, Corbin, KY

Local Sports

September 9, 2013

Just for Kicks

North Laurel’s Keaton Kennedy is a valuable asset for the Jaguars

CORBIN — By John Stepp For The Endzone

When football coaches search the hallways of their schools for kids who can contribute to their offense, they’re not usually looking for a kicker. But, three years ago, that is exactly what happened to North Laurel Coach Chris Larkey when he asked junior kicker Keaton Kennedy to come out and see how he likes football.

The rest is history between the coach and player, as Kennedy has been the full-time kicker for the Jaguars since his freshman season. Since that time he has added a dimension to the North Laurel offense that Larkey has not been used to throughout his coaching career, even going back to his days at Rockcastle, where his teams played in two state championships.

“It’s not something you see a lot in the mountains, especially the schools that don’t have soccer programs,” said Larkey. “We never had soccer at Rockcastle, so we usually put one of those square toes on a lineman and let him kick.”

Now that Larkey has had a bonafide kicker on his team for a third season, he has become more comfortable taking three points when the opportunities present themselves. He even likes doing that now.

“Keaton has taught me that it’s OK to take three points instead of going for it on fourth down and possibly turning over the football,” said Larkey. “Keaton is a weapon for us. He hits his extra points, he can hit the field goals when we need him to, and he puts the ball in the end zone on kickoffs about 80 percent of the time. He is a big part of this team.”

Kennedy was always a star on the soccer field, but after spending his first two years of high school on the gridiron, he considers himself a two-sport athlete. To Kennedy, there isn’t a much better feeling than putting three points on the board for the Jaguars.

“What I love about it is going out there and putting the ball through the uprights and watching those points be added to the scoreboard,” said Kennedy. “There isn’t a better feeling than that.”

Despite Kennedy’s track record as being an accurate and successful kicker, Larkey still struggles when his team gets in the red zone. Wanting to make a good decision for his team, he debates whether or not to kick a field goal, but he’s working this year to get Kennedy as many opportunities as he can.

“There are still times that we get down there and I second-guess myself. I don’t have a problem putting Keaton out there and letting him kick, but it’s still hard because I want to make a good decision for the team,” Larkey said. “This year I’m going to try to just take the field goal. Last week against Williamsburg we had the opportunity to kick a field goal, and we threw Keaton in there and he put us by 17 points and we won the game.”

Larkey may second-guess the decision to take the three points on fourth down, but Kennedy is always ready to help his team.

“I’m over there anxious when it comes time for me to kick. He doesn’t always let me out there to kick, and sometimes I get upset with him, but I love going out there and getting it done,” said Kennedy. “I think I’ll get more opportunities this year.”

Despite Kennedy’s success as the North Laurel kicker, he still has one major feat left to add to his resume – kicking a 60-yard field goal, a Kentucky high school state record. Kennedy attempted a 57-yarder last season, but it fell short. But, that won’t stop him from trying to put his name at the top of the list.

“I’m definitely going after the state record,” said Kennedy. “I’m going to get it. Before my senior year is over, I’m going to get it.”

Text Only
Local Sports
  • 0721 CORBIN GROUP FOR WEB.jpg What A Run!

    The Corbin Little League All Stars put together an impressive run to the 2014 Little League State Tournament, but all good things must come to an end.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0707 NORTH 11-12s FOR WEB.jpg Fun While It Lasted

    The North Laurel 11-12 year-old All-Stars finished their trip in Central Region play by dropping a 15-0 decision to Missouri’s Webb City Little League.

    July 23, 2014 1 Photo

  • Knox County put together gutsy run to state

    The Knox County 11-year-old All Stars came in to Monday’s contest with Owensboro Southern knowing that the winner would move on to the semifinals of the state tournament.

    July 23, 2014

  • 0707 NORTH 11-12s FOR WEB.jpg End of the Line

    Recil Jones’ North Laurel 11-12 year-old All-Stars finished their stay in the Central Region Tournament with an 0-3 record after dropping a 9-4 decision to Wisconsin state champion Franklin Little League.

    July 22, 2014 1 Photo

  • Knox County's state title run comes to an end

    The Knox County 11-year-old All Stars came in to Monday’s contest with Owensboro Southern knowing that the winner would move on to the semifinals of the state tournament.

    July 22, 2014

  • Tripped Up: Tough loss follows Saturday's walk-off win

    By Chris Parsons
    Sports Editor
    BOWLING GREEN — The Corbin Little League All Stars began the 2014 State Tournament with as exciting a finish as any baseball fan could hope for, but struggled on day two, falling to 1-1 after the first two days.

    July 21, 2014

  • Comeback Effort: Knox County recovers from 24-0 loss, grabs 4-2 win in pool play

    By Chris Parsons
    Sports Editor
    BOWLING GREEN — After what could have turned in to a demoralizing 24-0 loss to Eastern to start State Tournament pool play Saturday, the Knox County 11-year-old All Stars recovered nicely Sunday, picking up a 4-2 win over Paintsville.

    July 21, 2014

  • 0702 TEAM JUMP FOR WEB.jpg Ready To Roll

    After a 6-0 run through the loser’s bracket of the District 4 Tournament, the only thing left for the Corbin Little League All Stars to do is pack their bags and get to Bowling Green.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • 0326 whs tennis.jpg Smashing Win

    March 28, 2014 1 Photo

  • Whitley County knocks off B'ville, 7-0

    March 28, 2014

Front page
Featured Ads
AP Video
Ariz. Inmate Dies 2 Hours After Execution Began Crash Kills Teen Pilot Seeking World Record LeBron James Sends Apology Treat to Neighbors Raw: Funeral for Man Who Died in NYPD Custody Migrants Back in Honduras After US Deports Israeli American Reservist Torn Over Return Raw: ISS Cargo Ship Launches in Kazakhstan Six Indicted in StubHub Hacking Scheme Former NTSB Official: FAA Ban 'prudent' EPA Gets Hip With Kardashian Tweet Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in the Netherlands Biden Decries Voting Restrictions in NAACP Talk Broncos Owner Steps Down Due to Alzheimer's US, UN Push Shuttle Diplomacy in Mideast Trump: DC Hotel Will Be Among World's Best Plane Crashes in Taiwan, Dozens Feared Dead Republicans Hold a Hearing on IRS Lost Emails Raw: Mourners Gather As MH17 Bodies Transported Robot Parking Valet Creates Stress-free Travel Raw: Fight Breaks Out in Ukraine Parliament
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter
SEC Times-Tribune