CHARLESTON, W.Va. -- You know high school football season is getting to its more crucial weeks when fans begin asking questions about the Kennedy Award.
I received my first query Monday regarding the award that annually is bestowed upon the state's best prep player. As I had foreseen, it was a question that brought up the fact that the 2011 winner, George Washington senior and North Carolina recruit Ryan Switzer, missed most of two games at the start of this year due to a concussion.
I was asked if I thought that Cabell Midland senior David Gaydosz was the current front-runner for the 2012 edition of the award.
In one word: No.
Gaydosz is having a sensational season since joining the Knights, a team that possesses a better offensive line and considerably more depth than that at his former home at Winfield. He's run for 973 yards and 18 touchdowns in seven games as part of Midland's triple-headed run monster that also includes fullback Lowell Farley and running back Steven Matthews.
But in many respects, Switzer is having a better season than he had a year ago, when he ran away with the award. Although he is slightly off his yardage pace - he's on track to finish the regular season with 1,985 yards as opposed to the 2,010 he finished the regular season with a year ago - he's doing so with significantly fewer touches.
Switzer's yards-per-carry average is much greater than it was in 2011. He currently has 77 carries for 1,191 yards, an average of 15.5 yards per carry. His average in the 2011 regular season was 9.9 yards. His carries-to-touchdown ratio is also better, at 4.8 to 1. In 2011, it was 7.5 to 1.
Gaydosz is a candidate, make no mistake. And, as the Knights continue to plow through their schedule, he will likely remain a contender. But he is among a series of others - including Wayne's Brandon Spurlock, Morgantown's Chazzy Thomas and Oak Hill's Jalen Jones - who might just be running for second place should Switzer remain healthy.
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STEVE EDWARDS JR. is knocking on the door of the 10 winningest coaches in Kanawha County history.
With George Washington's 42-7 win over Spring Valley last week, Edwards' all-time record improved to 119-67. That win total puts him in sole possession of 11th place on the all-time list, one win ahead of Rocco Gorman.
Gorman was 118-31-14 in two stints at Charleston High School. He coached there from 1913-17 and again from 1919-29.
At No. 10 on the county wins list is former Stonewall Jackson Coach Bill Jarrett, who coached against Edwards in the GW coach's playing days with the Patriots. Jarrett went 120-64-1 in 18 seasons, from 1967-84.