Vaught's Views: Ex-Cat Hopewell says UK offense simpler

June 22, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

People and things.

* Kentucky football.

Former UK football player Daniel Hopewell thinks Kentucky's offense will improve next season even with the loss of quarterback Jared Lorenzen and three starters off the offensive line.

Hopewell, a walk-on receiver from Harrodsburg, says offensive coordinator Ron Hudson and head coach Rich Brooks have "simplified" the offense based on what he's heard from current players.

"They cut back on the offense in spring practice," said Hopewell, a May UK graduate who now works for Northwestern Mutual Life in Lexington. "They have simplified things and made it easier for the offensive line. I think you should see a big jump in the overall performance of the offense."


Hopewell said last year's offense was too complicated and that players could not adjust to Hudson's new system.

"There was no doubt some players didn't buy into what the coaches were trying to do. The offense was so complicated and hard to run that it was overwhelming for (quarterback) Jared (Lorenzen) at times. It was not fair to Jared. He couldn't learn all that in one year. Shane (Boyd) will have a lot better chance running the offense this year even though it will be his first year as a full-time starter."

Hopewell did praise his position coach, Joker Phillips. He had played two years under former NFL receiver Harold Jackson, but said every Kentucky receiver learned far more under Phillips last year than they ever had.

"The last year I learned more about reading defenses and what to look for and how to run routes than I ever had," Hopewell said. "Joker says the offense is going to be based around the receivers this year. That's another reason I think Shane will have a better chance to succeed."

* David Hamilton.

The former Kentucky School for the Deaf basketball standout is the head coach for the United States team that will play in the 2005 Deaflympics in Melbourne, Australia.

The team will be training at Indiana School for the Deaf Thursday through Sunday and will have three scrimmages against Indianapolis collegiate teams: Friday at the University of Indianapolis, Saturday at Indiana-Purdue-Indianapolis and Sunday at Butler.

Among the players on Hamilton's team will be Sekoe White. He played at KSD for three years before transferring to Paul Dunbar in Lexington where he started the last two years.

Hamilton played at KSD from 1977-82 and remains one of the best area players I've ever seen play.

He'll conduct a clinic from 8:30-11:30 a.m. Saturday at Caskey Gym in Indianapolis with instruction shooting, dribbling, defense, rebounding and passing for players ages 5-18. The cost is $10 per player, and proceeds will benefit the Deaflympics team.

For additional information, contact Carl Denney at

* Monica Vonderbrink.

The recent Danville High School graduate has added one more honor to her sports resume. She was the only area player to earn first team all-state honors in voting by the Kentucky High School Fast Pitch Softball Coaches Association.

Vonderbrink, a shortstop, made the Class A team - and should have been playing in the East-West All-Star Game last week if more coaches had ever seen her play. She helped the Admirals win three straight 45th District Tournament titles. She'll play next year at Centre College.

Burgin's Taylor Bottoms and Amanda Carey were named to the second team while teammate Meredith Lear received honorable mention in the Class A voting.

Brittany Gilbert of Garrard County received honorable mention in the Class AA voting.

* Rich Witten.

Witten, the area's best freshman baseball player last season, is in Jupiter, Fla., this week trying to earn a spot on the 16-and-under Junior Olympic baseball team.

USA Baseball invites the nation's top junior players to tryouts in Florida and Arizona and then picks its all-star team.

Witten pitched and played second base for Danville last season. He was also one of the Admirals' top hitters.

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