Players to watch: Barren County and Glasgow

GDT FILE PHOTO 

High school football kicks off in Kentucky on Aug. 23. 

There are some intriguing story-lines to follow locally, and here are some players to watch for Barren County and Glasgow as the season unfolds. 

Nick Mitchell, senior running back, Glasgow

Mitchell is the easiest selection for this list. The senior returns after gashing defenses for more than 2,000 yards a year ago. 

Mitchell ran for 30 touchdowns while averaging 159.3 yards per game in 2018 for a Glasgow team that advanced to the third round of the state playoffs. Mitchell's not only a tough, hard-nosed back who gets most of his yards between the tackles, but he's also reliable and rarely puts the ball on the ground. 

As the Scotties move up to Class 3A in 2019, Mitchell is again expected to be the workhorse for what has been traditionally an explosive offensive attack under coach Jeff Garmon. 

Garmon said over the offseason that he would like to use Mitchell as a receiving threat out of the backfield in 2019 in part to help keep defenses honest. Teams tended to stack the box against Glasgow, especially late in the season last year, so expanding Mitchell's role makes sense and could lead to the senior putting up even bigger overall numbers. 

Mitchell may see his rushing yards decrease this season, but those could be replaced by more receiving yards. Either way, he'll definitely be threat No. 1 for opposing defenses this season. 

Tyler Bush, senior running back and linebacker, Barren County 

As Barren County steps up to Class 6A this year, the Trojans will be in need of some playmakers who can stretch the field. 

Bush gives Barren County such a threat with his speed. 

The senior ran for 386 yards and two touchdowns in 2018. Bush also led the Trojans with 22 catches which were good for 195 yards and three touchdowns. 

Defensively, Bush was fourth on the team a season ago with 42 tackles and led the team with three interceptions. He picked off a pass against Allen County-Scottsville in 2018 and returned it for a score. 

If Barren County is to continue its recent progress, it will need big plays from Bush.  

Chase Jones, senior defensive/offensive lineman, Glasgow

Jones has a rare blend of strength, size and athleticism. 

He was credited with 38 tackles during his junior season at Glasgow, and tied for second on the team with three sacks. 

The Scotties lost several key members of their defensive unit from a season ago, including most of their secondary. Jones could help alleviate some of the pressure on the secondary with his ability to rush the quarterback and come up with big plays. 

Jameson Buie, sophomore quarterback, Barren County 

Buie makes the list not because of what he has achieved, but rather due to the fact the Trojans will need the first-year starter to be cool, calm and collected at quarterback. 

Buie definitely has the arm strength to play the position. He threw a no-hitter in the spring as a freshman starting pitcher for the Barren County baseball team. 

But Buie doesn't have much varsity football experience, as he threw just two passes last year as a freshman. 

If Buie can protect the ball, limit turnovers and come up with a few big completions each game, Barren County will likely improve on its 3-7 record from a year ago. 

Tanner Abernathy, senior quarterback, Glasgow 

Players to watch: Barren County and Glasgow

GDT FILE PHOTO 

At the other end of the spectrum, Abernathy has plenty of experience after taking over as starting quarterback for the Scotties midway through his sophomore season. 

Abernathy was second on the team last season with 799 rushing yards and six touchdowns. 

While he did throw 20 touchdown passes, Abernathy was picked off 13 times and Glasgow struggled to keep the Walton-Verona defense from stacking the box during the Scotties' loss in the third round of the state playoffs. 

Abernathy can make big plays with his legs and the Scottie offense will center around the rushing attack led by Mitchell. But if Glasgow is to get back to a state championship game, Abernathy will have to come up with some big plays in the passing game to keep defenses honest. 

Easton Frazier, senior offensive/defensive lineman, Barren County 

Frazier led the Trojans with 87 tackles last season, and also forced a fumble. 

The Trojans will need the senior to again step up on defense this season. Barren County had just six sacks a year ago, and will need to improve its pass rush. 

Frazier played some linebacker last season and is a versatile defensive player who is a sure tackler. Look for Frazier to again be at the top of the tackles list for the Trojans in 2019. 

There are other players deserving of being on this list, and some players who will emerge this season as stars. The action begins Aug. 23 when Barren County travels to face Metcalfe County at 7 p.m. Glasgow will host LaRue County at 8 p.m. in the Scottie Bowl.