Boyd Defeats Raceland for 16th Regional Title

James Collier

Ashland Beacon


Boyd County barely broke a sweat in the 16th Region Volleyball Tournament as the Lions cruised to back-to-back region crowns after defeating Raceland 3-0 (25-10, 25-16, 25-12) in the championship. Boyd County continued its region dominance with straight set wins over Lewis County (25-6, 25-13, 25-11) and Fleming County (25-6, 25-6, 25-12) before advancing to the title game against the Lady Rams. 


Taylor Bartrum led the Lions in the championship game with 13 kills. Emma Sparks added eight. Carly Mullins had six. Boyd County had 10 aces in the win with Carleigh Conley, Bartrum and Sparks each having three. Elizabeth Rigsby led the Rams with seven kills.


Bartrum paced the Lions in the win over Fleming County with 15 kills. Sparks fired down nine. Sophia Gifford delivered six aces. Bartrum and Sparks led Boyd County in the win over Lewis County with 13 and nine kills, respectively. Sparks served six aces while Boyd County had 14 as a team. 


Raceland and Ashland battled in the only match to play to five sets in the semifinals. Raceland grabbed a 2-0 lead in the match only to watch Ashland storm back to steal set three followed by a dominating set four win to force a deciding fifth set. Ashland led the final stanza, 13-10 after a Sophie Suman kill but the Rams stormed back with Rigsby’s 18th kill of the night going down for the game winner. Gracie Reed, Kody Haddix and Shaelee Holbrook added seven kills. Khia Robinson led the Volleycats with a tournament best 28 kills. Suman had 19.  Raceland’s win over Ashland was the first for the Rams in six years.


Raceland rolled through West Carter (25-13, 25-12, 25-20) in straight sets led by nine kills from Holbrook. Skyler Brown-Morris had seven. Rigsby added six. 


Ashland defeated Rowan County (25-14, 25-14, 25-14) in its opening round match. Robinson led the Volleycats with 10 kills and five aces. Emma Slone put down six. 


Boyd County recorded a program-record 35th win in the Lions defeat of Fleming County. Boyd County will play host to 10th Region champion Bishop Brossart Monday night in the Semi-State round. 


Raceland closed its season 27-11. Ashland’s season ended with a mark of 30-9. 

The Boys of Fall: November 1, 2022

James Collier

Ashland Beacon




Raceland feels like it's in Groundhog Day. Each week a new team meets the Rams while touting a stellar rushing attack only to watch the Rams suffocating defense hold the opposition to season lows in the running game. 


Friday night in Louisa was no different when the Rams visited Lawrence County to close the regular season against the fifth best rushing attack in the state. The problem for the Bulldogs, the Rams defense never gave an inch in a 32-7 thrashing. 


Raceland held Lawrence County to only 109 rushing yards and 157 total yards of offense—66 of which came on the Bulldogs final drive of the game. Of the nine Bulldogs possessions in the game, the Rams forced six punts, an interception and a turnover on downs before surrendering the lone score in the final four minutes of play. 


Noah Wallace opened the scoring with his first of two, first half rushing scores for a 7-0 lead after one. Peyton Ison connected on a 38-yard field goal midway through the second and Wallace followed with his second score of the night, a 16-yard scamper for a 17-0 lead. Logan Lundy hit Mason Lykins on a deep post route for a 31-yard score and a 24-0 lead at the break. Lundy provided the lone Rams score in the second half on a 6-yard run with seven seconds to play in the third that capped off a 15-play, 59-yard drive that consumed 7:48 off the third quarter clock. 


Lundy went 8 of 13 for 121 yards. Lykins hauled in four catches for 90 yards. Wallace led the Rams rushing attack with 81 yards on 16 totes. Lundy added 47 on the ground.


Raceland closes the regular season 9-1 for the second consecutive season while clinching the second best RPI rating in the state which will allow the Rams to play in the friendly confines of Ram Stadium until the State Championship game at Kroger Field. Raceland will entertain Nicholas County Friday night to open the Class A postseason. 




Russell managed only one win in its first nine games but enters the postseason with something that could loom huge for the Devils postseason chances. 

A winning streak. 


Russell backed up its win over East Carter last week with a 38-7 dispatching of West Carter Friday night to close the season with back-to-back wins. Russell rushed for 219 yards led by Andre Richardson-Crews 77 yards. Colby Rock added 71. Ethan Oborne tallied only one carry on the night—a 54-yard house call on the second play from scrimmage. 


