Anthony White has Turned Atherton High School into a Powerhouse

Photo Cred: Courier Journal 

In a thrilling clash filled with early obstacles, Atherton emerged triumphant, hoisting the Class 5A, District Three title with a convincing 24-6 victory over Fairdale. It was the first district title in Atherton history. The high school was previously known as a dumpster fire and easy win, but not anymore! A spectacular game from running back Mike Curry extended their winning streak to eight. The Ravens had impressive season record of 8-1. Curry, a junior transfer from St. Xavier, played a key role this year, earning the trust of his coach and teammates.

KHSAA football: Atherton defeats Fairdale, wins 5A, District 3 title

Photo Cred: Courier Journal

Curry reflected on the achievement, saying, “It feels immensely satisfying for me to arrive here in my first year and be a part of something this special, which has never been accomplished at this school. It’s a great feeling to help the people who have been striving for this victory for so long. Coming from a successful program, I’m thrilled to assist them in achieving this.”

The game began as a defensive battle between the Ravens and the Bulldogs, with both sides demonstrating their resilience. Despite early challenges, Atherton’s defense remained steady, and defensive back QuilShaun Baines intercepted a crucial pass. Atherton faced initial difficulties with the opening kickoff. These struggles persisted into the first half with consecutive fumbles, including one by senior wide receiver Sincere Smith.

Nevertheless, the Ravens bounced back by blocking a field goal. The turning point came when junior lineman Brandon Edwards executed a strip-sack on Fairdale quarterback Jerrel Mason. Following the play, Curry surged ahead, scoring from one yard and capped off the first half on a high note.

Kentucky high school football: Atherton vs. Fairdale, KHSAA photos

Photo Cred: Courier Journal

Head coach Anthony White emphasized the importance of ongoing improvement, saying, “That’s what we practice for; we’re going to review the film and make corrections. Each week presents unique challenges, and that’s why we study the film. We’ll keep getting better. I have one of the best running backs in the state, and I trust these guys, so we’ll make the necessary adjustments, I promise you.”

The Ravens heavily relied on Mike Curry during the second half after junior QB QuaShawn Thompson left the field due injury. Thompson played in two more series before White turned to junior QB Dean Hynniman. Hynniman and Curry established a formidable combination on the field, as the QB connected with Curry down the middle for 21 yards. This significant play set up Curry for his second touchdown, a four-yard rush. Curry then rounded off his performance in the fourth quarter with his third touchdown.

Head coach White praised Curry’s contributions, stating, “He’s a phenomenal player. In cold-weather games on a muddy field, you rely on your workhorse, and that’s exactly what 21 is – a bell cow who carries us home.”

Kentucky high school football: Atherton vs. Fairdale, KHSAA photos

Photo Cred: Courier Journal

This victory held exceptional significance for Atherton, given their previous encounter with Fairdale, a humbling 22-0 loss during the second round of the Class 5A playoffs. Atherton’s extraordinary transformation and championship win marked a watershed moment in the history of their football program.

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S.K. Patrick is a sports journalist from Louisville, Ky with over 5 years of sports journalism experience. Patrick graduated from the University of Louisville with his BA in mass communications and a minor in marketing. Patrick has been part of Louisville's local sports community for several years. He’s a former high school football player and little league football coach. Patrick has covered press conferences and games for U of L’s Sports Information Office. He now covers the ACC, along with Western Kentucky University and the University of Cincinnati. He has reported on Rick Pitino, Bobby Petrino, Jimbo Fisher, Roy Williams, Mike Krzyzewski, and many others. Professionally he has covered the NFLPA Collegiate Bowl and the NFL Scouting Combine.

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