2020 36 Blitz: Grant County Braves

The Braves look to have their first winning season in more than a decade

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DRY RIDGE, Ky (WTVQ) – It’s been a tough two years for grant county, but the braves have shown improvement in the Jacob Morris era. Now heading into year three they have a more experienced group.

“Three years ago we went 0-10, the next year 3-7, last year 4-6, so we’re slowing improving,” said running back Logan Southerland. “We’re just hoping to build. Last year with us being so young, ”

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Morris believes his team has taken a step toward competing in every game they play thanks to experience.

“Now we’re going into a season where we’re not necessarily the little brother anymore,” said Coach Morris. “Last year with us being so young, they were going up against kids quite a bit older, so we’re closing a gap there. Now, how much we’re really closing, we’ll find out.”

Grant County brings back ten starters on offense, including quarterback Connor Knipp. Head coach Jacob Morris adds there’s also plenty of excitement for the defense.

“We’re doing some things a little bit differently on defense that’s going to allow us to use some faster kids and let them run, so the defense might end up being a little bit bigger of a strength than our offense.”

While the pandemic has created uncertainty for teams around the state. Morris doesn’t believe it will affect how ready his team is for week one of the season.

“I don’t think there’s going to be a big difference between game one this year and game one our first two years, as far as performance-wise.”

Morris’ players are just ready to play some football.

“With everything going on, I’m just ready for games,” says lineman Cody Hornsby. “I’m ready for competition and all of that, just working with my teammates, build together and all of that.”

With an experienced group coming back, Coach Morris believes capturing a winning record for the first time since 2008 isn’t out of the question for Grant County.

“I think our kids would be really happy with getting a couple of district wins maybe, but that’s going to be real tough.”

His players know they play in a tough district as well, but they also know they’re prepared for the challenge.

“Our conference is pretty hard,” said Southerland. “They have really good teams in it that are always really good every year, but we’re a lot older and stronger this year. We’re going to be pretty good this year.”

What’s it going to take to take that next step? The Braves already know.

“We just need to have our communication down, work as hard as we can every day at practice, get ready for gamedays,” says Hornsby. “I think we’ll have it.”

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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