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The Highlands Bluebirds are coming off yet another perfect season after finishing 15-0 and with a fifth straight state title in 2011.
While expectations are once again high in Ft. Thomas, the team must replace a strong senior class that included quarterback Patrick Towles, the reigning Mr. Kentucky.
Towles is one of 23 starters that the Bluebirds will replace, but at Highlands they don’t rebuild, they reload.
We take an in-depth look at the 2012 edition of the Bluebirds:
2011 RECORD: 15-0 (4-0 in Class 4A, District 7), Kentucky Class 4A champs
COACHING: Dale Mueller is back for an 18th season at his alma mater and has a chance and is seeking an 11th state title atop the program. He has posted a 223-33 mark during his reign. While Mueller serves as the team’s offensive coordinator, assistant head coach Brian Weinrich calls the shots on defense.
OFFENSE: Highlands set state records most points (849), touchdowns (119) and total offensive yards (7,517) in a season. Despite losing some of its key components, there are plenty of key parts back on this side of the ball. Donovan McCoy is expected to slide over to quarterback from his wide receiver position. His primary targets in the passing game will be wide receiver Jac Collinsworth and tight end David Christian. The duo combined for 13 touchdowns a year ago. The running game looks solid once again with Colin Seidl and Zac Harris expected to carry the load. Mueller will need his inexperienced offensive line to step up and fill the void left by last year’s strong senior class.
DEFENSE: The team’s defense held opponents to 12.7 points per game while forcing 42 turnovers (25 interceptions and 17 fumbles) and scoring 8 defensive touchdowns. The unit will feature many new faces this season with the secondary remaining a strength. Blake Schutte, Quentin Murray and Ben Streeter combined for nine interceptions a year ago. Questions will still need to be answered in the front seven, where the team took a big hit to graduation. Gabe Schultz will help anchor things up front with linebackers Connor Poston and Thomas Wrobleski manning the middle.
SPECIAL TEAMS: Junior Luke Brockett and senior J.C. Mettens are the front runners to take over at kicker and punter respectively. Seidl was the team’s leading kick returner a year ago, tallying 326 yards and two touchdowns on eight returns. However, expect several players to get a crack at bringing the ball back for the Bluebirds this season.
Fri - 08/17/12 – BOYLE COUNTY - 7:30PM
Fri - 08/24/12 – vs. Scott County (location TBA) - 7:30PM
Fri - 09/07/12 - @Louisville Western - 7:30PM
Fri - 09/14/12 – MASON COUNTY - 7:30PM
Fri - 09/21/12 – COVINGTON CATHOLIC – 7:00PM
Fri - 09/28/12 – @Harrison County - 7:30PM
Fri - 10/05/12 – PENDLETON COUNTY - 7:00PM
Fri - 10/12/12 – HOLMES - 7:00PM
Fri - 10/19/12 – ELDER - 7:30PM
Fri - 10/26/12 – @Ryle - 7:30PM
FINAL TAKE: Beating last year’s historical numbers on offense will be hard to do, but matching the team’s 15-win output and a sixth straight state championship appears well in sight. The schedule offers few roadblocks and Class 4A doesn’t have many teams that can match the Bluebirds’ firepower. It should be another fun ride for fans in Ft. Thomas in 2012.
Dan Clasgens is a co-founder of TSF and serves as the President/Director of Media & Content for our parent company, GetSports Enterprises LLC. In addition to nearly a decade of experience in covering local high school football, Dan is a widely recognized as a fantasy football guru. He is both a local and national radio personality, including hosting a weekly show on SiriusXM Fantasy Sports Radio. If you are interested in covering your team, please CONTACT US.