PIKEVILLE — For the sixth year, 62 high school youth group students from Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Burlington built four wheelchair ramps and painted two houses for current and past Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) patients.


“We don’t have to travel to a different country to help others, the need is here in our own state,” Youth Leader Libby Hahnel said.


This is Hahnel’s sixth trip to the Appalachian mountains.


“Each summer we plan a five-day trip to Pikeville or the surrounding area. This year we hiked at the Breaks Interstate Park to show the students God’s creation of the land,” she said. “I love the mountain terrain, it is so different from Northern Kentucky. It is like a breath of fresh air to me.”


Hahnel said each year is an eye- opening experience.


“It’s very humbling and a wonderful feeling doing something good for other people, while making friends and creating memories,” she added.


It is Andrew Jacob’s third time serving our patients.


“What most service people do is indirect, but this is a one on one experience. You can see the person you’re helping, engage in conversation and see their facial expressions. It’s nice to know you’re making a difference,” he said.


Chloe Black said this is unlike anything she’s ever done before.


“It’s a very humbling experience. It is also a blessing to be able to help those less fortunate,” Black said.


Zachary Bockweg said he loves helping people.


“This is my third time coming to Pikeville and I look forward to this trip every year. It’s fun getting to know other people and nice to know you’re helping someone else,” he said.


Homeowner Virgil Cline of Varney and daughter, Connie Belcher of Varney said they are blessed to receive this kind of help.


“This is just wonderful. I think the students are doing a great job,” Belcher said. “It is just my father and I, he can’t do this kind of work and neither can I, so this is truly a blessing. They’re teaching these kids great values and what they’re doing is a great thing.”

GROUP: High school youth group students from Immaculate Heart of Mary Church in Burlington, are pictured while building a wheelchair ramp and painting the exterior of Virgil Cline’s home.
Medical Leader | Photo by ABIGAIL GIBSON
Author Name: 
Abigail Gibson
Friday, July 7, 2017

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. — Barbershop owner Jim Lambert has been a fixture at his location in downtown Williamson for the past 25 years.


He started out working in Columbus, Ohio after graduating from barber school 49 years ago. After spending four years there he decided to come home to southern West Virginia.


“I was getting three dollars a head in Columbus and I took a pay cut to come back to Chattaroy,” he said. “I was making one dollar. That wasn’t too smart.”


Barbershops have been a socializing stop for men since the early 1900s. It was a weekly habit for men, who wanted a haircut, shave or just gossip, to drop in.


“When I first came back I had a good clientele,” he said. “Back then you had to cut a head of hair and a buzz cut was something you expected most guys to want.”


Lambert says clients and times have changed.


“The biggest thing today is kids don’t care how you cut it,” he said. “You look on television and many of those they look up to have some crazy styles.”


Williamson was once the “Heart of the Billion Dollar Coalfield.” Many of those jobs have been lost, but Lambert says the talk around his shop has shifted from politics to the economy.


“Right now the big topic is the economy,” he said. “Jobs have been tough to come by in our area but some of our miners are going back to work and that’s good for our town and region.”


His shop is filled with memorabilia. There are articles featuring the old Chattaroy School, as well as coaches and other historic news articles.


He completes each haircut with the use of his straight-edge blade, something you don’t see nowadays in a number of shops. He reaches for a bottle of tonic that makes you smell like you just stepped out of a 1920’s shop.


“Hair tonic differs from other hair-styling products you’ll find in a beauty salon or some shops,” he said. “Nowadays you have to also have styling gel, mousse and a variety of other products.”


Lambert’s business was put on the shelf in 2004 when he had open-heart surgery. Nearly 13 years later he looks back on the road to recovery as a challenge.


“You know they tell you it will take about six months to get back to operating on a normal level but it’s a tough thing to overcome,” he said.


Lambert noted that the advancement of medicine has come a long way.


