Chances the Bulldogs ever suffer through another year as perplexing as 2023? Not likely, with Gavin Johnson in the lineup- @Gjohnson1418 @coach_chandler @minguabeefjerky @1776Bank @840WHAS

Gavin Johnson, and players like him prove, every day, "mountain football" is different

’27 ATH among the more versatile and skilled players in Kentucky’s rising sophomore class

Gavin Johnson is a versatile and skilled athlete. He is 6’1,” weighs in at 185-pounds, and is coming off an incredible freshman campaign which tends to overshadow the fact the Bulldogs, from Hazard, are coming off an uncharacteristically poor season. New football coach, Matt Chandler, knows what a good program should look like having before coached at Johnson Central and Franklin County. He is the right guy to steady the ship and, with talent on hand like Johnson, figures to speedily do so.

HB Lyon, Scouting Director, KPGFootball

Johnson squatting 315 for reps

Johnson’s Hudl Highlights

Some of you are going to understand my next statement. Some of you are not.

Football in the Appalachias hits differently. For one thing, there are few mountain high schools, which field football and basketball teams, which foster football programs running second fiddle to basketball. Football is (generally) king in the mountains.

Communities support the football programs faithfully and with all of their hearts and souls. You wouldn’t believe some of the football facilities in the Appalachias and you, furthermore, wouldn’t believe how hard it is to get a ticket to the Friday Night game.

Friday night stars are heroes to the communities they serve. Coaches become like gods in their areas, provided they win and win often.

One of Hazard’s favorite sons is Gavin Johnson. Johnson is a 6’1,” 185-pound athlete who found production on both sides of the scrimmage line over his inaugural season.

Johnson caught 39-passes as a freshman on offense and was second on the team in scoring. Johnson played defense too.

Johnson registered 63-tackles, 1-TFL, 1-INT, and 2-FRs. On either side of the football, Johnson had to have been one of the better freshman in all of Kentucky last season.

Hazard was 1-10 in ’23. That is very un-Hazard like for a program which has won a title at the 1A level and is accustomed to making deep, annual playoff runs.

Hazard’s 1-10 in ’23 was very un-Hazard like for a program which has won a title at the 1A level

Friday Night Fletch

Matt Chandler figures to change all of that. Chandler has worked formerly at both Johnson Central and Franklin County so he knows how it is supposed to look.

Gavin Johnson is the type player around whom a program may be built. His 3.5 GPA will make him occupy space on plenty of dance cards looking for Saturday talent in the near future.

Chandler and son

We like this guy on defense if we are being honest. We expect Johnson will put on some more muscle and end up at the linebacker level on defense.

We know this, we hope Hazard haters enjoyed the 1-10 through which the Bulldogs suffered in ’23. Wouldn’t be looking for that type futility in the coming seasons; not with some Gavin Johnson’s on the play roster.

This is Friday Night Fletch, reporting for KPGFootball, reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!

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About Fletcher Long 1534 Articles
Two-time winner of Kentucky Press Association awards for excellence in writing and reporting news stories while Managing Editor of the Jackson (KY) Times-Voice

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