Family works together to keep football alive and well

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EDMONTON, Ky. (WBKO) -- If you know anything at all about the small, country town of Edmonton, Kentucky and Metcalfe County football, you know exactly about the name Harbison.

Larry Harbison was considered a big reason why the Hornets' program is what it is today. He served as head coach from 1988 until his retirement in 2011, winning a lot of games and a few district championships along the way.

"We love football. Our family has always loved football," Larry said. "If you're going to do something, do it well and that's what we've always tried to instill in our kids."

Larry was replaced by someone he knows very well: his brother, Freddie, who was head coach of the team for four years. ​

Then in 2015, when Freddie retired as coach, it was only fitting that a Harbison took over. So it was the oldest son of Larry: L.J.

"People told me not to follow in the footsteps of my father," said L.J. about coaching. "But I wanted to come back and be around my family. It's a football family, and to come back to my hometown and coach football here, and bless little kids just like I got my father to do to me back in the day."

The current coach of the Hornets has had a very successful career with football, not only as a standout player for Metcalfe County, but also as a linebacker for Western Kentucky University until 2009.

Once the opportunity opened up at his hometown team, he couldn't pass up the chance to lead his alma mater, because of two people he always admired.

"(Larry) has always been my role model ever since I was a little boy. I wanted to be just like him and my uncle," said L.J. "They say I played just like (Larry) played back in the day. so I guess it just carries over."

L.J. is not the only Harbison you'll see on the sidelines during games. Besides his proud father cheering on the team, his younger brother, Winston, is also an assistant coach.

"You don't really see the way the Harbison's coach in football anymore," said Winston. "That's really that hard-nosed, never stop (style of play)."

The Hornets are enjoying a great start to the 2017 season in L.J. Harbison's third year, and the head coach has not only the support of the fans, but the stamp of approval from the past two coaches.

"I'm glad he chose to be a coach," said Larry. "I knew he was a coach a long time ago but he didn't know it.

"Metcalfe is lucky to have (L.J.). He's a good coach. I see a little bit of me in him but I believe he's better than I am. His mom and I are real pleased. Proud of both of my sons."

​"He may be doing a better job than what we did," said Freddie about L.J. coaching the Hornets. "We're glad to see him doing good. Always glad to see Metcalfe County football doing good.

"L.J. is doing a fine job and he's going to keep doing a fine job."

"It's by far a football family."

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