Raceland's Adam Elkins threw for 190 yards and a touchdown in leading the Rams to a 42-6 victory at Greenup County last Saturday. Afterward, the Rams' sophomore quarterback was presented the game ball, not because of his statistics, but because of his poised performance under the most difficult of circumstances.
The week before, when Raceland was playing at Pikeville, Adam's father Morgan Elkins suffered a heart attack while at the game. He passed away later that night at a Pikeville hospital. Adam didn't know about what had happened until after the game. He did get to the hospital before his dad died.
Morgan Elkins was 43.
While Adam and the Raceland football community were dealing with that tragedy, they were hit again. In the next couple of days, Rams senior Monty Harris and assistant coach Mike Salmons each lost a grandparent.
Sign Up and Save
Get six months of free digital access to the Lexington Herald-Leader
"A very, very tough week for everyone," Coach T.J. Maynard said, "but especially for Adam. As a coach, you've got to be there for your players in good times and bad. But as another coach, a good friend of mine, told me, there's no playbook for this."
Greenup County agreed to move the game from Friday to Saturday to give the Rams more time to recover. When kickoff came, Adam Elkins channeled his energy and emotions, and played the best game of his life.
"If I didn't have my teammates and family behind me, I couldn't have done it," said Adam, whose mom Melinda and brother Chad were in attendance at Greenup County, along with more than 20 aunts, uncles and cousins. "The only thing on my mind was trying to win the game, thinking the whole time I was going to win it for my dad."
Adam, 15, held his composure until he got on the team bus. "That's when I kinda broke down," he said. "My dad taught me everything, and he never missed a game. It was weird that he wasn't there anymore."
Maynard said Elkins' performance was "unbelievable. A lot of credit has to go to his family for instilling that kind of character in the young man. And a lot of credit goes to his teammates, school and community for their support. It's like we're one big family."
■ How impressive was Trinity in its 56-7 rout of Cincinnati Elder last week? The Shamrocks outgained Elder 586-181 and handed the Panthers their worst loss since 1960. "In my 15 years that's probably one of the top five teams we've played," Elder Coach Doug Ramsey told the Cincinnati Enquirer. "I think they have a chance to run the table and with the way they're beating people, they've got a chance to be a national champion." Trinity junior standout James Quick had seven catches for 143 yards and three TDs. Junior Dayln Dawkins ran for 124 yards and two TDs.
■ Chasing Derek Homer: Johnson Central's J.J. Jude ran for 358 yards in a rout of St. Thomas More, Canada. Jude has 6,514 career yards, 1,710 shy of Homer's state record of 8,224. Central's Anthony Wales ran for 230 yards in a win over Ballard. He has 6,319 in his career, 1,905 behind Homer.
■ Glasgow tight end Hunter Bowles, who got a football offer from UK this week, is part of a talented senior class for the unbeaten Scotties. Coach Rick Wood said QB Parker Cash, WR Lajuan Smith and RB Jalen Sublett are getting looks from Murray, UT-Martin and EKU. Cash and Smith hooked up on a 99-yard TD pass play in last week's 14-0 victory over Allen County-Scottsville.
■ Harlan junior QB Ty Saragas completed 22 of 35 passes for a school-record 377 yards, three TDs and one interception in a 48-42 overtime win against Middlesboro. Saragas has thrown for 915 yards and nine TDs this season after passing for 1,877 yards and 25 TDs last year. "He reads defenses really well. He calls about half our plays at the line of scrimmage," Coach J.B. Donahue said. "And he locates the ball well." Saragas outdueled Middlesboro QB Chase Roark, who was 19-for-45 for 279 yards, three TDs and three picks. The Yellowjackets missed a short field goal in the closing seconds of regulation that would have won it.
■ Before he became a football coaching icon at Eastern Kentucky, Roy Kidd was a successful coach at Richmond Madison and Model. Kidd's former high school players, assistant coaches, managers and cheerleaders will hold a luncheon for him on Sept. 23 to mark his 80th birthday. The get-together will be at the Arlington Club.
■ Perry Central stayed unbeaten with a 48-21 win over Lawrence County. Kyle Huff passed for 261 yards and four TDs, and Austin Pray had six catches for 159 yards and 2 TDs. Matthew Robinson had 19 tackles and an 84-yard interception return for a score.
