The Kentucky Football Coaches Association has announced its 2023 players and coaches of the year for each of high school football’s six classes.
Boyle County’s Sage Dawson and coach Justin Haddix were named Class 4A player and coach of the year, respectively, ahead of their 41-0 championship game win over Covington Catholic on Friday.
The announcements came before each class’s respective state championship game at Kroger Field this weekend. They followed the naming of the KFCA’s district players and coaches of the year last month.
In perhaps a surprise to some, the KFCA selected Christian Academy-Louisville quarterback Cole Hodge over Bell County running back Daniel Thomas as Class 2A player of the year.
Hodge, a senior East Carolina commit, led his team to the Class 2A state championship Saturday over Thomas’ Bell County team.
Thomas has set the state’s single season rushing, points and rushing touchdown records and is the leading rusher in the nation, according to statistics compiled by MaxPreps.
Thomas remains eligible for the KFCA’s Mr. Football award given annually to the state’s top senior. The class player of the year awards are not necessarily indicators of the top award because the KFCA has picked a Mr. Football outside the class player list before as they did when they selected Beechwood’s Cameron Hergott as Mr. Football over 2A player of the year Kaiya Sheron of Somerset in 2020.
Unlike past years, there probably will be no Mr. Football selected by members of the Associated Press after the AP let the award lapse last season.
BOLEY EARNS HORNUNG AWARD
The Louisville Quarterback Club has bestowed its annual Paul Hornung Award to Lexington Christian quarterback Cutter Boley, a senior committed to the University of Kentucky.
Boley helped lead the Eagles to an 11-2 record and a region finals appearance where they lost to eventual Class 2A champion Mayfield.
Boley threw for 2,187 yards and 24 touchdowns and rushed for 115 yards and five scores in an offense that benefited from a powerful run game that featured fellow senior Brady Hensley, an Eastern Kentucky commit who rushed for 2,408 yards and 43 TDs.
Boley follows a succession of Hornung Award winners who have also been Kentucky signees, like Beau Allen, Jager Burton, Dane Key and Ty Bryant.
“Me seeing those names of past winners it is a blessing to have my name in in the same group,” Boley, told YourSportsEdge.com’s Larry Vaught. “To be named after a guy with such a great football reputation is definitely remarkable and a big honor. You don’t play to win awards but it is quite an honor to have my name in the same category as him and others.”
The Hornung Award, named for Louisville native and Notre Dame Heisman Trophy winner Paul Hornung, goes to “the state’s top player based on productivity, recruiting ranking, college potential and character,” as quoted from the Vaught story on the honor.
KFCA PLAYERS OF THE YEAR
Class A: Noah Wallace, Raceland
Class 2A: Brady Atwell, Owensboro Catholic
Class 3A: Cole Hodge, Christian Academy-Louisville
Class 4A: Sage Dawson, Boyle County
Class 5A: Deuce Bailey, Bowling Green
Class 6A: Max Gainey, Male
KFCA COACHES OF THE YEAR
Class A: Dale Estes, Campbellsville
Class 2A: Jason Morris, Owensboro Catholic
Class 3A: Chad Griffin, Hart County
Class 4A: Justin Haddix, Boyle County
Class 5A: Mark Spader, Bowling Green
Class 6A: Josh Gillispie, Manual