Northern Kentucky Power Rankings: Pre-Season

  1. #1
    by Colonels_Wear_Blue is online now Moderator
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    1) 5A Covington Catholic (15-0 in 2017) – The Colonels have a heck of an act to follow after an undefeated state championship season in 2017. Job one is replacing graduates linebacker/running back Grant Dyer, linebacker/tight end Kam Butler, quarterback AJ Mayer, defensive back/receiver Malachi Pike, and safety Adam Schneider. Most indications are that sophomore Caleb Jacob will be getting the nod as QB after a very strong freshman season for the Colonels. Casey McGinness will be returning for a 3rd year at starting RB, and receivers Jack Coldiron, Zach Coburn, and Luke Summe will be returning as well, along with the entire Colonel offensive line. Notre Dame commit Michael Mayer, junior, will lead the defense, but there are a lot of positions to be filled elsewhere on the D. Sophomore kicker Trey Gronotte also returns, with the potential to be one of the best kickers in program history.

    2) 6A Ryle (8-3 in 2017) – After a disappointing first round exit from the playoffs last season, Ryle will be working hard to prove in 2018 that their playoff loss to Butler last season was a flub that they won’t be dwelling on or repeating. Quarterback Jake Smith with be leading the offense along with seasoned running back Kyle England and offensive lineman Jacob Gideon. Linebacker Jackson Saladin will be leading the defensive side for the Raiders, with a strong cast of juniors and seniors coming in to fill roles vacated by last year’s graduates. Keep an eye out this season for defensive back Elijah Cusick, tackle Keegan Points, and D-ends Jack Cleveland & Cooper White. It will also be fun to see what D1 recruit Mason Molique will do this year for the Ryle kicking game.

    3) 6A Simon Kenton (11-2 in 2017) – The Pioneers have two tasks at hand in 2018: regaining the title of top 6A team in NKY by beating Ryle, and getting past the Louisville powerhouse schools to advance further towards the 6A championship. Their first task for Coach Marksberry is to find a replacement for quarterback Matt Shearer, who will be playing D2 college football at Concord University in 2018, as well as replacing 8 other starters lost to graduation. Caleb Farfsing is likely to start at QB after backing up Shearer last season. They will be returning two solid RB’s this season in junior Austin Hammack and senior Jon Sergent. The offensive line will be anchored by Treyvon Nash, who will also be the big returning man on the defensive line. Defensively, senior linebackers Bryson Pernell & Clay Cogswell will be key returning seniors as well, along with D-backs Brady Nipper & David LeCount. Simon Kenton will be strong, but their success will hinge primarily on the offense coming together for them this season.

    4) 1A Beechwood (12-2 in 2017) – Beechwood is one of two teams looking to defend a state championship from 2017. And like Covington Catholic, the Tigers will have to replace a star quarterback in Brayden Burch, along with athlete James Davis, and receiver/defensive backs Jake Massie & Daniel Mescher. The Tigers are likely to rely on sophomore Highlands transfer Cameron Hergott, nephew of Beechwood quarterbacking legend and current assistant coach Greg Hergott. They are also very fortunate to be returning workhorse players like senior WR/DB Logan Castleman, senior OL/DL Adam Derry, and his younger brother, junior RB/DB Josh Derry. Twin brothers Dayton & Duncan Baugh will also be back to anchor the offensive and defensive lines for their senior season. Coach Noel Rash and the Beechwood Tigers will definitely find themselves contending for the top spot in Kentucky’s 1A class for the 2018 season.

    5) 5A Highlands (6-6 in 2017) – After a couple of rough seasons in ’16 and ’17, the Birds are working on fighting their way back into form for 2018. They will be starting that off on offense with returning starters Cooper Schwalbach at running back, Nate Roberts at tight end, and Austin King at wide receiver. Senior Grady Cramer will be replacing Carl Schoellman at quarterback after backing him up last season. Their offensive and defensive lines are not going to be the largest in NKY, but historically that has not been anything to stop the Birds from having their way with the ball. Still, it’s their play at the line of scrimmage that is likely to be the key to Highlands’ success in 2018. Coach Weinrich and his staff also have their work cut out replacing starters this season on D, and will be relying heavily on senior linebackers Alex Starkey and cornerback Bailey Armstrong for leadership. Junior Brycen Huddleston is also someone to watch at linebacker, as well as Max Dierig at defensive end.