■ A tidbit from the Kentucky New Era newspaper: Madisonville's 62-7 rout of Hopkinsville last week dropped the Tigers to 0-4 for the first time in 59 years.
■ Bryan Station's Everett Talbert, not Jaysuma Webb, had the 80-yard interception return for a TD against Clark County last week. The stats crew mistakenly credited Webb with the pick-six. He did have a 92-yard interception return for a score against Anderson County.
■ Southwestern's Dustin Powell rushed for 300 yards and five TDs in a 49-21 win over Marion County.
■ Jonathan Jackson ran for 150 yards and two TDs as Mayfield ended Murray's 29-game regular-season winning streak, 35-7. Defending 1A champ Mayfield has won 19 in a row.
■ Highlands QB Patrick Towles, who's committed to UK, threw for 300 yards and three TDs in the first half of a 56-0 rout of Western.
■ Defending 14th Region boys' basketball champ Perry County Central could be getting a boost from a high-profile transfer. Jaysean Paige, who averaged 26 points and eight rebounds while leading his Jamestown team to New York's Class 2A finals last season, moved to Hazard with his family. Perry Central principal Estill Neace confirmed that Paige was enrolled, and that the school was in the process of filing eligibility papers with the KHSAA. Perry Central Coach Allan Hatcher said he has seen Paige, a 6-foot-1 senior, in gym class "and he looks like a talented athlete." Hatcher said Paige is also considering playing football for the Commodores. Perry Central returns five key players from last year's Sweet Sixteen team — Braxton Beverly, Trevor Combs, Dalton Cornett, Austin Pray and Kyle Huff.
■ Franklin County senior Ashli Mayes committed to play college basketball at Samford. She has more than 1,350 points and 650 rebounds.
■ LCA basketball standout Taylor Barnette, best known for his three-point shooting, is in the midst of weekend visits to Wofford, Central Florida and Samford, according to LCA assistant coach Brad Carter.
■ Kentucky high school basketball will be without its biggest national star this season. Owensboro Catholic junior Becca Greenwell suffered a torn ACL while playing in a USA game in Italy last Sunday. Owensboro Catholic Coach Ray Zuberer said in an email that Greenwell returned home Monday and "was pretty devastated after an MRI on Tuesday. But she's doing better today." Before her injury, Greenwell, who has 2,821 points in her career, had a shot at the state's all-time record of 4,948 points set by Jaime Walz of Highlands 15 years ago.
■ Lexington Christian Academy senior golfer Hager Collins has committed to Pepperdine University in Malibu, Calif. He also had an offer from Notre Dame. Collins has played for LCA since he was an eighth-grader, and was part of the Eagles' state championship team last fall, and the LCA teams that finished second, third and fourth the previous three years. Collins won the All "A" Classic individual title last weekend, shooting a 4-under 68 at Silos Country Club near Paducah.
■ North Hardin's Lydia Gumm, Sacred Heart's Katie Page and West Jessamine's Grace Rose are among the top golfers who'll compete in the girls' Henry Clay Invitational Tournament at Lakeside on Saturday. Seven teams rated in the top 10 by the state's coaches are in the field: No. 1 Sacred Heart, No. 2 Green County, No. 4 Glasgow, No. 5 Shelby County, No. 7 Russell County, No. 8 Henry Clay and No. 10 Scott County.
■ Lexington Catholic senior right-handed pitcher Zachary Haynes has committed to Indiana University. He chose the Hoosiers over Miami of Ohio. Haynes had a 4-0 record and 2.00 ERA for the region champ Knights last spring.
■ Henry Clay's ice hockey program lost one of its own when John "J.D." Harnett II died last month. He was 26. Sue Harnett, J.D.'s mother, is starting a scholarship fund that will help pay the fees for one Henry Clay hockey player each season. Mrs. Harnett can be reached at (859) 361-6081.
■ The 56th annual Trinity Invitational, the oldest cross country meet in the state, is Saturday at E.P. "Tom" Sawyer State Park. It will be held in conjunction with Sacred Heart's Valkyrie Invitational. The two meets will have 124 schools from six states.