Perfect timing on News-Graphic’s ‘Leader of the Pack’ movie

A little over a month ago, the Georgetown News Graphic premiered a movie, ‘Leader of the Pack,’ about Scott County High basketball coach Billy Hicks. The movie was brainchild of, produced and directed by James Scogin, son of the News Graphic publisher Mike Scogin. It was James’ idea to do the movie as a tribute to Kentucky’s first high school basketball coach to reach 1,000 victories.

Then in Thursday’s edition of the News Graphic the announcement came officially that Billy Hicks was retiring immediately. That came on the heels of Scott County finishing second in the Kentucky High School basketball state tournament just days before. Word leaked out at the tournament that Hicks would probably retire but he qualified the comment with being “50-50” on whether that would be his last game.

Mike says the News Graphic had no advanced knowledge that Hicks would retire, only that they knew retirement “was getting close” for the 66-year-old coach. “The movie was just something James wanted to do” so the News Graphic hung it on Hicks being the first high school coach to win at least 1,000 games.

In his column around last Thanksgiving, Mike wrote about the change in community newspapering since his career began many years ago and the coming documentary.

“When I first started at the small, community newspaper in my Alabama hometown, the challenge was to produce a printed newspaper a couple times per week.

“Times have changed, and community newspapers have changed as well. Today, we have text alerts, mobile websites, computer websites, podcasts, Facebook, YouTube channels, magazines and other services all designed to share information you need and want.

“The News-Graphic has adjusted to the times and now we sell digital advertising which targets very specific geographic areas and shoppers looking for specific items. That smart phone of yours offers a wealth of information and now we can mine that information to help advertisers find consumers interested in their specific wares and services.

“Something unheard of when I first began years ago is a broadcast studio inside a newspaper, but the News-Graphic now has a small video studio in its newsroom. Over the last two years we have used Facebook Live to broadcast live news events, including forums and news conferences. For three years we have been broadcasting Coach’s Shows for football, basketball and spring sports. These shows have grown in popularity, and have been honored with state awards.”

He also used that column to announce plans for the documentary.

“Early in 2019, the News-Graphic will hold the world premiere of “Leader of the Pack,” a documentary on Scott County High School’s own Billy Hicks, Kentucky’s winningest high school basketball coach and one of the nation’s winningest high school basketball coaches. James Scogin has written, directed and filmed most of the documentary but he has also secured some legendary clips of historic moments in SCHS basketball and Hicks’ history…

“I don’t know many community newspapers that have produced a documentary of this kind, so we believe this is going to be pretty special.”

Copies of the documentary are available from the Georgetown News Graphic.


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