Middlesboro senior quarterback Chase Roark had a sensational season opener, passing for 338 yards and three touchdowns and running for 155 yards and a score as the Yellowjackets beat Bourbon County 41-21 last Friday night in Paris.
Meanwhile, about 50 miles away in Lancaster, Kenny Roark, Chase's dad, made his debut as Clay County's head coach as the Tigers lost to Garrard County 40-38 in four overtimes.
It wasn't until the next day, back home in Middlesboro, that father and son got to trade football stories and check out videos of each other's games.
"It's different, no doubt about it, me not being there to watch Chase," Kenny Roark said. "I do miss that.
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"What's strange about it is that he's grown up with me on the football field, but now I'm not there. The way I look at it, I'll see him play on Saturdays (in college) the next four years. Knowing that will get me through this one year."
Kenny Roark was synonymous with Middlesboro football for a long time. He was a star lineman on the Jackets' Class 2A state runners-up in 1974 and '75 before going on to play center at Kentucky.
He later coached Middlesboro for 17 years and led it to a Class A title in 1998. Chase, then 5 years old, was on the sidelines for that championship game.
Roark was the Jackets' coach for Chase's freshman and sophomore years, but he got out of coaching the next season. Still a teacher at Middlesboro, though, he was able to watch his son every Friday night last season.
Roark missed coaching so much he decided to get back in it at Clay County. Chase could have transferred and played for his dad, but he chose to stay at Middlesboro. "He loves his buddies and wanted to play with them their senior year," Roark said. "I understood that."
Chase admits that "it's different that (dad's) not here all the time. But we're doing OK with it. Like he said, he can watch me in college."
Roark will get to see his son play twice in the next few weeks. Middlesboro plays at home against Hancock County, Tenn., Friday night and Clay County doesn't play until Saturday at Marion County. Middlesboro and Clay County also have different open dates in September.
Chase wants to play Division I ball and is drawing interest from UK, Louisville, Cincinnati and several other schools. The 6-foot-3, 205-pounder has thrown for more than 6,000 yards in his career. Middlesboro offensive coordinator Jason Chappell, who coached Allan Holland Jr. at Perry Central and Ricky Bowling at South Laurel, says Roark is as good or better than both of them.
Kenny Roark thinks his son has a big upside. "He's a great competitor, has a rifle for an arm and is a great kid," he said. "It's going to be fun watching him in college."
■ Lexington's public high schools did themselves no scheduling favors for the third annual iHigh Football Frenzy. The locals will face rated opponents in all five games at Lafayette. On Friday, Lafayette plays Bell County, No. 4 in 3A, and Henry Clay takes on Bowling Green, No. 1 in 5A. On Saturday, Paul Laurence Dunbar takes on Harlan County, No. 3 in 5A; Bryan Station plays Eastern, No. 7 in 6A; and Tates Creek meets Ryle, No. 8 in 6A. Ryle is led by Travis Elliott, who has committed to WKU. In the Raiders' win over Cooper last week, Elliott had 330 all-purpose yards. He ran for 170 yards and three TDs, returned a kickoff 85 yards for a score, and caught a TD pass.
■ Boyle County's 30-game winning streak came to an end with the 35-21 loss to Highlands last week. That means Mayfield's 16-game winning streak is the longest in the state.
■ Clark County's Pokey Harris is anything but pokey. Harris carried 17 times for a school single-game rushing record of 286 yards and four TDs in a 39-29 win over Corbin. He also had a 61-yard interception return for a score. Last season Harris ran for 912 yards and 12 TDs.
■ Johnson Central's J.J. Jude is off and chasing the career state rushing record. He ran for 308 yards and six TDs against Heath. Jude has 5,823 yards, 2,401 behind Derek Homer's record. Johnson Central plays Perry County Central on Friday night. Louisville Central's Anthony Wales had 166 yards and a TD in his opener, a loss to Manual. Wales has 5,595 yards, 2,629 behind Homer.
