Randall Cobb becomes co-owner of D1 Sports Training in Bowling Green

Never one to be satisfied, Randall Cobb is branching out from the football field.

The former University of Kentucky standout and current Green Bay Packers receiver/returner was introduced Wednesday as a co-owner of D1 Sports Training’s Bowling Green location.

Cobb was at the facility on Natchez Trace to host a series of D1 Experience workouts with members of all ages.

The D1 facility opened in Bowling Green in October, and the company currently has 15 locations across the country. Two new locations will open later this summer in Orlando, Fla., and Raleigh, N.C.

The BG facility is co-owned by Western Kentucky Orthapaedic and Neurosurgical Associates, and Cobb is the latest professional athlete to partner with a regional location. Others include Peyton Manning, Chipper Jones, Tim Tebow and Jason Witten.

Below are some comments from Cobb on becoming a co-owner at D1, his second season with the Packers and his passion for working with kids:

Randall Cobb

On getting involved with D1: “It’s definitely something that I wanted to give back. This workout facility is definitely one of the top in the nation. Being able to have a workout facility, I think it’s so important for youth these days. There’s so much competition, and you get people in here for all ages from 7 to 70. It’s about being able to work out, be active and have fun.”

On working with young athletes: “That’s the most important thing – the kids. They’re the next generation. They’re the future. You just want to leave your mark on them in any way you can with a positive influence.”

“Kentucky, the whole state has shown me support for the last three or four years. They mean so much to me, so I want to be able to give back and help out however I can.”

Goals with Green Bay: “For myself, I want to be on the field a little bit more. I want to be able to contribute in any way that I can and be more involved with the offense. We’ve got a star-studded offense and a lot of guys that can make big plays, and the defense is coming along. I think we can make another run at the Super Bowl this year. That’s our goal every day when we come in.”

“As hard as we worked last year and as much time as we put in … it’s tough. That leaves a chip on our shoulder, and this offseason we’ve been working extremely hard and doing everything we can to get back to that point.”

On his first NFL game, which included a receiving TD and kick return TD: “I did have one good game, and one good game out of 16 isn’t a good season to me.”

On what he likes to tell kids. Cobb is currently enrolled in an online class for summer school and working toward finishing his degree at UK: “I try to teach them the value of education and learning. It takes you a lot further than your sport ever will.”

Lady Topper updates: youth camp, schedule, recruiting

Today was the first day of the Western Kentucky women’s basketball team’s Individual Camp for children in grades 6-12. The camp runs through Thursday.

The camp had about 34 participants today, WKU coach Michelle Clark-Heard said, which is a number she said she’d like to see double or triple next year.

We also talked to Heard about a range of subjects other than the camp itself, and those comments are available below, as well as some thoughts from junior guard Chaney Means. Heard touched on recruiting, the recently passed texting rule for men’s coaches and the 2012-13 schedule.

Heard said the Lady Toppers will start a home-and-home series with Vanderbilt this season at E.A. Diddle Arena. They will also play at Morehead State and in a tournament at Wright State. The full schedule should be released in a few weeks, she said.

Michelle Clark-Heard

On having the returning players on campus. The six new players arrive for the next summer school session, which begins July 9: “My door has kind of been like a revolving door when I’m here. They’re getting a chance to know me a lot more. Joey (Carnes) , the strength and conditioning guy, he’s kind of the bad guy right now, and I’m kind of the good person right now. I can be whatever they need me to be, but when it comes time to hit the court and school starts back, it’s going to be a different relationship.”

On having a full year to recruit: “We were really anxious when April came, and it’s really awesome now because we’ve been able to sit down and put our plan together, as far as what we’re looking for in 2013 and future-wise. 2014 and 2015 are huge for us because we have to keep building this program.”

On men’s coaches being able to send unlimited text messages to recruits, and the likelihood that the rule also comes to the womens’ game: “That’s what normally happens. Normally, the men get it, and then it trickles over to women’s basketball. There are pros and cons. A lot of the student-athletes will like the opportunity not to talk on the telephone, and they can just text us. But when you talk about unlimited, I think it’s going to get out of control. I hope if the rule gets passed for us, there’s a limit, or maybe not the juniors. I have mixed feelings. But at the end of the day, no matter what the rule is, my staff will go to work and work just as hard as the next staff and everyone else in the country.”

On this year’s schedule: “It’s going to be a challenge, but it’s going to be awesome. I’m looking forward to putting everything together and putting our product on the floor.”

On having more doubleheaders with men’s program: “I’m excited about it, and I think coach Harper is. The biggest thing is to get the fans. Coach Harper has done a phenomenal job with the program, and what I want to be able to do is for his fans to be able to come, and if they just see what we’re trying to do – the hard work, the effort – hopefully that will get them back to our games.”

