Top 10 sports stories of 2017

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No. 10 — Western Kentucky football had won two straight Conference USA championships and three straight bowl games coming into 2017. Mike Sanford was hired to keep that momentum going, but the Tops stumbled to a 6-7 record by losing five of their last six, including a 27-17 loss to Georgia State in the Cure Bowl.

No. 9 — It was a great year for South Warren athletics. The school's softball team won a second straight 4th region championship in a wild finish, scoring three runs in the final inning with two outs, then winning four games in the state tournament to finish third in the state. Chris Riggs stepped down as coach after the season and assistant coach Kelly Reynolds took over.

The volleyball team also made a great run after entering postseason with a losing record. The Spartans played their best volleyball when it mattered, including an upset over Greenwood in five sets to win their third region title in four years as well as making it to the final four for the time first time in school history.

And the football team exceeded many people's expectations, winning 11 games, including avenging a loss to defending state champion Bowling Green to win the region championship.​

No. 8 — Logan County football once had the state's longest losing streak before finally winning a game in 2016. In 2017, the Cougars ended the regular season 10-0 for the first time in school history and won a district championship. They also won a home playoff game before losing in the second round. Coach Todd Adler was named the state's coach of the year.

The Warren Central boys' soccer team was among the best in the state, collecting a 23-2 record, their first 14th district championship and their first 4th region title, punching their ticket to the state soccer tournament.​

At state, the Dragons notched two more shootout wins to advance to the final four before losing to eventual state champion St. Xavier.

No. 7 — Warren County South's 11-and-under Little League team won the state title and Keenan Briggs, who was born without a left hand, is featured on ABC's World News Tonight. Briggs threw out the first pitch at a Cincinnati Reds' game after hitting a home run during the district tournament that went viral online.

No. 6 — Offensive lineman Forrest Lamp and wide receiver Taywan Taylor become the highest NFL Draft picks in WKU football history. The Los Angeles Chargers picked Lamp in the second round while the Tennessee Titans selected Taylor in the third round.

No. 5 — WKU volleyball won a share of the Conference USA regular season title and the CUSA tournament championship by defeating North Texas. The Lady Toppers crushed Notre Dame in their first-round match before coming up short against Kentucky in Lexington.

No. 4 — A man from Scottsville who wore Western on his chest and put Bowling Green on the map. The death of Jim McDaniels, 69, allowed us as a community to once again celebrate his legacy on the court and his cherished life off of it.

No. 3 — The Bowling Green Purples basketball team was among the best all year, finishing with a record of 32-6, a fourth straight district and region crown. BGHS was capped off its year by capturing the school's first state championship.

No. 2 — Our second biggest story of 2017 was the Mitchell Robinson saga. A five-star recruit and a McDonald's All-American, Robinson committed to Rick Stansbury and WKU in the summer of 2016, then signed with WKU in November 2016. Then made national headlines by leaving campus, returning to campus, and then leaving again to focus on a possible NBA career.

No. 1 — Franklin-Simpson football tops our list. In 2016, the Wildcats were one of the best teams in the state, with a 14-0 record, however, their state championship dreams were crushed losing 48-0 to Johnson Central.

After losing a big senior class, the Wildcats started 2017 with a 2-3 record, but became red hot to put together some dominating performances. Franklin went on to perform well in the playoffs, including some emotional come-from-behind wins over Hopkinsville and Collins to meet Johnson Central once again in the state title game. This time around the Cats wouldn't be denied. The Wildcats went on to win it 35-21 to capture the schools' first state championship in 37 years.



 
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