@KadenGardner9 (’23) from @ryleraiderfball in the ‘Mr. Football’ race for the coming Fall! @minguabeefjerky @PrepSpin @KyHighFootball @MaxPreps @1776Bank

We have been forecasting some players from across Kentucky in the ’23 class who we believe will be candidates for “Mr. Football” next Fall. We believe, Kaden Gardner from Ryle High is in that class of player.

Gardner is a 5-11, 170-pound speedster who contributes mightily to his team’s efforts in all three phases of a football game. Last year, he scored TDs receiving and housed a punt to go with his efforts defensively at free safety.

Gardner had 56-receptions, playing football at Kentucky’s highest level of competition (6A), for 786-yards receiving and 7-TDs. Ryle was 9-4 a year ago.

The Raiders lost to Louisville Trinity in Louisville in the Regional Championship game. Ryle lost to the classification’s champion, St. Xavier, in Union, Kentucky on October 1, 2021 by the score of 13-3. Games like these demonstrated the Raiders could play with any team in Kentucky a year ago.

Defensively, the Raiders played Gardner at free safety. Gardner is built more like a corner (5’11,” 170) and has corner speed (4.51, 40-yard dash) so we will see where that places him in college. Regardless, Gardner had 59-tackles, 3-TFLs, a FF and a FR to go with 2-INTs. Clearly he is unafraid to get up in the run-box and get right in the action with the big-boys.

Gardner’s being a two-sport athlete who is also a sprinter on the track team legitimizes his registered 40–yard dash time. His 4.04 GPA makes his gaining admission to any school, from the Ivy-league on down, a mere formality.

Ryle was 9-4 a year ago. The losses were to two lower classification powers in Class 4A’s Lexington Catholic (3-points) and 5A’s Covington Catholic (7-points) with the other two losses coming to St. Xavier (10-points), the 6A champion, and Trinity (38-18), the ’20 6A champion.

Here is what KPGFootball KNOWS. Ryle is an elite program which competes at a championship level. Gardner is an elite performer on this elite roster.

Is he “Mr. Football” worthy? He certainly looks and plays the part. We shall just have to wait and see.

This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!

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About Henry Lyon 1149 Articles
Have coached at the high school and middle school level. Have worked in athletic administration. Conceal my identity to enable my candor on articles published by this magazine. Only members of the editorial board are aware of my true identity.

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