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Sunday, Apr. 26, 2015

Bradbury eclipses Slay's career mark

Posted Wednesday, August 22, 2012, at 6:44 PM

Cole Bradbury
It is a bit ironic that last fall I received a call from long distance truck driver Bryan Slay.

I am sure that I don't have ask Linton-Stockton football fans if they know the name Bryan Slay.

The senior wide receiver was instrumental in the Miners winning their second sectional and first regional title in 1986.

Slay, who is still an avid Miner fan who follows his team with help of our website (www.gcdailyworld.com), caught 50 passes for 1,331 yards and 14 TDs during that run to the semistate some 26 years ago.

That single-season yardage might never be broken by a Miner player as it is the 26th best total in the history of high school football in Indiana, especially the way the high-power Miner offense -- led by quarterback Austin Karazsia -- spread the wealth.

But some of Slay's numbers have started to fall. The latest was for career catches.

In just two seasons on the Miner varsity, Slay caught 86 passes.

With three catches Aug. 17 in a 40-0 victory at Eastern Greene, Linton-Stockton senior Cole Bradbury pushed passed Slay's career total.

Bradbury now has 88 catches -- 35 as a sophomore and 50 last year, which tied Slay's single-season record.

Bradbury had 848 yards and 12 TDs a year ago.

He set the single-game record for yardage as he had 238 in the 81-point outburst against North Daviess last year.

He had eight receptions, three for TDs against the Cougars.

That turned out to be one short of the record of nine that Slay had against Tecumseh.

In that sectional game against the Braves, Slay set the old receiving mark of 218 yards.

Charlie Karazsia, who was Miner coach in '86 and now Linton-Stockton athletic director, offered his thoughts on Slay and Bradbury.

"Bryan was a little taller and lankier than Cole," said Karazsia. " I believe that their speed is very comparable.

"Bryan did return punts for us. Both have excellent hands and see the field very well."

Karaszia said Bryan and Cole each are game changers.

"Both receivers looked to make the big plays to get the offense going," said Charlie, who's Miner squad in 1986 finished 11-2 after a 14-6 loss to South Putnam in the semistate title game. "Cole would probably be less likely to step out of bounds than Bryan, even though they are both tough kids.

"Personality wise, they both are fierce competitors and want to win."

Slay, like Bradbury, played in a Miner defensive backfield.

As a 160-pound senior, Slay picked off nine passes, which is the fourth-best total in modern day Miner history.

"We played with two corners and a safety," said Slay. "We did really well defensively in the playoffs.

"I was able to get a few picks in the playoffs."

Slay said there was another big difference between his Miners and the teams the last few seasons.

"Last year's Miner team had so many weapons," said Slay. "That has been a big part of their success.

"We did not have that many weapons. Because of that, I saw a lot of double teams."

Slay said he still thinks about that loss to the Eagles in the semistate.

"We had some chances early, but couldn't score," he said. "We just never seemed to get it going.

"I think I could have made a couple of more catches that could have possible made the difference in getting to the Dome."

Slay, who said he played back-up quarterback as a sophomore but earned a varsity letter by playing on kickoff teams, got his chance at wide receiver as a junior. He added that he has a lot of great memories.

"It is still good to be part of the offensive record book," he said. "But records are meant to be broken and it sounds like several of those are falling. I am really happy for all the success we had back then and how much they are having now. Hopefully they can get over that semistate hump.

"That was a great season for me and more importantly for us as a team. We had some really tough games in the playoffs. There were no cakewalks. I remember how cool it was to play at home and see the fans in the end zone. It was special to run out on that field."

B.J. Hargis is the sports editor at the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487, ext. 12 or at hargisbj@gmail.com.

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