All Hail the King! @minguabeefjerky @HopkinsCentral @evans02_mike @_CoachManning @KyHighFootball @MaxPreps @sfitz_840whas @HoptownHFC @aidenkfb

John Aiden King, a.k.a. Aiden King, at the coin toss against Christian County High. Aiden got hurt, Hoptown lost by two, and the picture was taken by the Kentucky New Era's Derek Harper

5’10, 160-pound, ’25 QB turning around Tigers

John Aiden King isn’t called “John” by anyone that we have ever heard. He is “Aiden” to us, and to the fans following the Tigers this season. Aiden has played in five of the team’s eight games. There is no question the Tigers are a more lethal offense with him running the show. There is no question the players rally around him. There is no question the Tigers are making strides as the season cascades towards its regular season finish. Aiden’s brother, Andrew, was a fine HS linebacker in his day. Andrew’s now a banker. Little brother is demonstrating there is quite a bit of football played around the King house.

HB Lyon, Scouting Director, KPGFootball
Calpreps.com predicts: Allen County-Scottsville 24 (58%), Hopkinsville 21 (42%)

“Coach Long, what do you have against Hoptown?” Not too long ago, I was asked this question.

The kid asking me this played for Hoptown. He had been told this by one or more of its coaches.

“The King” of the Tigers

Truthfully, I don’t have anything against the Tigers. One of the Tiger coaches popped off about me, on Facebook, about never having before seen a man go to such lengths to criticize a program. This coach inquired why should anyone listen to me? After all (he reasoned), I was the High School mascot when I matriculated through the halls of Hoptown High (Class of ’87).

I was the high school mascot. My crime was giving my on-air, preseason opinion the Tigers would be “terrible” in ’23. The person appearing with me on the show knew it was my alma mater and asked what I thought of the Tigers’ fortunes.

It is called talk radio for a reason.

That prediction appeared “spot on,” in spite of the criticism it drew, through the club’s first 6-ballgames. However, the prediction hasn’t aged well.

The team is progressing as we approach the end of the regular season. Some of its talent is developing.

Hoptown's football team is progressing, its talent is developing
Friday Night Fletch

Incidentally, I was more than just a mascot in high school, though I was a mascot. I was an All-State, first tenor, in choir.

For the varsity golf team, I was awarded five (5) varsity letters (one letter, four bars). I was the golf team’s No. 1 man for three consecutive years (No. 3 man in 8th, grade; No. 2 man, in 9th-grade; and the No. 1 man in 10th, 11th, and 12th-grades).

I also played the AJGA (American Junior Golf Association) tour. I never won an AJGA sanctioned event. I was mainly fighting to make the cut on that circuit.

I did win the Hopkinsville Golf & Country Club‘s, Junior Golf Club Championship. My name remains engraved on the plaque, adorning the hallway of the HG&CC, practically across from the ingress and egress to the men’s restroom.

So, I know a little something about competing. I know a little something about commitment. I am a former HG&CC, Junior Golf Club Champion; so don’t presume to tell me a darn thing about winning or achievement.

I have learned quite a bit about football, over the years

Friday Night Fletch

I have learned quite a bit about football, over the years. This “knowledge” has been accumulated by virtue of my covering the sport for Kentucky Prep Gridiron and my appearance this season, in syndication, on News Radio 840 WHAS & the Kentucky News Network‘s very popular show, “Friday Night Kentucky.”

Let me put this proposition to you. If you go out and write literally thousands of articles about any topic under the sun; at the end of the road, you may find you will have gained some proficiency concerning that topic.

Friday Night Kentucky promotes me as the commonwealth’s foremost “expert” on Kentucky High School football. For all the “wannabe” football experts, out there; expertise requires work. I have done the work. Your having a son good at football makes you an expert in nothing, least of all football.

I doubt many in Hopkinsville listen to Friday Night Kentucky, though I have been told it airs, Sunday morning, on WHOP, at 6:30 a.m., CST. I am not up that early on Sunday mornings, so I don’t know.

Not many in Hopkinsville will bother to read this article. That is why our editorial board frowns on me covering the Tigers; that, and the 1-7 thing.

My preseason prediction was the Tiger football team would be terrible. In spite of the team’s lackluster record, I was wrong.

The Tigers record is “terrible…” [the Tigers aren’t] a terrible football team

Friday Night Fletch

The Tigers record is “terrible.” However, any team which can play the Logan County Cougars (6-2, 3-1) to within a single point, can’t be a terrible football team.

The reason for the team’s progression and development is directly related to the progression and development of its ’25, QB John Aiden King. King appears to be the heart and sole of the ball club.

King has resurrected the Tiger passing game and, with it, has added a dimension to a ground-game not many teams previously struggled to contain. Opponents, these days, are finding that offense much more formidable.

Containing any attack, with a singular dimension, is much easier than having to make decisions for fear of getting exploited. Defenses which have to act are slower than defenses reacting on the playing field.

Action requires planning and fore-thought. Reaction is an athlete’s just being an athlete, just being a “football player.”

Photo: YourSportsEdge.com

Friday night, The King did something I would have believed inconceivable prior to the Cougar-game. The King, led a 1-6 ball club, who’s only win was against a 2-6 Calloway team (with an RPI just seven-spots from the very bottom of the entire 4A classification), to within a single point of knocking off the No. 2 team in District 1 (and a team ranked much of the season in the Media’s weekly, 4A, top-10 poll with an RPI 13th in the classification).

We picked the game. We had Logan giving the Tigers 28-points.

We picked it devoid of animus. We felt we were being charitable to the Tigers. We really thought Logan would run the clock

The King, led a 1-6 ball club, who’s only win was against a 2-6 Calloway team…to within a single point of knocking off the No. 2 team in the first district

Friday Night Fletch

Logan left the “Stadium of Champions,” in Hopkinsville, with a 6-2 mark and a 3-1 district record. The Cougars did not leave the stadium resounding the emphatic statement it traveled from Russellville to make.

Now the remainder of the season, for both squads, appears straight forward. The Cougars finish with Warren East and South Warren.

We believe Logan will be favored, however slightly (4-points), to beat Warren East. Logan will be heavy underdogs against South Warren (34-points).

Hopkinsville also has two games remaining. The game with Allen-County Scottsville (ACS), should Hoptown win, may put the Tigers in the playoffs.

The Tigers are a 3-point underdog to ACS. The Tigers travel to Louisville for a finale with a 6A squad, in Pleasure Ridge Park (PRP), which just played the pants off duPont Manual, before succumbing by 16-points.

The game with ACS, should Hoptown win, may put the Tigers in the playoffs

Friday Night Fletch

PRP beat the classification’s defending champion, Bullitt East (7-1, 2-0), back on August 26. The Panthers have been regularly ranked among the top-10 football teams in Kentucky’s highest classification.

We don’t see the Tigers winning out. We do believe the Tigers will beat ACS, something we wouldn’t have believed possible just a few short weeks prior.

Should the Tigers make the playoffs at 2-8, underline them. This would be a possible four versus one upset which might well shock the Kentucky, high school, football world.


Calpreps.com predicts: Pleasure Ridge Park 38 (97%), Hopkinsville (KY) 7 (3%)

The Tigers pulling a four over one is possible. For that matter, the Tigers may sneak up on a PRP team overlooking the potentially 2-7 visitors.

With how the Tigers have played coming down the “home stretch,” anything appears possible. Just keep following “The King.”

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

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About Fletcher Long 1497 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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