Wildcats Break for the Holiday

Dec. 23, 2008

LEXINGTON, Ky. – The Kentucky football team practiced Tuesday morning in the Nutter Field House before taking off for the holiday break.

“I’m happy with the energy that we’ve demonstrated,” Coach Rich Brooks said of the 11 post-season practices his team has had to this point. “I’m happy with the progress of a lot of our young players. I’m very encouraged going into next year, but we have a big job on January 2nd.

“I want very much for this senior class to go out on a positive note. They’ve worked very hard in helping turn around Kentucky football and I’d like for them to do something special in their last game. For the returning players, we just need to get continued improvement and get back on track.”

The team will gather in Memphis, Tenn., on Dec. 27 and have five more practices prior to the AutoZone Liberty Bowl, which will be played on Jan. 2.

Masthay to be Featured on Fox During Sugar Bowl: Kentucky punter/kicker Tim Masthay will be featured during halftime of the Allstate Sugar Bowl on Jan. 2.

Masthay will be part of a story on the Allstate Good Works Team, the national honor for players who are extremely active in community service. Masthay was one of 11 players named to the Good Works Team from among the 119 schools in the NCAA Football Bowl Subdivision.

The Allstate Sugar Bowl will be televised by the Fox Network on Jan. 2 at 8 p.m. The halftime feature is compiled by the Intersport production company.

Masthay has been involved in countless service activities during his time at UK. Among his participation was a 17-day service/educational trip to Ghana in May, an excursion that helped confirm his post-UK goal of joining the Peace Corps and serving in Africa.

In addition to being named to the national Good Works Team, Masthay is a first-team Academic All-American. He also was a finalist, semifinalist or current nominee for several other honors, including the NCAA Top VIII Award, Danny Wuerffel Trophy, Draddy Award, Bobby Bowden FCA Award, Lowe’s Senior CLASS Award and the John Wooden Citizenship Cup, all of which honor a combination of athletics, academics and community service.

On the field, Masthay was the first-team All-Southeastern Conference punter this season. He leads the SEC and ranks fifth in the nation with a 45.3-yard average per punt. He also handles kickoffs and is second in the SEC in kickoff touchbacks with 20. Masthay’s kicking is a crucial factor in Kentucky leading the SEC in field position differential at +6 yards per possession. (Kentucky’s average starting yardline this season is its own 35; opponents have started, on average, at their own 29, hence the +6 yards per possession.)

Kentucky has a long history of player commitment to community service. Masthay is the 10th player in school history who has been named to the Good Works Team. Nationally, Kentucky is tied for second place all-time in the number of players named to the team.