‘Friday Night Fletch,’ IS Kentucky Middle and High School Football- @sfitz_840whas @840WHAS @1776Bank @minguabeefjerky

Friday Night Fletch, KPGFootball & NewsRadio 840WHAS

“Friday Night Fletch” may be the most influential, KY-wide voice on the topics of the KYMSFA, the KHSAA, and its football stars

Let the record reflect I did NOT want this article published. At the end of the day, the Editorial Board runs our magazine. I am both honored and humbled.

“Friday Night Fletch,” a.k.a. Fletcher Long

This article is wearing a different title than first penned. We are discovering, around the magazine, that Fletcher Long’s reach and influence, especially among “football people,” are both staggering and awe-inspiring. We have had at least one meeting, recently, on whether Fletcher Long may be the most influential person, Kentucky-wide, in the world of high school and middle school football.

Greg Gough, KPGFootball

We have about decided he is. Many of you seem to agree.

That is an amazing development. Largely, it is so astonishing because I remember, so vividly, our origins.

I was there. I was there when Fletcher Long approached me about the idea of covering, Kentucky-wide, middle and high school football.

I could, at least partly, see the appeal. I believed there was a product; though, how rampant a product I wasn’t sure.

If we are being completely candid, I wasn’t nearly as excited about the concept as Fletcher.

I had been a business man for many years. I had taken gambles and chances before; so, why not?

I could see gambling on Long was really no gamble. Let’s just say Long isn’t the only one who has “an eye for talent.”

I knew Long had a track record of success. I knew Long had been good at everything he had before tried.

I would bet on [Fletcher Long]…tomorrow…

Greg Gough, KPGFootball Editorial Board Member

I would bet on Long, all over again, tomorrow. He has never disappointed our Editorial Board. He has never disappointed me.

Scott Fitzgerald, Kentucky News
& News Radio 840WHAS

We purchased the requisite software, started publishing and distributing the product, and the rest has been amazing. It truly has.

Today, we are one of the more influential voices in Kentucky middle and high school football across the commonwealth. In the previous sentence, it may be advisable to substitute the words, “the most,” for the words, “are one of the more.”

If you want to know the impact Fletcher Long and “Friday Night Fletch” have had on covering KYMSFA and KHSAA football, all you have to do is ask some of the important players. First, we turned to Fletcher’s broadcast partner on the show, Friday Night Kentucky.

Scott Fitzgerald had quite a lot to say about someone with whom he has spent plenty of time at least this season. Fitzgerald told us,…

People care about what [Fletcher Long] says about KHSAA football and both listen and react, commonwealth-wide…

Scott Fitzgerald, Friday Night Kentucky

“I have produced and participated on a show with ‘Friday Night Fletch’ and his knowledge of the game, and its participants, appears unmatched. People care what he says about KHSAA football. Our listeners both listen and react, commonwealth-wide.” Scott Fitzgerald, Producer of Kentuckiana’s Saturday Morning News, Friday Night Kentucky, Kentucky News Network, & 840WHAS

Listeners and readers appreciate Friday Night Fletch, perhaps, more than even we at the magazine or around the studio. We heard from David Hendrickson, both a reader and a listener from the Appalachia region of Kentucky.

Hendrickson identified himself as a daily reader of kentuckyprepgridiron.com and a weekly listener to “Friday Night Kentucky.” He appears to be a huge fan of the podcast Long does together with Scott Fitzgerald.

Hendrickson told us, “While Friday Night Fletch has a wealth of knowledge about the game of football he is always studying the game and its players. He is instrumental in the, hands down, best high school football show in Kentucky. Listeners and readers are kept perpetually enlightened.”

[Fletcher Long] is always studying the game and its players

David Henderickson, Loyal Reader and Listener
Scott Shinn

David Hendrickson isn’t alone among the throngs of fans Friday Night Fletch has gathered. Scott Shinn, from Lancaster, Kentucky, numbers himself among the fans of Long and his various media platforms committed to covering middle and high school football in Kentucky.

Shinn told KPGFootball that “Friday Night Fletch, as I’ve grown accustomed to hearing him called on 840WHAS, has become the most endearing radio personality, and trusted high school football guru, in all of Kentucky. KPGFootball‘s articles create and foster an incredible anticipation to experience the Saturday morning show.”

Shinn adds, “It is a symbiotic experience with one feeding the other and round and round it goes. In the end; you, as a listener, feel that you too have gained a proficiency for middle and high school football. It is like taking a Master’s class.”

Shinn went on to relate, “I can only compare it to being a kid impatiently waiting through December for Christmas morning. Each broadcast, I can’t wait for it to post and I doubly can’t wait for the next edition.”

[KPGFootball and Friday Night Kentucky] is like taking a Master’s class

Scott Shinn, listener and reader from Lancaster, KY
Doug Charles, HFC, LCA

It isn’t just other media members, or consumers, who appreciate what Long brings to the table. Some of Kentucky’s leading and legendary coaches, some of the commonwealth’s most successful coaches, appear to appreciate Long more than the rest of us.

Coach Doug Charles of Lexington’s famed Christian Academy football program appears to be a fan. Coach Charles told KPGFootball, “As a high school coach and longtime fan of Kentucky High School football, it’s a tremendous asset to have a guy like Fletcher Long sharing his insights with us on a regular basis.”

