Bowling Green will be the host of the tournaments for the next five years in a partnership announced at the Bowling Green Ball Park Wednesday morning. The city will host eleven tournaments this year and as many as 15 beginning next year.
The conference will also hold at least six league meetings in Bowling Green throughout the year.
The NAIA conference includes Campbellsville University, Lindsey Wilson College and the University of Pikeville as well as schools in five other states. They'll kick off the partnership February 6th and 7th wil the conference bowling tournament at Southern Lanes in Bowling Green
Conference commissioner Eric Ward said they were afraid the championships might fall under the public's radar in a city larger than Bowling Green. He said the conference was looking for a neutral site that was big enough to handle several tournaments back to back or even at the same time at different facilities.
He also said they wanted a site with a variety of things for players and fans to do when their team isn't playing.
Amy Cardwell with the Bowling Green Area Convention and Visitors' Bureau estimates each tournament will bring about 250 participants to the city and twice that many family and fans.
The WKU Lady Hilltopper basketball team has been playing a prominent role in area elementary and middle schools over the past several weeks. Thursday’s game between the WKU Lady Toppers and Florida Atlantic is the fourth annual “Spread the Red Education Game”, and will be attended by all third-through-eighth graders in Bowling Green city schools, and seventh grade students from Warren County public schools.
For the past month, teachers have been incorporating statistics and biographical information about the players and teams into math, geography, reading, and history lessons.
“And bigger picture, there’s a learning component in terms of the career opportunities, and just the overall experience of being able to come up to the university and hopefully inspire our kids to want to aim high,” said Warren County Schools Superintendent Rob Clayton.
Bowling Green Schools Superintendent Joe Tinius embraces any opportunity to get young students on a college campus. He says it will be many students’ first time attending an event at WKU.
Six Kentucky high school football champions are being crowned Friday and Saturday in Bowling Green.
Belfry of Pike County beat Louisville Central 14-7 in the class 3A title game. Belfry running back Austin Hatfield carried the ball 30 yards for 235 yards and a touchdown in the first of six championship games to beplayed at Houchens-L.T. Smith stadium.
Here is the rest of the lineup:
2A game between Louisville DeSales and Newport Central Catholic is underway.
5A game at 6:00 p.m.: Pulaski County vs. Graves County
A college basketball rivalry dating back to 1932 continues Saturday between two Kentucky programs.
The WKU Hilltoppers travel west to take on the Murray State Racers for the 152nd time.
Both teams enter tomorrow’s game with .500 records. WKU is 3-3 and coming off wins against Bowling Green State and Saint Joseph’s. The Hilltoppers are led in scoring by senior guard T.J. Price, who is averaging 13 points a game, with senior forward George Fant leading the team in rebounding at 7 per contest.
Murray State is 4-4, and has been a tough home opponent for WKU in recent years. The Racers have won the last three meetings they’ve hosted against WKU, with the Toppers’ last win in Murray coming in 2004. If WKU is to win Saturday, they’ll likely have to contain the Racer’s star sophomore guard Cameron Payne, who was picked as the Ohio Valley Conference preseason player of the year.
After Saturday’s game in Murray, the Toppers have a week off for finals. Then they travel to Ole Miss Dec. 13, before hosting games against Chicago State Dec. 17, and the Louisville Cardinals Dec. 20.
The nationally-ranked WKU volleyball team is heading to a familiar location for its first-round NCAA tournament match.
The #24 Lady Toppers take on Iowa State Friday in Champaign, Illinois—the fourth time since 2008 that WKU has played an NCAA tournament contest in that town. WKU is 30-5 on the season and won the Conference USA tournament last weekend.
WKU head coach Travis Hudson says Friday’s matchup with Iowa State comes at an extremely exciting—and stressful—time of year for his players, given that finals week begins next Monday at WKU.
The WKU football team is entering its final regular season game with the chance to knock off an unbeaten team.
The Hilltoppers travel to Hungtington, West Virginia, for a Friday game against the Marshall Thundering Herd. Marshall is ranked 19th in the nation, and is looking to go 12-0 with a win against WKU.
Hilltopper Head Coach Jeff Brohm says he knows his time is a big underdog this week.
“We’re playing now with some confidence, and we’ve improved a bit every week. We understand that for this game, it’s going to take all three facets of the game to play their best. Our offense is going to have to play very well, obviously our defense is going to have to play very well, our special teams is going to have to not give up the big play and try to make a few big plays on its own.”
The Lady Hilltopper basketball team is set to play its fourth game in eight days.
And this time, state bragging rights are on the line.
WKU travels to the Louisville Tuesday to take on the #12 Lady Cardinals at the KFC Yum! Center.
The Lady Toppers bring a 3-1 record into the game, including two wins in the Preseason Women’s National Invitational Tournament. WKU lost the championship game to Mississippi State Sunday.
The game against the Lady Cards is a special one for WKU coach Michelle Clark-Heard, who is a native of Louisville and was an assistant coach at U of L before coming to Bowling Green. Clark-Heard says she’s proud to see so many quality women’s basketball teams in the commonwealth.
“That’s the way we want it to be. Kentucky is known for basketball, and we want it to be known for women’s basketball just as much, across the board.”
Lindsey Wilson College is making history this weekend.
The Adair County school is hosting four first-round national tournament events Saturday, the first time that’s been done in the history of the National Association of Intercollegiate Athletics.
Here’s a rundown of what the day has in store for Blue Raider fans:
Football: LWC vs. Faulkner University (AL), noon at Blue Raider Stadium
Women’s Soccer: LWC vs. Columbia College (MO), 4:30pm at Reuling Stadium
Volleyball: LWC vs. Xavier University (LA), 6:30pm at Biggers Sports Center
Men’s Soccer: LWC vs. Lindenwood University-Belleville (Illinois), 7:30pm at Reuling Stadium
Lindsey Wilson Director of Public Affairs Duane Bonifer says some extremely dedicated fans plan to attend all four events.
“We’ve heard from a lot of Blue Raider fans from throughout the Columbia-Adair County area who have asked if the dining center is going to be open special hours so that they can fit in meals between events,” Bonifer told WKU Public Radio.
Bonifer is also predicting that more than a few pizza deliveries will be made to campus Saturday.
WKU quarterback Brandon Doughty is being honored for his record-breaking performance in Saturday’s loss to Middle Tennessee.
The Blue Raiders beat the Hilltoppers 50-47 in double overtime, dropping WKU to 1-2 on the season.
The loss came despite Doughty’s 593 yards in passing and four touchdowns. The passing yards set WKU and Conference USA records, and earned the senior quarterback the league’s Offensive Player of the Week award for the second time this season.
WKU basketball fans who watch Saturday’s U.S.A-Mexico FIBA World Cup game will recognize one of the Mexican players from his time on the Hill.
Guard Orlando Mendez-Valdez played at WKU from 2005 to 2009, and was a key member of the Hilltoppers’ 2008 team that reached the NCAA tournament’s Sweet 16. Mendez-Valdez plays in a professional league in Mexico, and has been a key contributor to the country’s World Cup team.
The U.S. team went 5-0 in the tournament’s group stage, and is led by a group of NBA stars including James Harden, Derrick Rose, and former University of Kentucky standout Anthony Davis.
The U.S. takes on Mexico in the knockout stage of the FIBA World Cup Saturday at 9 a.m. central. The game is being televised on ESPN 2.