Gorley wants to complete state title sweep

Published 9:01 am Friday, November 24, 2023


Contributing Writer

Austin Gorley is playing for something bigger than himself.

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The Boyle County lineman wants to close his high school career with a state championship that would give him four rings in as many seasons.

However, the pursuit of more jewelry isn’t the only thing that has driven Gorley to excel on the offensive and defensive lines, where his play has earned him recognition as The Advocate-Messenger 2022 Area Lineman of the Year.

Gorley is playing to honor his mother, who died only weeks before the start of his senior season.

“My mom passed away this summer, and I’ve dedicated this season to her,” Gorley said.

Gorley’s mother Catherine, better known as “Gail,” passed away July 2, shortly before the start of preseason practices.

“Dealing with that loss would be extremely hard on anyone,” Boyle coach Justin Haddix said.

Gorley is also playing for his teammates, for the brothers he has worked and played alongside for so long.

“We’re better than a team, we’re brothers,” he said. “We’re all doing it for each other, for different people.”

The 6-4, 270-pound Gorley has been a mainstay on offense for some time and became a starter on the other side of the ball this season for Boyle, which plays at Franklin County on Friday in a Class 4A semifinal. He has played primarily at guard on offense and nose guard on defense.

“He has been a starter for us since his sophomore year on the offensive line and also played defense this year,” Haddix said.

Haddix said Gorley will have the opportunity to play college football if he chooses to, but Gorley’s interests go well beyond the gridiron.

Gorley is also part of the Boyle County Arts Academy, which was established last year to offer targeted courses, training and performance opportunities for students interested in the arts. He played King Triton in the school’s production of “The Little Mermaid” earlier this year.

“I enjoy football, but I absolutely love theater and the performing arts. That’s what I’ve always loved,” Gorley told WDKY-TV earlier this year. “I’m glad I can do both, football in the fall and musicals and acting in the spring. I’m grateful.”

Boyle players have won the Area Lineman of the Year award determined through balloting of local coaches for nine consecutive seasons. Gorley was preceded by Tommy Ziesmer (2020-22), Wilson Kelly (2018-19), Will Bramel (2016-17) and Drew Yeager (2015).