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Tomcat Tales

Tomcat Tales

By Mark Maynard
Ashland Tomcats sports history and highlights with host Mark Maynard, a Hall of Fame sports journalist in northeastern Kentucky. A deep dive into the history of one of Kentucky's greatest high school programs.
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Who's on first? And who's being interviewed? We turn the tables and interview the host
Mark Maynard, the host of Tomcat Tales, takes his turn on the hot seat as Sarah Lynch Nausbaum does the interviewing for this one. Let's hope he can handle the heat.
April 26, 2021
Jeff Hall Part 3: The days of O.J. Mayo and an intense time coaching Rose Hill basketball.
The is the third and final segment with Jeff Hall, one of the greatest players to ever come out of the 16th Region and a two-time 16th Region championship coach at Ashland and Rose Hill. He was also the Associated Press Coach of the Year after taking the Royals to a 27-4 record in his first season when phenom O.J. Mayo was only a seventh-grader. There were some interesting times at Rose Hill, which went 51-13 in his two seasons.
April 13, 2021
Patton Pending: David Patton had a fun ride through 1950s with Tomcats
David Patton played baseball and basketball for the Tomcats during the 1950s when athletes were plentiful. He went on to become a college basketball coach at East Carolina for three seasons where he was the Southern Conference Coach of the Year in 1974-75 when the Pirates went 19-9 and defeated Baylor during the regular season.
April 07, 2021
Part II: Hall-mark of success with Jeff Hall and the 1990-92 Tomcats.
Jeff Hall talks about the 1990-92 Tomcat basketball seasons.
April 06, 2021
PART 2: Hall-mark of success with Jeff Hall leading the Tomcats basketball program.
Jeff Hall talks about his two years of coaching the Ashland Tomcats basketball team from 1990-92.
April 06, 2021
PART I: Jeff Hall becomes shooting star from Westwood to Louisville
First of two podcasts with Jeff Hall, the former Fairview High and University of Louisville basketball star. He played on the 1986 U of L national championship team - the only area player to own a Division I championship ring. He brought great pride to Westwood and the entire 16th Region as a key player who scored 1,294 points in his four-year career. He started every game, averaging 10.3 ppg. for the 1986 champion Cardinals. His point total would have been 2,000 had the 3-point shot been in play when Hall played.
March 30, 2021
TOMCAT LEGACY: Rob Lynch has had a hand in past, current and future Tomcat basketball success.
A sitdown interview with Rob Lynch, who did his part in a family legacy of athletic excellence for the Ashland Tomcats. Rob led the Tomcats to the 1992 16th Regional title, ending a drought of a dozen years, and was also a key player on the Ashland American Little League state champions in 1986.
March 26, 2021
Finding motivation from not making the Tomcats.
Charlie Stephenson grew up during the Golden Era of Ashland Tomcat sports in the 1960s. But for a number of reasons, he could never quite crack the varsity rosters. However, what many might consider failure he used as fuel to keep playing the games he loved and eventually land a 30-year high school basketball coaching gig in Florida that includes multiple championships.
March 11, 2021
Let's be Frank: Meet Ashland's most versatile and successful coach
Frank Sloan's coaching career with the Ashland Tomcats including guiding girls track and field, junior high football and basketball, high school basketball, baseball and soccer. It spanned 32 years and a whole lot of victories, including lead Ashland to regional championships in three different sports. He is ninth on Kentucky high school's win list in soccer with 267 victories and led the Tomcats to the Final Four in that sport in 2004. 
February 19, 2021
To the point: Ashland's Jason Strader dials it back to the 1992 16th Region championship season.
Jason Strader is one of the most memorable point guards in recent Tomcat history, directing a 26-7 season that ended in the Sweet 16 in 1992. That snapped a 12-year drought of no regional titles for Ashland. Strader  has remained true to his Tomcat heritage and is currently coaching the 8th grade team, which includes his oldest son, at Ashland Middle School.
January 13, 2021
Tip of the Tomcats: Ashland big man soared in big moments
Jeff Tipton had a dream to wear the Tomcats' maroon-and-white on the basketball floor. He played for Tomcat coaching legends Paul Patterson and Ernie Simpson, twice going to the Sweet Sixteen where he was a shining star under the brightest lights.
January 08, 2021
Say hello to Marty Thomas, the Ashland Tomcat basketball scoring king
Marty Thomas scored 1,873 points in his Tomcat career from 1991-1994, playing on two 16th Region championship teams, scoring a team-record 54 points in a single game and putting in 30 points in a remarkable 14 games. His 27.7 scoring average as a junior is also the best single season mark. He's a great representative of Tomcat sports.
