Commander of the Cards

Scott County coach Jim McKee, shown celebrating with his 2018 team after its win over Frederick Douglass in the second round of the playoffs, will be inducted into the school’s athletics hall of fame this summer along with his 2013 state championship squad.

It has only been six years since the defining moment of the modern era for the Scott County High School football team, but that is more than enough time for the 15-0, Class 6A state champions of 2013 to have earned immortality on the local level.

That team and its one-of-a-kind coach, Jim McKee, will be enshrined into the Scott County High School Athletics Hall of Fame this summer.

The ceremony will take place at 5:30 p.m. on Friday, Aug. 23 at Elkhorn Crossing School. It will precede the inaugural “Battle of the Birds” between Scott County and Great Crossing, which will christen the home stadium the two schools will share next to the new GCHS campus.

Richard Krebs, a legendary local coach and founder of the school’s softball program, and Tom Brawner, the longtime SCHS band director, round out this year’s hall of fame class.

McKee, who enters his 23rd season as Scott County football coach, scored his 200th win at the school last fall. He reached that plateau for his career the previous season, having served a brief stint at Oldham County prior to his arrival at SC.

He has guided the Cardinals to four appearances in the state title game. The most recent run took place last fall, when Scott County rallied from a No. 3 seed to win district and region championships before falllng to Male, 37-20, at Kroger Field in Lexington.

Scott County also reached the 2004 4A final, losing to St. Xavier, and the 2011 6A showcase, tumbling against Trinity.

There was no stopping the 2013 Cardinals, however. McKee’s son, Clay, threw a touchdown pass to Scott Daniel in the closing stages to seal a 21-14 victory.

That edition of the Cardinals is the only non-Louisville team to win the 6A championship since it was introduced in 2007.

SC featured three 1,000-yard rushers in Keith Guy, Theo Price and Kevin Claussen. Daniel, despite being hobbled by various injuries, accounted for 20 all-purpose touchdowns.

The Cardinals’ closest margin of victory prior to the third round of the playoffs was 29 points. Scott County survived three grinding games against Henry Clay (37-34), Male (24-10) and Meade County to close it out.

Scott County scored a staggering 778 points that season, an average of 52 per game, while allowing only 294.

McKee will preside over a new era in Scott County football starting this year. 

With the dawn of Great Crossing, both of the county’s programs will comp[ete in Class 5A in a new-look district that includes Frederick Douglass, Montgomery County and Grant County.

The Cardinals show no signs of slowing down: McKee reported attendance of 100 players  at the team’s recent abbreviated spring workouts.

Krebs continues to help out with the football program at Georgetown College, but he was a mainstay for decades on the Scott County sidelines. 

He was an assistant coach on Scott County’s first state football championship team, led by fellow hall of famer Bill Wilson, in 1975, and stayed with the program in that capacity until 2009.

In addition to guiding the upstart softball program, which has evolved into a regional and state powerhouse, Krebs also taught at SCHS from 1975 through 2005.

Brawner is now retired after a remarkable run of 48 years in music education. He developed the concert and marching bands at both Scott County and Franklin County. He also conducted collegiately at Eastern Illinois and Kentucky.

Kal Oakes can be reached via email at sports@news-graphic.com.

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