UNFORGETABLES PART 2 OF 5
’ll start by saying this group didn’t have pictures to send. Some might come in if so I can send to the Lazer to edit. Honestly it’s perfect though. This picture is Lawrence County Football! Two best friends that grew up from elementary school playing ball together. Two guys that played so physical and with so much pride for our program! I tried to honor these guys last year. Coach Short was great about I it ready to do it. Then Covid hit. Our dear friend that was more like a brother to all of us Josh Sexton passed away between then and now. It will leave a hole in the celebration this weekend but we know “Juice” will be with us. He was always smiling! It’s a stark reminder that we need to celebrate life and each other! We love you Juice!!
1990 was a great year in pop culture. Kevin would be left Home Alone for Christmas. Shows like Seinfeld, The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air and The Simpsons would make their debut. Songs like Ice Ice Baby and U Can’t Touch This were blaring across the US.
In Louisa Kentucky it was another start to a football season with optimism but nothing out of the ordinary. We’d lost some great players like bell cow running back Mike McCreary. Our centerpiece on defense at linebacker graduated in Jason Sexton. Brad Derifield could absolutely fly at Quarterback the yr before but was injured out of the gates so we did have a quarterback with experience coming back in Travis Phelps. . There weren’t many Seniors (only 7) but the ones coming back could play.
Jack Abshire, Howard Adams, Steve Alley, Keith Best, Jay Childers, Kenny Henson, Josh Sexton. Those aren’t the names that get thrown around all the time these days when it comes to Lawrence County Football. If you ever had a positive experience with the program those are the names we all should be thanking and I hope you do Friday night.
These 7 guys spent their high school on probation as Bulldogs. It was decided as a program that we would step out of classification to roll the dice on building our football program to a beast that only a person or two could envision. It was a gamble that paid off beyond belief from 1990 up into the 2000’s! These 7 guys could have very well hung it up but instead the made the absolute best out of a tough situation. With no opportunity to compete in the playoffs instead of pouring the brought it every week. They also created a culture of love between our four walls of the lockeroom and pain to anybody that decided to line up against us. The intensity and emotional aspect along with the pride of wearing a BULLDOG jersey carried on long after they were gone!
This is the group that took Lawrence County Football to a level we didn’t know. They have earned the respect of their peers and won the hearts of our community!
Here’s what some had to say about that season:
As far as being undefeated, it never crossed my mind too much until we knocked off Raceland. Then it become a goal. That game changed everything for LC football (in my opinion). It was a Monkey off our backs.
I have many, many amazing memories of playing football at Lawrence County, but my undefeated season with Coach Goldsmith was one of the best ever. That year Coach Goldsmith always reminded us that we were ‘the only show in town.’ And we were.
I had watched Coach Goldsmith coach my uncle Paul to a quadruple overtime win over Paintsville when I was in eighth grade. My dad played quarterback for Louisa and so for me football was an absolute family tradition.
I think of all my wins as a football player beating Paintsville my junior season was the sweetest. Everyone on our team played something like a perfect game. The crowd was insane. I’d never seen Coach Goldsmith more elated. (Until later).
