Eagles earn Ky Football Coaches honors

Graves County’s Lance Gregory and Zach Katzman have been selected as the Kentucky Football Coaches Association’s Class 5A, District 1, Coach of the Year and Player of the Year, respectively. The West Kentucky Conference in recent weeks also named Gregory its Coach of the Year and selected Katzman for its All-Conference First Team along with fellow Eagle Eli Wilson.
Gregory, in his fourth year as the Eagles’ coach, led his team to a 9-3 overall record, a 4-0 district record, the second round of playoffs, the team’s first district championship since 1993, and a statewide 5A ranking of No. 7. Graves defeated Logan County 76-29, before losing 21-14 to Warren Central and coach Mike Rogers, who was Gregory’s predecessor at Graves County. In a post-game radio interview, Rogers said that despite the score, Graves County played better than his team in that game.
A 1995 graduate of Logan County High School, Gregory was a five-year member of the Union College football program. He served as an assistant coach at John Hardin High School from the time the school opened in 2001 until coming to Graves County in 2009. He is credited with playing an integral part in building the John Hardin program, one that many consider among the best of large schools in Kentucky.
Katzman, a 5-foot, 10-inch, 180-pound running back and cornerback rushed 250 times this year for some 2,247 yards, averaging 187 yards per game. He scored 34 touchdowns. He set numerous records during both his senior year and for his total high school career. Perhaps most impressive is Katzman’s status as the first player in Graves County history to rush for more than 2,000 yards in one season.
Among many other honors, both the Paducah Sun and WPSD/Local 6 television recognized his performances on several different occasions. In fact, he was selected for the Paducah Sun All-Region Team. Murray State University, the University of Tennessee at Martin and a number of NAIA colleges have expressed interest in offering Katzman scholarships.
“What a phenomenal year for the football Eagles,” Graves County athletic director Doug Gloyd commented. “Coach Gregory, his staff, and his players have invested a tremendous amount of effort and it shows both in the team’s record and in outside awards such as these. While coach Gregory led from the sidelines, clearly Zach Katzman has been one of his primary leaders on the field. This senior has achieved some amazing things in his high school career, especially this year. This is a young man who is very intelligent and conducts himself in a very professional manner in everything he does. He brings honor to his role as a Graves County Eagle and, as for his future, the sky’s the limit!”

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