PHELPS, Ky. — Teams across the state of Kentucky are braving the heat during the first week of football practice and the Phelps Hornets are no different.
The Hornets are on the precipice of what they believe will be a breakout year. The team has struggled with many adversities over the last decade but the squad has every opportunity to make a statement this season. They have a new field, a new coach, and a new attitude towards the game. The small Class-A team will spend one year out of district play before returning in 2017.
The Hornets are riding a momentum wave right now; one that the entire school is riding together. Last season the Hornets started the season and ended the season with less than 15 players, now the Hornets have 26 players regularly at practice. The Hornets have gained the attention of a few athletes who stayed focused on basketball and baseball last season but are now lacing up their cleats for a new year. Christian Mounts and Peyton Rife will now be three sport athletes which is a crucial key to most Class-A schools success.
Along with the numerous changes taking place within the program, and the growing rate of participation, the Hornets will also have a new unproven offense. They hop to work the bugs out of during the early part of the season.
Offensive Coordinator Terrance Pruitt said his offense will be broken down into the simplest terms and the Hornets will expand the playbook as the year progresses. The Phelps offensive line will be making one of the biggest leaps considering the Hornets have always been considered a run first type of team. The Hornets can follow that avenue, but this year they believe that with the size of their line and the athleticism on display – they will be able to utilize these weapons in a way that has been a Cardinal Sin in Phelps football for many decades.
The wing-T offense has been productive for many neighboring teams in W.Va. and Pruitt has brought this offense to Hornetville.
New additions to the team, like Brandon Turnmire, Tyson White and Garrett Clevenger will help returning players like Lawrence Mayhorn and others carry much of the scoring workload. The Hornets fully intend on utilizing their speed and agility this season. The main test will be in the match up with East Ridge at the pike County Bowl. Last year the Hornets lost 38-0 to the Warriors behind the legs of east Ridge junior Brody Johnson who netted four touchdowns on his own. The hornets will get a good look at the path of the season in the rematch against the Warriors.
Senior Center Adam Dotson said, “We are going to have a tough line this year, we have already been over about everything in our offense and I really like it. there are ways that it is similar to our old offense but Coach Jones puts his own spin on everything.”
Senior Right Guard, Jordan Wolford said,”It’s not the offense I am used to and it has been a little difficult for me to make the transition, but we are working hard and I know we will get everything lined out. Our coaches are really knowledgeable and I am excited to get this season started.”
Veteran line coach Gaino Stiltner has a lot to work with this season as the Hornets make a push to become relevant in the context of area football once again.
The Hornets departed Phelps on Friday Morning to travel to the campus of Kentucky Christian University to attend a seven on seven camp.
The Hornets will test out their new offense on Aug 13. in a scrimmage game against Sheldon Clark High School. On Aug 1 the Hornets will be able to practice with full pads
(William plaster is the sports reporter for the Williamson Daily News, he can be reached at 304-235-4242 ext. 2274 or at [email protected] on on twitter @sidplaster.)