Petett named Co-Coach of the Year

Monroe County football coach John Petett shows encouragement to one of his players.

Monroe County head football coach John Petett was glad to be “shocked” on Wednesday afternoon.

Petett, along with Boyle County’s Larry French, was named the Associated Press Co-Coach of the Year as voted by media members statewide.

“I was shocked,” the Falcons’ coach said. “My superintendent called me this afternoon and asked if I’d heard yet. I guess word was getting out then. I was shocked.”

Petett guided the Falcons to a 12-2 season to go along with district and regional championships. It was a stark turnaround from the 2007 campaign in which Monroe went 2-9.

“Our kids vowed last November not to let it happen again,” Petett told the Associated Press. “We had 18 seniors, we had a great offseason, we got bigger, stronger and faster ... last year was kind of a bump in the road for them, kind of woke them up.”

Petett, in his fifth year as head coach, praised the play of his team and also praised his assistant coaches in picking up the prestigious honor.

“First of all, it’s a real honor to receive something like this,” Petett said. “All the credit goes to our football team and to the assistant coaches. I’m proud to accept this award. It was a total team effort.”

The Falcons blitzed through the regular season with a 9-1 record. Their only regular season loss was to Greenwood, a Class 6A team, by a 35-21 score.

Monroe opened the playoffs by smashing both Fort Knox and Bardstown and then beat Green County for the second time of the season to claim the regional title. The Falcons lost last Friday to Fort Campbell, the reigning state champions, in the Class 2A semifinals. Fort Campbell will try for its second straight state title on Saturday as it faces Newport Central Catholic in Louisville.

“This is a great award for our program and for our community,” Petett said. “It was such a pleasure to go to work every day with such great people and great kids. They’re special kids and players. And this is all about them. All the credit goes to them.”

Petett was also named the SKY Conference Coach of the Year last month and was the district Coach of the Year a couple of years ago, but had never received an honor like the one he received Wednesday.

“It’s a very nice honor,” the Falcons’ coach said. “You just look at the coaches that received votes and that’s quite a list. I’m just glad to be considered in that group, even if it’s just for one year.”

For French, 57, the first year was the charm at the Danville school.

Boyle County, which won five straight state titles from 1999-2003, lost six games from 2000-2005, but went 6-6 in ’06 and 5-7 last season before French took over.

This season the Rebels rolled to 13 straight wins before falling to Bell County 17-15 in last Friday’s Class 4A state semifinals.

“We brought back a lot of pride in the football program that had been down a couple years,” French told the Associated Press. “But they had the ingredients in place. They had played some younger kids and those younger kids came to the forefront this season.”

Prior to coming to Boyle, French was previously the head coach at Lincoln County, Mercer County and Meade County.

Other coaches receiving votes were Philip Haywood of Belfry, Raceland’s Randy Vanderhoof, Jim Black of Whitley County, Corbin’s Steve Jewell and Ravon Patterson of Shawnee.

Information contributed by the Associated Press.

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