Three days after longtime soccer coach Jim Matney passed away after a battle with COVID-19, Johnson Central High School put its name on its stadium.
“Starting tonight, Eagle Field will be renamed Coach Jim Matney Field in honor of our beloved coach,” Johnson Central Athletics tweeted on Friday. “We will always be #MatneyStrong.”
The announcement came before the Golden Eagles beat Clay County 42-6 on Friday to improve to 4-2. Zack McCoart (154 yards, two touchdowns) and Carter Conley (100 yards, two touchdowns) had big games on the ground to lead Johnson Central.
Matney died Tuesday at the age of 62.
“There won’t be another coach like him,” former Hunter McCloud told WSAZ-TV of Huntington, West Virginia. “Seeing how they rename it Coach Jim Matney Field was going to happen sooner or later anyway. It was just much earlier than any of us wanted it to happen. “
Matney is among 12 high school football coaches in Kentucky history to win 300 and lead Johnson Central to five consecutive Class 4A championship games from 2015-19. The Golden Eagles won titles in 2016 and 2019.
Matney began his coaching career in 1982 as an assistant at Belfry – his alma mater – before becoming head coach at Sheldon Clark in 1984, where he set a 124-94 record in 20 seasons. He also coached the school’s wrestling team and led the Cardinals to consecutive state titles in 1994 and 1995.
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He coached Johnson Central in 2004, hitting a record 186-39, earning him a career score of 310-133. In 2006, he was named Kentucky High School Football Coach of the Year by the Courier Journal.
Steve Trimble is Johnson Central’s interim coach. The Golden Eagles are ranked No. 4 in Class 4A by The Associated Press.
Matney’s funeral is scheduled for 1 p.m. on Monday on the soccer field. The tour starts at 11 a.m.
The top 10 frakes
Every week Jason Frakes will publish his ranking of the top 10 high school football teams in Kentucky, regardless of class:
No. 10 – beech wood (6-0). Cameron Hergott threw two touchdown passes and stormed a score in the 21:14 win over Dixie Heights. Next: at Covington Holy Cross (1-5) on Friday.
No. 9 – Corbin (6-0). Seth Huff stormed to three touchdowns in a 56-24 win over Simon Kenton. Next: in Knox Central (3-3) on Friday.
No. 8 – South Warren (5-1). Caden Veltkamp passed for 202 yards and three touchdowns in a 36-7 win over Bowling Green. Next: Hosts McCracken County (1-6) on Friday.
No. 7 – Boyle County (5-1). Didn’t play. Next: Hosts Lexington Catholic (5-1) on Friday.
No. 6 – Trinity (1-6). Brady Willis passed for 313 yards and stormed for 104 yards and a score in a 33-32 win at the nationally ranked Cincinnati St. Xavier. Next: at Ballard (4-2) on Friday.
No. 5 – Lexington Christian (6-0). Didn’t play. Next: in Washington County (3-4) on Friday.
No. 4 – Frederick Douglass (7-0). Lose victory over Grant County due to COVID-19 logs. Next: hosts Great Crossing (5-1) on October 15th.
No. 3 – Manual (5-1). Didn’t play. Next: Host St. Xavier (5-1) on Friday.
No. 2 – St. Xavier (5-1). Adam Boone and Jack Sivori rushed to touchdowns in a 13-3 win at Ryle. Next: with manual (5-1) on Friday.
No. 1 – Male (5-0). Didn’t play. Next: at Southern (5-1) on Friday.
Jason Frakes: 502-582-4046; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @kyhighs.