“You look at how many great doctors we have right here in our back yard and the work they do at Pikeville Medical Center when it comes to heart procedures. It’s amazing.”


Lambert knows the old-time barbers and shops are fading away.


“As a child you always look forward to coming to a barbershop with your dad and getting a haircut,” he said. “A number still do. But the guys like me who started during a special time in our country are few now.”


For the many customers who still visit Jim’s Friendly Barber Shop it remains a cool place to hang out.


“I’m thankful that I’m still able to get up each day and come to work,” he said. “Every day is another day I can spend in this small town with great friends and the place I call home.”

Author Name: 
Teddy Paynter
Friday, July 7, 2017

PIKEVILLE — Hillbilly Christmas in July (HCIJ) is gearing up for the annual Randy Jones Memorial Ride for the Kids on Sunday, July 16.


HCIJ, celebrating 12 years, has a number of weekend activities planned, including its annual blood drive at Harley Davidson in Pikeville beginning at 10 a.m., on Saturday, July 15. Following the blood drive, riders will set out for the Big Sandy Regional Airport for Airport Days in Inez.


Planned activities for children will take place in the Pikeville City Park from 5 p.m. until 7 p.m. Inflatables, carnival games and other activities will be offered for Kids Day in the Park, open to all Shriners patients and their families, all children are welcome.


A parade of bikes will leave Pikeville Harley Davidson at 7 p.m., and circle around the city park for Kids Day.


Pikeville HCIJ Bike Night will begin at 7 p.m. in downtown Pikeville with music provided by the band, “Mid-life Crisis.” Food and beverages will be available.


Events continue on Sunday with the ride to El Hasa Shrine Temple in Ashland, leaving the Harley Davidson lot at 10 a.m. Hundreds of bikers are expected to take part in the ride.


Named after HCIJ co-founder Randy Jones, the event celebrates the work that the organization has done year-round to raise funds and provide toys to Shriners Hospital for Children.


Registration is $20 per bike.


In the past 11 years, HCIJ has donated nearly $500,000 and more than 50,000 toys to Shriners Hospital for Children.


The hospital gives those toys to children seeking specialized care, free of charge.


People who want to donate a new toy for the cause can do so at the Harley-Davidson of Pikeville or at local Double Kwik stations. 


Shriners Hospital/HCIJ’s second annual car cruise-in and car show will begin at 11 a.m. Entertainment, food and silent auction will also take place.


The drawing for the 2017 Harley Davidson motorcycle will take place at 4 p.m. All proceeds from ticket sales benefit Shriners Hospital for Children in Lexington.


Raffle tickets are available for purchase from any HCIJ volunteer or at Harley-Davidson of Pikeville. 


For more information call 606-226-0726 or 606-205-5134, or visit us online @ HillbillyChristmasinJuly.org

Author Name: 
Teddy Paynter
Friday, July 7, 2017

PIKEVILLE — Hester Branham, 58, of Harold swept off her driveway one autumn day last year. Afterwards, she went inside to get a drink of water and immediately knew something was wrong. Her husband Ellis, 71, thought she had simply overdone it, but Hester knew it was something more.


She visited the Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) emergency room on October 18. She was experiencing severe lower back and leg pain. The attending physician in the ER referred her to a familiar face, Dr. Naveed Ahmed, PMC neurologist.


Hester already had a long history with Dr. Ahmed. He treated Hester and her daughter for migraines in previous years. “I already knew I could trust him,” said Hester. “PMC is blessed to have him on staff.”


After performing diagnostic tests including a spinal tap and blood work, and reviewing the CT scans and X-rays from the ER, Dr. Ahmed diagnosed Hester with Guillain-Barre Syndrome.


Dr. Ahmed said, “At PMC we often have patients with multiple neurological problems that can cause life-long paralysis,” but we are always happy when these patients get the proper diagnosis early so that they can make a full recovery.


