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August 16, 2013
#5: Franklin County Flyers
2012 record: 12-1
Replacing an athlete such as Ryan Timmons is never very easy to do. The Flyers will replace him with Chris Roberts in 2013. Defensively, linebackers Malik Barnet and Lorenzo McCaskell will be the heart and soul of their defense. McCaskell will also be helping out on offense as he did last year.
#4: Warren Central Dragons
2012 record: 11-2
In 2012, Chris Porter-Bunton was a wide receiver for Warren Central. However, in 2013 he will be their starting quarterback. Middle linebacker Emmitt Smith is an absolute beast for the Dragons and should turn even more heads as a junior.
#3: Conner Cougars
2012 record: 9-3
Rivals.com ranks Conner quarterback Drew Barker as a four-star (No. 5 QB/No. 177 overall) and the number one prospect in the Bluegrass. With a solid commitment to Kentucky, Barker will be 100% focused on his senior campaign. The Cougars do however lose their leading receiver from 2012 Cameron Fogle. Brian Loney and Andrew Way will be catching most of the passes Barker deals out this season.
#2: John Hardin Bulldogs
2012 record: 13-1
The John Hardin Bulldogs, the only other team to receive a number one vote in our poll, are ranked number two.
John Hardin senior defensive lineman Matt Elam is the most highly sought after prospect in Kentucky. Alabama, Kentucky, Louisville, Notre Dame, Ohio State and Tennessee are pursuing the 6'6" 365-pound defensive tackle. Leading rusher Wade Holtsclaw is now at EKU so the Bulldogs will rely on Khalil Frazier and Elijah Smith in their wing-t offense.
#1: Bowling Green Purples
2012 record: 15-0
Entering the season on a 30-game winning streak and two straight state titles the Bowling Green Purples are the number one team in our top-5.
Bowling Green Returns 16 starters from last year's state championship team. Mr. Football candidate wide receiver Nacarius Fant will be the star for the Purples. They also get quarterback Devin Hayes and rushers Blue Tisdale and Blake Pillow back. Lincoln Quick is an all-state linebacker that will head their defensive unit.
It's not like the Purples play a bunny slope schedule, meeting Layfayette, St. Xavier and Lexington Catholic. Then in the playoffs they saw Christian County, Warren Central, John Hardin and finally Cooper for the title. The Purples earned their undefeated record and 2012 and the will have to again in 2013.
Others receiving votes: Christian County, Apollo and Harlan County.
Thanks to Ryan Roberts of NKY Sports, Brian Eldridge of Scout.com, Joe Mathis of 1420 AM WHBN, Conor Revell of Louisville Catholic Sports, Nick Roush of Kentucky Sports Radio and Aaron Snyder of Dailyindependent.com for their votes.