January 06, 2021
There's a lot to LOVE about Ashland's state championship football coach.
A candid conversation with Coach Tony Love, who just led Ashland's football team to the Class 3A state championship and an undefeated season.
December 29, 2020
Big Mike Johnson was a bulldozing running back for the Ashland Tomcats from 1986-88.
When Mike Johnson graduated in 1989 after three years as a starter with the Tomcats he was the leading rusher in school history. That record has since been broken but Johnson has not been forgotten. Listen as he shares about his career, including the famed 1988 loss to Covington Catholic in the Class AAA semifinals.
December 18, 2020
Championship talk with 75 JAWS player and Putnam Stadium renovation chairman Greg Jackson and Coach Herb Conley.
Greg Jackson was a running back and outside linebacker on one of Ashland's most feared teams, the 1975 JAWS State At-Large champions, who rolled out a 14-1 record. Hear Greg and Coach Herb Conley, the architect of the famous Tomcat team, talk about the win over Paducah Tilghman and the loss to St. Xavier in the Kentucky "Super Bowl" in an emotional converation.
December 17, 2020
Dicky Martin is Kentucky's best high school sports broadcaster and it's not even close. Nobody tells it like Dicky tells it. He is a true walking, talking (mostly talking) Tomcat legend.
A conversation with Ashland Tomcat broadcasting great Dicky Martin, a legend in Kentucky high school sports section as the Voice of the Tomcats for 45 years. He has seen a little bit of everything in an incredible career but nothing matters more to him than his Tomcats.
December 10, 2020
Rick Sang's Ashland Tomcat football career put him on a lifetime path of success.
From seldom-used freshman to first-team All-State as a senior for the Ashland Tomcats, Rick Sang proved how hard work can make the player and, in his case, a lifetime career in the game of football.
December 06, 2020
David Brown was a 3-time state champion in Ashland: Little League, Babe Ruth and 1990 Tomcat football.
David Brown was the daring quarterback who guided the Tomcats wishbone attack to the 1990 state championship. Winning a state title was nothing new to him. He did the same in Little League and Babe Ruth. Meet a true champion in all kinds of ways.
December 04, 2020
What's it like to be the son of a legend? Former Tomcat quarterback Greg Conley tells us in this episode.
Greg Conley played football and basketball for the Tomcats from 1980-1983. He is the son of Tomcat great Herb Conley. Try living up to that legacy. Greg did his best to do just that.
December 01, 2020
HUTT! HUTT! A look back at the career of 1990 Tomcat running back Chris Hutt.
Chris Hutt was one of three 1,000-yard running backs in the Ashland Tomcats' 1990 state championship football season. He rushed for 175 yards and three TDs in the 35-13 victory over Lincoln County to complete a 14-1 season. Hutt came back a season later and took the Tomcats to the regional championship game. He is one of the greatest running backs in Tomcat history.
November 23, 2020
John Radjunas and the 1967 state champion Ashland Tomcats
Quarterback John Radjunas talks about the 1967 Tomcats' state championship football season from start to finish. The Tomcats finished 13-1, winning the title 19-14 over Elizabethtown on the same day that tragedy occurred when basketball star Joe Franklin was killed in an automobile accident near Morehead.
November 16, 2020
Stacy Franz was a girl for all seasons and an Ashland legend.
Stacy Franz is the No. 2 scorer in Ashland Kitten basketball history, piloting the 1990 and 1992 teams to 16th Region titles and also started at third base on one of Ashland's seven Little League state championship teams in 1986. She is one of the most fierce competitors, male or female, in Ashland history,
November 13, 2020
Bill Bradley's remarkable coaching career spans more than 40 years.
Bill Bradley started his coaching career at Holy Family High School in the 1970s and it still hasn't stopped. This season will be his 20th on the bench for the Ashland Kittens' basketball program. And don't forget about The Clem, maybe the longest-running pickup basketball tournament in the nation. After being postponed by COVID this year, the games played in front of the Bradley's home turns 40 next year. We will talk about it all in a fun 54 minutes with the unflappable Mr. Bradley.
November 11, 2020
Kiwanis Bowl simulation completion: Coles vs. Putnam All-Stars
Find out what happens in the second half of the simulated Kiwanis Bowl between Tomcat all-stars who played for either Coles or Putnam from 1952-78. The Buccaneers and Broncos were tied 21-21 after an exciting first half. Find out the rest of the story in this episode.
October 29, 2020
Larry Castle's incredible senior season in 1959 ranks as one of the finest in Tomcat basketball history. And he just kept doing more.
