The Pikeville Panthers defense has outstanding playmakers on all three levels of the defense, including "Bull" Hunter and Jesse Sparks on the line, Connor Wright and Jon Collum leading the Linebackers but the "Fearsome Four" is one of, if not the best secondary in the state. The "Fearsome Four" with Kyle Watkins at safety is lights out, teams are asking for bad news if they try to throw on the Panthers. All four of these dudes have next level talent but for purposes of this article I'm going to concentrate on the trio of corners in the "Fearsome Four".

The combination of corners that Coach Chris McNamee rolls out there on defense are the baddest cats in the entire state, yes I'm talking about the "Hitman" Christian Billiter, Jaxson Hensley and Seth Pugh. These three corners are not only unbelievable athletes, they every one stand 6'3, their play reminds you of the "Legion of Boom" secondary Pete Carrol had up there in Seattle, they are that talented and that BAD!! Oh yea, these three players may also make up the best receiving core in the state also, let's just say that the best duel threat QB in the state Connor Roberts definitely has the best set of toys to play with. the old saying that corners are playing defense because they don't have good enough hands to be receivers doesn't ring true in this case, these three catch everything coming their way whether it's from their QB or the opposing QB.

Let's start with the "Hitman" Christian Billiter, this kid plays with bad intentions, if a ball comes his way he is picking it off. Christian leads the state in interceptions and when he gets the ball, he knows what to do with it, he has nearly returned half his interceptions back for touchdowns. The "Hitman" got his name because earlier in the year he was just laying people out, he reminds you of a real Panther, he just sets back and waits for his opportunity to eat, then he pounces. On offense Christian makes Odell Beckam type catches, he has had three or four one handed catches this year that absolutely blew my mind. This kid has a set of glue sticks for hands, if he gets a hand on it, he is reeling it in, bet money on that.

The second player I'm going to talk about is the most unbelievable physical specimen in the Mountains, Jaxson Hensley is a Division-1 athlete period. Jackson is just bigger, faster and badder than anyone else on the field, he is like a man playing with boys out there. When you watch Jaxson play he just stands out, he looks like a NFL body out there on a high school team. Jaxson's athleticism makes it unfair for the opposition, he just is so much faster and jumps so much higher than anyone else possibly can. He suckers a lot of quarterbacks in because they throw passes where any other time receivers will be wide open but Jaxson's speed makes it to where he closes out so fast that opposing quarterbacks end up looking bad for throwing a bad pass but any other corner that pass is a completion. Jaxson is a "Playmaker" in every since of the word, if you look up "Playmaker" in the dictionary you actually see a picture of Jaxson Hensley. Jaxson dominates in all three phases of the game, if he gets his hands on the ball 90% of the time he is taking it to the house, he has 14 receiving TD's and is tied for 10th in the state in scoring leaders.

Then the last member of this thunderous trio of corners we are going to talk about is one of the hardest hitters in the state, yes I'm talking about Seth Pugh. This kid's dad owns Castle's Jewelry in Pikeville and Seth would be the idea employee for him because all Seth does is spend his time cleaning clocks! Seth is so long it makes it hard for quarterbacks to judge his closing speed, his length and athleticism make him one of the top shutdown corners in the Mountains. Seth Pugh is tied for 9th in the state in interceptions and also has returned a third of his picks back for touchdowns. Seth is one of them warriors you want in your fox hole with you, he will put his body on the line for his brothers, he plays with a lot of emotion and wears his heart on his sleeve, Seth is one of them players that fans love because of the intensity he plays the game with. He is very dangerous on offense because he not only has great hands, great speed with that long stride but Seth is very fundamentally sound and runs great routes. Seth has the talent to play on the next level and will excel on either side of the ball that a coach wants to play him, he is an exceptional player in all three phases of the game.

Friday, November 30, 2018 By darrell