There are three-sport high school athletes, and then there is Harrison County senior Grant Carr, who has pulled off an amazing juggling act by participating in three sports this fall.
Carr was a standout midfielder for the Thorobreds' soccer team that lost in the 10th Region Tournament last week. He's also a reliable wide receiver on Harrison County's football team that closes the regular season at Woodford County on Friday night. Carr runs cross country for the Thorobreds, too, and will be one of the top contenders in the Class 2A regional meet at Grant County on Saturday.
"I thought it'd be much harder than it has been," Carr said of his hectic, physically demanding schedule. "The experience has been really fun. I'm glad I did it."
Carr played soccer all four years of high school. He added cross country last year to help his distance running in track, which he considers his best sport. He bridges the gap from fall to spring sports by playing basketball for Harrison County.
He decided to add football to the mix this year after a little encouragement from his dad, Thorobreds Coach Jim Carr. "We're big buddies and we talk a lot," Jim Carr said. "Grant is such a good athlete, I thought he could really help us out."
There was a dissenting vote in the family, however, from Grant's mom, Angie. "She wasn't on board with the football idea," he said. "But she's OK with it now that the season's about over and I haven't gotten hurt."
The 6-foot-2, 160-pound Carr has done well in all his endeavors this fall. He has 32 catches for 327 yards and two touchdowns in football. He had 19 goals and three assists in soccer. And he hopes to have the same success in cross country as last year when he finished in the top 10 in the region and top 25 in the state.
Carr admitted he had sore legs after some weeks that were crammed with soccer, football and cross country, but he has no regrets. In fact, "since I did all three this year and went OK, I feel I could've done it all four years."
Carr's athletics don't interfere with his academics. He's a straight-A student whose workload this semester includes four AP (Advanced Placement) classes.
"It's amazing all that he does," Jim Carr said. "He's the best son a dad could have."
■ Pulaski County (10-0) had its first undefeated regular season thanks in large part to a big-play offense that averaged 44 points a game. Sophomore QB Riley Hall has thrown for 2,107 yards and 23 touchdowns, and run for 646 yards and five TDs. Senior Aaron Smith and junior Caleb Cox rushed for 1,300 yards and 18 TDs between them. Sophomore George Gregory and freshman Jake Johnson have combined for 93 catches, 1,570 yards and 14 TDs. Johnson has been the biggest surprise. "We knew he was a talented player, but we didn't expect him to be a starter as a freshman," Coach John Hines said. "But he won a spot." Hines, in his 19th year with the Maroons (the last 15 as head coach), said going undefeated has made for an "exciting, fun season. We came out and played every Friday night. I hope we muster up the same excitement for the playoffs." Hines regards Harlan County as the team to beat in their Class 5A region. "They're very talented and senior dominated," he said.
■ Simon Kenton wrapped up its first unbeaten regular season with a 43-7 rout of Bullitt Central. Pioneers senior quarterback Brenan Kuntz has completed 71 percent of his passes for 1,980 yards and 25 TDs, and just one interception. He's run for 781 yards and 12 TDs. In three years Kuntz has thrown for 5,143 yards and 48 TDs, and rushed for 1,269 yards and 16 TDs.
■ Mayfield, No. 1 in Class A, visits Caldwell County, No. 1 in 2A, in a battle of unbeatens Friday night. "This game doesn't mean anything as far as the playoffs go, but it's a big game for both communities," Caldwell County Coach David Barnes said. This is the seventh year in a row they've tangled in the last week of the regular season. Mayfield has won the last three meetings and gone on to win a pair of state titles. Those Cardinals were led by star RB/LB Jonathan Jackson, who's now playing as a freshman at Murray State. Barnes said he used to kid Mayfield Coach Joe Morris, "What are you gonna do when you lose Jackson?" Now Morris is asking Barnes the same question about Elijah Sindelar, Caldwell County's junior QB. Sindelar, who has a scholarship offer from UK, already has thrown for 7,919 yards and 84 TDs in his career.
■ If Paris beats Berea on Friday night, it will be the Greyhounds' 200th win at Blanton Collier Stadium where they've played football since 1945. Paris has a record of 199-159-3 in that time. The Greyhounds will be going for their eighth win this season, a victory total they haven't reached since 2001.
