Quick hitters from the Ryan Lochte apology tour:
21. The Couch QB legacy continues. When Henry Clay opens its season against Ryle at 6 p.m. Friday night at Lexington Catholic, it will mark a continuation of one of our state’s premier quarterback dynasties.
20. Greg Couch. The 5-foot-11, 180-pound junior is expected to be the Blue Devils’ starting quarterback.
19. Tim Couch. The former University of Kentucky star and overall No. 1 NFL draft pick is the Henry Clay quarterback’s uncle.
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18. Greg Couch the elder. The Henry Clay QB’s father is Tim Couch’s older brother, Greg. The elder Greg Couch was a pretty fair QB in his own right. As a senior starting quarterback at Eastern Kentucky in 1996, he set what was then the school single-season passing record with 1,824 yards.
17. Family pressure? Greg Couch the father says there is no pressure on his son to live up to the family quarterback standard. “I just want him to be the best he can be,” he said. “Playing high school football can be one of the best times of your life. He just needs a chance to play, to learn as he goes. At the end of it, if he were to have a chance to keep playing past high school, that would just be a nice bonus.”
16. Drew Barker. The Kentucky quarterback, a golfing enthusiast, reports that being named the Wildcats starter after spring practice cut into his time on the links. “I definitely did play less golf this year — which is probably a good thing,” Barker says.
15. Best golfer on UK football team? Barker gives the nod to Charles Walker, the former walk-on wide receiver who was recently placed on scholarship.
14. Jeff Brohm. At Western Kentucky’s football media day, the Hilltoppers coach was asked about true freshmen that had caught his eye. Two names he mentioned should be familiar to UK fans.
13. Quinton Baker. The running back and sprint champion from Ashland is the son of former Wildcats tailback Al Baker. “We knew he was fast,” Brohm said, “but he’s tough, not afraid to run it up inside.”
12. Devon Key. The ex-Bryan Station defensive back, the son of former Cats linebacker Donte’ Key, has “done a very good job,” Brohm says. “He’s smart, intelligent.”
11. Natalie Diaz the basketball player. You could remember Diaz from her days as an Old Dominion University women’s basketball standout, a member of the 1997 NCAA Tournament runner-up.
10. Natalie Diaz the poet. If you have a literary bent, you might know Diaz for her 2012 poetry collection “When My Brother Was an Aztec.” The work was called a “beautiful book” by New York Times reviewer Eric McHenry.
9. Coming to Lexington. Diaz will be one of the featured presenters at the 2016 Kentucky Women’s Writers Conference (Sept. 15-18; Diaz will speak Sept. 16 and 17) at the Carnegie Center for Literacy and Learning. For ticket information, call 859-257-2874.
8. Mike Krzyzewski. Five NCAA championships and three Olympic gold medals as a head coach is not bad.
7. Kentucky Wildcats gold medalists. There have been ex-Cats on the past three U.S. Olympic champion men’s basketball teams — Tayshaun Prince (2008), Anthony Davis (2012) and DeMarcus Cousins (2016).
6. Ex-Cats for 2020? Anthony Davis is the obvious choice if he wants to play, but with the importance of outside shooting in international basketball, don’t be shocked if Gregg Popovich takes Devin Booker to Toyko.
5. Danica Patrick. Became the first woman to lead a Sprint Cup race at Kentucky Speedway last month when she was scored the leader on laps 148 and 149 of the Quaker State 400.
4. Kentucky Speedway crowds. General Manager Mark Simendinger proclaimed himself happy with the crowds at last month’s Camping World Truck Series race and the Sprint Cup event in Sparta — but disappointed with the attendance for the Xfinity Series race.
3. Ben Rhodes. Simendinger said the presence of Louisville’s Rhodes, 19, in the trucks series made a difference at the gate. “If Ben Rhodes runs to his potential,” Simendinger said, “he will be a great asset over his career to Kentucky Speedway.”
2. Xfinity Series returns. NASCAR’s Class AAA series will be back in Sparta Sept. 24 with a new wrinkle: Kentucky Speedway will play host to the first race in the first Xfinity Chase for the Championship.
1. Autograph session. Will the Chase Grid boost Xfinity attendance in Sparta? “I have to think so,” Simendinger says. “I think there will be more hype and more interest surrounding it. NASCAR has told us they will help us promote the race, that we’ll get an autograph session with all 12 Chase drivers. I have to believe that helps.”