First off, KPGFootball feels compelled to relate that, while Bullit East is presently a 5A football program, headed to 6A in 2019, we in no way, shape, form, or fashion consider the Bullit East job even remotely as good a job as HC at LCA. Sorry Chargers but our honest opinion about matters is one of this magazine’s most prized commodities.
LCA, while in Class 2A, has the best freshman (rising sophomore) class in Kentucky and figures to compete for its classification’s State Football Championship for (at least) the next three years. That rosy picture assumes all these young guns stay with the program. With the right hire, we believe these players stay and more enlist.
KPGFootball just released its 9th Grade, Football All-State Team. There were four players from Lexington Christian who made the team. Those freshmen, and why there were selected were the following…
Elijah Hammond, WR/TE/LB, 6-2 and 175 pounds, Lexington Christian…
The first thing one thinks when looking at Elijah Hammond is how can this kid only be a freshman? There aren’t a lot of 6-2, 175 pound freshman who are as versatile and move as well as Hammond. Hammond is a member of what we believe to be the best class of 2022 prospects to be assembled on one team. When these kids are seniors, they have the potential to be scary good and there will be plenty of cries that all that talent on one roster is unfair. Oh well, you know what is written about life being unfair.
Hammond has the versatility to play wide receiver where he caught 9 passes this season, as only a freshman, for 135 yards receiving and one TD. Hammond can play TE, where his linebacker mentality serves him well blocking in the ground game and where his large frame has plenty of room to add to its present 175 pounds. Hammond can play LB where he intercepted a pass this past season and took it 60 yards to the house to score a defensive touchdown via pick-six. Most of all, as his 12 games of Friday night action certainly informed any and every interested party…Hammond can just play.
Well, these are our Athletes and exactly why we picked each and every one of them. There may be some athletes whom the reader believes to be better than what we have here somewhere in Kentucky. You could be right and there may be players we simply missed. KPGFootball supposes that to be entirely possible (though not too probable). However, KPGFootball is quite sure that, while these may not be the very best Athletes in the 2022 class; they are, definitely, among them. All of these players have distinguished themselves both on the field of play and in the class room. It will be fun to follow these guys as they continue to develop and play football next Fall. You will continue to hear plenty from these players in 2019 and beyond.
Strong Safety-Xavier Brown, 6-0, 165 pounds, Lexington Christian Academy…
Xavier Brown was a member of the best freshman class (25 freshman made the varsity roster this year at LCA) at one school we have seen in some time. I mean, even with the amount of freshmen pressed into service, LCA still finished the year 9-4 and one-yard away from winning the Region and advancing to the State Semis. Xavier Brown for LCA in only his freshman year played in all 13 games. He contributed 35 tackles, 24 of which were solo tackles, with 3 tackles for loss, 2 QB sacks, and an interception.
Does the kid have any wheels, you ask? Well, he registered the fastest 40 yard dash time in the commonwealth at the Team Kentucky Future Stars’ combine the summer before enrolling in 9th grade. Unsure of the exact time, and to be fair Dedrick Hamilton didn’t run a 40 at any of the Future Stars’ combines, but Brown’s time was in the 4.5s. You may also consider this; he had made this team at RB if he hadn’t played extraordinarily at safety. Plus we put him at safety on our team owing to his primarily being projected as a defensive back as a prospect. Brown, on offense, carried it 88 times, gaining 604 yards rushing with 12 rushing TDs to go along with his 14 receptions from out of the backfield, for 151 yards receiving, and a receiving TD. Throw in his converted 2-pointer and Brown lead his team in scoring 74 of the team’s 368 points it registered all year.
We didn’t decide to have a Freshman of the Year, maybe it is something we may decide to do in the future. Had we decided to do that, Xavier Brown would have been Lennon Ries’ main competition for that award. At KPGFootball, we wish all selections were this apparent.
