A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

2016 Prep Football Previews: Senior tailback Justice will play bigger role in Beechwood offense

The NKyTribune will be providing focused coverage of NKY high school football throughout the season, thanks to support from St. Elizabeth Healthcare Sports Medicine. See all of our pre-season features on each of NKY’s 21 high school football teams and follow our coverage, including roundups each week at Northern Kentucky High School Football.

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

With his explosive speed, Aiden Justice provided more than 900 total yards in rushing and pass receiving combined for the Beechwood football team last season. He was one of several offensive weapons the Tigers used to make it to the Class 1A state championship game.

Beechwood page pic

Senior tailback Aiden Justice is the top returning rusher and pass receiver for the Beechwood football team. (Photo by Terry Boehmker)

Justice will be playing a much bigger role in Beechwood’s offensive schemes this season since the leading rusher, leading receiver and starting quarterback on last year’s team all graduated.

“There’s going to be a lot of key players for us,” Justice said. “Coach (Noel) Rash just told me that I’ll have the ball in my hands a lot and they’re going to be counting on me.”

To improve his strength and speed for the upcoming season, the 5-foot-8, 165-pound senior tailback spent countless hours in the weight training room and joined the track team as a sprinter.

The primary reason for all of his hard work is helping Beechwood win its first Class 1A state title since 2008. He also hopes to catch the eye of a few college recruiters this season.

“I’m definitely gong to try to play college ball,” Justice said. “People have told me I’m too small my whole life, but it’s never held me back. Not a lot of (college) coaches have talked to me. Senior year is when I need to get their attention.”

Last season, Justice rushed for 471 yards and eight touchdowns. He also caught 24 passes for 433 yards and 10 TDs. Those were good numbers, but they’re nowhere close to the four-digit totals posted by the senior team leaders in those categories.

Veteran offensive linemen had a lot to do with the Tigers’ high-yardage offense last season, but most of them were also seniors who graduated.

St-E-Football-plug-768x249“We’re very young up front and we’re learning new stuff, but we will get there,” coach Rash said. “I like who we’ve got. It’s just going to take them a while to gel together.”

Beechwood’s new quarterback will be junior Brayden Burch. Justice will be the team’s primary ball carrier, but he’ll also be the team’s starting cornerback on defense and play on special teams. That’s why the coach plans to use James Davis and Logan Castleman in the tailback position as well.

“We feel like we have more guys who can play in multiple positions than we’ve had in a long time,” Rash said. “Aiden’s still going to be a massive contributor in our offense. I mean, he’s one of our key guys, but we’ve got several more in this deal.”

Justice is one of 12 seniors on the Beechwood roster and many of them will be starters on both sides of the ball.

“It’s a low number, but I think the seniors are going to contribute a lot,” he said. “We don’t have the size like last year, but I think we have the speed and the toughness.”

“We’re just going to give it our all,” he added. “This is our last season so the senior class is working really hard. If we keep doing that, we deserve to bring home a state title.”


2015 SEASON: 13-2 record, lost in Class 1A state championship game.
DISTRICT: Class 1A, District 4 with Bellevue, Dayton and Ludlow.
HEAD COACH: Noel Rash (108-32 in 10 seasons at Beechwood).

Aug. 26 – LLOYD, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 2 – SOMERSET, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 9 – FRANKLIN COUNTY, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 16 – at Covington Catholic, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 – at Holy Cross, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 – at Newport, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 – BELLEVUE, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 13 – at Ludlow, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 – at Dayton, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 – at Newport Central Catholic, 7 p.m.

Other NKyTribune prep football previews:
Dixie Heights

Covington Catholic

Newport Central Catholic
Boone County

Related Posts

Leave a Comment