Kentucky high school football | Local Class 4-A teams at a glance

Kentucky high school football | Local Class 4-A teams at a glance

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Kentucky high school football | Local Class 4-A teams at a glance

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The Courier-Journal will run capsules previewing high school football seasons for all 35 Louisville-area programs.

ATHERTON (1-9)

Coach: Kenneth Walker (fifth season, 3-37).

Starters back: Offense 6, defense 6.

Class: 4-A, District 3.

Player to watch: FB-LB Keishawn Hayden (Sr.). “He’ll have to carry the load for us, along with our other linebacker, Elijah Eisert,” Walker said about Hayden, a four-year starter on defense. “He’s a tremendous hitter. This will be the first year for Hayden to get reps at fullback. He’ll be a glorified blocker, but he’ll carry the ball some, too.” Eisert, who has a 4.2 GPA, plans to attend the U.S. Military Academy in West Point, N.Y.

Other top players: C Joseph Wright (Sr.), OG-DE Cauley Seaborne (Sr.), OT Troy Hadley (Sr.), TE-DE Benjamin Allgeier (Sr.), SE-SS Sam Tedtman (Sr.), NG Jake Graves (Sr.), OLB Doshawn Haynes (Sr.), CB Dameon Philpot (Sr.).

Outlook: The Rebels have 15 seniors, the most in Walker’s tenure, including four four-year starters. “That gives us a leadership thing,” Walker said. “This will be the best team we’ve had in the last seven or eight years because of our seniors.” However, the Rebels will play nine players both ways, and Walker is still trying to find a quarterback.

— Bob White

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/23 Knox Central 9/27 *COLLINS
8/30 KCD 10/3 *at Waggener
9/6 at Shawnee 10/11 *SPENCER CO.
9/13 GALLATIN CO. 10/17 *at N. Oldham
9/20 EMINENCE 11/1 at Iroquois
*-District game.


COLLINS (11-4)

Coach: Jerry Lucas (fourth season, 33-9).

Starters back: Offense 8, defense 9.

Class: 4-A, District 3.

Players to watch: RB-WR DeAndre Farris (Sr.), QB Lawson Page (Sr.). The Titans will play Farris everywhere; he ran for 17 TDs and caught 13 passes for scores in 2012. Page passed for 2,931 yards and 36 touchdowns and ran for 721 yards as Collins reached the 4-A state final against Highlands. “Farris is lightning fast, and we’ll put the ball in his hands,” Lucas said. “Page is a tremendous leader and is as good a runner as he is a passer.”

Other top players: RB-LB Masai Whyte (Sr.); NG Mark Bradford (Sr.); WR-SS Nathan Sames (Sr.); WR Jordan Parker (Sr.); SB-LB Landon Forrest (Sr.); WR-DB Elijah Jones (Sr.); WR-DB Isaiah Jones (Sr.); OL Kris Jones (Sr.); OL Zach Wilson (Sr.)

Outlook: Collins lost only three starters from its 2012 team and added transfer Ryan Watkins, who started at RB-LB for Eastern last season. “We have a lot of kids on both sides of the ball — 36 who can play on Friday night,” Lucas said. “We have six good running backs and four starters back on the offensive line.” Farris was the top receiver last year with 68 catches, and Sames had 62, including 16 TDs. Farris and Whyte — who had 182 tackles and ran for 10 TDs — have committed to Western Kentucky.

— Bob White

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/23 SIMON KENTON 10/4 *at Spencer Co.
8/30 at South Oldham 10/11 at Central Hardin
9/6 BALLARD 10/18 *WAGGENER
9/13 at Shelby Co. 10/25 *NORTH OLDHAM
9/27 *at Atherton 11/1 ANDERSON CO.
*-District game.

DOSS (5-7)

Coach: LaKunta Farmer (seventh season, 38-34).

Starters back: Offense 6, defense 5.

Class: 4-A, District 4.