According to Mayo Clinic, Guillain-Barre syndrome is a disease where the body’s immune system attacks its nervous system. The cause is unknown.


In many cases, the first indication of Guillain-Barre syndrome is weakness and tingling in the feet and legs that later spread to the upper portion of the body, including the arms. The patient may have either high or low blood pressure and may experience a complete inability to walk or go up and down stairs.


Hester was treated with intravenous immunoglobulin (IVIG) therapy while at PMC.


The critical component in IVIG is Immunoglobulin-G. This substance helps the body build long-lasting antibodies to fight disease. In people with immune deficiencies, it can help to bolster the immune system, allowing the body to fight disease more effectively.


Eventually, the muscle weakness can progress into paralysis. This was happening to Hester. She became completely unable to walk or use her limbs or hands. She was almost completely paralyzed.


By this time it was clear that Hester needed more invasive treatment. She was transferred to Lexington for another treatment called plasmapheresis.


“I’ve known Dr. Ahmed for a long time,” said Hester. “I put my trust in him because I knew he was making the right decisions for my health.”


Plasmapheresis is a process in which the liquid in the blood, or plasma, is separated from the cells. In sick people, plasma can contain antibodies that attack the immune system. A machine removes the affected plasma and replaces it with good plasma, or a plasma substitute.


As Hester’s condition worsened, she was no longer able to breathe on her own.


Doctors had to perform a tracheotomy to aid in her respiration. She remained on the ventilator for two months. Her husband, Ellis, was by her side the whole time.


After months of rehabilitation, Hester gained use of her arms and airways again. She relearned how to feed herself and was eventually sent home in a wheelchair.


With Ellis taking care of her and Hester working hard at physical therapy she was able to slowly build up her muscle tone and strength. Hester continued exercises at home and it wasn’t long before she regained full use of her legs. Hester was walking on her own.


“God gets all the glory and the honor in my healing,” said Hester. “He gave everyone who worked with me the knowledge they needed to make me well.” Hester continued, “With God’s help I am up and walking.”


She continues to see Dr. Ahmed for check-ups and to keep her on the medication needed to manage her health.


“He is a wonderful doctor and great neurologist,” said Hester. “He really cares. I highly recommend him to anyone.”


“I am thankful to God that Dr. Ahmed was brought into my life,” said Hester. “I feel blessed that he is my doctor.”


“Mrs. Branham had a disease that could have left her permanently disabled,” concluded Dr. Ahmed, “but with God’s help, we were able to get her the proper diagnosis and treatment to get her back to living a normal life.”


Dr. Ahmed is located on the 8th floor of the PMC Clinic. To make an appointment please call 606-218-2208.

DIAGNOSIS: Hester and Ellis Branham
Medical Leader│Photo by AMY CHARLES
Author Name: 
Amy Charles
Friday, July 7, 2017

PIKEVILLE — Little did Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) Public Relations Specialist Melinda Goodson realize at the time of her pregnancy with twin girls that she had developed life-threatening complications.


She suffered from a condition known as HELLP syndrome, which is a group of symptoms that occur in pregnant women who have hemolysis (the breakdown of red blood cells), elevated liver enzymes and a low platelet count.


As her pregnancy progressed in 2016, twin girls, Averie and Maisie, continued to grow but her energy level was nonexistent. In December, at a routine prenatal appointment, they discovered there was a possibility that preeclampsia was developing. She was admitted to the hospital for further observation.


After several tests, she had an emergency C-section at 35 weeks and 6 days gestation.


She said her biggest concern was the baby’s lungs, as it is common for premature infants’ lungs to be underdeveloped.


After the delivery, both babies had lung complications, which resulted in respiratory distress syndrome (RDS) and were rushed to the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU).


Babies with RDS struggle to breathe because their immature lungs do not produce enough surfactant, a protein that keeps small air sacs in the lungs from collapsing. March of Dimes helped develop surfactant therapy, which was introduced in 1990. Since then, deaths from RDS have been reduced by half.