    6) 2A Newport Central Catholic (6-6 in 2017) – New Cath will be back in 2018 with stud running back Kyle Kelly back for his senior season, and returns junior quarterback Paul Kremer to lead the offense. Their O-line returns a good amount of beef, as well as a couple of promising up-and-comers. On defense, again, Kyle Kelly is the obvious big name, joined by junior linebacker Daniel Craig, junior defensive lineman Tanner Daunt, senior defensive backs Hunter Cain, Hezekiah Miller, and junior defensive backs Caleb Jefferson & Aubrey Posey. With a new head coach and staff, it’s going to be exciting to see what Coach Steve Lickert and the Breds can do to improve on their 6-6 season last year, and try to re-capture the top spot in their district. New Cath definitely has the potential to be a very strong 2A team in 2018.

    7) 6A Campbell County (7-5 in 2017) – The Camels have a new head coach for 2018 in former Ryle assistant coach Mike Woolf. Coach Woolf is familiar with the Campbell County program, after having been an assistant there previous to moving to his position at Ryle. The first big job on offense is finding replacements for QB Austin Hoeh and all-star running back Alex Dowds. The quarterback position will be decided between senior Andrew Helton and junior Nick Cartwright, with Helton likely to get the starting nod. They have a large group of big seniors returning to the line, most of whom play both offensively and defensively. And they also have seniors RB Grant Jolly, WR Brady Singleton and WR Reid Jolly to help with the offensive game. The defense will be led by DE Tanner Lawrence and LB Peyton Anderson, with Brady Singleton and Reid Jolly joining in the defensive backfield as well. It will be interesting to see whether or not Coach Woolf will continue to use so many of the players on this 6A program on both sides of the ball this season.

    8) 6A Cooper (2-9 in 2017) – The Jags are hoping to put last year behind them this season, after having a disappointing 2-9 season in the wake of graduating nearly all of their starting talent from the season before. Cooper is likely to have a sophomore quarterback this season in Jeremiah Lee, after Lee became the primary QB out of 3 contenders last season in his freshman year. Mikey Armour, who also spent some time as QB, is likely to spend all of his offensive time this season at WR, while also playing in the defensive backfield. Junior Jayden Maynard is also going to be a likely target at WR. Senior Michael Spencer, who spent much of last season waiting for transfer approval, looks to be a real talent for the Jags at tight end and linebacker, and Michael Attabary will be the anchor on both the offensive and defensive lines in his senior season. Cooper was young last season, and will be looking to make much better on things this season after spending a year rebuilding.

    9) 6A Conner (4-7 in 2017) – The Cougars will be back in 2018 with one primary mission: beat more 6A teams. The team only managed a single win last season over a team from their same classification with their Week 1 win over Boone County. Their remaining wins came against two 2A teams and a 4A team. They will have senior RB Christian Webster back, helping to spark the offense, with junior Jared Hicks coming in at QB. They will also be relying heavily on senior receivers Tate Niederman & Ayden Camp. Their offensive line will be anchored by senior David Seal, alongside juniors Michael Neal & Zane Cahill who both play OL/DL and Noah Benza who plays TE/DE. Conner’s linebacking corps will be led by senior Clayton Boyd, who led the team in tackles last season. D-back Andrew Davis will be another big defensive player, joined by two-way players Ayden Camp & Tate Niederman to round out the defensive backfield.

    10) 4A Scott (8-4 in 2017) – In his 6 years as Scott’s head coach, Dan Wooley has led the Eagles to 38 wins. You would have to tally wins back over the course of more than fifteen seasons to find 38 total wins prior to Wooley taking over the program. This season, the mission is the same: keep improving. To do that, the Eagles will have senior quarterback Chad Ohmer to lead the offense this season, with junior RB Quincy Perrin in the backfield with him along with senior RB David Patrick. Senior receiver Sabeon Turner and junior O-linemen Eric Linton and Jacob Randall will also be part of their offensive backbone. Linton and Randall will also be on the D-line, with Perrin also playing both ways in the defensive backfield, as does Patrick at LB. Seniors Jerad Kelsey & Justin Grindstaff will also be leading the linebacking corps, and corner Kyren Simpson will round out the senior leadership on D.