Players to watch: Farmer is excited about junior wide receivers Devonte Moffitt (6 feet, 185 pounds) and Dajzon Dukes (6-3, 210). Moffitt played quarterback last year and is the faster of the two, Farmer said, adding that “Dukes is more of a possession receiver, but he can stretch the field as well.” Both also will play in the secondary.

Other top players: QB Tre Taylor (Jr.), RB Keyonte Parris (So.), OL Damon Hughes (Sr.), DT David Mack (Jr.), DT T.J. Shaw (Jr.), LB Keevon Merriweather (Sr.), CB Jerry Coleman (Sr.), S Elijah Gardner (Sr.).

Outlook: Doss reached the second round of the playoffs last year before falling to Collins, and Farmer expects bigger things this season. “If we can stay healthy, we might be playing for a while,” he said. “It’s a very talented group.” Along with Moffitt and Dukes, the skill positions on offense are young as the junior Taylor will start at quarterback and the sophomore Parris at running back. “(Parris) is very elusive and reads blocks very well,” Farmer said. “He has vision you can’t teach.”

— Jason Frakes

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/23 PRP 9/27 *NELSON COUNTY
8/31 at North Hardin 10/3 *at Moore
9/6 SENECA 10/11 *at Western
9/13 at Central 10/18 *VALLEY
9/20 BUTLER 10/25 *at Fairdale
*-District game.

FAIRDALE (3-8)

Coach: Matthew Wright (first season).

Starters back: Offense 3, defense 3.

Class: 4-A, District 4.

Player to watch: Junior linebacker Austin Weird (5-11, 200) is the top returning tackler with 84 stops last season. He also plays on the offensive line. “He was a real leader in the offseason and made himself stronger,” Wright said. “He set the example in the offseason of how to do things in the weight room.”

Other top players: QB George Wilson (Jr.), RB Max Cole (So.), WR Michael Battle (Jr.), WR Josh Rutter (So.), OL-DL Tyler Garcia (So.), OL Austin Lile (Sr.), DE Austin Ochman (Jr.), SS Trey Norton (Jr.).

Outlook: Wright, a 2000 Fairdale graduate, takes over as head coach after serving as defensive coordinator in 2011 and offensive coordinator last year. He has a young team, with only three seniors on the roster, and must face Bullitt Central, Male and St. Xavier in the first three games. “We’re trying to keep it simple for them and realize that we’re not just building for one season,” Wright said. “We’re building for years to come with this young group.” Wilson moves to quarterback after playing running back and wide receiver last year. “He’s one of the best runners on the team … and he can also throw it,” Wright said. “Being a mobile quarterback is his biggest strength.”

— Jason Frakes

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/30 at Bullitt Central 10/3 *VALLEY
9/6 at Male 10/11 *MOORE
9/13 at St. Xavier 10/18 *at Nelson County
9/19 SOUTHERN 10/25 *DOSS
9/27 *at Western 11/1 BULLITT EAST
*-District game.

MOORE (3-7)

Coach: Eric Dick (second season).

Starters back: Offense 5, defense 5.

Class: 4-A, District 4.

Player to watch: Senior running back Keith Foster (5-10, 170) rushed for 484 yards and seven TDs last season after transferring from Southern. “We’ll rely heavily on him,” Dick said. “Making sure he stays healthy will be a big task.”

Other top players: RB Jerrick McMurray (So.), WR Daron Osborne (Sr.), OL Austin Robey (Sr.), OL Griffin Jones (Sr.), OL-DL Shaun Whittinghill (Jr.), DL Austin Ayo (Sr.), DL Daylon Whaley (Sr.), DB Derek Goodwin (Jr.).

Outlook: Dick believes his second year will be better than the first. “With a first-year coach, a lot of times kids will second-guess things,” he said. “The group that’s back this year has really bought in and taken a hold of everything we do.” Demontray Watts takes over at quarterback after playing running back last season. Foster and McMurray will carry the load at running back. Dick said a lack of depth on the lines is a concern.

