Thomas captains this all-county team

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Terrific 13 gridiron players saluted.

By Bobby Brockman

Never known to be the smartest person on this planet, why shouldn't I tackle another project that will only alienate some folks by picking my all-county football team for the just completed 2008 season.

Even the most die-hard Campbellsville High School or Taylor County High School gridiron fan has to imagine what a one-school football town would look like.

Here's my Terrific 13, starting with the picks from Taylor County since they won the Battle of the Birds in September.

How could any team start without one of the classiest (not saying the most, but just one of the most) players to ever play football in the community in Taylor County, running back Chris Thomas.

He could easily have not played after his injury in the Green County game, but he fought back and, despite being nowhere near 100 percent, came back to play the last four games for the Cardinals.

Leonard Macon proved his only season for the Cardinals on the gridiron will long be remembered as he led the county in scoring (174 points) and was a threat every time he touched the ball whether it be on offense, defense or special teams.

Justin Hoosier was the Cards' anchor on the offensive and defensive lines, and his loss was truly felt when he was injured in the first half of the homecoming game with Hart County.

Junior Lance Turpin filled the air with footballs and showed vast improvement from game one to game 12 as he passed for more than 30 touchdowns and was also a threat carrying the pigskin.

Andy Hunt played virtually every play for Taylor County on both sides of the ball while Dillain Thompson seemed to be one of the Cards' top defenders, pound for pound.

Rounding out TCHS' seven picks is Michael Coulter, who, like Thomas, was injured in the Taylor County game but showed with his game-winning catch vs. Powell County in the play-offs what the senior meant to the Cardinals in his only season of varsity football.

Heading across town to Campbellsville, versatile Michael McCubbin leads the list of Eagles as the senior could run the ball, catch the pigskin and was dominant on defense.

Zach Altman had to take a back seat to no one locally as he led the county in tackles (137) and the big-heart Eagle also rushed for 508 yards, caught 12 passes and scored 78 points.

When the Eagles needed a tough yard up the middle or a sweep to the outside, CHS called upon junior Thomas Downs, who rushed for nearly 1,000 yards and was also a stand-out on the defensive front.

A pair of senior linemen, Taylor Price and Casey Hines, anchored the Eagle interior play and were also valuable kickers - Price on extra points and Hines on kick-offs.

Sort of lost in the shadows of several Eagle senior stand-outs, junior Bryton Taylor showed at times he was indeed one of the most talented Campbellsville players whether it be at running back, wide receiver, linebacker or defensive back.

Just some random thoughts

* While at one time we did pick all-area teams (and that could return in 2009), my first all-star football unit came after my first football campaign in 1986. Named the Elite 11, it consisted of Phil Callison, Brad Lawson, Ben Netherland, Steve Tucker and Troy Walters from Campbellsville and Taylor County's David Bland, Rob Cofer, John Gaines, Todd Little, Robb McMahan and Steve Rucker.

McMahan was Player of the Year while Bland, Tucker and Spencer Melton (Taylor County) were Senior, Junior and Sophomore of the Year.

* Do the snickers from the Louisville loss to Western Kentucky outweigh the ones after the Kentucky setback to VMI?

A couple of things are for sure: U of L did ink a four-game schedule with the Toppers while UK didn't.

Also, would the old UKIT be better than all these home games with the likes of Mississippi Valley State and Florida Atlantic dotting a very mediocre home Wildcat schedule?

Also, it was just a few years ago (actually 2004) when current WKU players A.J. Slaughter (a junior at Shelby County) and Steffphon Pettigrew (an Elizabethtown sophomore) battled in the finals of the Coca-Cola/Campbellsville University Holiday Classic in Paul J. Coop Gymnasium.

* Lane Kiffin will have a tough time winning seven games in his first season as the University of Tennessee football coach.

The Big Orange will probably be underdogs in games with Florida, Georgia, Alabama, Auburn and Mississippi and no better than toss-ups vs. UCLA and at Kentucky.

Numbers don't always lie in explaining why UT got rid of Phillip Fulmer.

Fulmer, whose 152-52 coaching record seems similar to the underappreciated Joe B. Hall (297-100) basketball ledger at Kentucky, was 55-4 against UK (16-0), Vanderbilt (15-1), South Carolina (14-2), Mississippi (4-0) and Mississippi State (6-1) and 44-6 vs. non-conference foes.

That means against the so-called "big boys" or in bowl games, Fulmer was 53-42. That, plus the fact he was 29-21 in his last four seasons, won't, and didn't, get it done in Knoxville.

* Zach Allender moved past Cecil Ellis into fourth place on the men's all-time scoring list on Monday night. By the way, Ellis was in the house on Friday along with Barbara and David Cunningham at the Lou Cunningham Classic.