    HONORABLE MENTION

    2A Lloyd Memorial (8-4 in 2017) – Lloyd beat Newport Central Catholic last season for the first time in over 20 years to win their district. They graduated quite a few starters, including QB Jordan Fann who will be playing college ball at Thomas More this year. They have a solid group of offensive and defensive linemen returning, but the team’s success will depend largely on replacing starters in their skill positions.

    5A Dixie Heights (3-8 in 2017) – Last season was a re-building year for Dixie. They were a young team with a lot of un-tested players. They have graduated a few starters again, but will have a good group of juniors coming in who saw significant playing time last season. Coach Brossart has turned over offensive play-calling to Kevin Siple, a very experienced assistant who brings a lot of knowledge from over a decade of previous head coaching experience.


    GAME OF THE WEEK: WEEK 0

    1A Ludlow vs. 2A Carroll County

    It's Panthers versus Panthers. Carroll County heads up the river to take on Ludlow on the banks of the Ohio at James Rigney Memorial Stadium. Ludlow handle Carroll County comfortably last year, winning 56-39, but after losing team all-star Justin Blackburn, this game could make for a much more interesting match-up this year.
    Last edited by Colonels_Wear_Blue; Aug 7, 18 at 05:40 PM.

  2. #2
    oldgrappler's Avatar
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    Excellent summary of each team C_W_B. Your efforts are appreciated.

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    Colonels_Wear_Blue's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by oldgrappler View Post
    Excellent summary of each team C_W_B. Your efforts are appreciated.
    Thanks, grapp! Your appreciation is appreciated

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    Great stuff, as always, @Colonels_Wear_Blue.

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    Top 4 I agree with.

    5 - Campbell Co
    6 - Highlands
    7 - NCC
    8 - Scott (flip a coin)
    9 - Conner (flip a coin)
    10 - Lloyd



    Id think Walton would be hovering at 11. Also Dixie, oh Dixie, no idea what you going to get from Dixie.

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    delete.

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    "Dixie, oh Dixie, no idea what you going to get from Dixie."

    True there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by plantmanky View Post
    Top 4 I agree with.

    5 - Campbell Co
    6 - Highlands
    7 - NCC
    8 - Scott (flip a coin)
    9 - Conner (flip a coin)
    10 - Lloyd



    Id think Walton would be hovering at 11. Also Dixie, oh Dixie, no idea what you going to get from Dixie.
    I love seeing how other people would actually rank things themselves. Thanks for that, @plantmanky

    I'm curious where you'd put Cooper in the mix.

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    FYI, Ryle LB Mason Smith graduated

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    El Diablo's Avatar
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    My take:
    1. Cov Cath
    2. SK
    3. Highlands ( I get this a tough sale but I think they will be much improved from the past two years)
    4. Ryle (I feel like Ryle was as good as Chisholm played last year- very hard to replace what he demanded of a defense on the football field. I think the Highlands vs Ryle game will be a close one, I'm giving the Birds the nod because they return 10 of their best 12 or so players from last year.)
    5. New Cath
    6. Beechwood
    7. Campbell
    8. Conner
    9. Cooper
    10. Scott

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    Quote Originally Posted by Colonels_Wear_Blue View Post
    I love seeing how other people would actually rank things themselves. Thanks for that, @plantmanky

    I'm curious where you'd put Cooper in the mix.
    To start the season, where I put them.


    Off the list for now.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Fletch_F_Fletch View Post
    FYI, Ryle LB Mason Smith graduated
    Thanks, Fletch. I don't know if I was reading an outdated roster or what I did there, but I appreciate the catch. I'll edit him out of there.

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    Quote Originally Posted by El Diablo View Post
    5. New Cath
    6. Beechwood
    NewCath over Beechwood? I doubt there are many people here that would have those two in that order. I take it you're really high on the 'Breds this year?

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    Great job CWB! Interested to see how the 5A NKY teams do this season.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DevilMayCare View Post
    NewCath over Beechwood? I doubt there are many people here that would have those two in that order. I take it you're really high on the 'Breds this year?
    Yeah, I have no idea about Beechwood. I just think with the sophmore QB coming in from the outside that there will be some learning on the go. Beechwood is a great team with a great history. I think they will be a team with some early bumps with a strong finish.

    Plus yes, I think Breds will have some talent and a great HC.

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