Kentucky high school team capsules | Doss, Eastern, Fairdale, Fern Creek, Holy Cross, J'town, KCD, Male

Kentucky high school team capsules | Doss, Eastern, Fairdale, Fern Creek, Holy Cross, J'town, KCD, Male

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Kentucky high school team capsules | Doss, Eastern, Fairdale, Fern Creek, Holy Cross, J'town, KCD, Male

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DOSS (2-9)

DOSS (2-9)

Coach: LaKunta Farmer (6th season, 33-27).

Starters back: Offense 8, defense 8.

Class: 4-A. District 4.

Player to watch: Senior James Yarbrough (5 feet 11, 190 pounds) will be the featured back for the Dragons. “He really impressed me because he worked hard over the summer, and it’s paying off for him,” Farmer said. “He’s fast, he’s strong and he has some moves. He can catch the ball out of the backfield, too.”

Other top players: QB Jerry Coleman (Jr.); RB Deonte Garner (Sr.); WR Ronnell Colbert (Sr.); WR Devonte Moffitt (Jr.); OL Robert Green (Sr.); OL Austin LaSelva (Sr.); OL Damon Hughes (Jr.); DL David Mack (So.); DL T.J. Shaw (So.); LB Collie Taylor (Sr.); LB Ramone Kelly (So.); DB Collin Taylor (Sr.).

Outlook: Farmer expects his team to turn things around after struggling with penalties and turnovers for much of last season. Yarbrough and Garner are solid weapons in the backfield, but Farmer said the strength of the offense is the line led by Green, LaSelva and Hughes. “I tell them every day that we’re going to win or lose based on what you guys do,” Farmer said. “They’ve taken ownership of that.” Farmer said Collie Taylor has emerged as the defensive leader, taking over after the graduation of star Treyvon Neely.

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/17 at Bullitt East 9/21 *VALLEY
8/24 at Seneca 10/5 *FAIRDALE
8/31 at PRP 10/12 *MOORE
9/7 at St. Xavier 10/19 *at Western
9/14 at Butler 10/26 FERN CREEK
*-District game.

— Jason Frakes

EASTERN (10-3)

EASTERN (10-3)

Coach: Stephen Ruckman (1st season).

Starters back: Offense 6, defense 4.

Class: 6-A. District 5.

Player to watch: Senior safety Shane Fields has intercepted 12 passes over the past two seasons and is on the radar of several college scouts. “He’s one of those guys that has talent and a motor,” Ruckman said. “He has a swagger about him, but he’s not too cocky. He’s just competitive.”

Other top players: QB Cody Wolfe (Sr.); RB Ryan Watkins (Jr.); RB Greg Hayes (Sr.); RB/WR Tre Harrison (Sr.); WR Austin Kessler (Sr.); OL Jacob Stewart (Sr.); OL Cody Williams (Sr.); OL Tyler Smith (Sr.); LB Jaylen Johnson (Sr.); LB Dassaev Baptiste (Sr.); DB Chauncey Johns (Jr.).

Outlook: Ruckman is the new coach after spending the past two years as the head coach at Grace King in New Orleans. He plans to run a spread option offense and appears to have plenty of weapons at the skill positions with Watkins, Hayes, Harrison and Kessler. Fields anchors a defense that allowed an average of 48 points in its three losses last year. Ruckman said Eastern has “the smartest football players I’ve even been around. You only have to show them something one or two times.”

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/17 at Jeffersonville 9/21 at Male
8/25 a-Paul Dunbar 10/4 *BALLARD
8/31 BUTLER 10/12 *OLDHAM CO.
9/7 COLLINS 10/19 *at Fern Creek
9/14 at Seneca 10/26 WESTERN
*-District game; a-at Bryan Station.

— Jason Frakes

FAIRDALE (2-8)

FAIRDALE (2-8)

Coach: Chris Engstrand (2nd season).

Starters back: Offense 7, defense 4.

