High school football opens this weekend

The 2006 Kentucky High School football season gets underway this weekend, with dozens of games scheduled for Friday and Saturday night. Jefferson County is home to a trio of strong Mr. Football candidates, two of which will begin play on Saturday.

While it's a new season that kickoffs for high school football in the Bluegrass this weekend, the preseason attention within Jefferson County boarders is essentially the same. Defending 4A champion Trinity, runner-up St. Xavier and Male Traditional, all of which can boast of having a strong Mr. Football candidate on it's roster, have each received state championship predictions.

Led by returning quarterback Nick Petrino, the Bob Beatty coached Trinity Shamrocks will defend their state crown well. As a junior, Petrino, who has a scholarship offer from Jacksonville State, threw for 3,013 yards and 30 touchdowns, with just three interceptions. He also rushed for an additional 284 yards and 12 scores. The continued good news for the Shamrocks is that one of Petrino's favorite targets, Kyle Flynn, also returns.

"Trinity has one of the best quarterbacks in the state coming back in Nick Petrino," said rival head coach Mike Glaser of St. Xavier. "They're going to be tough again as usual. They have a lot of guys back on defense from last year. It's going to be interesting when we play, because I think their strong suit will be defense, while I think our's will be on offense."

Male head coach Bob Redman shared similar thoughts, adding that district rival St. X will be as equally as tough. "They have a great shot at getting back there," he said of Trinity. "With Anderson back, St.X is going to be tough again, as they always are."

Scout.com Midwest Hot 100 member Victor Anderson will once again fuel an offense that boasts of plenty of speed. Despite missing two games as a junior, the 5-foot-9, 182-pound running back led the Tigers with over 1,500 yards and 26 touchdowns last fall and enters his final year of prep ball in even better condition.

"He's much, much stronger this year and he's more explosive than he has been," said Glaser. "I think he's probably the best I've ever coached."

Anderson had an impressive scrimmage season, notching over 200 yards and averaging over 12 per carry in wins over Scott County and Oldham County. While he's primarily a running back, Anderson will also get some snaps at receiver and quarterback, as well as returning kickoffs and punts.

Possibly the most versatile athlete in the city and state this season is Male's Doug Beaumont. The 5-foot-9, 175-pound four-star receiver also plays running back and cornerback, while also returning punts and kicks.

"People look at me funny when I say this, because we've had some great players like Michael Bush, who is going to be a first-round draft pick, and we've had a lot of guys play in the NFL, my son included, but I've never seen one kid do as much as he does and then do it so well," Redman said of his star senior. "He never comes out of a ballgame. He's part of our special teams, he starts on offense, he starts on defense and I've never seen him take a play off."

Beaumont rushed for over 1,100 yards and 28 touchdowns, while also hauling in 54 receptions for 881 yards and 7 touchdowns as a junior.

With a number of high-interest match ups are occurring this weekend, the marquee game of week one is part of the Rafferty's Bowl held at Western Kentucky University on Saturday and pits St.X against 2005 Class 3A runner-up Bowling Green. In addition to Anderson, a host of potential division one prospects will be featured in the game. Included are a few of Anderson's teammates, wide receiver Daniel Passifume and defensive end Bradley Schmitt, while Bowling Green features three additional members - Stuart Hines, Avery Hibbitt and Tucker Jackson - from ITV's preseason 'Best of the Bluegrass' rankings.

InsideTheVille.com will be on hand for the big season-opener, which is followed by Franklin-Simpson versus Warren Central, and will return with plenty of highlights, news and notes.

Male also opens it's season on Saturday, when it faces New Albany in the 2nd Annual Old Rivalry Bowl. The Bulldogs will kickoff following two prior games, Atherton vs. Shawnee and Brentwood, Tenn. vs. DuPont Manual.

Trinity's season openers a week later when Montgomery Bell (Tenn.) visits on August 26.

Additional games of note:

  • University of Louisville verbal commit Brad Durham gets underway on Saturday night when Rockcastle County faces Corbin in the Bob Allen Pigskin Classic in Danville.
  • Pleasure Ridge Park will travel to Lincoln County on Friday and will face the host school at 6:30 p.m. as part of the Death Valley Bowl.

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