Frankfort High’s football team has made a deep run into the playoffs the last two years.
Injuries may determine how far the Panthers go this season.
“The injury bug has hit us,” FHS coach Craig Foley said. “We have two starting linemen out, and hopefully they’ll be back before the Paris game gets here.
“We have eight kids out, and that makes it tough in practice the way we line people up. We have running backs playing on the offensive line just to get a look at different things.”
Frankfort reached the Class A state semifinals two years ago and was in the quarterfinals last season, finishing with an 11-2 record.
“Before the injuries hit we were expecting big things out of this year,” Foley said. “I thought we had a legitimate shot at getting to the state championship game, but since the injuries I’m a little hesitant.”
But if the Panthers get healthy they could be a force.
They are led by senior running back/linebacker Quan Weaver. Last year’s State Journal Player of the Year, Weaver has verbally committed to the University of Louisville.
“Everything will center around Quan,” Foley said. “There are a lot of expectations on him this year. He’ll have to be patient. He’ll be the focal point of other teams’ defense. That’ll open it up for other people, and when that happens things will open back up for him. I’m pleased with his work ethic on both sides of the ball.”
Last season Weaver rushed for 2,092 yards, and including punt and kickoff returns he had a total of 2,243 yards. He also scored 24 touchdowns.
Dylan Quinn will step into the quarterback spot, replacing Keri Metcalf who graduated this spring. Quinn saw some playing time last year as Metcalf’s backup including a start against Eminence.
“We have the potential to be more balanced,” Foley said. “Dylan has his moments in practice. Some days he looks great and some days he struggles, but that’s because he hasn’t gotten the reps. He’s been a backup for two years in a predominately run system.
“We’re going to try and throw more this year than we have in the past. All our receivers can catch the ball real well.”
Dwight Tillman is the team’s leading returning receiver with 677 yards in receptions last season. He scored 19 touchdowns and finished with 1,270 all-purpose yards for the Panthers last year. Another receiver, Caleb Leach, has transferred in from Lexington Catholic.
And once again, speed will be a strength for the Panthers.
“We’re fast,” Foley said. “Defense is where you’ll see it the most. We’ll forgo some size to put a little more speed on the field.”
Frankfort graduated just five seniors off last year’s team and returns plenty of experience, including a senior class of 12 players.
“For us that’s a big class,” Foley said. There are about 33 players out for this year’s team.
“We have seven or eight starters back on each side of the ball,” he added. “Our backfield’s intact. Before the injury bug got us our line was intact. The kids have to get a little tougher. I’m a little disappointed in their mental toughness at this point.”
Frankfort opens the season at home Aug. 28 against Paris.
The Panthers’ district remains the same with Eminence and Bracken, Trimble and Gallatin counties.
FHS opens district play Oct. 2 at home against Bracken County and goes to Eminence Oct. 9 and then Gallatin County Oct. 16. Trimble County comes to town Oct. 23.
The Panthers play the other two local teams on consecutive weeks – Sept. 11 at Western Hills and Sept. 18 at home against Franklin County – and they close out the regular season Oct. 30 with a home game against Danville.
Foley’s assistant coaches this year are Shane Smith, Tom Roberts, Phil Booker, Terry Hopper, Paul Thompson, Tommy Acklin and William Leach.
Frankfort High Schedule
All games begin at 7:30 p.m. unless otherwise specified
Aug. 21 Open
Aug. 28 Paris
Sept. 4 at Spencer Co.
Sept. 11 at Western Hills
Sept. 18 Franklin Co.
Sept. 25 at Middlesboro
Oct. 2 Bracken Co. (HC)
Oct. 9 at Eminence
Oct. 16 at Gallatin
Oct. 23 Trimble Co.
Oct. 30 Danville
Frankfort High roster
No. Player Grade Position
2 Georan Cardwell 11 WR/DB
3 Austin Clark 11 DL
5 Dylan Quinn 11 QB/DB
7 Tony Headley 10 WR/DB
9 Quan Weaver 12 RB/LB
10 Marcus Washington 12 TB/LB
11 Aaron Hall 12 WR/DB
12 Deshon Floyd 12 TE/DE
16 Ethan Williams 12 WR/DB
18 Evan Wright 11 TE/DE
20 Jacob Smith 12 WR/DE
21 Jeff Dunmire 12 RB/LB
22 Chris Hawkins 9 QB/DE
23 Zach Mason 11 RB/LB
24 Joseph Morgan 10 RB/LB
27 Charles Edwards 12 WR/DE
30 Dylan Perry 11 RB/LB
32 Dwight Tillman 12 WR/DB
33 Tim Davis 10 RB/LB
37 Nick Winans 9 RB/DE
42 Aaron Jackson
44 Kent Rawlings
51 Jesse Dunmire 10 OL/DE
52 Tyler Mattison 12 OL/DE
55 Aaron Clark 11 OL/N
57 Trevon Washington 9 OL/DE
60 Louis Ray
62 Ryan Reed 11 OL/DE
65 Tyler Ashley 12 OL/DE
66 AJ Bramble 10 OL/DE
74 Trevor Williams 9 OL/DE
79 Kyle Eskue 12 OL/DE
82 Taylor Hedden