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PREP FOOTBALL: Central Hardin could end district title drought (08/22)

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By Ryan O'Gara

The News-Enterprise

While the Meade County Green Wave have won the last three Class 6-A, District 2 titles, the race could be a little more wide open this season.

The Central Hardin Bruins return 16 starters to go with some lofty expectations, while Meade County has just nine starters back and is trying to shore up its offensive line. Muhlenberg County, which went 2-9 last season, is new to the district.

The Bruins, who haven’t won a district title since 1997, are expecting improvement from a defense which allowed less than 20 points just once last season. And if they get it, they could be tough to stop as the offense, led by junior quarterback Koree Krupinski, averaged over 26 points per game last season.

Senior Josh Krupinski and senior Matt Daugherty head a defensive line with plenty of potential and seniors Trey Jaco and Ryan Kelly are solid at linebacker.

The Green Wave’s main concern is their offensive line as senior center Matt Millay is the only returning starter. If an inexperienced line can mature by the time Central Hardin and Meade County meet in October, the Green Wave’s stout defense against the Bruins’ offense will be a very interesting matchup.

Senior quarterback Zeb Wilson will operate Meade County’s Wing-T offense. Senior Jonah Shacklette and junior Micah Kaiser are poised for big years on the ground.

“I think Meade’s a great program, and they have been for many years. They’re going to be a big challenge for us,” Central Hardin coach Mark Perry said. “We played them better last year, but weren’t able to get over the hump as far as wins and losses go.”

Muhlenberg County is led by senior tight end/linebacker Taylor Bidwell, senior lineman Andy Shepherd and senior running back Moe Clay.

“It’s a big school with lots of athletes and they’ve improved their facilities,” Perry said. “Traditionally, they have not had the same success as Meade but they have the athletes, the facilities. You just don’t know, they could be a surprise team and come on. They’ll all be big games for us.”

 

KEY GAME: Central Hardin at Meade County on Oct. 18. The last time the Bruins traveled to Brandenburg, they lost 58-14. Last season, Meade County topped Central Hardin, 34-14, so the Bruins have gotten closer. But if Central Hardin is serious about winning the district, this is the night it’ll need to be at its best.

“We have to handle a road trip and in terms of meaningfulness, it’s our biggest game on the schedule because that seeds you for postseason,” Perry said.

 

TOP PLAYER: Koree Krupinski, Central Hardin. Krupinski is entering his second season as a starter and should benefit from a year of experience. He threw 16 touchdowns and 16 interceptions last season while also running for four scores. He has weapons back in junior Zack Helton and senior Kenneth Browning.

Others to watch: Taylor Bidwell, Muhlenberg County; Moe Clay, Muhlenberg County; Jacob Hunt, Central Hardin; Micah Kaiser, Meade County; Josh Krupinski, Central Hardin; Zeb Wilson, Meade County.

 

PREDICTED ORDER OF FINISH. 1. Central Hardin, 2. Meade County, 3. Muhlenberg County

Ryan O’Gara can be reached at (270) 505-1754 or rogara@thenewsenterprise.com.