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It finally hit Jerry Lucas on Sunday night.
Until then he hadn’t really had a chance to take in the fact that his Collins football team would be playing for a state championship tonight.
First there was the afterglow from Friday night’s 58-7 victory over Warren East in the state semifinals. After post-game handshakes and hugs there was a pep rally back in the Collins gym. It was early Saturday morning, just after midnight, when he finally got into his pickup truck and headed home.
The next morning he was up early to meet the Highlands coaches for the traditional film exchange and then off to his weekly radio show. After that it was back to the field house to meet up with his assistant coaches to break down film. It was more of the same Sunday afternoon, after church.
Finally, that night, as he was watching the Giants-Packers Sunday night football game, he said he realized “we are preparing for the state championship.”
“It really didn’t hit me until then,” Lucas said.
Highlands features a player who should have a familiar name to those in Shelby County.
Senior running back Colin Seidl is the son of former Rockets standout Steve Seidl.
The younger Seidl, who is listed as the Bluebirds’ second-string running back, has 43 carries for 516 yards and nine touchdowns this season. He is also one of the team’s kickoff returners.
A couple of missing Titans
The Titans have been fairly lucky as far as injuries are concerned this season. Junior lineman Kris Jones suffered a broken leg in early October against North Oldham, but he recently returned to the lineup. So has sophomore safety Browning Becherer, who was on crutches for several weeks with a foot injury. Even junior linebacker Masai Whyte, who leads the team with a whopping 173 tackles, sat out a couple of games late in the regular season to nurse a sprained ankle.
There are two Titans, who won’t be able to play tonight against Highlands however. They are sophomore linebacker/running back Antuan “Bushy” Wells and freshman linebacker Quintin Murphy.
Wells was having a breakout season on defense (52 tackles) before he tore his ACL in the penultimate game of the regular season against Atherton. He had 11 tackles and seven rushes for 79 yards before going down with his knee injury late in the game.
“The good thing is we’ll have him back for two more years,” Lucas said.
He should also have Murphy, who had 19 tackles on defense before going down with a season-ending injury, for three more years.
This year’s roster includes about a dozen players who saw action on the original Titans’ team back in 2010.
Among those are seniors Blake Ellis and Logan Bailey and juniors Dre Farris, Mark Bradford, Zach “Buck” Wilson, Masai Whyte, Kris Jones, Elijah Jones, Lawson Page and Nathan Sames. Ellis was a starter on the offensive line, and Wilson was also in the rotation. Farris was also a starter in the secondary before he broke his foot midway through the season. Meanwhile Bailey rushed 22 times for 150 yards and one touchdown, and Page completed a handful of passes in spot duty.
Collins isn’t the only county school that will have kids playing football this weekend.
Shelby County seniors Michael Barry and Zach Lingle will play in the Greater Louisville Football Coaches Association East/West All-Star Game, which will take place 2 p.m. Sunday at Fairdale. They will play for the East squad.
Meanwhile Shelby senior Zach Shipley will play in the Best of the Bluegrass All-Star game the following Sunday (Dec. 9) at 2 p.m. at St. Xavier. He’ll be playing for the team from Greater Louisville.