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Prep Sports Report: Local quarterbacks among state’s most prolific passers going into region finals

Terry Boehmker
NKyTribune sports reporter

During the 2019 Kentucky high school football season, seven quarterbacks around the state passed for 3,000 yards or more. The leader in Northern Kentucky that year was Caleb Jacob of Covington Catholic with 2,817.

This season, Beechwood junior Clay Hayden and Ryle senior Logan Verax are among seven quarterbacks in the state who have surpassed the 3,000-yard mark and Cooper sophomore Cam O’Hara may soon join them. If he does, it will surpass the number of prolific passers the state had four years ago.

Ryle senior quarterback Logan Verax (Photo by Ted Jackson)

O’Hara has 2,916 passing yards going into Cooper’s game at Pulaski Southwestern in the Class 5A region finals on Friday. He’s also closing in on the Jaguars’ team record of 3,222 passing yards set by Jarod Lonaker in 2016.

According to statistics posted on the khsaa.org website, the Northern Kentucky record for single-season passing yards is 4,367 set by Gino Guidugli of Highlands in 2000. That total may be hard to top for the area’s current passing leaders.

Hayden has 3,190 passing yards going into Beechwood’s home game against Martin County in the Class 1A region finals on Friday. Verax has thrown for 3,047 yards going into Ryle’s game at Lexington Bryan Station in Class 6A.

Last week, Verax jumped to No. 2 on the list of local leaders in career passing yards. The four-year starter now has 7,747 and the record-holder is 2021 Beechwood graduate Cameron Hergott with 8,537, a total that has not yet been posted in the KHSAA state record book.

Ryle’s leading pass receiver this season is junior Landon Lorms with 88 catches for 927 yards and 12 touchdowns. He has already broken Northern Kentucky’s single-season record of 77 receptions set by Mike Setters of Ryle in 1999, according to the khsaa.org website.

Nine cross country runners posted top 20 times at boys state meet

Northern Kentucky boys cross country runners posted nine of the top 20 times in the three races at this year’s state championship meet and five of them were underclassmen who will be back next year.

Cooper sophomore Paul Van Laningham

Cooper sophomore Paul Van Laningham had the state meet’s fifth fastest time (15:41.70) in the Class 3A race. In that same race, the finish times for Conner senior Joey Carroll (15:56) and Ryle senior Tiger Bartlett (15:57) were 11th and 12th overall in the state meet.

Brossart senior Nathan Ruth won the Class 1A boys race in 16:04, the 13th fastest time.

Other local runners with top 20 times were Campbell County junior Jonathan Christopher (14th, 16:10), Covington Catholic junior Will Sheets (15th, 16:10),  Conner junior Nathan Hopper (18th, 16:14), CovCath sophomore Joe Mayer (19th, 16:22) and Cooper senior Salah Farah (20th, 16:22).

In the girls state meet, the local runners with top 20 overall times were Scott senior Maddie Strong (5th, 18:35), Ryle junior Allison Kopser (11th, 19:09) and Beechwood sophomore Lily Parke (20th, 19:27).

Holy Cross graduate scores 16 points in college basketball debut

Holy Cross graduate Jacob Meyer scored 16 points in his men’s college basketball debut to help Coastal Carolina defeat Piedmont, 88-86, last week.

The freshman guard was among the Chanticleers five starters in the season opener. He was 7-of-15 from the field with one 3-point goal to go along with three rebounds, two assists, two steals and one blocked shot.

Meyer was the leading scorer in Kentucky high school basketball as a junior and senior at Holy Cross. He finished his career as the 9th Region’s career scoring leader with 3,280 points.

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