Tyler Morris, 6-2, 170 pounds, Lexington Christian…First of all, Lexington Christian had the best freshman class in Kentucky this past season. They and Johnson County were the best middle school teams in Kentucky in 2017 and the Lexington Christian kids got forced into the lineup early owing to huge losses to the previous year’s high school graduation. The young-gunsresponded by leading Lexington Christian to a 9-4 mark and narrowly lowing to Somerset in the Regional Championship Game. The game ended with LCA down 4 points, with the football at the Somerset one yard line, as the clock expired. Morris, like Braeden Babin in 2017, was undersized for the position where he was deployed. Also like Babin (CAL) no one cared less about that than Tyler Morris who used his lightening quickness, and non-stop motor, to terrorize opposing O-linemen over his 9 games of action. Tyler Morris, like Jacoby Thornsbury (both were NGs), played in 9 games. Morris had very similar production to Thornsbury. Morris registered 24 tackles, over the nine games of action, with 4 tackles in the backfield. As an example of the difference between the two Noses, one of whom is a gap-holder, the other a gap-tweener (Thornsbury has 130 pounds on Morris after-all), Morris, in his 9 games, registered 3 QB sacks in addition to his TFLs. One would expect a 170 pounder to get blown off the football inside. Instead, Morris used his quickness to register 4 tackles in the backfield and 3 QB sacks in 9 games of play. This kid is the Braeden Babin of his class. Babin was on this team last year, so this selection appeared easy to us.
OT-Anthony Johns, 6-2, 240 pounds, Lexington Christian…Anthony Johns is a member of an elite cadre of freshman who played all year for a Lexington Christian Academy ball club which lost a ton of players from off its 2017 squad leaving many pundits, around Kentucky, with the impression Lexington Christian Academy wouldn’t be very good in 2018. You can exclude KPGFootball from the list of pundits predicting the down fall of LCA. We had them No. 3 in our way too early preseason poll. Anthony Johns started his first snap of Varsity football he ever played. There are very few freshmen around Kentucky who can honestly say that, though many on this particular All-State team may be able to make such a claim.
With Johns upfront LCA not only finished 9-4, and advance to play Somerset, at Somerset, for the Regional Championship; they were at Somerset’s one yard line when the game ended trailing 35-31. One yard away from a Semi-state birth. One yard away from making us completely prophetic. Not too bad for a varsity roster containing 25 freshmen and 15 sophomores.
Of course these weren’t just ordinary freshmen. Johns and the other frosh on our Freshman All-State Football team from LCA had won a State Middle School Football Championship in 2017. KPGFootball remembers meeting Anthony Johns at a Future Stars Alumni Combine in New Albany, Indiana. Both his father and he were confident he would be in the starting line-up from jump street. We thought they were both crazy. After all, LCA isn’t the type of program where freshmen plug into the starting line-up, right? This frosh really thinks he will start, and at left tackle? No way! Well, we were dead wrong! Freshman, Anthony Johns started all season long, from his first snap, at left tackle and was playing both ways by year’s end. Johns is a freakishly strong young big who will only get bigger and stronger. His aggressiveness is both nasty and off the charts. This is name you will be hearing for many years to come around Kentucky.
So who would be a great hire for LCA? Well one would have to look in the direction of a favorite son of both Lexington and Kentucky in Coach Dave Jones. Jones just recently resigned from a three year stint at Phelps High School were he took a program, which was among the worst in the Commonwealth when he arrived, and won both District Coach of the Year and KPGFootball’s Kentucky High School Coach of the Year Awards in 2018 for his incredible efforts. We are providing a link to the article written about his Coach of the Year selection at the bottom of this page.
So, here we are LCA. Make the right hire and the wave continues to crest; make the wrong hire and…
Reporting for KPGFootball, this is Fletcher Long congratulating Coach David Jones for his selection as the inaugural, KPGFootball, Kentucky High School Coach of the Year.
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Coach of the Year Article about Dave Jones: https://kentuckyprepgridiron.com/david-jones-phelps-high-kpgfootballs-kentucky-high-school-coach-of-the-year/