It was an incredible year in Kentucky for high school football. But after 15 weeks, it’s time to look back on the teams and players that made this season so spectacular. Here are the KSR Preps Awards for the 2016 season.
Team of the Year: Bowling Green Purples (15-0)- The 5A state champs wrapped up their fifth title in six years with a 70-22 win over Pulaski last week. BGHS pumped out five shutouts and allowed just over ten points per game in their historic season. The Purples averaged over 48 points per game on offense thanks to an elite trio of skill players. Clark Payne threw 44 touchdowns and only 4 picks while totaling 3,840 yards in a season where he rarely played in the fourth quarter. Mr. Football candidate Jamale Carothers had 38 total touchdowns as a senior and DeAngelo Wilson caught 16 touchdowns from Payne. The Purples now have the state’s longest winning streak at 27 games after winning back-to-back titles under Kevin Wallace. (Honorable mention: Belfry, Trinity)
Coach of the Year: John Hines, Pulaski County: This may not be the most popular pick in the state, but it’s the right one. Pulaski County lost perhaps the best QB in the state in Riley Hall last year, and had to prepare for a new look on offense in 2016. New QB Wiley Cain broke his collarbone in week one and Hines prepped tight end Matt Hendricks to start for the next six weeks. Hendricks posted a 4-1 record as a starter. Hines also lost running backs Jaylon Conwell and Cole Gates to injury before Conwell left the team, a former player was tragically killed as well as linebackers Konnor Hargis and Jaxon Morgan. This was all while starting safety and running back Jake New battled various injuries all season. Hines started the postseason with a sophomore QB, two defensive backs at running back, and a defensive that was banged up. The Maroons went all the way to the title game in 5A and beat Southwestern in the regional title. It could have been a broken season, but Hines kept the winning tradition going to reach four consecutive title games. (Honorable mention: Kevin Wallace, Stefan Lefors)
Player of the Year: Jake Johnson- Johnson is the most talented player in the state and can do things on a field I’ve never seen before. The senior wide receiver leaves Pulaski County as the KHSAA’s all-time leader in receptions and receiving yards and is the single season receptions leader as well. With a Pulaski team that saw nearly every one of their stars go down with injury, Johnson played through pain for 15 weeks to lead the Maroons to a state runner up trophy. Because his stats are so prolific, this graphic is all we can do to truly show how special Johnson was over the last four seasons.
Check out Jake Johnson’s Hudl if you want to be impressed. Count the amount of one handed snags in his profile.
(Honorable mention: Jamale Carothers, Walker Wood, Joe Jackson)
— Trey Huntsman (@TreyHuntsmanKSR) December 6, 2016
KSR Preps All-State Team
All stats, no recruiting stars.
OL: Cole Bentley (Belfry), Austin Dotson (Belfry), Colby McKee (Scott County), JeDrick Wills (Lafayette)
RB: Joe Jackson, Johnson Central (157 carries, 2,049 yards, 31 TD)
RB: Jamale Carothers, Bowling Green (181 carries, 1,410 yards, 27 TD, 45 catches, 884 yards, 11 TD)
RB: Kent Phelps, Paintsville ( 186 carries, 2,044 yards, 32 TD, Three Receiving TD)
WR: Jake Johnson, Pulaski County (139 catches, 1,701 yards, 18 TD)
WR: Jordan Gunter, Ballard (90 catches, 1,589 yards, 15 TD)
QB Clark Payne, Bowling Green (215/315, 3,840 yards, 44 TD, 4 INT, Three Rushing TD)
DB: Jake Johnson, Pulaski County (Nine INT, Two TD, Three FR, 32 tackles), Devin Varney, Belfry (Six INT, TD, Two FR, 47 tackles), CJ Hayes, South Warren (Five INT, Two TD, 25 tackles), Robert Sheffield, Male (Five INT, Two TD, 74 tackles)
LB Ricky Maxey, Pulaski County (184 tackles, 2 INT, 1 FR), Brian Carter, Simon Kenton (158 tackles, INT), Owen Finke, Holy Cross (101 tackles, Two INT, Three FR), Jackson Mobley, Pulaski County (138 tackles, INT, Six FR)
DL Rayquan Horton, Belfy (81 tackles, Two FR), Dalan Cofer, Bowling Green (101 tackles, 18 TFL, Nine sacks, 1 FF/FR), Austin Daulton, Southwestern (67 tackles, Two FR)
K: D.C Bowlin, Williamsburg (Nine Field Goals, 32 XP)
ST: Dmauriae VanCleave, Danville (Five Return Touchdowns)
Class Players of the Years
1A: Kent Phelps, Paintsville
2A: Trajon Bright, Mayfield
3A: WanDale Robinson, Western Hills
4A: Joe Jackson, Johnson Central
5A : Jake Johnson, Pulaski County
6A: Walker Wood, Lafayette