■ Franklin-Simpson football coach Tim Schlosser said he was "very surprised" when former WKU coach David Elson called in June and asked if Schlosser had any staff openings. Schlosser was in need of a defensive coordinator. That's how Elson, who ran the defense for WKU's 2002 NCAA Division 1-AA title team, wound up at Franklin-Simpson this season. He's teaching history in the alternative school and coaching the Wildcats' defense. After Elson was fired as WKU's head coach following the 2009 season, he spent a year on Bill Lynch's staff at Indiana. But Lynch was fired after the 2010 season, leaving Elson out of a job. "David's wife and kids never left Bowling Green," Schlosser said. "So I think he just wanted to get back where he could live at home." Elson has kept a low profile at Franklin-Simpson. "When I hired him, he said, 'You do have a rule that your assistants can't talk to the media, right?' " Schlosser said. "And I said, 'Sure, I can if I need to.' "
■ St. Xavier flattened Fern Creek 70-0. That's the most points the Tigers have scored since they nuked Nelson County 72-7 in 2008.
■ Franklin County's Ryan Timmons, Chris Roberts and Daniel Anderson combined for almost 400 yards rushing as the Flyers rolled over Nelson County 63-35.
■ Paducah Tilghman beat Lone Oak 46-3, giving it a 26-0 record against the Purple Flash. J.D. Harmon, who has a scholarship offer from UK, had eight catches for 149 yards and two TDs, and he ran back a pick for a score. QB Tyler Presnell, a transfer from Lone Oak, threw for 228 yards and three TDs.
■ Defending 2A state champ Newport Central Catholic dumped 6A Dixie Heights 42-13 as Brady Hightchew threw for 232 yards and three TDs, and ran for 111 yards and a score. Dixie was without QB Zeke Pike, who was serving a one-game suspension after getting ejected from last year's playoff loss to Highlands. Pike makes his debut Friday when the Colonels host Covington Catholic.
■ Defending 6A state champ Trinity won the first of five consecutive games against out-of-state opponents by beating Brentwood Academy in Nashville 34-7. Travis Wright threw for 198 yards and three TDs. The Shamrocks play host to Montgomery Bell Academy of Nashville on Friday night.
■ Fort Knox pulled a surprise by whipping Elizabethtown 41-21. Brandon Franklin threw for 233 yards and five TDs, and Akio Tonge had more than 200 all-purpose yards as the Eagles beat E-town for the first time in eight years. Fort Knox continues a turnaround since it ended a 40-game losing streak in 2009. It won four games last year, including one in the playoffs.
■ Sam Hunter became Ashland Blazer's all-time passing leader in the Tomcats' win over Lawrence County last week. Hunter has 3,491 yards and 40 TDs, eclipsing the mark of Ian Holbrook, who threw for 3,369 yards and 26 TDs a few years ago. (Holbrook is now in medical school at the University of Louisville.) Hunter set a school single-season record last year with 1,858 yards and 26 TDs.
■ Rowan County's Adam Wing, who had a breakout state basketball tournament in March, is back in football mode. Wing passed for 228 yards and two TDs and ran for 90 yards and two TDs to lead the Vikings to a 42-38 victory over Montgomery County. Wing's 1-yard TD keeper with 33 seconds left won the game. Wing originally committed to play football at Marshall. But after starring in the Sweet Sixteen, he changed his mind and committed to play hoops at Oklahoma State.
■ Woodford County, which had lost 13 of its previous 14 games, opened with a 28-0 win over Western Hills as Sam Rusher ran for 104 yards and two TDs.
■ Clark County hosts an invitational boys' golf tournament at Kearney Hill on Saturday. Defending state champ Lexington Christian, perennial power St. Xavier and recent Kentucky Invitational Tournament winner West Jessamine head the field. Ashland Blazer, Corbin, Henry Clay, Lexington Catholic, Madison Central, Paul Laurence Dunbar and Scott County are among the other competitors. The tournament has a 2 p.m. shotgun start.
■ Green County's girls shot a 2-over 286 to win the golf tournament at Anderson County's Wild Turkey Trace last weekend. Sydney Smith led the winners with a 1-under 70, followed by Cassidy Scantland's 71, Olivia Parrott's 72 and Leah Rose Judd's 73.