Welch Looking to Recover for Track Season
|PHOTO: Ed Harber. Highlands senior wide receiver Jake Welch is out for the season. He's trying to recover for track season in the spring. Welch won the 400 meter dash in 49.67 seconds in the Class AA State Meet in June.|
It was supposed to be a banner football season for the Welch family.
Mike Welch, a 1993 Highlands alum, had worked his way up through the coaching ranks and first-year Head Coach Bob Sphire hired him to coach the outside linebackers this year. His oldest son Jake Welch returned for his third season on the varsity as a senior and younger son Nate Welch entered the year as a sophomore running back/defensive back.
Mike Welch helped the Bluebirds to the Class AAA state championship in 1992 as a running back and cornerback graduating with recently-passed former University of Kentucky assistant coach John Schlarman. He'd played wide receiver some as a junior. Mike Welch started coaching the Red Devils youth football team then moved on to the freshman team staff before taking his current role this year.
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"It's been an absolute dream. I've had the chance to coach them from Little League on," Mike Welch said of coaching his sons. "It's just worked out that we've gotten to be together. For the first time ever, all three of us were on the same team so that was pretty cool. I've had a lot of fun doing it."
Jake Welch finished the season with 19 catches for 322 yards and two touchdowns and five rushes for 35 yards. He had eight catches for 200 yards and two touchdowns in the 53-38 win at Simon Kenton on Aug. 27.
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Jake Welch had a team-high 251 yards on 10 catches and two touchdowns in 2020 in a season shortened by Coronavirus 2019. Highlands finished 5-6 losing 38-21 in the second round of the playoffs at Covington Catholic. He also missed some games that year because of injuries.