Paducah Tilghman High School: Athletics
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The Tornado was the state runner-up in 1953 27-5 and 2002 29-6, and was beaten in the state semifinals in 1999 30-6. Bill Chumbler coached the Tornado from 1995-2002. He coached arguably the best team in school history in the 1996 30-5 season. The team featured PG Brandon Warfield and F John Smith, among others. The '96 Tornado even cracked the Nation's Top 25, but was ultimately upset in the 1st round of the Sweet 16.
Brad Steig took over as coach following the 2002 season. Since then Steig has led the Tornado to three Sweet 16 appearances, the best being losing in the State Quarterfinals in 2008 28-7.
Tilghman's girls basketball team reached the state final four in 2005.
The boys track team has won 8 straight Class 2A state titles under the leadership of Randy Wyatt. The boys team currently has won a total of 27 state track titles, one behind Louisville Male for the state record. The boys team won 14 state titles under Lyman Brown from 1972–90, including a streak of 11 straight from 1979-89. The girls track team won 8 straight state titles under Cecil Ward, and most recently finished 2nd in the 2008 State Track Finals. The first girls track team to win a State Championship was in 1973. The mile relay team led the nation with the fastest time. Mr. Mills also coached the boys tennis teams, losing in the semi-finals and finals. The girls team currently has won a total of 14 state track titles, a state record.
Paducah Tilghman has fielded a Baseball team for 62 seasons. The program was dropped after the 1927 season and resumed in 1958 following the move to the schools present location. Home games are played at the refurbished historic 1200 seats J.Polk Brooks Stadium. They play in District 2, Region 1 of the Kentucky High School Athletic Association. Teams have won 27 district titles, 12 Regional titles, and the State Championship in 1960. The schools overall record is 751-469-2..616 and has produced numerous professional players most notably Steve Finley Bal, Hou, Ari, SD and Terry Shumpert ChiC, Col. Chris Johnson, a former standout at Murray State University and drafted by the Cincinnati Reds, is in his second season as head coach.
Tilghman created the area's first soccer team in 1986, mostly with the encouragement and help of the class of 1988. Since then the team has won 3 Regional Titles, and has one State Runner Up finish. The team is generally in the District 1 Championship and faces rival Heath for a top seed in the Regional Tournament. The team plays at Jetton Field 2,800 seats and is coached by Austin Davis. Notable players throughout Tilghman soccer history have been Rafael Ortega, head of Nike Soccer in the Western Hemisphere and Adam Beth, goalkeeper.
The cheerleading team is coached by Tammy Potter and David Wade. The PTHS Cheerleaders attended a National Cheerleading Association NCA camp during the summer of 2009, and won the Performance Award and a bid to NCA Nationals in Dallas, TX.
In speech and debate, seniors Emily Hensel and Rachel Smith won the 2009 Kentucky High Speech League State Tournament in Duo Interpretation at Western Kentucky University in Bowling Green on March 14, performing "Becoming Woman," written by Kentucky natives Alecia Whitaker and Ellen Hagan.
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