Notre Dame.

I don't think comparing incomes or college degrees is relevant either. These areas are so different I would suspect our cost of living is quite a bit higher as well being close to Cincinnati, OH.

One stat you failed to point out was that at the time of the 6 class alignment in 2007 Crittenden County had a 2 year average of 211 boys while Beechwood only had 176

I thought the people from Crittenden County were extremely classy until I read your blog. You have a lot to be proud of in Crittenden County so you shouldn’t need to point out what you feel are the negatives of others to make yourself feel better. Congrats on a fine season and good luck in the future. Hope we can meet again down in Crittenden County next year.

-A Beechwood Fan

auntoftherocketbeast said...

Thanks so much for your kind words about our guys. You saw first hand the passion they have for the game.We the fans should be THANKING them for the great Friday nights given us this season. I could not be prouder of their accomplishments. I know they are very greatful to you and Edward for the fine coverage Fri. night.We all knew what they were facing against Beechwood, but they will ALWAYS be heroes in our eyes. When they hurt--we hurt for all of them. They do the same and that makes them a TEAM. Those characteristics allowed them a District and Regional Championship!They will always be Champions in Rocketland!

Anonymous said...

Deer (sic) Beechwood fan ... it should be noted that the observer who wrote this article was a neutral writer from Paducah, 45 miles from Crittenden County, sent to cover the game for western Kentucky's largest newspaper. It wasn't meant to slight or disrespect anyone, I don't think, just a few observations. Beechwood was a wonderful host on and off the field. Good luck against Hazard.

Anonymous said...

I don't think the writer meant anything derogatory. She's an unbiased observer from a neutral location - Paducah.

Anonymous said...

The Rockets have a lot to be proud of. The fans were great and I enjoyed meeting and talking to several.

I have to agree with the comments made by A Beechwood Fan.

You failed to mention that the Beechwood people had hot chocolate, coffe and deserts waiting for the loyal Rocket fans as their boys practiced on our field Thursday night. Were you afraid to portray us as possibly nice people?

To attack our fans in order to make you feel better about a loss is petty. Too bad you could not show the same class the people of Crittenden County showed.

I too wish the best for CC and their football program.

Good luck to you in your future in journalism. You need it.

Another Beechwood Fan

Dusty Luthy said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Dusty Luthy said...

In writing this post, I in no way meant to offend anyone. I simply wanted to compare the areas from which the two teams came from in another way than Xs and Os. I imported no opinion of my own into the blog post, yet shared the point of view of Crittenden County's coach.

Seeing that Beechwood is one of VERY few high schools in the entire country to play on a turf field (especially as a Class A size school), I wanted to highlight how that could be possible, and how such an esteemed program could find such support financially.

Comparing the cities of Marion and Fort Mitchell was the only way I could come close to showing the socioeconomic differences of the two areas. The areas I chose may not completely represent the two school districts, this is true. However, it's an observation that carries some merit.

I in no way attacked the Beechwood fans. I sat among the fans that night in the 18-degree weather — not in the press box. The fans I did sit by that night were very friendly, but since that wasn't the subject of my post, I didn't mention it.

My apologies to anyone I offended, however, I stand by my words and my observations. I did not tell a lie, nor did I tell a story maliciously. I've simply told it as it was.