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Some questions have been answered for Ashland heading into the 2013 season. Who will take over for long time Head Coach Leon Hart? Tony Love will. Will anyone make fun of the fact that one coach is named “Hart”, and the other is named “Love”? Yes, they will. Will Coach Love stick with the Spread Offense? No, he will not. Will the Putnam Stadium renovations be completed prior to the start of the 2013 season? No, not even close, not even started.

However, some question remain for the Tomcats. What offense will Ashland run? It looks like it is going to be a hybrid of the wishbone from the pistol formation. In reality, the type of offense is going to be, “Hand the ball to Quintin Baker”. In 2012 the gifted freshman became the power behind the Ashland offense, and that is only going to get better in 2013. Baker, the son of former Trigg County and University of Kentucky running back Al Baker, is starting to look a great deal like his father. Look for what ever offense the Tomcats run to have a heavy dose of Sophomore Quintin Baker in it.

The next question: is Aaron Elam going to play? Elam, who was the Tomcat quarterback last season, has been rumored to have quit football after being asked to move to full back. If the rumor turns out to be true, it will be a shame. Elam is probably more of a full back then a quarterback. He has great arm strength, but his real talent is his strength and gritty personality that allows him to be a fierce runner. Being at full back would have worked to his strength and hide his weakness - not an accurate passer. Here’s to hoping Elam decides to stay with the team, because he can be a real asset.

Next: who is going to be the quarterback? Hunter Prince. Elam will be a senior and Prince will be a junior and the writing is on the wall that Coach Love wants to get Prince in the game this year, not next. Prince has a great up side and is more of a quarterback that Ashland wants for the next two years. Look for Prince to hit the ground running in the Tomcat offense. A good choice to put Prince in at quarterback.

That brings us to: Where’s the beef? Ashland’s Offensive Line was decimated by graduation. They are going to a new offense that will only be better with a quality offensive line, and they are going to have to develop that line quickly. Luke Johnson is back and the new line will be built around him. Linemen, Ashland needs them quick, fast and in a hurry.

The big question: Can Ashland get a big win over Northern Kentucky this year in the playoffs? Nope. Not this year. Ashland has some quality players returning, but has a lot to develop before they will compete with Highlands and Covington Catholic. And, this will not be the year that happens.

Questions left to answer: Will Ashland win a playoff game this year? Will they beat Johnson Central? Will the Tomcat fans be sending “hart” shaped valentines to Coach Love? Or, will they reminisce, thinking back of Coach Hart with “love”?

Players to Watch:

  1. Quintin Baker (So. RB/DL 5’11” 160) - Baker is the engine that fuels Ashland this year. If Baker has a great season, Ashland will do well. If he has injury problems, it will be a long year for the Tomcats.
  2. Hunter Prince (Jr. QB 6’0” 155) - Prince may have some early growing pains but look for him to take over the offense and fit the quarterback position well.
  3. Luke Johnson (Sr. OL/DL 6’0” 245) - Johnson will be the leader on the OL/DL for the Tomcats this season. Look for him to have a great season after putting in a lot of work in the offseason. Johnson is a solid player to build your OL/DL around.
  4. Aaron Elam (Sr. QB/FB 5’11” 210) - If he plays, Elam can be a great asset to the Tomcats, and even a star. Sometimes players have to put their ego aside and do what is needed for the team. Hope this is one of those times for Elam.