The Cougar football team had a remarkable year. After losing their opening game to Class A Regional champion Hazard, they reeled off 11 wins in a row before bowing out to Highlands in the region championship.
The Cougars put up some big numbers this year. They rushed the ball 458 times for 3,431 yards and 44 touchdowns. They put up 2,067 yards through the air and 21 more touchdowns. As a team, they scored 498 total points on offense as well as defense for an average of 39 points a game. They averaged 422 yards each contest.
The Cougars played a host of new teams this year. For the first time they played Greenup County, North Laurel, Whitley County, Bourbon County, and Lawrence County, not to mention Highlands. The Bluebirds gave the Cougars their only other loss.
The Cougars will return a good nucleus of players for next season. Back will be quarterback and team leader Charlie Banks. Banks piled up the stats this year as he passed for 19 touchdowns and ran for 20 more. He was followed by senior Dakota Brock, who had 10 receiving touchdowns and five rushing. Dakota was a weapon on offense as well as defense. He had 1,406 yards of all-purpose yardage. His play on the field will be sorely missed.
The Cougars also lose senior Ben Fisher, who rushed for 811 yards this season. He was called on a lot and he produced. Terry Tolson will also go. He led the team in all-purpose yardage with 1,616 yards. He was a threat on the ground and through the air.
The Cougar kicker Colton Cook will also be gone. He holds the record for extra points in a season with 47 and overall field goals with three. The Cougars will also lose some big men on the line, including David Adams.
It will be hard to replace these players that have been together for three years. On defense the Cougars should be top notch with Caleb Frazier and Richard Shepherd returning to anchor what should be a very good defense. Also back will be Mckenzie Smith, and Chase Adams, who both started as sophomores. Greg Collins and Dustin Brown also saw a lot of action and will be called on to produce next season.
Overall on defense this season the Cougars were led by Caleb Frazier with 64 tackles and 27 assists. He was followed by Mckenzie Smith with 57 tackles and 10 assists. Colton Cook finished the season with 51 tackles and nine assists. Richard Shepherd had 39 tackles and nine assists. These players were the leaders on defense.
The Cougars had 17 fumble recoveries on defense and 18 interceptions. They also had 17 sacks with 64 tackles for a loss.
On offense the Cougars will have speed and strength with speedsters Chase Adams, Mckenzie Smith, Greg Collins, and Dustin Brown and Caleb Frazier providing the strength. Charlie Banks will quarterback in his senior season and will look to move the Cougars to the next level. The Cougars will need new players to step up if this is to happen and hopefully put the Cougars in the chase for the 5A title.
Basketball The Cougar girls’ and boys’ basketball teams were both in action this past week.
The Lady Cougars played four times and won once. The victory came against Lawrence County 58-41. They lost to Cawood 67-47, Leslie County 58-54 and Knott County Central 37-21.
Three of these games were on consecutive days at Knott County Central. Coach Adams will find the right combination as the season goes along.
The Cougar boys played Perry Central in Hazard and came up on the short end of a 74- 63 score. They also played in the Sports-R-Us Tip-off at Letcher Central but the score was not available as this column was being written.