2020 36 Blitz: Mercer County Titans

The Titans won eight games last year, can they build off of that success?

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HARRODSBURG, Ky (WTVQ) -After going 5-7 in 2018, continuity paid off for the Titans last season. They won 8 games. Tying their highest win total since head coach David Buchanan took over in 2015.

“It felt good,” said senior lineman Richie Macias. “Going in there now a lot people, you know we’ve always have down season and good seasons and having a good season like that my junior year was fun.”

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“It felt pretty good…like real good actually,” said senior wide receiver Jalen Lukitsch. “Just being out there with everyone and doing that good and being doubted just felt good.”

The Titans picked a big year to make a statement. Going into a new district, the Titans would take on the reigning 2A state champ the Christian academy of Louisville, Desales along with Henry County and Western Hills. During the regular season, Mercer’s only district loss was to Desales.

“That made it even better because everyone was all like y’all are not gonna do so good,” said Lukistch. “We just went out and won and done our thing.”

So what clicked? Head coach David Buchanan says it was getting some big wins and building confidence.

“I think when we went to CAL and we got them up there,” said head coach David Buchanan. “Really and I think beating Anderson two weeks earlier at their place just gave our kids a lot of confidence and just kinda sold them that their hard work was paying off and it gave us a lot of momentum to play some pretty good football last season.

Those wins were big when it comes to continuing to that winning trend this season.

“I think the biggest thing they see is we’ve really closed the gap on CAL and Desales, but we still got plenty of work to do and that’s what we’re trying to get done now. Trying to continue to close that gap.”

Closing that gap means tightening it up in the postseason. While Mercer beat CAL in the regular season, the centurions bounced the Titans in the first round of the playoffs.

“I think we went in there hot headed,” said Macias. “We didn’t put it together good. We played good, but it just wasn’t enough.”

“We just gotta take practice more serious,” said Lukitsch. “That’s what happened probably. We weren’t taking it too serious. We can’t just keep doubting teams we’ve already beat either.”

Speaking of practice, the Titans have something on their side, a sports complex. Where in a time of social distancing the guys can get in there, spread out and get to work. Also, regardless of what’s going on outside, they can come inside and get after it.

“We’ve got a weight room area and we can put a group of 9 over there,” says Buchanan. “We can have 9 over here and we’ve got a wall between them so they’re separated and you know this complex has always been an advantage, but with the social distancing and the guidelines right now, I mean it’s great because it doesn’t matter what it’s doing outside. We can safely work our two groups at a time and we’re very very thankful.”

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Bryan Kennedy hails from the Bluegrass State. He was born and raised in Owensboro, KY where he graduated from Apollo High School in 2006. Bryan graduated from the University of Kentucky with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Spanish in 2010. He also received his master's degree in Sports Media and Branding from Western Kentucky University. While at UK, Bryan was the general manager of the on-campus TV station. He also did sports reporting, anchoring, producing and even the weather for UK Student News Network. While working for UKSNN, he also had the pleasure of covering Coach John Calipari's first press conference when he was introduced as the new head coach of the Kentucky Wildcats; easily one of his favorite moments as a young sports reporter. Before coming to ABC 36, Bryan was a morning anchor and reporter at WXXV News 25, our sister station in Gulfport, MS. He anchored more than four hours of news every day, including morning shows on NBC and Fox. While down south, Bryan had the opportunity to cover the Sugar Bowl, New Orleans Saints and the New Orleans Pelicans. After spending a little more than two years at WXXV, Bryan is extremely excited to return home. In his spare time, Bryan enjoys playing sports, especially rugby. He also enjoys crossfitting and watching sports (obviously). He's extremely excited to cover Central Kentucky. Feel free to say hello and send story ideas toBKennedy@wtvq.com