I was in Hopkinsville, Kentucky several years ago to cover the annual Jerry Claiborne Bowl. Christian County High School was playing a Class 6A team from Clarksville, Tennessee named “Rossview High.”
I was standing next to a Christian County parent who remarked as Rossview unloaded its bus, “Man, they sure are big, aren’t they?” I looked at him and responded, “They play 6A football in Tennessee. I am not quite sure what you expected to come off that bus.”
I always think about that little anecdote every time I watch the Pikeville Panthers come off its bus. What unloads looks way closer to Kentucky 6A talent and frames than Kentucky 1A. Then again, that may be why they have won Kentucky’s 1A title six (6) times (’87, ’88, ’89, 2015, ’19, ’21).
Class of ’23’s Wade Hensley is such a good example of what we are describing. Hensley plays WR and DB. He is 6-3 and tips the scales at 210-pounds.
He caught 33-passes on ’21 for 562-receiving yards with 12-TD receptions good for tops on the team. He was 2nd on the team in offensive scoring.
Defensively, Hensley collected 36-stops, 2 TFLs, and an INT. That is quite a defensive contribution from a player so instrumental to the success of the unit on the other side of the scrimmage line.
Hensley, as for his being recruiting, has a registered 25 on his ACT already. This makes him a candidate for play at any number of places from the near-Ivies, to the Ivies and anywhere else he may choose to matriculate.
The Panthers won 14-games in ’21 on its way to title number six (6). The program lost an all-time talent at the QB position when it lost QB, Isaac McNamee to the graduation stage.
However, no one should start weeping for the little high school in Pike County, Kentucky. They have quite a bit of talent returning and Hensley figures to be prominently featured among the returnees.
We believe the Panthers will be right back in the mix in ’22. Pikeville’s being perpetually loaded with talent the likes of “Wade Hensley” makes forecasting the Panthers factoring into the yearly championship hunt an elementary prediction.
We don’t see any reason for ’22 to be any different from any other year. Not while there are some Wade Hensleys hanging around the old traveling bus anyway.
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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