By DOUG EADS
The 2018 high school football season locally will go down as a banner year indeed for all three local schools.
Both Pulaski County High School and Somerset High School finished the season with identical 11-3 records, finishing in the Semi State round of the playoffs in their respective classes.
Southwestern meanwhile had a very good season as well, posting a 10-3 mark, finishing the year as regional runner-up to Pulaski County.
Several players from all three schools had banner campaigns, and I am very excited to honor those outstanding players with The Doug Out’s Pulaski County/Somerset Area All Star Football Team.
My Player of the Year was an easy choice; that pick on my inaugural team goes to Pulaski County senior quarterback Wiley Cain.
Cain enjoyed a huge year — a year that saw him leave Pulaski County with his name atop the list in eight different categories for his career.
Cain helped lead PC in ‘The Redemption Tour’ to an 11-3 mark, coming off of 2017’s very disappointing 4-7 record.
This season, the PC quarterback completed 329 passes out of 501 attempts, for 3, 987 yards, along with 35 touchdowns.
For his career, Cain’s completions, pass attempts, and yardage thrown in 2018 make him number one in all three of those categories in PC football history.
And, his 35 touchdowns leave him in a tie for the most TD passes in a season at Pulaski County, knotted up with Riley Hall, who threw 35 TD passes in 2015.
During this season, Cain threw for 487 yards at South Laurel, in a 43-16 Maroon victory — once again an all-time PC record.
How this kid could accomplish all of these things this season — throwing for more yardage and more TD passes than any other quarterback in the state of Kentucky — and not be selected to play in any all-star games, is truly mind-boggling to say the least.
Now, for the rest of my team.
QUARTERBACK — Drew Sawyers, Southwestern — Drew rushed for 1,227 yards and 13 touchdowns, while passing for 1.124 yards and eight TD’s.
RUNNING BACK — Chase Doan, Southwestern — Doan led Southwestern with 916 yards rushing, and scored 10 TD’s on the ground.
RUNNING BACK — Dylan Bland, Southwestern — Bland rushed for 713 yards and tallied nine TD’s.
RUNNING BACK — Alex Miller, Somerset — Alex led the Briar Jumpers with 1,008 yards on the ground, scoring 12 rushing TD’s.
WIDE RECEIVER — Jake Sloan, Pulaski County — Sloan led the state of Kentucky in receiving for virtually the entire year. The Maroon junior hauled in 116 receptions for 1,666 yards, to go along with 13 TD catches.
WIDE RECEIVER — Ian Ware, Pulaski County — Ian had a tremendous sophomore season, with 68 catches for 648 yards and four touchdowns.
WIDE RECEIVER — Kade Grundy, Somerset — Grundy led the Briar Jumpers with 28 catches on the year. He had 406 receiving yards and scored five TD’s.
WIDE RECEIVER — Payton Ellison, Somerset — Ellison led Somerset with 489 yards receiving, coming up with 25 receptions and two touchdowns.
WIDE RECEIVER — JP Vaught, Southwestern — The fastest guy on the field virtually in every Warrior football game, Vaught led Southwestern with 33 receptions and 600 yards receiving, scoring five touchdowns.
TIGHT END — Grant Oaks, Pulaski County — Oaks missed several games with an injury, but he still had a solid ’18 season. The PC junior had 38 receptions for 620 yards and eight TD’s.
OFFENSIVE LINE — Ethan Fuentes, Pulaski County
OFFENSIVE LINE — Jordan Lanter, Pulaski County
OFFENSIVE LINE — Paul Judd, Pulaski County
OFFENSIVE LINE — Vernon Wilson, Somerset
OFFENSIVE LINE — Janson Craig, Somerset
OFFENSIVE LINE — Josh Williams, Southwestern
DEFENSIVE LINE — Trae Griffith, Pulaski County — Griffith recorded 88 tackles, 17 tackles for loss, and forced three fumbles.
DEFENSIVE LINE — Chase Parmelee, Pulaski County — Chase notched 58 tackles, and had 11 tackles for loss.
DEFENSIVE LINE — Devin Tolson, Pulaski County — Devin recorded 53 tackles, and had six tackles for loss.
DEFENSIVE LINE — Luke Gregory, Southwestern — Gregory was double-teamed almost every Friday night, yet still recorded 51 tackles for the year.
DEFENSIVE LINE — Trevor Lipscomb, Somerset — Lipscomb totaled 45 tackles, and notched 14 tackles for loss.
DEFENSIVE LINE — Landon Fields, Somerset — Fields had 61 tackles, and tallied 18 tackles for loss.
LINEBACKER — Konner Hargis, Pulaski County — Konner led the Maroons with 124 tackles, and 21 tackles for loss. He also recovered five fumbles.
LINEBACKER — Tristan Cox, Pulaski County — Tristan could have easily made my team on either side of the ball. Cox led the Maroons with 859 yards rushing and 19 TD’s, but he was just as impressive on the defensive side of the football. Cox recorded 106 tackles, and had four tackles for loss.
LINEBACKER — Evan Mercer, Pulaski County — Mercer recorded 88 tackles on the year, and had 11 tackles for loss, and had two fumble recoveries.
LINEBACKER — Payton Hatcher, Somerset — Hatcher led Somerset with 91 tackles on the season, and he recorded 13 tackles for loss, to go along with two forced fumbles.
LINEBACKER — Austin Barnes, Southwestern — Barnes led the Warriors with 93 tackles for the year. He had nine tackles for loss, and he recorded six quarterback sacks.
LINEBACKER — Jase Bruner, Somerset — Bruner notched 72 tackles on the year, and had seven tackles for loss.
LINEBACKER — Rowan Pennington, Southwestern — Pennington came up with 88 tackles and recorded four tackles for loss.
LINEBACKER — Alex Ham, Somerset — Alex notched 51 tackles for the season, and recorded nine tackles for loss.
LINEBACKER — Kenny Robinson, Southwestern — Kenny recorded 50 tackles on the season, and had three tackles for loss.
LINEBACKER — Mason Parsons, Southwestern — Mason notched 37 tackles, and had four tackles for loss. He had three quarterback sacks, and he forced three fumbles.
SECONDARY — Chance Stayton, Somerset — Stayton recorded 38 tackles, while forcing a fumble, while coming up with an interception.
SECONDARY — Treavor Brock, Somerset — Playing almost the entire season with a torn ACL in a knee, Treavor tallied 34 tackles, and led Somerset in both fumble recoveries with four, and interceptions with three.
SECONDARY — Xavier Streeter, Southwestern — Streeter recorded 37 tackles for the season, with one fumble recovery and he led the Warriors with four interceptions.
SPECIAL TEAMS – Ethan Casada, Pulaski County — For the second consecutive season, Casada excelled on special teams for the Maroons. Whether it was returning kickoffs, punts, or punting the ball, Casada always seemed to make a big play on special teams in each and every game. As a safety, he also had a banner year for PC, notching 66 tackles, coming up with four tackles for loss, and three interceptions.
KICKER — Jaxon McAlpin, Pulaski County –McAlpin was almost automatic this season in the kicking game for the Maroons, making 47 out of 49 extra point attempts.
Congratulations to all of the above outstanding players for a great 2018 high school football season, and for making The Doug Out’s inaugural Pulaski County/Somerset Area All-Star Football Team.
It was my honor to watch you guys play this season and to cover your games. Thanks for a great season.