This football season promises to be another one for First Region sports fans to take note of.
With several key members of last season's All-Purchase Team off to colleges around the country, many upperclassmen are vying for those open spots, with more than a few underclassmen poised to make an impact, as well.
For the second season, here is the Paducah Sun's preseason All-Purchase Team.
Player of the Year:
Jayden Stinson, quarterback, Mayfield
Coach of the Year:
Joe Morris, Mayfield
All-Purchase Fantasy Player of the Year
Cody Goatley, Graves County
Jayden Stinson, Mayfield
Stinson was the coverage area's preeminent signal-caller last season, providing the Cardinal offense 2,931 yards, 35 touchdowns and just four interceptions. And, that was while he split time with Connor Guthrie. This year, it's Stinson's show, so those numbers should skyrocket, as he builds on his already-great relationship with an established receiving corps.
Hunter Bradley, McCracken County
Bradley exploded onto the scene for the Mustangs last year, becoming the team's featured back and plowing through the line of scrimmage to the tune of 744 yards and 10 touchdowns. He'll continue to split time with Franklin Hayes, who started last season as the top dog in the backfield, though the production for both should rise with added reps.
Franklin Hayes, McCracken County
Hayes is as explosive as he is fast, which makes him a threat not only in the run game, but in the air, too. He combined for 751 yards and 12 touchdowns last season, with more than three-fourths of his yardage (623) and half his scoring (6 TDs) coming in the passing game. Look for those numbers to go up this year.
Jayden Freeman, Paducah Tilghman
Freeman, a four-time medalist last spring on Tilghman's track team, has shown that he has the speed and agility to make problems for opponents in all phases of the game. As one of 15 Blue Tornado running backs to get carries last season, Freeman's 310 yards and five touchdowns was sixth on the team. Still, he's made strides over the summer and is in position to see an added role in Tilghman's ground game this season.
Kade Neely & Diaz Perry, Mayfield
Neely and Perry make up two-thirds of the returning talent out wide for the Cardinals this year. They combined for 1,710 yards and 23 touchdowns in Mayfield's Class 2A runner-up campaign. Both have gotten bigger -- both in height and muscle -- this year, and will be a dangerous combination with Stinson and fellow wideout Alonzo Daniel.
Luke Schwepker, Calloway County
The speedy senior was the leading rusher and receiver for the Lakers last season, with nearly 1,300 all-purpose yards and 18 touchdowns to his credit. With an improved quarterback in John Foster, there's every reason to believe that Schwepker, who has an offer from Kentucky Wesleyan, is poised for a big senior year.
Lucas Henley, Wyatt Inman
& Colin Price, Mayfield
These three seniors return to lead a Cardinals offensive line that allowed their team to combine for 6,038 yards and 90 touchdowns last season. With several prolific offensive threats, the improvement of these three and the unit as a whole should lend itself to the potential for a state championship run.
DaRoyce Flemons, Paducah Tilghman
Flemons is the headliner on an offensive line that has been crucial for the run game, which is Tilghman's bread-and-butter. The Blue Tornado ran for 3,491 yards and 49 touchdowns last year. Expect more of the same from skipper Jonathan Smith's group this year.
Grant Womble, Graves County
Womble is the anchor on an offensive line that last year provided for Graves County's 4,100 yards and 47 touchdowns. His contributions this year will be vital for senior Cody Goatley, who will be taking the reins on offense for the Eagles.
Micah Haley, Mayfield
Haley was busy last year for Mayfield, making 79 of 83 extra-point attempts on the coverage area's most prolific offense. With the likelihood of an even more formidable group, Haley's production, too, should go up.
Sebastian Lawrence, Murray
Lawrence has the size and speed to help make the Tigers a threat at the line of scrimmage, both offensively and defensively. His 82 tackles and four sacks (tie) led Murray defensively last year -- and that was as a sophomore.
