|Boone County Rebels Football Preview 2013
|8/1/2013 - by Ryan Roberts|
"Restore the order."
Those are the words echoed in the Boone County football locker room heading in to the 2013 season. The Rebels are coming off one of their worst seasons in program history as they finished 1-10 last year but there is a lot of excitement around the program despite the rough season. Gone is long time Boone County head coach Rick Thompson and in is new head coach Jeff Griffith.
Griffith arrives in Florence after being an assistant for the past 12 years at Bowling Green, where he won back to back state championships the past two years and was a part of 30 consecutive wins.
"I’ve been around the block a couple times, starting to get old, but I’m excited about the opportunity to be here at Boone County," said Coach Griffith.
With a new coach comes a new philosophy on both sides of the ball. While Boone County has traditionally been a run first offense, the new regime plans to open things up and implement a spread offense that allows them to run the ball but also get their playmakers and athletes open in space.
"Our offensive coordinator, Kyle McGraw, has an extensive background in throwing the ball," Coach Griffith explained. "I think you’re going to see a different look from Boone County on offense but at the same time I’m a defensive coach by nature and know that you have to run the football in order to win, so we’re certainly going to do that as well."
One of the key guys on offense that should be counted on to make an impact in the first year head coaches’ system is quarterback Jamar Lamb who returns with little experience at the quarterback position but is known as a great athlete and more of a passer than the typical Boone County quarterback.
"With the style that we’re going to play, Jamar Lamb has really impressed us," Griffith explained.
Defensively the Rebels will run a 3-4 attacking style defense that Coach Griffith has been tweaking over his past 12 years at Bowling Green.
"The kids are excited about the type of style of defense that we’re going to play here."
With Coach Griffith comes his son, Owen Griffith who has been a key part to the success of the Bowling Green defense over the past two seasons. Griffith started for the Purples last season and was the third leading tackler with 61 tackles, while also recovering 3 fumbles and 1 interception.
"Right now I’m just trying to be as big of a leader as possible," said the younger Griffith. "I’ve played this defense for 3 years now, while everyone else has been playing it for a few months. It’s going to be a great transition for everyone though. All the guys really enjoy the style of play we are bringing to Boone County."
One of the biggest returnees defensively from last season’s team is defensive back Aaron Floyd.
"He’s very athletic and a smart player," said Coach Griffith. "He knows how to play and we’re expecting a big year out of him."
The Rebels will once again be tested this season as they will travel to Lafayette and 4A state semi finalist from a year ago, Lexington Catholic on top of tough district games on the road against an improving Dixie Heights team and county Rival, Ryle.
The home slate will be highlighted with their opener against Covington Catholic, which has become the classic Northern Kentucky opener every year. Other games include Cooper, who Griffith coached against in last year’s 5A state championship game, as well as Henry Clay and key district games against two time defending district champion Campbell County, and a potential top 5 team in the state for 6A in Simon Kenton.
"What little I do know about the teams on our schedule, there are no breathers," said Coach Griffith. "It’s an extremely tough schedule but at the same time this is Boone County High School and we’re expected to play good (teams), expected to win those games, and that’s certainly that attitude that we’re going to take."
The Rebels have a lot of growing up to do due to losing 30 seniors off last year’s team, but Coach Griffith knows that there is a lot of youth in the program.
"We played a lot of young guys last year. Honestly I’m not sure where we’re going to end up but we want to win as many as we can and win as many district games as we can while being competitive."
With the new regime and attitude taking over Boone County football, expect the program to turn the corner and start to "restore the order".
Players to Watch:
Jamar Lamb (QB) – Junior QB Lamb is the key to the Rebels new attacking offense. Look for Lamb to throw the ball more than he hands it off. Lamb has looked solid in 7 on 7 competition and has nearly unlimited potential as a QB.
Aaron Floyd (SS) – Floyd is the ultra-talented son of former EKU and New York Jet George Floyd. Floyd is a head hunter as a strong safety that should develop into one of the top DBs in KY this year as a junior. Additionally look for Floyd to pressure opposing QBs in Coach Griffith’s attacking defense.
Jessie Bowling (OL) – Bowling is an aggressive and powerful junior that has been seeing varsity action since the end of his Freshman year for the Rebels. Bowling should not only be the top performing offensive linemen on the team, Bowling should excel in Coach Griffith’s two platoon system and become one of the top offensive lineman in NKY.
Jerry Marshall (RB) - Junior RB Jerry Marshall may be the best kept secret in NKY. Marshall is a north/south runner with breakaway speed. Additionally, Marshall catches the ball very well out of the backfield which will create difficult match-ups for opposing LBs.
Owen Griffith (DE) – Griffith is the son of head Coach Jeff Griffith. Griffith started last year for the undefeated Bowling Green Purples. Look for senior Owen Griffith to be one of the top pass rushers in KY. Additionally, Griffith is like having a coach on the field with his thorough understanding of the defense.