By ROCKY STANLEY
ASHLAND Now this is Dylan Patrick’s idea of playing football.
Relegated to kicking duties last year because of his premium leg strength and accuracy, the Ashland senior is getting every opportunity to earn significant playing time on the offensive and defensive lines.
The Tomcats have plenty of holes to fill after graduation hit the 9-3 team with the force of a Cade O’Bryan sack.
“Dylan’s going to go from famine to feast,” said Tony Love, the Tomcats’ new head coach. “We were selective with him last season because he was so valuable with being able to kick.”
Patrick connected on 33 extra points and a field goal.
“He worked out last year, but even with JV we were concerned about putting him in,” Love said. “It bothered Dylan because he wanted to do more.”
Said Patrick: “I wanted to be out there, but I understood. They didn’t want to risk an injury, so that was better for the team.”
Now the Tomcats need help up front and Patrick looks to be a good fit.
Listed at 6-feet and 205 pounds, Patrick has the kind of power and agility necessary to enable him to become successful in the trenches.
It’s certain that Patrick has no trouble moving large amounts of weight. He bench presses 315 pounds and can squat 540.
“I would say he’s the strongest guy on the team,” said Love, who keeps close tabs on what goes on in the weight room. “Dylan hasn’t had a lot of on-field experience on the line, but look how strong and athletic he is.”
Patrick traded in his No. 10 jersey from a year ago for No. 60, but that doesn’t mean his kicking days for the Tomcats are over.
He expects to share those duties with senior Robert Wesley, a football newcomer who is one of Ashland’s top soccer players.
Patrick and Wesley both attended the recent Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Putnam Stadium.
“It was really good,” Patrick said. “They help you refine things to be more accurate.”
For Patrick, kicking has come naturally.
“I always had a good foot,” said the straight-on kicker whose ability to boot the ball goes all the way back to his kickball days in grade school.
Love said the Tomcats’ kicking plans will be sorted out as the preseason moves forward. Since Patrick uses the old-style square toed kicking shoe, switching from his standard cleat for extra points or field goals could be tricky from a time standpoint.
“We will have to see how it works out,” Patrick said. “I might punt this year.”
Love said Friday that Patrick continues to make steady progress as a lineman.
“He has to learn blocking schemes, how to adjust, all those things,” Love said. “It’s going well.”
ROCKY STANLEY can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-26761.
‘Strongest’ Tomcat shifts focus to line
By ROCKY STANLEY
- Local Sports
Kittens call on Ingram
Somebody had to follow Dave Miller.
Scott Ingram is pleased to be the coach to fill the vacancy for the man who built Ashland Blazer softball into a perennial state Top 25 program. The Kittens have won the 16th Region championship every year since 2009.
Golfers go out with an encore
Evan Goble said he “wasn’t completely ready for a playoff” on Monday.
That didn’t stop him from holing two pressure-packed playoff putts to win the 13-14-year-old division of the final event of the summer on the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour at Bellefonte Country Club.
EKC Grid-O-Rama set for Aug. 15-16
The annual Eastern Kentucky Conference football scrimmage contests are set for Aug. 15-16 at Fleming County and Raceland.
Holliday embraces high expectations
As Marshall football prepares to return to the gridiron to begin fall practice Aug. 4, this season the program finds itself labeled something that it has not been in many years: a favorite.
Mobley, Jude key for EKU
Eastern Kentucky coach Dean Hood has revamped the Colonels’ defense in hopes of containing OVC opponents’ spread offenses.
ZACK KLEMME: Punchless Reds wasting solid pitching
The last nine days have been an exercise in understanding just how slim the margin for error is for baseball teams — even good ones — that can’t score.
Practice rolls on as kickoff approaches in less than 5 weeks
As high school football teams strap on helmets and prepare for Friday nights next month, the theme of the first couple of weeks of practice for most is simple.
You gotta work. Hard.
And if you don’t, it’ll be exposed come Aug. 22.
“Everybody looks good in helmets,” Ashland coach Tony Love said with a grin. “We’re all undefeated. There’s a lot of work to get done.
“Our coaches and kids, we all know it, and that’s why they’re here and we’re here, and we’re gonna push hard every day.”
Pennington makes push for Nationals
Swimmer Kenzie Pennington had one last chance to make the cut for this year’s YMCA Long Course National Championships.
The 15-year-old from Ashland didn’t disappoint.
Salyers shoots 75 for title at Lakeside
Baylee Salyers of Flatwoods shot a 3-over par 75 at Lakeside Golf Course on Thursday to win the Girls Open division of the Walmart Kentucky PGA Junior Tour event.
- Laying the foundation Workers are finishing the foundation for the locker room on the home side of Putnam Stadium on Tuesday. The Ashland Tomcats open the football season on Aug. 22 against Newport Catholic.
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- Kittens call on Ingram