Friday, August 18, 2017

Rockets blow out Tennessee foe

Architect and Administrator of the Rocket offense, respectively,
are offensive coordinator Sean Thompson and quarterback Hunter Boone.
DOVER, Tenn. – If anything is going to slow down this Rocket offense, it’s going to have be a something from outside the Volunteer state and a bit more creative than Stewart County’s effort Friday night.

In its season-opener on the road, Crittenden County dispatched the Rebels 62-27 in their first ever meeting. And it really wasn’t that close.

Junior quarterback Hunter Boone continued his assault on the Rocket record book with a single-game-tying five touchdown passes and a single-game record 329 yards passing. He completed 14 of 20 passes and even his receivers would admit that a few of the misses should have been caught. 

Crittenden fans were excited when their Rockets piled up 42 points in a pre-season scrimmage against 4A Calloway County. They are surely amazed with what the offense did against a Tennessee 3A team – scoring on every offensive series and ripping the Rebel secondary with wide open receptions and tackle-breaking moves after catches. 

Rocket OL keeps its quarterback protected in Game One.
No sacks and just one flush... and it went for Six.
Junior Ethan Dossett, who missed part of last season after a broken collarbone, is making up for lost time. He caught two touchdown passes and finished with 128 yards on five receptions. The athleticism in Crittenden’s receiving corps is better and deeper than at any time in recent memory and their prowess flips over to the defensive side, too. Stewart County is a traditional ground-oriented team and had hoped to be a bit more versatile this season. However, the Rocket defense made sure that didn’t happen in week one. The Rebels got just 21 yards through the air.

Boone never has to look far for a set of capable hands with junior Gavin Dickerson catching balls out of the backfield and punishing would-be tacklers. He scored twice, once on a run and once after a reception. Junior Branen Lamey caught two touchdown passes and senior Cody Belt grabbed two receptions and nearly had a diving catch in the end zone for a score, but it rattled loose.

Another junior, Devon Nesbitt – the returning player of the year in the district – scored on the ground, and when his young backups came in to clean up the fourth quarter, freshman Lathen Easley broke a 41-yard carry then punched it across the goal line on the next play. Classmate Xander Tabor looked equally impressive running the ball late in the game.

Crittenden will get a week off to further explore its offensive genius and get ready for Trigg County to kickoff Labor Day weekend on Sept. 1 in Marion.

Be sure to read the Aug. 24 printed issue of The Crittenden Press for more on this game, including defensive details, coaching staff reactions and other insights.

Crittenden Co.    7   28   13   14
Stewart County   7    0    7    13

S-Willie Reynolds 1 run (Cameron Jiminez kick) 3:48, 1st
C-Branen Lamey 37 pass from Hunter Boone (Cody Belt kick) 3:48, 1st
C-Devon Nesbitt 34 run (Belt kick) 11:12, 2nd
C-Gavin Dickerson 11 pass from Boone (Belt kick) 7:18, 2nd
C-Ethan Dossett 46 pass from Boone (Belt kick) 4:43, 2nd
C-Boone 38 run (Belt kick) 1:25, 2nd
C-Dickerson 16 run (Belt kick) 10:36, 3rd
S-Reynolds 4 run (Jiminez kick) 4:17, 3rd
C-Dossett 28 pass from Boone (Belt kick) 3:18, 3rd
C-Lamey 26 pass from Boone (Belt kick) 9:54, 4th
S-Dalton Stamper 16 run (kick failed) 6:39, 4th
C-Lathen Easley 2 run (Noah Perkins kick) 1:14, 4th
S-Landon Clark 76 kickoff return (Jiminez kick) :59, 4th

First Downs: Crittenden 11, Stewart 13
Penalties: Crittenden 7-50, Stewart 4-20
Rushing: Crittenden 14-190, Stewart 50-232
Passing: Crittenden 14-20-0, 329 yds., Stewart 2-5-0, 21 yds.
Total Yards: Crittenden 507, Stewart 253
Fumbles/Lost: Crittenden 0-0, Stewart 2-2

