No one can make much of an argument against our recognizing this particular head coach!

First we want to wish all of you a prosperous 2021. We would wish for 2021 to be a better year than the one previous, but the year wouldn't have much to do to surpass 2020. As the kids say, "Sorry, Facts!"

We are publishing the entire Variety Pizza's Class 2A, 7th-District Football Team. The team will be seen, in toto, in our January 13, 2021 edition of our print edition. We are releasing a few snippets periodically so those of you around the district can make plans to get your copy of this edition and this team for a keepsake. Call the paper at 606-666-2451, ask for Jeanie Noble, and make arrangements for your copy. 

Today, we will release the selection committee's recipient of District Coach of the Year. We thank the selection committee for its diligent service and Variety Pizza for underwriting the cost of selection and dissemination of this team. 

Larry French, Middlesboro High School…Coach French just completed the second year of a total rebuild. This seems like ancient history, but the Yellow Jackets were 1-10 in 2018 and winless in the commonwealth of Kentucky (lone win was against a Claiborne team from Tennessee). Under previous coach, Zach Massengill, the Yellow Jackets were 10-44-1 in five seasons.  

French took the team to an 8-4 mark in 2019 which saw them post the 14th-highest RPI in the classification. All they did in 2020 is finish the COVID-19 shortened schedule 6-1 and post the 8th-highest RPI in the classification in spite of losing to graduation, the year prior, the Times-Voice’s Offensive Player of the Year (Jabari Kyle, 1,585-yards from scrimmage, 28-rushing TDs; 29-receptions, 442-yards receiving, and 5-TD receptions). That is a lot of production to replace and still climb six spots up the final RPI the following season. 

We all know Larry French can coach. In five seasons at Southwestern in the 5A classification, French went 47-17 and took his teams to four (4) Region 4 title games, winning the District titles in ’14, ’16, and ’17. Before thatFrench had coached high school football for nearly half a century and led the Boyle County High School football program to back-to-back undefeated Class 4A state championship titles in 2009 and 2010. 

Congratulations to Coach French from Variety Pizza and the Jackson-Breathitt County Times-Voice.

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