This is the fourth in a series of stories previewing high school football teams in Lexington before the start of the 2017 season on Aug. 18:
Coach: Eric Shaw (fifth year)
Last season: 13-2 (lost to Trinity in Class 6A finals)
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Outlook: Gone are two Southeastern Conference athletes in Walker Wood (UK) and Jedrick Wills (Alabama), as well as 1,000-yard receiver Quinton Brown, but Lafayette’s championship expectations remain unfettered. A second straight trip to the Class 6A championship game — a feat never accomplished by a Lexington school before last season — has the Generals hungry for a third visit and their first title victory. “I believe that they believe that they’re expected to go out there and win just like that group last year,” Shaw said.
Linebacker Ean Shaw, an Associated Press All-State first-team selection as a junior, headlines a defense that’s expected to carry the torch for Lafayette, at least early on. “He’s getting a lot of attention,” Eric Shaw said. “There’s no mid-majors or D-I’s that have pulled the trigger on him just yet, but he’s gonna be fine. I’m not concerned about that at all.”
KJ Cooper, a senior defensive back, tied the team-high with five interceptions as a junior. Demarco Fishback, a junior DB, will be a menace. The offensive and defensive lines don’t return a wealth of on-field experience but should be bigger, by overall average, than in recent seasons, Eric Shaw said.
Other major contributors: Austin Blake (jr. LB), Dekwan Edwards (senior WR), Matt Guilfoil (sr. WR), Cameron Morgan (sr. RB), Tyler Moore (jr. OL/DL), Teandre Newcomb (jr. WR), Tyrone Williams (sr. DL),
Dekwan Edwards, who caught 24 passes for 396 yards and five touchdowns as a junior last season, thinks the team will be fine, leadership-wise, after losing 25 seniors to graduation in May.
“We can’t focus too much on losing people, because if you’re stuck on that, you’re stuck in the past and can’t move forward,” Edwards said.
Edwards has worked on getting faster in the offseason. He’s hoping to play college football but is waiting to see how his outlook appears after the season.
“I’ve put so much time and effort into the game since I was about 7 years old, so why go back now?” Edwards said. “I’m gonna play as long as I can.”
Shaw: “I think the class of seniors that we have has a great opportunity to be successful because of the last few years. We have lost some very big-time players over the last couple of years. However, this group has a lot of talent in it. ...
“I don’t expect us to drop off just because we graduated those players. Those players can’t be replaced and they shouldn’t be. It’s about developing what we have and moving forward with the foundation we have started some years ago.”
Ean Shaw: “We’ve got a lot of stuff to prove to people and we’re ready to play. I’m ready to show a lot of people a lot of stuff.”
(All times p.m.; home games in capital letters)
Aug. 18: x-Bryan Station, 8:30
Aug. 25: SCOTT CO., 9
Sept. 1: At Lex. Catholic, 7:30
Sept. 8: FREDERICK DOUGLASS, 7:30
Sept. 15: At Cincinnati Moeller, 7:30
Sept. 22: At Henry Clay, 7:30
Sept. 29: PAUL DUNBAR, 7:30
Oct. 6: CLARK CO., 7:30
Oct. 13: At Madison Central, 7:30
Oct. 20: At Tates Creek, 7:30
x-Fayette County Bowl at Tates Creek