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Sports writer remembers Gary Rue
The untimely passing of Gary Rue last weekend brought to mind one of my favorite memories from more than 30 years working as a sports writer in Frankfort.
Rue, who coached boys soccer at Western Hills High School for 20 years, was always a pleasure to deal with.
Several years ago, when Western Hills was playing in the district tournament at Anderson County, I was seated between the two teams’ benches.
As Rue began his halftime talk, several WHHS players complained about the officiating.
Rue was having none of that.
“If he called it, it happened,” Rue told his team. “His perception is your reality.”
His perception is your reality. I loved that — five words that perfectly sum up officiating. It’s my favorite quote from a coach, one that has stuck with me for years and I suspect will stick with me for years to come.
Former WHHS coach Jeff Jagnow said Rue, who served as an assistant coach under Jagnow before becoming head coach, helped change his perception of officials.
“When I first started coaching I was very short-tempered with referees,” Jagnow said. “Gary would tell me he’s in an entirely different position, and he doesn’t see the same thing we do.”
During games the two men would discuss calls, what they saw and what calls they would have made.
“Referees will miss calls,” Jagnow said. “They’re human and it’s a very fast game, but I came to see they miss them both ways. It’s so fast and so physical, and I became more patient.”
Rue not only coached soccer but was also an official, and that gave him a unique view of the game.
“My favorite anecdote about Gary was one time the ref called a penalty during a game and I just quickly said to Gary, while the action had resumed, ‘Gary, how was THAT a penalty?’” State Journal sports writer Brian Rickerd wrote in an email.
“And Gary, while the action is going on, just flat out gives me his undivided attention and starts moving my arms and legs around, trying to explain what had happened to bring about the penalty ... all while the action is going on on the field ... I found that hilarious, but so typical of Gary. He so loved his sport and took every opportunity to share that with others.”
Rue rarely raised his voice or complained to referees working his games.
“Gary hardly ever says anything to us during a game,” an official told me after a Western Hills match, “so when he does I pay attention.”
— Linda Younkin
Andersen, Kinder join
Two local baseball players, Eric Andersen and Christian Kinder, are part of Kentucky State’s incoming class of 14 new student-athletes.
Last year’s team finished 14-29 overall and 11-9 in SIAC action.
Kentucky State finished second in the SIAC West Division standings behind Stillman College. However, the Thorobreds had a disappointing finish to their 2013 season, losing both of the SIAC Championship Tournament games to end the year.
“I feel like these student-athletes will add to the foundation we began building last season, and I am excited about what the future holds for this program,” KSU head coach Rob Henry said.
Andersen, a graduate of Franklin County High School, joins the Thorobreds’ pitching staff. The right-handed pitcher had a 5-2 record for the Flyers this past spring.
He had 15 strikeouts and finished with an earned run average of 3.69 in 43º innings pitched.
“Eric is a player who really came into his own as a senior last year,” Henry said. “He led his high school program in wins and innings pitched, so I know he is a competitor who is excited about competing for innings this year. He can be deceptive, he works backwards to hitters when he needs to and he is going to add much needed depth to our bullpen this year.”
Kinder was a member of the Western Hills High School varsity baseball team for three years.
Earning the Wolverines’ Most Improved Play honor, Kinder joins KSU as a right-handed pitcher and catcher.
“Christian comes to us as a rare combination of pitcher and catcher,” Henry said. “He works hard at both sides of the game and will provide depth for us behind the plate and also as a pitcher throwing from a submarine arm slot.”
Toledo-Ball State football
Ball State’s football team stayed undefeated in Mid-American Conference play Saturday with a 31-24 win over Toledo in Muncie, Ind.
The Cardinals (4-1, 2-0) broke a 24-24 tie on a 4-yard touchdown run by Jahwan Edwards with three minutes to go in the game.
Toledo is now 2-3 overall and 1-1 in the MAC.
Neither Western Hills graduate Dylan Curry (Ball State) nor Franklin County graduate Logan Woodside (Toledo) played in Saturday’s game.