2020 36 Blitz: Bourbon County Colonels

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PARIS, Ky (WTVQ) – When Former Kentucky football standout David Jones took over bourbon county last season, they were coming off a three-win season. The team needed a culture change and if you ask the team’s veterans…they got in year one.

“What we’ve learned is we’ve started to build a culture here, like a wining culture,” says senior wide receiver Kaygen Heflin. “Before we had a culture, but it wasn’t really a winning culture where you work hard every single day and he brings all of that and intensity every single day that causes us to work harder.”

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First step to building a winning culture? Showing up. Players admit before, they couldn’t even get that right.

“Previous years I wouldn’t even show up to stuff like this, but now like we got like 40 people out here almost, which never happens,” said Heflin. “So I think that’s a huge step and then we’ll just keep on going.”

Jones came on the scene and immediately made his mark. Even benching top players and preaching one word.

“Discipline. And they understand that I don’t care if you’re the top dog you will not play.” says Head Coach David Jones. “There is no one person above this program. Not even myself. I’m not above this program because when I’m gone, Bourbon County is still going to be running and that’s our philosophy. There’s no one bigger than this program and if you can’t do it, then we’re going to find someone else to come and do it and it’s that simple.”

Now the Colonels need that winning culture to turn into wins on the field, but it’s going to be tough. They play in one of the toughest districts in the state with Anderson County, Boyle County and Lexington Catholic.

“We’re definitely in a tough district,” said senior tight end Parker Estes. “It’s one of the toughest districts in the state in my opinion and I feel like you just gotta go out there and you can be scared of your opponent. You gotta just respect your opponent, but you can’t fear them. That’s what winning is all about.”

“My philosophy is we’re not afraid of anyone. We respect all and we’re not afraid of anyone. You just getting that mindset in these kids and they’ve got that mindset, too,” said Coach Jones. “They’ve been dogged for so long. They’ve got that mindset. They felt that winning last year and you know they get tired of hearing this is Boyle county, this is Lexington Catholic, this is Anderson County 5A coming in…they get tired of hearing that. A lot of people do. I love being the underdog. Coming in under the radar. That’s the best thing ever.”

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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