High school football: Unbeaten Franklin County staying hungry

mfields@herald-leader.comSeptember 21, 2011 

FRANKFORT — Franklin County's football team, averaging almost 50 points a game, is off to a 5-0 start for the first time in 12 years.

But the Flyers aren't flapping their wings in jubilation.

"We're happy, but we're not satisfied," junior quarterback Logan Woodside said. "Being 5-0 doesn't mean anything. District play is coming up and that's what really matters."

Franklin County's next five games are against Class 5A district opponents West Jessamine, East Jessamine, Woodford County, Anderson County and Montgomery County.

"We're staying hungry, like the coaches preach to us after each game," junior receiver Ryan Timmons said. "Our goal is to keep getting better and get past the second round (of the playoffs). That hasn't been done here in a while."

Franklin County hasn't advanced to the third round of the post-season in more than 20 years, a period in which it's won only six playoff games.

Coach Chris Tracy saw this team's potential in the pre-season. The Flyers have 18 seniors to provide leadership, several skill-position players who gained experience as sophomores, and talented transfers Woodside (Anderson County) and James Maddox (Lexington Catholic).

Tracy looked at his stocked roster and came to a quick conclusion: "I just didn't want to screw things up by overcoaching. We've got some athletes, and I wanted to keep it simple and let 'em play."

That game plan has resulted in lopsided victories over Nelson County, Western Hills, Frankfort and Scott, and a hard-earned 34-27 road win at Letcher County Central.

Timmons has been Franklin County's brightest star. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound junior, the Class 2A 100-meter dash champion, plays receiver, but he lines up just about everywhere. He even takes some direct snaps.

Last Friday against Scott, he rushed 10 times for 149 yards and two touchdowns, and he caught five passes for 121 yards and two scores.

Timmons said UK coaches were there checking him out.

On the season, he has 482 rushing yards, 481 receiving yards and 15 TDs.

"He's a special player," Tracy said. "Our best chance to win is to get the ball in his hands as many times as possible."

Woodside has done a good job finding Timmons.

"We have a great connection," Woodside said. "It's fun to watch him in the open field. His speed (4.43 in the 40) is what sets him apart."

Sophomore Chris Roberts is another threat as a runner and receiver. Sean Jarboe and Greg Maupin are reliable pass catchers, too.

Tracy said Franklin County's defense is much improved over last year because it's faster getting to the ball.

Linebackers Roberts, Jalen Jones and Aaron Lackey, and defensive ends Jarboe, Maupin, Josh Pedone and Monte Wilson lead the "D."

Jay Brough anchors the line on both sides of the ball.

"The scary part," Tracy said, "is that we've got a lot of room for improvement, especially defensively."

Tracy has a special investment in Franklin County. He played for the Flyers in the late 1980s, and was their defensive coordinator in the late 1990s.

After stints as an assistant at Bryan Station and head coach at Woodford County, Tracy returned to Franklin County in 2010, looking to bring stability to a program that had three coaches the previous four years.

Tracy said he wants to "give back" to the school that set him on his life's path.

He hopes the Flyers' football path leads them deep into the playoffs this fall.

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