Class of ’21 Football Star Cited for Achievements
“We hope this (certificate) will be a fitting tribute for a generational football talent,” Bill Wesley
“William has been an outstanding ambassador both for his school and our county,” Judge/Executive Jeff Noble
There was a special ceremony in the Fiscal Court meeting room in the Breathitt County Courthouse. A place known for vigorous debate, on Tuesday afternoon, hosted a room full of dignitaries of like mind and of one accord.
Local elected officials and our 91st-District House of Representatives member, Bill Wesley, gathered to honor the prodigious achievements of Breathitt’s William L. Long, II. His high school athletic accomplishments, as a gridiron star, were many. So were his accolades as both a citizen and student.
William Long played his junior and senior seasons in Jackson, Kentucky at Breathitt High School, As a “Bobcat” William was a two-way lineman.
Long transferred into the county when his parents gained employment here. William was a one-way player at Class 4A, Hopkinsville High, but had made the Associated Press (AP) All-State Football First-Team while a Tiger, in 2018, along the offensive line of scrimmage at center.
William, as a Breathitt Bobcat, also made the 2019 & 2020 AP All-State Football First-Teams. In 2020, the two-way lineman was First-Team on both the offensive and defensive sides of the football. Long was the only AP team member to make First-Team at two positions in the commonwealth for 2020.
While William was honored on both sides of the ball as a junior too (2019), Long was only on the First-Team as an offensive lineman. Long was Honorably Mentioned on the defensive side of the line of scrimmage that year.
The Bobcats were 19-3, 14-0 at home, winning two District crowns and a Regional title over Long's two years. William was instrumental in helping lead the team to the Semi-finals in 2019.
William was the first ’21 prospect offered by the Centre Colonels to play varsity football for them. He was also the first to commit and sign with the team from Danville, Kentucky during the NCAA’s “Early Signing Period.”
We were able to talk with Bill Wesley, the Representative for the 91st-District who was the point man for the House of Representative’s issuing to William Long the House's Citation of Achievement. Representative Wesley told the newspaper, “Frankly the achievements of William, just on the football field alone, are so numerous we weren’t sure we would be able to squeeze them all onto one certificate. We also loved his having had as much success both in the classroom and in the community as he enjoyed on the gridiron; a fact which an opportunity like he has earned at Centre fully demonstrated.”
Wesley continued, “Everywhere I have been around the district, particularly in Breathitt, people have told me William Long is a ‘generational player.’ We are quite sure he will be missed, both in the hallways and on the field. We hope this (certificate) will be a fitting tribute for a generational football talent.”
The newspaper also interviewed the County Judge/Executive about Long. He told us, “William has been an outstanding ambassador both for his school and our county. We were all proud to participate in his being honored.”
William will compete a final time for his beloved Breathitt High School. He is traveling to Shepherdsville, Kentucky, on May 15, 2021, to attempt to win the Kentucky High School “Push-Pull” Powerlifting Championship.
William has won two Kentucky High School Championships in Powerlifting (2018 & 2019) but both were while he attended Hopkinsville High. All Powerlifting Championships were shelved a year ago and the Kentucky High School Powerlifting Championship, which Long has won twice previously, was shelved again this year.
Thankfully, the "Push-Pull" Powerlifting Championship has elected to proceed this year. A “Push-Pull” is a competition measuring bench press and deadlift.
We talked to William, who is missing his own graduation to compete. William told the newspaper, “I want to win one title as a Bobcat. I feel I owe it to my town, my county, my high school, and my teammates who have all bent over backward to support me since my moving here. Now, I want to win it for the 91st-District and Representative Wesley too.”