COAL CITY, WV (WVNS) — After breaking multiple school and state records this season, Independence running back Judah Price added another accolade to his collection.
Price is the 2022 Kennedy Award winner, given to the best football player in the Mountain State.
He ran for 2,587 yards and 49 touchdowns and broke the 100-year-old single-season state scoring record, racking up a total of 396 points.
He then ended the season by rushing for a Super Six record 376 yards in the state championship game as he led Independence to its first-ever state title.
Price sat behind last year’s Kennedy winner, Atticus Goodson in his first three years and he learned a lot seeing Goodson play.
“Being tougher, definitely,” said Price. “He would run the ball 30, 30 times a game and wouldn’t come most of them. And he knew he had to do good for his team for us to win and that’s what I kind of took from him and learned that if I didn’t do well, the team didn’t rally behind me and if I did good, then we rallied really well.”
Of course, it was not all Judah that allowed him to put up video-game-like numbers. He was only as good as his offensive line.
“I’m just as much proud of them as they are of me,” said Price. “They deserve as much credit in the world. They deserve the same amount of credit I’m getting right now just cause they did the dirty work and they didn’t get enough credit for it. They should really feel good about themselves. I feel like, back-to-back Kennedy winners, that will probably be one of the best lines that people talk about for years to come.”
With Judah graduating in 2023, Tyler Linksweiler is expected to take over as the Patriot’s starting running back.
Price said it is next man up and Linksweiler is the guy to do it.
“He’s got big shoes to fill, two back-to-back Kennedy Award winners, and I’ve broke a bunch of records myself in some of the games I’ve had and I feel like he’ll shine just as well as me and Atticus,” said Price. “But I think he’ll fill his role more than he should. I think he’ll surprise himself.”
Price’s win makes this the eighth time a school produced back-to-back Kennedy winners but only the third time that it was achieved by two different players.
This is the first time it has been achieved by two different players from a Class AA school.