■ Highlands lost to Cincinnati Elder 30-27, ending the Bluebirds' bid to add to their state-record 13 undefeated seasons. Highlands is still the team to beat in Class 4A as it tries to extend its state record of six consecutive state titles. This was the third year in a row Elder has played the Bluebirds. After last week's win, Elder Coach Doug Ramsey told the Cincinnati Enquirer, "That might be the best Highlands team we've played."
■ Conner senior QB and UK commitment Drew Barker finishes the regular season with a Saturday afternoon game against Covington Catholic. Barker has pushed his career totals to 9,009 yards and 105 TDs passing and rushing.
■ Belfry Coach Philip Haywood, the state's all-time winningest coach with 371 victories, was named USA Today's Best High School Football Coach in a contest based on online votes. Haywood received more than 1.5 million votes in the final round. "We have a team saying and this fits in with it well," Haywood told USA Today. "We tell our team, 'It's not about me, it's not about you, it's about us.' That is what our community feels about the football program and that is what this is about." The Belfry athletic department will receive $2,000 for Haywood's victory.
■ Both of Madison Central's victories this season have come courtesy of Ben Durham's trusty toe. Durham's 31-yard field goal as time expired gave the Indians a 23-21 win over Woodford County the second week of the season, and his 27-yarder with one second left lifted Madison Central over Clark County 32-30 last Friday.
■ Fairview, state runner-up in Class A last year, is being investigated by the KHSAA about the eligibility of a player. Coach Nathan McPeek has resigned, effective at the end of the season.
■ Bellevue beat Dayton for the seventh time in a row last week in the 134th meeting between the Northern Kentucky schools. Tyler Ackerson threw for two TDs and ran for two in the Tigers' 64-0 victory. Bellevue leads the series 89-42-3.
■ John Dudley Hilton, who started 56 consecutive football games at Bell County, and 30 in a row at Pikeville College, broke his hand in last week's loss to Georgetown College. Dudley Hilton, John Dudley's dad and Pikeville's coach, said his son will have surgery and miss the rest of the season.
■ West Jessamine boys' basketball coach Damon Kelley is a lifelong St. Louis Cardinals baseball fan, so he was disappointed that the Boston Red Sox won the World Series. But Kelley will cherish the experience of taking his son Chris, a first-grader, to Game 3 of the World Series in Busch Stadium last Saturday. Kelley remembers when his dad, Bob, took him to the 1982 World Series in St. Louis when the Cardinals beat the Brewers. Damon, who grew up in Mount Vernon, Ill., was in the first grade at the time. Thirty-one years later, he and his first-grade son forged that same baseball bond. Chris was decked out in his Cardinals' regalia and locked into the four-hour game that St. Louis won 5-4 in the ninth on an obstruction call. Chris didn't get to stay up to watch the Series on Wednesday night. When he got up Thursday morning, Damon broke the news to him that the Cardinals lost. "He was disappointed," Damon said. "But he knows they still had a great season. ... I'll always remember the experience of taking him, just like my dad did me."
■ Tyler Carr, who transferred from Grant County to Shelby Valley for his senior year, has signed to play college basketball at Shawnee State in Portsmouth, Ohio. Carr, a 6-1 senior point guard, scored more than 1,200 points at Grant County.
Kentucky's 13 unbeaten high school football teams and who they play this last week of the regular season:
■ Scott County (9-0) vs. Seneca (2-7)
■ Simon Kenton (10-0) finished regular season
■ Bowling Green (8-0) vs. Murfreesboro (Tenn.) Blackman (8-1)
■ Pulaski County (10-0) finished regular season
■ Boyle County (9-0) vs. Whitley County (1-8)
■ Johnson Central (9-0) at Belfry (9-0)
■ Belfry (9-0) vs. Johnson Central (9-0)
■ Bourbon County (9-0) vs. Clark County (2-7)
■ Mason County (9-0) vs. Covington Scott (7-2)
■ Wayne County (9-0) vs. Rockcastle County (2-7)
■ Caldwell County (9-0) vs. Mayfield (9-0)
■ Louisville Christian (9-0) at Male (8-1)
■ Mayfield (9-0) at Caldwell County (9-0)