LANCASTER — Two players who have had a huge impact on the Garrard County football program — Billy Abney and Garrett Caudill — both made their college choices Thursday.
Abney signed with Pikeville University and Caudill with Union College during a ceremony at the high school.
“Garrett has been another mainstay for us throughout his four years. Garrett demonstrated immediately that he intended to have an impact on the team. He basically forced our hand as coaches to get him on the field through his effort and production as a freshmen. Honestly, when this class of freshmen came in we intended to try an bring them along slowly, and these kids just came to play on worked their way onto the field quickly. Garrett started the last nine games his freshmen year as a defensive end and then transitioned to linebacker as a sophomore and was a mainstay for three years. “
Abney completed 322 of 638 passes for 5,320 yards and 55 touchdowns with just 30 interceptions in his four years. He also rushed for 393 yards and 12 scores.
Caudill ran 95 times for 423 yards, including 60 rushes for 297 yards in 2012, and scored eight times. He caught 25 passes for 368 yards and two more scores. On defense, he had 216 solo tackles and 149 assists. He made 17.5 tackles for loss and recovered seven fumbles.
“Both of these guys are going to do very well at their respective schools. UPike came with a great offer for Billy and they are really excited about him as a player,” Scenters said. “College of Mt. St. Joseph in Cincinnati had made a late push and honestly Billy would be in really great shape either place. UPike was one of the first schools to really get serious with Billy and I think that is a good thing.”
Scenters knows Pikeville offensive coordinator Allan Holland and thinks Abney will work well with him.
“Garrett, I believe, will make an impact right away at Union. He has been working in the weight room with us some and in talks with the (assistant) coach (John) Gray that recruited Garrett, his numbers strength-wise should be right up there. He has a great chance to compete for playing time right away.”
Scenters thinks the work ethic and will to win both players have made them successful at Garrard.
“One of the best things about both of these guys is that they are intelligent young men. Both on the field and most importantly off. Even if the opportunity to continue playing wasn't there, both will be very successful as college students,” the Garrard coach said.
He says he has numerous memories of both players — and their senior class.
“With Billy I would have to say two things come to mind right away from a football perspective. First, he played probably the very best game of his career on the biggest stage that he played on, throwing for 314 yards and two scores against Belfry (in the Class AAA semifinals in 2011),” Scenters said. “The other is him coming back and playing very well veruss Lloyd Memorial this past season after going out of the Bob Allen Bowl game against Anderson County with what was worried to be a knee injury. That just shows the grit and determination of that kid.”
The first time Scenters saw Caudill play was when he worked with WRNZ play-by-play announcer Mike Carter on a radio broadcast.
“It was so clear that this kid playing fullback just had a natural ability to find his block in space and make the key block to spring his running back,” Scenters said. “It was very gratifying as a coach, watching him develop from role player to focal point over his four-year career here. His work ethic in the weight room has been outstanding and he really prides himself on what he is able to accomplish in there.”