A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Five local players among nominees on Mr. Kentucky Football Award ballot for 2017 season

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Five of the 11 nominees for the Mr. Kentucky Football Award played on Northern Kentucky teams this season.

The nominee ballot released by the Associated Press includes two members of the undefeated Covington Catholic team that won the Class 5A state championship — quarterback A.J. Mayer and linebacker Kam Butler — along with Ryle running back Jake Chisholm, Ludlow quarterback Justin Blackburn and Simon Kenton quarterback Matt Shearer.

CovCath quarterback A.J. Mayer is one of five local players nominated for Mr. Kentucky Football. (Photo by Bob Jackson)

Three of those players — Mayer, Butler and Chisholm — were voted first-team all-state in a coaches poll conducted by the Louisville Courier Journal after the season.

Mayer is considered one of the leading contenders for Mr. Kentucky Football after leading a CovCath offense that scored a school record 679 points during the program’s first-ever 15-0 season.

Mayer and Butler will continue their football careers at Miami University of Ohio. Chisholm, who rushed for 2,315 yards and scored 33 touchdowns last season, recently made a commitment with University of Dayton in Ohio.

Blackburn was one of the state’s leading scorers last season with 36 touchdowns. Shearer passed for 2,532 yards and 33 TDs. Neither of them have announced a college commitment.

The other six seniors nominated for Mr. Kentucky Football are Louisville Trinity wide receiver Rondale Moore, Danville slotback D’Mauriae VanCleave, Graves County wide receiver Trevor Grant, Louisville Waggener defensive back Jarius Brents and Paintsville defensive tackle Tyrese Allen.

Nominees for Associated Press Coach of the Year were also released. That list includes Eddie Eviston of CovCath, Noel Rash of Beechwood, the Class 1A state champion, and Greg Taphouse of Ludlow.

After members of the Associated Press across the state cast their votes for Mr. Kentucky Football and Coach of the Year, the winners will be announced at a later date.

The last Northern Kentucky player to be named Mr. Kentucky Football was Highlands quarterback Patrick Towles after the 2011 season. The other local award-winners were Highlands quarterback Jared Lorenzen (1998), Boone County running back Shaun Alexander (1994) and Newport Central Catholic tight end Frank Jacobs (1986).


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