Vaught's Views: Morris supports Morriss

May 18, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Taking time to clear out the e-mail bag on a variety of sports-related subjects.

* Former University of Kentucky football coach Guy Morriss didn't need long to make a fan out of John Morris, a 1977 Danville High School graduate who lives in Waco, Texas, and works for the Baylor radio network.

Baylor went only 3-9 last year in Morriss' first season, but the Bears did beat Colorado in their Big-12 opener.

"That win over Colorado extended the honeymoon period for coach Morriss and his staff," Morris wrote. "They didn't get another Big-12 win, but they were much more competitive against the likes of Texas, Oklahoma and Kansas State and nearly beat Kansas on the road."

Morris said it was obvious the former UK coach and his wife enjoyed living in Lexington, a fact many UK Morriss-backers won't dispute.


"I get the feeling that they hated leaving there and still have very close ties to some people in Lexington who came to some games here last season," Morris wrote. "Guy has bought a place with some land for his cattle and still hops on his Kawasaki, it's no longer a Harley, whenever he gets the chance."

That scenario certainly sounds familiar because before he left UK, Morriss had a farm outside Perryville and often rode his motorcycle there.

Morris says the new Baylor coaching staff has made strides in recruiting and, much like the staff did at Kentucky, has "mended fences" with the Texas high school coaches that were not happy with the former Baylor coaching staff.

The former Danville resident also says assistant coach Mark Nelson is "the best special teams coach I've ever been around," a sentiment Derek Abney and many UK fans certainly share.

Despite last year's 3-9 mark, Morriss still has every assistant on staff that came with him from Kentucky except defensive coordinator John Goodner, who retired just after signing day and has been replaced by Bill Brady, a former teammate of Morriss' on the Philadelphia Eagles.

"When you have been down as many years as Baylor has and you play in the Big-12, it takes times time to get enough talent to get back on your feet. But I strongly believe that we are headed in a positive direction under coach Morriss," Morris wrote. "His style and personality are very well received here, and Baylor fans are eternally optimistic."

Funny how similar that sounds to Morriss' reception here and UK football overall.

* Brandon Wesley, a former Casey County football and baseball player, joined the Marines after graduation last year and is now stationed in Iraq. However, he's not forgotten about his Rebels.

Recently he e-mailed asking for the best way to search our Web site for Casey baseball results. Not that he has much time at the computer, but he just wanted to know what was going on with players he knew from last season.

"We don't get to get on the computer too much," Wesley wrote. "We are doing fine. I just want to let everyone know we all appreciate the thoughts and prayers from everyone. Thanks, and I will check the Web site whenever I can to see what I can about Casey baseball."

Actually, it's all of us who should be thanking this former area athlete for what he's doing to look after us.

* Former Kentucky wide receiver Aaron Boone caught an 8-yard scoring pass Sunday as Berlin beat Rhein 33-20 to clinch a spot in the World Bowl, the championship game for NFL Europe.

Lexington's David Kravetz writes that Boone's team is 6-1 and clinched a World Bowl berth earlier than any team ever has.

Boone, who had two catches for 42 yards, now has six receptions for 138 yards in the six games he's played. Every catch has been for a touchdown or first down.

* Casey County basketball fan Joe Griffin has some thoughts he hopes others will consider as the Rebels search for a new boys basketball coach to succeed Shawn Conley, who was not rehired for next season.

"Mr. Conley is a good man but he wasn't able to get the job done as coach," Griffin said. "I hope it isn't politics or anything like that which decides Casey's next coach. Every kid deserves the opportunity to compete regardless of income or where they live.

"After all, championship teams are made up of players that can play. It's not about how much money they have."

No one can argue with that final point.

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