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Jeff Marksberry steps down as head coach of the Simon Kenton football program after 22 seasons

By Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Jeff Marksberry is stepping down as head coach of the Simon Kenton football team after 22 years and his long-time assistant Roy Lucas Jr. is taking charge of the program.

Marksberry’s teams compiled a 159-103 record and finished 15 of 22 seasons with a winning record. The Pioneers had a 19-17 record in playoff games and made it to the Class 6A state championship game in 2008. During a six-year run from 2013 to 2018, his teams had a 69-11 record that included two seasons when their only loss came in the playoffs.

Jeff Marksberry

In 2017, Lucas was named Assistant Coach of the Year by the Northern Kentucky Football Coaches Association for his contributions to the success of the Pioneers program.

Lucas has been an assistant coach and offensive coordinator at Simon Kenton since 2012. He was head coach of the team from 1997-99 before taking over the Lloyd program in 2000. When he made the switch, Marksberry became head coach of the Pioneers and Lucas joined his staff 12 years later.

Lucas had a 69-66 record in his 10 seasons as Lloyd’s head coach. He took the Juggernauts to the Class 2A semifinals in 2003, but they went 1-7 in playoff games over the next seven years.

Simon Kenton finished 2-9 this year, but most of the team’s statistical leaders were juniors who will be returning for the 2022 season. One of them is quarterback Chase Crone, a three-year starter who passed for 1,638 yards and 13 touchdowns while also rushing for 693 yards and 14 TDs. He’ll enter his senior season with career totals of 5,210 passing yards and 2,000 rushing yards.

Other talented juniors on this year’s Simon Kenton team were: running back Jayden Lawson, who rushed for a team-high 898 yards; wide receiver Chris Williams, who caught 59 passes for 800 yards; and linebacker Josh Bowling, who led the team in tackles with 123.

The Pioneers will also have sophomore place kicker Andrew Petty returning. He converted 33 of 38 point-after kicks and all five of his field goal attempts to score 48 points this season.

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