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Once in the spotlight, always in the headlines

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Wheeler, Despain, Durham and Bainer still in sports news

By Bobby Brockman

Sports folks are unique individuals. Below will be further evidence that sports figures stay in the headlines and keep producing news.
* Lake Cumberland Speedway in Burnside hosted its Celebration of Champions on March 1 to put the finishing touches on the 2012 racing and to preview the upcoming 2013 race season as well at the Hal Rogers Training Center in Somerset.
Johnny Wheeler of Campbellsville was honored as the 2012 Super Late Model track champion. The title was Wheeler’s second consecutive honor in the division, having also won the title in 2011.
Wheeler drove the Louis and Phyllis Brady-owned, unsponsored #31x Bandit Race Car powered by a Dale Meers Race Engine.
Wheeler’s championship season saw the veteran second-generation racer garner five top-five feature event finishes in 10 track-point events.
Salvisa native Michael Chilton would finish second in points with veteran Randy Ridner of Eubank taking third-place honors. Skylar Marlar of Winfield, Tenn. placed fourth while Dustin Neat of Dunnville and Victor Lee of Danville finished in a tie for the fifth position.
The remainder of the top 10 in Super Late Model track points were Michael Asberry of Crossville, Tenn, Campbellsville’s Justin Rattliff, Tommy Gregory of Monticello and Tim Tungate from Campbellsville.
* Elliott Despain of Campbellsville was honored as the 2012 Ponderosa Speedway Clayton Homes Modified track champion back in November at Junction City.
Despain, 23 and a second-generation driver and former go-kart racer, would grab two feature events over the course of the season at the track to go with 11 top-five feature event finishes while attending all 16 track points events for the division.
The track championship is Despain’s first-ever track title at Ponderosa.  Despain’s triumphant season came in the seat of the Billy and Lisa Despain-owned Lucas Oil Products/Knox Ford of Radcliff/Southern Indiana Rock Drilling/Chandler Electric/Family Eye Care/SpeeDecals Vinyl Graphics/Swafford Signs/PRC/K&N Filters/Bilstein Shocks/BSB Manufacturing/DJ Safety/Schoenfield Headers/SEF by VP Racing Fuels sponsored #75e Bandit Race Car powered by a Dale Meers Race Engine. 
*Michael Durham and Eric Bainer sign professional baseball contracts.  Total strangers prior to the 2013 California Winter League.
Former Campbellsville University standout Michael Durham and former Taylor County High School player Eric Bainer became fast friends as teammates and roommates during the recently completed CWL.
Durham thrilled all during the 20- game slate with his highlight reel catches, timely stolen bases, .340 batting average and .462 on-base percentage.
Bainer, who finished his high school career at Pleasure Ridge Park before playing at Morehead, hit a team high .451, driving in 26 base runners,  slugging .608 with a .500 on-base percentage.
He also lead the Coachella Valley Snowbirds pitching staff to a league leading team ERA.
Durham and Bainer were instrumental in the Snowbirds winning the CWL championship with a 17-3 record. 
Durham, a strong-armed outfielder, was named play-off MVP,  saving one game for the champion Snowbirds with two run-saving, diving catches and another playoff game with his bat, going 3-4 with four runs batted in.
Bainer, a catcher, anchored the team’s pitching staff all season and was an RBI machine leading the league with 26 RBI and 31 total bases in 20 games.
Bainer was the unanimous choice for league MVP for the 2013 season.
Durham will start his professional baseball career close to home in the newly-formed American West Professional Baseball League in Southern California while Eric Bainer signed with the Rockford Aviators of the Frontier League.
Trace Creek Park
girls’ softball try-outs
Saturday, March 16
11 a.m.    4-6-year-old Coach Pitch
12:30    6-8-year-old Coach Pitch
2:00    9-11-year-old Fast Pitch
Tuesday, March 19 make-ups
6:00    4-6-year-old Coach Pitch
6:30    6-8-year-old Coach Pitch
7:00    9-11-year-old Fast Pitch