EASTERN – Via Kentucky High School Athletic Association realignment, Allen Central has moved up to Class 2A. The Rebels are preparing to compete in Class 2A, District 8. In preparation for the challenge of competing in Class 2A, District 8, which also includes defending Region 4 champion Shelby Valley, Prestonsburg, Betsy Layne, Leslie County and East Ridge, Allen Central continues to work hard in the offseason.
“We have had a great offseason,” Allen Central Coach Jeremy Hall said, last last week. “There has been a lot of boys in the weight room this year and they’ve been working hard with a sense of purpose. We have been really young the past two years and a lot of our juniors and seniors have now been starting for three to four years. So, we return some very experienced players. The past two seasons have been rough but we have gotten better as players and as a team.”
Key returnees for Allen Central include linebacker Chase Soler (6-0, 215), fullback/safety Steven Howard (5-8, 197), tailback/cornerback Jesse Brown (5-11, 155) and quarterback/cornerback Dylan Caudill (6-3, 225).
The Rebels compiled a 3-8 record in 2014.
“We hope to come out this year as a much more experienced team,” Hall commented. “We are returning several key starters this season. Chase Soler will anchor our defense at the linebacker position. Chase led the team in tackles this past season and has worked hard in offseason workouts. He has went to many camps to better his play at the position. Steven Howard, a junior, will be returning to the backfield and our fullback spot. We had moved Steven to one of our wings this past season and it was just not a good fit for him. He e is now going back behind the quarterback for some more downhill runs. Jesse Brown will return to the backfield as one of our leading rushers. Jesse had a breakout seasons last year as a sophomore and has worked extremely hard this offseason. So, we expect big things from him. We return Jordan Patton to the backfield. He is one of our few seniors. Jordan has been plagued by some injuries the past two years but has made big impacts when he is healthy.”
The Allen Central defense is expected to be a much improved unit.
“Defensively, we should be stronger with several young kids moving up and being stronger,” Hall confided. “One is Henry Whitaker, a sophomore. Henry has worked hard and we are liking him at the other inside linebacker position. Defensively, we should be much more athletic and hopefully more aggressive. Dylan Caudill should make an impact on both sides of the ball this year. Dylan likely will be taking the snaps at quarterback.”
Allen Central boasts multiple experienced offensive linemen.
“Our line is young but many of the linemen have been starting for at least a year or two,” Hall said. “They were beaten up some as freshmen and sophomores and now have experience and feel that it is their time to shine. All spots are available and they are getting pretty aggressive in the weight room to win those spots.”
Allen Central is scheduled to host former district rival Phelps for a season-opener on Aug. 21.