Daily Independent (Ashland, KY)

Local Sports

October 29, 2012

MONDAY MORNING QUARTERBACK: Dusting off the coveted crown

ASHLAND — It’s time to say Hail to the Helmet Sticker King.

No, not Hail to the Chief. This isn’t a four-year term, by any means.

It entails just one year, I’m afraid, so that means Sam Hunter must go find that crown up in the attic, dust it off, polish it up real well so that the QB can see his reflection in it when he inspects it, and hand it over (If only I had a real crown).

But will the envied jewel stay in the family?

So far, in three seasons, the title of Helmet Sticker King has been exchanged from Shane Pack (Lawrence County) to Corey Lyle (Greenup County), and then from Lyle to Hunter (Ashland).

Now, even though I don’t tally up the stickers until the final week of the regular season, I usually have an idea of who it might be by now.

This year, I honestly had no clue. There were several deserving players, but only one racked up enough to etch his name into Monday Morning Quarterback column history.

I’ll give you a hint: Maybe we should call him the Helmet Sticker Prince.

A freshman, Ashland’s Quinton Baker, gathered a total of 22 stickers this season. Although he sat out the final three weeks because of a foot injury, his individual performances were enough to hold off the competition.

The QB handed stickers to a whopping 84 total players/units. By units, I mean an offensive line or a team defense.

The following are the top dozen sticker earners of the season:

1. Quinton Baker (Ashland) 22; t2. Adam Elkins (Raceland) 18; t2. Devon Turner (Fairview) 18; 4. Cade O’Bryan (Ashland) 17; t5. Chris Brewer (Fairview) 16; t5. Daylin Beach (Raceland) 16; 7. Troy Huffine (Russell) 14; 8. Malik Massey (Ashland) 13; t9. Connor Messer (Raceland) 12; t9. Dylan Harris (Boyd County) 12; t9. Aaron Elam (Ashland); t9. A.J. Cyrus (Lawrence County) 12.

Got Any Since?

‰East Carter hadn’t scored more than 40 points in a game since ... 2008. It was the last time the Raiders beat Morgan County, actually. The Cougars fell victim to East Carter, 41-18, on Friday after having won three straight over the Raiders. East Carter poured 58 points on Morgan County four years ago.

‰Johnson Central has not lost to both Belfry and Ashland in the same season since ... 1998. That streak continues, but barely. The Golden Eagles needed overtime to survive the Tomcats a week ago before falling to the Pirates on Friday.

‰Russell has made the playoffs every season since ... 1997. Despite some real hardships this season, the Red Devils can take advantage of the beauty of the big picture. Nothing up to this point matters in the least right now. The Devils open the playoffs at home against Garrard County, and it wouldn’t be wrong to expect a close finish. Russell’s last two postseasons have been full of drama.

Helmet Stickers

Four stickers: Cade Stidham (East Carter), Joel Wardle (Fairview).

Stidham rose up to the occasion on Senior Night, rolling up 204 yards on 29 carries and three TDs in leading the Raiders to an impressive defeat of Morgan County.

Wardle’s statistics won’t blow you away, but the senior’s first career TD run served a great moment on Friday night. At 4-foot-5, Wardle — also a baseball player — conquered the challenge of getting into the end zone to help Fairview to back-to-back undefeated regular seasons.

Three: John Valencourt (Raceland), Devon Turner (Fairview), Mason Rutherford (Fairview), Jason Smith (Boyd County).

Two: Devin Thomas (Raceland), Bronson Korzep (Russell), Connor Messer (Raceland), Josh Dillon (Johnson Central), Daymion Belcher (Johnson Central), A.J. Cyrus (Lawrence County).

One: Gaje Ayres (Boyd County), Troy Huffine (Russell), Adam Elkins (Raceland), Tanner Dolen (Fairview), Chris Brewer (Fairview), Donovan Roe (East Carter).

NOTE: Boyd County’s Jason Smith, Lawrence County’s A.J. Cyrus and Raceland’s Connor Messer earn belated helmet stickers for last week’s efforts.

Snyder’s

Fantastic Four

1. Johnson Central (8-2)

2. Ashland (8-2)

3. Fairview (10-0)

4. Raceland (8-2)

‰There was just too much of a dropoff from Nos. 4 to 5 to include more than a quartet here.

QB Quiz ends

Well Lucky Fans, I guess it’s goodbye.

It’s been a real pleasure predicting high school football games alongside you this season. Thanks for participating.

Since it was such a success, we will probably renew the Quiz next season.

Let’s hear it for these Lucky Fans: Chris Wampler, Hobie Rogers, Rodney Johnstone, Steve Reliford, Brandon Caniff, David Cordial, Matt Robinson, Zak Musick, Bryan Prince.

It’s time for the QB to get serious and make up some ground in the staff picks during the postseason.

Tweet the QB

Follow the Quarterback on Twitter, @DindependentQB, for playoff scores and news throughout the week.

Wide Right

Did you miss it? Here are area scores of interest from this past weekend: Boyd County 14, West Carter 7; East Carter 41, Morgan County 18; George Rogers Clark 44, Rowan County 26; Letcher County Central 42, Greenup County 7; Lewis County 52, Magoffin County 8; Raceland 25, Russell 14; Belfry 17, Johnson Central 12; Paintsville 20, Berea 14.

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

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