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Kelley’s ‘ESPN Top Play’ still the talk around Great Crossing

Highlight reel catch has turned a quiet, humble player into a celebrity
Published: Sep. 15, 2021 at 7:37 PM EDT
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GEORGETOWN, Ky. (WKYT) - The applause and the praise have been coming from everywhere for Zackarrey Kelley.

“I don’t know how many times I’ve watched that catch on video over and over,” said Great Crossing head coach Ricky Bowling. Kelley’s Warhawk teammates like Kalib Perry and Gabe Nichols add even more flattery.

“Yeah, for sure that was an amazing catch,” said Perry while Nichols raved by saying, “That’s an NFL type of skill.” Bowling, in his second year as head coach, said “By the time I got home, it’s on SportsCenter and my phone’s blowing up.”

What in the world could be that important? Kelley, the junior receiver, even chimed in. “I have watched it over a hundred times. I just can’t stop watching it. It’s crazy. I didn’t know it was that crazy when I first did it.”

All Zackarrey Kelley did was turn in the most spectacular catch of his life, the kind of catch any player dreams of, and like Coach Bowling said, it was ESPN’s top play last Friday. “I really didn’t think I would overthrow it because I know how he can get up and stuff,” said Nichols, the Great Crossing QB. “So, I just put it right there where he can go up and get it.”

According to Kelley, there was some personal uncertainty whether he had possession. “He put in the perfect spot, in my opinion. Well, at first, I didn’t even know I caught it. It just kind of like stuck to my hand. I didn’t know if I got my foot in or anything but when it came out, like I said, I knew it was high, but I knew I was going to have to make a great play to get it, regardless.”

Kelley has made a knack of highlight reel grabs. Against Henry Clay, ZK went airborne to get a touchdown. Kalib Perry had a one-hand snag in the same game against the Blue Devils, but the degree of difficulty on Kelley’s out did Perry’s.

“When I caught that one at the (Henry Clay) game, he was like freaking out and then when he caught that, I was freaking out just as much,” said Perry. That catch, which has caught national attention, has made Kelley an overnight celebrity to a degree.

“So many people ask me if I’m the guy who caught that pass when I’m like walking through school. There was a festival in Georgetown, walking through there, people were asking me about it.” Bowling has never seen a better catch in person. “Watching it from your all’s footage, and then watching on our film footage from the end zone cam to the sideline cam, and just seeing it live and I just have to keep watching and just his amazing ability that Zackarrey showed on that catch and obviously it was great!”

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