Beyond the Box Scores

A Ring To Rule them All

By: Derek Forrest
By: Derek Forrest

We have entered state semi finals week across the commonwealth of Kentucky, and something very interesting has presented itself. As far as the mountain schools are concerned; well, they represent 5 of the 6 classes in the state of Kentucky, and this year, all 5 classes could have a representative from the mountains come next Friday.

We have entered state semi finals week across the commonwealth of Kentucky, and something very interesting has presented itself. As far as the mountain schools are concerned; well, they represent 5 of the 6 classes in the state of Kentucky, and this year, all 5 classes could have a representative from the mountains come next Friday.

In Class 1A Hazard faces off with Lexington Christian for the 4th time within a calender year, and Lexington Christian leads that series 2-1. However, there could be some irony to it. Last year, Hazard defeated LCA 41-21 in the regular season, but lost to them in the 1A Region Final last year 45-21. This year, Hazard lost the regular season match-up 41-7, but hope to turn the tide by beating the Eagles on Friday. One other note on this game. LCA Head Coach Paul Rains is family to the friendly confines over at Hazard. He coached for the Bulldogs back in the late 1980's.

Moving on the Class 2A. Corbin finds themselves in a playoff rematch with Newport Central Catholic. The last time these two teams squared off was last year in the Region Final, but like Hazard vs. LCA, the non mountain team, New. Cath. came away with the win, 28-16. Corbin has really yet to be tested this season, even with the loss of Ryan Fritts, and this week, the Thoroughbreds will be sure to do just that.

In 3A, the mountains are guaranteed to have a representative in the State Final. Powerhouse Breathitt County will face off against powerhouse Belfry. Just like the previously mentioned games. These two faced off last year in the post season, and last year it was also for a chance to go to the Oven in Louisville. It was the Angry Red that proved their worth once again coming away with the 62-28 win. For Breathitt, a win on Friday would be huge in showing that they are once again a force to be reckoned with in 3A. Both of these teams bring with them a huge winning tradition and both have the coaches to back it up. This one will be great to watch. But if there is one advantage in this game, its the fact that this game will be played under the bright lights over at the CAM.

Moving right along to 4A. Bell County has been the number one team in 4A all year long. Boyle County has been the number two team in 4A all season long. So it is only fitting that these two teams meet (perhaps one week too early, but it happens). Bell County were pushed to the wire last week, which is a good thing. Throughout a season a team need to be tested to see just how good they really are. So, if this team has learned anything from last week's match-up with Knox Central, it is that they can fight back and persevere. If Bell County can learn from last week's game, they could also represent the mountains in State Final for Class 4A.

That now leave me with Class 5A. What could possibly be the biggest surprise in all of the mountains is the fact that Whitley County finds themselves one win away from heading to Louisville. When you talk about a team that needs to be tested at some point in the season, this team as been tested quite a few time this year. Week Two saw a match-up with Bell County which they lost 38-8. Since then the Colonels have won 11 straight. Since that loss, Whitley had to fight off Letcher Central twice and played a tight one with Pulaski County in the playoffs. But to understand why Whitley County being in the state semi-final game is surprising, you need to understand where they came from. Whitley County finished their 2007 season 2-9. In 2006, the Colonels finished the season 2-8. So to see such a big turnaround is amazing and if you have seen the team in person is not surprising.

Now, to the game, the Colonels will really get to make a statement on Friday as they will be facing Fort Thomas Highlands. Coach Jim Black has said that Highlands is easily the fastest team they will face all year. If the Colonels are to cement themselves as a force to look out for, its starts with a win Friday night versus Highlands.


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