Bell County’s Thomas named Mr. Football

Published 11:24 am Monday, December 11, 2023


Bell County’s Daniel Thomas was selected 2023’s Mr. Football by the Kentucky Football Coaches Association.

Thomas, a 5-foot-9, 180-pound running back/linebacker, set single-season state records for rushing yards with 3,817 (9.5 yards per carry) and total points scored with 373 (including 54 touchdowns) in leading the Bobcats to a 13-2 record and district and region titles on the way to the Class 3A state finals, where they finished runner-up to Christian Academy-Louisville after a 41-16 loss.

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Thomas rushed for 135 yards and a touchdown against CAL in the finals.

The KFCA also announced Hart County’s Chad Griffin as the Jimmie Reed Coach of the Year Award winner. Hart went 13-1 in Class 3A with district and region titles. They lost 30-28 to Bell County in the state semifinals.

Thomas’ single-season rushing mark surpassed Bath County’s Frank Jones (3,361 yards) set in 1969. Thomas broke the record in the Bobcats’ region championship win against East Carter.

He also broke the points record of Wayne County’s Braedon Sloan (336) that had been in place since 2019. Thomas carried 400 times and averaged 9.5 yards per carry. He also converted 20 2-point conversions.

As a linebacker, Thomas ranked third on the team with 94 tackles (77 solo) and returned a fumble for a touchdown.