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2022 Prep Football Previews: Simon Kenton senior quarterback more concerned with winning than stats

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 Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

Chase Crone generated more than 7,300 yards in total offense during his first three seasons as a dual-threat quarterback for the Simon Kenton football team.

The 6-foot-2, 195-pound senior could reach the 10,000-yard mark in his final season if the Pioneers have more success than the previous two years when they lost in the first round of the Class 6A playoffs. But Crone said that’s not on his mind right now.

Simon Kenton quarterback Chase Crone has produced more than 7,300 yards of total offense over the last three seasons. (Photo by Dale Dawn)

“I really don’t pay attention to my stats. I care about winning more than anything,” he said. “It is cool to look back on, but right now I’m not focused on reaching 10,000. I’m focused on winning a district championship and winning a region championship. That’ll all come with it.”

Crone said the Pioneers have nine returning starters on offense and eight on defense who are determined to improve on last year’s 2-9 record. Most of them are seniors who started playing together at Twenhofel Middle School.

“We’ve grown up together,” Crone said. “We played at Twenhofel and won a lot. Since we’ve been up here (in high school), we haven’t been winning as much and we just want to change that culture and get back to our winning ways.”

Unlike most of his classmates, Crone started his varsity career as a freshman in 2019. He had 1,740 yards passing and 669 yards rushing on an 8-5 team that won the local Class 6A district and made it to the region finals. 

Simon Kenton finished 3-7 and 2-9 the following two seasons even though Crone had combined totals of 2,470 and 2,441 yards passing and rushing.

He was also the team’s leading scorer both of those years with 62 and 88 points on rushing plays for touchdowns or two-point conversions. His career scoring total now stands at 186 points and he has thrown 39 TD passes.

The Pioneers’ offensive coordinator the last three years was Roy Lucas Jr., who will be the team’s head coach this season. He put Nate Ponzer in charge of the offense and Crone said there’s been a smooth transition. 

“I love coach Lucas. He’s really taken care of me the last three years,” Crone said. “But coach Ponzer and I are really close. He asks me questions about what we should do and gives me a lot more of a voice in the offense. I love working with coach Ponzer, too.”

Chase Crone has received scholarship offers from six college football teams.

Crone attended several college football camps over the summer and has received scholarship offers from Dayton, Long Island, Thomas More, Centre, Ohio Dominican and Walsh.

He plans to wait and see if he gets more offers before making a commitment.

He said the camps also helped him improve his quarterback skills for the upcoming season when he’ll have experienced offensive linemen up front and a backfield that includes senior Jayden Lawson, the team’s leading rusher the last two years.

“The connection the offensive line has is insane,” Crone said. “They’re all real close and they know how to work with each other, which is really good.”

The eight returning defensive starters include senior linebacker Josh Bowling, who made a team-high 123 tackles last season. Crone expects the defensive unit to do much better than last year when opponents averaged 42 points and 486 yards per game.

“Josh Bowling at middle linebacker has been leading them really well,” Crone said. “Their energy (at practice) has been great. They want to learn and get better so we’ve been battling it out (in scrimmages). It’s been very good.”

If it all comes together as Crone expects, Simon Kenton will be serious playoff contender once again and the 23 seniors on the roster will conclude their high school careers with a winning season.

“That’s what we’re saying, this is our last ride,” Crone said of the senior class. “It’s all of a sudden hitting us right now and you can just see we’re all focusing more and working harder.”

2021 SEASON: 
 2-9 record, lost in first round of Class 6A playoffs.
DISTRICT:  Class 6A, District 4 with Campbell County, Dixie Heights, Ryle.
HEAD COACH:  Roy Lucas Jr. (67-88 in 14 seasons at two schools, 8-22 at Simon Kenton 1997-99).

Aug. 19 – at Oldham County, 7:30 p.m.
Aug. 26 – at Highlands, 7 p.m.
Sept. 2 – PULASKI SOUTHWESTERN, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 9 – at Beechwood, 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 23 – CONNERSVILLE (Ind.), 7:30 p.m.
Sept. 30 – CORBIN, 7:30 p.m.
Oct. 6 – at Dixie Heights, 7 p.m.
Oct. 13 – at Campbell County, 7 p.m.
Oct. 21 – RYLE, 7 p.m.
Oct. 28 – WOODFORD COUNTY, 7:30 p.m.

Other NKyTribune prep football previews:


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