NewsRadio 840 WHAS and KPGFootball’s Small School (Class 1A, 2A, & 3A) All-State Football Team @1776Bank @minguabeefjerky @HopkinsCentral

Small School All-State Football Team (Classes 1A, 2A, & 3A)

NewsRadio 840WHAS and KPGFootball selects the Class 1A, 2A, & 3A, Small School All-State Football team

No all-state team is complete. Every all-state team has glaring omissions. One just can’t possibly get them all. We have divided up our All-State team into Small School and Big School divisions. The Small School is the 1A, 2A, & 3A team and the Big School is the 4A, 5A, & 6A team. Without any more fanfare this is our Small School All-State Football Team. Congratulations to those players selected. To the worthy players we missed, we’re truly sorry; we did our best.

HB Lyon, Scouting Director, KPGFootball

Reveal Show on News Radio 840 WHASLink

Friday Night Fletch's Small School Coach of the Year: Dudley Hilton, Bell County High Offensive Player of the Year: Brady Atwell, QB, Owensboro Catholic Defensive Player of the Year: Kenyatta Hardge, DL, LCA 


The throwers…

QB, Owensboro Catholic, Brady Atwell, ’25, threw for over 4,700-yards and 68-TDs while rushing for another 700-yards and 16-TDs. Atwell was nominated for the “Gatorade Kentucky HS Player of the Year.” We’re voters on that particular award. We voted for him! 

Luke Pennington, Sayre

QB, Christian Academy-Louisville, Cole Hodge, ’24, threw for over 4,000-yards and 55-TDs against only 7-picks and gained over 600-yards rushing with 10-TDs rushing.

QB, Sayre, Luke Pennington, ’25, Pennington, headed to Marshall (we believe), completed 171 of his 252-passing attempts for 2,555-yards and 50-TDs versus not a single thrown INT all year long. That just blows our mind. He lead his team to a 12-1 mark, rushed for a TD, and even intercepted a pass during a brief stint playing some defense.

The runners…

RB, Bell County, Daniel Thomas, ’24, Thomas carried the football 400-times for 3,817-yards (KHSAA single season all-time record) and 54-TDs (KHSAA tied a single season, all-time record), led the team in scoring (373-points, 24.9-pts. a game) and made 75% of his PATs he attempted in the kicking game. Thomas, a three-phase contributor, had 94-tackles, 3-TFLs, 1-QB sack, and 2-FRs.

RB, Lexington Christian Academy, Brady Hensley, ’24, Hensley had 235-rushing attempts, 2,408-yards and 43-rushing TDs; caught 4-TDs receiving, led the team in scoring with 288-points and 22.2-pts. per game.

RB, Mayfield, Jutoriaus Starks, ’24, carried the football in the neighborhood of 200-times, gaining around 1,700-yards on the year and scoring over 30-rushing TDs. Starks led Mayfield in scoring, registering over 185-points on the scoreboard for the year and averaging close to 14-points a game. This kid runs track and is an 11.2-second FAT, 100-meter guy. Speed kills.

RB, Central High (Lou.), Cortez Stone, ’25, Many people believe this to be Kentucky’s top-rated RB and his offer list would suggest this to be true. Stone gained 1,871-yards on 278-carries with 23-rushing TDs. He scored 23-rushing TDs; 1-TD receiving; and seven, two-point conversions in route to scoring 158-points for Marvin Dantzler’s Yellow-Jackets and leading the team in that category. What makes this even more impressive is Central played duPont Manual, CAL twice, Mercer County, St. Xavier, and LaSalle out of Cincinnati. 

FB, Hopkins Central, Calil McNary, ’24, McNary is a 6’2, 235-pound, bruising FB who plays a position not many teams can find a DAWG to fill. McNary gained 949-yards in 145-carries with 12-rushing TDs. He caught the ball well out of the backfield and was a punishing lead blocker and pass protector for an offense which rushed for over 2,000 in 10-games and threw for close to 1,200. McNary is the Bluegrass’s preeminent player at the FB post.

