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2022 Prep Football Previews: Highlands senior capable of making big plays in multiple positions

The NKyTribune is featuring a player on each of the 21 high school football teams in Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties leading up to the first games of the 2022 season on Aug. 19. We will then provide focused coverage of our local teams throughout the regular season and into the playoffs.

By Blake Lehmann

NKyTribune sports reporter

Charlie Noon was all over the field on offense for the Highlands football team as a junior last year and he expects the circumstances to be no different for this coming season.

Noon recorded a combined total of 2,130 yards passing, rushing and receiving while also returning punts and kickoffs. He’s embracing the idea of lining up in different positions once again since it plays to his strengths.

Highlands senior Charlie Noon had a combined total of 2,130 yards passing, rushing and receiving last season.

“It’s going to be get the ball to me in open space and give me different chances to score in different ways,” Noon said. “It’ll keep the defense on their toes.”

As a dual-threat quarterback, Noon passed for 1,237 yards and rushed for 447 in his first six games last season after sitting out the opener. He also caught a 30-yard pass on a gadget play.

After missing another game, he lined up in different spots and netted 416 yards passing, rushing and receiving in the last three games, including a first-round loss in the Class 5A playoffs that ended the season with a 5-6 record.

Noon expects to be used the same way this season, depending on the opponent and the game plan that head coach Bob Sphire and his staff draw up.

“I definitely see us doing that since that’s something that (the coaches) have talked about,” he said.

Noon ended up passing for 1,307 yards and 14 touchdowns last season, completing 86 of 148 passes for 58.1 percent, but it’s not a given that he’ll be lining up behind center once again.

Last year, junior Cameron Bottom appeared in five games for Highlands, completing 34 of 63 passes for 484 yards and four touchdowns. The other contender for starting quarterback is freshman Mario Litmer, who led the Bluebirds to the championship at Eastern Kentucky University’s 7-on-7 passing camp earlier this month.

Charlie Noon

If he doesn’t become the Bluebirds’ starting quarterback or play much at that position, Noon plans to adapt to the circumstances and do whatever he can to make it a successful season.

“I’ll likely be at receiver,” he said. “I’ll just keep making plays like I do.”

The Bluebirds lost four games by margins of eight points or less last season. Two of those losses were against Class 5A district rivals Conner, 21-13, and Covington Catholic, 8-7.

“Last year, I feel like we just had a lot more of our problems in the red zone and left a lot of points out on the field,” Noon said of the team’s struggles. “That’s something we’re working on improving this year, especially in the 7-on-7s we’ve been having.”

Highlands has 15 returning seniors on this year’s squad. With a more experienced team  Noon expects the Bluebirds to have a much more consistent season and improve on what they’ve been building towards.

“We’re really excited about this season, and we’re ready to get going,” Noon said. “We want to show the community what we’ve been working on and how we can make a huge drive from last year.”

2021 SEASON: 
 5-6 record, lost in first round of Class 5A playoffs.
DISTRICT:  Class 5A, District 5 with Boone County, Conner, Cooper, Covington Catholic.
HEAD COACH:  Bob Spire (284-109 in 33 seasons overall, 5-6 in one season at Highlands).

Aug. 20 – vs. South Warren at WKU, 5 p.m.
Aug. 26 – SIMON KENTON, 7 p.m.
Sept. 2 – at Campbell County, 7 p.m.
Sept. 9 – RACELAND, 7 p.m.
Sept. 16 – at Ryle, 7 p.m.
Sept. 23 – DIXIE HEIGHTS, 7 p.m.
Sept. 30 – at Conner, 7 p.m.
Oct. 7 – BOONE COUNTY, 7 p.m.
Oct. 14 – at Covington Catholic, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 – COOPER, 7 p.m.

Other NKyTribune prep football previews:
Cooper Jaguars


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