Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

January 15, 2013

Fairview’s Turner soaks up limelight

Senior RB fares well in Blue-Grey

TAMPA, Fla. — Fairview senior football player Devon Turner had already defeated the odds.

Just 90 players were selected of the approximately 4,200 at last summer’s combine to get into the annual Blue-Grey National All-Star Classic in Tampa, Fla.

That was an accomplishment in itself.

Turner, as he’s been known to do lately, went above and beyond during Saturday’s game which took place at Raymond James Stadium, the home of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.

Turner rushed for nearly 40 yards on five carries, making three first downs for the South squad. He also caught a swing pass for a 12-yard gain and accounted for two special teams tackles.

The South won, 30-18.

Turner said the overall experience was one he’ll never forget. He arrived in Tampa on Tuesday and practiced with his team for a few days at the Bucs’ training facility before Saturday’s game.

“I thought it was amazing,” said the 5-foot-9, 175-pound running back. “I met a lot of people from across the country. Everyone that was there truly loved the game of football.”

When he finally set foot inside the NFL stadium for kickoff, the humble Turner couldn’t help but feel a sense of pride.

“It was unreal, I can’t even explain it,” Turner said. “I was thinking about all the hard work and all the time invested last summer and basically my whole life. I just wanted to soak it all in. I felt blessed and thankful.”

Larry Ryans, a former NFL wide receiver, was the South’s head coach. Turner worked mostly with running backs coach Arlen Harris — Harris played four seasons in the NFL with the St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions. He played his college ball at Hofstra.

“(Harris) taught me a lot ... how to be patient, how not to rush the holes,” Turner said. “A lot of times I like to go full speed. But it’s all about changing pace and changing speeds.”

While his mother and father were in attendance on Saturday, plenty of Westwood folks were showering Turner with support. Some were scrambling to watch the game live on Fox Sports Florida.

Scott Miller, Turner’s middle school coach at Fairview, went to Buffalo Wild Wings in Ironton and had the waiters put the game on TV there.

“That kind of touched me,” Turner said. “He went out of his way to support me like that.

“It was great to see everyone getting a hold of me on Facebook and Twitter to wish me good luck,” he added.

Turner helped lead Fairview to a second straight unbeaten regular season in 2012 en route to the program’s first state championship game appearance. The Eagles finished at 14-1 after falling to Mayfield in the Class A final. Turner finished off his high school career as an outstanding two-way player with a pair of 1,000-yard rushing seasons to his name.

His future is still unclear, but Turner said several colleges have been in contact with him about furthering his football career.

“It’s just something I’ll pray about,” he said. “I guess I’ll find out soon.”

AARON SNYDER can be reached at asnyder@dailyindependent.com or (606) 326-2664.

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0724putnamwebshot.JPG 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.

    July 23, 2014

  • Genuine throwback

    Todd Eastham is disproving the old cliche, “Those who can, do; those who can’t, teach.”

    July 23, 2014

  • MARK MAYNARD: Looking for those who inspire

    Inspirtation, they say, comes from within. It is defined as an inspiring or animating action or influence.

    July 22, 2014

  • 0722KYPGA_152.jpg Jones tops Gillum in playoff at Eagle Trace

    Ashland senior golfer Logan Jones didn't shoot his average Monday.
    He didn't mind.
    His three-over par 75 and one-hole playoff win over Elliott County junior Ryan Gillum gave him the Boys Open division title in the Kentucky PGA Junior Tour stop at Morehead State University's Eagle Trace Golf Course.

    July 21, 2014 6 Photos

  • 102213_329a.jpg Raceland tabs Clark as new girls basketball coach

    Jason Clark has a reputation of being — to use his word — “passionate” on the Raceland volleyball sideline.
    He plans to bring that same approach as the Lady Rams’ new basketball coach.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0305region2_389.jpg Pass the Mayo: East sophomore PG, Lady Raiders preparing for winter run

    East Carter sophomore point guard Kristen Mayo has played basketball for as long as she can remember.

    July 18, 2014 2 Photos

  • 0718spinda.jpg Steelers super fan Spinda to be recognized in Florida

    Shawn Spinda doesn’t have to use speech to profess his passion for the Pittsburgh Steelers.
    All it takes is a quick glance for a person to get the picture.
    But to absorb the whole picture, you’ll need to clear your schedule.
    Spinda is one of several fanatics who will be recognized at the Sports Fans Conference in Orlando, Florida, which is set for Aug. 28-Sept. 1 at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin Resort. He is a “What a Fan” NFL Fan of the Year nominee.

    July 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0703rfLL0204.jpg Little League State Baseball: Ready to run

    Morehead 11- and 12-year-old All-Star baseball manager Toby Gardner collectively likened his team to a racehorse.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0717prokick1.jpg Prokicker.com camp Eleven Ashland Tomcat football players were part of the Ray Guy Prokicker.com camp at Huntington High. The high-profile camps are put on all over the country. Rick Sang, an Ashland native who befriended Guy 20 years ago, is the camp's founder.

    July 16, 2014

  • 0716fbpractice0105.jpg Four-down territory: Making summer football practice pit stops

    The popular Monday night catchphrase filled my room on Tuesday morning as my new alarm sounded off at 7 a.m.

    July 16, 2014 5 Photos