GRC’s Varney picks up 400th career win

Published 3:45 pm Thursday, April 13, 2023

When George Rogers Clark Head Baseball Coach Chris Varney had his first stint at June Buchanan High School in 2002, 400 victories might have seemed unfathomable.

However, after Tuesday night, it became a reality.

Varney picked up his 400th career head coaching victory as the Cards defeated Paris (3-14) 8-1 in Winchester.

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“[When] you stay in the game long enough, and you got a good bunch of kids and [a] good bunch of players over the years, those things take care of themselves,” Varney said. “That’s just a reflection on the kids I’ve had and doing the things that I’ve asked them to do.”

Varney experienced the thrill of high school baseball while a student at Hazard High School, where he was a part of two 14th Region Championship teams.

After graduating from Alice Lloyd College, he spent one year as the head coach at June Buchanan—where one of his students was current GRC Head Basketball Coach Josh Cook – before returning to Hazard as an assistant coach.

There, he was a member of two more 14th Region Championship teams.

Afterward, Varney became the head coach at Powell County High School for 12 seasons, helping the Pirates win a pair of 14th Region Championships.

Through four seasons at Montgomery County, Varney led the Indians to a 10th Region Championship in 2019 and was elected to the Kentucky High School Baseball Coaches Association Hall of Fame in 2018.

During his first year as GRC’s Head Coach last season, the team finished as 10th Region runner-up despite a 2-7 start.

As for the game, the Cards returned home following a week of games out of town during spring break for Clark County Public Schools.

During that stretch, they went 1-2.

However, with a win over Paris, their record improved to 11-4.

Starting pitcher Maddox Campbell and Abe Mullins combined to throw 6 innings no-hit innings and ten strikeouts before the Greyhounds scored their lone run late.

Campbell was asked about his mindset heading into the game.“Just release all my nerves [and] don’t worry about anything,” he said. “I [have] good players in the field so I knew I was going to be good.”

Chase Wheeler and Abrahm Howard each contributed two RBIs.

One night later, the Cards traveled to Powell County.

Against a 7-5 Pirate squad, the Cards came away with a 4-1 victory to improve their record to 12-4.

J.P. Gaines led the offense with two RBIs, while Lochlan Hansel struck out nine and allowed just two hits through seven innings.

“I don’t think it’s a secret [that] our pitching is our strength. Our kids know it”,” Varney said, “We’ve just got to learn to scratch out small runs and use our speed.”

Starting Friday, the Cards play three games in the Doc Morris Invitational in Hebron.