With a big and talented senior class, there are several leaders on the Harlan football team, but the unquestioned heart and soul of that group is Okey Boggs.
“Okey has been the emotional heart of the team. He really gets excited to play,” said Harlan coach J.B. Donahue.
The standout senior is one of the most aggressive players on the Harlan roster, and his passion for the game serves as a good example for the Dragons.
“I have always been a competitive, aggressive player. I just try to get everybody hyped up. Not a lot of people like to go in there and just throw their body around,” Boggs said. “These guys look up to me, and I want to lead them and show them where to go.”
“He is a very physical player and gives us a nice presence,” Donahue added.
Boggs has served as the anchor of the Harlan defense at middle linebacker over the past two seasons, but has been asked to do even more for the Dragons this season. He is currently second on the team with over 70 tackles.
“Defensively, Okey gives us a lot of heart. He is very physical. He has played some different spots for us. He is a kid that is growing and trying to improve and get better every day,” Donahue said.
Offensively, Boggs’ role is just as important. As the only senior on the Harlan offensive line, Boggs’s leadership has been crucial to that unit.
“He has really provided a steady hand for some of those young linemen there and been a really good influence for those guys,” Donahue said.
“They are a great group that listens. They have really stepped up this year,” Boggs added.
Boggs and the Dragons will look to avenge an earlier season loss as they travel to Williamsburg on Friday in the second round of the Class A playoffs. Harlan downed Williamsburg in the 2011 regular season, only to be knocked out of the playoffs by the Yellow Jackets. The Dragons will look to return the favor this week.
“That’s what we have all been talking about. That’s what we are looking to do,” Boggs said. “We just have to go down there and play.”