Vaught's Views: Pigskin Classic full of talented players

August 22, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

Clearing out a variety of information before the high school football season starts tonight with Boyle County, Casey County, Lincoln County, Harrodsburg and Mercer County all playing their openers.

* If you are going to the Bob Allen Pigskin Classic at Admiral Stadium Saturday, here are a couple of players you might want to watch.

Dunbar lineman Blake Skeets, a three-year starter, has attracted the attention of numerous college coaches, including those at Kentucky. Among the other schools that have contacted Skeets are Alabama, Virginia, Illinois, Louisville, Cincinnati, Wake Forest and Central Florida.

Skeets has the size (6-4, 270 pounds) that recruiters like along with the strength. He was the strongest player at Louisville's summer camp as he bench pressed 185 pounds 25 times.


After Skeets plays against Garrard County in the first game, then you might want to watch Manual sophomore Vance Woods and junior receiver Andrew Robinson. Or at least that is what former Manual standout Keenan Burton, a freshman receiver at Kentucky, says.

"We have a solid quarterback in Austin Tiller, but Woods is going to be special and he'll play a lot," Burton said. "Robinson is really good. They will both be better than me. They are that good."

If they are better than Burton, Danville is in trouble because Burton may well have been the state's most underrated player last year. Danville coach Sam Harp has watched film of him playing last year while preparing for Saturday's game and calls him a "special player." If he's right about Woods, a sophomore, and Robinson, a junior, then they must be special, too.

* Chuck Smith gets another well-deserved honor tonight when he will be inducted into the Jeffersontown High School Hall of Fame during the Charger Classic at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in Louisville.

Smith went on to play linebacker at UK before becoming one of the state's top coaches. He'll be inducted along with another former Wildcat, Oliver Barnett.

Boyle will play Lafayette with kickoff scheduled for approximately 8 p.m.

* Former Mr. Football Jeff Duggins appears ready to resume his football career at Union College. He led Boyle County to three state titles from 2000-2002 before playing last year at Alfred State. He left Alfred and signed with the Lexington Horsemen, but did not play in a game. Now he's apparently off to Union.

* Remember Tony Franklin? He's had a varied football career. He was head coach at Mercer County before joining Hal Mumme's staff at UK. He left Kentucky because of a conflict with Mumme and spent last year coaching the Horsemen to a winning record and playoff berth in their inagural season. However, the Horsemen chose not to extend his contract.

But he's going to be trying a new venture Saturday. He's already written a book on college football, but now he's going to be a TV analyst. He'll work with WLEX-TV's Ryan Lemond calling the Lexington Catholic-Prestonsburg game in the St. Joseph's Hospital Bluegrass Bowl at Catholic.

Based on Franklin's brutal honesty and football knowledge, he should be a delight to hear. So if you go to the Danville game, just set the VCR to record Franklin's TV debut.

* The Popeyes Beat the Experts Contest and will continue through football and basketball season.

The contest entry blank will be in The Advocate-Messenger each Monday, along with the previous week's contest results. Expert predicitions will appear each Thursday.

The overall weekly contest winner will receive a 12-piece chicken dinner. Those lucky enough to beat the best expert will win a 2-piece chicken dinner.

Each overall weekly winner is eligible for the grand prize contest. However, this year there will be four grand prize winners. The top four finishers in the grand prize contest will each receive 10 family chicken dinners.

If you are interested in being a guest expert, let me know.

* If you didn't like the high school football predictions by the sports staff, here's your chance to showcase your knowledge.

By Aug. 30, e-mail who you think will win the upcoming Danville-Boyle game and why. Include your name, home address and phone number with the e-mail that should be sent to I'll use some of the predicitions in an upcoming column.

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