Kinnett Wills bent on making the Lakers ‘Mighty’ once more @kinnett_wills_ @RC_MightyLakers @WJRSRadio @Frenchie564 @minguabeefjerky @840WHAS @1776Bank @KyHighFootball

Kinnett Wills looking to put the "Mighty" back in "Mighty Lakers"

’26 two-way, versatile performer may be among the best players in his class across KY

Kinnett Wills is among the very best in the graduating class of 2026 across our commonwealth. He played on a team which limped to a 1-9 and missed the playoffs a year ago but even that is misleading (as we will below discuss). Willis is 6’0,” 165-pounds of grit, athleticism, moxie, and field presence. Wills is looking to restore the “Mighty” to the Lakers’ Nomme de guerre.

HB Lyon, Scouting Director, KPGFootball

Wills’ X-Account

Wills’ ’23 Highlights

Russell Springs, KY: Russell County (Mighty Lakers) were 1-9 a year ago. That isn’t too “Mighty.”

The Lakers missed the playoffs. The Lakers did what some programs do when experiencing uncharacteristically poor seasons, they made a change at the top.

Enter Steven French as the new captain of the Lakers’ ship. Now, if the name “French” sounds familiar, there is a very good reason for that.

Steven French is the son of Larry French. Larry French has compiled (by our count) a 365-175 record over 46-seasons with a 9-3 record a year ago and an overall 2-1 mark in KHSAA title games.

Larry French is the third winningest coach in KHSAA history behind only Phillip Haywood and Dudley Hilton. Steven has some climbing to do to reach Dad’s career heights.

Not that it matters; but, by all accounts, Larry French was a fine TE for the Berea Community High School in his day. We just thought that was worth a mention.

Last year, under then head man, Lucas Ford, the Lakers lost to a 10-win, semifinalist (Somerset High) by four (4)-points on August 25th; lost to South Laurel by five (5) on September 1st; lost to Lincoln County by five (5) on September 15th; and lost to LaRue County by five (5) on October 27th. That is 19-points away from 5-5.

The Lakers were 19-points away from 5-5 in ’23

KHSAA Statistical Website

Now there is talent returning for the Lakers. QB, Owen Loy (’25) returns as do ’27 prospects, Tanner Stringer, who led the team in rushing, was third in scoring, among the leader in tackles, and second on the team in INTS (2) and Jace Skaggs, who converted close to 90% (seven of eight for 87.5%) of his conversions over his freshman campaign in only five (5) games of run.

Truth be told, this was a very young and inexperienced Lakers’ team in ’23. These young guys are considerably more seasoned entering ’24.

Most of the production in all three phases returns this Fall. With the “close calls” experienced in ’23, we are confident Happy Days may well be returning, sooner rather than later.

The return of Kinnett Wills; however, can neither be overlooked nor overstated. Wills proved himself legit over his sophomore season in all three phases of football.

The 6’0,” 165-pound, two-way, ’26, multi-phase star caught 40-passes for 698-yards and 8-TDs. Wills led the team in scoring. Wills registered 25-tackles, four (4)-INTs (club lead), and wracked up 30-IRNYs. Wills was involved in the kick return game on special teams.

We call those types “three (3)-phase contributors.” Three-phasers are rare, particularly in 4A.

Did we mention the kid carries a 4.0 GPA? If we glossed over it, next-level recruiters certainly won’t.

We believe the Mighty Lakers will prove “Mighty” once more under the new regime and its new head coach. We believe this is a team which shouldn’t be discounted entering ’24. We believe talent like Kinnett Wills makes a big difference on the fortunes of programs and seasons.

You are free to believe whatever you choose. In the end, who are we anyway? What do we know?

This is “Friday Night Fletch,” reporting for KPGFootball, reminding you to PLAY THROUGH THE WHISTLE!

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About Fletcher Long 1534 Articles
Two-time winner of Kentucky Press Association awards for excellence in writing and reporting news stories while Managing Editor of the Jackson (KY) Times-Voice


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