— Jason Frakes

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/23 at Southern 9/27 *at Valley
8/30 at Tates Creek 10/3 *DOSS
9/6 CARROLL COUNTY 10/11 *at Fairdale
9/13 WAGGENER 10/18 *WESTERN
9/20 at Fern Creek 10/25 *at Nelson County
*-District game.

NORTH OLDHAM (6-5)

Coach: Billy Martin (eighth season, 46-30).

Starters back: Offense 7, defense 5.

Class: 4-A, District 3

Player to watch: QB-FB-LB Keenan Dowd. “Dowd’s a great athlete,” Martin said. “He’s big (6-1, 205), strong and fast. You could play him anywhere, even nose guard and offensive guard. He made some nice catches last year, so when he’s a running back we can throw him the ball.” Dowd ran for 306 yards and seven TDs and passed for 584 yards and seven scores in 2012.

Other top players: RB-CB Aaron Beasley (Jr.), RB-CB Quinton Shea (Sr.), FB Nick Thome (Sr.), OL Colin Clarke (Sr.), OL Daniel Hall (Sr.), OL Austin Metcalfe (Sr.), DL Trevor Graham (Sr.), RB-LB Kevin Graham (Jr.).

Outlook: Injuries crippled the Mustangs in 2012 when they lost their last three games. They look in good shape at running back with Beasley (484 yards, 7 TDs) and Shea (328 yards). “We’ll be tested early, but we hope to get our line play up to par by district time,” Martin said. “We’re quicker and bigger than last year.”

— Bob White

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/23 EVANSVILLE C. 9/27 *SPENCER COUNTY
8/30 at Oldham County 10/11 *at Waggener
9/6 CAL 10/17 *ATHERTON
9/13 LEX. CHRISTIAN 10/25 *at Collins
9/20 SOUTH OLDHAM 11/1 at East Jessamine
*-District game.

SPENCER COUNTY (7-4)

Coach: Mike Marksberry (3rd season, 12-11).

Starters back: Offense 4, defense 4.

Class: 4-A, District 3.

Player to watch: RB-DB Shawn Boykin (Sr.). A top sprinter in track, Boykin also excels in football. He ran for 850 yards and 5 TDs last year. “Shawn has the speed where he has the opportunity to go the distance every time he touches the ball,” Marksberry said. The 6-foot, 180-pounder is also active in his team’s return game.

Other top players: C Tyler Eldridge (Sr.), RB Logan Holbrook (So.), RB-LB Michael Fowler (Sr.), RB-LB Trenton Bryant (Sr.), WR Kynan Smith (Jr.), QB Jacob DeRudder (So.).

Outlook: Holbrook is cat-quick and ran for 600 yards and 7 TDs as a freshman so he and Boykin give Spencer County a solid 1-2 punch. Fowler made over 100 tackles and recovered three fumbles a year ago. The Bears’ season may depend on how DeRudder develops at quarterback. “We hang our hat on defense,” Marksberry said. “We only gave up 180 points in 11 games last year, and that included 54 to Nelson County in the playoffs.”

— Bob White

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/23 at Thomas Nelson 10/4 *COLLINS
8/30 at Shelby County 10/11 *at Atherton
9/6 LARUE COUNTY 10/18 EAST JESSAMINE
9/13 at Bullitt East 10/25 *WAGGENER
9/27 *at North Oldham 11/1 HENRY COUNTY
*-District game.

VALLEY (3-7)

Coach: Preston King (3rd season, 7-14).

Starters back: Offense 7, defense 8.

Class: 4-A, District 4.

Player to watch: Senior quarterback Robert Jones (6-1, 175) is drawing interest from several colleges after passing for nearly 1,000 yards and rushing for another 500 last year. “He went to a lot of camps over the summer … and that helped him a lot to see where he wanted to go,” King said. “We expect a big-time year out of him.”

Other top players: RB Kevonte Mitchell (Sr.), WR Tyler Oates (Sr.), OL-DL Jansen Fisher (Sr.), OL Travis Lucas (Jr.), DT Treshawn Macklin (Sr.), LB Antwan Thomas (Jr.), FS Brian Smith (Sr.).

