The high school football season is down to its final weekend, signaling an end to another great year. When we reflect back upon the 2008 season, we'll see that prep football in Kentucky was dominated by mountain teams and players.
Who would think the state's leading rusher or thrower would reside east of I-75? The career passing yardage leader? Yep, a kid from eastern Kentucky.
Breathitt County's Channing Fugate led Kentucky with 1,948 rushing yards and 25 touchdowns. South Laurel's Ricky Bowling stamped himself as one of the state's best-ever quarterbacks, passing for 12,259 career yards (second all-time) and 133 TDs, which tied him with Tim Couch as the all-time leader. Bowling led the state this season, throwing for 3,307 yards and 37 scores.
Clay Co.'s Zach Lewis finishes his career with a state-best 13,642 yards passing. He overtook Couch earlier this year for those honors.
But only Fugate is still playing. He and his Bobcats teammates are one of three eastern Kentucky teams in the state football finals, held next weekend in Louisville.
By all accounts, it's the first time ever that three teams from that part of the state will compete on the same weekend for a state title.
On Friday, Hazard will make its first-ever appearance in the finals, taking on Beechwood in the 1A title game. Breathitt Co. and Louisville Central follow in the Class 3A matchup.
Then on Saturday, it's Bell Co. taking on Bullitt East in the state 4A championship.
Having grown up with connections to eastern Kentucky (my mother was born in Perry Co.), I know of the importance of high school sports in that area.
Next weekend puts the finishing touches on another great season, and for the fans in eastern Kentucky, it's a chance for the spotlight to shine brightly upon them.
Those are the highlights... Stay tuned.