Both twins required oxygen, surfactant therapy, continuous blood work and multiple other tests. Goodson was under constant supervision regarding her blood pressure, having received four pints of blood and magnesium sulfate post-delivery.


As time passed, Maisie was making strides of improvement but Averie’s health continued to decline.


After Averie received the maximum dosage of surfactant, experienced a pneumothorax and was diagnosed with persistent pulmonary hypertension of the neonate, she was placed on a ventilator.


The next day, Goodson was discharged from the hospital.


“We had no option but to leave our children to continue receiving treatment,” she said. “Every minute of every day I spent thinking about my children as I would beg God to show mercy on them.”


Goodson and her husband, Jeremy, decided to transport Averie to a higher level NICU hospital. While, Maisie would stay at the local hospital to continue progressing with the treatment she was receiving.


The NICU was making arrangements to place Averie on ECMO therapy, a life-saving technology offered to high risk infants that provide a heart-lung bypass by pumping blood through an artificial lung outside of the body. But, because she was able to begin nitric oxide during her transport, the blood vessels in her lungs began to relax and she was able to avoid the ECMO therapy altogether.


“We were not allowed to hold Averie until she was almost two weeks old,” she said. “Being a parent, this was one of the hardest things to do because we wanted to hold her and comfort her. We wanted her to know that we were there and she wasn’t fighting alone.”


As time progressed, they began to see significant improvement in the twin’s health.


Goodson said, “Day by day different machines, cords and tubes were turned off and removed, medicines were decreasing and eventually done.”


Averie spent 21 days in the NICU and Maisie for 12.


Goodson and her family were nominated as the 2017 Central Appalachia March for Babies Ambassador Family.


In Kentucky, more than 55,900 babies are born every year and each one is touched by the March of Dimes, whether they are born healthy, prematurely, have a birth defect or other complications.


The March of Dimes carries out their mission through programs of research, community service, education and advocacy to save babies. Their work involves constant collaboration to develop innovative breakthroughs that fight these problems at their source and in our community.


“Because of the research funded by the March of Dimes to develop the treatment options our children required, we’re able to enjoy our children,” she said. “We’re able to watch them grow and thrive.”


Goodson said each time they could bring one of their girls home, they knew God was the reason they were able to celebrate their homecomings.


“Anyway that I can praise God for this blessing I’m going to do it,” said Goodson. “If I have to use this story to show people what He is capable of, I will use it for Him.”


For many years the March of Dimes has funded research aimed at improving the treatment of premature infants. Grantees have contributed to the medical advances that have greatly improved the chances of survival. However, premature birth remains a leading cause of infant death all over the world.


The Central Appalachia community March for Babies kick off dinner and awards celebration will take place on Tuesday, July 25 from 6 p.m. until 7 p.m. at Giovanni’s in Pikeville. Awards will be presented to teams that raised the most money last year and the Goodson family will be introduced.


The Central Appalachia March for Babies walk, which represents 10 counties, is set for Saturday, Sept. 23 at 1 p.m. in the Pikeville City Park. Registration begins at 12 p.m.


“It’s an honor and a privilege to be selected as the 2017 family. We want to get our story out there. It’s our testimony and a way for us to praise God for taking care of our children,” Goodson concluded.


RSVP to Joanna McNurlin at 606-465-1088 or e-mail jmcnurlin@marchofdimes.org by July 21 to attend the dinner.



Author Name: 
Abigail Gibson
Friday, July 7, 2017

The annual Pikeville Medical Center (PMC) Osteopathic Residency Program’s banquet was held on June 27, at the Landmark Inn’s Mark II in Pikeville.


PMC administration, board members, physicians, volunteer teaching faculty and staff honored graduating and active residents while welcoming new residents to the program.


PMC offers three residency programs: Family Medicine, Integrated Family Medicine/Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine and Plus One Neuromuscular Medicine/Osteopathic Manipulative Medicine.