Outlook: Jones, Mitchell and Oates give the Vikings three solid playmakers on offense. “Oates used to drop a lot of balls, but he’s caught everything that’s come to him so far this year,” King said. “Mitchell is only 160 pounds, but he runs like he’s 200. He’d rather run over you than by you.” King also pleased with the improved depth of the program, though it’s still not where he’d like it to be. “Last year we probably had 14 or 15 kids in the rotation,” King said. “Now we have 22 or 23 solid players who can help us. We feel like we can have a good year if we stay healthy on the offensive and defensive lines.”

— Jason Frakes

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/30 PRP 10/3 *at Fairdale
9/6 at Iroquois 10/11 *NELSON COUNTY
9/13 at Bullitt Central 10/18 *at Doss
9/20 at Holy Cross 10/25 *WESTERN
9/27 *MOORE 11/1 BUTLER
*-District game.

WAGGENER (2-9)

Coach: Jason Stallard (1st season).

Starters back: Offense 6, defense 6.

Class: 4-A, District 3.

Player to watch: QB-RB-DB Marquise Nelson (Sr.). “His speed makes him special out of the quarterback position,” Stallard said about Nelson. “He’s a dual threat at running or passing. He’s vocal and leads by example. He’s a player.”

Other top players: RB-LB Romeo Perry (Sr.), OL-DL Deshawn Gaines (Sr.), OL-DL Brandon Byrd (Jr.), RB-S Jonquise Grady (So.), G-LB-Malik Watts (So.), WR-CB Leonard Nelson (Jr.), OL-DL Jerome Bailey (Sr.).

Outlook: Stallard, who played on Georgetown College’s national championship team as a free safety in 2000 and 2001, begins his 12th season as a high school coach. “We’re in a rebuilding mode. We only have nine seniors and 25-30 kids, but we have a positive outlook,” he said. “I love the athletic talent we have. Our linemen have really been sound. We’ll go as far as our linemen take us. We’re a hungry group.”

— Bob White

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/30 at Iroquois 10/3 *ATHERTON
9/6 BULLITT EAST 10/11 *NORTH OLDHAM
9/13 at Moore 10/18 *at Collins
9/20 at Henry County 10/25 *at Spencer County
9/27 HOLY CROSS 11/1 FERN CREEK
*-District game.

WESTERN (6-7)

Coach: Torrey Shinholster (2nd season).

Starters back: Offense 8, defense 4.

Class: 4-A, District 4.

Player to watch: Senior linebacker Kermory Malone (6-1, 230) was the Warriors’ Defensive Player of the Year last season and has a solid knowledge of the game. “He changes the calls on defense for me,” Shinholster said. “He’s like a player-coach. He’s really intelligent.”

Other top players: QB Jordan Cooper (Jr.), RB Cory Durham (Sr.), WR Andre Carson (Sr.), WR Ryan Love (Sr.), WR Ladon Marshall (Sr.), OL Quadry Johnson (Sr.), OL Chris McGraw (Sr.), OL Rajae Woods (Sr.), DE Montez Bowen (Sr.), CB Taron Barger (Jr.), CB Donald Moore (Sr.).

Outlook: The Warriors have won four straight regular-season district championships and figure to battle Doss for a fifth straight this season. The offense returns most of its playmakers, with Cooper leading the way at quarterback. Malone anchors a defense that will be breaking in seven new starters. “Our strength is that we’re better disciplined than last year,” Shinholster said. “These kids want something this year. Our weakness is that we’re young and we don’t have a lot of football players. We’re creating football players right now.”

— Jason Frakes

Date Opponent Date Opponent
8/31 a-Meade County 10/4 *at Nelson County
9/6 at Butler 10/11 *DOSS
9/13 at Ballard 10/18 *at Moore
9/20 CENTRAL 10/25 *at Valley
9/27 *FAIRDALE 11/1 JOHN HARDIN
*-District game. a-at North Hardin.

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