Officials at TCHS have confirmed that Russell Mackins, a 6-6 forward who played at Cairo, Ill. last year, has enrolled at the school. His family has purchased a house in Cadiz and is ready to call Trigg County their home.
Mackins, who will be a sophomore this year, was the sixth man for Cairo last year, averaging 8.3 points and 6.8 rebounds a game. Several web sites listed
Mackins among the top five sophomores in the state of Illinois.
He shot 55-percent from the field, 57-percent from the free throw line, and averaged a blocked shot per contest.
Mackins, who tallied 16 points and 16 rebounds in his first varsity game as a freshman, helped lead Cairo to a 27-0 record in the eighth grade.
Cairo was 31-1 last year and saw their season end in an upset loss at Massac County in the playoffs, which prompted postgame altercations between fans, police, and others at the game.
The Illinois High School Association suspended Cairo High School from participating in the boys’ basketball state tournament next season and placed it on probation for the entire next school year for its involvement in the brawl.
Cairo can be reinstated if it meets several conditions laid out by the IHSA.
TCHS Athletic Director Taylor Sparks said the necessary paperwork has been sent to Cairo, and is in the process of being returned to TCHS. It will then be forwarded to the Kentucky High School Athletic Association, who should grant Mackins’ eligibility.
"I don’t see any problems with the paperwork with the parents taking residence here and finding employment in our community," Sparks said.
The addition of Mackins to the Wildcats should immediately make them one of the favorites to win the Class A Second Region title and perhaps a team to beat come March.
Trigg County was 20-12 last year, losing in the championship game of both the All-A Second Region Tournament and the Fifth District Tournament.
The Wildcats are scheduled to return four starters from last year’s team, with Mackins expected to move into the vacant forward position.