The receivers…

WR, Christian Academy-Louisville, Connor Hodge, ’25, Hodge had over 110-receptions for close to 1,600-yards receiving and 25-TDs, led the team in scoring while leading the team in INTs (11), IRNYs (177) and pick-sixes (2)

WR, Owensboro Catholic, William “Tutt” Carrico, ’24, “King Tutt” as he is called caught around 95-passes on the year for 1,900-yards and 30-TDs receiving; was fourth on the team in rushing, led the team in scoring, had over a 100-tackles, 12-TFLs, half a sack, 4-FFs, 2-FRs, and 6-picks with 75-IRNLs

WR, Shelby Valley, Brady Bentley, ’24, Bentley caught 76-passes for 1,455-yards, scoring 16-TDs and led his team in scoring with 128-points.

WR, Middlesboro, Kameron Wilson, ’24, Wilson caught 71-passes for 1,269-yards and 19-TDs while leading his team in scoring with 128-points.

Calling the Hogs…

OL, Lexington Christian Academy, Hayes Preston, ’25, 6’3,” 255-pounds, Preston was instrumental in an OL which helped pave the way for 697-points scored, 2,574-rushing yards, and 2,393 passing yards for perhaps the commonwealth’s most balanced and lethal offensive attacks.

OL, Breathitt County, Jacob Parker, ’24, 6’4,” 275 pounds. Parker has enviable length and is very athletic. His upside is through the roof as is his growth potential. He helped pave the way for an offense which rushed for more than 2,000 yards and passed for more than 1600-yards while scoring 384-points in its 12-games. Breathitt got better as the year went along and ended the year among 2A’s better football teams.

OL, Bell County, Brayden Dunn, ’24, Dunn is a 6’4,” 305-pound OL and we may well have shorted him a few inches and pounds. He is just massive. Dunn bench presses 345, squats 465, peels off a 40-yard dash in 5.7-seconds while short shuttling in 4.8-seconds. Helped the Bobcats make the title game in 3A while rushing for close to 5,000-yards and scoring around 600-points. 

OC– Lexington Christian, Garrison McKinney, McKinney is a ’24, 6’3,” 275-pound center committed to LeHigh University (Division I, FCS) as an offensive center, McKinney is also capable of long-snapping. Three year starter at LCA. Helped pave the way for 697-points scored, 2,574-rushing yards, and 2,393 passing yards for perhaps the commonwealth’s most balanced and lethal offensive attacks.

McKinney, a three year starter at LCA has committed to play for LeHigh 

OL, Lexington Catholic, Cannon Mackley, ’24, Mackley is 5’11,” 215-pounder who runs a 40-yard dash in 5.07-seconds, squats 455-pounds, power cleans 265, and verticals 25-inches. Mackley can play offensive center. He is a 2X captain who helped his team find its way into this year’s semis. Mackley had 43-tackles, 8-TFLs, and a pair of QB-sacks. Mackley also picked off a pair of passes and registered one of the team’s five pick-sixes. This kid is a leader and an athlete.

OL, Beechwood, Xavier Campbell, 6’0,” 245-pounds, though a tad undersized, Campbell is an elite interior offensive lineman in the commonwealth. He anchored a front which led the way for Beechwood to finish 12-2, score 666-points while passing for 4,020-yards and accumulating close to 5,700-yards of total offense. This was a different type of Beechwood offense as it relied heavily on the down-field passing game this year. 


Level one, the down linemen…

DL– Lexington Christian Academy, Kenyatta Hardge, ’24, Hardge had 21.5-TFLs on the year and 3-QB sacks while forcing a pair of fumbles and blocking a pair of punts. He was the best interior, down lineman in the commonwealth this past year in spite of being doubled all season, run away from, and being the primary focus of every scouting report published about LCA from every opponent the Eagles played. He’s a grown man.

