High School Sports

High school notebook: Recent tragedies jarring for Bryan Station

Bryan Station head coach Frank Parks Jr. coaching against Tates Creek in the first half at R. L. Grider Stadium Stadium in Lexington, Ky., Friday, September 26, 2014. Photo by Matt Goins
Bryan Station head coach Frank Parks Jr. coaching against Tates Creek in the first half at R. L. Grider Stadium Stadium in Lexington, Ky., Friday, September 26, 2014. Photo by Matt Goins Herald-Leader

Before reviewing some high school highlights, condolences to Bryan Station's football family.

Jeff Adams, a starting lineman for the Defenders last season, was killed in a shooting late last week. He was 19. Patrick Puckett, a standout linebacker at Bryan Station in 2012, was killed in a shooting in 2013. He was 18. Needless deaths of young people are difficult to accept. "You put in a lot of time with these kids, and they become like your own kids," Bryan Station Coach Frank Parks said. "You try to help them through life, beyond football, so when you hear about these young kids dying, it's tough."

■ Glasgow Coach Rick Wood thinks he has the best running back in the state not named Damien Harris. Glasgow's Marquez Trigg rushed for 252 yards and four TDs in last week's win over Green County.

The 6-foot-1, 200-pound senior pushed his career totals to 4,019 yards and 65 TDs. Trigg's numbers could be a lot higher if he had been Glasgow's featured back, but as a sophomore and junior he split carries with Quentel Bradley. "Around this area Marquez draws comparisons to Antonio Andrews when he was at Fort Campbell," Wood said.

Andrews quarterbacked Fort Campbell to two state titles, was named Mr. Football, and went on to star at Western Kentucky University. He's now with the Tennessee Titans. Trigg doesn't have blazing speed — he runs a 4.6 40 — "but he's got tremendous vision, he's got power, and when he gets in the open field he's got moves," Wood said. "And he's really durable."

Trigg also plays rover on defense. "He's just an unbelievable kid. If he doesn't make first-team all-state, I'll puke," Wood said.

■ Corbin first-year coach Justin Haddix, a former standout quarterback at Breathitt County and WKU, says his "background is offense, offense, offense."

The Redhounds have opened up their offense more under Haddix, with quarterback Corey Taylor having thrown for 1,397 yards and 21 TDs this year. Jake Coppock is a weapon at several spots. But Corbin's defense has been stellar, too.

It's giving up fewer than 100 yards rushing and 100 yards passing a game. In a 21-20 win against Bell County last week, Corbin stopped a two-point conversion try by the Bobcats in overtime.

Haddix credits defensive coordinator Tom Greer, a former head coach and assistant at Bell County, for the Redhounds' strong play. The defense is led by senior linebackers Dalton Anderson and Tanner Powers, and junior defensive end Harley Lambert.

Another reason for Corbin's success is that it two platoons, which is unusual for a 3A team. That enables the Redhounds to be fresher on both sides of the ball late in games. Corbin has won seven games in a row since a season-opening loss to Pulaski County, and Haddix has seen his team make strides.

"But we haven't played our best game yet, not even close," he said. "That's what makes it exciting. Sometimes you think you've maxed out, but we haven't. We haven't put everything together on a Friday night yet."

■ Johnson Central is one of 10 undefeated football teams left in Kentucky, and Coach Jim Matney couldn't be more surprised.

"It's been a really remarkable year," he said. "We had to replace almost our entire offensive team, and we only have five seniors playing much. I was very skeptical at the beginning of the year about how good we could be."

The Golden Eagles are 8-0 for the fourth time since 2006. "Our younger guys have really stepped up," Matney said.

In years past Johnson Central has had a featured running back (including J.J. Jude and Daymion Belcher). This season it's been a group effort, with Bryce Skaggs, Connor Ratliff and Gunner Slone sharing the load with quarterback Bryce Workman.

Johnson Central has a difficult finish to the regular season. It hosts district rival Ashland Blazer on Friday night, and defending 3A champ Belfry next week.

