Woodford County looking to take the next step in 2023
The Yellow Jackets lost just one game in the regular season last year before falling to eventual state champion Douglass in the third round of the playoffs
LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - The Woodford County Yellow Jackets lost just one game in the regular season last year before falling to eventual state champion Douglass in the third round of the playoffs. Many of the players on last year’s roster are back.
“You know, I think one thing that’s going to help us is experience,” said Woodford County head coach Dennis Johnson. “We lost a ton of guys. We got a lot of guys coming back. Our quarterback is back, Andrew Nason, Makei Smith’s back. A few linemen are back. Leighton Starks is back, so we got the makings. Now we’ll get tested early on, so it will be a fun season.”
“Some younger guys were starting last year, so I feel like everybody already knows their role,” said Woodford County defensive end Layton Starks. “So I feel like we’re going to be way better. Everybody has been working.”
Last season, Andrew Nason passed for more than sixteen hundred yards and twenty touchdowns. He added 872 yards rushing and 12 rushing scores.
“Last year was kind of my first year to learn the ropes.,” said Nason. “So this year, I” ‘m coming back with all the information I had last year, having all that pressure on me in big games in the playoffs. I’ve kept that, so this year, I have an advantage in all the games we play.”
Dennis Johnson has built this Woodford County program into a contender in Class 5A, only losing three games over the past two years, but he’s dealt with adversity off the field. In July, his father, Alvis Johnson, died at 76. Alvis Johnson was the head football coach at Harrodsburg High School for 24 years and was highly respected in the football community. He spent the past eight years on the Woodford County sideline, lending advice and cheering on the Yellow Jackets.
“They unveiled a mural in the locker room,” said Johnson. “So I’ll be able to see him every Friday, but you know, along this process, he really helped me a ton, coaching me hard about things I need to do to build our program. He’s always in my heart. He blessed a lot of people. So now it’s our job to continue his legacy.”
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