Three Harlan County defenders were named to the Courier-Journal All-State teams recently.
Junior middle-linebacker Carson Whitehead led the Black Bears, earning second-team all state honors. Whitehead recorded 191 total tackles, including 64 solo tackles in 2012. He also led the team with five fumble recoveries, returning one for a touchdown. Whitehead was also named an honorable mention on the Associated Press All-State team, and earned Southeastern Kentucky Conference Linebacker of the Year honors.
Fellow linebacker Jake Middleton was named to the Courier Journal Third-Team defense. The senior has garnered most of his attention on the offensive side of the ball, but he was instrumental on the defensive side as well. Middleton was Harlan County’s second-leading tackler, behind only Whitehead, with 118 total stops last season. He was named a second-team all-state running back by the Associated Press. Middleton has also been selected to play in the Kentucky/Tennessee National Guard Border Bowl at the University of the Cumberlands.
Senior Tucker Lewis rounded out the trio with a honorable mention selection along the defensive line. Lewis started for the Black Bears at linebacker as a freshman, but missed much of his sophomore and junior seasons due to a knee injury. Lewis recorded 78 tackles from his defensive end position last season, and added one interception.
Harlan County recently finalized its schedule for the 2013 season. The Black Bears will host Clay County, Belfry, Knox Central, Letcher Central and Perry Central, while hitting the road to take on Madison Central, Johnson Central, Greenville (Tenn.), Whitley County and Bell County.