This year’s Hall of Fame class made their collective contributions to Trigg County athletics in a variety of ways. There is a football coach, basketball coach, contributor/booster, trainer/coach, legendary football star, basketball greats both male and female, the hardest hitting TCHS football player ever, a 3 sport star who excelled in baseball and and one of the greatest runners ever to grace the tracks and cross-country courses of the Bluegrass State. It is the latter that I will focus on today. I am speaking of the ever-fast Sam “The Fox” Love.
Sam Love graduated from Trigg County High School in 1982. By that time he had left a swarm of competitors in his wake. Sam was one of the most dominant runners in the history of Kentucky high school running. Sam still holds school and state records some 30 years after his career ended. Sam was the three-time winner of the 800 and 1500-meter runs at the KHSAA State Track Meet. He ran a 1:45.7 in the 800 that remains the Class A state record. Sam ran a 3:58.9 in the 1500 meters. He anchored several relay teams that set state records. Sam won two consecutive cross country state titles and set a meet record by running 16:16 for the 3.1 miles his senior year. Sam eventually chose to sign a scholarship with the University of Kentucky, choosing the Cats over Western Kentucky and Kansas.
Of all Sam’s many honors, one of the greatest may have been that he was named the most outstanding male athlete out of the entire state of Kentucky his senior year. This was out of all sports. He was picked over basketball players like Jeff hall and Todd May. He also beat out Joe Magrane who pitched baseball for the St. Louis Cardinals.
There are so many stories about the legendary Fox Love that I had a hard time choosing one. Eventually I turned to one of my favorites. It was the fall around 1979 or 1980 and Sam was just a sophomore. He had just started his first season of Cross Country and it was early in the season at that. As a matter of fact it was the beginning of the season. Coaches George Radford, Ray Maggard and Jim Wallace had just coaxed Sam into trying cross-country. Well to start the season the running Cats traveled to Sikeston Missouri for a major invitational. Manyof the best runners in the mid-west were there. As you might could predict, Sam Love represented Trigg County well. He finished 2nd out of hundreds of runners. He was only a very few seconds away for being first. After the race, the coach of the first place runner came over to talk to the Trigg County coaches. He remarked, “Hey guys your kids really was impressive. How many mile did he put in this summer.” The Trigg coaches replied, “two.” The Sikeston coach then said, “Two hundred miles huh. That is not too bad. Our kid put in 400.” With that the Trigg coaches laughed and said. “Sir, you don’t understand. Sam here only put in 2 miles not two hundred and that was yesterday.” With that the legend began. The coach form Sikeston walked away scratching his head just as many did who were left in the wake of the fastest Fox ever.
OT: See you at the banquet.
Enthusiasm Makes the Difference
Mike Wright is the head coach of boys basketball and cross country at Trigg County High School. Emails concerning Coach’s Corner can be sent to email@example.com.