Rock visited the endzone twice. His first came on a 2-yard plunge late in the second quarter with his second going 43 yards to paydirt midway through the third that started the running clock in motion and a 38-0 lead. 


Ethan Pack threw for 116 yards and a touchdown. Carson Patrick hauled in three balls for 37 yards and a score. 


Russell travels to Belfry to open the Class 3A playoffs. It will be the first meeting with the Pirates since 2016 while losing five straight in the series. 




Greenup County needed about 50 more seconds Friday night. 


Trailing 34-14 entering the fourth quarter, Greenup County pulled to within a score with just over one minute left to play in regulation. Down 34-29, the Musketeers attempted an onside kick, but was unsuccessful in the recovery. After forcing a Mason County punt, Greenup County had one final shot at the comeback from its 16 and 11 seconds remaining, but a Tyson Sammons heave was picked off to secure a 34-29 win and undefeated regular season for Mason County. 


Greenup County fell behind 14-0 in the first until an Ike Henderson 3-yard scamper with 1:59 to play in the frame got the Musketeers on the board. Carson Wireman intercepted a pass and returned it 65 yards to paydirt to even the affair at 14-14 with 1:59 to play in the half but the Royals were not about to let the visitors steal away the momentum going to the locker room. With 38 ticks left on the clock before the half, the Royals broke the goal line for a 21-14 lead at the half, a score that ultimately decided the outcome. 


Greenup was held scoreless after intermission until 5:43 to play in the game when Sammons produced his first of two rushing touchdowns in the final stanza. His first came from four yards out and a five-yarder put the Musketeers within striking distance at the end. 


Mason County held Greenup County to well below its rushing average thanks to the sizable second half lead that forced the Musketeers into more a passing attack. Greenup County tallied 111 rushing yards led by Henderson’s 59. Sammons added 46 while throwing for 173 yards. 


Greenup County welcomes Pike County Central Friday night to open the Class 3A playoffs. 




Fairview was looking for a track meet Friday night when it headed to Lewis County to close out the regular season in Vanceburg. 

The Lions willingly accepted the challenge. 


Austin Howard scampered 201 yards on 20 totes to lead the Lions to a 46-26 win. Lewis County outgained Fairview 329-248 on the ground with quarterback Ayden Cooper adding 107 yards on six carries while throwing for 142 more. 


The Eagles, however, did not go away quietly in the contest and found themselves only down 13 at the break. Xavien Kouns ran for 143 yards and a touchdown while adding 69 yards and a TD in the receiving game. Austin Miller threw for 153 yards and a touchdown while running for another. Fairview had a costly turnover to start the second half and Lewis County capitalized on the mistake with a 17-yard touchdown by Howard for a 34-14 lead. 


Fairview travels to Bishop Brossart Friday night to open the Class A playoffs. 


Something for Everyone: Challenger League

Sasha Bush

The Greater Ashland Beacon


    “All children need is a little help, a little hope, and someone who believes in them,” Magic Johnson couldn’t have said it any better! Every child deserves to have someone that believes not only in what they can do currently but rather what they can accomplish when someone believes in their capabilities.

Amy McGuire, the Director of Special Education for the Russell Independent Schools, shares in Johnson's belief and took it upon herself to turn dreams into actions in 2016, McGuire had a dream of offering a baseball program that would allow ALL children regardless of their age or medical condition to have the opportunity to experience what it is like to be on a team and to be treated just like everyone else. 

     Through her passion for working with children with special needs, McGuire organized a partnership with the Russell-Flatwoods Little League to start up a baseball team in 2016, that would allow children with any physical and/or intellectual challenges from kindergarten to grade 12, (ages 4-22 years) to experience the beloved game of baseball. This league earned the name Challenger League. Taylor Stumbo, who works very closely with the Challenger League told the Beacon, “The inspiration for this league is derived from the children themselves; to allow them the same joys other children find in team sports. This a place where the children as well as the parents are just happy to have their child healthy and experience the joys of having a crowd cheer them on. It is set up in a way to hopefully be peer-driven so the entire community reaps the benefits.”

