Tristin Dillard, ’27, and Jack Whaley Long, ’27, looking to right the Tiger ship this Fall. @minguabeefjerky @KyHighFootball @khsaafootball @PrepSpin @MaxPreps @OfficialKYMSFA @KYFUTURESTARS

Tristin Dillard (L) and Jack Whaley Long (R) will take the Tigers as far as their feet will carry them

Both of these young men hail from football families with members of the family either having played or now playing college football. We believe both of these players will have big careers and these prodigious careers will begin in earnest this coming Fall. Enjoy this look at two players who figure to be very important to the HMS Tigers football fortunes.

Fletcher Long, Senior Scout and Editorial Board member

Everyone knows exactly who Tristin Dillard is. Ask anyone who follows KYMSFA football and you will learn this fact quickly.

Tristin Dillard

Dillard played on the FBU Elite team known throughout Kentucky as “Team Kentucky FBU.” The other part of the tandem, Jack Whaley Long, was slotted to start at the “X” this coming year, coming off significant injury (he was flattened by a Little Debbie snack truck and required airlift to UK Children’s where a steel rod and screws were surgically and permanently implanted in his left femur), for one of the KYMSFA’s top-notch, Division 2, powerhouses (Breathitt Middle).

The pair find themselves playing together for a storied program in its own right. Fans of football at this level remember well the ’16 HMS Tiger squad which narrowly lost in the Division 2 semis to eventual state champion, TK Stone, 38-36. That game came down to virtually the last play and resembled a heavyweight prize fight for the crown to onlookers back then.

We haven’t heard much from the Tigers after ’16. New head coach, J.R. Davie, has been brought in to change that.

He will have some athletes. It is HMS after all.

Davie won’t have any athletes better than Dillard and Long. For those of you who haven’t seen Long in action, watch him shred this ladder doing an “Ickey Shuffle.”

We were able to contact a rival head coach, Tyrone Gregory, who heads up a well respected Browning Springs Middle program. Gregory had this to say about the Tigers’ fortunes and its two present-day stars.

You know you’re going to get a battle anytime the Tigers take the field. The program has had some impressive athletes dot its roster over the time I have been at Browning Springs Middle. Both Dillard and Long would have played on any of those other squads. They are both very athletic and very good.

Tyrone Gregory, Browning Springs Middle

It isn’t like Long is completely an unknown either. We have talked about his play and prospects back east in the Appalachias when he played for Breathitt. Long also was an alternate for Team Kentucky Future Stars’ team for which he auditioned immediately after his accident and before he probably was far enough along physically to make much of a run for the roster.

Long abstained from this summer’s tryouts for Future Stars. Long is anxious to work toward making the 8th grade roster this coming Summer especially with him physically back to 100% healthy.

Jack Long

Long has been undergoing intensive training including quite a bit of weight room work. Some of the work has served a dual purpose of rehabbing an injury which required surgical intervention and heightening his athletic prowess and improving his performance on the field. Long has bought in to the weights, the results are conspicuous.

We believe the tandem will be ready to show up and show out this coming Fall. Expect both of these kids to render quite a performance over the course of the KYMSFA fall football season and then look for both of them to enjoy an all-star season which should include “Battle of the Regions,” “Team Kentucky FBU Elite,” and “Team Kentucky Future Stars.”

Then it will be onto high school. Lookout!

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 1208 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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