LeAndre Bolen & Ethan McKendree, McCracken County
Bolen and McKendree were near the middle of the pack defensively for the Mustangs last year, as McCracken graduated a pair of Division I defenders, including lineman Darius Cain (Eastern Kentucky). So, it's crucial for these two -- who project as McCracken's leading defenders this year -- to have as big a year as many believe they're capable of, especially if the Mustangs are destined for a run in Class 6A.
Markeacio Jackson, Mayfield
Jackson has lined up at several positions for the Cardinals, who boast many two-way players. As a mix of linebacker and defensive lineman, Jackson has all the physicality to cause problems for opposing skill players.
Hunter Vlach, McCracken County
Vlach is another of the Mustangs who seem headed for a vastly-improved 2019. He was buried on the stat sheet last season, but like Bolen and McKendree, is being thrust into a leadership position on coach Marc Clark's defense this year.
Cody Goatley, Graves County
Goatley is a true Jack-of-all-trades for the Eagles. He's been a featured running back, star defender and has caught a pass or two in the end zone. He's also this year's quarterback for Nick Kemp's group. With offers across the mid-major spectrum and interest from high-level Division I schools throughout the Midwest, Goatley should be an absolute star for Graves this year.
Travon Halliburton, Mayfield
Only one Mayfield defender recovered as many fumbles as Halliburton did last season -- Brady Smith, who graduated and was headed to Southeast Missouri State, before hanging up his cleats and focusing on an education, instead. So, it's not a stretch to conclude that Halliburton will take on much of Smith's production in his absence. As the saying goes, it's defense that wins championships. Should the Cardinals go on that run, Halliburton will be a major factor.
Aaron Fennel, Calloway County
Fennel, who was a leg of the Lakers' state championship-winning 4x200-meter relay, has the speed to cover a lot of ground in the defensive backfield. As Calloway improves, so does Fennel, a two-way standout for skipper Chris Champion's squad.
Kymaiah Barner & Cam Marshall, Paducah Tilghman
Marshall, who doubles as Tilghman's quarterback, has the speed and awareness to take command of the Blue Tornado defense. Barner, meanwhile, was near the bottom of the stat sheet for that unit. Both are expected to take on a greater role in the void left by Tay Shawn Carruthers and Malachi Kirby, both of whom graduated this past spring.
Nelson Browning, Graves County
Browning, who also appears to be the Eagles' slot receiver this year, was in the middle of the pack for Graves last year, defensively. He made 20 tackles (10 solo, 10 assisted) and had one sack in 10 games. As one of the senior leaders on the defense, expect those totals to increase this year.
Ben Schofield, McCracken County
As one of two kickers on the All-Purchase Preseason Team, Schofield had to go somewhere. He made 35 of 38 extra-point tries and kicked three field goals for the touchdown-heavy Mustangs last season.
Quarterbacks: Cam Jordan, Trigg County; Hunter Utley, Murray; Elijah Wheat, McCracken County. Running backs: Caleb Kimble, Fulton County; Kylan Galbreath, Mayfield; DeEric Hollowell, Caldwell County. Wide receivers: Ty Buchmeier, Marshall County; Alonzo Daniel, Mayfield; Jacob Watters, Calloway County. Offensive linemen: Dawson Smothers, Marshall County; Luke Stallins, Caldwell County. Kickers: Noah Merriss, Murray; Shelby Nickal, Paducah Tilghman. Defensive linemen: Dalton Keeling, Marshall County; Tim Watkins, Paducah Tilghman. Linebackers: Tyler Boone, Crittenden County; Trevor Howard, Ballard Memorial; Tate VanHooser, Caldwell County. Defensive backs: Trenton Howard, Ballard Memorial; Xander Tabor, Crittenden County. Punters: Tripp Branch, Caldwell County; Ian Clark, Calloway County. Coaches: David Barnes, Caldwell County; Marc Clark, McCracken County; Jonathan Smith, Paducah Tilghman.