PMC Chaplain Randy Johnson offered the invocation prior to dinner and Mark Swofford, D.O., Chairman of GME, recognized PMC Chief Resident Kate Tackett, D.O.


She was recognized for her performance as Chief Resident for the previous year.


Dr. Tackett said, “The banquet was so nice. We appreciate everything the hospital does for us and this was our opportunity to honor the attending physicians who did so much for us.”


Volunteer faculty awards for 2017 included Medical Volunteer Faculty of the Year, John Fleming, D.O.; Surgical Faculty of the Year, Dustin Gayheart, MD; and Honorary D.O. of the Year, Dr. Bill Harris.


Lynn Jeffrey, D.O. and Lee Greco, D.O. were recognized as the new Co-Chief Residents for the upcoming 2017-18 resident year. They introduced the


incoming residents for 2017: Ben Burgett, D.O.; Caitlin Wilson, D.O.; and Zak Ratliff, D.O.


Family Medicine Residency OGME III Residency promotions included Olivia Hamilton, D.O.; Jonathan Lyons, D.O.; Robert Shurtleff, D.O. and Lynn Jeffrey, D.O.


Family Medicine Residency OGME II Residency promotions were Robert Cline II, D.O.; Brittany Fairchild, D.O.; Kevin Farthing, D.O.; Ashley Turley, D.O.; and Kayla Damron, D.O.


Lee Greco, D.O. was the only Integrated Family Medicine/Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine OGME IV promotion while Courtney Thompson, D.O. was the only Integrated Family Medicine/Neuromusculoskeletal Medicine OGME II promotion.


The program concluded with recognition of the 2017 graduates. Family Medicine Residency graduates were Kate Tackett, D.O.; Kristi Tackett, D.O.; and Derek Sword, D.O. Integrated FM/NMM graduate was Jenna Heinert, D.O.


Juanita Deskins, Chief Operating Officer, continued the tradition of presenting an iPad for completion of the residents first year of training and their advancement to their second year.


Deskins commended the residents on a job well done and encouraged them to always strive for excellence.


Maleshea Hopkins, D.O., Program Director, said, “I am privileged to work alongside such an outstanding and genuine group of people. They warm my heart with the way they take care of patients and each other. I look forward to what the next year will bring.”


PMC’s dynamic residency programs are committed to providing educational excellence in a rural community setting.


The programs prepare osteopathic practitioners to meet the health care needs of the people located in rural Kentucky.

Author Name: 
Carol Casebolt
Friday, July 7, 2017

PIKEVILLE — On behalf of the University of Pikeville, President Burton J. Webb, Ph.D., and Provost Lori Werth, Ph.D., announced the appointment of Karen Damron, Ph.D., as the dean of the Elliott School of Nursing.


Damron currently serves as associate professor of nursing at UPIKE and will assume the leadership position in July. Damron was raised in El Paso, Texas, moving to Pikeville in 1993, and has taught full-time at the university since 1998. Prior to becoming an educator, Damron worked full-time as an RN in obstetrics and neonatal intensive care in hospitals in Texas and Maine.


“Dr. Damron’s commitment to students, passion for UPIKE, experience in the community and enthusiasm for the position is evident,” said Werth. “As an academic dean within the Elliott School of Nursing, she will have a significant impact on student success and faculty development.”


Damron earned her doctor of philosophy in nursing from the University of Kentucky. She holds a master of science degree in nursing from Bellarmine University and a bachelor of science degree in nursing from the University of Texas at El Paso. In 2010, Damron was appointed by the Mellon Foundations as a fellow to the Salzburg Seminar in Salzburg, Austria. She earned UPIKE’s William Wade and Helen Record Walker Teaching Excellence Award in 2014 and was awarded a pre-doctoral faculty fellowship by the Appalachian College Association for the 2015-2016 academic year. Her research interests include perinatal smoking and factors that impact a woman’s smoking status in pregnancy.


