LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) – Mason Co. has all the returning pieces to make a run at the school’s first football title.
The Royals have advanced to the region finals in each of the past two years, but they were hit hard by graduation.
"Right now, on our varsity roster, we've only got 39 guys. It's probably the smallest number of bodies since, I think, 2005," coach David Buchanan said.
But don't let the small numbers fool you. The Royals are very good and will play hard-nosed, smash mouth football.
"I think we can play that role pretty good because we have a lot of big guys, strong guys,” Ashton Humphrey said.
"It's kind of funny,” John Combs Buchanan said. “We always joke we've got 500 ways to run 25 blast. I mean that's pretty much it.”
"We're sort of old-fashioned,” coach Buchanan added. “We are going to throw a lot of different sets. We're going to spread people out.”
The Royals will throw the ball occasionally, but their bread and butter is the running game.
“At the end of the day, if we can run the ball, that's what we will do," coach Buchanan said.
Losing leading rusher Rashon Nelson to graduation hurts, but Rico Hill is back for the Royals.
"I think he’s an explosive football player,” Buchanan said. “He's got tremendous quickness and speed. We're excited about having him. I definitely think he will be a highlight reel type of guy.”
Buchanan thinks when quarterback Jake O'Meara returns from a knee injury, Mason Co. should contend by November.
“I think there is enough there, that if it all fits together, I think these guys can have an outstanding football team."