Tomcat Larry Castle exploded onto the scene as a big scorer as a senior when he averaged 23.3 points per game after scoring less than 100 in his first two years on the team. It was good enough to earn him a third-team All-State selection from the Courier-Journal and a scholarship to WKU.
October 28, 2020
A simulated Kiwanis Bowl between former Tomcat stars who went to Coles and Putnam
Listen as Dicky Martin, the legendary VOICE of the Ashland Tomcats, does the play-by-play with Mark Maynard in a simulated Coles-Putnam Kiwanis Bowl. The last time these junior highs met was 1978. 
October 22, 2020
1990: Coach Vic Marsh wins a state championship with a blockbuster backfield.
Ashland captured its second state championship of the playoff era with a 14-1 season capped off with a win over Lincoln County in the finals. Listen as Vic Marsh, the winningest coach in Tomcat history, talks about that special season.
October 21, 2020
John Koskinen's remarkable life journey included snapping football for 1955-56 Tomcats.
John Koskinen is a pretty big deal. He has worked for two former U.S. presidents, including serving as the commissioner of the IRS, was a former president of the U.S. soccer association and led the world through the Y2K conversion. But before all that, he was a 175-pound center for the 1955-56 Ashland Tomcats.
October 13, 2020
Howard Humphreys recalls Ashland in 1950s, the first AIT and his outstanding Tomcat basketball career
Howard Humphreys was one of Ashland's finest basketball players from the 1950s, starting for the Tomcats in 1956 and 1957. He played in the very first AIT and went up against the likes of Flat Gap's Charlie Osborne and Maysville's Toothpick Jones. He went on to play for Southwestern Louisiana where he once scored a school-record 40 points in a single game. He lives in Austin, Texas, today with his beautiful wife Ann and still works daily.
October 08, 2020
Forever friends carry undefeated 1958 Tomcats
Before Herb Conley and Dick Fillmore were "Mr. Inside" and "Mr. Outside" for the 1958 Tomcats, they were friends growing up in Ashland. The 70-year friendship is as strong as ever today. Listen to the details of the 10-0-1 season - the last undefeated campaign in Ashland history - and some bonus stories from these two great Tomcats.
October 05, 2020
1976: Tomcats put together super season in Herb Conley's finale.
Coach Herb Conley's nine-year coaching reign ended after the Tomcats finished 9-3 with a heartbreaking 14-13 overtime loss to Lexington Tates Creek in the Class AAAA State At-Large semifinals in Putnam Stadium.
October 01, 2020
1975: JAWS comes to Putnam Stadium
Ashland's 1975 season produced one of the hardest-hitting defenses in school history with the team that carried the nickname of JAWS all the way to the biggest championship game in the state of Kentucky. The Tomcats fell just short of perfection but it's a team that is still remembered 45 years later.
September 24, 2020
1974: Tomcats have fantastic start, tougher finish
Ashland started the season 5-0 before a demoralizing 13-6 loss to Russell seemed to turn the tide in a 6-3-1 season where coach Herb Conley had several upperclassmen in the lineup. A big season was on the horizon.
September 18, 2020
1973: Tomcats keep winning edge in Conley era
Ashland was coming off 21 victories and only one loss in Kentucky in two years but the Tomcats were depleted going into the 1973 season. They still managed a 6-5 record and nearly shocked undefeated and top-ranked Boyd County in the last game.
September 12, 2020
1972: Tomcats come within whisker of state title
Coach Herb Conley talks about one of his greatest Tomcat teams from 1972. Ashland finished 11-2 after losing to Tates Creek, 16-7, in the state championship. It was the last game ever played at UK's Stoll Field.
September 10, 2020
1971: Herb Conley era roars to 10-2 season
Tomcats hit their stride in Herb Conley's fourth season as head coach but playoff system fails them in the end.
September 05, 2020
1970 Tomcats have a wish(bone) come true
Ashland's 1970 football season was spiraling downward and coach Herb Conley was on the hot seat. The sophomore-dominated Tomcats took a six-game losing streak into the last game at Ironton and rode a new wishbone attack to a stunning 7-3 victory. The future suddenly looked much brighter.
September 01, 2020
1969 Tomcats started with a bang
Coach Herb Conley talks about his second season in 1969 that finished 4-7. It had some good moments but wasn't up to the lofty standards of Tomcat fans who were starting to become uneasy about their 28-year-old coach.
August 26, 2020
1968: Herb Conley's first season with the Tomcats
Coach Herb Conley talks about the 1968 season when the Tomcats went 7-3-1 with four shutouts. It was the first of nine seasons for Coach Conley. 
August 20, 2020