Jamale Carothers, a three-time state champion who rushed for almost 6,000 yards during his career at Bowling Green, has been named Kentucky’s 31st Mr. Football by the Associated Press.
Carothers, who has commited to the Naval Academy, was named MVP of the 2016 Class 5A finals. He rushed for 5,731 yards during his career, including 1,410 during his senior year to lead the Purples to their third title in the last four seasons. He scored 38 touchdowns — 27 rushing — for the Purples in 2016 and was Bowling Green’s leading scorer his final three seasons. He is the school’s second Mr. Football, joining Nacarius Fant (2013).
Bowling Green’s 70-22 win over Pulaski County in December was the largest in the history of any state finals. The Purples scored 727 points in 2016, the 17th most in a single season.
Bowling Green went 55-3 while Carothers was with the program. During his time there, he was part of two teams that contributed to a 48-game win streak, the second-longest consecutive streak in state history. The program will start the 2017 season with a 27-game win streak, the 13th longest streak in state history.
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Carothers won the award over seven other finalists, including Lafayette star Walker Wood. The University of Kentucky commit would have been Lexington’s first football had he won. The other finalists were: Landon Arnett (Mayfield), Spencer Blackburn (Trinity), Geordan Blanton (Johnson Central), Trajon Bright (Mayfield), Jake Johnson (Pulaski County) and Tanner Morgan (Ryle).
Carothers extended Western Kentucky’s record total of Mr. Football winners to 13, now six more than any other region of the state. Louisville has produced seven winners while Eastern Kentucky and Northern Kentucky have each produced four. Three Mr. Football winners have come from Central Kentucky: Harrodsburg’s Dennis Johnson in 1997, Boyle County’s Jeff Duggins in 2001 and Boyle County’s Lamar Dawson in 2010.
Johnson Central’s Jim Matney and Christian Academy of Louisville’s Stefan LeFors were named co-Coaches of the Year by the Associated Press on Thursday. Both coaches led their programs to their first state championships in 2016.
The Associated Press All-State teams also were released. Lafayette’s Wood and Jedrick Wills were each named to the first team offense along with Scott County’s Colby McKee (offensive lineman) and Madison Central’s Landon White (kicker).
Click here to view the complete 2017 Associated Press All-State football teams.
Lexington Catholic lineman Woodford Lankford was named to the second-team offense while Knights defensive back Jack Fagot made the second-team defense. Bryan Station lineman Quinten Floyd was also named to the second-team defense. Danville’s Donlevy Harris (linebacker) and Scott County’s Cooper Robb (defensive back) also represented Central Kentucky on the second-team defense.
Honorable mentions from Lexington were Jackson Beerman (Tates Creek, wide receiver), Cameron Morgan (Lafayette, running back) and Dillon Wheatley (Lexington Christian, running back).