I seem to publish a lot of my weekly articles for my friends at Independence Bank on Sundays. For many, in these neck of the woods, Sunday is the first day of the week, and, for some, it’s the last. I tend to think of Sunday as the first day of the week. Anyway, we are proud, here at Kentucky Prep Gridiron, to bring you a weekly article funded by our friends at Independence Bank highlighting players in the areas where Independence Bank flourishes who embody the same type of Revolutionary Service to their respective football teams which has made Independence Bank unique and special in the banking industry. Independence Bank has a goal of achieving Everyday Excellence and this week we are focusing on a player whose performance, this year, exceeded both the Maroons’, and the Madisonville community’s, expectations. We are focusing on a ball carrier who seemed to both strive for and achieve excellence every single day he walked on either a practice or playing field. That player is Sophomore All-State Fullback, Jariah Hightower.
There may not be a finer group of sophomores in the Commonwealth of Kentucky than what is currently on the roster at Madisonville North-Hopkins. Several of its young sophomores were just selected to the Aspirations Fitness Instution and Kentucky Prep Gridiron sophomore, All-State Football Team. Of all the stellar young Maroons, there isn’t one any more talented in their 2020 class than a guy who was, formerly, the Defensive MVP of the Tennessee-Kentucky Future Stars Game 2 years ago at LB. That’s exactly how Hightower runs a football too, like he is still playing LB. From his fullback position, which, by the way, he is a runner more so than a blocker, Hightower gained 1,528 yards rushing from scrimmage this past season in 12 games over 233 carries. That is a per carry average of nearly 6.56 yards. From the up-back? You have got to be kidding me! Hightower had 15 rushing TDs, to boot, in addition to his gaudy, from scrimmage, rushing yards and per carry average. Coach Jay Burgett and the Maroons finished the year 7-5, concluding the regular season the 2 seed from Class 4A, District 1. Coming off of a 4-8, 2016, with a 2-2 District record; going 7-5 overall and 3-1 in the District, this year, was a definite step in the right direction. The Maroons were able to greatly improve its team play and results over their performance the year previous in spite of having a passing game which only accounted for 700 yards all season or, on average, a little over 58 yards passing per contest. Much like the superior service at any of our Independence Bank locations throughout the Commonwealth of Kentucky, Madisonville’s opponents found the Maroons’ ground game unstoppable. This was true despite the fact the opponents knew what was coming and who would likely have the ball on each play. Hightower and his running mate in the backfield, Aaron Miller, gained 2,486 of the Maroons’ total of 3,417 ground yards or nearly 73% of the total rushing offense for the entire team. There wasn’t a running back in Kentucky High School football, this year, who either ran or worked harder, was more productive, or was more effective running between the tackles than Hightower. On behalf of Independence Bank, we can’t think of a young man who embodies the attributes of achievement, through effort and hard work, any better.
Congratulations to Jariah Hightower for his Revolutionary Play which has earned him this week’s recognition from the fasting growing bank in the Commonwealth of Kentucky, your friends at Independence Bank. This is Fletcher Long reporting for Kentucky Prep Gridiron reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!