Class: 4-A. District 4.

Player to watch: Senior Boo Crabtree (6-4, 200) enters his third season as the starting quarterback. The three-sport athlete passed for 1,804 yards and 21 touchdowns last year. “He has an incredible football IQ,” Engstrand said. “He’s really an extension of the coaching staff out on the field. … He’ll make a fantastic coach some day.”

Other top players: WR Demontrell Smith (Sr.); WR/DB Jimmie Harris (Sr.); OL Chris Griffiths (Sr.); OL Dustin Pryor (Sr.); OL/DL Austin Weird (So.); OL/DL Tyler Garcia (Fr.); RB/DL Anthony Jennings (Sr.); LB Darrius Clark (Sr.).

Outlook: The Bulldogs struggled during Engstrand’s first season and have some big holes to fill after the graduation of top receiver Richard Rudolph and the transfer of top rusher Richard Deloney. Crabtree is a solid quarterback, and he has two good targets in Harris and Smith. The running game still is in flux as Denzel Radcliff (Sr.), George Wilson (So.) and Jennings are competing for carries. Engstrand said the line could be the strength of the offense after being a weakness last year. “Realistically, we’re probably still two years away from being where we want to be, but I’m excited about what we’re doing,” Engstrand said.

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/17 PRP 9/28 *at Moore
8/31 at Bullitt East 10/5 *at Doss
9/7 NORTH HARDIN 10/12 *WESTERN
9/14 at Southern 10/19 *VALLEY
9/21 BUTLER 10/26 at N. Bullitt
*-District game.

— Jason Frakes

FERN CREEK (4-7)

FERN CREEK (4-7)

Coach: Joe Nichols (2nd season).

Starters back: Offense 3, defense 3.

Class: 6-A. District 5.

Player to watch: Senior Brady Nagel (5-11, 175) split time at quarterback last season with Claiborne Holmes but gets the starting nod this year after Holmes’ graduation. Nagel passed for 375 yards and four touchdowns as a junior. “He’s a good game manager,” Nichols said. “He’s really a linebacker that we’ve moved to quarterback. He’s a tough-nosed kid.”

Other top players: RB/LB Tyree Johnson (Sr.); RB Chris Sharp (Jr.); RB Dreshawn Kinslow (Sr.); OL Ryan Little (Sr.); OL Kermit Gibbs (Jr.); DL Justin Nichols (Jr.); DL Dominick Wright (Sr.).

Outlook: Nichols said this year’s squad isn’t as talented as last year’s, “but we have better chemistry. We’re really young, but by the end of the year we should be able to compete and win some games.” Johnson was expected to be a top running back but has been moved primarily to defense because of a hand injury. That means Sharp and Kinslow will get most of the carries. “We really need Brady to take control and be a leader at quarterback,” Nichols said. Three or four freshmen are expected to get significant playing time, Nichols said.

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/17 at St. Xavier 9/28 PRP
8/24 at Manual 10/5 *OLDHAM CO.
8/31 PAUL DUNBAR 10/12 *at Ballard
9/7 at Seneca 10/19 *EASTERN
9/21 at Southern 10/26 at Doss
*-District game.

— Jason Frakes

Holy Cross (11-2)

Holy Cross (11-2)

Coach: Todd Crumbacker (1st season)

Starters back: Offense 2, defense 1.

Class: 1-A. District: 2

Player to watch: After leading rusher Jesse Keen was lost to graduation, 5-6 senior RB/LB Jordan Willenborg will be expected to carry most of the load this year after primarily being a third-down back, yet having the highest yards per carry on the team last season.

Other top players: QB/LB Aaron Drury (Sr.), OL/DL CJ Jacoby (Jr.), WR/DB Connor Schonburg (Sr.), DL John Skinner (So.), LB/OL Carlos Love (Fr.), DB/RB Ryan Kaelin (So.).

