Home Featured FALL SPORTS PREVIEW: ACMS Football

FALL SPORTS PREVIEW: ACMS Football

With 49 players on this year's roster, Adair boasts both talent and depth

The 2022 Adair County Middle School Indians
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Believers in the mantra “strength in numbers” should be confident about Adair County Middle School Football’s prospects in 2022.

The Indians’ roster this season is huge — literally. The 49 players who make up this year’s team are by far the most in Wes Stephens’ six-year tenure as head coach. He says that such a large group of kids presents new challenges, but that the pros far outweigh the cons.

“Thirty-five is the most we’ve ever had, so to have 49 kids is an incredible jump, huge numbers for us,” Stephens says. “It’s been kind of hectic getting kids into helmets and jerseys and stuff, but it’s a good problem to have because there have been seasons where we had 20 or 25 kids. I think it shows that we’re going in the right direction, to have that many kids come out to play.”

The drastic jump in participation leaves Stephens in a rare position. His squad boasts loads of experience and talent but also features many newcomers who are playing the sport for the first time.

“I think it’s a good sign because it means there are kids who weren’t playing football who are now,” Stephens explains. “The downside is just that it takes time for them to catch on, but that will come with practice and playing games. The other challenge with so many kids is that it’s hard to give individual attention and really coach up your younger ones. If that’s our biggest problem though, having a lot of players, then we’re in pretty good shape.”

Aside from the hurdles that inevitably arise from having a big roster, Stephens has plenty to be excited about. He likes the attitude he’s seen from players, saying he and his staff “don’t have to coach effort.” Older players are setting a good example for the rookies. The added depth presents playing-time flexibility that would have been considered a luxury in years past.

“We’ve got a lot of kids and a lot of kids who can really play,” the coach says. “We can’t really platoon offense and defense, but we’re really deep, especially with our linemen. It’s not just numbers, either; it’s quality. We’ll be able to give guys some breaks and rotate a lot of kids in because we’ve got a lot of guys we can count on.”

Stephens says that he has high hopes for his squad, but he won’t measure success solely on wins and losses. He admits that he would like to see a postseason run — his team has never made it to the final four of the conference — but he is “more focused on the big picture.”

“We just want to be the best version of ourselves by the end of the year,” he says. “Overall, I want the kids to play fundamentally sound football and leave here saying, ‘I really had a good time, and I want to play next year,’ — that’s the goal. We’re trying to help build the program, and we’re that next step in the progression from youth league to high school.”

After four weeks of practice, only two of which were in full pads, the Indians faced their first test against outside competition Thursday, when Southern Pulaski and Caverna visited ACMS to scrimmage. The results were mixed, with the Tribe struggling against Southern Pulaski but finding success against Caverna, particularly on offense.

“Southern Pulaski is one of the top teams in the state, and their passing game was something we weren’t ready for,” Stephens says. “There are a lot of things we can work on before our first real game, but overall, I was pleased.”

The team’s full roster and schedule is printed below:

Schedule (all times Central, home games in all caps)

Aug. 4              SCRIMMAGE                        5:30 p.m.
Aug. 16            at Barren County                 5:30 p.m.
Aug. 18            at Marion County                 6 p.m.
Aug. 23            VS. METCALFE COUNTY        6 p.m.
Aug. 30            VS. CASEY COUNTY              6 p.m.
Sept. 6             VS. CLINTON COUNTY          6 p.m.
Sept. 13           at Hart County                     6 p.m.
Sept. 20           VS. GREEN COUNTY             6 p.m.
Sept. 27           at Russell County                 6 p.m.
Oct. 11            at Campbellsville                  5:30 p.m.
Oct. 18            CKMSAC Playoffs*                6 p.m.
Oct. 25            CKMSAC Playoffs*                6 p.m.

*The location for playoff games has not yet been determined.

Roster

Eighth Grade                          
Brayden Bennett  #55
Kamdyn Burton  #52
Gavin Carlson                                      
Jerred Collett  #53
Dax Conn  #15
Brayden Corbin  #50
Bradley Cooper  #60
Jack Dean  #4
Samuel Feese  #14
Tay Graves #78
Hunter Held  #3
Louis Hilty  #56
Brayden Hughes  #7
Brody Karnes  #13
Robbie Karnes  #54
Alex Martin  #8
Madden Moye   #5
Tristan Mullins  #65
Arlis Price  #75
Jayden Schorman  #2
Caleb Snow                 
Ehsan Stanleyx  #72
Anakin Yarberry  #58
Hayden Young   #66

Seventh Grade
Weston Abston  #25
Sebastian Adamson  #70
Bailey Bryant  #79
Carter Curry  #17
Callum Darnell   #6
Lucas Davis                 
Dantavus Fulton         
Jay Harmon  #76
Austin Huff  #59
Truk Jennings  #32
Braxton Irvin  #9
Brock Jasper  #20
Dezmond Matthews  #23
Braxton McKinney      
Rayson Richard  #69
Ryan Sexton  #10
Ben Streeval  #68

Sixth Grade
Carson Cooper            
Wiley Feese  #22
Bowen Furkin              
Walter Held  #21
Parker Jessie  #11
Jayvion Momanyi  #24
Chayton Morgan         
Pierce Stotts  #12

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Wes Feese is one of this company's owners and founders. He has previously worked as an editor, news reporter, sportswriter, photographer, and freelance contributor for newspapers across central Kentucky. He grew up in the Egypt community of Adair County and is a graduate of Adair County High School and Lindsey Wilson College.