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Playing for the East, Henry County High School’s Erick Butler, Chris Price and Cole Crouch were selected and played in the annual East-West All-Star football game at Southern High School on Saturday.
The top seniors from the Louisville area competed in the contest hosted by the Greater Louisville Football Coaches Association. Bullitt Central’s Mike Gossett coached the West team, Oldham County’s Matt Brown coached the East and the West won 40-20 on a cold and windy day.
HCHS offensive linemen coach Lyndon Johnson made the trip to Southern with the trio of Henry players and said the East came up on the losing end but all three played well. Butler started at middle linebacker, Price started on the offensive line at right guard and also played right tackle, and Crouch came into the game to play outside linebacker. All three saw action about two-thirds of the time. This was the first time Henry had three athletes play in the game.
“It was a big honor to be chosen. They gave a very good effort and represented our team and our community very well,” Johnson said. “Plus, I know there were lots of college coaches there so it gave them some exposure.”
Butler finished with eight tackles, including two tackles for losses, one pass breakup and he caused one fumble in one of the top defensive performances of the game from either side. Meanwhile, Price held his ground on the line with three pancake blocks. And Crouch, who was moved from his more accustomed position on the line to a linebacker position, had two tackles.
For the winning West squad, Central Hardin’s Dylan Berger threw for 150 yards and four touchdowns with three going to Central’s Stephan Robinson. Bullitt Central’s Jeremaie Bennett took 10 handoffs for 78 yards and one touchdown.
For the East, Fern Creek’s Bryan Hynes threw for 145 yards and two touchdowns. Carlos Smith, also from Fern Creek, finished with 98 yards receiving and had both touchdown receptions from Hynes.
Four Most Valuable Player awards were given following the game — Robinson (offense) and Manual’s T.J. Gritton (defense) earned MVP honors for the West, and Smith (offense) and Grant County’s Tyler Sheffield (defense) earned honors for the East. A fifth award, the Sportsmanship Player of the Week, was given to Price based on his enthusiasm and attitude during the week-loing practices and Saturday’s game.
Price, Butler and Crouch helped lead Henry County to one of its best seasons on record in 2009. The Wildcats, coached by Chris Engstrand, finished the regular season at 8-2, including a perfect 3-0 in District Four play, defeated Moore in the first round of the Class 3-A state playoffs and beat Elizabethtown in the second. In the Region Two finals, the Cats lost to Central to end the season at 10-3.
Coaches nominated players to play in the East-West All-Star game, and the head coach from both squads selected who they wanted to fit their needs. Last year Engstrand was selected as the head coach for the East and Henry’s Brett Downey played on the line. Two years ago, Henry’s Travis McClanahan and Cari Dunaway both played.
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