      In 2017, McGuire partnered with the high school basketball teams at Russell to do the same, so that the children could have the opportunity to experience what it is like to be on the court and so that they had something to do in the winter months as well. It wasn’t until 2019 that McGuire was able to partner with Page Maze and the AYBL to create the first combined league. It was during this time that the games were played during the halftime varsity games so that the entire community could cheer these amazing children on. It was truly a sight to behold. There is nothing greater than that of a child grinning from ear to ear doing something that they love.      Unfortunately, once COVID hit in 2020 the Challenger League had to put all games on hold due to the delicate nature of their children and how vulnerable they could be to getting sick. 

     “It is my mission now to hopefully bring this program back and get the word out that we are here and looking forward to working with these children. Programs such as this not only provide an opportunity to make lifetime memories for these children and their families but also o the volunteers and fans as well. Plus, with this being peer drove with their classmates it allows for more inclusivity to form relationships outside of a school setting,” noted Stumbo. He hopes that everyone will come to realize just how valuable a league such as this can be, to not only our children but to our community as well. “It makes all the difference in the world. I have seen firsthand what programs such as this can do for a kid just look at my son, Gavin, who has Down syndrome. He started in this program when we moved into the district back in 2018. There is no doubt it helped ease the transition of switching schools. The relationships made from the program allowed him to be where he is now, which is the team manager for the Russell Red Devils Boys Basketball team,” added Stumbo. 

      Thankfully now that COVID seems to have settled down the Challenger League plans to be up and running again very soon. Signups are currently going on right now thru Friday, Nov. 11. The league plans on having one game per week that will be played Saturday mornings. For any information on how you can sign your child up, you can contact Taylor Stumbo at 606.232.7132 or email him at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Even if you don’t have a child to sign up, Stumbo encourages everyone to come out and watch just how amazing these children truly are and just cheer them on. “The best thing anyone could do is just come out and cheer these children on. Every single one of them deserves to a have packed gym of people rooting them on,” concluded Stumbo.










Tai Chi and Kungfu find a Home in Catlettsburg

Morgan Hall

The Ashland Beacon 

       Let me introduce you to Nancy Compton. She is the Master Instructor at Ashland Area Tai Chi and Kung Fu. She was born in Ashland Kentucky in October 1954 as Nancy Coleman. She graduated from Blazer HS in 1973 and from UK in 1978 with a BS in Nursing. "After graduation from college, I stayed in Lexington KY, married, and began raising a family. In 1985, when my firstborn son was five, I began looking for a martial arts school to enroll him in.

We both had become fascinated with the martial arts that we saw being performed by stars such as Bruce Lee, Chuck Norris, Jackie Chan, and others. After a short and uninspired try at a karate class there in Lexington, I was forced to look further and found a Chinese martial arts school called Four Seasons on Southland Dr. It had been founded by an immigrant from China, Dr. Winglock Ng (also known as John Ng) about 10 years prior. When we walked into their school and saw what they were practicing there (Kung fu and Wushu) we were enthralled and had the feeling that we had found our new martial arts home, Compton explained.

    Time passed and Comptons' son was excelling, "My son flourished in his new Kung fu classes, and after watching him for a few months I said to myself, “This is not a spectator sport…I need to be doing this, too!” And so I started training as well.  I was 30 years old and had two small children at that time. Shortly after we started training at Four Seasons, Dr. Ng’s top instructor, John Dufresne, started his school called International Kung Fu and Wushu Academy. We followed him there and trained there until the late 1990s. During that time both my son and I achieved Master's level status (second black sash). In the year 2000, due to a divorce and other life changes, I returned to Ashland and continued Compton.

     Compton returned to Ashland, "After getting settled back in Ashland, I wanted to start practicing Kung fu again, but I could not find anyone within an hour or so radius that had a good school. So I began traveling back and forth to Lexington once or twice a month and training with my Lexington martial arts peers. I did this for several years and then started a Tai Chi class in April 2006. I added the Kung fu classes in January 2008. I was teaching out of the fellowship hall in my church at that time. I also trained with Grandmaster Rusty Gray from Nashville for several years. In 2014, we moved to 120 17th Street in Ashland and that’s where we’ve been located until the end of this August when we moved to Catlettsburg. We started our classes there in September, said, Compton.

