Sports Briefs: Nominees for KY Sportsman of the Year, Mustangs honored for AP All-State, Nuernberger kicks in Fiesta Bowl, Thomas receives Masters invitation

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By Elliott Pratt

Thomas, Dampier and Dowdy nominated for Kentucky Sportsman of the Year


Three nominees for the Kentucky Sportsman of the Year have Oldham County connections.

South Oldham senior Cole Dowdy, Goshen native Justin Thomas and La Grange resident Louie Dampier have been nominated in the full list of many Kentucky related athletes, coaches or sports administrators.

Dowdy won the Class 3-A cross country state championship in November and set a Kentucky Horse Park course record in 15:20.38. He won another state title in track and field in the 3-A 3,200-meter run in May and capped a stellar 2015 with an appearance in the Foot Locker Cross Country National Championship race in San Diego.

Dampier, a resident of La Grange, was inducted into the Naismith Memorial Basketball Hall of Fame in September for his legendary college career at the University of Kentucky (1964-67) and with the ABA’s Kentucky Colonels (1967-75).

Thomas is currently ranked third in the FedEx points standings and won his first event at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia. The St. Xavier graduate has placed in the top 25 in 15 of his 30 PGA Tour events.


Johnson, Webb earn AP All-State honorable mentions

North Oldham senior Wes Johnson and junior Bryce Webb earned honorable mentions for The Associated Press All-State Football team. Johnson, who will play collegiately at Davidson College, earned the recognition as a linebacker, and Webb as a punter. Johnson led the Mustangs with 85 tackles and three fumble recoveries. Webb punted 25 times for an average of 35.1 yards per punt.

North Oldham finished the regular season 3-7.


Nuernberger kicks three in Fiesta Bowl

Ohio State sophomore kicker Sean Nuernberger kicked three field goals in the Buckeye’s 44-28 win over Notre Dame in the Battlefrog Fiesta Bowl on New Year’s Day. Nuernberger, an Oldham County High School graduate, kicked three fourth quarter field goals of 35, 37 and 38 yards along with making all five PATs in the win.

Nuernberger has made all 154 PATs at Ohio State and was 13 of 20 on field goals last year as a freshman as the Buckeye’s won the inaugural College Football Playoff national championship game.

Thomas receives Masters Tournament invitation

Goshen native and St. Xavier graduate Justin Thomas received a formal invitation to participate in the 2016 Masters Tournament from the Board of Governors of the Augusta National Golf Club. Thomas took to Twitter Monday to deliver the news. Thomas won his first PGA Tour Event at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia on Nov. 1 by shooting 26-under par. The 80th edition of the Masters Tournament will be April 7-10 in Augusta, Georgia.