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Danville gives Rebels ‘key to the city’ for football championship

There’s too much football success in Boyle County to fit into a single Danville City Commission meeting.

After celebrating the Danville Admirals’ 2A state championship at their December meeting, city commissioners celebrated the Boyle County Rebels’ 3A state championship during their first meeting of 2018 on Monday.

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com
Danville City Commissioner Denise Terry, a Boyle County High School graduate, volunteered to read a proclamation honoring the Boyle County Rebels for their state championship.

City Commissioner Denise Terry, “a proud Rebel for life,” asked to be the one to read a proclamation commending the Rebels for their championship season.

Terry said when she first began attending Boyle County High School, its football team was nothing to brag about.

“Our football teams had probably gone 1-9, 0-10. It was not good,” she said.

But once Terry was an upperclassman, Chuck Smith had arrived for his first stint as head coach of the football program, which lasted 12 years. Terry couldn’t say enough good about Smith’s work building the Boyle County football dynasty.

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com
Boyle County football coach Chuck Smith laughs while talking about his teams success on the gridiron in 2017.

Smith won five state championships during those 12 years. He left after the 2004 season, then returned in 2014. Boyle County won two more state championships in Smith’s absence. Smith’s first championship since returning is also the school’s eighth.

“He took those boys who had not won games and made them into champions,” Terry said. “… Coach Smith conducts himself on and off the field in a very humble manner. He has high standards; he also applies those standards to himself.”

Smith and seven senior Rebels attended the commission meeting and were presented with an honorary plaque, as well as pins that represent the “key to the city.”

“I tell everybody that wants to listen: Really in my mind, the biggest reason why we were able to win a state championship this year was because of the leadership these guys provided,” Smith said. “There’s no doubt in my mind — I know we have some talent here or there, but we would not have won it without the leadership these guys provided.”

The seniors who attended shared some of their plans for after they graduate — lineman Will Bramel will be attending Purdue to play for the Boilermakers; Kaden Gervacio will be staying in Boyle County and playing at Centre College; Mitchell Paycheck is headed to Georgetown on a track-and-field scholarship … 

Mayor Mike Perros said he is still “in awe” that both high schools from Boyle County were able to bring home state championships in the same year. And he said Smith is due a lot of credit for Boyle County’s success.

“These young men are a reflection of you. Yeah, it starts with good parents, but the coach is the one that sets the tone.”

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com
Will Bramel helped the Boyle County Rebels win a state championship in 2017; in 2018, he’s heading to Purdue to play college football. Bramel said his major will be “marketing, business — something like that.”

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com
Members of the Boyle County Rebels championship football team say the Pledge of Allegiance at the beginning of Monday night’s Danville City Commission meeting.

Ben Kleppinger/ben.kleppinger@amnews.com
Sam Clark, left, shakes City Commissioner Denise Terry’s hand after Clark led the Danville City Commission in reciting the Pledge of Allegiance.