Today we lay out the 5A classification. We like the Red Devils from Owensboro as they have many of the important pieces back from a 12-2 semifinalist a year ago, particularly the return of its QB. South Warren has the coaching to keep them in it, as does Covington Catholic, and Frederick Douglass has crazy athletes littering its roster every year with this coming season being no exception. Woodford County will be unproven at QB but the young guy there can really perform and the Yellow Jackets’ stud running back returns which seems to help any team. Should be quite a show.Fletcher W. Long, Senior Scout and Editorial Board Member for KPGFootball
As we continue our march toward opening night, we find ourselves in position to lay out for the reader how we see the 5A classification finishing. South Warren will be tough as they are every year and fans of this classification realize ever counting out the boys from northern Kentucky, Covington Catholic, is unwise. People have to continue to wonder when we will see the resurgence of Fort Thomas Highlands as the Bluebirds have been down (by their standards) much longer than expected.
However, ’22 is the dawn of a new era and we see some teams continuing to strengthen their respective cases for being considered perennial, 5A powerhouses. Speaking of Bowling Green, Kentucky, we have an eye on that bunch they call the Purples in addition to South Warren. Those two have the misfortune of having to play the other to get through the district.
The below is how we see it shaking out this coming Fall in the 5A classification. We believe this may be the year of the Red Devils. They have been knocking on the door but we believe this may be the year the team breaks through and returns the championship trophy to the unofficial BBQ Capital of the World.
No. 1. Owensboro Senior High, ’21 record was 12-2 and the Red Devils lost in the semis to Frederick Douglass; Jay Fallin, Head Coach;
Kasey Boone, ’23, the young QB had to take the reins from Gavin Wimsatt a year ago when Wimsatt bolted for Rutgers. In our humble opinion, Boone rendered an admirable performance. Boone’s “the man” now and we believe he will improve on what he did a year ago. Boone completed 92 of his 153 passing attempts for 1,430-yards and 23-TDs against 8-picks and scored a TD rushing.
Kenyatta Carbon, ’23, is a young running back who was option two a year ago. He will be the primary option this coming season and he has a load of talent to come through big-time. Last season, Carbon had 69-rushing attempts for 681-yards and 12-rushing TDs. Carbon also caught 6-passes, swinging out of the backfield, for 103-yards and 3-scores.
Jeremiah Goodwin, ’23, This receiver and defensive back had a big year in ’21. Offensively, Goodwin registered 34-receptions for 586-yards receiving and 8-TDs. Defensively, the two-way star registered 57-tackles, 19-TFLs, 13-sacks, 1-FF, 2-FRs, and an INT he returned 33-yards. Wow! What more can be said?
Jakson Lindsey, ’24, 6-5, 300-pound OT who is a three star prospect on 247Sports.com and Rivals.com and may be the highest rated OL in his graduating class in the entire commonwealth of Kentucky. Lindsey is sporting offers from EKU, Indiana, UK, Miami of Ohio and Ohio University. Sounds like the type cornerstone around which to build one’s front.
Andrew Lanz, ’23, 84 for 86 in PATs and 2 for 2 on FGs. We would call that extremely steady if not spectacular. He’s guaranteed points in the all-important third phase.
Savon Hines, ’23, 12-TFLs, 6-sacks, 1-FF, 2-FRs, and a “scoop and score,” among his 56-stops. He is one of the finest defenders anywhere across the western-end of Kentucky.
Zachary Clark, ’23, had 101-tackles, 1-TFL, 3-INTs, 3-pick-sixes.
KPGFootball Analysis: The Red Devils have been knocking on the door the last few years. Is this the year the powerhouse team from the West breaks through with a title? It may well be. Look out for a kid named Gough wearing No. 26. Ethan Gough is Austin Gough’s little brother and the MLB/RB was hurt much of his freshman season. “Big E” is back now and promises to add something to the arsenal none of Owensboro’s opponents would be too pleased about witnessing…another weapon. This is a team with much of its talent from a season ago returning and that which isn’t returning has talent waiting in the wings as good or perhaps better than what the team lost. Look out for these guys. You’ve been warned.
2. Frederick Douglass, State Finalist a year ago losing to South Warren in the Championship and finishing 13-2, Nathan McPeek, Head Coach;
We would be glad to tell you who is going to step into Samuel Cornett’s shoes at the QB position for the Broncos but we don’t know. Trevor Morgan, ’24, attempted 23-passes a year ago, completing 9 for a paltry 36 yards. Doesn’t mean he won’t be great. We just don’t know. Very likely to see a transfer playing QB for the Broncos this coming season.
