A publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

High school football coaches recognize outstanding players at annual Top 26 awards banquet

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Four high school football players who made college commitments before their senior seasons started were among the award-winners at the Northern Kentucky Football Coaches Association Top 26 banquet on Wednesday.

Each of the 20 teams in the association select one player to receive an award and the coaches vote on six additional players to be honored for having outstanding seasons.

NewCath linebacker Kyle Kelly was among the college recruits who received a Top 26 award from local coaches.

The early college football recruits on this year’s Top 26 awards list were Beechwood lineman Adam Derry (Middle Tennessee State), Covington Catholic wide receiver Jack Coldiron (Miami of Ohio), Newport Central Catholic linebacker Kyle Kelly (Ohio University) and Ryle lineman Jacob Gideon (Western Michigan).

Eddie Eviston of CovCath was named Coach of the Year by the assocation. His team was Class 5A state runner-up and finished with a 14-1 record.

Joe Wynn of Newport received the Owen Hauck Award for being coach of the team that showed the most improvement. Newport posted a 6-5 record to break a three-year string of losing seasons.

Rob Keller of Ludlow was named Assistant Coach of the Year. He has been with the Ludlow football program for 17 seasons and served as offensive coordinator this year.

The coaches association will nominate three players for the Brian Williams “That’s My Boy” Award that goes to the top student-athlete in Northern Kentucky high school football. The winner of the prestigious award will be announced at the Greater Cincinnati National Football Foundation banquet on Feb. 28.

Here is a complete list of this year’s Top 26 award-winners:

Beechwood – Adam Derry, Logan Castleman; Bellevue – Charles Schreiber; Boone County – John Mark Shutt; Brossart – Nathan Bezold; Campbell County – Reid Jolly, Tanner Lawrence; Conner – Zane Cahill;
Cooper – Mikey Armour, Mike Attabury; CovCath – Jack Coldiron, Casey McGinness; Dayton – Austin Klosterman; Dixie Heights – Keeshawn Westley; Highlands – Ben Sisson; Holmes – James Walker;
Holy Cross – Joe Martin; Lloyd – Brad Turner; Ludlow – Sean Stratton; Newport – Kaleel Davis;
NewCath – Kyle Kelly; Ryle – Jacob Gideon, Jackson Saladin; Scott – Sabeon Turner; Simon Kenton – J.J. Courtney, Clay Cogswell.

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