Friday, January 05, 2001

Highlands duo runners-up for Kentucky Mr. Football


Winner is Louisville Male's Jones

The Associated Press

        Highlands quarterback Gino Guidugli and wide receiver Brett Hamblen finished second and third behind Louisville Male receiver Montrell Jones in voting for Kentucky's Mr. Football.

        Jones received 77 votes and nine of 15 first-place votes from a media panel. Guidugli (61 votes) and Hamblen (55) each received one first-place vote.

MR. FOOTBALL WINNERS
  1986 — Frank Jacobs, Newport Catholic
1987 — Kurt Barber, Paducah Tilghman
  1988 — Jeff Brohm, Louisville Trinity
  1989 — Pookie Jones, Calloway County
  1990 — Damon Hood, Warren Central
  1991 — Scott Russell, Evarts
  1992 — Billy Jack Haskins, Paducah Tilghman
  1993 — Jeremy Simpson, Lincoln County
  1994 — Shaun Alexander, Boone County
  1995 — Tim Couch, Leslie County
  1996 — Derek Homer, Fort Knox
  1997 — Dennis Johnson, Harrodsburg
  1998 — Jared Lorenzen, Highlands
  1999 — Travis Atwell, Hancock County
  2000 — Montrell Jones, Male
        A four-year starter, Jones finished his career as Kentucky's all-time leader in catches (266) and touchdown receptions (59). The 6-foot-2, 205-pound speedster also holds the single-game record for receptions (16), and his 4,345 receiving yards are the second-best total in state history.

        Jones, the top vote-getter as a first-team all-state receiver and a second-team all-state selection at defensive back, was the driving force behind the Bulldogs' run to their sixth state championship.

        “This means a lot,” Jones said. “When the season started, two of my goals were to help the team win a state championship and become Mr. Football. To be able to do them both in the same season is special.”

        Jones, who also was a part of Male's 1998 state title team, had a career-best 72 catches this season for 967 yards and 14 touchdowns despite being double- and at times triple-teamed.

        In the Class AAAA championship game, a 34-14 victory over Trinity, Jones had two touchdown catches and ran back a punt 41 yards for another score.

        “I wanted to show that I can do all the things that people say I can do,” he said.

        Boyle County running back Matt Quinn finished fourth with 49 votes, including four first-place votes. Other finalists were Bryan Station running back Eric Shelton and Mason County quarterback Harry Lewis.

        Jones is the first player from Male to win Mr. Football and the first Jefferson County player to receive the honor since Trinity quarterback Jeff Brohm in 1988.

        Jones has backed off a verbal commitment to Kentucky since the Wildcats' disappointing 2-9 finish and the current allegations of NCAA rules violations within the program.

        “I'm not really sure what I'm going to do at this point,” he said. “I know Tennessee, Texas, Florida and Purdue will all get a visit. Then I'll just have to sit down and decide which place is the best fit for me.”

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