Leading rusher Divan Hart is back. Hart is a ’23 and was first in yards gained, carries and second in rushing TDs a year ago.
TJ Horton, ’23, and Ty Brant, ’23, are both back in addition to Hart and they tied for the lead in rushing TDs a year ago with 11 a piece. Bryant was the leading scorer a year ago. In addition to what Bryant did on offense, he also led the team in tackles with 58-stops, 2-sacks, a FF, a FR, 2-INTs and a “pick-six.” Bryant is one of the highest regarded and most sought after prospects in the ’23 class and a nationally ranked, 3-star prospect, on both 247Sports.com and Rivals.com with offers from UK, Cincinnati, Kansas, Marshall, and others. Bryant is committed to UK.
Dane Key will be catching passes for UK in the SEC this coming Fall and from what we hear very, very soon. Cameron Dunn, ’23, ain’t no dog (but he is a DAWG). Dunn caught 46-passes for 612-yards with 7-TDs receiving last season and a spot as the team’s second leading offensive scorer to boot.
Tylon Webb, ’23, returns and brings back his 25-receptions for 360-yards and 5-TDs receiving.
Cooper Ranvier returns and man is that a weapon. The ’24 PK converted on 53 of his 56 PATs and 2 of his 3 FGs.
Jeremiah Lowe, ’24, is back to patrol the defensive back-third. He had 4-INTs and a “pick-six” a year ago interspersed among his 32-tackles, 2-TFLs, and a QB-sack
Tresean Benford, ’23, had 3-picks, a “pick-six,” and 90-net interception return yards
KPGFootball Analysis: This program produces annually some of the filthiest athletes anywhere in Kentucky high school football. If we were better informed about whom was going to play QB for the Broncos we may have picked them to win the entire enchilada. We know this…they will have a QB and he will statistically ranked right there with the top signal callers in Kentucky. This team just has too many athletes to ever be overlooked.
3. South Warren, ’21 record 14-1, State Champions, Brandon Smith, Head Coach;
This team lost its signal caller from a year ago and he is now a Hilltoppers. However, this is one of the better coached squads in all of the bluegrass. Coach Smith will find a QB and he will perform like the other QBs who have played for him…in an elite fashion. Bryce Button, ’25, completed 16 of his 29-passing attempts for 196-yards and 2-TDs against 1-pick, 14-carries for 67-yards on the ground. He may get the first look. Spartan fans are high on this kid’s athleticism and promise.
Keegan Milby, ’23, caught 20-balls for 361-yards and 6-receiving TDs.
Christian Conyers, 23, WR/DB, is a “Mr. Football” candidate and may be the highest regarded prospect in all of Kentucky. The DB/ATH who is a 4-star on most major recruiting sites, appears headed to the University of Tennessee where he is presently committed. Conyers caught 18-passes for 224-yards and 3-TDs at receiver and had 12-tackles on defense while being a team leader in ’21 in PBUs (Passes Broken Up).
Eli McIntosh, ’24, looks to be the heir apparent to the departed Elder Dervisevic at PK. McIntosh hit 6 of his 11 PATs.
Drew Givens returns on defense. The ’23 prospect was among the leaders in TFLs a year ago with (6) and forced 3-fumbles so you know he was hitting somebody out there on the field.
KJ Hardesty ’23 showed tremendous promise a year ago. He had 8-TFLs and 3-sacks among his nearly 40-stops
William Trussell, ’23, is back to captain the back third of the defense. He picked 3-passes a year ago and had a TFL.
KPGFootball Analysis: Last year was the year to which Spartan faithful had been pointing for the last several. Good thing is, they got it done a year ago and in impressive fashion. The loss of a QB like Caden Veltkamp never helps any team’s prospects. Still, South Warren has Conyers and every pundit “in the know” believes that to be an entire cornucopia of talent in just one body. South Warren will have to be careful, Bowling Green High is always lurking out in the shark infested waters in District 2.
4. Woodford County, 13-1 in ’21 losing in the semis to the State Champion, South Warren. Dennis Johnson, Head Coach;
What a great QB the Yellow Jackets had a year ago in Bryce Patterson. All good things come to an end as did Patterson’s eligibility.
