PRESTONSBURG - The Cats’ Pause 2012 Kentucky Football Yearbook has tabbed Prestonsburg as the favorite in Class 2A, District 8. The Blackcats are picked to finish ahead of defending champion Leslie County, Betsy Layne and Shelby Valley in the very competitive four-team district. The preseason football publication hit newsstands earlier in the week.
Prestonsburg, under the direction of veteran head coach John DeRossett, the winningest coach in the tradition-rich high school gridiron program’s history, started preseason practice last week. The Blackcats were competing in passing games on Wednesday evening at the newly-turfed Josh Francis Field.
Prestonsburg (5-6) faced adversity throughout the 2011 campaign. The Blackcats finished one game below .500 in 2011 after falling in four of their last five outings. Injuries wound up plaguing Prestonsburg last season. A healthy cast is expected to allow the Blackcats to regain the district’s top spot.
After capturing the district title, Leslie County concluded the season 9-3. Betsy Layne compiled a 7-4 overall record. The fourth team in the district, Shelby Valley, finished 5-6.
Graduation didn’t spare the Blackcats. Prestonsburg lost quarterback Adam Crisp (2,332 yards, 26 TDs), longtime offensive leader Joseph Jamerson and leading rusher Kain Collins (555 yards) to graduation. The Blackcats return second-leading rusher Bryson Williams (447 yards), a senior who led the team in receiving with 795 yards.
Sophomore Jarredd Jarrell (551 yards receiving) and junior Grant Anderson also return for the Prestonsburg offense. Jarrell is a leading candidate to take over at quarterback for the Blackcats.
Senior tight end/linebacker Adam Griffith is another key player back for the Prestonsburg football team.
Up front, senior Kinsey VanDine (6-3, 290) is back to anchor both sides of the Prestonsburg line.