     Recently, the school needed to relocate to a new building, Compton shares, "The reason for our relocation was because there were ongoing issues with the integrity of the building, so our landlord there (Paul Castle) decided it best not to renew our lease. At that time (July) he released us from the lease agreement and we began our search for a new location.  My sister (Christy Reaves) suggested looking in Catlettsburg, so I contacted Rex Castle who is a retired police officer and former student of mine, and a current commissioner for the city of Catlettsburg, to try to assist me in finding a place there.  He informed us that there was a vacancy just across the street from city hall, located at 2614 Louisa St. We met with the owner, Greg McCaine, and within a couple of days made an agreeable lease arrangement." 

     Compton explained how the school has changed post-pandemic, "Before the Covid pandemic, we had 40-50 students.  We have never been to a very big school because our style of martial arts is not widely practiced in this area. However, the pandemic has taken its toll on us, as it has on so many others. At the time of our move, we had about 20 active students.  Since the beginning of our classes in Catlettsburg in September we have enrolled about 10 more students, so current enrollment stands at about 30.  The new location is great because we are right in the middle of downtown Catlettsburg and have great visibility. The layout of the new school is much better for the practice of our martial arts, and our new landlord (Greg McCaine) has been very accommodating to us. He has worked very hard to get the place ready for us, both inside and out."

    If you were wondering what the school offers, Compton has the answers for you, "Currently, we offer classes in Tai Chi and Kung fu, including San Shou, for kids and adults. Our current classes are held on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 5:00 to 8:00 p.m., and we have Saturday classes from 11:00-2:00 p.m.  We are planning on offering more classes on Monday and extending our Saturday hours, to include possible classes in Wing Chun and Qigong."

     Earlier this month their school had a grand opening and ribbon cutting, "The grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony, which took place on October 1st, with the Ashland Alliance and Catlettsburg mayor Faith Day, went extremely well with about 75 in attendance. After the ribbon-cutting ceremony, we performed Tai Chi and Kung fu demonstrations, along with a traditional Chinese lion dance, which is believed to bring good luck to a new school or business. Hopefully, our arrival in Catlettsburg will herald the arrival of more and much needed new businesses there and we may be invited to come to perform for their grand openings. We are planning to do one at our school on Dec 3rd to bring luck to all who see it for the holiday season."

     Compton is elated to share, "We are loving and are flourishing at our new location in Catlettsburg and plan on being there for a long time to come. When I first started school back in April 2006, it was just me. I was a single mom working full time for the VA, but I ended up having to teach Tai Chi and Kung fu three evenings a week and on Saturdays. I have brought eight students to the black sash level, three to second black, and two to instructor status. Those two are Gus Burcham, who started like me, a single parent training on the side because of his love for Kung Fu, and is now my head instructor. Also, Jude Garner, who started with me at about 9 years old and is now teaching my kid's beginner to intermediate classes.  I also have several students that are “teacher assistants”, because I train them early on how to teach and to help others learn.  This is what the joy of teaching is all about!"

     If you are not familiar with the practices of Tai chi or Kung Fu, Compton gives us. break down, "Training in Tai Chi and Kung fu is a wonderful and fulfilling way to develop a healthy mind and body, it is something that can become a healthy way of life for people of any age. Tai Chi is a very relaxing and healing activity.  Research has shown that it is beneficial in the treatment of numerous conditions and so it has been recommended by the Harvard Medical Center and the Mayo Clinic for the alleviation of such ailments as arthritis, back/joint pain, fibromyalgia, stress-related conditions, high blood pressure, and even diabetes.  Both Tai Chi and Kung fu help to develop mind/body coordination, and alsohelps improve balance, reflexes, focus, self-discipline, and self-confidence. Learning self-defense is crucial for students, to avoid being harmed during a possible attack. We accommodate people of varying ages and mental capacities. I have taught kids from the ages of 3 to 90, some autistic, some with Down’s syndrome, dementia or otherwise mentally challenged."    

     Compton loves being a teacher and it shows in her work and her student's performances. "Teaching Chinese martial arts has been an extremely rewarding avocation. It has been very rewarding to help people to develop abilities and confidence in themselves that they didn’t believe were possible. In our school, training is modified as needed to help everyone to progress and benefit physically and mentally. My students are encouraged early on not to say “I can’t do this or that”. They are taught to say “I am trying/working hard”. The literal translation of Kung fu is “hard work and patience”; the literal translation of Wushu is “martial arts”.  This is why Kung Fu Is the grandfather of most martial arts, such as Taekwondo, karate, aikido, Krav Maga, jujitsu, Muay Tai, kickboxing, and many forms of MMA.  They are all part of the evolution of the Chinese martial arts of Kung Fu," exclaimed Compton 

     If you are interested in attending or bringing your child to attend a class, please contact Nancy Compton at 606.465.0317. If anyone would like to help with their relocation expenses you can donate to gofundme on Facebook under Kungfu School Relocation organized by Nancy Compton. 




