All-Star football game will be Thursday at Centre

June 08, 2004|MIKE MARSEE

The start of summer means the workload is picking up for high school football coaches, but Kenny Turner and Donny Walker don't mind taking on a second job for a few days.

These two coaches have their own teams to worry about, but each of them is working with a second team this week as they prepare the 64 players who will compete in the Mid-State Football Coaches Association All-Star Game.

Turner, the coach at Madison Central, will lead the South squad, while Franklin County's Walker will direct the North team in the game Thursday night at Centre College's Farris Stadium.

Both men have held their current job for only one season, and neither of them has seen any of the three previous games. But they said they were happy to serve when asked.


"It was a great thing that they asked me to do it," Walker said. "I felt really privileged to do it."

Turner said the more he sees of the team he's coaching this week, the more he's glad he took on the job.

"At first I was a little apprehensive because I didn't know what I was getting into, but the young men on the South team are excellent young men."

Twenty-one local players are participating

The South team includes nine players from Casey County, Garrard County and Lincoln County and another 26 from schools in Madison, Pulaski, Rockcastle and Russell counties. The North team features 12 players from Boyle County, Danville and Mercer County and 17 others from the schools in Harrison and Jessamine counties.

And even though neither coach has seen one of these all-star games before, they've gotten an idea of what to expect.

"My understanding is it's very competitive," Turner said.

And usually close. The North won the inaugural game on the final play in 2001, then won a lopsided decision in 2002. Last year's game, which ended in a tie, was also decided on the final play.

"Two out of three have been great games," Jerry Perry said.

"I just think it's going to be a lot of fun to go out there and see these guys play," Walker said. "But obviously we're going to play to win since the North has never lost this thing."

Perry, an assistant coach at Danville who has been a key figure in the Mid-State association from the start, said he's glad to have new coaches involved in the game.

"The biggest thing we're trying to do is get more coaches involved in the association," Perry said. "The more we can do that, the better off we'll be."

Walker and Turner are coaching different kinds of teams this week

The teams Walker and Turner coach on a regular basis are nothing like the teams they'll work with this week, and Walker said that's one of the best parts of this short-term job.

"It's having a really good athlete at every position, getting to put together a team that's good at every position and getting to watch them play," he said. "Plus I've enjoyed being around these other coaches. We learn from each other."

The teams hold daily practices for a week leading up to the game. The North is holding its workouts at Franklin and East Jessamine; the south at Madison Central.

East Jessamine, a team heavy with seniors last season, has nine players in the game, more than any other school. Danville has the most all-stars of any area school with five.

Turner said his South team is strongest on the lines - 17 North players are listed as linemen.

The North has 11 linemen and seven backs but also has three kickers, which is three more than the South.

Perry is pleased that the game has a new primary sponsor, Inter-County Energy.

"This is not the first time they've helped us, but this year we only really wanted one (sponsor)," Perry said. "The whole focus for us is just to play, and thanks to them we get to do it again."

If you want to go

Admission to the 6 p.m. game is $5. Perry advised fans to park in campus lots off Beatty Avenue.

If the game cannot be played Thursday due to inclement weather, it will not be rescheduled.

The Rosters


No. Name Pos. High School College Choice

1 Jesse Raney E Mercer County N/A

4 Dexter Gray B Danville Union

5 Brad King B Franklin County Undecided

7 Wes Coleman B East Jessamine Undecided

9 Zach Cooley E Boyle County Undecided

10 Brian O'Connor B West Jessamine Kentucky

14 Patrick Hunt QB East Jessamine Eastern Kentucky

22 John Keene B Western Hills Georgetown

24 Phillip Dunn B Danville Louisville

25 Hunter Barfield E East Jessamine Kentucky

30 Mario Berry E Danville Union

35 Jason Fox B East Jessamine Campbellsville

44 Tyler Toncray K Western Hills Undecided

45 Ian Loughry E Boyle County Undecided

51 Jeff Gaby LB Western Hills Georgetown

58 John Hendricks L George Rogers Clark Georgetown

59 John McCann L East Jessamine Georgetown

60 Shawn Jackson L Franklin County Kentucky State

62 Jeremy Enlow L Boyle County Eastern Kentucky

63 Ryan Hundley L Danville Cent. Ky. Technical

65 Jerrod Stump L East Jessamine Centre

67 Jason Chadwick K Mercer County Centre

69 Peter Thomas L Danville Undecided

70 Brian Williams L Danville Union

71 Evan Hayden L East Jessamine Morehead State

73 Cody Lowry L East Jessamine Kentucky

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