High School Football Preview: Fifteen reasons to watch area high school football

August 09, 2004|LARRY VAUGHT

Fifteen has to be the key number going into the 2004 high school football season because 10 plus 5 does equal 15.

Danville has now won 10 state football championships, including three in the last four years, and Boyle has won a state-record five straight titles. That's why no one can dispute whether or not this is Title Town. But area high school football is about more than just the two Title Town teams, so here are 15 things that could happen this season.

1. New Lincoln County coach Larry French will be befuddled with mistakes his team makes and wonder why he ever left Meade County to try and rebuild the Patriots. But by the time the year ends, the Patriots will know if they listen, stay patient and remain realistic, French will make them better.

2. The biggest area game not involving a Title Town team will be Oct. 1 at Liberty when Casey County hosts Garrard County in a rematch of the "Stonebraker Bowl" that ended last year with coaches Steve Stonebraker of Garrard and Andy Stephens of Casey exchanging heated words at midfield.


3. Highlands will be primed to beat Boyle when the Rebels visit Sept. 17. Not only did both Boyle and Danville beat Highlands by one point during the 2003 regular season, but Boyle demolished the Bluebirds in the state title game. Boyle will face a talented team and a hostile crowd intent on doing all it can to disrupt the Rebels.

4. Mercer County running back Andrew McCloud will be among the state leaders in rushing attempts and show everyone how durable his off-season workouts have made him and why numerous Division I schools now have an interest in him.

5. A new go-to receiver will emerge at Boyle and when he does, coach Chuck Smith will keep getting him the ball.

6. Danville coach Sam Harp will be tempted to use Ronnie Hawkins some at receiver to showcase his talent to college coaches, but he'll prefer keeping him at quarterback where Harp knows he'll touch the ball every play.

7. Harrodsburg sophomore running backs Cory Jackson and Brandon Brown will prove they can do just fine without Mark Dunn to attract opposing defenses.

8. Stonebraker will show Danville ways to spread the field that the Admirals have never envisioned in the season-opening Bob Allen Pigskin Classic.

9. This will be the year every area team makes the playoffs.

10. Once again Boyle will demoralize opponents with successful on-side kicks. Like the Energizer Bunny, the Rebels just keep going and going when it comes to recovering the trick kicks.

11. Country music singer Eddie Montgomery will find his way onto at least one rack card promoting The Advocate-Messenger's high school football coverage and will keep telling fans from coast to coast that Title Town has the best prep football in America.

12. Boyle quarterback Brandon Smith and Danville running back Kelvin Turner will enhance their Mr. Football credentials with another banner season.

13. One week every area team will make the Lexington TV game highlights.

14. WLEX-TV sportscaster Mary Jo Perino will work the crowd at the Danville-Boyle game like a politician and leave with fans on both sides liking what she did.

15. What else? The Danville-Boyle game will again be a magnificent happening. It's more than a game. It's a week of pressure and talking. It's a game everyone wants to win. It's a game that shows what Title Town is all about. It's also perhaps the only game in the state where there's no problem predicting that the loser will still go on to be state champion.

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