Going into the 2019 season, most pundits (we included) believed Shelby Valley would emerge from District 8 (2A) to play for the regional title. Shelby Valley had a very loaded roster with senior-laden talent, particularly at RB and along the lines of scrimmage.
Well, we were all wrong. It ended up being the West Carter Comets from tiny Olive Hill, Kentucky who would wear the district crown. With Class of 2022 talents leading the way at receiver and two Class of 2021 kids at QB (Orry Perry) and RB (Leetavious Cline), many thought this coming season would be the Comets’ year to streak across the KHSAA’s horizon and into the regional round.
The Comets were 9-4 in 2019. They won the district title. They have many of their important pieces returning, unlike Shelby Valley. If you were hoping to make a little 8th-district headway in 2020, this isn’t good news.
Orry Perry had a very fine year in 2019 especially playing QB for a “mountain team.” Not many mountain teams throw it very effectively outside of Pikeville High School and Breathitt. Not even Breathitt throws it better than they run it.
Perry completed 139 of his 242-passing attempts for a completion percentage of nearly 58% (.57438017). He threw for 1,678-yards and tossed 22-TD passes against 10-interceptions.
Perry is not a threat to break a defense down rushing the football. He lost 67-yards in 2019 on 11-attempts without a rushing TD.
That aside, the most important statistic by which this, or any QB, is judged is that “9” in the “wins” column against only the 4-losses. First and foremost QB’s are judged by how their teams do. It is (maybe) unfair; but true nonetheless.
Perry, a class of 2021 player, will have some help in 2020 and it should look eerily familiar to whom was helping him in 2019. Leetavious Cline gained close to 1,000-yards in 2019 (927) on 156-carries, with 12 of the team’s 20-rushing TDs. Cline was the team’s leading scorer.
Perry will have both of his two “top targets” returning in 2020 in the throw game. Get this, they were only sophomores in 2019.
Class of 2022, Jackson Bond, caught 34-passes for 609-yards receiving with 10-TD receptions. Classmate, Blake McGlone, collected 40-receptions for 515-receiving yards and a pair of TD-receptions himself.
Coaches will tell you the biggest jump in physical development, and on-field production, for a high school player occurs between the player’s sophomore and junior seasons. Literally no telling how good that duo will be as juniors in 2020.
If we are being critical of West Carter, our only criticism is they don’t run the ball as effectively as some of the other mountain teams. In 2019, the Comets only rushed for 1,459-yards in 13-games. On the flip side, they throw it well and can play effectively on the defensive side.
Defensively, the Comets gave up more yards rushing (1,466) than they gained. You won’t see many HS teams on the eastern end of the commonwealth boast of 9-wins or District Championships allowing opponents to out-gain them on the ground.
Still, holding mountain teams, who run it the way many do (especially playing 8th-district foes like Shelby Valley), to under 113-yards a night on the ground is really, really good. It is not the defense’s fault the offense couldn’t beat 112.769231 yards on the ground a contest (“O” averaged 112.230769 yards-per-game-rushing with most of that being Cline).
Shelby Valley had a roster heavily ravaged by graduation. This would appear to leave the Comets behind the controls of the district-8-race.
We expect the Comets to repeat. We believe they will see either Beechwood or Breathitt in the Regional Championship game.
By the time that happens, Olive Hill, Kentucky should be feeling pretty stoked about what Perry and the Boys have been able to do over the last two seasons. Should be fun, hope you’re as ready as we!
This is Coach HB Lyon, reporting for KPGFootball, and we’re JUST CALLING IT LIKE WE SEE IT!
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