Elijah Sindelar could tie or break the state record for career TD passes when the Tigers host Crittenden County on Friday night. Sindelar threw for three TDs in Caldwell County's 31-24 victory over Murray last week to push his career total to 130. The state record is 133, shared by Tim Couch of Leslie County and Ricky Bowling of South Laurel. Sindelar, who has committed to Purdue, has passed for 11,577 yards, fourth-most in state history.

■ Defending Class 6A champ Scott County's 22-game winning streak ended with a 28-23 loss at Bryan Station last week.

Afterward, Cardinals Coach Jim McKee recalled a conversation he had with his son Clay when the Connecticut women's basketball team was in the midst of winning 90 consecutive games from 2008 to 2010.

"Clay said to me, 'Dad, the UConn women are going to win forever.' I said, 'No they're not! Somebody's going to beat them.' And they did. I knew we weren't going to win forever. I knew we'd lose a game. And we did."

■ Defending 2A champ DeSales had its 14-game winning streak snapped with a 17-0 loss to unbeaten Louisville Christian. It was the first time in 57 games the Colts were shut out. Louisville Holy Cross blanked them 12-0 in 2010.

■ Owensboro Catholic junior quarterback Ray Zuberer Jr. threw eight TD passes for the second week in a row in the Aces' 57-20 win over Union County. Zuberer has passed for 2,863 yards and 46 TDs this year.

■ Pulaski County junior George Gregory, getting his first start at quarterback, ran for 195 yards and five TDs, and passed for 234 yards and three TDs in a 56-20 rout of South Laurel.

A standout receiver, Gregory had 75 catches for 1,315 yards and 15 TDs the last two years. But when Maroons star QB Riley Hall broke his collarbone against Madison Southern, George took the reins.

■ Whitley County trailed Harlan County 32-14 early in the fourth quarter but rallied for a 34-32 victory. Colonels quarterback Luke Woods threw for a school-record 386 yards, and had three TD passes in the fourth quarter.

■ Greenwood senior cornerback Will Adams has set school records with nine interceptions this season and 16 in his career. Coach Chris Seabolt said Adams' success at picking off passes comes from learning how to play the Gators' cover-3 zone defense.

"He's learned to stay deep and be patient," Seabolt said. Bell County's Harvey Miracle set the state record for picks in a season with 16 in 1987. Steve Shaw of Iroquois set the career record with 34 in 1979-81.

Gary Ball and Christi Thomas will be calling the Male-Manual game for the fifth year in a row as part of iHigh's Great American Rivalry series.

The announcers have connections to both teams. When Male Coach Chris Wolfe played at Highlands, Ball called his games on the radio. Ball's nephew, Kalib Ball, played for Oliver Lucas at Bryan Station before Lucas left to coach at Manual. Thomas' dad, Mike Thomas, was Wolfe's defensive coach at Campbellsville University.

■ No football teams in Kentucky have played each other more often than Northern Kentucky rivals Bellevue and Ludlow. They met for the 135th time last week. Bellevue won for the seventh year in a row and leads the 88-year-old series 90-42-3.

■ This week in high school football in 1988: Lincoln County finished the regular season 10-0 with a 16-0 win over Woodford County. Michael Penman ran for 229 yards and two TDs to lead the Patriots. ... Mel Chandler's 25-yard field goal early in the fourth quarter was the difference as Corbin stayed unbeaten with a 3-0 victory over Cawood. ... Williamsburg, led by Mark Huddleston's two TDs, beat previously unbeaten Beechwood 14-12.

Walker Buehler (Henry Clay), who helped Vanderbilt win the College World Series last season, is rated the fifth-best pitching prospect for the 2015 draft. As a sophomore last season, the right-hander had a 12-2 record and 2.64 earned-run average for Vandy. He had 111 strikeouts and only 31 walks in 102 innings.

Greg Shewmaker is the new softball coach at Lexington Christian Academy after serving as an Eagles assistant the past four years.

■ Paul Laurence Dunbar swimmer Madison Winstead is at a National Select Camp at the Olympic Training Center in Colorado this weekend. Winstead was invited to the camp after an eighth-place finish in the 100-meter breaststroke at the Junior Nationals in California. Her time of 1:11.01 also qualified her for the Olympic Trials that will be held in 2016.