HIGH SCHOOL PREVIEW, WEEK FIVE/South Warren puts 4-0 record on the line against KHSAA Class 6A power Manual; Greenwood makes home debut against Warren Central


We’re approaching the fifth week of regular-season play in high school football in the Commonwealth, and South Central Kentucky is down to a handful of unbeaten teams — South Warren, Glasgow and Franklin-Simpson.

Glasgow (4-0) squares off with archrival Barren County (3-1), with the Trojans making the short trip across town to face Coach Jeff Garmon’s Scotties squad at Hank Royse Stadium. The series had been on hiatus for a while, but it returns on Friday night to plenty of anticipation.

Franklin-Simpson (4-0), which moved down to the KHSAA’s Class 3A ranks this season, squares off against the winless Russellville Panthers at Mathews Stadium in Franklin.

Meanwhile, South Warren (4-0) is on the road to face another Top 10 squad, Louisville’s Dupont Manual High School, in a high-profile matchup before the traditionally strong Spartans open district play next week against crosstown rival Greenwood.

Greenwood (3-1) plays its first home game of the season on Friday night when the Gators square off with Warren Central (1-3), while Bowling Green (2-2) plays host to Central Hardin (2-2) at El Donaldson Stadium.

South Warren and Bowling Green aspire to compile tough non-district schedules, with an eye cast toward November and the KHSAA playoffs. Veteran coach Brandon Smith’s Spartans have accomplished that objective with Friday night’s matchup against Manual. The Crimsons (4-0) have outscored their four opponents, 113-15, which Smith said is actually a little misleading.

“They’ve only given up one offensive touchdown,” Smith said. “They’re really good. It’s a really good program. They’re always good. It’s one of the top teams in the state.

“Breaking down the film, you can’t figure their red-zone defense out, because nobody gets down there. They’ve really played outstanding defense.”

Smith’s Spartans will try to change that narrative in Louisville. Junior SWHS quarterback Bryce Button is off to a fast start, having completed 67 of 105 passes (65 percent) for 1,246 yards and 14 touchdowns. Button has been intercepted twice, while adding two rushing touchdowns.

South’s Bailey Shoemaker has a team-high 22 receptions for 463 yards and five touchdowns, and Spartans teammate Jimmy Sales leads the team with 242 yards rushing. Defensively, South Warren has playmakers in linebackers Ethan Reynolds and Colton Veltkamp, along with Jace Cutrona, who leads the team with 32 tackles.

Veltkamp, meanwhile, has 12 tackles for losses, including five sacks.

“We’re looking forward to going up there, see what happens,” Smith said. “I’m looking forward to it. I know the kids are excited. It’s going to be a good matchup.”

Greenwood has undergone stadium improvements over the last few months, and the Gators will be playing their first game on their new field with artificial turf. Greenwood bounced back from a 43-13 loss to Class 2A powerhouse Owensboro Catholic, knocking off previously unbeaten Logan County, 21-13, last week in Russellville.

“It’s great to be back home this week,” Greenwood coach William Howard said. “The yellow school bus has put on a lot of miles so far this year. Warren Central is an explosive offensive team and they play extremely hard on defense.”

Logan County (3-1) looks to get back on track against Allen County-Scottsville (2-2), and elsewhere in the KHSAA’s seven-team, Class 4A 1st District, Warren East (2-2) makes the long trip to tangle with Calloway County (2-2). Metcalfe County (1-3) plays host to Wayne County (4-0), while Butler County (1-3) makes the short trip to square off with Hart County (4-0).