Charles continued, “Friday Night Fletch, as he’s affectionately known, has dedicated countless hours in gathering credible information from all corners of Kentucky. From middle school to high school, I can’t think of anyone who has a better pulse on what’s happening in football.”

I can’t think of anyone who has a better pulse on what’s happening in football

Doug Charles, HFC, Lexington Christian Academy
Jon Collins

Charles concluded, “Fletch gets it done via print as well as on his very enlightening and entertaining Saturday morning shows (Friday Night Kentucky) on 840WHAS. Our statewide football community is blessed to have a person like Fletcher who uses his time and talents to keep us informed.”

We talked to Kentucky High School coaching icon, and head of one of the first families of the KHSAA, Jon Collins. Collins was on the staff at Frederick Douglass, in Lexington, this past season.

“Young men need to know they can endure physical and mental hardship,” Collins told KPGFootball. “High school football offers the best opportunity to gain this confidence.”

“The games are hard, the training harder. Continually knocked down, one is required to keep getting up. People are counting on you to get up; get up and go on,” Collins mused.

[T]he Three D’s Coach Thornton taught; Desire, Determination, and Dedication…

Jon Collins, Frederick Douglass
Jon’s son and KY favorite, Will Tom
“Taco Meat” Collins

The dimensions of life’s struggles can be limitless; you need to know your ability to persevere is without limit. Fletcher Long needed that knowledge as he navigated his hard times.”

Collins continued, “[Fletcher] needed every good lesson Fleming Thornton taught him as Fletcher was growing and maturing under Thornton’s persistent and omnipresent influence and example. Fletcher would need to fall back on the Three D‘s Coach Thornton always and famously taught; Desire, Determination, and Dedication.”

“Young men still need high school football,” Collins concluded. “Young men still need the Coach Thornton’s, the Friday Night Fletch‘s.”

Young men still need high school football [and]…the Friday Night Fletch’s

Jon Collins
Phillip Haywood, HFC @ Belfry

We talked to Phillip Haywood, Kentucky’s winningest, all-time football coach. Coach Haywood has won in the neighborhood of 480-games in 48-seasons at the helm.

Haywood ranks fifth, all-time, among active football coaches in the United States and has 14-title game appearances and eight titles.

Haywood had this to say about Long. “[Friday Night Fletch] is a recognized sports enthusiast that promotes high school football throughout the state with great passion, energy, and positivity.”

Fletcher Long…promotes high school football throughout [Kentucky] with great passion, energy, and positivity

Phillip Haywood, HFC at Belfry High and noted author
Kolter Smith, Male High,
Large School All-State QB

The players who are covered also appreciate what “Friday Night Fletch” brings to their experience as HS football players. We talked with the senior QB who just played his last season at Male High. Kolter Smith told KPGFootball the following:

“The thing I appreciate most about Friday Night Fletch is that he actually takes the time to research and identify players across the state, in all divisions, and no one knows the statistics better than he. Each week, I look forward to hearing his reviews and thoughts on games and players across the state.“

[N]o one knows the statistics better than [Friday Night Fletch]

Kolter Smith, All-Sate QB, Male High, ’24
(L) Friday Night Fletch; (R) HOF Football Coach, Dan Goble

Since coming online, KPGFootball has been able to coordinate and use its reach and coverage to advance applications for Player of the Year awards, like “Mr. Football” and The Gatorade “Kentucky Player of the Year,” advance candidacies onto All-State football teams, and successfully support an induction into the Hall of Fame for a very worthy candidate. All of these “outcomes” exceeded the expectations of the people seeking the magazine’s assistance.

Long was at the fore of every one of the above, detailed publicity campaigns. Simply put, there may not be anyone, in sports news coverage today, who understands more about branding and marketing than “Friday Night Fletch.”

Look at what he has been able to do with the brands he’s been given. The proof is in the pudding.

Give him a product, concept, or even a publication and get out of his way. He will quickly, and steadily, turn it into a household word or concept. Long’s that good. We’ve seen him do it time and again.

Give [Fletcher Long] a product, concept, or even a publication…He will…turn it into a household word…

Greg Gough, KPGFootball‘s Editorial Board

We couldn’t wrap up this article without some words from the subject of the piece. “I am very honored to be the topic of his article,” Long told KPGFootball.

“To gain an expertise in any topic, one has to be completely committed to learning the landscape. The ‘landscape’ includes its players, its coaches, its donors, and its enthusiasts or ‘fans’ at every level.”

“I have devoted significant time to this topic (editorial aside: Ask his wife and kids),” Long told us. “However, I have been significantly enriched and, in turn, have earned admission into one of life’s more storied and sought after fraternities; the family which composes the middle and high school football landscapes throughout Kentucky.”

“I have completely immersed myself into Kentucky’s football world. I have gotten tons back in return,” Long concluded.

I have completely immersed myself in the Kentucky football world

Friday Night Fletch

Long is much more than just a writer. Long is much more than an on-air, radio personality. Long is a freaking football institution. Long is a freaking football icon.

We’re proud to have him at KPGFootball. You should be proud to claim him too, Kentucky.

This is Greg Gough, reporting specially for KPGFootball and we’re just giving it to you straight…

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  1. Yes, about time you received credit for taking H.S. Football coverage to another level! The research required to get the statistical information along with the background information has to be a labor of love. Those of us that love the game and the people that play this ultimate team sport really appreciate reading or listening to your insights. Learning never really ends !!

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