Preview: Top 10 Kentucky high school football teams by class for 2012

mfields@herald-leader.comAugust 11, 2012 

Highlands Coach Dale Mueller, center, celebrated with his team after their 42-14 win over Franklin-Simpson in the Class 4A championship last year. Highlands has won five straight titles.

In Kentucky high school football, the powers that have been are still the powers that be.

Grand Poobahs Trinity and Highlands, who share the record of 21 state titles, once again reign supreme in the pre-season.

Trinity is an overwhelming No. 1 pick in Class 6A as it chases its 10th championship in 12 years under Bob Beatty.

Highlands, the top choice in 4A, goes looking for its sixth consecutive title and 11th under Dale Mueller.

In 5A, perennial powers Bowling Green and John Hardin head the field.

In 3A, Central is favored to win its fifth title in six years, with Belfry, runner-up three times in the last five years, in the mix again.

In 2A, the coaches like traditional powers Newport Central Catholic and Danville.

In Class A, Mayfield and Beechwood, who own 19 titles between them, are ranked 1-2, with defending champ Hazard on their heels.

(Rankings based on a survey of coaches.)

CLASS 6A

1. Trinity (14-0) Rocks rated among nation's best again

2. St. Xavier (8-5) Tigers' 'A' game based on strong 'D'

3. Scott Co. (14-1) Could be best 6A public school again

4. Eastern (10-3) New coach inherits some D-I talent

5. Ballard (5-7) Bruins have talented skill players

6. Manual (9-3) Battling Trinity, St. X in district

7. Henderson Co. (9-4) Colonels look like best in the west

8. Butler (11-3) Bears capable of repeating 2011 success

9. Lafayette (9-4) Skill and experience on both sides of ball

10. Campbell Co. (9-5) QB Tyler Durham (6-4, 215) leads Camels

CLASS 5A

1. Bowling Green (15-0) Expect defending champs to reload

2. John Hardin (13-1) Bulldogs are 64-6 since 2007

3. Franklin Co. (11-1) Ryan Timmons highest-flying Flyer

4. Warren Central (11-2) QB Michael Bush has name and game

5. Harlan Co. (11-2) Black Bears' muscle gets them in top 10

6. Christian Co. (10-2) Colonels stocked with athletes again

7. Conner (7-6) QB Drew Barker can run it and throw it

8. North Bullitt (10-2) Eagles will get it done on the ground

9. Anderson Co. (12-3) State runner-up will rebuild for playoffs

10. Pulaski Co. (3-8) Look for Maroons to double their win total

CLASS 4A

1. Highlands (15-0) Donovan McCoy moves from WR to QB

2. Lex. Catholic (11-3) Knights have talent, depth, experience

3. Cov. Catholic (10-3) QB Blake Bir at controls for Colonels

4. Boyle Co. (9-4) Rebels again battle LexCath in district

5. Lone Oak (10-3) Jr. QB Cole Ousley has 6,681 yards, 86 TDs

6. Collins (11-3) Titans don't look like 3rd-year program

7. Knox Central (6-4) Jeffrey Canady is a versatile threat

8. Russell Co. (9-2) RB Nick Britt brightest of Lakers' stars

9. Ashland Blazer (9-3) Tomcats clawed to top of district last year

10. Johnson Central (9-3) Life without record-setter J.J. Jude

CLASS 3A

1. Central (12-3) Jackets seek fifth title in six years

2. Belfry (13-2) Philip Haywood's 350 wins top all-time

3. Breathitt Co. (12-1) QB Richard Trent leads Bobcats

4. Bell Co. (11-2) Bobcats on prowl with 14 starters back

5. Pad. Tilghman (10-3) Tornado always has talent, potential

6. Garrard Co. (12-2) Golden Lions on uptick from last season

7. Monroe Co. (6-6) 17 returning starters ready to rumble

8. Fort Campbell (9-5) Falcons reemerged as contender last year

9. Bourbon Co. (8-4) Kentayvus Hopkins among top RBs in state

10. Corbin (7-5) 47-game district win streak ended last fall

CLASS 2A

1. Newport Cath. (11-2) 'Breds return 15 starters

3. Danville (8-4) Admirals primed to contend again

3. Somerset (9-5) Jumpers have 36 wins in last 3 years

3. Cov. Holy Cross (12-3)Defending champs have leftover talent

5. Owensboro Cath. (12-1) Aces have 'D' to go with potent offense

6. Murray (12-2) Tigers have 12 wins each of last 3 seasons

7. Green Co. (7-4) Dragons have emerged as top-10 program

8. Caldwell Co. (5-6) RB Jaylen Boyd gives Tigers juice

9. Prestonsburg (5-6) Bryson Williams can run it and catch it

10. Lex. Christian (6-7) Eagles should put up plenty of points

CLASS A

1. Mayfield (14-1) LB Jonathan Jackson top enforcer

2. Beechwood (12-2) RB Max Nussbaum is Tigers' go-to guy

3. Hazard (12-2) 'Dogs have made finals 3 of last 4 years

4. Lou. Holy Cross (11-2) Todd Crumbacker takes over as coach

5. Fairview (12-1) Eagles soared with 11 wins in a row last fall

6. Russellville (6-6) Panthers ready to return to glory?

7. Ky. Country Day (9-3) QB Robert Scholtz sparks Bearcats

8. Pikeville (11-3) Look for RB Chase Hall to have big year

9. Frankfort (7-6) WR Aaron Jackson is Panthers' playmaker

10. Williamsburg (9-4) Yellowjackets' offense hard to stop

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