Turner wants a second title

December 02, 2003|LARRY VAUGHT

He scored a touchdown in the 2001 Class A state championship game and played regularly on Danville's defensive team that season.

Still, winning another state title Friday would mean a lot more to junior Kelvin Turner than the one he helped the Admirals win two years ago.

"It would be so big," said Turner. "My freshman year I only played defense most of the time. This year I play both ways. I scored a touchdown as a freshman, but I would really love it if we could win again this time. It would mean a lot more to me."

Turner likely will play a key role in determining whether Danville beats Beechwood in Friday's showdown at Papa John's Cardinal Stadium in Louisville.


He is Danville's leading rusher with 1,941 yards and 23 touchdowns on 171 carries.

On defense, Turner spent most of the season at linebacker before moving into the secondary last week in the 25-3 victory at Mayfield.

"Every time I go out, somebody is either asking me about winning a state title or where I might go to college," Turner said. "It doesn't matter where I'm at or what I'm doing. Everybody wants to know."

Last summer "everybody" was wondering if Turner would even be playing for Danville. He decided he would move to Tennessee to stay with his mother rather than come back to Danville.

"The only time I get to see my mother is during the summer," Turner said. "I went down there last summer and really liked it. I was going to stay. Then I came back up here and realized how much I was missing my family and friends here. They told me how much they wanted me to come back and I'm really glad I did."

Some speculated that Turner was going to Tennessee because he didn't like sharing the football with senior Charles Penix.

"It was a personal issue. It had nothing to do with football and not liking it here or liking it more down there. Some people thought I felt like coach (Sam) Harp was doing me wrong because me and Charles were both here. It was not like that. It was all a personal issue."

Harp knew that. So did Danville's players.

"I really didn't pry into why he was making the decision to go because it was a personal thing," Harp said. "I'm just glad he came back and so were his teammates.

"He's got so much bigger, stronger and faster the last two years. We really felt when he came back that we needed him on defense even more than offense because he's such a strong, physical player."

Harp believes Turner will be Division I recruit

Harp thinks Turner will be his seventh Division I recruit and that he's best suited to play running back because not only can he run the ball, but he also can come out of the backfield and catch passes.

"Colleges really can't contact me personally yet, but I'm getting a lot of mail," Turner said. "I think offense is where my future lies, but I wouldn't mind playing defense if that's how it worked out because I love hitting people. Sometimes I even enjoy defense more because you do get to hit people. On offense, you usually run and get hit, but on defense you get to hit.

"Sometimes I would rather try to run over a defender than juke around him when I'm running. I don't really know why. I'm not that big, but I love contact and have never tried to avoid it."

Turner has always had the ability to find openings and run through defenses. He has the combination of power and speed that makes it difficult to consistently stop him. That's one reason he was viewed as the preseason key to Danville's success this year.

"I never really think about expectations others have for me. I prefer to concentrate on helping the team win and get to the state championship game," Turner said. "It is nice to hear nice things that people say. That just makes you want to go out on Friday nights and play even harder to justify what others are saying about you."

Something his father said years ago led to his well-known nickname, "Dukey." He says about the only people who actually call him Kelvin are his parents.

"I got my nickname from my father when I was still in diapers," Turner said. "He had changed my diaper and as soon as he changed it, I went to the bathroom again. He started calling me Dukey and it stuck. He wishes he had not given me that nickname, but I like it. That's all I've been called since I was little and now I wouldn't want to be called anything else."

Tickets on sale

Tickets for Friday's Class A championship game are on sale at Danville High School for $7. Tickets at the game will be $9. All seats are reserved seats.

Danville has 2,000 tickets available to sell.

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