We all probably associate the dawn of August’s dog days with the sunset of summer baseball or the finishing flourish for fall sports preseason practice.
Voluntary workouts already are getting underway for basketball, though. And this year’s gym sessions wield plenty of intrigue with the opening of a second high school in the county and the introduction of two new head coaches.
Those threads are far from the only ties that bind Scott County’s Tim Glenn and Great Crossing’s Steve Page, however.
They hope for many years of plotting to beat each other, but the coaches’ connection dates back to their pre-teen years in the early 1980s. Each recalls hours of fun at informal baseball games in the Indian Acres neighborhood.
It continued through youth basketball, then even the pages of the local newspaper. After a brief lull, the family roots intersected again during their stints as sub-varsity coaches in town.
The cross-pollination commenced when Glenn, then 10 or 11, moved to Georgetown from Harrodsburg with his family.
His father, Sam, accepted a pastorate in what was then a small city of about 11,000.
“When we moved over here, I played Junior Pro basketball. My dad saw they needed coaches and said, ‘I’ll coach one of ‘em.’ He loved ball,” Glenn recalled. “He got put with a team that already had Steve Page on it. So Steve and I played for my Dad in Jr. Pro, ages 11 and 12.”
Page was a year older than Glenn.
“I graduated 1988 and he graduated 1989 from Scott County. We were always one year off. I think that was the only team we were on together,” Page said. “I think it was the Colonels.”
“The Colonels!” Glenn said when asked for confirmation. “He remembered that? No, that’s it. Blue-and-white (uniforms).”
Glenn’s other favorite sport was baseball, so making fast friends with the older kid up the street was a natural fit.
“When I moved to Georgetown, I didn’t know many people. Steve had a baseball field set up on the side yard of his house,” Glenn said. “I think we played with a tennis ball and an aluminum bat or something. He even had a leader board for whoever hit the most home runs.”
What constituted a round-tripper in the neighborhood league? It changed with the times, of course.
“We had ivy in the neighbor’s yard, like Wrigley Field,” Page said. “When we were young it started with the ivy for a home run. Then it moved to the top of the roof. Then you had to hit it over the roof.”
As the boys grew and gravitated to more formal, high school sports, they fell slightly out of touch. Page gave most of his attention to the tennis team, while Glenn was the type to change with the seasons.
“I played basketball, baseball, ran cross country, even played three years of golf,” Glenn said. “Golf and baseball were the same time then, and back then you didn’t have freshman and JV team, so I just waited [for baseball] until I knew I would start.”
Through high school and college, Page also jumped with both feet into what would become his first adult career. He was a sports writer and photographer for the publication then known as the Georgetown Graphic.
Glenn played basketball at Asbury University. During his senior year, he was reunited with another longtime friend, Derek Varney, who transferred to Asbury from West Virginia Tech for his final year of eligibility.
That’s when the two future coaches rubbed elbows once again.
“He wrote a little thing that always meant a lot to me. Derek Varney and I were always great friends, and he came back and played his last year at Asbury,” Glenn said. “Steve was the sports writer on that, and I’ve still got that. It’s just neat to have. That was a special thing for us, and Steve picked up on that. I thank him for it even today.”
Sports and family remained important to the duo. Glenn settled in for a lengthy stint as SCHS junior varsity coach under the great Billy Hicks. One of Glenn’s top players for the second flight of Cardinals in 2010 and 2011 was a sophomore/junior named Tyler Page.
Yes, Steve’s son.
“He was a good starter. By the time he was a junior, he wound up being one of my leading scorers that year,” Glenn said. “He got to the point where he was dunking the ball as a junior. That was tough, for a kid to be dunking in JV games. He’s a lot (taller) than Steve.”
Given the pattern of their lives, it isn’t hard to imagine what happened next.
Page, now a State Farm insurance agent, led the Scott County Middle School program prior to becoming Great Crossing’s first-ever head coach.
One of his mainstays from 2016 to 2018 was a second-generation SC athlete named Micah Glenn.
“Ain’t that cool?” the elder Glenn asked. “I think it’s pretty neat, really. And he’s a good guy.”
Which is a good thing, because the two can’t seem to escape each other.
Between the end of the last school year and the start of summer basketball, Page went out to dinner on consecutive weekends and found Glenn sitting at the table. He found out later that another lifelong friend, SCHS athletic hall of famer and Franklin County boys’ basketball coach Tony Wise, set it up.
“That’s one great thing about it. We’re very cordial,” Page said. “Obviously when we play each other, we want to beat each other. That goes without saying.”
Scott County and Great Crossing saw each other multiple times in abbreviated summer games, with Glenn and the Cardinals earning bragging rights in hard-fought battles.
Their only scheduled scrap this winter will be on Valentine’s Day.
“It will be friendly, but then again, when it goes up, you want to beat them as bad as you want to beat anybody,” Glenn said before hesitating for a moment.
“Well, maybe not more than [Lexington] Catholic.”
As the playing field levels and the rivalry grows more intense, even with the teams playing in different districts, Page covets at least one additional showdown every season.
“I hope we play each other in the Toyota Classic finals every year,” he said. “If we have to play, we hope it’s not in the third, fifth or seventh place game. That would be a great Saturday night of every Toyota Classic for us to play them.”
Given the parallel and perpendicular lives the two leaders have lived to this point, it’s hard to imagine that not happening.
Kal Oakes can be reached via email at email@example.com.