She and her husband, Larry, reside in Pikeville and have four sons, the youngest of whom is a sophomore at Pikeville High School, and three grandchildren.


The Elliott School of Nursing at the University of Pikeville offers an associate degree in nursing, an LPN-RN program and an RN-BSN program that will be fully online beginning this fall. To learn more about the Elliott School of Nursing visit www.upike.edu.

Friday, July 7, 2017

PIKEVILLE — The City of Pikeville will host the float fest on Saturday, July 22, 2017. The Lucky Duck Float Fest is a trial run for trail town certification. State officials say the Kentucky Trail Town Program is designed to help connect communities to trail systems and help develop them as tourist destinations. It will guide travelers to trails, food, lodging, campgrounds, museums, entertainment and other services in Pikeville.


The float fest will begin with registration from 8-10 a.m. at the Texas Roadhouse river access. At 10 a.m. participants will be shuttled to the Jubilee Church river access ramp at Indian Hills. The float will conclude at the Texas Roadhouse ramp with live entertainment, free hot dogs and lucky duck giveaways.


“I would like to invite the community to show their support by participating in this free event. It is beneficial to our city, to promote and develop adventure tourism opportunities in Pikeville”, Andy Linton City of Pikeville Director of Tourism & Events said.


Participants under the age of 10 must be accompanied by a parent. Bring your own floatation device or rent from Hatfield McCoy River Trails (while supplies last). For more information contact Andy Linton: 606-437-5119 or andy.linton@pikevilleky.gov.

Friday, July 7, 2017

PIKEVILLE — Johnson Central’s baseball program has been the class of the 15th Region in recent years.


The Golden Eagles advanced to the state tournament this past season and finished with an overall record of 31-8.


A big part of JC’s success came from Marshall-signee and shortstop Geordon Blanton.


Blanton was honored this week by being named the Medical Leader’s Player of the Year.


The junior was joined on the first team by two other teammates. Junior hurler Braxton Kelly and junior catcher Blake Gamble.


Other pictures selected were Pikeville junior Kevin Justice, Letcher Central senior Max Baker and Shelby Valley senior Jacob Beverly.


Pikeville senior Clay Slone joined Gamble behind the plate while Blanton was joined on the infield Paintsville junior Ben Daniels, Prestonsburg senior Reece Ison, Pikeville senior Andrew McNamee and freshman Nathan Brown.


Outfielders honored were Prestonsburg senior Scott Stapleton, Pike Central junior Logan Dotson, Belfry junior Devin Varney and Shelby Valley senior Seth Bailey.


Utility players named were Prestonsburg senior Zion Echols and Pike Central junior Seth Conn.


Paintsville junior pitcher Tanner Smith was chosen as captain of the second team. He was joined by Betsy Layne senior Steven Boyd, Johnson Central junior Tate Meade and Phelps junior Dylan New.


Shelby Valley senior Chris Gunter and Letcher Central senior Logan Gibbs were tabbed as catchers.


Infielders named were Pike Central junior Brice Elkins, Pikeville junior Cade Byers, Phelps junior Ronald Prater, Johnson Central eighth-grader Ryan Sartin-Slone and Jenkins senior Matthew Jessey.


Outfielders chosen were Allen Central senior Jesse Brown, Johnson Central senior Austin Davis, Prestonsburg senior Wesley Hager and Paintsville eighth-grader Jake Hyden.


Utility players selected were Belfry junior Colton Cross and Pikeville senior Peyton Hamilton.


Shelby Valley head coach Jordan Compton, a product of the University of Pikeville, was named Coach of the Year for the third straight season.


He guided Valley to an overall record of 22-9.






