2020 36 Blitz: Lexington Catholic Knights

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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.”

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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.”

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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