QB cousins set to square off in 6A state finals

mfields@herald-leader.comDecember 4, 2013 

At a family get-together a few months ago, cousins Clay McKee and John Wilson caught up with each other and chatted about the high school football season.

Friday night in Bowling Green, McKee and Wilson will see each other again, this time from opposing sidelines in the Class 6A football finals.

McKee is Scott County's starting junior quarterback.

Wilson is Meade County's starting junior quarterback.

"It's pretty awesome," McKee said. "When we saw each other at the family reunion, it never crossed my mind we could both get to the finals.

"It's pretty exciting."

Patsy Palmer Hampton, Clay's maternal grandmother, is the sister of Joan Palmer Wilson, John's maternal grandmother.

After Scott County beat Male last Friday, Patsy got a text message from Joan after Meade County beat Butler.

"It said, 'Family reunion in Bowling Green next Friday,'" Patsy said. "It's so exciting.

"We're very proud of our grandsons. It's kind of bittersweet because we know somebody has to lose. But we'll be supportive of each other however it goes."

McKee and Wilson both quarterback Wing-T attacks that accent the run, but both are capable passers.

Wilson, who was injured early in the season, has generated 1,056 yards and 15 TDs with his throwing and running. He also plays safety.

McKee, the son of Scott County Coach Jim McKee, has passed for 1,120 yards and 24 touchdowns.

Jim McKee and his son are savoring this season.

When Scott County lost to Trinity 62-21 in the state finals two years ago, Clay, then a freshman, played in the closing minutes of the blowout and threw a TD pass.

That was a thrill for both of them, but it wouldn't compare to winning a state title.

"I've always hoped to get a chance like this, but it's always seemed far away," Clay said. "Now that it's here, it's kind of surreal. But I know I've got to stay focused and make sure everybody else stays focused so we can make the dream come true."

Doug Hampton, Clay's grandfather and a volunteer assistant with Scott County, is caught up in the moment, too.

Hampton already has a couple of cherished state championship memories. He refereed the 1982 Sweet Sixteen finals, which ended with Paul Andrews of Laurel County hitting a half-court shot to beat North Hardin. And his son Brent batted leadoff and played second base for Harrison County's 1993 state baseball title team.

"Now I'd like to be on the sidelines watching my grandson win a state football championship," Hampton said. "That would be great."

Mike Fields: (859) 231-3337. Twitter: @MikeFieldsNotes. Blog: fieldsnotes.bloginky.com.

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