OLIVE HILL —
One team won its first district since 2008, while the other reached only its second seven-win season since 1988. On Monday, they added another honor to the season.
Raceland and Lewis County were crowned co-champions of the Eastern Kentucky Conference during a luncheon on Monday afternoon at Carter Caves State Resort Park.
Both teams finished the season undefeated against EKC opponents — Raceland went 4-0, while Lewis County went 6-0.
Paintsville finished runner-up.
Rams coach T.J. Maynard, who also received Coach of the Year honors, said the award is a great representation of all the hard work his team put in this season.
“All of this is a credit to our players and our assistant coaches,” Maynard said. “They all put in a lot of time and effort to put us in this position.”
And while he feels honored to be named Coach of the Year, Maynard still gives credit to his players and his coaching staff.
“I look at it as team of the year,” Maynard said. “If it wasn’t for all those players and all my assistant coaches, this award is not even thought of. It’s an honor to be recognized by my peers, but my players and my assistant coaches earned this one.”
Along with the championship trophy and Coach of the Year honors, three Raceland players came away with top awards.
Daylin Beach won the top honor, being named EKC Player of the Year. Beach has 895 rushing yards, 243 receiving yards and 13 total touchdowns through 11 games.
“I’m really thankful for (the award),” Beach said. “The Lord has really blessed me with a great coach, great teammates and I’m just really thankful.”
“Daylin has been a starter for us for four years,” Maynard said. “When he runs he gives it everything he’s got, his feet never stop moving and he’s just a great competitor and a great athlete.”
Rams’ defensive lineman Alec Risner was named Defensive Player of the Year after leading the Rams with 108 tackles through 11 games.
Mac Boggs earned Lineman of the Year honors, which is surprising because he started his high school career in the backfield.
“He played fullback for us for two years,” Maynard said “But he kept growing on us, because he’s now 6-foot-4, 250 pounds. We made the move last year to get him some experience, and he keeps getting better and better and he still has a high ceiling.”
Bath County junior Taborn Kissick was named Offensive Player of the Year. The wide receiver had 879 receiving yards while pulling in six touchdowns.
Special Teams Player of the Year was split between two kickers as East Carter’s Evan Huddle and Paintsville’s Brad Nordin shared the award.
The Wes Hopkins Courage Award was presented to West Carter senior Dean Dallen.
According to West Carter coach Kevin Brown, Dallen is one of 10 siblings. The senior works about 30-to-35 hours a week to help his family, along with going to school and football events.
The Commissioners Awards were presented to Josh Marx from Bath County and Jeffery Williams from Greenup County.
Williams has missed most of the past three years because of injury, including a season-ending injury on Oct. 18 at Ashland when the senior dislocated his knee.
This came after suffering a season-ending Grade-5 shoulder separation his junior season. He also suffered a hip injury that sidelined him for the bulk of his sophomore season.
The Leland “Tiny” Roberts Assistant Coach of the Year went to West Carter’s Brian Brown.
Along with the awards, the EKC announced the schedule for next season’s Grid “O” Rama, which will take place at Fleming County and Raceland.
On Aug. 15 at Fleming County, Lewis will play at 6 p.m. against an opponent yet to be announced. Fleming County faces Nicholas County at 8.
On Aug. 16 at Raceland, East Carter will play Paintsville at 5 p.m. in the first of three games. Bath County meets Greenup County at 6:30, followed at 8 by Raceland-West Carter.
No Champs in 2012
After the KHSAA delivered sanctions that stripped Fairview of all its wins from 2012, the EKC has decided to strip Fairview of the 2012 championship according to EKC Assistant Commissioner Tim Carper.
Carper said the record books will show there will be no champion that year.
“After the KHSAA made their ruling concerning Fairview High School, they had to forfeit every game,” Carper said. “Five of those wins were EKC wins. So the Football Committee talked about it, and we thought the only fair thing to do was to strip them of the EKC title.”
While the championship was vacated, individual awards will still be recognized.
The team trophy has already been returned by Fairview superintendent Bill Musick and Carper has told former Eagles’ coach Nathan McPeek and former athletic director Garry McPeek of the decision.
“All three said they understood why we did it,” Carper said. “There was no animosity or anything personal against Fairview, it was something we thought was the right thing to do. It was a good ending to what could have been a tough situation, but they made it very easy on us.”
KYLE HOBSTETTER can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2658.