All-Area Baseball Team


Coach of the Year


Jordan Compton, Shelby Valley


Player of the Year


Geordon Blanton, Sr., Johnson Central


First Team


P – Kevin Justice, Jr., Pikeville


P – Max Baker, Sr., Letcher Central


P – Braxton Kelly, Jr., Johnson Central


P – Jacob Beverly, Sr., Shelby Valley


C – Clay Slone, Sr., Pikeville


C – Blake Gamble, Jr., Johnson Central


INF – Ben Daniels, Jr., Paintsville


INF – Reece Ison, Sr., Prestonsburg


INF – Andrew McNamee, Sr., Pikeville


INF – Geordan Blanton, Jr., Johnson Central (Capt.)


INF – Nathan Brown, Fr., Pikeville


OUT – Scott Stapleton, Sr., Prestonsburg


OUT – Logan Dotson, Jr., Pike Central


OUT – Devin Varney, Jr., Belfry


OUT – Seth Bailey, Sr., Shelby Valley


UTL – Zion Echols, Sr., Prestonsburg


UTL – Seth Conn, Jr.., Pike Central


Second Team


P – Tanner Smith, Jr., Paintsville (Capt.)


P – Steven Boyd, Sr., Betsy Layne


P – Tate Meade, Jr., Johnson Central


P – Dylan New, Jr., Phelps


C – Chris Gunter, Sr., Shelby Valley


C – Logan Gibbs, Sr., Letcher Central


INF – Brice Elkins, Jr., Pike Central


INF – Cade Byers, Jr., Pikeville


INF – Ronald Prater, Jr., Phelps


INF – Ryan Sartin-Slone, 8th Johnson Central


INF – Matthew Jessey, Sr., Jenkins


OUT – Jesse Brown, Sr., Allen Central


OUT – Austin Davis, Sr., Johnson Central


OUT – Wesley Hager, Sr., Prestonsburg


OUT – Jake Hyden, 8th, Paintsville


UTL – Colton Cross, Jr., Belfry


UTL – Peyton Hamilton, Sr., Pikeville


UTL - Ty Riddle, Sr., Shelby Valley


Special honorable mention


Steven Howard, Cameron Nelson, Allen Central; Avery Browning, Matt Fought, Jordan Scott, Austin Woolum, Belfry; Zach Bentley, Colby Bentley, Sam Boyd, Betsy Layne; Dakota Miller, Caleb Slone, East Ridge; Josh Delph, Austin Fields, Coty Wright, Jenkins; Blake Delong, Cody Rice, Johnson Central; Alec Fields, Keaston Maggard, Colton Yonts, Letcher Central; Jonathan McKenzie, Seth Williams, Paintsville; Evan Coleman, D’Sean Pinkleton, Ryan Eads, Pike Central; Tanner Thompson, Christian Tackett, Grayson Harris, Michael McDonald, Pikeville; Nicholas Caudill, Bailey Slone, Prestonsburg; Logan Billiter and Jackson Wierwille, Shelby Valley; Blade Slone, South Floyd.

Author Name: 
Teddy Paynter
Friday, July 7, 2017

PIKEVILLE — Pikeville senior pitcher Erika Conn helped guide a dominating Lady Panther squad to the state tournament and first 15th Region championship since 2002.


Conn was honored this week by being named the Medical Leader’s Player of the Year.


She helped Pikeville to an overall record of 30-8, best the region, and was a key part of the Lady Panthers reaching the All “A” Classic state finals.


She was joined on the first team by three other outstanding pitchers – Pike Central junior Haley Howell, Johnson Central senior Micailyn Pierce and Paintsville sophomore Anna Keeton.


Johnson Central sophomore Courtney Collins and Phelps junior Kryslin Obermueller were tabbed as first-team catchers.


The infield was made up of Pikeville junior Camryn Slone, South Floyd senior Cheyenne Light, Pikeville senior Emily Hughes, Betsy Layne junior Megan Frazier and East Ridge sophomore Kelsi Slone.


