Don’t adjust your screen, there’s nothing wrong with your computer, but yes…that is Todd County in this Week’s AP Top-10 football poll
Some people refer to head coach Darrell Keith simply as the man in the fedora. Kids, both his and the ones against whom his teams play, refer to him as either Hat-Man or, in what must be a tribute to the late Dr. Seuss, the Cat in the Hat.
He wears the hat in loving memory of the football all-time great who wore a houndstooth, similarly-styled hat when he paced the sidelines at Coach Keith’s beloved University of Alabama. He wears it in memory of the late Paul “The Bear” Bryant.
To some, it is his signature. To others, it is a sign you’re likely to get your behind kicked.
Laugh all you want, but there is nothing funny about how he gets his teams to play. Opponents will tell you having to play the Todd County Central Rebels in football has lost all its comedic value as well.
Now, years ago, when Coach Keith was terrorizing the middle school ranks with his Christian County Middle School teams, a high school coach (and you know who you are) demanded whether KPGFootball thought Coach Keith could coach in high school. We told him yes.
Keith had before commanded and drilled entire regiments of United States soldiers. We failed to see how coaching a high school football team was so much tougher than that. The risk attenuate with coaching high school football was much lower than what was at risk in the Army.
This coach looked at us, incredulously, and told us he believed Keith to be woefully inexperienced and incapable of coaching high school football. He said the only duty he would permit him to fulfill was to hold the down-and-distance markers on the sideline. His vitriolic rejection of the notion Keith could coach HS football surprised us. Apparently, our military analogy failed to persuade him concerning Keith’s capability.
Now, two years into his tenure at Todd County, with him having TCCHS playing at unprecedented levels, we would augment our former answer. If that same coach were to inquire of us, our response now would be we not only know Keith can coach a high school team but it would presently appear he can do so much better than the initial inquisitor.
The Todd County Central Rebels are undefeated on the new year. They play a brand of power football which is a throw-back to a time when tough-guys played the game.
Make no mistake about it, Keith is a tough-guy. Keith demands toughness from his players. If you aren’t tough, you will never play for Keith.
Keith’s players believe in him. Keith believes in his players. Outside of the locker-room, neither players nor coaches really give a darn what any of us think.
For those wondering whether Todd playing football at its present level is sustainable let us tell you the following…Coach Keith’s son, Joshuah, is the top-ranked, dual-threat QB in Kentucky’s 2024 graduating class. He may also be 2024’s best football player at any position.
How good is he? Well, TCCMS is undefeated in KYMSFA football and THEY ARE RUNNING TEAMS THEY HAVE NEVER BEFORE BEATEN CLEAN OFF THE FOOTBALL FIELD. They aren’t beating teams, they are completely humiliating opponents. None of the teams they play seem the least bit capable of preventing it either.
If Todd can hold on to Keith, and that is a huge if as he may be the hottest commodity, this offseason, in the HS coaching ranks (particularly with that son of his sitting out there about to enroll in high school), Todd County will go on an unprecedented run over the next five years. Their history will be completely rewritten. So will their tradition.
Not to sound like Dr. Seuss, but can the cat in the hat coach high school football? You can bet your last dollar he can. We may all be eating green eggs and ham before it’s all said and done.
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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