Manning and McNary have traveled this ‘long and winding road,’ together- @Calil McNary @_CoachManning_ @Logan_rodgers- @minguabeefjerky @1776Bank @KyHighFootball @evans02_Mike @840WHAS @sfitz_840whas

Photo of Central's Storm, YourSportsEdge.com

6’0,” 220-pound FB/LB leaves Central its leader in career carries, yards, and TDs

It has been suggested area coaches will actually attend graduation ceremonies at Hopkins County Central this coming year to insure McNary and Rodgers actually walk across the stage. Both of these ’24s played for Manning at South Hopkins and followed him to Central and played four (4) years for him in high school. What a career McNary has just completed. What a privilege it has been to cover.

HB Lyon, Scouting Director, KPGFootball
The long and winding road, that leads to your door,/Will never disappear/I've seen that road before,/It always leads me here, leads me to your door...Paul McCartney, May, 1970, The Beetles from its album, "Let It Be."

The Beetles, the greatest rock band to ever grace a stage, broke up in 1970 after the release and huge commercial success of its last album, “Let it Be.” The last album contained the group’s last number one hit, “The Long and Winding Road.”

That song was written by Paul McCartney but credited to the Lennon-McCartney writing team. it was released in May, 1970, a month after the band had officially called it quits.

Maybe not “McCartney-Lennon,” but “McNary-Manning” has been a wonderful team in its own right

It was the band’s 20th, and last, top charting hit on the Billboard Hot 100 list in the United States. It was entirely an appropriate send off for the band which had, in fact, traveled together a long and winding road leading to all of our doors.

As we stand here taking in the brilliance that was Calil McNary’s high school career; we have to remark what a wonderfully long and winding road McNary’s athletic exploits, under Manning’s loving guidance, has been to witness. It started in middle school.

I knew I was “good” when I made first string on Coach Manning’s South Hopkins 8th-grade squad in 6th-grade

Calil McNary, Hopkins Central FB, to YourSportsEdge.com

Being interviewed by local, online sports outlet, YourSportsEdge.com, McNary was asked when did he first know he was really good at football. “When I was in the sixth grade, I made first team on Coach Manning’s eighth grade South Hopkins team. It was right then,” McNary told the reporter.

That point was probably a harbinger for us all. Sixth grade athletes don’t generally get much playing time on eighth grade rosters. The anatomical difference between a sixth grader and an eighth grader generally proves even more vast than the physical leap from middle school to high school football.

McNary followed his middle school coach, Chris Manning, from South Hopkins to Hopkins County Central High. That worked out well for everyone involved.

McNary made the KPGFootball all-state, first team a year ago at FB. We believe we will be producing a small and large division all-state football team in conjunction with 840 NewsRadio WHAS out of Louisville this year. McNary will be pushing for inclusion on that team too.

This year, McNary gained 949-yards as a fullback, on 145-carries, with 12-rushing TDs. That equates to over six and a half yards per rushing attempt and a TD every 12.1 or so carries. Those are very good numbers for a FB every defender on the field expects to get the football.

McNary’s production was a little better last season. Then again, he wasn’t nearly as much the focus of the opponent’s scouting report his junior year as he has grown to be this season.

McNary was the focus of every opponent’s “scout” and yet he still was Kentucky’s definitive player at the FB position

Chris Manning, HFC Hopkins County Central Storm

As for career numbers, McNary leaves “The Storm” its career carries, yards, and TDs leader. Over his senior year, McNary also led the team in scoring, which (after all) is kind of the name of the game.

McNary has scored 12-rushing TDs, had one TD receiving, and converted five (5) two-point conversions. He has averaged 8.8-points per ball game and has played enough defensively to register 15 tackles on the year.

It is unclear where McNary plays in college. He could be an H-back, fullback, perhaps a tailback, or even a linebacker. It appears right clear he will play somewhere on Saturdays.

As for now, McNary’s long and winding road which led to all of our doors will never disappear. We’ve seen that road before; and it always led him here.

Aren’t we grateful for this? You bet.

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

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About Fletcher Long 1511 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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