Outfielders named were Pikeville junior Alexis Stanley, Johnson Central senior Annie VanHoose, Letcher Central senior Grayson Collier and Pikeville senior Savanna Nunemaker.


Utility players were Belfry junior Taylor Maynard and Johnson Central sophomore Alaina Castle.


Belfry sophomore Kailee Rash was tabbed as captain of the second team. The Pirate pitcher was joined by Letcher Central senior Rachel Spangler, Phelps senior Hannah Layne and East Ridge sophomore Caitlyn Coleman.


Letcher Central senior Hannah Wampler and East Ridge senior Kailee Slone were chosen as catchers.


The infield selections were Pikeville junior Lindsey McNamee, Betsy Layne senior Summer Johnson, Allen Central senior Haley Osborne, Johnson Central sophomore Abby Fannin and East Ridge junior Britney Tackett.


Utility players were Pikeville senior Catie Rowe, Pike Central junior Autumn Cox and East Ridge senior Kelsey Damron.


Pikeville head coach Dave Thomas repeated as Coach of the Year after guiding the Lady Panthers to their most successful season in 15 years.




All Area Softball Team


Coach of the Year


Dave Thomas, Pikeville


Player of the Year


Erika Conn, Sr., Pikeville


First Team


P – Haley Howell, Jr., Pike Central


P – Erika Conn, Sr., Pikeville (Capt.)


P – Micailyn Pierce, Sr., Johnson Central


P – Anna Keeton, So., Paintsville


C – Courtney Collins, So., Johnson Central


C – Kryslin Obermuller, Jr., Phelps


INF – Camryn Slone, Jr., Pikeville


INF – Cheyenne Light, Sr., South Floyd


INF – Emily Hughes, Sr., Pikeville


INF – Megan Frazier, Jr., Betsy Layne


INF – Kelsi Slone, So., East Ridge


OUT – Alexis Stanley, Jr., Pikeville


OUT – Annie VanHoose, Sr., Johnson Central


OUT – Grayson Collier, Sr., Letcher Central


OUT – Savanna Nunemaker, Sr., Pikeville


UTL – Taylor Maynard, Jr., Belfry


UTL – Alaina Castle, So., Johnson Central


Second Team


P – Kailee Rash, So., Belfry (Capt.)


P – Rachel Spangler, Sr., Letcher Central


P – Hannah Layne, Sr., Phelps


P – Caitlyn Coleman, So., East Ridge


C – Hannah Wampler, Sr., Letcher Central


C – Kailee Slone, Sr., East Ridge


INF – Lindsey McNamee, Jr., Pikeville


INF – Summer Johnson, Sr., Betsy Layne


INF – Haley Osborne, Sr., Allen Central


INF – Abby Fannin, So., Johnson Central


INF – Britney Tackett, Jr., East Ridge


OUT – Kailey Shannon, Sr., South Floyd


OUT – Emily Compton, So., Shelby Valley


OUT – Lindsey Lockhart, So, Pikeville


OUT – Emily Deaton, So., Belfry


UTL – Catie Rowe, Sr., Pikeville


UTL – Autumn Cox, Jr., Pike Central


UTL – Kelsey Damron, Sr., East Ridge


Special honorable mention


Katie Conley, Allen Central; Ariel Mounts, Belfry; Alex Sisco, Betsy Layne; Alyssa Hedrick, Johnson Central; Alyssa Franklin, Meghan Combs, Brooklyn Collins, Letcher Central; Sonia Williams, Paintsville; Hannah Blankenship, Phelps; Cassidy Lowe, Pikeville; Alison Campbell, Emily Salisbury, Abigail Shepherd, Megan Music, Prestonsburg; Taylor Newsome, Teniesha Newsome, Ashleigh Causey, Shelby Valley; Brooke Stumbo, Katie Moore, South Floyd.


Author Name: 
Teddy Paynter
Friday, July 7, 2017