For Danville to continue its traditional winning ways and defend its state title of a year ago, it must receive strong play from running back Kelvin Turner, who was a First Team All-State choice by the Louisville Courier-Journal last fall and Ronnie Hawkins, who played quarterback and defensive back last season.
"It's too early to tell how good we can be," said Danville head coach Sam Harp. "We have to replace a lot of linemen, so it'll be a challenge for us."
"Kelvin will be a important guy for us this year and he'll have to have a big year for us to be successful," continued Harp.
With his impressive track record carrying the ball, there is little doubt that Turner will provide the offensive punch that the Admirals will need. As a junior, Turner racked up 2,134 yards and 27 touchdowns on just 198 carries, for an amazing 10.8 per carry average.
Also a starting linebacker for the Admirals, Turner has established himself as one of the preseason favorites for the annual Mr. Kentucky award.
"He's a very coachable kid," Harp said of Turner. "He has a great work ethic and is just a tremendous athlete. He has good speed and is strong."
College coaches have taken notice as well. Turner is receiving letters from across the country, with Alabama, Boston College, Colorado, Kentucky, Louisville and Wake Forest expressing the most interest.
Another vital member of the Danville squad is Ronnie Hawkins, who in addition to throwing for over 1,000-yards in 2003, was named Second Team All-State for his play at defensive back.
"He'd play quarterback for us last year, but he's an excellent wide receiver and a very good defensive back," Harp said of the 6-foot-1, 175-pound athlete.
Both Louisville and Kentucky have sent letters to Hawkins, who is receiving high interest from numerious Division I-AA programs.
Hawkins play on both sides of the ball will play a large role in Danville's attempt to repeat this fall. The Admirals will start with two scrimmages, at home against Harrison County and on the road against Lee Renfro and Pulaski Southwestern. The school will officially kick off its season against Garrard County.