Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

March 25, 2013

East's Mayo makes move to KCU

Senior works past injuries to play college football

GRAYSON — While most deemed it a time to celebrate on East Carter’s home field, senior Blake Mayo couldn’t block out a sense of sadness.

As the Raiders soaked up a rare victory — just the fourth in their last 40 games — Mayo dwelled on the thought that his football career was officially over.

“Everybody was all happy,” Mayo recalled of the 41-18 defeat of Morgan County. “We finally played well and we won. But I was tore up. I thought, I’m never going to play football again.”

Into the picture comes Kentucky Christian University.

Mayo signed a letter of intent with the Grayson-based school on Friday afternoon at East Carter High School.

The 5-foot-11, 190-pounder will play for new KCU head coach Gene Peterson, who took over for former coach Mike Furrey during the offseason.

Now Marshall’s wide receivers coach, Furrey parted ways with the Knights after guiding the program to a remarkable turnaround in two seasons. The team went 4-7 in 2011 and 7-4 in 2012 all while ensconcing a new brand of football complete with a brand new stadium.

“They’ve really improved,” Mayo said. “They’re on the right track ... well, I guess, we’re on the right track.”

Mayo said he is one of just two East Carter graduates set to play college football. Cade Stidham is expected to walk on at Eastern Kentucky University, according to Mayo.

Being close to home was a big factor for Mayo, who also visited Hanover College in southeastern Indiana.

“My family can come watch me play,” he said.

A continuous battle with injuries proved it difficult for Mayo to get noticed much during his senior season. He missed nearly six total games.

The versatile Mayo was set to play quarterback, and he did so in the Raiders’ first game. However, during that contest against Raceland, Mayo suffered a hip pointer and a fractured growth plate in his pelvis.

Just three minutes into the third game, he broke his hand while trying to make a tackle against Boyd County.

The adversity was borderline overwhelming.

“It was rough, it gets to you at times,” he said. “It can tear you down. I had put all my time into football for the last eight years of my life. But I just had to get better and go play, not really think about it.”

Mayo still managed 25 tackles in his limited action. He played a safety/outside linebacker hybrid position.

As a junior, Mayo earned All-Eastern Kentucky Conference honors and was All-Area honorable mention. He tallied 39 tackles and two fumble recoveries, rushed for 281 yards on 41 carries, threw for two touchdowns in seven attempts and grabbed seven catches for 209 yards and three scores. That was all in eight games as a torn hamstring sidelined him at the end of the season.

Mayo partly credited East Carter coach Zack Moore, formerly KCU’s coach, for allowing him to thrive on defense.

“I remember him saying, ‘I know you’ve grown a lot since sophomore year, but you’d be better suited at outside linebacker or safety,’” Mayo said. “He put me in a spot that really made me excel at my game.”

Mayo plans to major in biology.

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

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 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

  • 0716softball.jpg KHSAA pushes presence of masks

    Fairview’s Sydney Ekers and Lewis County’s Kelsey Rizzo didn’t wear masks to play softball until after they were struck in the face by line drives.
    The Kentucky High School Athletic Association has made a recommendation that it hopes will reduce such instances.

    July 16, 2014 1 Photo

  • LOCAL SPORTS BRIEFS: Ellis on 'leave' for Fairview volleyball

    Lauren Ellis is stepping aside as Fairview’s volleyball coach for this fall in order to complete coursework on her master’s degree, she said Tuesday.

    July 16, 2014