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Lexington Christian, Bryan Station coaches honored by KFCA; North Hardin standout Wright earns award

By Chad Hensley
KyForward sports reporter

The Kentucky Football Coaches Association has released its district players and coaches of the year award winners, and the list is loaded with talent.

There were 94 selections made of the 96 spots available (one coach and player per district) as only coaches who are dues-paying members of the KFCA were allowed to vote. The awards are based on regular-season performances.

North Hardin’s La’Vell Wright has been named Player of the Year in Class 6A District 2. (Photo by Chuck Feist)

Some of the standout performers that were labeled as the Player of the Year for their respective district were La’Vell Wright (North Hardin), Tristan Cox (Pulaski County), Gavin Wimsatt (Owensboro), Jordan Dingle (Bowling Green), Fred Farrier (Franklin County), Braedon Sloan (Wayne County), Will McDaniel (Boyle County), Isaac Dixon (Belfry), Keontae Pittman (Ashland Blazer), Leetavious Cline (West Carter), Kaiya Sheron (Somerset), Cameron Hergott (Beechwood) and Gavon Thomas (Williamsburg).

Lexington Christian’s Doug Charles was named Coach of the Year in Class 2A District 4, while Bryan Station’s Phillip Hawkins earned the honor in Class 6A District 8.

Charles has guided Lexington Christian to the Class 2A state quarterfinals. The Eagles (8-1) are also ranked No. 1 in the Class 2A state poll. Lexington Christian has knocked off defending Class 2A state champion Somerset twice this season and also owns wins against DeSales, Lexington Catholic, Pikeville and Paul Laurence Dunbar.

Bryan Station has enjoyed one of the biggest turnarounds in state history, going from a 3-8 record in 2019 to a 10-1 mark this season. Hawkins has led the Defenders into the Class 6A state quarterfinals, where they will meet Paul Laurence Dunbar on Friday.

There were just 13 schools that completed undefeated regular seasons, with the most notable being Sayre (8-0). The Spartans were in their first full season on varsity football and firmly planted their foot on the high school football landscape in Kentucky for years to come as a team to look out for in Class 1A.

Of those 13 schools with undefeated regular seasons, eight had coaches that represented their respective district as the Coach of the Year, including Elizabethtown (Ross Brown), Ashland Blazer (Tony Love), Boyle County (Justin Haddix), Johnson Central (Jim Matney), Russell County (Ryan Richardson), Owensboro (Jayson Fallin), South Warren (Brandon Smith) and North Hardin.

Johnson Central was perfect (15-0) a year ago, winning the Class 4A state championship. (Photo by Lisa Lemaster)

After the first two rounds of the playoffs, the list of unbeaten teams is down to just eight as Sayre, Louisville Central, Russell County, Scott County and South Warren have all suffered season-ending losses. One more will undefeated team will fall this weeks as Fairdale, which is currently 7-0, travels to Owensboro to take on the talented Red Devils (10-0).

Four coaches reached milestone career victory marks this season, with the most notable being Phillip Haywood at Belfry. Haywood, who is the state’s all-time winningest coach, recorded victory number 450 when the Pirates opened the season with a 33-13 triumph over Pulaski County.

Haywood currently sits with a 456-140 record in 46 seasons with seven state titles.

Matney eclipsed the 300-win plateau, Chris McNamee (Pikeville) earned his 200th career win and Meade County’s Larry Mofield earned his 100th win at the helm of the Green Wave.

2020 undefeated regular seasons (head coach)

Class 1A – Sayre 8-0 (Chad Pennington)
Class 3A – Elizabethtown 8-0 (Ross Brown)
Class 3A – Ashland Blazer 6-0 (Tony Love)
Class 4A – Boyle County 7-0 (Justin Haddix)
Class 4A – Jim Matney 7-0 (Johnson Central)
Class 4A – Louisville Central 5-0 (Marvin Dantzler)
Class 4A – Russell County 6-0 (Ryan Richardson)
Class 5A – Fairdale 5-0 (Louis Dover)
Class 5A – Owensboro 8-0 (Jayson Fallin)
Class 5A – Scott County 6-0 (Jim McKee)
Class 5A – South Warren 5-0 (Brandon Smith)
Class 6A – North Hardin 7-0 (Brent Thompson)
Class 6A – Trinity 6-0 (Bob Beatty)

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