Outlook: Having lost 16 players to graduation, the seven seniors will take on a tough schedule that includes Seneca, J’town and Franklin Road Academy (Tenn.). A running back last season, Drury has been converted to quarterback. He’ll run the new spread offense that includes a new zone-blocking concept. The defense will be using more of a 4-4 hybrid scheme as opposed to its 5-2 monster they’ve been accustomed to running.

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/17 at Valley 9/21 J’TOWN
8/24 at Moore 10/5 *at KCD
8/31 PROVIDENCE (IN) 10/12 *CAVERNA
9/7 DE SALES 10/19 *at Bethlehem
9/14 at Franklin Rd. Acad. (TN) 10/26 SENECA
*-District game.

— Adam Warner

IROQUOIS (0-9)

IROQUOIS (0-9)

Coach: Mark Sander (1st season).

Starters back: Offense 5, defense 6.

Class: 5-A, District 3.

Player to watch: Gus Sarafino, a senior RB and OLB. “He has speed, a good work ethic and is a leader,” Sander said. “He understands what needs to be done and is one of the most pleasant kids you would ever want to meet. He’ll shine pretty good at running back.”

Other top players: WR-DB Eric Pugh (Sr.), RB-LB Larry Jackson (So.), WR-DB Demetrius Brown (Sr.), QB Malik Saunders (So.), OL-DL Markus Edwards (Sr.).

Outlook: The Raiders’ success may depend on how quickly they can put things together under a new coach. “It’s challenging, but exciting,” said Sander, who just took the job in June. Iroquois has some experienced players returning. Jackson was the team captain in 2011 as a freshman. Saunders started at QB as a freshman. “We’re trying to change the program around, but I don’t know if it’ll be early in the season. I’m real pleased with the kids out here.”

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/24 at Waggener 9/28 *at Grayson Co.
8/31 at Valley 10/5 *N. HARDIN
9/7 SOUTHERN 10/19 *J’TOWN
9/14 KCD 10/26 at Atherton
9/21 *at John Hardin
*-District game.

— Bob White

JEFFERSONTOWN (10-3)

JEFFERSONTOWN (10-3)

Coach: Nathan Jones (1st season).

Starters back: Offense 8, defense 8.

Class: 5-A, District 3.

Player to watch: Junior RB-SS Richard Deloney. He played the past two seasons at Fairdale and will be the only Charger to play both offense and defense to start the season. “Richard is a big, strong (6-2, 205) kid who has power and can run fast. He’s a physical player,” Jones said. In seven games for Fairdale last year, Deloney gained 308 yards on 58 carries, caught 13 passes and scored three TDs.

Other top players: DT Raymond Brown (Sr.), DL Devin Watson (Sr.), WR Mikal Howard (Sr.), RB Charvez Strickland (Sr.), LB Isaac Winstead (Sr.), OL Richard Wethington (Sr.), OL Cody Sumrall (Jr.), QB Kendrick Gardner (Jr.).

Outlook: The Chargers (11-3 in 2011) lost through graduation an All-State player in DeMichael Jackson, who is now at Southeast Missouri State. Jackson ran for 2,237 yards, passed for 1,196 yards and 14 TDs and scored 33 TDs last fall. “We can’t replace him, so we hope we’re able to spread the ball around a lot and let other people do the same things DeMichael did,” Jones said. “Our defense looks really solid, and we have four of our five offensive linemen back. Gardner can run and throws the ball well.”

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/24 BULLITT EAST 9/28 *NORTH HARDIN
8/31 at Moore 10/5 *at John Hardin
9/7 SHELBY CO. 10/12 *GRAYSON CO.
9/14 at Meade County 10/19 *at Iroquois
9/21 at Holy Cross 10/26 OLDHAM CO.
*-District game.

— Bob White

KCD (9-3)

KCD (9-3)

Coach: Matthew Jones (1st season)

Starters back: Offense 10, defense 7

Class: 1-A. District 2.