Hardge = Grown Man!

DL, Paris High, Preston Cowan, ’25, Cowan had 112-tackles, 28-TFLs, 7-QB sacks, 4-FFs, 1-FR.

DL, Paris High, Zian Webb, ’24, Webb registered 92-tackles, 20-TFLs, 14-QB sacks, 2-FFs.

DL, Trigg County, TayShaun Linton, Linton had 50-tackles, 12-TFLs, 6.5 QB-sacks, 2-FFs, and a FR. Linton leaves Trigg County with the all-time QB-sack mark. There have been a few players at Trigg County through the years, boys!

DL, Union County, Kamden Davis, ’25, Davis registered 100-tackles, 7.5-TFLs, 11-QB sacks, 2-FFs. 

The second level guys…

LB, Breathitt County, Kory Combs, ’25, Combs, the son of a fine linebacker in his own right (Kenneth “Shorty” Combs, EKU) registered 111-tackles in 12-games, 7-TFLs, 1-QB sack, 1-FF, 2-FR. Kory Combs scored 8-rushing TDs on offense and caught a pair of TD passes which gives you some idea about his movement and speed.

LB, Owensboro Catholic, Vince Carrico, ’24, Carrico recorded 190-tackles, 13.5-TFLs, 4-QB sacks, 2-FFs, 1-FR, and an INT. We call this stuffing the stat sheet.

LB, Caldwell County, Cooper Mobley, ’26, Mobley’s team really struggled this year but the versatile sophomore, two-way star didn’t. Mobley had 86-tackles, an INT, a TFL, and a FF to go along with being his team’s second leading rusher and among its leading receivers if that gives you an idea about his athleticism.  

Mobley had 86-tackles and was his team's second leading rusher to boot...

LB, Union County, Amare Black, ’25, Black registered 107-tackles, 7-TFLs, 8.5 QB-sacks, 3-FFs.

LB, Lexington Christian Academy, Major Brown, ’24, Brown is a 6,’ 195-pound LB with the speed and athleticism to play SS in college or stay on the second level. Brown has led the Eagle defense in tackles the last two years and has over 300-career tackles, second most in school history.

The last line of defense, third-level guys…

DB, Mayfield, Xavier Biggers, Biggers had 40-tackles but that doesn’t tell the tale with DBs. He was among the leaders in PBUs and INTs (3) where he registered 108-IRNYs and a pick-six. Xavier led the team in receiving yards (542), TD receptions (9), and was third in scoring. We included this to let you know the type of athlete we’re dealing with here.

DB, Hart County, Kohnner Trent, ’25, Trent registered 76-tackles, 2.5-TFLs, half a sack, 1-FF, and 2-FRs. Oh yeah, he picked five (5) passes for 150 IRNYs and a pick-six. His efforts were instrumental to the best season in Hart County history (13-1, Regional Champions). Trent also starred on offense, catching 22-passes for 330-yards and 5-TD receptions.

DB, Lexington Catholic, Sam Clements, Clements registered 68-tackles, 3-TFLs, 1-sack, 3-INTs, 123-IRNYs, and a pair of pick-sixes.

DB, Pikeville High, Blake Caudill, ’25, Caudill registered 62-tackles, 10-TFLs, 6-QB-sacks, and was among the club leaders in PBUs, while “showing out” on offense too. Caudill was among his club’s leading rushers and scorers to go along with what he did on defense. This kid, at 5’1`1,” 185-pounds, may move up into the run-box and play linebacker next season. 

DB, Christian Academy-Louisville, Justin Ruffin, ’24, Ruffin is largely considered an elite corner in Kentucky among the small schools. Ruffin led his team in PBUs, had 39-tackles, 2-TFLs, 1-FF, and 2-INTs. Kid made opposing receivers, against whom he matched, just disappear. Hard to judge corners by numbers sometimes. This kid stood out; ask anyone the Centurions played.