The Heart of the Pastor drives Faith Baptist Church

Sonya Newman

The Ashland Beacon


     With October comes the chill in the air, the leaves changing from green to vibrant reds, yellows, and oranges, and the honoring of pastors everywhere during Pastor Appreciation Month. Churches big and small are celebrating their pastors in all sorts of ways. They’re showing them how much their hard work, dedication, and commitment to their calling are appreciated by their congregation. Faith Baptist Church of Westwood is no exception, as they pour their appreciation on Gary Newman, who has been the Pastor of Faith since October 2018.  Since accepting the call to pastor and lead a congregation, Gary has poured his heart and soul into encouraging the members of Faith and growing ministries old and new. 

“Two years ago, I challenged the congregation right smack dab in the middle of Covid that everyone in the church should have a ministry that was purposed to reach people with the Gospel of Jesus and would serve the Westwood Community,” Newman shared, “I see these as the vital elements of a small congregation that overachieves. That’s what my vision for Faith is: a small church that does gigantic things.”

     Newman led by example, as he established a new ministry of worship called the  ReFuel Worship Project. Since January 2019, the first Saturday of each month is designated for ReFuel, which is a reflection of Newman’s heart.  “When I first arrived at Faith, I wanted to be fed and I wanted to have a service that was centered around worship,” he explained, “so we try to bring in guest preachers, and sometimes singers, and everything we do in this service is centered in worship. We testify to worship, we pray to worship, and  we hear the preached Word in worship”  It’s my favorite time of the month!”

     First Baptist Church of Grayson Pastor, Josh Schmidt agrees. “Being a part of ReFuel has been some of my favorite moments in ministry.  No stress, no pressure, no reason to perform for anyone else than Lord Jesus,” Schmidt explained, “Pastor Gary has been such a blessing to me.  I look forward to preaching at Faith again!”

     In addition, to ReFuel, Faith has added a production ministry as the result of the heartfelt calling of one of the congregation members, Tracey Rowsey said he’d always wanted to do a podcast. What started as a small podcast evolved to be a huge outreach, that produces weekly programming that is community involved and gives gospel opportunities. Rowsey and Newman partnered to create shows for the Fairview coaches to talk about their programs and continue being involved in the community. They did the Daniel Armstrong Show, the Mo Mullins Show, and the Roger Newton show.  “Pastor Gary gives unconditionally to his church family and the community of Westwood.  He spends many hours helping the school athletics program with Public Address announcing, hosting Fairview coaches shows, just encouraging participants,” Roger Newton explained, “He exhibits love and care for the school and Westwood! I was blessed to have him host my coaches show and get to know him deeper and see his heart for meeting the needs of others.”

     One of the benefits of a small church with a small congregation, is you get to know and love each member as a family. Gary’s not only invested in a callin but his heart is invested in this congregation. “A few years ago we had been searching for a church. Over the years we visited many. We were invited to visit Faith Baptist Church. We fell in love with the little church in Westwood especially the pastor, Gary Newman,” Church member Tammy Rowsey conveyed, “Is he different from other preachers? Oh yes!! He loves unconditionally, he sees good in everyone, and his heart and smile show the love of Jesus like no other. His sense of humor is over the top. If he doesn't make you laugh something is wrong. He shares the word of God with everyone. I call him, Preacher Man, and this month I cannot express how much our family appreciates him as a Pastor, Preacher, and Friend.” She continued, “As he says, ‘Raise a Prayer, Raise a Praise’ and for the Lord leading us to the little church in Westwood I say Raise a Hallelujah!”

     Ministries are growing, people are learning, the community is being reached, and the church is led by a man with a heart for the Lord, the congregation, and the community. Gary’s vision is for what God can do with a small church in a small community. If Faith Baptist is one of the hidden gems of Westwood, Gary Newman will surely be the one polishing it and preparing it for what’s next.