Bears reflect on memorable journey to Kroger Field


Members of the Harlan County High School football program are pictured at Kroger Field before the University of Kentucky’s game against Florida.

Brayden Howard, Dallas Sergent and Bryan Howard were among the Harlan County High School football players in attendance at Kroger Field for Kentucky’s game against Florida earlier this month.


A 20-13 win over Florida on Oct. 2 has been described as one of the most exciting University of Kentucky football games in Kroger Field history. Members of the Harlan County High School football team in attendance for the game agree.
“Seeing the excitement on the faces of our players and hearing them talk about the game and how much it meant to them to share the experience with their teammates was a wonderful feeling,” Harlan County coach Amos McCreary said last week. “ I’ve always thought one of the best things about sports was making memories with your teammates. I also want to thank all the parents for their support and attending the game with us along with my son and grandson.”
McCreary’s son Kyle, who is the running backs coach at Ola High School in McDonough, Ga., where he coached UK star Chris Rodriguez, was also in attendance with the HCHS contingent.
One of McCreary’s teammates at Jacksonville State University helped sponsor the team during the trip.
“I’d like to thank Loring and Debbie White for sponsoring our trip to the Florida-Kentucky game. It was one of the best days I’ve ever spent at a football game,” McCreary said.
“Going to the UK game with all my brothers will be a time I will never forget,” said sophomore running back/defensive back Thomas Jordan. “The crowd experience was amazing.”
“It was probably the craziest game of football anyone’s ever watched,” said sophomore center Jesse Franks. “It was easily the best thing I’ve ever experienced. There was so much laughter and communication with everyone, including people you’ve never seen in your entire life. This is why I love the sport.”
Sophomore receiver Jared Rhymer called the game an “overall crazy experience.”
“It was one of the most exciting moments of my life,” said sophomore defensive end Carter Howard. “We were part of history and it’s something I can tell my grandkids about.”
“This was my first trip to a college football game and I had a great time,” added senior receiver Andrew Johnson. “The game was a great one to watch. It is way better in person because it was so intense the stands would shake as the crowd was cheering.”
Sophomore lineman Will Cassim called the trip “an opportunity of a lifetime and one of the craziest and most exciting moments of my life. We were part of history.”