We love Andrew Nason, ’25, at QB as the new QB-1. Nason has excellent frame for his stage of development, a near genius football IQ, and all the tools and skills to be a fantastic QB at this and even the next level.
Preston Stacy, ’23, returns in the backfield and man is that huge when breaking in a new QB. Stacy gained 1,400 yards a a junior in 157-carries scoring 13-rushing TDs. Stacy was the offenses leading scorer in ’21.
Leading receiver Aden Nelson, ’23, is returning. He caught 34-passes a year ago for 745-yards receiving and 9-TDs. He is also back patrolling the back-third of the defense. He had 4-picks in ’21.
Makhi Smith, ’25, may have been among the best freshmen receivers in the commonwealth a year ago. Smith caught 31-passes for 624-yards receiving and 8-TDs.
Sawyer Ford, ’23, returns and what a weapon he has proven to be. Ford converted 48 of his 56 PATs and was 2 for 4 in FGs.
Logan Ford, ’25, is the heir apparent at PK and he was perfect on his PATs (10 for 10) in spot duty spelling big brother.
Aaron Turner (’23) is a DL for the Yellow Jackets who always seems to be around the football. He forced a pair of fumbles, recovered a pair of fumbles, had 4.5-TFLs and 3-sacks among his 29-tackles a year ago. He will be much more active and productive this next season.
Grant Garrison may be among the most productive DL in the commonwealth. The DE under the tutelage of one of the better edge guys UK has ever fostered (Dennis Johnson) has proven himself quite the protege. He had 10-5-TFLs and 12.5-sacks a year ago. Did we mention Garrison’s forced fumble? Well, throw that in too.
Nelson’s cohort, Aiden Carroll, ’23, also contributed 4-INTs giving Nelson and Carroll 8 of the team’s 14 picks.
KPGFootball Analysis: Guys believe us when we tell you the following factoid. You will love Andrew Nason at QB. He is one of the better athletes in his class across Kentucky and we love him equally well at safety on defense. Johnson has it going in Bourbon country and the boys from WoFo will be a threat again this year.
5. Covington Catholic, ’21 record 9-4, lost in the Regional Finals to Woodford County 28-14, Eddie Eviston
Evan Pitzer, ’24, looks to be the heir apparent to Preston Agee and Adam Holtz both of whom have graduated. Holtz graduating cost the Colonels a punter. Pitzer completed 18 of his 37 passing attempts for 252-yards with 2-TDs versus his one thrown pick. Pitzer scored a rushing touchdown in ’21 to go along with his passing production.
Zion Mason, ’23, looks to be the most reliable returning receiving threat from last year’s team. Mason caught 13-passes in ’21. Mason will also enter the ’22 season one of the leading returning offensive scorers. Defensively, Mason was second on the team in INTs and led the team in Interception Net Return yards who registering the ball clubs lone “pick-six.”
Eli Nally has graduated and that is quite a blow to the team. Nally converted 94.3% of his PATs (33 for 35) and 9 of his 13 FGs a year ago. Finding a steady replacement for Nally will be a top priority for the Colonels. Ty Rottinghaus, ’23, looks to be a likely candidate to take over those duties.
Defensively, Aiden Jones, ’23, is a stud the team’s leading returning tackler. Jones had 83-tackles a year ago and was among the team leaders in both TFLs and sacks. Jones recovered a fumble last year and rumbled some 36-yards with it.
The defense was well laden with senior production in ’21. However, one guy who showed considerable promise a year ago was Rob Sandfoss, ’23. Sandfoss had 36-stops and a couple stops behind the line while leading the entire defense with 4-INTs.
KPGFootball Analysis: Covington Catholic had heavy losses from a defense which was the strength of the team a year ago. Still, no matter who the Colonels lose, they can NEVER be counted out of any title chase. What tells us that? The finest of all instructors…HISTORY!
Others of note…
Bowling Green Senior High has plenty of talent returning from off a really down year (6-6 in ’21) and we are excited to see if maybe Christian County can rebound some under first year head coach Blake Ladson. Fort Thomas Highlands, on the name alone, can never fully be counted out of any title hunt and Southwestern seems always to be tough and in the chase.
All of the above aside, these teams we have above detailed seem to be a cut above the other teams competing at the 5A classification. Are we right or are we delusional? We shall see!
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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