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A former Carroll County Panther football standout is now a defensive coordinator for a minor league football team, the Frankfort Falcons.
Dusty Abbott, a 1994 graduate of Carroll County, scampered up and down the field when he played for coach Doug Barry on one of the most successful teams Carrollton ever had and now he can be seen roaming the sidelines for the Falcons.
Abbott played for the Carroll County Panthers from 1991 through 1994 and was part of one of the best backfields in school history. He played with other Carroll County notables such as Lance Carr, Terry Mumphrey and Mike Dunlap and the 1992-93 season the team went 9-2 and had a run in the state playoffs, Abbott explained.
Abbott said he had a good high school experience that fueled him and has never left. Abbott currently works for the Kentucky State Police in their geo-processing informational system, is married and has two daughters. He has lived in Frankfort for 11 years.
Abbott loves his job with the Falcons and enjoys working with players that are trying to make it to the next level.
“It’s as minor league as you can get, but it’s still full contact football,” Abbott said in a recent interview. This is the second year for the Alliance Football League and the Falcons are in the Mideast Conference. Last year the team went under the name the Central Kentucky Wardogs, but the league didn’t think that was a very family friendly name, so it was changed to the Falcons, Abbott explained.
The Falcons have 41 players, whose average age is between 24 to 26, and are trying to move up in the world of professional football hoping to eventually make it to the NFL. Abbott said that several of the players have moved on to arena football teams, and two of his players attended an NFL combine tryout and missed the season opener June 6 in Louisville.
The AFL is full contact football and is played outdoors, but they do feed the arena football leagues. The Louisville Fire and the Kentucky Horsemen of Lexington, Ky., are two arena football teams that often scout games, and the Cincinnati Bengals also scouted once, Abbott said.
The AFL is made up of 32 teams that are broken down into two divisions and four conferences and Abbott said there are nine teams on a waiting list. Abbott joked that it is a semi-pro and semi-paid league and players are paid once a year depending on how well the team does. Most players and coaches have jobs elsewhere.
Abbott explained that this is a national league and they travel by bus to away games, but fortunately their regular season games are played regionally to cut down on long bus rides. Their home field is on the campus of Kentucky State University in Frankfort and their season lasts from June through August with playoffs going into early October.
The players are hoping to further their careers and so are the coaches, according to Abbott. Most would like to move up as coaches at high schools, colleges or the pro ranks somewhere. Abbott would also love to be a high school head coach someday. “It’s in my blood,” he said.