DB, Sayre, Brock Coffman, ’24, In 13-games, Coffman picked nine (9) passes and housed one to go along with 193-IRNYs. 


ATH, Middlesboro, QB, Caden Grigsby, ’24, One of the best overall athletes in the commonwealth at any level of play. Grigsby threw for over 2,000 yards and 26-TDs, rushed for close to 900-yards and scored 9-TDs rushing, was second on the team in scoring, and led the team in INTs (6), IRNYs (67), and logged a “pick-six.” Find me a player who contributed to any team any more profoundly!

Cayden Grigsby, Middlesboro

ATH, Breathitt, WR/DB/KR/PR, Isaac “Wheels” Turner, This guy did it all. He led the team in receiving (36-receptions, 6-TDs receiving), was third in rushing adding another 6-scores, was the club’s leading scorer (78-points), and led the team in INTs (3), IRNYs, and pick-sixes (1). Add in his contributions to the return game and he was a three-phase contributor. 

ATH, Belfry, Caden Woolum, ’24, Woolum rushed for over 1,100-yards on only 91-carries with 12-rushing TDs. Woolum was the ball club’s leading receiver with 25-receptions for 511-yards and 7-TDs. Woolum was the club’s leading scorer with 128-points. Woolum had close to 100-tackles, led the team in INTs, forced a pair of fumbles, picked three passes, led the team in IRNYs with 48, and took one of his three INTs to the house. Now that’s an “athlete.”

ATH, Raceland, Noah Wallace, ’24, rushed for 1,198-yards and 15-TDs; caught 10-passes for 114-yards and a TD; was second on the team in tackles (82), 51 of which were solos; also registered 4 TFLs, 2-INTs, and a QB-sack. 

ATH, Murray High, Jeremiah Jones, ’25, Jones, at 6’4,” 200-pounds, is listed by most services as a safety and we see him playing there in college. Jeremiah was a multi-phase contributor for the Tigers, this Fall, and that is why we listed him as an ATH. Jones caught 22-passes for 326-yards and a pair of scores, was third on the team in rushing, scoring 3-times by land, and was fourth on the squad in scoring. On defense, Jones had 66-tackles, 4-TFLs, 5-QB-sacks, recovered two fumbles including a “scoop and score,” and picked two passes he returned 89-yards to lead the club in IRNYs. 

Johnson, from Union County, was the top ground gainer in the Western Kentucky Conference from his QB slot...

ATH, Union County, Jarren Johnson, ’25, Johnson played QB for the Braves and threw for close to 700-yards with six (6) TD passes. He was more of a RB, in the Braves’ system, and man did he deliver there. Johnson gained 2,091-yards, in 233-carries, and scored 33-times on the ground. He led the team in scoring, with 218-points, and led the team to an 11-2 finish, losing to Hart County, by three, in the regional championship game.

The Specialists…

PK, Mayfield, Lincoln Suitor, ’24, Suitor also punts and has one of the stronger legs in the commonwealth. He is also being recruited as a soccer player. Suitor converted right at 95% of his PATs and knocked five of his nine placekicks through the uprights including a key 40-yarder in the championship game against Owensboro Catholic on college uprights, which are more narrow than the high school counterparts. 

PK, Garrard County, Zak Dailey, ’25, Dailey converted on 87.5% of his FGs in ’23 (seven of his eight attempts) and he was a perfect 25 for 25 in PATs. We call this type production from one’s kicker “elite.” 

P, LaRue County, Carter Peace, ’24, averaged 44-yards per punt and was ranked one of Kentucky’s finest punters by Pro-Kicker

There it is, the players selected and statistically why they were selected. Like we said, we didn’t get them all. We erred on the side of put them in there even if the team gets weighted a little heavier at one position than at others.

The “Athletes” were meant to signify guys whose value to the team was significantly more vast than their primary, listed positions. Many of the “Athletes” make this team at their primary positions too, but their value and versatility permitted our including another player who, otherwise, might have gone unrecognized.

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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