LEXINGTON, Ky (WTVQ) – For the last several seasons, if you were playing the Lexington Catholic Knights, then you knew you were in for a battle because they had now Kentucky quarterback Beau Allen under center.
“One of the things about Beau is he had constant energy at all times,” says senior linebacker Pearce Hall. “And when I say constant energy I don’t mean he wasn’t in your face, he wasn’t yelling at you. He gave off a vibe of just competitiveness and a constant work ethic and that’s really the only thing we can take from him at this point. He’s at Kentucky and he’s gonna do great things there, but we have to take his example and all the things that he left and leadership and run with them.”
Pearce is right. Beau Allen’s days at Lexington Catholic are now over. Lucky for the Knights, football is a team sport. They return Allen’s top two receivers in Jackson Corbett and Blake Busson along with several veterans on defense.
“Those guys have been in those games. They’ve been in games that are close,” says head coach Nigel Smith. “They’ve been in games that are tough and they understand what it takes to win and at a high school level, that mentality is really important. It’ll carry you a long way.”
There is a gaping opening at quarterback. Hall says that though is bringing out something they haven’t seen at Lex Cath in quite some time.
“We were successful last year so I mean we’re looking great this year with the quarterback battle we’ve got going on. We have a few guys fighting hard for that position,” said Hall. “And that’s not something that we’ve seen lately here at Lexington Catholic you know. There hasn’t been a lot of competition at that quarterback position. So seeing that, that’s great to see. We love competition here and you can’t get better without it.”
It’s a good thing the Knights have some guys who have been in the trenches coming back this year because once again their schedule is let’s say…difficult. They play three teams who played for a state title last season in 5A teams Frederick Douglass and Covington Catholic and their 4A district opponent Boyle County. To get that ring, the Knights will have to do what high school teams across the nation are doing. Find a way to prepare in spite of the pandemic.
“We play a lot of tough teams like Frederick Douglass, Cov Cath and etcetera and a lot more hard teams that we’ve played in the past,” says senior safety and running back Kimwanga Mafuta. “And I think last year we’ve built off that and this year we have to step up and excel off the field and on the field. And I think we did a good job last year and will do a good job this year.”
Fellow senior Pearce Hall believes it’s playing those tough teams that will mold the team and the season wears on.
“You can’t grow without competition. So when we’re playing the hardest schedule in the state of Kentucky, we’re doing that so that hopefully in the first weekend in December we end up with a ring on our finger.”
To get that ring the Knights will have to do what high school teams across the nation are doing. Preparing in spite of the pandemic.
“Well in the words of our strength coach Ronald Kelly, we’ve gotta train for chaos,” said Hall. “And everything about this is chaotic. From that point of view I think we’re ready. Like he said, we’ve been training for chaos everyday. So everyday that we’re out, every second that we’re out here we’re getting better.”