Crittenden: Nesbitt 4-38, Caden McCalister 1-(-1), Dickerson 2-28, Xander Tabor 4-32, Lathan Easley 2-43, Boone 1-38. Stewart: Stamper 18-122, Shaheem Davis 16-87, Reynolds 10-43, Jacob Wallace 1-2, Joshua McDonald 5-(-22).
Crittenden: Boone 13-19-0, 329 yds. Stewart: McDonald 2-5-0, 21 yds.
Crittenden: Dossett 5-128, Cody Belt 2-51, Lamey 2-63, Dickerson 4-43, Mason Hunt 1-44. Stewart: Elijah Smith 1-6, C.J. Gale 1-15.
Records: Crittenden 1-0, Stewart 0-1

Thursday, July 27, 2017

Annual Ironman work starts practice

Click Image to Enlarge



For more than 16 years, Crittenden County football players have been starting the season with an individual strength, speed and agility competition called the Ironman.

Forty-three players competed in this year’s pre-season competition and senior Adam Beavers came out on top, edging out last year’s competition winner, junior Devon Nesbitt. The two finished first and second last year with their places reversed. Nesbitt is the reigning Class A First District Player of the Year.

The competition aims to encourage a well-rounded athlete, combining speed and strength to perfect a player. This year’s weightlifting figures were markedly higher than last summer’s, a tribute to work in the weightroom, says the coaching staff.

While the running and agilities part of the contest tends to favor the skilled-position players, those husky linemen play catchup in overall points by dominating in the weight room.
As much as anything, the competition is a way for the coaching staff to get players geared up for pre-season practice and to reward those who have worked hard during the offseason.

Rocket football season begins on Aug. 18 at Dover, Tenn., where Crittenden will play Stewart County for the first time ever. The boys will host Calloway County in a scrimmage on Aug. 11.

Overall Points
1. Adam Beavers
2. Devon Nesbitt
3. Branen Lamey
4. Brady Birk
5. Ethan Dossett
6. Sean O’Leary
7. Gavin Dickerson
8. Travis Guess
9. Caden McCalister
10. Kyle Castiller

40 Yard Dash
Branen Lamey 4.81
Devon Nesbitt 4.85
Ethan Dossett 4.89
Adam Beavers 4.97
Sean O’Leary 4.97

Verticle Jump
Adam Beavers 28.5”
Devon Nesbitt 28.5”
Douglas Ford 24.5”
Xander Tabor 24.0”

Adam Beavers 245
Gavin Dickerson 215
Mitchell Joyce 195
Branen Lamey 195
Brock Langston 195

Adam Beavers 235
Brady Birk 235
Hunter Boone 210
Brock Langston 205
Gavin Dickerson 195
Jagger Hayes 195

Brock Langston 385
Adam Beavers 335
Brady Birk 315
Ethan Dossett 300
Jake Gibson 295

Thursday, July 13, 2017

Starnes opens final year at Rocket helm

Football pre-season practice got underway last week with the customary conditioning and traditional Ironman competition on campus at Crittenden County High School.

There are 42 players participating in drills and although things appear a bit more regimented than in the past, everything looks somewhat normal for July workouts.

Yet despite that exterior appearance, everyone who follows CCHS football knows this season will be nothing akin to business as usual. It will be monumental in many rights as longtime skipper Al Starnes makes his farewell tour of Friday nights.

Not a soul on his team was born when Starnes started coaching Rocket football in 1991. Indeed, these guys were not even a glimmer in anyone’s eye. Starnes has been the head coach at Crittenden County much, much longer than anyone else in history – more than four times longer to be exact. Beginning his 27th season at the helm, Starnes has won 167 games and lost 133. His teams have been largely successful, especially in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Under Starnes, Crittenden County has won five district championships and a regional title.
As the record-setting skipper heads off into the sunset this fall, saying bon voyage to a team and school with which he has become synonymous – if not ambilically linked – may safely be considered something utterly out of the norm.

Keeping everything in check will be Starnes’ main focus, not letting emotions get too high or too low. Starnes knows he has a good squad returning, headed by starting quarterback Hunter Boone, a junior who is likely to reset all of the school’s passing records. But, the skipper knows its weaknesses, too.