First of all, I don’t think anyone on the team thought about 11-0 before we played our first game. We knew we were pretty good coming out of camp, but it took a few games before we started to believe it was possible. Our first test was on the road week 2 again Fleming Co. Goldsmith had promised to let us shave his head in front of the whole school if we won so there was no way we were losing that game. We won the next few easily and week 6 was on the road at Sheldon Clark, who everyone knows is a tough place to play. Combine that with Raceland coming up in week 7, we may have looked past SC a little and probably played our worst game of the season but came away with a win 21-6. Week 7 – RACELAND!! This is the one that would make or break our season. We couldn’t go to the playoffs so all we had to play for was a conference title and perfect season and both went through Raceland. We hadn’t beaten them in several years and they were tough as hell. They outplayed us in the 1st half but we went to halftime tied 6-6. They scored first in the 2nd half making it 14-6 and that was the first time we trailed that season (ended up being the only time we would trail all season). We were midfield 3rd and long when Travis Phelps hit Howard Adams over the middle for at 50 yard TD pass to tie the game 14-14. After that, the momentum turned and we were a different team. We totally dominated the rest of the game with Jay Childers making some of the craziest runs I had ever seen. He would be carrying 6-7 defenders and still not go down. Best thing about it all was we were running the exact same play over and over and they couldn’t stop it. Just a simple fullback dive to the 1 or 2 hole with a determined offensive line and the best fullback in the state was all it took. We scored twice in the 4th quarter to put it away and knew then we had a chance to make history. It has to be said that the crowd that night was electric. Having so many of our fans at an away game was amazing and they rocked the place the entire game. From there, we knew we would have another tough test week 9 at Paintsville who we had to beat to win the NEKC outright. Another tough game, but we were able to pull it out 20-6. Two wins later and we had actually done it, 11-0! It was a great season and two things stick out to me more than anything about it – we only dressed 25 players on varsity that season (just a couple years later and I think we dressed 50+) and we only gave up 57 points the entire season. Coach Goldsmith always taught us that defense won games and I think we proved it that year.
#52 – Class of 1991
‘90 Bulldogs- Even though this TEAM could not participate in the playoffs it still goes down in Lawrence County and Louisa lore as the only undefeated team in school(s) history. This team laid the foundation for years to come in the 90’s. With wins over Fleming County(a highly thought of district opponent the next year), and tradition rich Raceland, and Paintsville ( all on the road) it was a foretelling of where this program was headed. That year was just simply FUN. Really great bunch of seniors that played so hard and treated every game as a playoff game. Group of juniors and a handful of sophomores and a frosh or two that would more than get their feet wet for the next few years to come. Something was definitely brewing in Louisa. Rest In Peace Josh Sexton.
1990-91 Offensive Coordinator and Head Bulldog Baseball Coach
The Lawrence Co. Bulldogs 1990 football team was a very special group. We had only 7 seniors. Four of those were honorable mention All-State and 1st team All Area. They were Josh Sexton, Howard Adams, Jay Childers and Keith Best. Two Juniors also made it, Stuart Cook and Webb Roberts. Eight players on that team went on to play college football.
When I think about this team, I think about how tight we were. Every game we played, before the game almost everybody was crying or throwing up. They couldn’t wait to get out there and get it on. Our Motto was, if you want some, Come get some. If you don’t want some, its going to be a long night. I mean they loved to practice, but they couldn’t wait until Friday got here. We always had the greatest fans and parents and they were there for both home and away games. I remember we played this team and back then it seemed like every game was a rivalry game. This particular coach was watching our kids crying and hollering before the game and he said, my gosh, what are you feeding these kids. I said, they’re all meat eaters and your team is next on the menu. I was just joking, but it wasn’t far from the truth. We gave up 5.1 points a game and a lot of those were late. Josh Sexton was the third Sexton to start at Middle Linebacker and had 123 tackles and 334 for a career. We All Love You and will Miss You Forever MY MAN. Howard Adams had 7 interceptions. Stuart Cook had 20 tackles for loss and 8 sacks. Our Offensive Coaches Jim Bob Michael and Gary Morris did an Awesome job. Travis Phelps led us at QB. Webb Roberts led the area in scoring averaging 10 points a game. We had 3 guys in the the top 10 in the area in scoring, Webb Roberts, Jay Childers and Eric Cantrell. All 3 of those backs were very physical and it was hard for a team to tackle them for four quarters. Howard Adams averaged 30 yards a catch and was as fast as anyone in the area. Those young men and our coaches Loved each other and never wanted to let each other down. Our younger kids were growing in experience and in confidence. This season really got us going for our 1991 State Semi-Final Season. Loved that team so much. When I talk to any of those kids that played for the Bulldogs in those years and I don’t get to as much as I should. We end EVERY Conversation with I Love You.
Miss you Boys, excuse me, MEN.
Head Coach Billy Goodsmith
It can never be said enough! THANK YOU, THANK YOU, THANK YOU to the Senior class especially for completely changing the expectations for the Lawrence County Football Program! I can not wait to hug your all’s neck and hope you feel the love and gratitude this weekend!