The 2020 Kentucky high school football season is right around the corner, and Southern Kentucky Preps — powered by Ken Waddell – Realtor, RE/MAX — is gearing up for the start of the campaign by previewing each of the 12 teams in its coverage area.
One team will be previewed each day from Aug. 31-Sept. 11. Yesterday, we took a look at Logan County. Today, we break down Russellville.
Head Coach: Mikie Benton (3rd season)
KHSAA Class: 1A, District 1
2019 Results: 4-8 overall, 3-2 Class 1A, District 1
Key Departures (2019 stats):
- The Panthers only graduated four total seniors from last season’s team.
Key Returners (2019 stats):
- Junior QB/S Lennon Ries — 64-of-162, 986 yards, 13 touchdowns, 10 interceptions; 111 carries, 586 yards, 5 touchdowns; 57 tackles (45 solo)
- Junior RB Jovari Gamble — 133 carries, 681 yards, 3 touchdowns; 8 catches, 157 yards, touchdown
- Senior WR/S Jackson Hampton — 16 catches, 402 yards, 7 touchdowns; 65 tackles (45 solo), 3 tackles for loss
2020 Season Schedule:
- Sept. 11: at Logan County
- Sept. 18: vs. Franklin-Simpson
- Sept. 25: vs. Somerset
- Oct. 2: at Fulton County
- Oct. 9: at Edmonson County
- Oct. 16: at Caverna
- Oct. 23: vs. Crittenden County
- Oct. 30: vs. Warren Central
- Nov. 6: vs. Todd County Central
Preview: Russellville took a big step forward last season and looks to do the same this year — especially with everything it has back. The Panthers graduated just four total seniors from their 2019 squad and return nearly every piece that played important roles in winning four games a season ago. Standout junior dual-threat quarterback Lennon Ries — who accounted for 1,572 total yards and 18 touchdowns as a sophomore — will again pilot the offense, while junior running back Jovari Gamble (838 total yards, 4 touchdowns) and senior wide receiver Jackson Hampton (402 yards, 7 touchdowns) will also hold valuable leadership roles, in addition to many other upperclassmen. Year Three of the Mikie Benton Era at Russellville just might be the program’s best season in quite a while.
- “It’s been a tough two seasons, but with the youth I had now being the upperclassmen on the team, I’m excited to see what they bring to the table,” Russellville coach Mikie Benton said. “Been a lot of work that has been put in and maturity to take place. So this season should be a great one.”
- “I think this team has the opportunity to be very special,” Benton said. “With all of my juniors and seniors who have been playing since they were freshman, I’m excited to see them as upperclassmen.”