Strength up front will be a big question mark. Adam Beavers, a senior lineman, and junior Gavin Dickerson will anchor the defense. They will be among the best in the district. In the backfield will be the district’s returning player of the year, junior Devon Nesbitt.

Last week’s workouts started with weightlifting, running and other agilities, chalk-talk sessions and group drills. On Friday and Saturday, there was an in-house offensive camp featuring the Tony Franklin System. The team had gone to the Franklin camp at Murray State the last two years and gained valuable information and experiences, Starnes said. But this year, it was conducted by the CCHS staff at Rocket Stadium.

Starnes said the staff was adequately trained to handle the camp on-site, and the team saved some money. Middle schoolers also attended the camp.

CCHS practice will continue each weekday morning through July then Rocket Camp Week begins July 31 and will continue through the first week of August. There will be 7-on-7 contests each Thursday at 6 p.m.

The team opens its season Aug. 18 at Stewart County, Tenn. There will be a scrimmage at home on Aug. 11 against Calloway County.

Crittenden Middle School Football Schedule

Thursday, Aug. 17 at Calloway County
Tuesday, Aug. 22 at Trigg County
Thursday, Aug. 31 at Union County
Tuesday, Sep. 5 Webster County
Tuesday, Sep. 12 at South Hopkins
Tuesday, Sep. 19 at James Madison
Tuesday, Sep. 26 Browning Springs

Tuesday, Oct. 3 Caldwell County

Friday, June 2, 2017

Johnson will play football at Knox College

Joining CCHS graduate Charlie Johnson on his signing day for a
 football scholarship to Knox College were (front from left)
his brother Devin Souvongkham, step-father Phillip
Cale, Johnson, mother Stacy Wallen, grandmother Charleen
Hagerty, (back) CCHS Associate Head Coach Sean
Thompson, CCHS Head Coach Al Starnes, CCHS
Athletic Director Angela Starnes and Crittenden
County Superintendent Vince Clark.
Charlie Johnson never pictured himself playing collegiate football, but thanks to technology and his academic standards, the Crittenden County High School graduate has been called to play at Knox College at Galesburg, Ill.

Johnson was a kickoff returner and running back for the Rockets, where he earned a reputation for enthusiasm and leadership. His quickness was key to his success on the field, and his determination has helped him earn a collegiate scholarship.

His formal affirmation as part of the recruiting process took place recently at Rocket Arena surrounded by family,  supporters, school administrators and coaches.

After creating a profile on the web-based recruiting service Next College Student Athlete (NCSA), Johnson started getting text messages from the coach at Knox, which plays as member of the NCAA Division III Midwest Conference.

Johnson, a great math student, knew he wanted to go to college to pursue a career in civil engineering. He also wanted to play football. An official visit to Kentucky Wesleyan didn’t go as well as he’d planned so Johnson decided to make the six-hour drive north to Knox, which is northwest of Peoria, Ill. There, he found his match.

The school is a highly-acclaimed liberal arts college with about 1,400 students. Johnson said the coach was eager for him to sign with The Prairie Fire football team, which tipped the scales.

“He told me I would start off on special teams, but would have an opportunity as a running back,” said Johnson, who was presented the coveted Principal’s Award at last month’s Class Night. Johnson was recognized for his unwavering zest for life and contagious good nature.

“I guess it just comes natural,” he said about the positive attitude he delivers whether it’s football, school or community events.

He said, “I just like to see the good things in people.”

CCHS Athletic Director Angela Starnes said she remembers Johnson in elementary school physical education class, carrying that same  perspective.

“He’s been like that since he was just a little kid,” she said.

His high school football coach said Johnson will continue to be successful because of his willingness to persevere.

“He has stuck with a (sport) because he loved it. He’s a go getter and we’re excited for him and proud of him,” said Rocket football coach Al Starnes.

Johnson said he became interested in engineering while helping design an airplane wing in a school aeronautics class.

“I’ve just always liked making things run,” he said.