GOODY, Ky. – The Mountain Schoolboy Classic hosted by Belfry High School is one of the longest running holiday tournaments in the region.
This will be the 42nd annual Mountain Schoolboy Classic, the 41st to be held at Belfry. One was held at the Williamson Fieldhouse in the early 1990’s. The plan at that time was to have it at Belfry and Williamson in alternate years. The next season Williamson introduced the Massey Invitational, and the Schoolboy Classic was moved back to Belfry for good.
The Mountain Schoolboy Classic was the brainchild of the late Burnard Collier, who coached the Pirates in the 1974-1975 season, and was held in December, 1974.
The early days of the Classic had it in the December 19-23 time range. In recent years, after the move to the new school, it was changed to the week between Christmas and New Year’s Day.
For several years, the format was that of an actual tournament. Eight teams participated over a 4 day span, each team playing four games.
The evening sessions consisted of the consolation and championship games. On days when school was in session, students were allowed to go to the day games.
The current format came about after the switch to the round-robin format, in use since the late days at the old school.
“The most famous player to participate in the tournament was Charles Hurt, of Shelby County, class of 1979,” said longtime statistician Bennett West. “He later attended UK and was drafted by the Milwaukee Bucks in 1983.”
Several local star players also were in the Classic, including Michael Hagy, Barry Baker and Mark Cline of Williamson, Todd May of Virgie, and many others, as well as the stars of Belfry, including all-staters J. J. Hylton and Gary Smith.
“This year, we hope to have some exciting games as well,” West said.
The lineup for this season’s game features some great contests.
Here is the schedule of the event that starts on Dec. 28 and runs to Dec. 30.
Monday, Dec. 28
3:30 Phelps vs. East Ridge
5:00 Magoffin County vs. North Laurel
6:30 Pike County Central vs. South Laurel
8:00 Belfry vs. Beth Haven
Tuesday, Dec. 29
2:00 Tolsia vs. Phelps
3:30 Beth Haven vs. North Laurel
5:00 Magoffin County vs. Pike County Central
6:30 South Laurel vs. East Ridge
8:00 Belfry vs. Tug Valley
Wednesday, Dec. 30
3:30 East Ridge vs. Beth Haven
5:00 Phelps vs. South Laurel
6:30 North Laurel vs. Pike County Central
8:00 Belfry vs. Magoffin County
The first team listed on the schedule will be the home team and wear white uniforms. All games will start 20 minutes after the preceding game.
(Kyle Lovern is the Editor for the Williamson Daily News. He can be contacted at [email protected] or at 304-235-4242, ext. 2277 or on Twitter @KyleLovern.)