Player to watch: Senior quarterback Robert Scholtz has passed for over 6,000 yards and 60 touchdowns in the past two seasons for the Bearcats. “We need him to be a leader on and off the field,” Jones said. Scholtz (6-4, 195) looks to be a feature of the offense that returns many of their starters from last season.

Other top players: FB/LB Isaiah Brients (Sr.), K David Holtgraze (Sr.), OL/LB Cam Samtle (Sr.), RB/FS Jordan Duff (Jr.), CB/WR Khaleel Wilson (Sr.), OL/DL Emilio Zayas (Jr.), OL/DL Collier Clay(Sr.), (RB/LB) Tommy Staffieri (Jr.).

Outlook: Filling the shoes of long-time head coach Tim Green won’t be easy, but Jones will have plenty to work with. Nine seniors return, all of whom will see playing time, Jones said. He inherits a team that advanced to the second round of last year’s playoffs for the first time in the program’s history. “We learned a lot last year from going to the second round; now we’re looking to go to the third,” Jones said. With 15 upperclassmen, Jones is confident that if a couple of the sophomores step up, they can help the Bearcats compete for the district title.

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/17 SHAWNEE 9/21 BRECKINRIDGE CO.
8/24 ATHERTON 10/5 *HOLY CROSS
8/31 at Waggener 10/12 *BETHLEHEM
9/7 at Carroll Co. 10/19 *at Caverna
9/14 Iroquois 10/26 at Trimble Co.
*-District game.

— Adam Warner

MALE (4-8)

MALE (4-8)

Coach: Chris Wolfe (3rd season, 15-12).

Starters back: Offense 3, defense 5.

Class: 6-A. District 4.

Player to watch: Junior Marque Northington (5-8, 170) takes over as the top running back after the graduation of Ronjae Morris. Northington is a “compact guy who’s actually pretty powerfully built,” Wolfe said. “He’s not super quick like Ronjae. He’s more of a downhill runner, but he has good speed and will make you miss. And he has fantastic hands.”

Other top players: QB Tyler Erny (Sr.); RB Ellis Cain (So.); WR Nathan Case (Sr.); WR Kainin Lewis (Sr.); OL/DL Tyler Stevenson (Sr.); OL/DL Jordan Mattingly (Sr.); OL/DL Rashon Saddler (Sr.); LB Langston Scott (Sr.); DB Nathan Hearn (Sr.); DB Sam Boswell (Sr.); DB Breshawn Phillips (Sr.).

Outlook: Getting bigger was a big focus during the offseason for the Bulldogs, who only had two starters that weighed more than 200 pounds on last year’s defense. “Now we have six or seven,” Wolfe said. Erny takes over at quarterback after Aladin Ganibegovic, last year’s starter, suffered a broken wrist during spring practice. Ganibegovic now is the kicker. Cain has big-time potential at running back, and Case and Lewis teamed for 30 receptions and nearly 450 yards last season. Scott, who played at Male as a sophomore, returns as a leader on defense after moving back from Mississippi. Wolfe said his team must take care of the ball better after posting 31 turnovers last year, resulting in a minus-15 turnover margin.

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/17 FLOYD CENTRAL 9/21 EASTERN
8/24 at Butler 10/5 *ST. XAVIER
8/31 at Western 10/12 *at Trinity
9/7 LEX. CATHOLIC 10/19 *MANUAL
9/14 BOONE CO. 10/26 at Christian Ac.
*-District game.

— Jason Frakes

Note: The Courier-Journal will run capsule previews of all 35 Louisville-area programs through Wednesday. Here is the remaining schedule:

* Tuesday: Manual, Moore, North Bullitt, North Oldham, Oldham County, Pleasure Ridge Park, Seneca, Shawnee, Shelby County.

* Wednesday: South Oldham, Southern, Spencer County, St. Xavier, Trinity, Valley, Waggener, Western.

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Kentucky high school team capsules | Doss, Eastern, Fairdale, Fern Creek, Holy Cross, J'town, KCD, Male
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