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Remembering the 2005 KY-TN All Star Game and my Favorite Football Coach
During this week, 12 years ago, we were on campus at UK, getting ready for the 2005 KY-TN All Star Football Game to be played at Papa John's Stadium. It was especially enjoyable because my Dad was on our staff. That worked out because of Game Director & KFCA Executive Director, Jimmie Reed. That experience was one of the best ever with my Dad and I will always be appreciative of Coach Reed making that happen.

My Dad coached the kickers that week. The bad news ... we only had one guy for punting & kicking. The good news ... that one guy was Tim Masthay who would go on to a great career as a UK Wildcat & Green Bay Packer. The most excitement my Dad had that week, I didn't hear about until the week was over. Apparently Tim kicked a ball into some high grass. It turned out to be poison ivy & he went into the weeds to get the ball. My Dad didn't tell me that during the week because he knew my reaction would not be good.

Having a great kicker was big in that game. Tim put every kickoff in the endzone. Tennessee had one kickoff that went to the one yard line. David Jones of Belfry/UK took that one to the house.

I was really proud of the job we did as a staff selecting that team. After seeing him in person during the fall, and then watching video of many senior LBs across the state, I was convinced that Caleb Meenach was the best MLB in Kentucky as a senior. He played great in the game and had a big interception to help us beat Tennessee.

We worked hard to prepare for the game and for the most part it paid off. But, on the 2nd play of the game, our snap goes sailing through the back of the endzone and the score is Tennessee 2-0. When stuff like that happens, I think "We could have not prepared/practiced at all and we could have done that!" Not a good feeling at all.

Tennessee had 8 UT signees on their team. Kentucky had won 3 in a row in the all star series and the orange was not going to let that continue. Fortunately, our team was loaded and our staff did a great job with the kids that week. We won the game 41-27, but it was tough.

Late in the game, we got the ball back across the Tennessee 50. During a timeout, myself, Brandon Smith our QB (HS-Boyle, WKU, current South Warren HC) & our OC, Chris Pardue (Boyle HC/OC, Mercer HC) discuss what we should do next. Having just come off a 1-9 season at Mason, my goal is to get out of there with a win. Brandon says, "I want to score again." To make a long story short, the game ended with both benches clearing. Not what you want, but we got the kids separated with out too much happening. Our kids did NOT want to be the ones that let the streak end. The Tennessee kids also had a lot of pride.... they were not happy to be going home with loss #4 in a row.

Through the week, there were times I felt like I was 10 years old again. When I was that age, Coach French was on my Dad's staff at Mercer. When I was little... and even when I was an assistant for Coach French, they didn't pay much attention to what I thought. I got the same feeling that week in June. I may be the head coach of the KY Football All Stars, but to them, I was still a little kid!

It was interesting and very enjoyable being with my Dad that week. For a handful of days, he seemed to turn back into the man I remembered coaching his teams at Boyle and Mercer. Many of my happiest memories are being with my Dad when he coached his teams and was with his players. I got to see that side of my Dad again and it was a special experience I will never forget.

Today was one of those hot June days. Working on our bermuda grass at Mercer(where my Dad did a bunch of coaching, both as the Boyle & Mercer coach) today reminded me of those hot practices that week in Lexington, 12 years ago. I will miss my Dad on Father's Day. I miss him everyday. But, I am thankful for the memories and experience we shared that week preparing for and beating Tennessee. I am thankful I had a great Dad. If you are fortunate to still have your Dad, give him a hug and tell him you love him. Enjoy being with him while you can.

Many photos by @theguru:

Black Shoes and White ShoeStrings: Remembering the 25 KY-TN All Star Game and my Favorite Football Coach

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