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Madisonville has one of the top rushers in the entire country


Madisonville North Hopkins, my high school alma mater, is not a high school that is rich in athletic tradition, talent, or success. I say that with love.

But every once in a while, the Maroons find some magic.

Earlier this year, the Maroons’ basketball team made it to the Sweet 16 for the first time in almost two decades, which was a lot of fun. A couple of years ago, the softball team won the state championship, only the second KHSAA state title for a Madisonville team in school history (the other was girls’ golf). It was a pretty big deal.

There have been some individual stars to come out of those Hanson Road hallways, too. Some that come to mind are: Frank Ramsey, a member of Kentucky’s 1951 NCAA championship team and a seven-time NBA champion with the Boston Celtics; Sonny Collins, UK’s all-time leading rusher until Benny Snell broke his record last year; Travis Ford, a former UK point guard who is among UK’s all-time leaders in assists and free-throw percentage; and of course, me, a former senior captain on the Madisonville golf team. We didn’t win many matches or tournaments that year (none actually), but we played with a lot of heart and we had brand new golf bags and uniforms, thanks to a generous donation from Paul Alan’s grandparents. And I still think my 51-38 in the regional tournament is one of the more underrated stories in the history of Kentucky high school athletics. At the turn, following a horrible front nine, I said I wouldn’t shoot 90. And I didn’t.

Anyway, Madisonville may have found its next big thing in current running back Jeriah Hightower on the Maroons’ undefeated football team. Hightower was leading the ENTIRE COUNTRY in rushing yards until a couple of days ago. He has since dropped to fifth nationally with 960 yards through the first four games, an average of 240 yards per game and 10 yards per carry.

Hightower is currently an unranked, two-star prospect in the rankings, and an unrated and unranked player on He has only two D1 scholarship offers — from Illinois State and UT Martin — and has not heard from anyone on Kentucky’s staff, but folks will have to start paying attention if he keeps running like this:

And showing up on lists like this:

I have a good feeling you will be hearing a lot more about this kid in the coming months; who knows, maybe UK will pick up interest and maybe even have a spot for him in the backfield.

Until then, Go Maroons forever.

Article written by Drew Franklin

I can recite every line from Forrest Gump, blindfolded. Follow me on Twitter: @DrewFranklinKSR

10 Comments for Madisonville has one of the top rushers in the entire country

  1. T-wah
    7:46 pm September 19, 2019 Permalink

    Jeriah is a great kid with a bright future. In addition to being a tremendous running back, he’s also a great student, a leader, and has high character. I know the kid and am super-proud of him. He’ll be a real asset wherever he goes.

  2. Cole28
    8:08 pm September 19, 2019 Permalink

    Nice catch, Drew. I know this job requires a lot of research.

  3. imabucket
    8:10 pm September 19, 2019 Permalink

    So is he a senior this year ? If so that kinda sucks since we are prettt much set at running back this year . But how did this kid just come out of nowhere like that ?

  4. runningunnin.454
    8:40 pm September 19, 2019 Permalink

    “Not rich in athletic tradition” Then you mention Ramsey, Collins, and Ford. How rich you want to be? Ha ha ha.

    • RAGE
      8:42 pm September 19, 2019 Permalink

      My thoughts exactly lol…

    • michaelb
      11:12 pm September 19, 2019 Permalink

      And my buddy & teammate Michael Haney … he was conference player of the year at eku his senior year . That’s kinda of a big deal in my opinion

  5. zoupman
    8:43 pm September 19, 2019 Permalink

    Who is he posing against? I wouldn’t expect him to get 60 yards total if his team played Lou. Male

    • JASUN74
      12:09 am September 21, 2019 Permalink

      What the hell is wrong with you dude? A High School kid does well and that’s all you got? Man you’re just an awesome. You have no idea if this kid is any good, but you have an opinion on him?? This isn’t your first post like this and I’m sure it won’t be your last, but you better believe every time I see one, I’ll call your fat ass out!! You fat piece of trash.

  6. sportsbird66
    10:36 pm September 19, 2019 Permalink

    My team went the the Final 4 in basketball in 1984 at Madisonville. I also went with my team Rotherham State Cross Country Championships From 1981 through 1985. Been lots of other teams,sports and individuals make it. Lots of tradition.

  7. ImaDapperDanMan
    10:44 am September 20, 2019 Permalink

    He’s certainly got the name to be big time.