Chaney Means

On coach Heard: “We got to work out with her for four weeks in the postseason workouts. It’s been going great. She brings a lot of energy, and I think she’s brought in a great coaching staff with different strengths. It feels like everybody has their role, and I think everyone’s excited about it.”

On the role returnees played in recruitment of six signees: “We wanted them to feel welcome and that we’re a family. We wanted to let them know what it’s really going to be like, day in and day out. It’s fun to hang out with them before they’re officially here. They’ve all been here, and we’re ready for them to get here.”

Arnika Brown re-signs with DSK Karlin

Former Lady Topper Arnika Brown

Former Lady Topper Arnika Brown

Got a phone call this morning from none other than former Lady Topper standout Arnika Brown, who told me she has re-signed with DSK Karlin, a professional team out of Prague, Czech Republic.

Brown averaged 11.6 points and 12.8 rebounds for DSK Karlin last season, leading the ZBL league in rebounding. She was named All-Czech honorable mention by Eurobasket.com and was also selected to the site’s All-Imports Team.

That came after a short stint in Finland, where she played for Kotka Peli-Karhut.

Brown said she leaves for Prague on Aug. 24. Look for more from my recent talks with the former WKU star early next week.

ACS pitcher Kelsi Pardue wins Kentucky Miss Softball award

As I’m sure most know by now, Allen County-Scottsville pitcher Kelsi Pardue was named 2012 Kentucky Miss Softball on Saturday night, as announced by the Kentucky Softball Coaches Assocation.

I caught up with Pardue, a Western Kentucky signee, today to talk a little bit about winning Kentucky high school softball’s top honor.

Kelsi Pardue

“It’s a real honor, and I hope I can represent well. It’s exciting that I’ve come this far.”

On career, including 2011 state title: “I’m so blessed. Coach Roberts gave me a nice start as an eighth-grader, and that came up to junior year, and winning that title was huge. I went out with a bang. Couldn’t ask for a better career.”

On heading to WKU: “Western is a great school. They have so many advantages for going there – closer to home, and I was really familiar with the campus. The coaches are great, and the team is like a family. I can keep all of my fans over the years be able to drive 30 minutes and watch me. That’s really important to me.”

ACS softball coach Rick Roberts

On Pardue’s award: “It’s a big honor for our school. She’s had a great career. She’s been a major player in Kentucky for four years. I think to be selected Miss Softball, you can’t just have one senior year. You have to contribute over the course of your career, and then have a strong senior season.”

A few notes on Pardue’s career

  • Pardue had 405 strikeouts as a senior, which ranks her sixth on the state’s all-time list. She was 30-5 as a senior with a 0.67 ERA and 94 hits allowed. She also batted .412 from the leadoff spot for the Lady Patriots.
  • Pardue ranks sixth in state history with 1,290 career strikeouts and seventh with 112 career wins.
  • She was named the MVP of the 2011 KHSAA state softball tournament, striking out 39 batters in 34 innings as the Lady Patriots won the state title.
  • Pardue is the second athlete from Allen County to win a sport’s top award. Jim McDaniels won Mr. Basketball in 1967 at Allen County High School.

VIDEO: Greenwood beats Scott County in state tourney opener

OWENSBORO – The Greenwood softball team made a first-inning lead stand Thursday, beating Scott County 3-0 in the first round of the Rawlings/KHSAA State Softball Tournament at Jack C. Fisher Park in Owensboro.

“We’ve got that target on our back now, and we know that,” Greenwood coach Penny Reece said. “We have to play with that, and that’s what you need in that opening round. … We knew we had to bring our best.

“It was tight there for a while, and the bats came through. We’ve just got to keep bringing our game.”

The Lady Gators (37-5) advance to play Region 7 champion Mercy at 9 a.m. today.

If they win that game, they’ll play the winner of first-round victors Lone Oak and Owensboro Catholic at 3 p.m. If they lose to Mercy, they’ll drop into the loser’s bracket of the double-elimination tournament and play again at 1 p.m.

Greenwood sophomore pitcher Elizabeth Moss walked two batters and gave up a hit in the first inning, but she escaped trouble with an inning-ending double play and settled down from there.

The hurler finished with seven strikeouts in seven innings, giving up five hits and two walks.

Sophomore catcher Aeron Smith gave Greenwood a 1-0 lead in the bottom of the first with an RBI single that plated junior shortstop Emily Gravette.

The Lady Gators cushioned their advantage with two runs in the sixth. Smith scored on an error after a two-out triple, and junior first baseman Brittany Graham later added an RBI double.

Scott County (32-8-1) also had chances in the top of the fourth with runners at second and third and one out, but Moss got a strikeout and lineout to end the threat.

Sophomore pitcher Marlee Tevis surrendered seven hits and took the loss for Scott County.

Other first-round winners were Estill County, Boyle County, North Laurel and Ryle.

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